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How many times have you said, “I’m going to take time out to cater to my skin?” Your answer, not as often as I should.  With life moving as fast as it does, and all of us trying to keep up, we sometimes forget to pamper ourselves. By taking time to do five simple steps, your skin can have a nice radiant glow this summer!

1. Protect yourself from the sun.

The most important way to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. Ultraviolet light – the invisible but intense rays from the sun – damages your skin, causing deep wrinkles, dry, rough skin, liver spots, and more serious disorders, such as noncancerous (benign) and cancerous (malignant) skin tumors.

2. Don’t smoke.

Smoking accelerates aging of your skin and increases wrinkles. Skin changes from smoking can appear in young adults after 10 years of smoking.

Smoking causes narrowing of the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin. This decreases blood flow, depleting the skin of oxygen and nutrients, such as vitamin A, that are important to skin health. All of these factors increase damage to the elastic fibers (elastin) and collagen, which give your skin strength and elasticity.

In addition, the repetitive facial expressions you make when smoking – such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke – may contribute to wrinkles. It’s also possible that repeated exposure to the heat from burning cigarettes may damage your facial skin over time.

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