Most of us have a skincare goal, it might be preventing breakouts, reducing the appearance of dark circles or spots, or that age-old pursuit of flawless, glowing skin. There is, of course, an endless array of lotions, creams, serums and gels available to help us achieve our aim, but healthy skin requires more than just using the right products.
- Eat the right foods: A poor diet, one that’s built on processed foods and refined carbohydrates and sugars, can make your skin prone to inflammation, breakouts, redness and puffiness. Instead, stick to a diet packed with fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and seeds. Spinach, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, salmon, avocados and sardines are particularly good sources of vitamins and minerals to boost your skin.
- Get 7 hours of sleep: Skin repairs and rejuvenates while you sleep, so if you're limiting your hours in bed, it can show in your face, causing a pale, puffy complexion and dark circles around the eyes. Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to maximize your skin’s repair time.
- Visit a dermatologist: Like other parts of your body, your skin benefits from regular check-ups. Skin changes over time and changes can be subtle, or below the surface, making them difficult to spot. However, a dermatologist, particularly one you see on a regular basis, will be able to detect them. Use your appointment to discuss your current skincare routine to see if, or how, it should be adapted to meet your skin’s needs.
- Give up smoking: Smoking effects collagen and elastin production and restricts the blood flow to the skin, causing it to become saggy, wrinkled, sallow and unevenly toned. While quitting is unlikely to reverse any structural damage, your complexion will improve and you’ll prevent any further premature aging caused by smoking. By not smoking you’ll also reduce the risk of skin infections and improve your skin’s natural healing ability.
- Follow a daily skincare routine: You don’t need numerous products or a lengthy, multi-step regime to keep skin fresh-looking. But you do need to properly cleanse your skin every day and to use products that are appropriate for your age and skin type. Your dermatologist will be able to advise you on the types of products that will be most beneficial to your skin.
- Apply sunscreen: Sun exposure is a key factor in premature aging of the skin. Using a broad spectrum sunscreen protects your skin against the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can, over time, reduce skin’s elasticity, leading it to become stretched or saggy. Sun exposure also increases the risk of pigmentation and wrinkles.
- Lower the water temperature: A piping hot shower might wake you up in the morning, but it also strips your skin of essential oils and leaves it looking flushed and red. Turn down the temperature in order to help keep skin hydrated.