SKIN CARE                                   

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What are the goals of good home skin care?
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What are skin types are there?
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What are the steps needed in skin care?
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What is seasonal skin care?
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What can you do to prevent winter itch?

 

What are the goals of good home skin care?

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Glowing, healthy, youthful skin for many years into advanced age.

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Enhance office based procedures make them more effective

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Prevent and reverse ongoing skin damage and skin aging

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Ongoing continuity of care.

 

What are skin types are there?

Every one is unique. Hence the need for a customized regimen. Basic classification is dry, oily, normal and a combination of skin types. Based on skin and hair coloration, there are 5 skin types:

 

1)      Northern European skin: very pale, especially Irish and Nordic descent. Early photo-aging, early wrinkling skin cancer. Less oily or acne prone. More dry, inflamed and dehydrated.

2)      African-American skin: Naturally richer in sebaceous oils. Top layers of skin are thicker than Caucasian skin but skin is sensitive and needs gentler care to avoid rebound pigmentation. Responds well to alpha-hydroxy products. The melanin-rich skin provides wonderful protection from aging free radicals.

3)      Mediterranean skin: Olive toned complexion. More pigmented and more oily than Northern European skin. This delays lines, wrinkles and sagging, but this skin type is more prone to adult acne.

4)      Asian skin: More melanin than Northern European but less than African American or Latino skins. Hence more resistant to sunlight and photo aging. Has moderate sebaceous activity and not chronically dry or significantly acne prone

5)      Latino skin: Rich caramel colored skin has natural sun protection but more prone to acne and enlarged pores.

 

What are the steps needed in skin care?

Vary with skin type, age, improvement desired, family history and past sun damage. Basics are:

1)      Cleansers: stay with liquid cleansers that are applied by hand and rinsed off completely with luke warm water. Choose according to skin type. Cleansers can often double as makeup removers. Avoid scrubbing grains, abrasive pads, wash cloths or astringents. These can disturb the skin and trap bacteria. Do NOT over wash.

2)      Exfoliative: with properly selected alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy products or retinol based products. Many good choices will have anti-oxidant and anti-irritant ingredients.

3)      Moisturizers:

a)      From within by consuming healthy oils and drinking 6-8 glasses of water daily.

b)      From without: Need to be skin specific and weather specific. Some good ingredients to look for are B-glucan, essential oils, squalane, hyaluronates, sea extracts.

4)      Nourish: From within and without. Several vitamins especially A, C and E, alpha lipoic acid, tea tree oil, hemp oil, sage, rosemary.

5)      Protect: year round with full spectrum sunscreen with SPF of at least 20. Make sure that the sun protection lasts all day. Wear a wide brim hat. Minimize sun exposure between 10.00 a.m. and 3.00 p.m.

6)      Weekly masks customized to deeply cleanse, soothe, nourish, exfoliate and moisturize.

 

Seasonal skin care

Skin function is affected by seasonal changes e.g. temperature, humidity and sun exposure, pollution with smoke, pollens, chemicals excessive bathing with hot water etc. Cold, dry windy climates make our skin, hair and nails dry. Winter itch is caused by dryness and is exacerbated by hot water, detergents, solvents and excessive use of anti-bacterial soaps. The result is very dry, cracked, scaly skin mostly on legs, arms, hands and feet. This can become infected, swollen and quite itchy and painful.

 

What can you do do prevent winter itch?
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Reduce bathing time and water temperature.

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Reduce overuse of and over washing with soaps and antibacterial lotions. Use soap free cleansers.

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Increase consumption of essential fatty acids = "good oils" like olive oil, walnuts, fish esp. salmon and tuna.

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Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily.

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Provide adequate humidification in your home.

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Use effective penetrating, moisturizing body lotions immediately after bathing while your skin is still damp.

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Ingredients like glycerin, urea, lactic acid or ammonium lactate reduce scaling and help skin to hold water.

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Your Dermatologist can help you decide which is best for you.

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Protect hands with latex or vinyl gloves.

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Stop smoking.