Today, it’s far too easy to walk into a store and drop hundreds of dollars on the miracle cure for all your skin’s problems. Acne. Rosacea. Wrinkles. All problems can be cured if you throw money at them, or so many cosmetics companies would like you to believe.
The truth is much simpler. Good, healthy habits—inside and out—are the true secret to beautiful skin. Your body can heal your skin’s problems with proper support from you and a few effective, but inexpensive, products.
Don’t believe me? Give these 17 beautiful skin tips a go and see for yourself!
#1 – Eat Your Fruits & Vegetables
Don’t underestimate the power of antioxidants, especially if they begin working internally. The benefits of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in everyday fruits and vegetables extend to the skin. In fact, the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the cleaner your blood gets and the more detoxified your body becomes. Eventually, the clean on the inside will spread outside, resulting in fewer breakouts. On the other hand, processed food and “junk” with less nutritional value can build up toxins in the skin, cause breakouts, and do very little to keep your overall health good. So eat right for great skin and save money on costly skin care “fixes” in the future.
#2 – Stay Hydrated
Your pores are happiest when they’re well hydrated, so drink enough water to spread the wealth throughout your body. The optimum amount to drink is 64 ounces of water each day, but the benefits increase if you up your water intake to 96 ounces a day (whenever possible). Your skin clears up, increases in elasticity, evens in tone, and just seems fresher all around. Drinking water to hydrate your skin from within can save you the cost of that pricey super-emollient moisturizer down the line.
#3 – A Good Nightly Routine
Sleeping with your makeup on. Skipping that nighttime moisturizer. Limiting your skin care to once a day, basically, cuts your skin’s beauty in half. To get the full benefits of your daily skin care, you need to care for your skin in the morning and the evening, just before bed. The nighttime is the perfect time for your skin to rejuvenate and rebuild itself, so a good moisturizer gives your skin the tools it needs to do this. And never leave your makeup on overnight—you’re just asking for your pores to get clogged, angry, and overwhelmed by pimples. Good skin care night and day can prevent breakouts, irritation, wrinkles, and more problems that will plague you.
#4 – Weekly Gentle Exfoliation
Excess skin can build up on your skin, blocking pores and interrupting the healthy processes that keep your skin looking beautiful. Instead of letting it sit there, a good (but gentle) exfoliating routine lets your skin breathe the way it needs to. Choose a non-abrasive facial cleanser that uses natural elements to carry away layers of dead skin. But don’t scrub too hard or too often. Once a week, using your fingertips in gentle circles is plenty. Add this step into your skin care routine and you’ll see both short- and long-term benefits you’ll love.
#5 – Moisturizing Oils
The idea of adding oil to your skin might sound absurd, but using the right oils can greatly improve your skin’s health and tone. Coconut oil is one such choice, which absorbs quickly into the skin. It provides deep moisture that won’t leave you feeling oily. Use it all over, especially just after a shower. For smoother and firmer skin, you might also try grapeseed oil. These natural oils are an inexpensive way to get nutrients and moisture that your skin needs.
#6 – Products with Vitamin E
Sometimes it’s all about the ingredients of the products you’re using. We’ll talk about going natural with your products later, but one important thing to look for is vitamin E in your moisturizer. This natural antioxidant can be used directly on the skin to prevent the signs of aging, repair mild sun and pollutant damage, and improve the tone and texture of your skin. For benefits from the inside, eat foods right in vitamin E: nuts, seeds, vegetable and fish oils, wheat germ, and whole grains. Vitamin E supplements will also help improve your skin’s health.
#7 – Don’t Go Dry
The golden rule of skin care is never to let your skin get dry. Cleansers and scrubs that over-strip and dry out your skin may be too harsh. If you notice this happening, scale it back a bit. Your skin should not feel tight and pinched when you’re done cleansing it, since some natural oils need to remain for your skin to stay healthy. During dry winter months, make sure to up your moisturizer’s power to compensate. Keeping your skin well hydrated and nourished is something you can do every day to maintain its appearance and health.
#8 – Use Enough Sunscreen
You can take good care of your skin all you want, but going outside without sunscreen is like flushing all that money, time, and effort right down the toilet. UVA rays age and UVB rays burn the skin, so why do you want to exposure your skin to that? A sunscreen can protect you from solar radiation, hence helping to prevent damage like photo aging, spots, and a predisposition to skin cancer. Use SPF to create a buffer between your skin and those hurtful rays. But don’t panic: sunscreen doesn’t have to be slimy or greasy. Pick a product that feels right with an SPF of at least 30, and you’re good to go.
#9 – Choose Natural Soaps
Instead of exposing your skin to irritating dyes and fragrances (the leading cause of allergic reactions to cosmetics), choose natural soaps and other products to put on your skin. Soaps that use vegetable oil or coconut oil as a base may not suds up as much as artificial cleansers, but they make up for it in effectiveness. And safety for your skin, of course. Banish the toxic allergen-triggers to someone else’s bathroom and stick to naturals. Glycerin-based soaps are ideal for oily skin, while goat’s milk soaps can help with combination skin woes. If you’ve got to have scent in your soap, don’t worry: most natural soaps are lightly fragranced with essential oils that smell just as heavenly.
#10 – Know Your Skin
You don’t have to be an aesthetician, but you do have to be the expert on your own skin. Never buy anything if you don’t understand how it will help your specific skin. Take time to educate yourself, speak with a professional, and determine what kind of skin you have. Know what your problems are, what your skin craves. From there, shopping for the right products will be a breeze.
#11 – Less Is More, with the Right Products
Speaking of using the “right” products, matching your skin care to your skin type is the easiest way to get great skin without spending a fortune. If you only buy products that work for your skin, you’re not wasting your money on the big claims of those pricey miracle cures. Instead, you can use that money for a new eye shadow or to stock up on your must-haves for a healthy routine. Skip the aimless wandering down the drug store aisle and seek out advice from a dermatologist or aesthetician. Ask what you should look for in your products and then use that list to seek out the treatments that will be most effective for your skin specifically.
#12 – Good Habits
Aside from eating well and adopting a good skin care routine, other habits can impact your skin’s nature glow. Make sure you exercise regularly and get enough sleep each night. Not only will these activities keep you feeling refreshed and relaxed, but the good feelings result in happy, healthy skin. A lack of sleep, on the other hand, can increase the formation of wrinkles. And a lack of exercise lets your skin’s elasticity break down faster and lets it hang loose. Keep aging at bay with these good habits.
#13 – Vitamin C
Other vitamins than E can help your skin stay youthful and beautiful. Products containing vitamin C will give your skin an extra boost of antioxidants, which work to protect skin cells from pollutant damage. The best way to reap these benefits is to get vitamin C inside and out. Get vitamin C in your diet from orange juice and broccoli, then moisturize with a vitamin-rich cream or lotion.
#14 – An After-Gym Routine
Exercise is great, as I already mentioned, but adding exercise to your routine requires more than just breaking a sweat to keep skin healthy. Cleanse your skin twice a day (morning and night), except on gym days when you should cleanse after your trip to the gym. Make it part of your ritual, like stretching or squeezing in that last set of reps. Shower or wash your face thoroughly, following with a moisturizer, and you’ll avoid that post-gym breakout that no one likes to see.
#15 – Don’t Be Too Rough
Many of us take it for granted that skin is tough, resilient. In reality, we need to treat it with tender loving care. When you dry your face, don’t pull with the towel. A gentle pat dry will suffice and it won’t stretch out your pores and cause wrinkles. When applying eye makeup, be careful not to pull at the eyes either, since the delicate skin around the eyes can tear easily. Take it easy and you’ll prevent wrinkles and other damage that will show up in the years to come.
#16 – Pay Attention To Your Hair Care
What you put on your hair does matter. Shampoos, conditioners, and styling products should be selected with the same care as your moisturizer. Look out for dyes, fragrances, and other damaging artificial ingredients that can affect your scalp and the area around your hair line. Your hair touches your face all day and night, so what you put on it matters.
#17 – Live Stress-Free
Stress can wreak havoc on your life in many ways, especially through your skin. Conditions like acne and rosacea have been linked to the inflammation caused by stress. Take a break when you need it. Try yoga meditation. Take a hot bath. Whatever tactics you use to unwind will help not only your disposition, but your skin too.
Good luck with these great tips! Beautiful skin is just a few steps away.