Protecting Your Skin From The Elements

Protecting Your Skin From The Elements

So you may know that women in China are pretty serious about keeping their complexions pale. An elegant pallor is thought to be a sign of femininity unaffected by the hardships of manual labor and is de rigeur for the females of the country. But have you heard of the Facekini? This nylon ski mask is taking skin protection to a whole new dimension and is the latest thing in beachwear to take the women of China by storm. Available in a variety of colors, the facekinis join the ranks of the form-fitting black lace and leopard print sun protection gloves in the endless list of products tailored to protect the delicate Eastern beauty. Said one Chinese woman, “I just had to have one. I had to beg and plead.”

While one cannot doubt the efficacy of this innovation, it may be a bit extreme for most. However, the importance of protecting the skin from the elements can hardly be overestimated. If you are looking to keep your skin fair, here are some ways to help you protect yourself.

The Sun
Ultraviolet rays can cause free radicals to form and damage healthy skin. Unfortunately, for most of us, daily exposure to UV rays are inevitable, breaking down your skin’s protection mechanisms and causing sensitivity. However, you can minimize damage by using broad spectrum sunscreen and avoiding the rays between 10 am and 3 pm when rays are the strongest. Also remember to bring your sunglasses, hats and umbrellas for extra sun protection.

The Wind
When the wind hits the skin, blood vessels contract in order to keep in heat. As time goes on, this weakens your skin’s moisture barrier, making skin sensitive and dry. Shield your skin with scarves and gloves to keep it supple and moist while maintaining that movie star allure.

Although the perks of living in the city have been immortalized in the words of Stevie Wonder in his 1974 hit, “Living For the City,” it should be noted that there are detrimental factors to life in the urban metropolis. Pollutants like exhaust fumes, dust and cigarette smoke can stick to the skin and block pores. In addition, when the moisture barrier of the skin is exposed to pollution, it becomes irritated and weakened, causing skin to become sensitive. Be sure to cleanse with a gentle cleanser to keep the damage from pollution down.

Hard Water
If you live in the city, the water in your pipes is most likely hard water, which can trigger symptom of sensitive skin. Hard water upsets the pH balance of the skin causing irritation.

Extreme temperatures are never good news for your skin. Air conditioning and heating can also dry out your skin. Bring in your own moisture with a humidifier and use your clothing for cover in the heat and chill.

Let us know how your skin survives the elements. Would you be willing to sport a facekini? Please weigh in on the fashion and functional benefits. We love to hear from you.

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