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Skin care begins with a healthy lifestyle.

Posted May 05 2010 8:30pm

Skin care  begins with a healthy lifestyle.

• Drink plenty of water
• Eat a balanced diet
• Take a daily vitamin
• Exercise regularly
• Get enough sleep
• Avoid smoking
• Avoid use of tanning beds
• Minimize use of alcohol
• Manage daily stress

Skin Cleansing

For daily hygiene, use a mild cleanser. Remove facial make up
completely. Use lukewarm water for all cleansing. Rinse the skin
thoroughly to remove cleansing materials from the skin surface. Gently
pat dry and avoid rubbing.

Skin Moisturizing

In "moisturizing," water is added to the skin. Moisturized skin is more
flexible and pliable than dry skin. Application of moisturizer immediately
after washing or bathing helps keep water within the skin. Skin
moisturizers: (1) improve hydration (moisture content) and (2) add a
"protective" or occlusive layer on the skin surface to help hold moisture
within the top layers and keep it from being lost to the environment.
The protective layer provides a barrier to water loss. Therefore, water
remains in the upper layers of the epidermis and makes the stratum
corneum more flexible.
A large number of creams and lotions are available. It is useful to read
product labels to check for certain ingredients. One of the most
common ingredients for increasing hydration is glycerin, which holds
onto water within the outer layers following application. Glycerin is a
humectant type of moisturizer because it attracts and binds water in the
skin. . In dry, scaly skin, desquamation does not occur properly,
resulting in the formation of visible scales. Glycerin assists the process
of desquamation of the outer layer of stratum corneum and reduces
scaling. A second type of ingredient serves as a barrier or occlusive
when applied to the skin. These materials include petrolatum, mineral
oil, and certain plant oils.
They are lipid in nature and protect the skin by minimizing water loss
from the epidermis and by providing a barrier to intrusion from the
outside and to loss of water from the skin layers beneath it.
A second group of skin care materials are the alpha hydroxy acids,
known as the fruit acids (glycolic acid, lactic acid, etc.), and beta
hydroxy acids (salicylic acid). These materials create a smoother skin
surface by hydrating the surface layers and weakening and breaking
the attachments between the stratum corneum cells. This process,
known as exfoliation, assists in the removal of surface dry, scaly
patches from the surface. This process creates a smoother surface
composed to cells which are more hydrated than the dry scales that
were removed.

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