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Taking good care of your skin - Skin Fitness

You've always had good skin. But of late, these niggling, problems have been cropping up. What happened? The answer is that your skin doesn't remain the same throughout your life cycle. Pimples, rashes, burns, pigmentation- all of these can change it.

What you basically need to do is to get a skin care program sooner than you think you need it. Cleansing, toning and moisturizing are still healthy skin care imperatives. Without these basic moves, skin becomes dull, devitalized and cannot defend itself against environmental damage.

Even if you follow this routine religiously, you are likely to face skin problems from time to time. Spots, acne, blotchiness, wrinkles are some of the common problem, but they can all be handled with a proper skin care routine or camouflaged with make-up, if nothing else.

Spots: Spots and acne are the result of oily skin; stress and the wrong use of skin care products and cosmetics. These are not easy to get rid of and they tend to crop up at the wrong time. What you need is to give them a hard time by robbing them of a friendly environment.

Oily skin needs to be exfoliated to keep the pores clear and unclogged. Instead of covering spots with make-up that can further clog your pores, dab on an anti-acne formula and face powder to absorb excess oil.

Stress from job pressures and the demands of motherhood also trigger breakouts. Birth control pills high in certain progestins can cause spots, too. Besides, using the wrong cleanser or cosmetics not meant for your skin type can also lead to clogged pores and blemishes. To keep skin clear, use a pre-soap cleanser meant for your specific skin type, followed by a good moisturizing routine (only on dry areas).

All too many people are driven to the myth that sunlight helps dry out pimples. Exposure to sun may dry skin slightly, but the effect is temporary. In fact, heat, humidity and UV rays can intensify acne by stimulating oil production, leading to thick skin that further causes of clogged pores.

A cosmetic way to camouflage spots and to give your skin a smooth matte finish is to rub some loose face powder into your palms. Rub hands together lightly and apply powder over the face. Then dust off the excess with a powder brush.
Blackheads: To keep problems like blackheads (also associated with oily skin) at bay you need to look for an oily-free and non-clogging formula, not only in skin care products, but even where make-up and sun products are concerned. Resist the temptation to disguise blemishes with heavy make-up - stick to oil-free, oil-absorbing foundation.

The T-Zone: Oily skin can be checked with proper exfoliation, which keeps the pores clear and unclogged. However, if you have a shiny T-Zone, use a face mask to de-shine. Alternatively, blot excess oil with a tissue before touching up with powder.

Wrinkles: wrinkles surface first around eyes and the mouth and are sign that the skin lacks hydration. You can put a hold on them by keeping your skin protected from excessive exposure to sun and using a wrinkle-control formula. Though the sun gives us vitamin D, which is great for the complexion, going out in the sun without proper protection is an open invitation for wrinkles in the long run. It can even lead to melanoma (skin cancer).

So use a sunscreen over the face and body before you expose yourself to the rays of the sun. Don't skip the routine when the sky is overcast, for haze and clouds don't block those damaging UV rays. Wear sunglasses with UV protection and make sure your sunscreen stays put.

Blotchiness: blotchiness is another side effect caused by taking in too much sun. Prevent it with daily sunscreen of at least SPF 15 and regular exfoliation (with masks, scrubs and lotions). To conceal blotchiness, apply foundation and loose face powder to integrate the skin tone. Extreme cases can be tackled with a congealer, followed by loose powder and appropriate make-up. To polish away any unevenness, you can apply a slightly shimmered powder.

Sunburn: never exfoliate your skin when it is sun burnt and in the red, sore, tender stage. Wait until all redness disappears before resuming exfoliation. If you are using a prescription skin-peeling drug for acne or sun damage, ask your doctor if addition exfoliation is advisable.

Broken capillaries or spider veins: These are tiny dilated blood vessels or capillaries, usually visible on the face and legs. Exposure to the sun, wind, spicy food, alcoholic drinks and temperature extremes can aggravate the problem.

Besides the above-mentioned problems, the skin undergoes a change during menopause, too. It becomes much drier and you should use a mild soap to clean it gently. Stepped-up exfoliation will bring new cells to the surface (because cell renewal slows down with age). You can try a good emollient in addition to a moisturizing lotion. Remember that sun damage is additive. As your age, your immune system starts slowing down and can't respond as vigorously to a problem as it used to. Learn it help it along.