Our skin plays a huge role in the overall health of our body.
But it’s often a part of our body that we forget to look after properly, even when there are telltale signs it’s in need of some TLC.
Thankfully, though, it’s not hard to put some simple steps in place to care for and protect your skin. And once you get used to doing these things, they’ll become as habitual as brushing your teeth or washing your hair.
So let’s find out a bit more about why it’s important to protect your skin and how you can make sure you’re doing just that.
What Causes Damaged Skin?
A whole host of things can lead to damaged skin, including lack of sleep, a poor diet, stress, sun exposure, cigarette smoke, and illness. Even changes in weather or exposure to heating or air conditioning systems can remove the protective, natural moisturizer found on your skin.
Loss of elasticity, aged skin, wrinkles, and skin that’s more prone to injuries. Skin cancer can even be caused by not protecting your skin properly.
But don’t worry – most of these early indications that your skin’s damaged can be healed through ongoing skin care at home. And by putting these measures in place, you’ll protect your skin in the future too, reducing the signs of aging and preventing various skin conditions.
The 10 Best Ways to Protect Your Skin
1. Use Moisturizer – Every Day
While this is an obvious tip, it’s still something many omit from their day-to-day skin care regimen. The best time to moisturize your skin is after you’ve had a shower or bath. By adding more moisture to skin that’s already damp, this helps seal some of this moisture into your skin.
So keep a bottle of moisturizer by your tub or shower and use sparingly when you’ve had a wash.
2. Limit Sun Exposure as Much as Possible
As one of the main culprits of skin cancer, protecting your skin against the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays is imperative.
What’s more, ongoing sun exposure can also cause age spots, wrinkles, and an array of other skin problems, so complete sun protection is a must.
You can achieve this by using sunscreen whatever the weather – and yes, we even mean if it’s cloudy and dull outside.
Try to apply SPF 15 at the very least. Make sure you’re applying it generously and that you’re reapplying every couple of hours, especially when you’re perspiring or swimming.
What if the product is advertised as requiring “once a day” application?
Many experts warn that you need to use these with caution as some studies indicate that the average SPF provided by these creams decreases by 74% after a period of 6-8 hours. Therefore, it’s wise to reapply every few hours, just to be sure.
You should also try and avoid the sun between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM as this is when the sun’s at its strongest. And wear protective clothing, such as wide-brimmed hats, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and sunglasses when you’re out and about.
3. Choose the Right Skin Care Products
It’s all well and good lathering your skin in moisturizer, but if it contains the wrong type of ingredients, you could be doing more harm than good.
Some products will contain petroleum-based ingredients, and during those cooler, harsher winter months, these can dry your skin out even further. Plus, petroleum can be toxic to your health.
Try to find a natural formula that’s got plenty of nourishing ingredients, opting for oil-based products as opposed to water-based ones. (Oil is far more likely to help your skin retain moisture, especially during winter.)
A great example is Teami Soothe, a tea-infused facial oil that contains no harmful chemicals, preservatives, or fillers and is made up of 100% pure plant extracts. Not only does it work to moisturize and protect your skin but it can also help heal skin damage, soothe any redness, calm blemishes, purify the skin, and reverse the signs of aging.
4. Stay Hydrated, Inside and Out
Drinking plenty of water is good for your overall health and is also essential for healthy-looking skin. It helps keep your skin hydrated and also plays an integral role in keeping your body cool when temperatures rise.
Constantly try to replace the water you’re losing to quench your thirst. And always travel around with a bottle of water handy, especially during summer.
Not a fan of water?
Then why not try some of the fruits and vegetables that have high water content? These include apples, oranges, watermelons, cantaloupes, kiwis, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and celery. These also help boost your vitamin C intake which helps improve the elasticity and collagen in your skin, knocking years off you.
5. Treat Your Skin with the Gentleness It Deserves
Even with the right level of moisturization, a number of things can still take their toll on your skin, including shaving and daily cleansing. So try to:
- Keep bath time to a minimum: Long showers or baths, especially in hot water, will strip your skin of its natural oils. Try to spend no more than 10 minutes bathing and use warm, not hot, water.
- Watch out for strong soaps: Strong detergents and soaps may also strip your skin’s oil, so try to find mild cleansers that don’t contain any harsh ingredients.
- Shave with care: Before shaving, apply a specialist shaving lotion, gel, or cream so your skin is fully lubricated. And always use a sharp, clean razor to get a close shave, making sure you’re not shaving against the way your hair grows but with it.
- Pat your skin dry: To make sure plenty of moisture remains on your skin after you’ve washed, pat your skin with your towel rather than rubbing.
6. Add Facial Toners to Your Regimen
Despite it being imperative to take care of your skin regardless of what the weather’s doing, it’s particularly important to keep your skin clean during summer. This is the time when lots of dirt, sweat, and excess oil can start to clog up your pores which may lead to breakouts.
A toner will help remove this oil and dirt while also working to tighten your pores so less debris and contaminants can build up there. They also help keep your skin feeling fresh and cool, especially if you opt for a natural rose-infused product which works to soothe over-exposed and irritated skin.
7. Take Steps to Avoid Pollution
Although it’s impossible to completely avoid pollution, there are some simple ways you can limit its harmful effects.
Free radicals created in the air are particularly harmful to your skin as they hamper collagen production and reduce the oxygen in your skin. This may lead to acne, rough patches, wrinkles, and dull-looking skin.
To combat this, try:
- Limiting your exposure to chlorine: Chlorine can, over time, seriously irritate your lungs and skin. And because it’s used to treat water, it’ll often get into your pores when you take a hot shower. Although unavoidable, try limiting other chlorine exposure by reducing visits to swimming pools.
- Not adding more pollution into your life: Cigarette smoke is a form of air pollution which damages your skin’s collagen and elastin and causes wrinkles. They’re also a source of free radicals.
- Using moisturizer to create a barrier of protection: If you live in a populated area, you can’t avoid pollution but you can create a barrier that will help minimize its impact. A good moisturizer will help do this as will sunscreen on your neck and face.
- Drinking more water: As well as keeping your skin hydrated, water can also flush out any toxins. And to make sure it’s even better for you than tap water, try filtering your drinking water or using mineral water.
8. Use a Humidifier, Especially During Winter
As wonderful as it is to curl up in front of the fire when it’s cold, you may also be reducing how much moisture is found on your skin.
But don’t worry – you don’t need to put that fire out just yet. Instead, you just need to fight the drying effect radiators and other heat sources can have by using a humidifier. This replenishes any moisture that’s been lost in the air and this, in turn, helps your skin retain its moisture.
9. Cover Up
Where you can, always protect your skin by covering it up. For example, if you’re heading out on a cold winter’s day, make sure your hands are wrapped up in a nice pair of woolly gloves. Or, if you’re doing the dishes, cooking, or cleaning, use rubber gloves to protect your hands – the cotton-lined varieties are the best for your skin.
And to add even more protection, try moisturizing your hands with a natural oil before you put your gloves on. You can do the same with your feet, too.
10. Seek the Expert Help of a Dermatologist
Finally, if you are concerned about your skin and the damage that’s been caused to it, you may benefit from speaking to a dermatologist. Not only will they be able to provide useful hints and tips that will help you reverse any damage, but they’ll also be able to recommend products that will help further protect your skin.
Get the Skin Protection You Need
Each and every one of us is different, with our skin being unique to us. That’s why you’ll need to create a regimen that works for you, finding products that not only make your skin look and feel great but also protect your skin from all those harmful factors that can be in your life.