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Skin Care Is Health Care

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends three simple, inexpensive steps to healthier skin.

woman washing her face in a polka dot shirt

Skin care sounds like a luxury, but don’t be fooled by all the lotions, serums and other treatments. Taking care of your skin – your largest organ – is part of health care and doesn’t require an expensive regimen.

“The skin provides a barrier to protect the body from invasion by bacteria and other possible environmental hazards that can be dangerous for human health,” said Dr. Heidi Kong, dermatologist at the National Institute of Health in an article about keeping skin healthy

Walk into any drugstore and it’s easy to be confused by the tidal wave of products promising healthier, younger looking skin. On top of that, the internet overflows with misinformation about skin care.

So, what should a healthy skin seeker do? Experts at the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) say cleansing, moisturizing and protecting your skin is all that’s needed.

  1. Use a gentle cleanser to wash your face twice a day, including once before bed and after exercising and sweating. Get a lesson in face-washing from the AAD. For both men and women, it can help you know your skin type (dry, oily, normal, combination, sensitive).
  2. Apply moisturizer to your face, body, and lips even if you have oily skin. Petroleum jelly is an inexpensive option for dry skin and nails.
  3. Prevent wrinkles, age spots and skin cancer by protecting your skin from the sun. Choose a broad spectrum UV protection sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. You can also stay in the shade and wear hats and sun-protective clothing.

To those tips, the Mayo Clinic adds these: eat healthy, treat skin gently, manage stress and don’t smoke.