How can you protect your skin?
Human skin is exposed to considerable stress daily, which quickly leaves its mark. Dermatologist Dr. Shilpi Khetarpal from the Cleveland Clinic in the United States has ten simple tips for optimally protecting the skin and maintaining a healthy complexion.
When it comes to caring for the skin, the body's largest organ, there is a lot of ambiguity or misconceptions about what really protects the skin and what products should be used. doctor Khetarpal advises to respect the following instructions in order to take care of the skin in the most optimal way possible.
1. Use sunscreen every day
The sun's rays dry out the skin and can significantly affect skin pigmentation. It should be noted that the sun can trigger its harmful effects not only in summer.
“On a snowy or cloudy day, there is only 20% less UV radiation than on a sunny day,” explains the dermatologist in a press release. Driving in a car or sitting near the window is enough to expose yourself to the sun's rays.
It is therefore advisable to use daily sunscreen products that have at least a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30, according to Dr. Khétarpal. It should also be noted that there are different types of sunscreen.
So-called physical sunscreens reflect UV rays so that they cannot penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. Then there are chemical sunscreens that absorb UV rays and then convert them into heat.
As for the type of sunscreen to use, the Cleveland Clinic expert strongly advises physical sunscreens as they are 100% effective. It is also important to note the expiry date, as sunscreens then lose their protective properties.
2. Regularly examine the skin for signs of cancer
Skin cancer continues to increase. Most cases of skin cancer are caused by sunlight. Tanning in the sun is dangerous, but every visit to the solarium also increases the risk of melanoma, according to the dermatologist.
The expert recommends that you should check yourself for skin cancer once a month. After the age of thirty, new birthmarks should no longer appear, which is why special attention should be paid to new birthmarks during the monthly check.
If you already have moles, birthmarks, or skin conditions, you should also follow the melanoma signs checklist:Asymmetry: one half does not match the other half. Edges: The edges are not smooth. Color: The color is mottled and patchy, with shades of brown, black, gray, red, or white. Diameter: The piece of skin measures more than six millimeters. Changing: the skin area is new or changes in size, shape or color.
"Each of these traits is concerning, but if you have more than one of these traits, it's a sign that there may be more and should be investigated," advises Dr. Khetarpal. Any mole or lesion that itches, bleeds, or grows should always be evaluated by a doctor.
3. Keep skin moist
With increasing aging, the sebaceous glands in the skin lose their activity. This dries out the skin, makes it sensitive and prone to irritation. The moisturizer helps compensate for the lack of moisture, keeping the skin soft and healthy. According to the expert, it is advisable to apply moisturizer within three minutes after showering.
4. Quit smoking
Smoking puts a strain not only on the heart and lungs, but also on the skin. Tobacco can stress skin cells and cause constriction of blood vessels, explains the doctor. Areas where blood vessels supply the skin shrink over time, which can lead to more wrinkles, premature aging, and delayed healing of the skin.
Smoking also makes people more likely to develop infections, adds the expert.
5. Treat Acne
“Acne is largely genetic or hormonal. It has nothing to do with your personal hygiene or how often you wash your face,” Dr. Khetarpal points out. benzoyl for acne It is able to kill the bacteria responsible for acne.
Additionally, adapalene can be used to keep skin pores open. One problem with acne is that the pores get clogged and acne lesions can develop. Adapalene keeps pores open, shrinks sebaceous glands and reduces their activity, says the expert.
6. Don't pop pimples
Many people start at the first sign of pimples trying to pop them to make them go away quickly. However, it can trigger infection and increase existing inflammation, which can ultimately lead to scarring, says Dr. Khetarpal.
To treat pimples, you should never squeeze them. The doctor recommends the use of benzoyl peroxide cream for spot treatment.
7. Daily use of antioxidants
The body is exposed daily to various pollutants. According to the expert, organic compounds, heavy metals, gaseous pollutants and components of the earth's ozone layer can directly influence the function of the skin barrier.
These pollutants can have various effects on the skin, such as accelerated aging, acne and hair loss. They can also increase inflammatory diseases such as eczema or psoriasis and even existing skin cancer.
However, using a topical antioxidant like vitamin C or vitamin E can protect the skin from all oxidative damage. Therefore, Dr. Khetarpal, applying an antioxidant cream, serum or gel daily.
8. No scented products
Fragrances in bath and body care products can damage the skin by dehydrating it and making it more susceptible to allergies, irritation and dryness. Therefore, the dermatologist recommends using fragrance-free products.
This also applies to detergents and all other products applied to the body, with the exception of natural soap. If you absolutely want to continue using scented products, it is advisable to carry out a test.
First, a small amount of product is applied to the body. Then it is checked whether negative or allergic reactions occur within 24 hours, according to the expert.
9. Do not use oil on the scalp
Using essential oils like tea tree oil and argan oil may have some benefits, such as relieving inflammation, but avoid applying them directly to the scalp, advises the dermatologist.
“A lot of oils contain fragrance and oils don't really repair our skin barrier. They just stay on the surface of the skin and aggravate dandruff, acne and rosacea,” says Dr. Khetarpal.
When using the oil, it should only be applied to the ends of the hair instead of massaging it directly into the scalp, the doctor said.
10. Pay attention to simple ingredients
With so many skin care products on the market, it's not easy to keep up. The following applies here: Products should contain as few ingredients as possible and these should be natural.
"Without fragrance, added preservatives and all that other stuff, you should only use ingredients that have a specific purpose, whether it's moisturizing, cleansing or protecting from the sun," says Dr. Khetarpal.
According to the doctor, if skin problems occur again and again while using special products, one should try to reduce the use of these products in order to identify the possible cause of the skin problems.
“If you have tried simple measures and eliminated products to which you may be allergic and your symptoms still do not improve, see a dermatologist,” adds Dr. Khétarpal added. (as)
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This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.
Sources:Cleveland Clinic: Top 10 Skincare Tips From A Dermatologist (Published 08/05/2022), Cleveland Clinic
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.