Skin Care Without the Fuss


We want to take care of our skin — but who has the time?

By FamilyTime

 

As we age, we come to appreciate youthful-looking skin. Not only does it make us look better, it feels pleasingly soft, moist and supple.

Skin care specialists tell us to take extra-good care of our skin with daily rituals involving cleansers, toners, creams, and masks. But, honestly, who has time?

While it’s lovely to take a few hours to pamper yourself with a face mask or even a professional facial now and again, daily care of your skin does not have to be time consuming. The key is consistency and common sense.

Stay Out of the Sun, Wind and Cold

Sunscreen is important and it’s a good idea to use a daily moisturizer that includes sunscreen with SPF of at least 15. But sunscreen is not the only answer.

Even when you wear sunscreen, avoid exposure to the sun, winter or summer. This means steering clear of the hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m if at all possible. It’s a great idea to walk or exercise outside. Being in the sunlight does wonders for your mood and overall health, but try to limit outdoor exposure to the morning and afternoon. Not midday.

Extreme cold and wind cause moisture on your face to evaporate quickly. If you plan to be outside on chilly days, apply a good moisturizer to your face, and don’t forget to protect your lips.

Wash Your Face and Hands

Clean skin is important. Wash your face twice a day (no more!) and moisturize it. Use a gentle, neutral-pH face cleanser and then a moisturizer you like. Avoid commercial soaps on your face.

Expensive moisturizers are not necessarily better than more affordable ones. Find one that feels and smells good to you -- and that fits your budget -- and apply it liberally in the morning and evening.

Wash your hands frequently. We touch our face 15 or 20 times an hour, and so it stands to reason that clean hands are a good idea. It’s far wiser and more practical to keep your hands clean than to wash your face over and over again all day long. (Plus, clean hands don't spread germs.)

Choose the Right Moisturizer

You could spend hours selecting moisturizers and other face creams. There are so many to choose from! While everyone agrees moisturizer is important, there are some commonsense criteria to follow when selecting one.

If you have very oily skin, choose a water-based moisturizer. If you have dry skin, choose one that is gel- or glycerin-based. If you have sensitive skin, avoid fragrances, which tend to aggravate the skin.

It’s a good idea to read the label and pick out a moisturizer with fewer, rather than many, ingredients. This is especially true for anyone with acne, eczema or super-sensitive skin.

Eat, Drink, Sleep and Exercise Right

A healthful diet is as important for your skin as it is for the rest of your body. This means avoiding animal fats, fried foods, and too many sweets. Instead eat lots of good proteins, fruits and vegetables.

Not surprisingly, water is crucial for healthy skin. The more water you drink the better — but avoid caffeinated drinks, sugary ones, and alcohol. Some experts recommend two quarts of water a day.

Get plenty of sleep. Sleep is restorative, and no where is this more obvious than for healthy-looking skin. When you are tired, your skin sags, its tone is dull and lifeless, and there are circles under your eyes.

Keep moving. Exercise is good for you — no doubt about it. When you work out, walk briskly or otherwise exert yourself, your blood circulates through your body in ways that nourishes your skin.

No Smoking!

If you smoke, quit! If someone close to you smokes, avoid the second-hand smoke as much as possible. Smoking is terrible for all of your body’s organs, and since your skin is your largest organ, it suffers proportionately.

Smokers’ skin is more wrinkled, dry and leathery than non-smokers’ skin. Nicotine constricts blood vessels and so not as many nutrients and as much oxygen reach the skin. The result is unhealthy looking and feeling skin.

If you eat right, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, exercise, don’t smoke and keep your face clean and moisturized, your skin will thank you. Skin care does not have to take a lot of time — just a little thought.