Young skin is smooth and has a youthful appearance – of course, it’s young. As children grow up and their bodies start to mature, so to does their skin – teenagers often get acne and in some cases this can even lead to permanent scaring on their faces.
But there is another less obvious aging process that has a long term rather than a short term effect on the health and vitality of our skin – the sun.
Did you know, that 50% of exposure to the sun is done before we are 20? As young kids, we spend vast amounts of time outside and play in the sun, on the beach, in the snow, on playgrounds and so on. The amount of UV radiation that our skin is exposed to is huge.
The effects of this exposure however, is not obvious except for the occasional sunburn, but once that heals, there is little evidence of long-term damage. That is unless you could look below the surface of the skin.
The damage of UV radiation is focused on the dermis of our skin, this is where it has the greatest impact and that is where the long-term damage accumulates. Yes, the damage is cumulative. More UV exposure, more damage.
The media has helped to promote awareness of the risks of skin cancer due to excessive exposure to the sun, but rarely do we hear about other factors, such as premature signs of aging of our skin. Break down of collage, dehydration, and so on.
Often it is not until we reach our late 20’s or early 30’s that we start seeing the first little fine lines and begin to think about our skin care on a more serious level. But by now, most of the damage has already been done and all we are doing is to try to prevent the inevitable.
So, what should we do? Well, the first step is to start educating our children. Babies are used to having creams and lotions put on their bodies. So why do we stop when the nappy period of their lives is over?
It is at this point that children should be encouraged to put natural creams and lotions on their bodies after they have a shower or a bath. From the time they go to kindergarten, if not earlier, they will be spending many hours outdoors and sure we use the sunscreens, hats and generally try to keep the sun off their bare skin, but at the same time, we should encourage the use of natural skin care creams and lotions to protect, nourish, hydrate and cleanse their young and tender skin.
For example, introducing your children to using natural soaps rather than the harsh, commercially available types, will help their skin maintain its natural pH balance and thus the skin’s Acid Mantel.
Of course when they get grease or oil on their skin you may need to use a more powerful cleaner, but there are plenty of natural soaps available for all skin cleansing jobs. Wildcrafted’s Heavenly Hand & Body Wash is perfectly able to get rid of stubborn dirt and grime and at the same time it is kind and nourishing to their skin.
Teach your children to use natural hand creams. The skin on our hands gets more ware and tear then any other part using a good hand cream will help to keep their skin soft, supple and healthy.
Teach them to use a natural moisturising cream on their face and on their body. Choose a natural moisturiser that’s suitable for Normal skin, as children do not tend to have oily or dry skin, this usually starts around the time of puberty.