Following a few simple skin-care tips can go a long way in keeping your skin looking healthy and smooth. As you age, your skin becomes thinner and dryer, resulting in older-looking skin. The good news is that with a little work, you can prevent further skin damage, rehydrate dried-out skin and remove dead skin cells, leaving your skin looking and feeling younger.
Opt for Cleanser Rather Than Soap on Your Face
While traditional bar soap may be great for your body, it’s too harsh for your face because it can strip the moisture from your skin, leaving you with a very dry face. Instead of soap, use a facial cleanser that is designed for your skin type. Most facial cleansers contain water, oil and surfactants that are less damaging to the skin than regular soap is. While oil and water contribute to cleansing the skin, surfactants help dissolve oil and remove dirt. Cleansers have more surfactants in them than bar soap does. Depending on the specific surfactant formula, cleansers can be foamy or gel-like. The right facial cleanser for you will have a certain combination of water, oil and surfactants and will be labeled for your skin type. If you have dry skin, you’ll need a cleanser that will moisturize it. If you have oily skin, you’ll need a cleanser that will dry it out a bit. When washing your face, use warm water and massage your face with a dime-sized dollop of cleanser. Rinse your face with cool water. Over-washing can irritate your skin, so wash your face with cleanser only once a day.
Exfoliate Your Skin
If you want your skin to have a healthy glow, you’ll need to exfoliate your skin regularly. Exfoliation removes the top layer of dead skin cells. To exfoliate, choose a surface scrub with fine granules, and rub it into your skin using circular motions while you’re in the shower. You can purchase a commercial scrub at any department store or drugstore, or you can make your own scrub at home by adding a quarter cup of white sugar to a half cup of olive oil. When shopping for a scrub at the store, look for one with jojoba beads or tiny plastic beads that will be gentler on the skin. You can also visit a salon and have a microdermabrasion treatment or a chemical peel to remove dead skin and the surface layer of your skin.
Moisturize Your Skin
Moisturizers lock in your skin’s moisture and fill in the space between the outer layers of the skin, making your skin appear plumper and healthier looking. Used daily, moisturizers serve as a barrier to your skin and prevent the moisture that is already in the deeper layers of your skin from evaporating off the surface. Because most moisturizers contain some water, they also work to rehydrate the skin.
It’s no secret that the sun’s rays are harmful to your skin, but the good news is that you can protect your skin from those rays–which can cause wrinkles, skin damage and cancer–simply by wearing sunscreen. Depending on the type you use, sunscreen either absorbs or blocks the ultraviolet radiation that the sun gives off. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, sunscreens containing avobenzone, zinc oxide and titanium oxide reflect or block ultraviolet radiation, while sunscreens containing para-aminobenzoic acid, octyl methoxycinnamate and oxybenzone absorb ultraviolet radiation (see References). For the best protection, wear a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of 50. If you’ll be going into the water, be sure to use a waterproof sunscreen and reapply often.