Thursday, January 17, 2013

Good Skin

Writing about 'good skin' is not something I have ever considered in the past.  What would I know about it?  But as a result of personal experience, comments I have heard recently, and an article in this morning's paper, I decided to give it 'my two-cents worth'.  (a good title for my political blog if it happens)

Over the years I have had the occasion to hear someone tell me that I have 'good skin'.  Or 'soft skin'.  I have always just shrugged it off.  I had not had much to compare it to.

Growing up I was fortunate not to have to deal with acne.  An occasional blemish was all.  And I have small pores.  Both pluses for good skin.

When I was working at the hospital, I noticed that my lab aide always used hand lotion after washing her hands.  I asked her about it and she said you need to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.  And so I began after every shower (not bath) slathering my body and face with moisturizer.

I also stopped using soap on my face, no matter what is was called.  I always used make-up remover and then a toner followed by, you guessed it, moisturizer.  I made sure that I stayed out of the sun and always had SPF 15 in all my facial products if I was going to be outdoors. 

Only once in my life did I ever have a problem with dry skin or lack-luster hair.  It was when I was a faithful follower and life-time member of Weight Watchers.  My hair was dry.  My skin itched.  I finally decided that limiting the fats in my diet was doing me more harm than good.  I started adding nuts and olive oil and 'voila!', the 'glow' was back.

I was asked recently what my secret was to good skin.  I jokingly told them chocolate, dried fruits and nuts.  But seriously, the fat content of those items (well, not the fruit) makes a huge difference.

My routine for good skin is really simple.  Avoid soap.  Stay out of the sun.  Use products with SPF regularly.  Moisturize morning and night.  Eat healthy fats.  Make sure you have adequate humidity in your home.  Limit those long soaks in hot water.

With everyone making New Year's resolutions about losing weight, we sometimes forget about the complete picture and only focus on the numbers on the scale.  I have seen many thin women who look like 'crap'.  Saggy skin from weight loss.  Dull hair.  Pasty skin. 

My goal this year is to lose enough weight to see the muscle definition I have been working on.  I'd rather be healthy and look healthy than be thin and look sick.  When I was down to a size four, a gentleman friend asked me if I was ill.  When I said 'no', he suggested that I gain some weight to improve my appearance.  He was right.

And it all goes back to having good skin.  The only way to get it is to live a healthy and balanced life.  That's my resolution for the year.  Same one every year.

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