Your skin is an amazing part of your body. It's the largest organ in the body, even though its only two millimeters thick. Skin is elastic, flexible tissue. It reproduces regularly and repairs itself when injured. The skin has an important job to do. It protects the body against moisture loss, UV light exposure, and bacterial infections.
Skin can be pale or tan in color, shiny and moist or dry and rough. When we are young, our skin is taut and smooth. Over time, skin losses elasticity. If the eyes are the windows to our soul, then skin is a window to our health. When we are run down or not feeling well, our skin tells the story showing the effects of loss of sleep, stress, poor diet, smoking, environmental elements, and aging.
The skin's dermis layer contains two important proteins: collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin play a big part in skin aging. Collagen is what supports the skin and gives it its strength. Elastin give skin its elasticity or stretchiness. A baby's new skin is so soft because the collagen and elastin are brand new. Over time, skin cells change due to oxygen exposure (oxidation). Cells are damaged and form free radicals. Oxidation can cause age spots. You can slow down the process of oxidation by using products that contain antioxidants.
Exposure to the sun cause our skin to show signs of age more that any other factor. It is important to use skin care products that provide UV, UVA, and SPF protection. As we age, skin becomes thinner and collagen and elastin break down, causing skin to sag and wrinkles to form. Aging also affects the way skin reproduces -- new cell production slows down.
But we can prevent skin damage and reduce skin aging with a daily dose of skin care. There are five universal skin care steps regardless of skin type. They are:
1.) Cleanse. Cleaners remove makeup, dirt, and germs without stripping natural oils.
2.) Tone. Toner, also known as astringent, is sometimes ignored, but is important for normal to oily skin because it returns skin to its proper pH balance.
3.) Treat. Treatment provides targeted benefits beyond moisture. Some treatment concerns are anti-aging, minimizing age spots, reducing fine lines and winkles, and minimizing acne.
4.) Moisturize and protect. Moisturizers maintain moisture balance, seal in treatment benefits, make skin feel soft and supple, minimize fine lines and wrinkles, and provide sun protection.
5.) Eye care. The delicate skin around the eyes need special handling. Eye products reduce fine lines and wrinkles and improve elasticity and firmness.
The universal skin care steps can be completed in five minutes and should be performed twice a day, morning and evening, to receive maximum benefit.