Every day hundreds of dirhams are spent on creams, soaps, scrubs, masks and powders just to keep our skin rejuvenated, hydrated, exfoliated, or get one tone fairer or darker in skin colour. Who would not like to have the perfect skin?
Skin care is one of the most important steps towards a healthy appearance. However, there is much more that we can do than meets the eye.
In the weekly smart clinic of Dubai Health Authority (DHA) - a two-hour Twitter session with direct access to DHA doctors with a certain specialism- the focus was on the skin last week. Anwar Al Hammadi, Director of the Dermatology Centre at the DHA and Fatma Al Madani, Consultant Dermatologist, took place behind the Twitter handle to advise on how best to take of our skin.
Emirates24|7 has gathered four handy tips towards maintaining a healthy skin.
What is your skin type?
To know which skin care treatment one requires, the skin type must first be defined. Without this analysis, you might be wasting your money on products which might never have any effect on your skin.
“Skin products should be always selected according to skin types,” tweeted the DHA team.
Especially in Dubai, we have many different skin types, ranging between the very fair and the dark skin.
Each skin has its own particularities and requires a different treatment, Al Hammadi explained.
“The fair-skinned person usually never gets tanned, but is prone to sun burn and has a higher risk of evolving cancer . Therefore, it is important to apply sun protection when taking care of the skin. On the other hand, a dark-skinned is prone to pigmentation disorder. This person should be careful when opting for laser therapy, chemical therapy, or cosmetic procedures.”
At the same time, dermatologists often define skin type by the amount of oil it produces. As such, you might have an oily skin, a dry skin, a combination of oily and dry patches (combination skin) or if you are lucky a normal skin.
It is important to test your skin type from time to time, because it may change according to lifestyle, diet, weather, or products used. “The right skin product should be chosen after consultation with your dermatologist,” tweet the DHA specialists.
Choose the right skin care product
“Skin care routine includes sun protection, moisturizer and soap-free skin cleanser,” tweeted the DHA team. “People should start using early anti-ageing crèmes at 30 years or once they see early signs of ageing.” Following this routine might cost you a bit, but it I an investment for a lifetime.
However, it can easily go wrong by choosing the wrong products, as there are many, many scammers active on the market, feeding your desire for that perfect look.
“Skin care products available in Dubai are regulated by Dubai Municipality. However, the dangers of buying online products, particularly, those products that don’t disclose their ingredients or are not manufactured by a reputed and registered brand, can cause serious skin reactions. Therefore people should be cautious,” said Al Hammadi.
“Don’t buy products that do not have the names of ingredients mentioned,” the team tweeted. Furthermore, before applying a product the expiry date must be checked, as skin care products too can expire.
When the ingredients are mentioned, it is important to understand what these ingredients do. For example, anti-ageing crèmes should contain Vitamin A, retinol, alphahydroxy acid and/or glycolic acid, points out the DHA team.
In order to better understand the ingredients on the packaging of skin care products and the effect they could have on your skin, a consultation with a dermatologist is recommended.
Make up: cause and concealer
Although make up is the ideal tool to cover up all the less attractive features of a skin, it is also one of the most damaging things that can happen to a skin. Make up must be used responsibly, argues the DHA.
For one, “never sleep at night with make-up on as you are clogging your skin pores,” tweets the team. A carefully selected make up remover is required and should be used at the end of every make up wearing day.
Careful selection of make-up products is equally important. “Some mascaras can cause reaction that affects the eye and the adjoining areas,” tweets the DHA.
Further, it may not come to one’s mind, but make up products do expire after a certain time, and usage after that time may cause allergic reactions. Some products contain preservatives, and these may expire,” said Al Hammadi.
The same may happen when the makeup product has been exposed to high temperatures. “For example, some women like to leave some make up products in their car. During summer this is not a good idea,” he added.
“Sharing cosmetic products is avoidable as it can transmit infections,” the DHA team concluded.
You are what you eat
You are what you eat, goes the saying. This is particularly true when it comes to your skin, as it responds to the ingredients that you decide to consume.
Luckily, there are many food products that are good for the skin; food containing protein, vitamin C, vitamin E are known contributors to a healthy skin as are nuts, pomegranates, many kind of vegetables, dark chocolate and the list goes on.
However, consuming too much of some of these is not always good. As Al Hammadi explained, overconsumption of vitamins can cause acne and other skin problems: “Often patients come to us and inform us that they are consuming several multivitamins. It is important for people to understand that overconsumption of multivitamins can have side effects. It is essential to consult your general physician or dermatologist before consuming multivitamins.”
According to the team, Overconsumption of Vitamin A can cause damage to the eye and also skin, while overconsumption of Vitamin B may induce acne or pimples.
“A healthy diet usually contains the right amount of vitamins that people need. If you keep a healthy diet, there is no need for supplements. Natural products are always better,” said Al Hammadi.
“Before taking vitamins for your skin, consult your doctor, whether you really need it or not,” the team concludes.