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Family Nutrition & Health

Good Skin Care

There are several things you can do to head off skin problems and retain a healthy glow at any age. Teens, obsessing about your skin? Yes, acne begins during puberty, but you can still begin a lifelong habit of healthy skin by focusing on skin routines today that will carry through to your future

1. Don't smoke
Smoking makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. How? Smoking narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin and decreases blood flow – depleting your skin of the oxygen and nutrients that are the key to skin health. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin, the very fibers responsible for your skin’s strength and elasticity. And one more thing: The repetitive motions you make when smoking – pursing your lips, squinting your eyes and puffing out your cheeks – can also contribute to wrinkles.
  • If you smoke, protect your skin by quitting. If you’re having trouble quitting, ask your doctor for tips, help and treatments.

2. Be gentle
Daily cleansing and shaving can take a toll on your skin, so do what you can to minimize the stress.
  • Limit and moderate bathing. Hot water and long showers or baths remove oils from your skin. Limit your bathing time and lower the water to warm – just slightly warmer than body temperature.
  • Avoid strong soaps. The detergents in strong soaps can strip oils from your skin. Choose mild and “skin friendly” cleansers.
  • Shave carefully. Always apply shaving cream, lotion or gel before shaving to protect and lubricate your skin. Use a  clean, sharp razor and shave in the same direction the hair grows, not against it.
  • Pat dry. Gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel after bathing/washing, leaving some of the moisture on your skin.
  • Moisturize. Use a moisturizer that fits your skin type – whether you have oily or dry skin. Consider a moisturizer that contains SPF for daily use.

3. Eat healthy foods
A healthy diet can help you look and feel your best, so eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. There isn’t a clear association between diet and acne, but some research suggests that a diet rich in vitamins C and B, and low in unhealthy fats and processed or refined carbohydrates might help.

4. Protect yourself from the sun
One of the most important ways to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. By simply limiting sun exposure you can reduce your risk of skin cancer, wrinkles and age spots.
  • Use sunscreen. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. When you're outdoors, reapply sunscreen every two hours — or more often if you're swimming or perspiring.
  • Seek shade. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with tightly woven long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats.

5. Add more humidity
During cold, dry months when the heat is on in the house, use humidifiers in every bedroom as a defense against the drying effects of the furnace.

6. Manage stress
Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. Take steps to manage your stress by setting reasonable limits, scaling back your must-do list and making time for the things you enjoy. The results might be more dramatic than simply healthier skin.

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