Skincare for Skin Health
Audrey Cabahug (The Freeman) - December 3, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Everyone wants to have attractive skin. Sadly, they at times resort to ways that actually damage the skin instead of keeping in top health. The skin plays an important part in defending the body against infections, so keeping the skin healthy is vital to overall body health.

The skin is the body's largest organ and is touted to be the body’s first line of defense. It serves as a protective barrier between one’s internal and external worlds, acting as a filter and helps in regulating body temperature. And the skin is what is first seen of a person.

Although often unnoticed, the skin is in a constant state of change and growth. Constantly and in unfailing regularity, old cells are dying and new cells forming. A person’s overall look may seem the same, the skin that covers the body shape and external features are changing all the time.

Every aspect of one’s life, from diet to lifestyle, affects the skin. Even such thing as where one lives has its effects on the skin, too. Interestingly, skin experts have found that such seemingly unrelated factor as the kind of thoughts one keeps can have its corresponding effects on skin health.

It takes a holistic approach to keep the skin in good state of health. And it’s not only for aesthetic purposes. While, yes, healthy skin is better able to fight signs of aging, it also heals much faster and staves off potential disease more effectively.

Proper skin care is vital for good physical appearance, of course. Healthy skin appears full and vibrant, while unhealthy skin tends to appear sallow and dull. Wrinkles develop with more easily and sink deeper in dehydrated and unhealthy skin resulting in uneven patches of a mottled color. Unhealthy skin also lacks elasticity, making it sag and appear thin.

Poor skin care habits can lead to rashes, sores, acne, and wrinkles, and can get in the way of one’s good physical appearance. But looking good is not only what proper skincare is about. More importantly, it's about staying healthy.

Unhealthy skin is more susceptible to disease and infection. It is also more likely to scar after an injury. Among people with skin issues, such as psoriasis, or have skin allergies proper skincare is particularly important.

Keeping the skin in good health may start by keeping it hydrated. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day may be complemented with a balanced diet in order to provide the skin with the necessary vitamins and minerals. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein can deliver the best results.

Sun protection is also necessary, especially in a tropical country like the Philippines. Sunblock shall be applied on any exposed skin if one is going to spend time outside. Using a wide-rim hat or umbrella will help, as well.

Vitamin C is known to counter the effects of sun exposure. It works by reducing the damage caused by free radicals, a harmful byproduct of sunlight, smoke, and pollution. Free radicals gobble up collagen and elastin, the fibers that support skin structure, causing wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Proper skin cleansing is equally important. Skin needs moisture to survive, so using hot water when washing the face shall be avoided, as the heat can wipe away natural skin moisture. Using warm water is okay if necessary; otherwise, cool water is ideal.

Also, proper caution shall be taken in using harsh or chemical-heavy soaps. These are better avoided as much as possible, since these can strip the skin of its natural moisture while also polluting it. To keep the skin moisturized, it’s good to apply moisturizing lotion within a few minutes of taking a bath.

In case of skin problems, however, it is always advisable to see a qualified dermatologist. Given the skin’s key function for the rest of the body, it is too risky to experiment with self-medication especially with a persistent skin problem.

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