When it comes to taking care of your skin, baby boomers had the basics drilled into them at an early age: Don’t wear makeup to bed, don’t pick at pimples, and lay off the candy.

The habits of later generations, however, calls for some additional advice.
Life in the 21st century affects our skin differently

“As technology and behaviors change, then the things that come into contact with our skin change too. The good thing is that now — due to research and development — we are also better informed than prior generations,” says UC Health dermatologist Diya Mutasim, MD, chair of the department of dermatology at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine.

Some examples of modern skin problems

The lure of the green eyesThe telephone: The phone was formerly considered a utilitarian device that stayed in one place. When conversations went mobile, so did the handset… into bathrooms, bottoms of purses and pockets, on counters and back and forth when sharing pictures.

“It’s a good idea to clean your phone occasionally with an antibacterial wipe since it touches your face when in use,” says Mutasim. “Also, think about where you put the phone down. Do you really want to put it to your face after it’s been on a bus seat?”

The gym: The gymnasium used to just be something that was attached to a junior high or high school. Today, people of all ages go to the gym, and while exercise is good for you, leaving sweat on your body isn’t.

“Staying to shower at the gym after a workout is as difficult for some people as getting to the gym is for others,” Mutasim says. “However, the sooner you take a shower after working out the better… but avoid extremely hot showers because they strip away the outer layer of the skin.”

Fad diets: Diet programs have been around for decades, but now the fast weight loss choices are seemingly endless—and more often than not these fad diets greatly restrict one or more of the food groups.

“Skipping food groups or entire meals is not a good idea.” Mutasim suggests, “For healthier skin, try to incorporate vitamins C (oranges), B-3 (peanuts), E (avocados) and A (sweet potatoes) in your meals.”

Of course, we also now know that tanning and tobacco smoke not only contribute to cancers but also cause lines and wrinkles that age the skin prematurely.

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Take care of your skin — it’s one of the first things that people notice about you.


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About: This information was provided by the University of Cincinnati

Photo credit(s): Illustration: "The lure of the green eye" painted by W.H. Barribal (1914)

Original publication date: August 17, 2011

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