Quite apart from the fact that your appearance depends a great deal on its condition, your skin has many important functions in keeping you healthy.
Your Skin and Your Health
Besides acting as a protective covering against the entry of germs and irritating substances into the body, it is a very helpful aid to the kidneys in removing waste products from the blood. It helps keep water in the body, and at the same time enables moisture to evaporate when the body needs to be made cooler.
The skin contains a fat-like substance which the sun’s rays can change into the valuable vitamin D, essential for the healthy growth of the body. Keeping the skin healthy requires adequate washing, frequent change of clothing, suitable food and sufficient exercise.
Adequate washing is of vital importance, not only for aesthetic reasons in ridding the body of unpleasant odours which may develop, but in maintaining the proper functioning of your skin. Soap and warm water dissolve grease rapidly, and their regular use is essential in ridding the body of accumulated dirt and oily secretions.
Most well groomed men and women make a bath as a part of their daily routine. A rub-down after the bath, or shower, has the effect of increasing the blood supply to the skin. Cold baths are stimulating and do you good, providing you feel warm and glowing after their use; however, if they chill or tire you, they should be avoided.
The raw strawberry is used by the French as a natural bleach, and is an excellent tonic for the finest and most delicate of skins.
Cut the strawberry in two, and rub it over the face, letting the juice dry there. But beware of soap until this has first been thoroughly washed off by clear, cold water. The strawberry juice, it will be found, seems to impart its own rosy color to the skin, and to bleach out imperfections.
The natural oil found in many flowers and leaves, the product of Nature’s own laboratory, is very good for the skin. It is for this reason that oil of mint, mixed with alcohol and glycerine, is a harmless and excellent astringent.
Women who have undergone a severe course of reducing, and on whose face, in consequence, the skin seems to hang loosely, will find that the surplus skin seems to disappear as though by magic under a few applications of this lotion.
Let Your Skin Breathe
You may not have tumbled to the very important fact that your skin needs to breathe by day as well as by night, so it is advisable to occasionally give your face a thoroughly good cleansing, and then leave it in its natural state before applying any lotion or powder.
If you have a back garden, go and lounge there for a while without your war paint. If it is a rainy day, put on your mackintosh and let Nature give you the most precious of all beauty sprays. Usually we are all so busy earning our living that we have not time for beauty lore; but just once in awhile try the tonic of a walk in the rain.
The Danger of Gastroenteritis
Besides improving the skin, there are important reasons why you should develop the habit of washing your hands frequently.
Germs and dirt are being constantly picked up and there is a constant danger of infection present. The cook, shop assistant, housewife or anyone handling food have a particular responsibility. The prevalence this year of gastroenteritis points to the necessity for proper care in this regard.
Sweaty clothes often irritate the skin as well as the nostrils of our acquaintances. Clothing, especially underwear should be changed as often as possible.
Exercise dilates the blood vessels of the skin, and calls for extra activity of the sweat glands, with a consequent beneficial effect.
Watch Your Diet
Your diet plays an important part in keeping the skin healthy. Cosmetic preparations applied to the skin do not nourish it, in spite of the claims of many manufacturers. The only effective way to feed the skin is to eat sensible, well-balanced meals.
Vitamin A found especially in milk, butter, liver and coloured vegetables, has a healthy effect on the skin. It is well to remember that to gain the full benefit of your food, the digestive system must be kept in order with regular elimination.
Fresh air and sunshine have a stimulating and healthful effect on your skin, but it should be remembered that overexposure to the sun’s rays can be harmful. In particular we must guard against the development of skin cancer.
Too much sunlight can produce what are known as senile warts. Commencing as small red spots, often at the site of a freckle, they may grow tough crusts. Irritation of these warts may lead to cancer of the skin.