The skin is the largest organ in the human body and it carries out a number of important functions. Although it is able to repair itself and lasts a lifetime, it is important to look after the skin, protect it and take steps to keep it looking and feeling as healthy as possible.
In order to keep the skin clean, bright and youthful, it is advisable to adopt a good daily facial skin care routine, which should include cleansing and moisturising. Some people also like to use a toner but others don’t so this is a matter of individual preference. Your skin care regime should be tailored to suit your individual skin type; there are 5 major skin types, which are:
It is important to choose products which have been designed to cater for your skin type. If you have oily skin, for example, you should try to avoid oil-based, thick creams and if you have sensitive skin, you should go for natural products which contain mild ingredients.
If you have normal skin, it is advisable to cleanse and moisturise once a day. If you wear make-up during the day, make sure you remove this and then moisturise your skin. If you have dry skin, you may need to moisturise more frequently, but if you have oily skin, you may be advised to moisturise less frequently.
Diet has huge implications for the skin, as well as for general health. Eating foods that are rich in vitamins and antioxidants helps to combat free radicals; this helps to prevent damage to the skin and delays the visible signs of ageing.
Examples of foods that are good for the skin include:
● Nuts- especially Brazil nuts, pine nuts, hazelnuts and almonds
● Fruits- especially strawberries, blueberries, blackcurrants, papaya, orange and kiwi fruit
● Vegetables- especially leafy green vegetables, broccoli and avocado
● Omega 3 and 6 oils- which can be found in oily fish, avocado, nuts and sunflower oil
It is also very important to drink plenty of water; this helps to keep the skin hydrated and delays the ageing process; it also makes the skin look clearer and brighter.
A little bit of sun can be very beneficial for the skin, as it allows the body to generate vitamin D; however, it is extremely dangerous to sit out in direct sunlight for long periods of time and it is advisable to wear sun cream whenever you are in the sun. The harmful UV rays from the sun can burn the skin, which is often very painful; sun burn is usually characterised by red, sore, patchy skin which is painful and itchy. Exposure to the sun can also cause skin cancer, which is becoming increasingly common.
If you do choose to go out in the sun, make sure you are wearing sun cream; experts recommend wearing at least SPF 15 but if you are fair, you should go for a higher factor. Try to avoid the sun between 12pm and 3pm when it is at its strongest and wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes. Remember to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.