How to understand what your skin is telling you

Spots on the skin

How to understand what your skin is telling you

Moles, freckles and spots are natural signs of skin aging, but also an indicator of carelessness when being exposed to the sun or hormonal changes, such as those that took place during pregnancy. Trying to remove them drastically can worsen the problem. Consequently, it is useful to pay some attention to the following recommendations.

Apply sun protector every day

Statistics are conclusive: between 30 and 40 years old, a 35% of women have spots and akin darkening. Over 45 years old, the problem affects more than the 60%. In the tropics, the radiation supported by the skin during daily activities (without exposing itself directly to the sun's rays) is enough to guarantee the synthesis of vitamin D, help to fix calcium, regulate the sleeping cycle and lifting up. But in case of an excessive use, ultraviolet rays begin to damage skin cells.

A person can be exposed to the sun between 10 minutes and an hour without any consequence. Everything depends on the skin tone. Blond people with clear skin are the most sensitive ones, whereas dark skinned people get burnt more easily. For this reason, the cosmetic industry, jointly with the scientific community, designed filters with protection factor. But, what does this mean? It is the time the product allows the person to be outside in the sun without burning. For example, if the skin gets red after 15 minutes in the sun with a cream that has a sun protection factor (SFP) of 10, it is possible to stay in the sun 150 minutes without any problems.

The general recommendation is to use everyday a sunscreen with a minimum protection range of 30, even if the day is cloudy or rainy. As well, dermatologists recommend to repeat the application after 5 or 6 hours, as sweat and environmental pollution makes the protection to get lost.

Do not abuse from peelings and exfoliating procedures

When skin spots are caused by the sun and the course of time, these may be minimized through treatments such as a peeling, even if it is, mechanical, chemical or through laser. The former one removes the surface layer of the skin by abrasion made by stone or crystal particles. The second method uses acids (as glycolic) for the skin to descale, whereas the laser fragments the skin spot’s pigment through light pulses. It is important to know that in each exfoliation skin nutrients and protective substances are removed, making the face more sensitive to day and artificial light. Consequently, exfoliating skin more than necessary can favor the apparition of new spots in the skin. The best is to make only one exfoliation per week and, in the case of delicate skins, no more than twice per month.

Do not blame the liver

It is believed that skin is spotted by liver malfunction. The truth is that many of these dark spots appear due to melanocytes’ over-activity (cells that produce melanin that are responsible for giving color to the skin and eyes) when they are stimulated by the sun's rays and not by digestive or liver problems. Therefore, it is a genetic issue. There are other spots that appear exclusively in women: they are those that appear during pregnancy or when contraceptives are used. These skin spots are a consequence of hormonal changes, and, fortunately, they disappear after childbirth or as soon as the use of contraceptives stops.

Be careful with skin lighteners

Due to the presence of many natural exfoliating products sold freely in the market, it is basic to verify that the purchased product has been approved by Invima, scientifically tested on different skin types and backed by a recognized laboratory. To this aim, it is mandatory to read the small print of labels. Regarding home remedies, it is not recommended to use hydrogen peroxide or masks with acid juices, such as lemon, salt or bicarbonate to lighten the skin because they are irritants and can leave scars. To avoid any risk and avoid allergies and irritations, abrasive procedures must be performed by a dermatologist.

Protect yourself from sun after wax

Depilation, regardless the method used, is an aggression to the skin. For this reason, in order to avoid any skin spot, it is recommended not to be exposed to the sun within the following 24 hours after depilation. After this procedure, together with the moisturizing, a sunscreen with a high protection factor should be applied in the depilated area. As well, in some cases, extracts of flowers and plants are also applied in order to repair the skin considering them as harmless. Nevertheless, it is important to be careful: these products may contain up to 300 individual ingredients, some of them irritants, such as alcohol, fragrances or certain conservants. The best option is to ask for the advice of a specialist to know what is the most suitable product for each type of skin.  

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