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Woman GardeningYou might not readily associate gardening and landscaping with skin care. If you are not well versed in the subject, there are things you should know about skin care while working on garden landscapes in order to protect your largest bodily organ. These tips will help you ensure your skin remains in wonderful, glowing condition while you maintain your garden landscape in lush beauty.

The Sun and Gardening

Sunshine makes our garden landscapes grow and thrive but it also can harm our skin. Many cases of various types of skin cancer are directly related to unprotected sun exposure.

Just as the sun dries the rain from the garden leaves, it can dry our skin causing rough, scaly, ashy appearance. Over time, premature wrinkling develops causing the skin to make you look older than you real age. These are two of the most important things, second only to skin cancer, which you really must keep in mind about skin care while gardening.

Who should be most concerned about Skin Care and Gardening?

The answer to this question is: Everyone without exception. However, not everyone reacts to the sun exactly the same; some people are in greater danger due to sun exposure.

q People who are light skinned with red hair are usually very susceptible to sunburn and skin damage from the sun.

q Blue-eyed blondes should also be extra cautious about sun exposure when gardening and landscaping.

q People with olive skin and brown hair tend to sunburn less easily but still risk skin damage to a high degree.

q Those of Middle Eastern heritage with light brown skin and dark hair and eyes can stand slightly more exposure to the sun than those with lighter skin and hair.

q People of African-American heritage but light shades of skin are quite susceptible to sun damage while those with much darker skin tones can withstand slightly longer exposure without damage.

It is still a hard fact that every single person, regardless of heritage, skin color, hair/eye color, or tendency to burn in the sunshine, will experience skin damage and risk skin cancer if they do not protect themselves from sun damage.

Here are ways to care for and protect your skin while caring for your garden and landscape.

Apply Lots of Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a must-have when working on garden landscapes. Even if the sky appears to be cloudy, the harmful ultraviolet rays penetrate the overcast and can cause skin damage or even sunburn. Before leaving the protection of your home for the garden to perform landscaping, apply on a strong Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of a top-quality sunscreen. Optimally, use a waterproof sunscreen if you will be outdoors long enough to perspire significantly or if the day is especially hot or reapply the sunscreen frequently to renew the protection.

Wear the Right Gardening Attire

The most important accessory for gardening skin care is a good, wide-brimmed hat. Straw hates breathe well but the weave should be tight enough to prevent a great deal of sun passing through the straw. A sunburned scalp is extremely painful and you want the shade from the brim to protect your face and the back of your neck.

While in the privacy of the backyard, many men find it tempting to garden shirtless and women often wear tiny swimsuit tops. Do not do this even though it may be cooler than wearing a shirt. Because your back is often the most exposed area when bending over to garden, protect it with a cotton shirt. Cotton breathes and draws perspiration away from the skin, helping cool the body, while providing protection from the harmful UV rays.

Kneeling in unprotected knees is a sure way to cause rough, dry knees. Wear loose-fitting cotton slacks and, if you will be kneeling for more than a few minutes, invest in a set of knee pads or a yoga mat which provides softness for your knees. No one wants to build up unattractive calluses on their knees. If you feel you really must wear short pants for gardening and landscaping, be certain to apply lots of sunscreen to your exposed legs.

Wear shoes rather than flip-flops. You can choose garden clogs which have holes to allow the feet to breathe or canvas tennis shoes but you need to protect your feet from sunburn, dryness, and protect them from tools and equipment you may be using. It really hurts if you happen to drop a small hand implement on your foot if you are wearing shoes with no top protection. Save the flip-flops and flimsy sandals for the beach or poolside.

Gloves are an absolute must for garden and landscape skin care. Working in the soil will quickly dry out the fragile skin of your hands and the sun can cause wrinkles on the back of your hands which really make your hands appear aged quickly. Also, you'll prevent painful blisters and calluses when shoving or grasping other tool handles.

Skin Care for After Gardening and Landscaping

There are also things you should know about skin care after your have completed your work on your garden and landscape. The care of your skin doesn't stop once you leave the landscape; in fact, proper skin care after gardening is just as important as while working in your garden and landscape.

Skin Care in the Shower or Bath

Once you go indoors, you want to wash the soil and perspiration from your body. If you have only been exposed to the sun for a short time, less than one-half hour, wait 20 minute before jumping in the shower or bath to allow your body to absorb the Vitamin D generated through sun exposure.

When showering or bathing, use a very gentle soap or body wash for cleansing. Harsh soaps remove too much oil from the skin causing flaking and ashy appearance after the skin dries. Also, many people shower or soak in the bath for much too long. Skin care professions and dermatologists now recommend that a shower or bath should last only as long as required to cleanse the body, normally less than 10 minutes. Professionals also recommend that water temperatures be tepid, which means lukewarm, rather than hot since hotter water is more drying. Once, or at most twice, per week, exfoliate the skin with a gentle exfoliating puff. Avoid hard scrubbing.

The scalp is an important part of skin care too. Use a gentle shampoo and only lather twice if your hair has gotten badly soiled from your gardening and landscaping tasks. In most cases, lathering once is enough and reduces dryness. Be sure to rinse extremely well.

After-Shower Skin Care

At this point, you probably are feeling great having accomplished a great deal in your garden and landscape and having enjoyed a good, refreshing body cleansing. Your skin care doesn't stop just yet, however. There's just one thing you should know about skin care after working on garden landscapes.

Lightly dry your skin, patting with an absorbent cotton towel. Do not rub and do not try to get the skin completely dry; dry only so that you are not dripped water. Apply a slathering of your preferred skin moisturizing lotion to your entire body. Moisturizers which contain Vitamin E are especially effective. You may have a different moisturizer you prefer for use on your face and neck area; if so, use that product for facial care.

Proper Skin Care While Working on Garden Landscapes Pays Off

If you follow these gardening and landscaping skin care guidelines every time you garden, whether the day is sunny or overcast, you will experience a big pay-off in younger looking skin which glows. If you have a light skin color which tans, you will develop a healthy level of tanning without harmful over-exposure. If your skin is dark, you will prevent the extreme dryness often caused by the sun.

Your skin will feel soft to the touch and you'll both look and feel attractive. Your odds of developing sun-related skin cancer will be reduced. Do keep in mind, however, that not all skin cancer is sun-related and everyone should have regular check-ups so their doctor can screen them for suspicious changes in the skin.

Your skin care routine during and after working in the garden landscape will prevent premature wrinkling of the face and hands. You'll look younger much longer than those who fail to protect their skin from the sun.

Implementing these things you should know about skin care when working in the garden landscape and afterwards costs very little and the pay off is really big when someone compliments you on your garden and landscape and also on your beautiful complexion!

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