I am comfortable in my own skin

Our skin is a big deal – literally. It’s the largest organ in the body and one of the most complicated. It has many roles in the maintenance of life and health, but also has many potential problems, with more than 3,000 possible skin disorders. Not only does the skin hold everything in, it also plays a crucial role in providing an airtight, watertight and flexible barrier between the outside world and the highly regulated systems within the body. It also helps with temperature regulation, immune defence, vitamin production, and sensation.

The function of the skin
The extraordinary array of functions performed by healthy skin is still coming to light. The basic day-to-day functions include:

  • Working as a barrier – protecting against water loss as well as physical and chemical injury, and bugs.
  • Helping us fight off bugs, allergens, toxins and carcinogens via the parts of our immune system that exist in our skin
  • Regulating our temperature by dilating and constricting our blood vessels near the skin surface, controlling the transfer of heat out of the body. Temperature is also regulated by evaporative cooling due to sweat production and by the insulating effect of erect hairs on the skin surface. Heat loss is also affected by the insulating layer of subcutaneous fat.
  • Protecting us from UV radiation by producing melanin.
  • Giving us the sense of touch _ providing interaction with physical surroundings, allowing all fine and gross motor activities and allowing pleasurable and sexual stimulation.
  • The production of Vitamin D, which helps prevent many diseases including osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, obesity and neurological diseases.
  • Wound healing.
  • Beauty and physical attraction – the quality and condition of the skin greatly contributes to the perception of health, wellness, youth and beauty.

Some of the signs that you have good and healthy skin include;

  1. Even colour
  2. Smooth texture
  3. Hydrated: meaning it is not dry. This is achieved by drinking lots of water
  4. It has normal sensations. Healthy skin does not burn, sting, neither is it tight nor does it itch

In this day and age both men and women want their skin to look healthy. Men too are concerned with things like ageing of the skin. The male hormone testosterone determines the masculine characteristics of male skin and gives it a structure different to women. Male skin is generally thicker and oilier than female skin. Signs of ageing appear later in men but the changes occur more quickly when they begin.

Skin care for men
Men can protect and lubricate their skin with shaving products. This helps the razor to slide smoothly over the skin to avoid nicks and cuts. Male skin care products should be soothing, mild and antibacterial. The blade used for shaving should be clean and sharp. Men are advised to shave in the direction that the hair grows.

Skin care for women
For women, skin care varies across the ages.
In the 20s, adequate sleep and healthy eating is advocat5ed for. Keeping stress levels is also advised. Good health habits developed in ones youth will ensure better skin when a women grows older. It is also advisable to use skin moisturizers with SPF (Skin Protection Factor).
In the 3rd decade, women begin thinking about ageing effects. Use of products like skin serum are advised to slow down the ageing process. Ladies in this age spectrum can also seek the professional advice of dermatologists on skin products to slow down the ageing process.
In the 4th decade, wrinkles and ageing lines begin to show. Use of anti aging products like serum and eye creams are advised. Ladies in this age spectrum can also seek the help of professional dermatologists on a skin regimen that would slow down the ageing process.
In the 50s and beyond, there is a drastic drop in hormones due to menopause. The skin increases in moisture. At this age group it is important to cleanse and moisturize ones skin. The use of skin serum is also advised.

Good skin care and a healthy lifestyle delay the ageing process.
Ensure that your skin is well protected from the sun by using products with skin protection factors, avoid very hot sunshine, use protective clothing with long sleeves, long trousers and use of hats when the sun is very hot.
Do not smoke. Smoking makes the skin older and adds wrinkles.
Treat your skin gently by limiting use of harsh and strong products. Shave your skin carefully and moisturize dry skin.
Have a healthy diet comprised of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and water.
Manage stress. People who are stressed have skin break outs like pimples. To avert stress have enough sleep, scale down ion your to do list and do things that you enjoy doing. That is live a little.
“Wacha niKwambie”
October 2018 – Mwili wangu hazina yangu/ My body my treasure
Soaring in physical wellness and fitness

© Kwambie Nyambane,
October 2018.

Note: The author of this article is not a skin care specialist but a women who is passionate about matters wellness. The article is pooled from her own personal reading and experience. For one on one skin care regimens and advice on dealing with different skin conditions please do not hesitate to seek the professional advice of a skin care specialist or dermatologist.

“Wacha niKwambie”
October 2018 – Mwili wangu hazina yangu/ My body my treasure
Soaring in physical fitness and wellness
Source: www.theconversation.com

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