Some say that beauty is only skin deep. Others contend that real beauty goes much deeper. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, one thing is beyond argument—you need to spend time, energy and maybe a bit of money to take good care for your skin.
As the largest organ in your body your skin is far more than a beautifying ornament. Skin acts as a prime defender in the sometimes harsh and changing environment in which you live. It protects you against injury and infection, it helps in maintaining your body’s vital internal temperature, and it produces vitamin D and helps in the absorption of calcium. Your skin helps to keep everything alive, functioning and tightly packaged but, let’s face it, it is also what others see and often judge by. Not fair you say? Perhaps, but how often have you made a guess about a person’s age and lifestyle by the condition of their skin? It may not fair, but it’s true. Your skin takes care of you–it is the you that people first see–you need to take care of it.
Skin care doesn’t need to be complicated. In addition to a skin-healthy diet (eat lots of fruits and vegetables that are high in beta-carotene and vitamins C, E, and A) and skin healthy life-style practices (get plenty of sleep and exercise regularly) dermatologists generally recommend three basics that will help to insure the overall health and appearance of your skin—cleansing, moisturizing and sunscreen.
Cleansing, Moisturizing and Sunscreen
It sounds simple. It is and it is not! There are so many products on the market that promise so much. Advertised skin care products are generally “dermatologist tested” or “dermatologist recommended.” Some brands have celebrities touting their effectiveness. Almost all skin care advertisements feature models with picture perfect (photo enhanced?) radiant complexions. With all of the choices out there, those three magic steps—cleansing, moisturizing and sunscreen– can get lost in the cacophony of marketing messages. It is important to note that you don’t need to spend a fortune on a skin care and that a high price for cleansers, moisturizers, or sunscreens may not translate into a more effective product. Here are a few suggested products that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
You should generally choose a mild, soap-free cleanser that is made for your skin type. If you are not sure of your skin type, a highly recommended basic cleanser for all is Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash.
There are thousands of skin moisturizes on the market. Some have wrinkle protection (look for retinol A) and others do not. Eucerin produces a good line of moisturizers in both categories that are economical and highly recommended.
Dermatologists suggest sunscreens with a SPF of 30 or more, which are formulated with both UVA and UVB protection. L’Oreal Sublime Sun is a recommended choice that meets both requirements.