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Maintaining Healthy, Vibrant Skin

Imagine a world where the fountain of youth was a pre-packaged product that could keep you looking perpetually young and vibrant.  The providers of Dermatology Associates of Atlanta have extensive experience treating patients of all ages for a variety of skin conditions and often meet with patients to find a customized daily skin care routine to help them achieve and maintain healthy-looking skin.  While this mythical elixir doesn’t actually exist, there is comfort in knowing that there are daily practices that you can incorporate into your routine to keep your skin looking healthier as you age.Maintaining Healthy, Vibrant Skin

Practice sun-smart behavior.  Aging skin can be largely contributed to long-term sun exposure.  By wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30, not only will you minimize the chances of pre-mature wrinkles but also the development of skin cancer.  Try avoiding direct sunlight during peak hours between 10am and 4pm when the sun’s UV rays are strongest.  If you plan on being outdoors, apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before, reapply frequently and wear a wide-brimmed hat to further protect your face.

Cigarettes are not skin friendly.  Smoking is a habit that leaves many visible signs of aging to make you appear older than you actually are.  The oxygen and important nutrients needed to maintain healthy skin are depleted when you smoke and can make the skin appear dehydrated and dull.  Continuous puckering of the lips can cause wrinkles to appear around your mouth and may progress faster as smoking also reduces the collagen needed to keep skin smooth and tight.  Certain cosmetic injectables and facial fillers, such as BOTOX® or Juvéderm®, address fine lines, wrinkles and areas of lost volume in the face, but continuing to smoke will deprive your skin of the necessary nutrients and cause it to age more rapidly.

Be kind to your skin.  Your skin cells continuously regenerate, even when we are sleeping.  Wash your face daily, even before bed, to remove makeup, dirt and bacteria.  Gently wash your skin; vigorous scrubbing won’t make it any cleaner and may cause irritation.  Using a cleanser or mild soap helps minimize irritation for sensitive skin and applying a daily moisturizer protects your skin from drying out and looking dull.  Keep in mind the golden rules of shaving; use a clean razor and shave in the direction the hair is growing.  Soften the hair with warm water to avoid irritation and remember to never shave dry!

Healthy skin happens from the inside out.  Not getting enough sleep can cause under-eye bags to become visible adding to a tired appearance that makes your skin look older.  Getting adequate sleep can reduce stress caused by fatigue and can reduce the potential for acne break-outs.  It is recommended that you get at least seven hours of sleep daily.  Regular exercise also contributes to stress reduction and promotes collagen growth which is key to maintaining youthful skin by increasing circulation and promoting new cell production.  Balancing sleep and exercise with a healthy diet in which you incorporate fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins also contributes to maintaining vibrant skin.

As with any skin care regimen, give it time.  Sometimes the best results are gradual and aren’t immediately visible, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t working.  Annual skin examinations and discussing skin care routines with your board-certified dermatologist will allow you to plan the best treatment plan to address any concerns you may have with your skin.  To find out more on the available treatments offered at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta, contact us today to schedule a consultation.  Be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the latest skin care tips and specials.