The Top 10 Little Things You Can Do That Will Help You Have Amazing Skin
The world of beauty and the crazy number of different products can be so overwhelming, especially if you are just becoming interested in skin care and haven’t really purchased anything before. Maybe you were just washing your face with whatever was handy and then using your mom’s drugstore moisturizer for those mid-winter days after a day of skiing and your face is so dry, you could soak up an actual tsunami. OR, maybe you’ve used a beauty bar on your face forever (and we aren’t knocking anything here at all, it’s better than soap and a lot of cleansers on the market) but it’s not quite working as well as it did through your twenties. Because our skin changes as we age, so should our skin care routine. What works for a teenager’s oilier and collagen-filled skin, will not work as well for us when we are fifty and are losing that precious collagen. Regardless of our age though, there are things that we should do to optimize the condition of our skin and keep it in the most remarkable shape possible.
1. HYDRATE: I know. We hear this one as an answer to everything but guess what? It really IS that important. Not drinking enough water is like running your car without enough of its fluids. After a bit, you run into trouble. Our skin is our largest organ, but we don’t usually think about it like that. Kidneys don’t work well without water so why would our skin? If you’re not sure how much water to be drinking every day, here is a super simple formula for you:
Body weight/2 = The number of ounces to drink daily. So if you are 140 #, divide that in half=70, so 70 ounces of water daily.
If plain water is a hard pill to swallow, try adding some lemon or lime slices, or get a water bottle with the infusion chamber (pictured below, left, etc). You can even get water bottles with times listed down the side, so you know to drink X amount of water by 8 am, X by 10 am and so on. (You could also make your own like this with stickers, a sharpie, whatever, if you don’t want to buy one. Juices, while hydrating, are high in sugars so be careful using those as a substitute. Also, be aware that while there are numerous studies out touting the health benefits of coffee in moderation, that doesn’t mean a gallon of coffee, nor does it count when there are three tablespoons of sugar and half of the cup is creamer (LOTS of added calories then). Caffeine acts as a diuretic and will be working against you in the long run! Don’t forget that there are foods that count as water too like watermelon (uh, hello?), lettuces, cucumbers, oranges, and berries, just to name a few.
2. CLEANSE: It really can’t be said enough! Clean skin is healthy skin. The thing is though, that we have to be careful not to get overzealous and end up stripping the natural oils from our skin and doing more harm than good. Also, use a formula made for your skin type.
3. EAT A WELL-BALANCED, NUTRITIONALLY SOUND DIET: Yeah, yeah. You’ve heard this before too. I know. But I’m not preaching it because of weight, but rather the fact that your skin is clearer, has the essential vitamin, minerals, proteins and other things needed to keep it in the best state possible, but then also to heal damage faster and more completely. Here is a link to a pretty comprehensive pdf you can download that covers a ton of information including macronutrients, different types of “diets” and much more.
4. CARE FOR AND REPLACE HYGIENE AND BEAUTY ITEMS REGULARLY: You should clean your makeup brushes and sponges every week due to the buildup of dead skin cells and debris and dirt. Additionally, there is a shelf life on makeup. Don’t use that mascara that you have had for 2 years and risk getting an eye infection! Just the same with washcloths (replace daily) and razors (replace weekly).
5. GET A FULL 8 HOURS OF SLEEP: No more explanation needed here
6. SLEEP POSITION: Don’t sleep on your stomach for instance, because you end up with your face smashed into the pillow with your skin being pulled and folded.
7. MEDITATE: Just ten minutes of mediation daily has been shown to improve overall mood, decrease the size of your amygdala, which is where our fright or flight response is… the more stressed we are, and the more time we spend in this stress state, our bodies don’t really go out of the stress and fight or flight mode. You don’t need to have special equipment either. There are apps and YouTube videos you can use to help you get started.
8. EXFOLIATE and MOISTURIZE: Exfoliating once a week helps your skin to regenerate without having to work so hard to break through the sloughed, dead cells. This is why our skin looks brighter after giving it a good scrub. Then use a moisturizer for your skin type after cleansing your face. It’s important to have the correct formulation because you don’t want to exacerbate any issues such as acne, by using a moisturizer that is full of argon oil for instance.
9. PROTECT YOUR SKIN: Protecting your skin from the elements, especially the extreme heat, sun and cold, will go a long way in keeping it healthy. Cover up as much as possible. Use a SPF of 30 or more when in the sun, remembering to reapply every 2 hours or more if swimming or sweating profusely. Spending the day ice fishing with your dad and uncle? Cover exposed skin! Wear gloves, a scarf, etc. That cold leeches out moisture and is damaging over time too.
10. EXERCISE: Regular exercise>endorphins released>handle stress better>sleep better>feel happier, more energetic and can handle stress better> … see how that all comes full circle?
It’s amazing when you think about it, but the same things that give your skin the best shot at looking phenomenal, are the same things that make YOU feel phenomenal in general. The human body is just like a well-engineered vehicle that with a little TLC and maintenance, can get you well over 2oo K miles!