Guide to Skin Health

Healthy Skin GuideAs with your eyes, the most damaging thing to your skin is UV light. Not surprisingly, many of the same precautions you take to protect your eyes are the same for your skin.

Infancy through Childhood

  • The best protection from the sun is to stay out of it so try to keep your child in the shade as much as possible. This is particularly important during mid-day when UV rays are strongest
  • Cover up. Swim shirts are now available that help product your child’s arms and shoulders while swimming or at the beach
  • Always keep your child’s head covered. That will protect his or her face, scalp, ears and neck.  
  • Use a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and protects against both UVA and UVB rays (many sunscreens protects against UVA rays only). Make sure you follow the directions on the package.
  • Reapply sunscreen through the day, especially after your child swims or exercises, even if the product says it is waterproof or water-resistant
  • Encourage your kids to eat a healthy diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables containing lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene and important vitamins and minerals. You should also make sure they eat at least two servings per week of omega-3-rich fish like tuna and salmon

Adulthood

  • Do as your children do – stay in the shade, wear sunscreen, keep covered and reapply your sunscreen often
  • Pay attention to moles and other markings on your skin. If the size, shape or color changes or you develop a new growth on your skin, see a doctor
  • See a dermatologist for a skin check regularly. How often will depend on your skin type, family history and how often you have been or are exposure to the sun
  • Avoid indoor tanning. Tanning beds and sun lamps also expose you to harmful UV rays
  • Apply moisturizer every day. Moisturizer traps water in our skin, giving it a more youthful appearance
  • Wash your face twice each day with warm water and a mild cleanser. Don’t scrub too hard
  • Don’t smoke. Tobacco smoke contains toxins that can make your skin dull,dry out your complexion, reduce its firmness and create premature lines and wrinkles
  • Eat a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables - which provide skin-protecting nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, beta-carotene and lycopene -  lean proteins and healthy fats
  • Get your beauty sleep. Eight hours per day of sleep will keep you looking refreshed

Aging

  • Because mature skin has less protection from the sun than younger skin, wear a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and that protects against UVA and UVB rays
  • Monitor your skin for cuts and keep them clean. In older adults, even the simplest of cuts can turn into an infection that will take a long time to heal
  • Avoid using very hot water or spending too much time in the water
  • Use less abrasive soaps, such as a non-soap cleanser, and a moisturizer with lipids immediately after bathing
  • Continue eating a healthy diet loaded with fruits and vegetables, fatty fish, and healthy oils