Good skin care is essential to graceful aging. Babies have smooth, soft skin that is wrinkle free and moist. Over time harsh elements in the environment wear on the skin making is dryer and tougher. With age comes wrinkles and sagging in the skin. Good skin care can slow down the harmful effects of time and the environment.
Before good skin care can be attempted, it is important to have a thorough understanding of how the skin operates. Skin consists of three layers. The inner most layer is the subcutaneous tissue. The tissue in the subcutaneous layer contains fat cells, which insulate the body. The middle layer is the dermis. The dermis contains the connective tissues. The outermost layer of skin is called the epidermis. The purpose of the epidermis is to protect the inner skin from environmental contaminants. Cells in the epidermis continuously travel from the inner most part of the epidermis to the surface, flaking off once they reach the top. The cells in the epidermis become thinner over time. Less collagen is produced causing skin to lose its elasticity. This causes the skin to sag and wrinkle. The number of sweat glands also decrease over time leading to dryer skin. As people age, cells in the subcutaneous layer become smaller also contributing to the sagging and wrinkling. UVA and UVB radiation from sunlight thin the epidermis even more. They also contribute to a faster breakdown of collagen in the dermis.
Good skin care requires cleansing and moisturizing. Cleansing is essential to remove dirt and dead skin cells. It helps to prevent pimples or acne. Cleansing, however, can dry out the skin. Cleansing removes the oil on the skin, which retains moisture. As a result moisturizers are needed to restore water to the skin and protect the skin. Special liquid cleaners are recommended over using traditional bar soap. Liquid cleansers can be made with moisturizer to combat the drying agents in the cleansers. The type of cleaner chosen depends on the skin type of the person using it. Vitamin E is often included in good skin care products as it helps moisturize the skin. It also maintains elasticity. The type of moisturizer used is important as well. A heavier moisturizer should be used at night while a thinner, lighter moisturizer is recommended for daytime use.