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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Our Skin and A Simple Daily Regimen to Care For It

I was in the doctor's office the other day and had a conversation with a lady who was not quite as old as I am. In our conversation we discovered that we both had Type 2 Diabetes. She told me that she was amazed that with the diabetes my skin looked so normal. Now to be honest the word normal was not the one she used but I am trying to be humble here. Of course this was an opening to tell her what I make and sell and to extol the benefits of using handcrafted soaps. But further into the conversation I found out that she bathed twice a day in hot water and she used a commercially made deodorant soap.  After thinking about her I decided that maybe some information might help my readers. We lead such full and busy lives that we can't be expected to know everything.

Our skin is our body’s largest organ and our protective barrier against the environment that we live in. It actually breaths and can absorb many things through it. We often take it for granted and fail to realize that it needs daily care just as brushing our teeth. If our skin is not taken care of properly it can become dry, flaky, cracked and inflamed. This can make it vulnerable to infections, fungi and even wart viruses. We should all practice a daily skin care regimen.

We all have a natural oil covering our skin. This oil, called sebum is created by tiny glands in the skin. When we remove this oil by using harsh drying agents such as most modern commercial soaps, frequent hot showers or baths, the skin becomes very dry which can lead to flaking and cracking. This can bring inflammation and itching.

Daily Skin Care

1. Each day that you take your bath or shower use warm water, not hot water. If you are sore and achy by all means have a hot bath but do not do it daily. Lukewarm or body temperature is actually best. Hot water dries out your skin. Limiting your bath or shower to 10-15 min. is best. You should only bathe once a day or risk removing your skins natural oils.

2. Avoid using harsh soaps that dry the skin. Naturally, I would recommend handcrafted soaps since all the natural glycerin is left in the bar and most are superfatted to help condition and moisturize your skin. If you must use a commercially made soap we recommend using Dove or Basis. We do NOT recommend the use of deodorant soaps as they are very harsh and drying as well as having chemical ingredients.

3. When drying off always blot or pat dry with the towel rather than rubbing the skin. It is best to leave your skin slightly damp.

4. Next, while your skin is slightly damp, apply a good moisturizer. If you have oily skin you can safely skip this step. A good commercially made moisturizer for normal skin is Lubriderm.

5. This is a very important step! All areas that are exposed to the sun, hands, neck, face, ears, arms or any exposed area of skin should have sun block with a moisturizer or a sunscreen of SPF 15 applied daily. Sun screens and sun blocks prevent UV damage to the skin. With UV damage you can have wrinkles, age spots and most importantly skin cancer.

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