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Science is the Basis for Beauty

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Skin Care

The Basics of Skin Care
By

Dr. Rick Lin and Dr. Dan Ladd


May 28, 2003, 13:19

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Keywords: skin care, facial products, anti aging, basic regimen

Over the past 20 years, the number of the commercial skin care products has skyrocketed. There are many different lines of products available today with different features. Skin care product industry is a big and competitive business with a new generation of consumers who demand and expect to look younger and feel more radiant with the products available today.

Research and development have increased in response to the need of the market. As a result, there are more skin care products available than people can keep up with. For most consumers, it is easy get lost in the maze of different skin care products.

So exactly how should you take care of skin? Skin is a very complex organ, providing physical protection from the outside world. In addition to this fundamental function, healthy skin also contributes to our sense of well being. Having healthy skin is essential to our self-perception and how others perceive us.

How do we care for our skin? It boils down to 2 simple processes: cleansing and moisturizing.

Cleansing

Cleansing removes dirt, secretions, and microorganisms from our skin. It is the foundation of skin care. Without proper cleansing, your skin will develop odor, appear dirty, and be at risk for infection. However, cleansing is more than just keeping skin clean, it also contributes to keeping skin healthy.

However, cleansing of the skin is a double-edge sword. Ironically, excessive or harsh cleansing can potentially damage our skin's outer-most protective layer. Our skin has mechanisms to optimize the moisture content on our skin and keep water on the skin surface. Excessive cleansing interrupts this mechanism and thus depletes the water content on the surface of our skin. Therefore, moisturization becomes necessary to restore the loss of water on skin surface.

Moisturization

Because of the damaging effects of excessive cleansing, skin moisturization becomes a necessity. In addition, there are other factors causing loss of water content such as ultraviolet radiation from the sun, age, skin diseases, and wind. The loss of moisture causes the skin to become flaky, dry and rough. If this is not corrected, skin damage such as cracking and bleeding can occur.

 

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The medical information provided in this site is for educational purposes only.  Any topic discussed in this article is not intended as medical advice. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice and shall not create a physician - patient relationship. Consult a dermatologist, if you have a specific question or concern about a skin lesion or disease.
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