Caring for your skin

There are many things you can do to keep your skin healthy. Good skin care and healthy lifestyle choices will help prevent various skin problems and delay the natural ageing process.

Protect yourself from the sun

One of the most important ways to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots and other skin problems – as well as increasing the risk of skin cancer.

For sun protection, remember the Cancer Council’s slogan ‘Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide’:

  • Slip on some sun-protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
  • Slop on broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen of at least SPF30+. Put it on 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours afterwards. Sunscreen should never be used to extend the time you spend in the sun.
  • Slap on a hat – broad-brim or legionnaire style to protect your face, head, neck and ears.
  • Seek shade. Avoid the sun when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Slide on some sunglasses – make sure they meet Australian standards.

Don’t smoke, or quit smoking

Smoking makes your skin look older, contributes to wrinkles, and reduces the strength and elasticity of your skin. Even the repetitive facial expressions you make when smoking can contribute to wrinkles; for example, pursing your lips and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke.

If you smoke, ask your GP for tips or treatments to help you quit.

Treat your skin gently

Daily cleansing can take a toll on your skin. Be gentle to your skin by doing the following:

  • Limit bath time. Hot water and long showers or baths remove oils from your skin. Limit your bath or shower time, and use warm, rather than hot water.
  • Avoid strong soaps. Use a mild, non-drying soap and avoid scrubbing or repeated skin washing.
  • Moisturise dry skin. If your skin is dry, use a moisturiser that fits your skin type. It doesn’t need to be expensive. On sun-exposed areas, consider a moisturiser that contains at least a SPF30+ sunscreen.

Eat a healthy diet 

While the association between diet, acne and healthy skin isn’t completely clear, some research suggests that diets high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, foods with a high glyacaemic index (GI) and milk, may be related to worsening acne. On the other hand, a diet rich in vitamin C and low in refined sugars, carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats might promote younger-looking skin.

Maintain a health body weight. Constantly gaining and losing weight is bad for your skin. Making the skin expand and contract will eventually result in the skin losing its elasticity, causing lines and wrinkles. 

The following actions will also increase your chances of maintaining healthy skin:

  • Manage stress
  • Get enough sleep
  • Exercise regularly
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation
  • Don’t pick your pimples. 

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Disclaimer

The Women’s does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or use of such information or advice) which is provided on the Website or incorporated into it by reference. The Women’s provide this information on the understanding that all persons accessing it take responsibility for assessing its relevance and accuracy. Women are encouraged to discuss their health needs with a health practitioner. If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your health care provider or if you require urgent care you should go to the nearest Emergency Dept.

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