By Brandi Aurelio

Your skin is your body’s largest organ and like other organs, it can become damaged. Skin damage can present itself in many ways. Additionally, damage can be caused by a variety of factors, from sun exposure to environmental factors. Consider these four common skin damage culprits and how you can prevent them from damaging your skin.

The most common cause of skin damage is sun exposure. UV rays break down various skin components and can change the pigmentation in your skin. Damage can present itself in ways such as sunburn, wrinkles, age spots and even skin cancer. To prevent sun damaged skin, dermatologists advise wearing protective clothing and using a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Coconut oil can help aid in repairing damaged skin when applied topically. This is because it is packed with nourishing fatty acids and vitamin E.

A second common cause of skin damage are free radicals. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules with a single electron. So, what does that mean? Free radicals are unstable, uncharged molecules that can damage skin. They could also play a role in the development of skin cancer. By taking supplement vitamins like C and E, you could lessen the effects of free radicals. Furthermore, eating a healthy amount of fruits and vegetables will increase your antioxidants and can promote good skin health.

Smoking cigarettes causes a lot of skin damage. Smoking causes your blood vessels to constrict. As a result, the amount of nutrients and oxygen reaching the skin decreases. This causes damages to the skin in a loss of elasticity, dry skin and wrinkles. Quitting smoking can be difficult but products such as nicotine gum, patches and lozenges can help.

Certain chemical irritants can also cause damage to your skin. These chemicals can be found in everyday household products such as cleaners and laundry detergent. The chemicals can cause something called dermatitis. This is characterized by scaly skin, irritation and in severe cases even chemical burns. People who have sensitive skin are more prone to skin damage from these irritants. Preventative actions such as switching to less harsh products and wearing gloves while using cleaning supplies can help.

Finally, lets talk about some products that can help prevent skin damage or aid in repairing already damaged skin. According to dermatologists, the best sunscreen of 2018 is EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum sunscreen. Its formula is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and paraben-free. A cheaper option also recommended is Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Broad-Spectrum sunscreen. This is the sunscreen that I personally use and love. With SPFs ranging all the way up to 100+, this sunscreen is sure to help prevent damage caused by the sun. When it comes to anti-aging, a choice product on Amazon is Alina Skincare Vitamin C Serum. It is packed with high quality vitamin C to reduce the look of aging while moisturizing the skin. The reviews for this product show people raving over it. Lastly, a moisturizing product that I use and swear by is Tarte Cosmetic’s Ready, Set, Radiant Skin Mist. It can be used as a makeup setting spray but personally I put it on my face as a base. It absorbs right into the skin and keeps your face moisturized all day, and gives you a radiant glow! These products are definitely worth trying out to help dry or damaged skin become healthy and glowing again!

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