When it comes to personal care, it’s easy to get caught up in the superficial details. Are you using the right cleanser? Is your toner optimally effective? How many times a day should you be applying sunscreen? These are all essential considerations regarding the state of our skin. But what about the little things? How often do you put yourself first, and how much time and effort are you putting into keeping your skin happy and healthy? Self-care isn’t just about external appearance; it’s about creating balance from within so that your skin can express itself in its most authentic way. Here are 8 habits that will improve the health of your skin and have you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready for anything!
Get enough good quality sleep.
One of the most important aspects of self-care for your skin is getting enough restful sleep. Your skin will repair itself, grow, and change during the night – so it needs the rest and relaxation that comes with a good night’s sleep to bounce back and look radiant the following day. Make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, as this is the optimum amount to promote a healthy and happy complexion. It’s also worth noting that napping during the day is a great way to get a little extra rest and recharge without having to sacrifice your daytime hours.
Eat a balanced diet.
It’s no secret that what you eat can significantly impact the appearance of your skin, but it may surprise you to learn precisely what dietary changes can do for your complexion. Start with minor adjustments to your diet and see how your skin reacts – if you notice a significant improvement, consider making more considerable changes to your dietary habits to promote even more change. Eating a balanced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and a moderate amount of protein and dairy products can significantly help promote your skin’s health and reduce the likelihood of developing certain skin conditions.
Drink 2 liters of water daily.
It may sound like common sense, but hydration is key to healthy and happy skin. The human body is made up of roughly 60% water, so keeping it hydrated and nourished is essential to promote good health. Water can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as improve the elasticity and texture of your skin. If you find that your skin is becoming drier than usual or you are seeing signs of flakiness and irritation, likely, you aren’t drinking enough water. However you should pay attention and look into the causes of dry skin; this article on Dry Skin: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention can help.
Exfoliate once a week.
Exfoliating your skin once or twice a week can be an extremely effective way to promote healthy, glowing, and youthful skin. Not only does it help to remove dead skin cells and encourage freshness, but it can also be highly beneficial if you struggle with blemishes or acne. There are plenty of options when it comes to exfoliating, and depending on your skin type; you may wish to choose a gentle or more abrasive scrub. Avoid exfoliating your skin too frequently, as it may lead to over-exfoliation. If you notice that your skin is becoming red, irritated, or inflamed, you likely overdo it, so dial it back a little and see how your skin responds.
Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps.
It may seem obvious, but avoiding the sun’s harmful UV rays, particularly during the summer, is a key factor in maintaining healthy, happy skin. It may be tempting to hit the tanning bed or sunlamps to get a little color before summer. Instead, try and find a nice, relaxing outdoor space to catch some rays, or use a sunless tanner to give your skin a little color without worrying about the long-term damage associated with the sun. Still, these methods put your skin at a higher risk for burning and damaging and increase your chances of developing skin cancer throughout your lifetime.
Don’t skimp on sunscreen and SPF.
It may sound counterintuitive, but the best way to prevent damage from the sun is to protect yourself from the sun in the first place. It’s important to note the difference between SPF and sunscreen – SPF stands for “sun protection factor,” while sunscreen is a type of SPF that also protects against UVA and UVB rays. Make sure you wear ample SPF and sunscreen daily, even on cloudy days, as UV rays can still pass through clouds. Try and find a sunscreen that suits your skin type, as many people find that they react to certain ingredients found in sunscreen. It’s also worth noting that sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours or after swimming, to maintain its protection against the sun.
Be mindful of what you put on your skin.
The products you use on your skin every day can have a significant impact on its health and appearance. It can be tempting to grab the first cleanser or moisturizer you see or opt for the same brand you’ve used for years but don’t do this. Instead, try and find products that suit your specific skin type, and seek out cruelty-free and organic products as much as possible. Avoid products with many unnecessary chemicals, dyes, and fragrances, as these can irritate your skin and cause unnecessary breakouts and blemishes.
Don’t stress too much – or at all.
Stress can wreak havoc on your skin and contribute to many skin conditions, including blemishes, redness, and breakouts. So, what can you do to avoid and combat stress? Cut down on sugar and caffeine intake, as these can amplify feelings of stress, and try to get enough sleep and exercise, as these can help to reduce stress levels. Try and make time for yourself every day, even if it is as simple as sitting in silence for 10 minutes. It can be easy to forget to look after yourself when you are busy, so pay attention to your well-being and mental health.
It may sound cliche, but skincare is truly an inside-out process. Your skin is the most outward sign of your inner health, so take care of it, and it will take care of you! Your diet, your fitness level, the amount of stress in your life, and the quality of the air you breathe all impact your skin’s health and can significantly affect how it looks and feels. Start making minor changes to your daily habits, and see how your skin begins to transform.