Your skin is the first thing people see when they look at you. Strangely
enough, it's considered the largest organ in the human body -- right up there
with the intestines, lungs, and liver. It serves many purposes, including
acting as our first defense against germs and the environment, and converting
sunlight to vitamin D. The layer of fat under the skin's surface helps ensure
that the important fluids inside our bodies stay inside our bodies.
The ironic thing about skin is that when people are young, their biggest
concern about their skin may be how to get a tan. But as we get older, our top
skin priority becomes preventing wrinkles -- and the No. 1 way to do this, of
course, is NOT to tan.
For women, acne, especially severe acne, can lead to embarrassment, anxiety, social isolation, and permanent skin scarring. Severe acne can even lower the chances of employment in some industries.
Dermatologists have been using birth control pills to treat acne in women for decades. However, only three pills have actually been approved by the FDA for treating acne.
In general, birth control to treat acne is often advised for healthy women who also need contraception. It is typically started after...
(Since I am the kind of person who doesn't tan but only turns different
shades of pink, I figured out at a young age that sun worshipping just wasn't
in my genetic code. My younger sister did tan as a teen and young adult. And I
have to say, I do seem to have fewer wrinkles.)
So when does it become crucial to start taking care of your skin? It's
probably earlier than you think. Mark G. Rubin, MD, assistant clinical
professor of dermatology of the University of San Diego, believes that not
smoking and avoiding the sun starting in your teens will pay off later.
"Since prevention plays a big role in skin aging, the sooner you start the
better," he says. "By the time you see changes you don't like in your skin, a
lot of damage has already been done."
If you think about it, what we're basically trying to do is delay the
normal aging of skin, which ages as all organs do. The best way to slow the
aging of many things in the human body, on a cellular level, is to keep body
cells from oxidizing. And the best way to keep your body from needlessly
oxidizing, experts say, is to avoid smoking and to eat a diet rich in
antioxidants (more on this below).