A beautiful complexion is an invaluable treasure to most women. Makeup is great and can cover most minor facial flaws, like acne, scars, and wrinkles, but why should women have to deal with them at all? Here are some doctor-tested, woman approved tactics to scoring flawless skin.
1. Use Sunscreen
Dark spots, premature aging, and wrinkles are attributed to overexposure to the sun. This is not only unattractive, but spending too much time in the sun without a coat of SPF can lead to the most dreaded medical condition: cancer. Experts agree that the use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen (one that blocks both UVA and UVB), SPF 30 and above, greatly reduces these conditions. Whenever you head outside, even if it’s cloudy, remember to apply regularly, about every 2 hours.
2. Cleanse Every Day
After a long day at work, dropping the kids off at practice, picking up the groceries, and making dinner, it can be easy to forget washing your face. But the fact is that, even if you don’t wear makeup, your skin still gathers all manner of contaminants over the course of the day. This includes your skin’s own natural oil, not to mention the dirt, grease, and grime from the outside world. Don’t worry; cleansers don’t have to cost you a fortune. Most are available under $15, and are more than effective.
You also shouldn’t over cleanse. It’s tempting to wash your face three and four times a day, especially if you suffer from a skin condition, like acne, or you have oily skin. But washing too often can cause over drying, which doesn’t do your skin any favors. Wash twice a day, with a dime-sized amount of cleanser.
3. Retinol Rules
Retinol, the nutrient that comes from Vitamin A, is a popular way to keep skin healthy. In addition to making skin beautiful on its own, retinol has been shown to fight the signs of cancer; that is, precancerous cells. It can even be sold in over-the-counter forms, which are more affordable than prescription versions, like Renova. Again, watch out for overuse! Retinol products contain a very strong set of ingredients, and chances are your skin isn’t accustomed to it. Try using a pea-sized amount, once a day, every third day, if you’re using a prescription.
4. Drink Water
You’ve heard it since you were a kid, but it really does work. According to the Mayo Clinic, drinking eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day replenishes moisture lost through normal activity. Remember, water is what carries all of the nutrients and minerals to the thirsty cells all throughout your body, including skin cells. Plus, it can help reduce dryness and help with mild acne problems.
5. Don’t Smoke
It sounds easy enough, but according to a survey, one in five women in the U.S. still smoke. Not only is this dangerous to the rest of your body, but cigarette smoking constricts blood vessels in the skin, which reduces the amount of nutrients that can reach your skin. Smoking has been known to cause premature wrinkling, as well as dull and uneven skin tone.
Being tired isn’t the only symptom of stress. Skin is the largest organ in your body, and is just as affected by too much stress. Even if you have a high-profile job, four kids, and mountains of paperwork, remember to take some time for yourself. Doctors recommend setting time for yourself, or even meditation as an effective means of stress management. If you really can’t get away, work a trip to the spa into your schedule, or even a walk in the park (just remember your sunscreen!).
7. Sleep at Night
Humans aren’t made to be awake all day, every day. Sleeping at night allows your body to repair itself, and that especially includes skin. Dark circles, sagging skin, and breakouts can be the result of too many all-nighters. Make sure to allow for at least 8 hours of sleep every night, or suffer the zombiesque result.
8. Know Your Skin
This doesn’t just mean taking stock of any skin conditions you have, as well as their treatments, but your genetics, as well. Good skin is definitely in your genes, so thank your lucky stars if you never had an acne problem. However, research genetic skin conditions, like psoriasis, rosacea, and cancer, and their occurrence in your family line. Early prevention methods and treatment are available with the knowledge of your genetic background.
9. Choose the Right Product
There is no such thing as ‘twin skin’. Everybody has unique skin care needs, depending on age, skin type, activity, and even preexisting medical conditions. The best way to decide what products you should use, from moisturizer to prescription medication, is to talk to a dermatologist. They will examine your distinct skin care needs, and suggest products specifically for you.
Remember that not all skin care needs to be professional grade. Your local drugstore carries a large selection of products, in a wide range of skin care needs. You have the ultimate decision in the products you choose, but items such as cleanser and astringent can cost in excess of $60, or as little as $3.
10. Be Patient
Not all products work immediately. Some work gradually and require weeks to see a result. Especially if it is a prescription product, have a little patience; the end result will be worth the wait.