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The following article was published in Your Health Magazine. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier.
Rosemary Verghese, MD
Back To Basics Keeping Your Skin Healthy and Youthful
Mid-Atlantic Skin Surgery Institute
. https://midatlanticskinsurgery.com/

Back To Basics Keeping Your Skin Healthy and Youthful

Americans spend billions of dollars on products and treatments to help keep their skin healthy and looking youthful. Yet many fail to take basic proven and generally inexpensive steps to care for their skin.

Among the American Academy of Dermatology's top recommendations is to protect your skin from the sun. Sun protection forms the foundation of every anti-aging skin care plan. The sun's rays make our skin age more quickly. We have so much evidence that the sun prematurely ages our skin that there is actually a word to describe this effect. This word is “photoaging.”

Reversing the effects of photoaging can be complicated and costly, so it is best to prevent the process before it causes any serious damage. Making a few simple lifestyle changes can help you do just that.

First and foremost, it is imperative to limit direct contact with the sun. Try to stay in the shade between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and whenever your shadow appears shorter than you. If you must be outdoors during strong sunlight, cover up as much as possible. Wide-brimmed hats, pants and long sleeved shirts are effective for shading your skin from the sun. Wearing gloves will help reduce age spots on your hands, and sunglasses help prevent fine lines from forming around your eyes. Of course, always apply sunscreen on any areas of your skin that will not be covered by clothing. Be sure to use SPF 30 or higher, and look for sunscreen that is water resistant.

In addition, do not subject yourself to additional harmful sun-like rays from tanning beds or sun lamps. These machines expose your skin to ultraviolet (UV) rays, which speeds up the process of aging.

It's important to note that reducing sun exposure and avoiding tanning beds also helps reduce your risk for skin cancer.

A well-rounded daily skin care regimen is also crucial for maintaining healthy skin. Moisturizers trap water in your skin, keeping you looking younger. Apply facial moisturizer, body moisturizer and lip balm every day to prevent your skin from becoming excessively dry as you age. Always make sure to wash your face twice a day with warm water and a mild cleanser not soap. Be gentle and avoid scrubbing your skin.

Beyond these basic measures, you also must consider how your overall health affects your skin. Tobacco smoke contains toxic elements that can leave your skin looking dull, dry and leathery. It can also cause your skin to lose its firmness or result in premature wrinkles. Your diet also plays a big role. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats helps keep your skin nourished and healthy. Finally, don't forget about your beauty rest. Sleep allows your skin to regenerate, which gives you that fresh-faced morning glow.

Maintaining healthy skin is a lifelong practice, which is why it is important to take time every day to protect your skin. And don't forget to consult with a dermatologist if you are struggling with skin care issues. They can provide advice and treatments that are specific to your needs.

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