Skin problems often worsened by harsh cleansers, poor nutrition, sunlight

by Emili JohnsonStaff Writer

Blackheads, blemishes and pimples are things that many women deal with. Most women feel that these skin problems come into light when they are under heavy stress and not eating healthy.

There are a number of skin care and beauty products that are good and bad for skin, but what most women do not realize is that all these products are not needed in order to have healthy and beautiful skin.

According to the National Cancer Institute, there are a number of things that can cause these blemishes other than stress. On the Web site, it was noted that hormones, some birth control methods, harsh products and simple family genetics can cause unsightly pimples on the skin.

Skin cancer is another growing epidemic for women of all ages, races and generations. The simple growths can be easily removed by a certified surgeon or dermatologist, but every day exposure to the sun and other environmental factors can be a part of the problem.

Dr. J. William Holtze of Des Moines has been a dermatologist for more than 27 years. While he does not endorse any specific skin care products, he does mention the simplicity of skin care to all of his patients.

“The most important thing you can do for your skin is avoid the sun and tanning beds, because that is what’s going to cause the aging, sagging and wrinkling of the skin,” Holtze said.

Holtze, whose office is located at the John Stoddard Cancer Center at Methodist Hospital, says that he takes certain skin cancers off of many women from age 30 to 90. He also feels that if women are going to wear make-up, they should use products that are oil-free or that have retinol in them.

He also recommends using lotion and moisturizing products that have sunscreen already in them to avoid using multiple products for protection from the sun.

Holtze also highly recommends mild soaps, such as Dove, Ivory or Cetaphil products. Along with these products, moisturizing creams are better for skin than lotions because that are not water-based and they should be used after a shower or bath.

“The shower removes the oil in the skin, but it does put water into the skin,” Holtze said. “The best time to put on a moisturizer is right after a shower because the oil from the moisturizer traps water into the skin.”

Junior Andrea Seehusen has had a long battle with blemished skin, since she was a teenager. Like many other young women, Seehusen mentioned that stress and being a teen in general caused many of her breakouts.

“I tried cheap stuff like Clearasil and some stuff from Clinque, but if just did not work,” Seehusen said. “Sometimes, you are just a teenager and you have bad skin and you have to deal with it.”

Now that she is older and more mindful of good skin care, she uses ProActiv solutions and says that she is seeing better results.

“I think it’s more of getting into the habit of washing your face every day because it’s good for your skin,” Seehusen said.

Since winter is right around the corner, Holtze said that it is very important to take care of your skin and moisturize when needed. Also, keeping up with a healthy diet is always good for your body and can reflect on your skin.

“Its better if [women] are very gentle with their face,” Holtze said. “Remember to wash gently- no scrubbing, no cleansing grains, no picking, those things just make it worse and tend to cause scarring.”

Our skin is one of the most important things on our bodies and we, as women, should do whatever we can to take care of it.

REMEMBER? Gently wash you face on a regular basis

? Moisturize when necessary like after a shower or bath or when you have dry skin

? Use oil-free make-up that will not clog your pores (also, remember that less is more)

? Avoid major exposure to ultraviolet radiation and tanning beds

? Using mild soaps will keep your skin looking healthy and beautiful for many years to come