Keeping your skin healthy is more than just about having a clear complexion. Your skin is your largest organ and it performs several important functions. It protects your body from billions of viruses and bacteria and environmental toxins, it helps to regulate your temperature (keeping you cool or warm), it helps to store energy, and it provides one of your senses (touch). It can also give clues to the state of your general health.
There are many environmental pressures on your skin – pollution, too much sunshine, extreme temperatures, harsh wind, excess sweating and using the wrong skin products for your skin type. All of these can damage your protective outer layer so it is important to take care of it. But sometimes, no matter how well you take care of your skin, you may suffer from some form of skin condition or disease.
If your skin is clear and neither excessively oily or dry, you won’t need a complicated skincare regime. Less is definitely best. All you will need to do is keep it clean and practice good hygiene.
Agnes’s essential skin care tips:
- Protect it from the sun‘s harmful rays – you can find out more about protecting your skin from overexposure to the sun here but as a general rule use a moisturiser with an SPF of at least 15 on your face when you spend time outdoors (year round) and slap on the sunscreen in the summer.
- Stop it drying out – your skin may feel fine but sometimes it might feel tight and dry. The general advice for young skin is to avoid using moisturisers and to let it ‘breathe’ but some experts recommend using a basic moisturiser suitable for your skin type. You will probably want to experiment to find out what works best for you.
- Clean it properly – washing too often or using harsh soaps are not good for your skin. Washing your body once a day and your face twice a day is enough. Use a mild liquid soap or cleanser and don’t scrub your skin. Patting dry with a towel is better for your skin than rubbing dry. Keep your hands clean and don’t fiddle with your face.
- Use the skin care products that suit your skin. There is an overwhelming choice on the market and a huge variation in price. You don’t need to spend a fortune and you’ll probably need to experiment before you find the right one for your skin. You will find more advice here.
- Eat well and exercise – your skin needs a range of nutrients and a healthy supply of oxygen to function properly. Eating a balanced diet and taking regular exercise have so many all-round health benefits but are important for your skin health too. The link between diet and acne hasn’t been completely proven but most people who get spots find their skin looks and feels better when they cut down on junk food and sugary/fatty foods and keep active.
- Try to avoid getting overly stressed – stress is known to trigger and exacerbate common skin conditions such as acne and eczema.
- Avoid cigarettes and alcohol – smoking and drinking are notoriously bad for your skin. Smoking will prematurely age your skin and drinking alcohol will dehydrate it. Find out more about the effects of smoking on your skin here.