Ways to keep your skin soft and smooth as you age – Stay as radiant on the outside as you are on the inside!
Your skin is your body’s largest organ – it keeps your body temperature regulated; protects you from infection and injury; keeps moisture inside; and filters and removes impurities. But in order to do this, it must withstand the challenges from the wide variety of environmental exposures that you encounter. In other words it takes a lot of adjusting for your skin to handle the extremes of heat and cold as well as humid and arid climates.
Have you ever had cracked, or dry skin? During the winter months, cooler climates and drier air contribute to the development of dry skin ranging from mild flakiness to extreme roughness and irritation.
By taking a few basic steps, you can keep your skin smooth and soft to the touch avoiding the annoying changes that develop this time of the year.
Basic skin tips to Help Prevent Dry Bothersome Skin
- Protect your skin from the sun. OK, I am sure this is not the first thing you expected to hear about avoiding dry skin, but even during the winter months, sun protection is still advisable. This does not mean staying out of sunlight entirely – it is very good for you to be outdoors (in nature especially) every day, in fact it is a very strong factor in building and maintaining a good immune system, but make sure not to be in the sun for too long, especially when it is at its strongest. Spend some time in the sun and then a lot of time in the shadow. If you have to be in the sun for long periods of time each day, wear a hat and cool, linen clothing to protect our skin, such as a long thing sweater and a long skirt, or trousers. Avoid non-organic sunscreens as these seem to cause cancer as much as prevent it.
- Keep your skin clean by washing it with a very, very gentle body wash, soap, or cleanser. Avoid the use of harsh cleansing products as they will remove the natural oils from your skin quite literally. A number of moisturizing body washes are available for sensitive skin that help replace ingredients that are lost from the skin in cooler climates.
- As soon as you step out of the bath, or shower, and while the skin is still damp, use a moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated and smooth. To be able to do so it has to be done within minutes of showering. If you have dry skin try an oil based moisturizer, or if you have oily skin use a water based one. Again, avoid brands that use parabens. If you live in a cold climate you might have to apply moisturizer several times a day as well, as in winter the air gets dry, which affects your skin.
- Look for products containing ceramides which are natural lipids that help the skin to retain moisture by sealing the connections between the superficial cells like glue. Ceramides are oftentimes depleted when dry skin is present causing the skin to be more susceptible to environmental irritation and damage. Ceramide containing moisturizers help to restore the skin’s barrier protection and better enable the skin to stay naturally moist.
- Ammonium lactate containing products are also quite helpful for dry skin because they help to normalize the stratum corneum or outer stratified layer of the skin also helping the skin to maintain its hydration. Products containing this ingredient originally required a prescription from a physician to be able to get them, but they are now readily available for purchase in most pharmacies on an over the counter basis.
- Also remember that moisturizing your skin and nurturing starts from the inside – a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables will provide crucial vitamins and minerals and provide antioxidants that fight off aging and disease. Furthermore, getting plenty of omega three fatty acids (found in fish and some seeds and oils) will help keeping our skin moisturized. Linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid is a very good supplement to take to help nutritionally improve dry skin.
So, in summary, to make sure you have healthy skin without dryness and irritation, you should keep it clean using gentle non-irritating products, eat well and exercise, use a good moisturizer with ceramides for your skin straight after showering. This should leave your skin smooth and soft! As simple as one, two three!