With about 1.7 meters squared of exposed skin to care for, it makes sense that many people’s medicine cabinets are crammed with skin-care products. But for most of us, using more than two or three of those products on a daily basis is unnecessary — and may even be doing more harm than good.
The exposed layer of skin we’re slathering with lotions, creams, toners, scrubs and cleansers is called the epidermis– it’s the outermost of the three layers of skin. The epidermis is the most vulnerable to environmental damage. Enter the hundreds of “scientific” skin-care products on store shelves — some costing upward £100 an ounce — intended to clear, plump, de-wrinkle, brighten and just generally beautify all different skin types.
In reality, it’s not rocket science. Skin only needs a handful of simple, inexpensive “treatments” to get and stay healthy — and healthy-looking. And many of those treatments are the same ones the rest of your body needs to operate at its optimum level. Effective skin care is actually a pretty simple process.
The first daily must is the most obvious: Healthy skin has to be clean.
- Skip the soap when it comes to cleaning your face — all facial cleansers should be soap-free. Your facial skin is more delicate, and the soap used for your body is probably too harsh.
- Breathing, sweating and most of your other bodily processes remove water from your cells. That’s why it’s so important to drink at least 2 litres of water every day.
- Essential fatty acids are crucial to keeping your skin looking healthy. Find them in your favourite foods: Omega-6 — poultry, grains, cooking oils. Omega-3 — cold-water fish (salmon, sardines), kidney beans, walnuts, and spinach. Gamma linolenic acid — plant oils.
- Beneficial to both your body and skin, antioxidants are crucial for healthy skin cells. Antioxidants fight free radicals, which can otherwise damage healthy cells.