Your skin is your armor. It protects everything inside your body from everything in the outside world. Without it, you would be nothing more than a pile of muscles, bones and organs. Not only is it the biggest organ in your body but it also happens to be the most exposed. The parts of your skin that don't regularly get covered by clothing take a beating every single day and this affects the texture of your skin.
If you've ever been outside for a long time on a windy day, you know that your skin feels dry and tight when you finally retreat indoors. Similarly, prolonged sun exposure can also burn your skin. In fact, too much sun can actually make your skin peel off. Everything from the climate you live in to the amount of pollution in the atmosphere around you can have an adverse affect on your skin texture [source: Doc Shop].
If you don't take steps to protect your skin against these elements, it will age prematurely. You've probably seen people with leathery, dry skin that makes them look much older than they actually are. Keeping your skin smooth and vibrant isn't necessarily easy. It takes time and money, but it usually pays for itself in the long run. Taking care of your skin now will help you avoid a number of nasty skin conditions later in life, including skin cancer.
To keep your skin smooth, you need to exfoliate regularly and moisturize every day. It's also important to wear sunscreen anytime you go outdoors, and drinking an adequate amount of water isn't a bad idea either. Aside from all the outside factors that affect skin texture, your hormones and your diet can mess with your skin as well [source: Derm]. If you're doing everything you can and you're still not happy with the way your skin looks, don't worry. Aside from the scrubbing and moisturizing, altering your diet, and balancing your hormones, there also happen to be a number of procedures out there that can help you achieve a brilliantly smooth skin texture. But, of course, they might cost you.
Read on to find out how exfoliating helps the texture of your skin.
Exfoliating to Improve Skin Texture
We're constantly shedding our skin. In fact, we get rid of around 40,000 dead skin cells every minute [source: National Geographic]. And just as fast as we get rid of those skin cells, our body produces new ones to take their place. In short, our skin is constantly regenerating itself. This process helps us stay healthy and constantly gives us a chance to improve our skin texture.
Exfoliating helps speed up this process of shedding dead skin cells and there are three different ways to do it. The first and most common, is called manual exfoliation. You'll need an exfoliating scrub for this method, which you can pick one up at almost any drug or beauty store. Exfoliating scrubs are soaps with small particles in it that feel like granules of sand. By gently washing your skin with an exfoliating scrub, you remove dead skin cells and reveal healthy new ones [source: 911 Skin].
While manual exfoliation is quite effective, it may not be the best type of exfoliation for everyone. Some people have more sensitive skin than others and manual exfoliation can leave them sore and red. If you fall into this category, you might try enzyme exfoliation or chemical exfoliation instead. These types of exfoliation don't require scrubbing. They rely on chemical reactions to dissolve dead skin cells [source: 911 Skin]. This type of exfoliation is often used with people who suffer bad acne. For some, the process is just as effective as manual exfoliation. The key is to determine which method works best for you and figuring that out may require some trial and error.
It's easy to see how removing dead and unwanted skin cells from your body can help smooth out your skin texture. Keep reading to find out how moisturizing can also play a roll.
Moisturizing to Improve Skin Texture
Happy skin is hydrated skin. We have proteins in our skin called collagen and elastin, and they help give our skin its elastic properties [source: Pickart]. Take a minute to think about how often we have to stretch out the skin on our face. It happens every time we make a facial expression, and if we didn't have collagen and elastin, our faces wouldn't bounce back. If you stretched your cheeks, they would simply sag when you were done. The same goes for our lips and our foreheads. Luckily, that's not the case.
However, as we get older, collagen and elastin levels decrease in our body. That's why we get wrinkles and different parts of our bodies eventually start to sag [source: Sibal]. These unwanted side effects of aging can speed up greatly due to overexposure to the sun and other bad habits like smoking. But we can also slow them down and in some cases even prevent them by using the right tools. One of those tools is exfoliation and the other is moisturizing.
It's important to find an effective moisturizer. Some claim to hydrate your skin, but if you really want to see a difference, you need something that can help boost your collagen levels. A good moisturizer will have vitamin E, antioxidants and Coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 is more commonly referred to as CoQ10, and it has been proven in clinical trials to help boost collagen and elastin levels in skin [source: Phillips].
Moisturizing every day will help keep your skin hydrated and promote healthy, smooth skin texture. Aside from exfoliating and moisturizing there are a number of procedures out there that can also help you achieve a smoother skin texture. Read on to find out.
Procedures to Improve Skin Texture
In the past several decades, cosmetic procedures to improve the look of people's skin have become more and more common. We live in a day and age where you can get rid of your wrinkles in five minutes or less for right around $500 a pop. It might seem expensive, but it can be incredibly effective, and the older you get, the harder it is to keep your skin looking young and healthy.
The most common cosmetic procedure performed in recent years is called Botox. Botox is short for botulinum toxin type A, which happens to be the same toxin responsible for botulism, a form of food poisoning that can often times be fatal. Fortunately, doctors have found a way to utilize the toxin in a positive way by injecting it into specific muscles. In effect, it paralyzes those muscles and in the case of cosmetic treatments, this helps diminish the appearance of wrinkles [source: Medline Plus].
Another commonly performed cosmetic procedure is laser skin resurfacing. It works much the same way as exfoliation except on a much larger scale. Using specialized lasers, doctors can remove layers of skin that have imperfections to allow deeper layers of skin to come forward. Whereas exfoliation removes dead skin cells, laser skin resurfacing might remove both dead and living skin cells to eliminate imperfections. Depending on the amount of work to be done, the procedure can be very quick or take hours. Unfortunately, this technique is still rather pricey, costing somewhere in the $1,000 to $2,000 range [source: Goldman].
A third technique used to improve skin texture is called microdermabrasion. For this procedure, a doctor literally sprays your face with tiny crystals to remove the outer layer of skin [source: Plastic Surgery]. This allows a newer, healthier layer of skin to take its place but it might also leave you red and raw.
Keep in mind that all of these procedures are rather expensive and most of them will require multiple treatments. Botox, for example, only lasts a few months and then you'll need a new injection.
These are just a few of the procedures out there that can help improve your skin texture. Visit the following page to learn more about improving skin texture.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- 911 Skin. "Exfoliating Skin." (accessed 07/21/2009)http://911skin.com/typofexin.html
- American Society of Plastic Surgeons. "Microdermabrasion." (accessed 07/21/2009)http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Patients_and_Consumers/Procedures/Cosmetic_Procedures/Microdermabrasion.html
- Doc Shop. "Skin Texture." (accessed 07/21/2009)http://www.docshop.com/education/dermatology/skin-flaws/skin-texture/
- Goldman, Mitchell MD. "Laser Skin Resurfacing." Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery. Apr. 2009. (accessed 07/21/2009)http://www.yourplasticsurgeryguide.com/laser-skin-procedures/laser-skin-resurfacing.htm
- Medline Plus. "Botox." U.S. National Library of Medicine. July 10, 2009. (accessed 07/21/2009)http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/botox.html
- National Geographic. "Skin." (accessed 07/21/2009)http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/health-and-human-body/human-body/skin-article.html
- Phillips, Michael J. "A Genuine Collagen Moisturizer Will Hydrate Dry Facial Skin And Also Build Collagen Protein Level." Article Alley. June 28, 2009. (accessed 07/21/2009)http://www.articlealley.com/article_953617_17.html
- Pickart, Dr. Loren. "The Biology of Skin and Aging Damage." Skin Biology. (accessed 07/21/2009)http://www.skinbiology.com/skinhealth&aging.html
- Sibal, Anna Lynn C. "Why Do We Get Wrinkles?" Free Beauty Tips. (accessed 07/21/2009)http://free-beauty-tips.glam.com/wrinkles.html
- Smart Plastic Surgery. "Information on Botox Injections." (accessed 07/21/2009)http://www.smartplasticsurgery.com/botox_injections.html#HISTORY
- University of Miami Cosmetic Center. "Skin Texture." (accessed 07/21/2009)http://www.derm.net/sv_hs_skin_texture.shtml
- Wet Paint. "Fun Facts & In the News." Autowiki. Jan. 9, 2009. (accessed 07/21/2009)http://anatowiki.wetpaint.com/page/Fun+Facts+&+In+the+News
- Zalben, Alex. "World's Most Expensive Moisturizer." Nerve. Oct. 29, 2008. (accessed 07/21/2009)http://www.nerve.com/CS/blogs/modernmaterialist/archive/2008/10/29/world-s-most-expensive-moisturizer.aspx