Skin Care Budget Savers

Kevin Berman, MD Health Guide
  • Hi everyone. Today I want to talk about very cost effective means of caring for your skin to protect yourself from skin cancer and keep your skin healthy. Currently, the economy is on the mind of everyone and cost-cutting and money-saving are words that have recently become increasingly important. Many people are cutting corners in all aspects of their lives to save money, but I hope that people will keep their health as a top priority despite the economic conditions. For many, spending money on skin care products has become somewhat of a luxury, suggesting that giving up certain creams may be a way of saving money. However, many of the products that will provide healthy skin care are not expensive and can be part of a healthy, economical daily ritual.

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    The most common theme in skin cancer discussions is sun exposure and the importance of using sunscreen. There are a myriad of sunscreens available, ranging in price from several dollars to into the hundreds of dollars range. You do not have to spend a lot of money on a daily facial moisturizer with sunscreen, and this can be your best defense against skin cancer. Facial moisturizers with SPF 15 or 30 are perfect for daily use and should be used all year round, even on cloudy days. These creams are not thick or greasy or smelly like traditional sunscreens. Rather, they are daily moisturizers that feel good on the face and they happen to contain sunscreen. It may take a little trial and error to find the one that agrees with your skin, but I am sure that any local pharmacy will have several good options. Broad spectrum UV protection is important, so make sure that any moisturizer with sunscreen blocks UVA and UVB. Apply this to your face, ears, and the back of hands daily to prevent sun damage. Ingredients such as zinc, titanium, and avobenzone (parsol 1789) are commonly used. So for a few dollars each month, this simple purchase in your local pharmacy may protect you from skin cancer. If your skin is very sensitive, look for ones that say specifically "for sensitive skin." It is only the rare person who needs an expensive cream that can only be purchased at a specialty store or department store. The more expensive creams tend to include ingredients to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. While these are also good, the benefit may not be worth the extra money.


    Another very simple way to cut down on sun exposure is to purchase a wide brim hat. Baseball caps do not provide enough sun protection, particularly exposing the ears to the sun. A hat made of tightly woven fabric will be best. Hats of course can range in price but more expensive hats that may be more stylish may not provide more sun protection. There are companies that make hats that are treated with certain chemicals that do provide better sun protection but this is not necessary.


    Certain decisions that do not cost money will also help prevent skin cancer. For example, choosing not to go to the tanning bed will help prevent skin cancer and will actually save you money (for those who currently spend money on tanning beds). Choosing to do activities in the morning or evening to avoid exposure to the afternoon sunlight also does not cost money. If you do want to spend money on a tan look, then spend several dollars on a sunless tanner that contains dihydroxyacetone. This will gradually "tan" your skin without the harmful ultraviolet rays.


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    Often times, treating your skin well can also treat your wallet well. Because your skin may be sensitive to certain ingredients, it may take trying different products before finding the best low-cost options.


Published On: February 20, 2009