How can we protect skin?

24 October 2017

Interview with

Dr Jane Sterling, Addenbrookes Hospital

Skin acts as a barrier to protect us, but what can we do to keep it healthy? Georgia Mills spoke to dermatologist, Dr Jane Sterling. Jane - Well, the skin itself does a pretty good job of keeping itself healthy, so we don’t need to do too much. We need to just make sure that we’re keeping ourselves fresh and clean. I guess by washing, but that is something we tend to do a bit too much of in modern society. Overwashing, or too much detergent, or too much exfoliation can, in some ways, be bad for the skin. And it is important as you get older to use a little bit more moisturiser because our grease glands stop working as we get older. So those two things are important and, in the long term, best not to have too much sun. Georgia - Right. Because I know moisturisers one of those things that’s a multi-million dollar industry and you wonder is the science behind it legitimate? Jane - Of course, very expensive skin creams contain all sorts of wonderful ingredients. However, probably the most important ingredient is some sort of oily, greasy thing that will actually just produce some barrier function on the skin. Georgia - I recently tried a facemask that made me look like a ghost - it was like ectoplasm. Jane - It sounds like a perfect one for Halloween. Georgia - Yes, exactly. It’s got a use then. How about the food we eat, is there something we can do in our diet? Jane - Probably, as long as we eat a well-balanced diet, nothing special. Certainly, if you’re low on various vitamins it can make your skin look not so healthy or doesn’t heal so well. But a well-balanced diet with vitamins and minerals is all we need.


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