Getting beautiful, clear skin doesn’t happen overnight. It’s important to develop healthy habits in order to get your skin looking flawless. Read on for eight important, healthy habits that’ll help you get the clear skin of your dreams!
1. Drink Water
You’ve most likely read this before, and at the risk of sounding repetitive, I’ll say it again. Drink water every day for clear skin! One of the most important factors for clear skin is hydration. The age-old saying goes that you should drink at least 64oz of water a day, and while that isn’t bad, it’s most likely nowhere near enough. I try to aim for at least 100oz of water a day, if not more. Pro tip: keep track of your water intake by using a water thermos. I like to travel with a 64oz thermos and I drink from it throughout the day. At night I usually refill it and drink about half.
2. Identify Your Skin Type
In order to take proper care of your skin, you need to know what skin type you have. There are 4 main types: dry, oily, sensitive, or normal. You can either be one of these types, or a combination of them, the most common combination being dry on the cheeks and oily on the T-zone. There are other combinations as well, for example, I’m dry-sensitive. Knowing your skin type is important because this valuable information will dictate your skincare journey. Based on your type, you’ll know which products benefit your skin best and which to avoid. For example, oily skin types benefit more from a water-based moisturizer rather than a cream-based one. Sensitive skin types should be wary of many products that claim to be gentle, as many aren’t truly that gentle at all. For example, honey which is a natural ingredient and favorable for many skin types tends to irritate my sensitive skin and is something I, as a sensitive skin type, should avoid.
3. AM vs. PM
The first step to clear skin is creating a skincare routine. There are many expensive and extensive routines on the market that promise you everything under the sun, but ultimately you know what’s best for your skin. I won’t tell you what brands to use or how many steps to include in your routine. However, I do encourage you to create two separate routines: a morning/day routine and a night routine. These routines can overlap in some products, but ultimately they should have different goals in mind. My AM routine, for example, focuses on hydrating my skin and creating a barrier to defend itself from daily stressors, like smog, sweat, and sunburn. In my night routine, however, I work on building the skin’s protective barrier and I give extra attention to caring for and preventing signs of aging. I also incorporate nightly massages because it feels nice and I have the extra minutes to spare. Reflect on and inspect your skin! Identify your skincare needs and wants in order to create a routine that fits your lifestyle while using products that serve you best.
4. Vitamin C
Think about incorporating vitamin C into your routine, both topical and through your diet, in order to achieve glowing clear skin! Whenever I increase my vitamin C intake through natural sources, such as oranges, carrots, or peppers, I immediately see a change in my skin. Any acne or acne scars that I might have begin to lighten, my skin becomes brighter, and even my dark circles seem less pronounced! When combined with a vitamin C serum, this effect seems to be doubled! That’s because vitamin C promotes collagen production, boosts circulation, helps to heal surface damage, and controls free radicals that cause fine lines and wrinkles. Experts recommend that vitamin C serums be used in the morning, when UV radiation is at its worst, although there’s nothing against using it during the evening as well.
Exfoliating is an important part of any skincare routine, and while there are many exfoliants on the market, they are not all the same. There are physical exfoliants, which are bead-like formulas that physically buff off the dead skin cells that accumulate on your skin, and there are chemical exfoliants, which are chemicals that aid in cell turnover. Some swear by physical exfoliants because of their instant results, while others believe in chemical exfoliants due to their gentle nature. I always recommend chemical exfoliants because they cause less surface damage than physical exfoliants. Many ingredients used in physical exfoliants cause micro-tears on the surface of the skin which, in the long run, cause premature aging in the form of fine lines and wrinkles. Chemical exfoliants, on the other hand, are gentle enough that they don’t cause micro-tears while also buffing the dead skin off.
6. Natural Irritants
Many people believe they have sensitive or easily irritable skin, when in fact they don’t, they’re just putting their skin under a lot of stress. One of the most common skin irritants on the market is fragrance, of any kind. One supposed rule of thumb is that if your product has a strong, pungent odor, it means that it doesn’t have any fragrance, therefore it’s good. Although I cannot attest to that specifically, I can say that the less fragrance, the better. That’s why you should always check the ingredients list. The ingredients of any product are listed, not in alphabetical order, but in order of quantity. The first ingredient in any formula means that it’s the one with the highest percentage of usage. Usually, it’s the base of the formula. Meanwhile, the last ingredient will be the one that was least used. You’ll usually find the fragrance ingredients close to last, indicating that it has the least fragrance possible. Nevertheless, go for fragrance-free products.
7. Avoid Sun Exposure
Sun exposure can be extremely harmful, not only because it can cause severe signs of aging, but also because it can cause melanoma, one of the deadliest and most common types of skin cancer. You should always wear a hat when under the sun, apply an SPF of at least 30, and reapply said SPF at least every three hours. Aim for a sweat-proof SPF to get the most protection possible when out in the sun.
8. Don’t Neglect Your Skin Overall
Don’t just focus on the skin of your face, focus on your whole body! Your skin is an organ, take proper care of it! This means washing with an unscented body wash, exfoliating your body regularly, and applying the correct SPF for it as well! It’s important to take care of all your skin if you want clear skin, not just the skin on your face and neck.