The skin contributes to the beauty of a person. It is therefore necessary to take good care of it. To be able to take proper care of the skin, we should understand its structure.
The structure of the skin
The skin consists of two layers. The outer layer which is made up of dead cells is called the epidermis. The second layer which is alive, contains blood cells, capillaries, nerve endings. oil glands and hair follicles. It is usually called the dermis. The epidermis is always replaced by new cells growing under the surface layer. The old cells die and come off as tiny pieces of dry skin. The softness of the the the skin is produced by the body’s moisture and the fat content of the oil glands. The type of skin one has may be influenced by the type of food one eats, skin care products used, general health, the kind of environment in which one lives, the drugs used and the age of the individual.
Types of skin
There are three types of skin. These are oily skin, normal skin and dry skin.
a. Oily skin
If a person’s face is shining most of the time then the skin is the oily type. This skin type has plenty of natural moisture and the oily substance helps to lubricate the hair and the skin.
b. Normal skin
The sebaceous gland for a normal skin is less active and the skin is therefore less oily. The normal skin does not have many skin problems.
c. Dry skin
Dry skin feels rough and scaly on the body. The skin flakes off in small dry particles from the forearm and the forehead. Dry skin is very common among old people and those who do not take good care of themselves.
Materials and products for skin care
Care of the body requires some special materials. These include water (warm or cold), soaps of different types, lotions, creams, powders, conditioners, brushes or sponges and spray.
Water is used for bathing the body in order to keep the skin healthy. When having a bath, use bathing soap with a brush or sponge to help remove the dirt that has encrusted on the skin. After a good bath, apply body lotion, cream or oil to the skin to keep it soft and smooth. The type of body cream to be used depends on the type of skin. For instance, an oily cream is not good for oily skin but is ideal for dry skin.
There are many local cosmetics and ways of beautifying ourselves The most common cosmetics used for the skin is the red or blue dye used on the hands and feet. During traditional dancing,chalk is used to make patterns on the body. it was common in the past to make patterns on the arms, legs and body with small knife cuts. Various oils were used for the skin of the body. Coconut oil was often used for the skin and is today also used in preparing modern skin care products.
Skin care products
Skin care products are in the form of creams of various types such as moisturizers, oils, milks, lotions and liquid soap.
Procedure for care of the skin
The skin requires good care everyday to make it look beautiful. This can be achieved through cleansing, toning and moisturizing.
This is the process of removing dried skin and excess oil from the surface of the skin. it is necessary to cleanse the body regularly to remove any excess oil or cream applied to the body. Many products are available in the market for cleansing the body. They include creams, oils, gels and liquid soaps. There are different cleansing techniques and materials for different types of skin.
a. Dry skin
In cleansing dry skin, it is good to use a Ianolin-based soap with a creamy lotion which can enrich the skin.
b. Oily skin
It is good to use a non-greasy cleanser which can remove make-up and any oil dirt on the skin. A tonic cleanser can be used thereafter for conditioning the skin.
c. Normal skin
A normal skin needs just a good toilet soap. Soap used for washing clothes is not suitable for the skin. Massage with any good cream but avoid pulling the skin while doing this.
Skin toning is the use of cream or other cosmetics ingredients to achieve a brightened skin complexion. Always use a mild toning cream or lotion for normal or dry skin. Stronger lotions should be used for oily skins. A toning cream or lotion may not be too strong for some skins; but for those skins that are allergic to them, it may be necessary to dilute by soaking some cotton wool in cold water before using it to apply the toning cream or freshener on the skin.
Skin bleaching is the removal of the normal skin complexion in order for the skin to be lighter. This activity is not advisable There is no need to bleach the skin unless it is done to remove a skin blemish. Bleaching has its disadvantages.
a. Though it makes the skin lighter, most times it does not give uniform colour to the skin. For example, the face may be lighter. the ears, a part of the chin and the neck may remain unbleached. The unblended tones of the skin then appear very ugly when compared with when the skin was unbleached surface.
b. Most of the bleaching creams and lotions used are very harmful to the skin and can cause damage that cannot be repaired.
It is best to avoid bleaching whether or not there are no skin blemishes.
As a student, when you are still at school there is no time for you to use all the various methods of skin care applied by adults. What most young people need is to bathe regularly with good soap and mild cream. A soap, either the traditional black soap or soap made with modern chemicals, can be used. Care must be taken not to bathe with detergents or soap containing lots of soda or soap meant for washing clothes or bleaching.
When washing, wash all parts of your body properly, paying special attention to the ears, armpits, between the legs and your toes. Underwear like pants and vests should be washed daily to prevent odour and skin infections.
Skin moisturing is the use of cosmetics to smoothen and soften the skin. The skin can be made smooth and well nourished by being selective in the type of food eaten and with the careful choice of cosmetics and perfumes. Also, careful selection of drugs is necessary when one is sick. If doctors prescribe drugs that cause allergy to your skin, you should report immediately for a change or remedy.
Many people have some thin and at times long hairs growing where they do not need them. Such parts of the body are legs, hands and face. Though these hairs are natural, many people dislike them.
Hair in the armpits should be removed regularly. If it becomes necessary, a person may remove the hair on the legs and arms. Any attempt to remove hair through the use of chemicals or by shaving only works for a short time. The use of hair removing cream is recommended for a longer lasting freedom from unwanted hair.
Use of deodorants
In countries with hot climate like Nigeria, people perspire a lot. Sometimes. the sweat gives off an unpleasant smell, especially when you cannot go and wash it off immediately. Deodorants help to stop this smell. A deodorant is used in the armpit where one sweats more readily immediately after bathing. A person who perspires a lot should use more deodorant than one who does not persplre much. There are many types of deodorants, therefore, find a deodorant that suits your type of skin.
Prevention and Control of skin problems
Damage can be done to the skin through cuts, burns, bruises and stings.
Cuts occur when a sharp object such as knife, cutlass, broken glass or nail makes an opening on the skin. When a cut occurs, blood is usually lost and a wound is created. If the wound is not treated immediately, it can lead to serious damage of the skin as well as an infection. Partial decay of the skin can also occur. Treatment of a cut on the skin can leave a mark, which is called a scar on the skin. If you look at your body or that of your friend, you will recognize a place where an old wound has healed. The spot is different from the usual normal skin.
Burns on the body can occur at home if a hot iron, hot oil or hot water touches the skin. Burns are very painful and can make the skin rot very fast if not treated promptly. Burns require cold treatment with petroleum jelly. Powder can also be used to treat minor burns. For heavy burns, contact a doctor. Avoid skin contact with very hot objects like hot oil, hot water and hot pressing iron to prevent burns.
These are injuries on the skin without any cut. The affected place becomes swollen, darkened, hard and painful. This happens when the skin is hit by a heavy object like wood or stone. For the treatment of bruises, apply ointment recommended for such cases. It is necessary to consult a qualified medical doctor if a bruise does not heal as fast as it should.
These appear on the skin of the body especially the face, the armpits and the thighs in form of round moulds.
Stings are the bites of some harmful insects which cause some damage to the skin. These insects transfer poison into the body. The poisons are usually very painful and make people very uncomfortable. Harmful insects include bees and wasps. For treatment of stings, see a qualified medical doctor.
Pimples. also called acne, can be disturbing when too many of it appear on the face. They are very painful and they make people uncomfortable, and look ugly. For the treatment of pimples, use recommended cream or see a qualified medical doctor.
These are in form of tiny swellings on the skin which give the skin a very rough look. Rashes are usually caused by infections and heat. it can also occur through bites on the body by insects such as lice. Rashes cause a lot of itching on the skin. For treatment of rashes, use recommended cream or see a qualified medical doctor. Wear clean and dry clothes always. Avoid sharing dresses with others.
This appears on the skin as white rough patches. it is painless but makes the skin rough and ugly. For treatment of eczema, use recommended cream or see a qualified medical doctor.
This affects the skin in form of rings on the skin. It is common on the skin of the head. it is painful sometimes and causes a lot of itching. For treatment of ringworm, use recommended cream or see a qualified medical doctor.