The skin is the body’s protective barrier against the environment. We often take our skin for granted. Most people fail to realize that the skin needs daily care just like brushing one’s teeth. If the skin is not taken care of properly it can become dry, flaky, cracked and inflamed. This can predispose the skin to infection from wart viruses and bacteria. A daily skin care regimen should start as early as infancy and continue throughout one’s life.
Everyone has a natural oil covering their skin. This oil, named sebum, is made by glands in the skin. When the oil is removed by frequent use of drying agents, such as soap, the skin becomes dry which can lead to cracking and flaking. Once cracking occurs the skin is susceptible to inflammation and itching. Everyday factors that may cause drying of the skin include harsh soaps, long hot baths or showers, and frequent bathing or showering. Most people overdo skin cleaning.
Daily Skin Care (15-20 minutes each day):
1. Each day when you take your bath or shower, try to use luke warm water. Hot water dries out the skin. Try to limit your time to fifteen minutes or less in the bath or shower. Bathing should be done no more than once a day. If you bathe too frequently you will remove the natural oils from the skin causing dryness.
2. Avoid using harsh soaps which dry the skin. Recommended soaps are Dove and Basis. Deodorant soaps are often very harsh and drying. Even better than soap are soapless skin cleansers such as Cetaphil Lotion and Aquanil.
3. Limit the use of soap to areas that develop an odor such as the armpits, genital area, and feet.
4. When toweling dry, do not rub the skin. Blot or pat dry so there is still some moisture left on the skin.
5. Next apply a moisturizer to the skin. One that we recommend is Xtend-Life Age Defying Day Cream. Concentrate on areas of your skin that become dry. Vaseline is good for severely dry skin and Lubriderm for normal skin. If you have oily skin you can skip this step.
6. All areas that are exposed to the sun, such as the face, ears, hands, and back of the neck should have a moisturizer containing sun block or a sun screen of SPF 15 or greater applied daily.
Daily Scalp Care (5-10 minutes each day):
1. The hair of the scalp tends to trap dead skin cells. When these cells build up and fall off they show as dandruff. This can be avoided by shampooing your scalp at least two to three times a week.
2. Thorough scrubbing of your scalp with your fingertips is necessary to loosen the oils and debris.
3. When rinsing the hair always use cool water, both before shampooing and after. This will add more body to the hair. Hot water causes the hair to appear limp.
4. Your choice of shampoo is a personal decision. Consumer Report Magazine found Pert Plus to leave the hair with the best body and shine.
Skin And Scalp Care Tips:
- There is no difference between a moisturizer containing SPF 15 and a sun screen containing SPF 15.
- Some experts believe that sunlight exposure during the first eighteen years of your life is most critical to the later development of skin cancer. Be sure to teach your children about the hazards of sunlight.
- Sunlight causes skin cancer, aging and wrinkles of the skin. Nothing is more important for daily skin care than avoiding sunlight.
- When shampooing, it is best to alternate between two to three different shampoos. Each will remove residue left by others.