What You Need to Know About Skin Care
As children approach puberty, many changes begin happening to their bodies. These changes continue in teenagers as hormones cause various changes, including changes to the skin such as the development of new sweat and oil glands which can bring acne.
As a teenager, it is essential to keep track of these changes and protect your skin from any problems it might develop. The skin is an incredibly important organ; it serves as a major protection against harmful bacteria and chemicals, regulates your body temperature, waterproofs you, and signals pain, touch, and temperature.
Skin has three layers and a cell cycle of 28-40 days. Without proper care, skin can develop many different problems. One of the most important things to do during adolescence is to keep your skin clean and protected from the sun, which can cause severe skin damage.
One of the biggest dangers to skin is ultra violet rays from the sun. UVB rays cause burning, where as the much more common UVA rays cause aging. UVA rays are present year-round and can penetrate clouds and windows.
They also penetrate thirty to forty times deeper into the skin than UVB rays, and thus cause even more damage. Such sun damage to the skin can lead to premature aging, wrinkles, eye damage, and skin cancer.
Because sun rays are almost impossible to avoid, even on cloudy days, sun protection is incredibly important to keep your skin healthy. You should use high SPF sunscreen to get significant protection from the different kinds of UV lights.
To keep your skin safe from other possible damage, it is important to have a healthy lifestyle. A nutritious diet, with at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, can help prevent breakouts of skin problems; so can proper hydration, which involves drinking six 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
Additionally, reducing stress and exercising, as well as frequent washing and using cleansers afterwards, will help prevent skin damage.
How to Care For Your Skin
There are many different skin types, ranging from very oily to very dry. Every person is different, and should learn their skin type in order to care for their skin properly. However, there are some basic things that everyone should do to keep their skin healthy.
Skin needs to be cleansed, protected, and treated. Cleansing should occur at least twice a day, using different skin cleansers based on your skin type. Dirt, along with dead skin cells, can clog your pores, which leads to skin problems such as acne; thus it is important to not only use cleansers and sunscreen, but also to wash your skin frequently.
What most teens don't realize is that it is important to moisturize your face after you clean it. Cleansing can dry it out, and if you don’t use a moisturizer, your skin says "oh, so dry" and sends oil to the surface – adding to clogged pores and pimples.
Particularly dry skin, also called eczema, should be treated using moisturizers as well. Acne, on the other hand, can be treated with a variety of over the counter products, including Clean & Clear, Proactive, Neutrogena Acne Wash, Noxzema, and Clearasil.
There are also prescription acne treatments, such as medicated washes, Retin A, topical antibiotics, oral antibiotics, and Accutane. For further information on acne treatment, you can visit our How to Treat Acne article.
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