This month, our blog series is called Love, Your Skin and will focus on different ways to show your skin some love, from head to toe!
Skin is the largest organ in your body, and it is also one of the few that is constantly exposed to the elements –wind and rain, hot and cold, allergens and irritants, and more. In addition, skin is the gatekeeper to the rest of the body; it works to keep harmful things out and to hold beneficial things in. These two attributes together shine a light on how important it is for us to protect our skin as much as we can. If we protect our skin, our skin will protect us. So, what are the main concerns that we need to protect our skin from?
The sun’s UV rays can damage and mutate skin cells which may lead to skin cancer and/or premature skin aging (including wrinkles, fine lines, uneven skin tone & age spots). Protect your skin by wearing sunscreen, covering up your skin with hats, sunglasses & clothing when outside and limiting time spent outdoors during peak sun hours.
Dryness & Dehydration
One of skin’s main functions is to be a barrier for the body against irritants and allergens that we encounter every day. When skin is dry or dehydrated, however, it weakens this barrier which makes skin more sensitive to encounters. You may have noticed that you get more rashes or itchy areas when skin is dry, and that is why. Help your skin protect you by keeping it moisturized. In winter when the air is drier and windier, try a thicker moisturizing cream to add an extra layer of protection.
If I say that avoiding injury will protect the skin, everyone will say “why, of course! I’d never intentionally injure my skin!” When we refer to injury of the skin, however, we do not just mean injury in the obvious ways; it also includes picking at pimples or scabs, pulling at flaking skin after a peel, scratching skin, etc. All of those little bad habits we tend to do to our skin injure it. Darkness and discoloration can result because that is the skin’s way of trying to protect itself! These can be hard habits to overcome, but try to avoid them. Maybe when you find yourself picking or scratching, start applying the applicable ointment or medication to that area instead (i.e., if you have the urge to pick at the peeling skin, apply some Aquaphor and gently rub that in instead).