Lexington, KY – It’s your largest, and most visible, organ, but in terms of health care and maintenance, your skin is probably one of the most neglected parts of your body. Your skin, especially the skin on your face, is your body’s first line of defense against the elements and should be nourished of to combat an accelerated aging process.
A whole galaxy of lotions and procedures are available for skin care, some promising everything just shy of an appearance resembling a recent visit to the Fountain of Youth, but we thought we’d ask some local professionals in the skin business for some quick tips to make sure your outer shell is as healthy and as radiant as possible.
Use fish oils: Fish oil supplements can help replenish much needed oils which help maintain a healthy skin barrier and prevent dryness. This may be especially helpful if you take cholesterol-lowering medications which can promote skin dryness.
No lip-licking: Aquaphor or Vaseline applied to lips can help prevent lip-licking, which exacerbates dry, chapped lips. Hydrocortison 1 percent cream (over-the-counter) can be applied sparingly to red, chapped areas.
Try soap substitutes: Avoid hot water and cleanse with soap-substitutes, such as Cetaphil, especially with children with dry skin or eczema. Children do not require soap daily.
- Kelli G. Webb, M.D. Dermatology Consultants, 1401 Harrodsburg Rd., C-415. (859) 278-9492.
Get your nutrients: Don’t starve your skin for nutrients. Topical vitamin C and other antioxidants can be very beneficial as a supplement to good overall nutrition.
Watch your exposure to the sun: Sunscreen is your best friend. Use an SPF of 30 or more daily and reapply often if sweating or swimming. Avoid the sun, as it is responsible for most of what we consider the signs of “aging.”
Some soap is too harsh: The original process of making soap involves the use of lye and ash, so it’s not hard to imagine that the use of soap is harsh on the skin. Non-soap cleansers are more gentle and protective of the moisture-retaining lipid layer and are recommended for daily use.