Now that summer’s over, the weather is getting cooler, and humidity levels are changing, it is important to reevaluate—or begin—your skin care action plan. Skin is one the most important body parts: it protects us from external environmental damage, is responsible for touch sensations, regulates our heartbeat, and stores and controls water and fluids. External factors and personal habits can greatly affect the quality of our skin, so it’s important to take good care of it. Here are three simple tips.
- Protect your skin from the sun. One of the biggest causes of skin damage is sun exposure. Although a nice dark suntan is considered attractive in our society, exposure to the sun over long periods of time causes wrinkles, freckles, age spots, dry skin, and cancer. The best method of protecting yourself from the sun is to avoid exposure when the sun’s rays are strongest, usually between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. If you are out in the sun, apply—and reapply—sunscreen liberally. If you can wear protective clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and a hat, you’ll protect your skin even more effectively.
- Be good to your skin in the bathroom. As the weather gets cooler, limit how long and how hot your showers are: long, hot showers dry out your skin. Use mild soaps and shaving cream and be sure to apply the correct moisturizer for your skin type after each shower or bath.
- Practice a healthy lifestyle, physically and mentally. Bad lifestyle habits contribute to poor skin quality. Smoking, for example, deprives the skin of nutrients and oxygen and decreases skin elasticity, contributing to wrinkles and pre-mature skin aging. Lifestyle stresses also contribute to poor skin quality by making the skin more susceptible to acne and other skin rashes. Good habits, however, contribute to good skin quality. Eating a healthy diet—particularly one rich in complex carbohydrates, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and other healthy oils—along with plenty of water contributes in various ways to healthy skin quality.