Whether you are a male or female, proper skin care is important. As we age, our skin becomes thinner and our oil glands become less active. This means wrinkles and dry skin can occur. As the skin becomes more fragile it becomes susceptible to sun damage and skin disorders. The Mayo Clinic lists four things that can be done to properly care for the skin and to keep that youthful glow as long as possible.
The Mayo Clinic states the most important thing that a person can do for their skin is to protect it from the sun. Sun exposure damages the skin and increases the risk of developing skin cancer. It also ages the skin and makes wrinkles more prominent. People should avoid the sun during its peak hours — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — and if they do have to get out in the sun they should wear a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor that is 15 or greater. Sunscreen should be applied at least 20-30 minutes prior to going outside and it should be reapplied after being in the water or sweating.
People who want to treat their skin properly should not smoke. The Mayo Clinic reports that changes occur in the skin of smokers after ten years of smoking. The report also states that smoking makes blood vessels narrow, depletes the skin of nutrients and oxygen and decreases blood flow to the skin. All of this damages collagen and elastin — what gives our skin elasticity and strength. Smoking also produces lines and wrinkles around the mouth. These lines and wrinkles are a direct result of pursing the lips around cigarettes.
A lot of people really don’t know how to wash their skin. They think taking long showers and baths is good for them when it’s really not. The Mayo Clinic advises that people bathe for no longer than 15 minutes as long baths and showers remove too much oil from the skin. They also advise that people use warm water versus hot water and to avoid soaps that are too strong and ones that contain additives such as perfumes and dyes. They recommend mild soaps such as Dove and Cetaphil. After the bath or shower the skin should be patted dry, not rubbed dry.
Every person’s skin is different, yet most can benefit from a daily moisturizer. The Mayo Clinic recommends that people wait 20 minutes after having a shower or bath to gauge whether a moisturizer should be applied. If the skin is tight and feels dry after this time, apply a skin moisturizer. The best moisturizers will contain sunscreen and be low on perfumes, dyes and other additives.