Your skin is your largest organ—it weighs more than any other organ in the body. Dr. Perry explains two important layers of your skin:
- Epidermis: This is the outer layer of skin, and it keeps toxins and water out of your body and acts as a barrier against the environment.
- Dermis: This is the layer of skin under the epidermis. Dr. Perry says it is our "leather" and holds the structure of our skin together.
These are two common skin problems Dr. Perry says many people suffer that can be prevented:
- Sensitive skin/eczema: Most people who suffer from sensitive skin are allergic to an ingredient in something they are putting on their body, Dr. Perry says. Fourteen percent of the population is allergic to fragrance and preservatives that can be found in soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, fingernail polish and many other products, he says. "Stop and take an inventory of what [you] are putting on [your] skin and try to reverse some of the allergens," Dr. Perry says.
- Acne: "The combination of clogged pores, the oils in our skin and bacteria can cause acne," Dr. Perry says. Exfoliating will get rid of the dead layer of skin that can clog pores, and a simple soap, with no fragrance or preservatives, cleanses the skin, also helping to prevent acne, Dr. Perry says.
If you want to keep your skin, especially the skin on your face, as healthy and beautiful as possible, Dr. Perry says you should follow a daily skincare program with these four steps:
- Use a simple soap: "Go to a soap that has almost nothing in it. One of my favorites is Kiss Your Face Soap. It has olive oil, water and salt—that's it, nothing else," Dr. Perry says.
- Exfoliate: Getting rid of the dead layer of skin growing on your face will keep your skin looking good and healthy and decrease acne. "It can be done as simple as [washing with] a washcloth and soap; it doesn't have to be fancy," Dr. Perry says.
- Use Vitamin A cream: Apply the cream in the evening, let it dry and wear it to bed, Dr. Perry says. "Vitamin A [also known as Retinol-A] is a wonderful drug," Dr. Perry says. "It is really the only thing that can reverse some of the signs of aging—other things kind of hold it at bay. It is a first-line drug for acne because it decreases oil production in the skin; it decreases that dead layer of cells on that the surface of the skin and it fades brown spots."
- Sunscreen in the morning: If you are going to buy just one skincare product, make it a sunscreen, with at least an SPF 15, Dr. Perry says. "The number one determinate of our aging, other than our genes—and if you smoke, of course it is all out the window—is sun exposure." Dr. Perry says. "Ultraviolet light will prematurely age our skin." Also, make sure the sunscreen contains titanium or zinc oxide, because otherwise Dr. Perry says it will be absorbed into your skin, and that may be dangerous.