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Skin Care Products > Articles > Skin Care: What Harms Your Skin?

Skin Care: What Harms Your Skin?

Posted On: - 2009-03-23 01:22:04

Skin care is serious business. And if you have to take care of your skin efficiently, you need to know what can harm your skin. Intelligent skin care is all about preventing damage rather than curing the damage after the it is done. Thus, it is very important to identify the potential agents that can harm your skin.

An effective skin care regimen places as much importance on minimizing external damage as it does on nurturing and repairing the skin.

Here are some common causes of skin damage and ways to avoid them.

Ultraviolet Radiation of the Sun
Sun rays are responsible for tanning the skin and making it appear darker. However, the harmful ultraviolet radiations of the sun causes much more damage. These harmful UVA and UVB radiations penetrate deep into the skin surface and cause premature aging of the skin and increase the risk of skin cancer.

Even though sunscreens claim to protect against the suns rays, not many protect against all the harmful rays. Most sunscreens shield off UVB rays but fail to protect against the UVA rays.

Sun damage is irreversible. Therefore prevention becomes a necessity altogether. Use a good sunscreen that offers broad spectrum sun protection and helps heal sun damage.

Overuse of Make-up and Cosmetics
Cosmetics and make up products contain harsh chemicals and ingredients that tend to irritate the skin. The use of make-up can’t be stopped altogether. However, you can always use them moderately and only when required. Try to avoid 'long-lasting' make-up as they usually contain harsher chemicals and irritate the skin more.

Always make sure you remove your make-up before going to bed every night, especially so from the the eye contours. Use a good make-up remover or cleanser to eliminate all residues and to get squeaky clean skin.

Excessive Use of Skin Care Products
Skin care products are formulated to heal the skin and nurture it. However, excessive use of skin care products can do more harm than good and so can using a plethora of products at the same time. While some products can turn some products totally ineffective, others can interfere with the absorption of active ingredients. Moreover, skin care products that contain ingredients like retinoids, vitamin C or alpha-hydroxy acids in high concentrations can cause skin irritations if not used properly.

Use skin care products very carefully and exercise caution on how you use them.

Over-Cleansing and Over-Exfoliation
While cleansing and exfoliation are very crucial processes of a skin care regimen, going overboard with either of them may cause harm to your skin. Excessive cleansing removes the protective sebum completely and results in excessive dryness of the skin. Avoid using harsh cleansers and don't ever use them more than three times a day. Most skin requies only twice a day.

Likewise, even excessive exfoliation is bad for the skin. Though exfoliation refreshes the skin, improves circulation and brightens the skin tone, overdoing it may cause the skin to become irritated. If you exfoliate more than required, you may end up causing damage to living cells of your skin and hamper their regeneration process.

Use a gentle exfoliating lotion like Obagi Nu Derm Exfoderm Forte or Obagi Nu Derm Exfoderm. While the former contains alpha hydroxyl acid to cater to normal to oily skin types, the latter contains Phytic acid that caters to normal to dry skin types. Both the products exfoliate the dead skin cells from the skin surface and accelerate the absorption of active ingredients.

As far as cleaners are concerned, here are some options you can choose from:

Obagi Nu Derm Foaming Gel
It is a blend of Aloe Vera, natural herbs and natural cleansers. It is a gentle formulation that removes all the pollutants accumulated on the skin and gets rid of excess oil without disturbing the natural moisture levels of the skin. Obagi Nu Derm Foaming Gel is suitable for all skin types and leaves the skin silky soft.

iS Clinical Cleansing complex
A superb cleanser by Innovative Skincare, it resurfaces and deep cleans the skin and also controls acne. Though it is very powerful, it can safely be used by all skin types including sensitive skin. It does not leave the skin dry and parched and contains powerful antioxidants to fight free radicals.

Obagi C-Cleansing Gel
It conditions the skin gently with the Vitamin C contents and effectively removes all traces of make-up, oil residues and accumulated impurities thus leaving your skin fresh and clean.

Dr. Marilynn Syrett is a professional physician and skin care expert. Apart from writing articles about the various facets of skin care, she also reviews several skin care products from brand names like Obagi skin care products and iS Clinical.