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Care For Your Skin Without Overdoing It

Updated on November 18, 2012
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Taking care of the skin is very important for healthy youthful skin. With so many skin care products available today, it can be easy to purchase some that are unnecessarily rough and abrasive on the skin. Skin care does include using acid peels, benzoyl peroxide, micro-dermabrasion, and over-the-counter scrubs from time to time, however, if used improperly, or used too often, these treatments can cause damage to the skin. Skin that has been damaged this way appears red, inflamed, breaks out easily and can feel itchy or tight.

The skin, particularly on the face and neck must be treated gently. Problem areas should be targeted, for example, treatments should be focused only on the blemish or the rough patch of skin, but other healthy areas of the skin do not need to be treated the same way. Many products direct that you apply the harsh product to the whole surface of the face. This is a waste of product and may create new problems for you in the future. For most people, applying treatment products only to the troubled areas such as the “T-Zone” (the forehead, nose and chin) are enough.

If your skin is dry or oily, look for products designed for your type of skin. You want to clean your skin but it is not necessary for it to be “squeaky” clean, just make sure that all makeup and pollution is removed. Use a mild cleanser with lukewarm water and pat your skin dry. Your skin should not feel tight, just clean. A mild toner should be applied, this sets up the skin to absorb moisturizer you will apply. In the morning, a good sunscreen should be applied after the moisturizer has dried.

Regular inspection of the skin is important because you will be able to catch problems before they become major issues. If you have changed products recently and notice redness or sensitivity, you may want to consider reducing the use of the product or stopping it altogether to determine if you have an allergy or just a bad reaction to it. If you notice many whiteheads or blackheads you should schedule a facial, or learn the proper steps to give yourself one at home. Start treating the areas by keeping them clean and using products containing salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. After using acne medication, soak a cotton ball in 3% hydrogen peroxide and apply throughout acne areas, this will help clear the pores and kill any lingering bacteria. Be careful about popping or picking at your pimples or acne. This rough handling can spread bacteria and infection and cause bruising and in some cases, scarring.

The harsher treatments such as acid peels, micro-dermabrasion should generally be used by mature skin or if you have a specific problem, such as ruddiness, dry areas or scarring from acne. A dermatologist or a licensed esthetician can perform these services safely. However, there are several effective over-the-counter peels that work very well, they are milder formulations so they require several treatments, the benefit to at home treatments is that the results are gradual, you can take a break from the peels if your skin is becoming too sensitive. If you decide to try these treatments at home, you should be very careful and treat the skin gently. The harsher the treatment, the more care is required.

Facial scrubs and exfoliating creams or lotions should also be chosen with care. Some products include hard sharp objects, such as ground up nuts, bark or seeds. These types of ingredients should be avoided since they can cause microscopic scratches on the skin. Careful application is important. How you use the products is almost as important as what is in them. Smooth sweeping movements should be used, never press the product and rub it into your skin, since you will scratch your skin, these scratches can become infected and leave you with an even worse condition. The skin should never be abused, it must be treated gently, tugging, squeezing and scratching is never necessary.

Skin care is essential to healthy youthful skin, but it is best not to get carried away with it. The goal is to improve our skin, not injure it. Keep an eye on labels to see ingredients are harmful and read the directions. If you are trying out a product for the first time, be extra careful. This will help you avoid injury while keeping your skin healthy and youthful.

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