Keep dry skin at bay

2015-11-25 06:23
PHOTO: supplied A healthy diet can help you look and feel your best.

PHOTO: supplied A healthy diet can help you look and feel your best.

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DID you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body? It protects you from bacteria and viruses that can cause infections, helps you sense the outside world and regulates your body temperature.

Dry skin is often just a temporary problem experienced commonly in winter, but for some individuals it is a daily concern.
Although skin is often driest on your arms and lower legs, this pattern can vary from person to person.
The symptoms of dry skin depend on your age, health status and the amount of time you spend outdoors.

Chronic or severe dry-skin problems may require a dermatologist, however, you can do a lot to improve your skin by using
moisturisers, bathing with cooler water, avoiding harsh, drying soaps and the application of aromatherapy oils.

In our every day madness, we barely make time to pamper ­ourselves with the basics such as good skin care and healthy
lifestyle ­choices. These can help delay the ­natural aging process and prevent various skin problems.
Let’s get on track with these five easy tips:

• Protect your skin from the sun. For the most complete sun protection, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF-UVB of at least
30. Avoid the sun between 10 am and 4 pm, when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Cover your skin adequately.

• Avoid smoking. Smoking makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. It also deprives the skin of oxygen and nutrients­ that are important to skin health.

Smoking also damages collagen and elastin - the fibres that give your skin its strength and elasticity.

• Treat your skin gently. Daily cleansing and shaving can take a toll on your skin. To keep it gentle, limit bath time.
Hot water and long showers or baths strip your skin of its natural oils. Use warm water rather than hot.
Avoid strong soaps and when ­shaving, lubricate your skin and ­apply shaving cream, lotion or gel ­before shaving.

After washing, for daily use, consider a moisturiser that ­contains SPF and has a good ­hydration property, then gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some of the moisture remains on your skin.

• Eat a healthy diet. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein.
Consider these skin-friendly foods - carrots, apricots, spinach, tomatoes, blueberries, beans, peas and lentils, salmon, mackerel and nuts.

• Stress management. Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive, and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems.
To encourage healthy skin - and a healthy state of mind - take steps to manage your stress.

Another exciting way of keeping the winter blues at bay is going for a relaxing massage, which has an amazing ­effect on the body, mind and skin. ­
- Supplied.

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