May 17th, 2020 | Updated on January 29th, 2022
Taking care of your skin is more about enforcing healthy lifestyle habits and skincare routines than it is becoming a self-taught dietitian or beauty chemist, so it’s handy to condense the wealth of information out there into easily digestible tips that’ll get you to the same results.
Below you’ll see our top ten tips for keeping your skin clear and healthy.
1. Wash Your Face Twice A Day
Most of the proactive steps you can take to make your skin better can only be done if you’re working with a freshly cleaned face, or a clean canvas, if you will.
This means washing your face, usually with warm water and, even better, some cleansing agent.
Micellar water is famous for this, the micelle molecules in them being great at breaking down facial micro-debris like dirt and makeup.
You should do this at the start and end of every day. This leaves your face nice and clear for any other treatments, ensuring that you start on a strong foundation whenever you apply anything to your face.
We say to wash your face, but you can also treat your hands, elbows, or neck if they’re problem areas for you by ensuring these parts have a lot of moisturization.
2. Stick To A Skincare Routine
The skincare routine is the main way you can improve your skin in the short term.
Whilst there’s lifestyle factors that you can improve upon, all detailed below, a skincare routine is something you can start today to immediately improve your skin.
After cleansing, you should use toner and moisturizer to complete the routine.
There are many optional steps, too, such as the application of serums, essences, and emulsions, but making sure you get a good toner and moisturizer will go a long way.
Toners are watery, nutrient-packed liquids that balance your complexion.
They include vitamins C and E, hyaluronic acid, and alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids, all great for maintaining and repairing healthy skin.
Apply it with your bare, clean hands to not waste any through absorption into any cloth you might think of using.
For moisturizer, grab one that’s compatible with your skin type. In general, you’ll want gel moisturizer for oily skin, soft cream for dry skin, and balm for sensitive skin.
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3. Use Sunscreen, Even When It’s Not Sunny
Not many people appreciate how sunscreen can top off a skincare routine. For many, sunscreen is something you break out when it’s sunny outside and sunburn is a risk, but the truth is that the sun damages your skin all the same no matter the weather.
UV rays, both A and B, will bombard your skin even when it’s cloudy, and you should seek out a good sunscreen that protects from both.
Many Western sunscreens only properly cover UVB, so look for broad-spectrum sunscreens that cover both UVA and UVB.
These are commonplace in many Eastern skincare routines, which are all the rage with those on the quest for healthy and soft skin.
Apply sunscreen at the end of your skincare routine and keep applying it every couple of hours if you’re out a lot in the day.
4. Adopt A Skin-Friendly Diet
This is a big one, but all you should know is that you need to maximize antioxidants, or foods with similar antioxidant effects on the skin and body, in your diet.
This means lots of vitamins A, C, D, and E, as well as metals like iron and zinc, and nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols, and beta-carotene.
What does this mean in terms of actual food? Look more at avocados and dark, leafy greens for most vitamins, lean meats and fortified cereals for iron and zinc, and salmon and mackerel for omega 3.
Any vegetables that are red or vaguely orange likely contain beta-carotenes, so think of your carrots, red bell peppers, squashes, and sweet potatoes.
Eat red grapes, dark chocolate, and soy to get your fill of polyphenolic compounds like resveratrol and isoflavones, too.
5. Keep Hydrated
Aside from your diet, a simple way to keep your skin healthy is by keeping it hydrated.
Drink about eight glasses a day, and even more if you’re going to be exercising or losing more body hydration than usual for whatever reason.
Staying hydrated is important for pretty much every function of your body, so drink often and only as much as is safe to consume.
6. Limit Your Alcohol
In most cases, you should stay away from alcohol in its entirety, so why don’t we say no alcohol whatsoever? Whilst avoiding the sugar content and the diuretic effects of alcohol is useful for anyone wanting healthy skin, we’ve mentioned at number four how resveratrol, found in red grapes, can be good for your skin.
This is why you’ll see red wine recommended in skin care diets, but you should only drink one a day, and up your water intake to compensate for it.
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7. Stop Smoking
If you smoke, then healthy skin is just another entry in the long list of reasons to quit. It carries a lot of benefits for your mind, body, and so of course, your skin.
There are better reasons to quit than to stave those wrinkles away but it’s something to consider, nonetheless.
Since nicotine is a stress reliever, undue stress in your life could be a factor in why you’re still smoking. If this is the case, we think you’d like to check out number eight below.
8. Manage Your Stress
Some of us are naturally more stressed out than others, so that’s something to keep an eye on when looking over your lifestyle habits.
Like with smoking, getting smooth skin shouldn’t be at the top of the list of reasons to reduce stress in your daily life.
Try to eliminate any stressors that you can identify and partake in activities and positive habits that you know blows off stream.
This can include physical exercise and mindfulness activities. If the source of your stress isn’t that easily relieved, then maybe you’ll want to seek professional help to iron out long-term stressors that aren’t helped by these methods.
9. Regulate Your Sleep
Getting the full eight hours of sleep is best for most people, so that should be your goal.
Finding the reason for any sleeping problems you may have is difficult, so it may be worth it to talk to a sleep therapist or other qualified individuals.
Stress could be a factor, so see the tip above for advice on that, otherwise you should stay away from your phone’s screen during night. Both are distractions to your mind, making it harder to drift away into a peaceful sleep.
You could have insomnia, in which case you’ll want to talk to a medical professional and consider your options for treatments, such as sleep medication and therapy to improve your brain’s ability to rest.
Sleep medication is difficult because it has negative effects on your skin, and so should be a shorter-term solution to the problem.
Lastly, being physically fit improves the health of your entire body. Exercise can be a means to reduce stress which, as discussed above, has a detrimental effect on the skin and can be the cause of other unhealthy habits.
The act itself also improves blood flow to your skin, where more oxygen reaches your skin cells.
This makes sure that they’re well equipped to battle against breakouts and purge toxins.
Just make sure that you wash your face, you don’t want sweat to sit on your skin for a prolonged period of time since this risks breakouts.