Information you need to live a happy, worry-free retirement!
Originally published January 31, 2014, last updated February 20, 2014
Surprise! Skin care is not all about looking younger. Did you know your skin is your largest organ? And like any organ, taking care of it will help ensure health in later life. One of skin’s many functions is to protect. “The first line of defense against infection,” Lori Peters, RN says, “is intact skin.”
There are some simple steps you can take to keep your skin healthy: hydrate, exfoliate, moisturize and eat healthy foods.
Hydrating is more than drinking water. Use humidifiers throughout your house. Impede dehydration by avoiding space heaters, limiting coffee and alcohol, and soaking in lukewarm oatmeal baths rather than hot water. When outdoors, wear gloves with cotton lining, use lip balm, and apply sun-block.
Exfoliate weekly to rid of dead skin. Brush your skin using a loofah, exfoliating gloves or a body exfoliating brush, starting at your feet. Next, wet your entire body. Gently scrub your skin in circular motions with exfoliating cleanser containing grainy ingredients such as oatmeal, ground almonds or sea salt. Don’t scrub under your eyes where the skin is easily damaged. Use a pumice stone on rough spots such as heels. Be sure to moisturize your skin after exfoliating, or you may do more harm than good.
Moisturize after showering. In winter, use moisturizers with an oil base (up to 80 percent) with non-clogging oils such as avocado, mineral, primrose or almond. On your feet, use lotions that contain petroleum jelly. Peters advises, “Be sure that moisture is not trapped under skin folds which can lead to skin breakdown.”
Eat healthy foods
Eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains which contain vitamins A, B-complex, C and E, necessary for healthy skin. Nuts, olive oil and oily fish provide omega-3 fatty acids keep skin supple. Sugar, soft drinks, red meat, milk products and processed food enhance and increase wrinkles.
Visit a dermatologist for an individual skin-care plan. Proper skin care today will help ensure a healthier future.