Clear, radiant, soft skin not only looks great, it feels great too. If you want to get healthy, flawless skin, then these ten tips should put you on the right track. Keep in mind that everyone’s skin is a little different, so you may react differently to these treatments.
1. Determine Skin Type
The first step to addressing your skin is to determine whether yours is oily, dry, in between (normal), or a combination of dry and oily. Dry skin usually feels taut and tends to flake. People with dry skin will have small pores (they may not even be visible) and often complain of itchy skin. Oily skin, on the other hand, feels greasy to the touch and tends to be shiny. People with oily skin will have large, visible pores. Normal skin falls in between the extremes of dry and oily, with pores that are moderately sized and often not visible (except after exercise in some cases). Normal skin is supple and smooth. Most people fall into the combination category, with oily skin in the T-zone (nose and forehead) and normal or dry skin elsewhere. I suggest you to run this simple test in order to find your skin type. Sterile tissue and 5 spare minutes are all you need. You can dedicate your break to this procedure – at midday your skin will show the most honest results. So dab your skin with a tissue and wait for a minute. If you see that the tissue has oily patches, you have an oily skin. If it’s greasy only in T-zone, then your skin is of combination type. In other cases you probably have dry or normal skin. Now, when you know your skin type it’s easier to treat it correctly and use proper beauty products.
2. Clean, Tone, and Moisturize
You surely know the golden rule of treatment your skin before bed or applying beauty products. This is cleansing, toning and moisturizing. Fortunately, most beauty brands provide women with series that already contain everything necessary starting from cleanser and ending with eye gel. It remains only to choose the line regarding your skin type.
When you clean your skin, do so gently using just your fingers and soap or a mild exfoliant. People with dry or oily skin will do well with an exfoliant. But if you use scrubbing agents, make sure they are milled enough, or you can damage the skin. After cleaning your skin, pat it dry (never rub it) and apply a toner. Toners help to reduce wrinkles and strengthen skin. With oily skin, they narrow pores and reduce the greasy luster. Finally, if you have dry skin, apply a moisturizer advertised as “noncomedogenic,” which means it won’t worsen acne and blackheads. People with oily skin generally don’t need moisturizer, except in dry winter months. But if you feel you need to moisten your skin, use a multipurpose primer or foundation. In most cases they already contain nourishing and moisturizing ingredients.
As a side note, a few drops of fresh lemon juice make an excellent toner. I also love using ice cubes with herbal extracts or dab my face with cucumber slices.
3. Wear Sunscreen
The sun is the single biggest threat to your skin. It can worsen acne, accelerate the effects of aging (more wrinkles and spots), and even lead to skin cancer. Wear a sunscreen that blocks both UV-A and UV-B rays and that is rated at least an SPF 15. UVB products aim to guard your skin from singe and burn, while UVA sunscreens struggle with wrinkles, dullness and flaccidity. There are many sunscreens on the market designed to accommodate different skin types, so choose one that is right for you. Don’t think that sun is harmful to your skin only in sunny weather. You cannot see it, but up to 50 % of ultraviolet reach the Earth even if the sky is overcast with clouds. You are bound to use sunscreens throughout the year if you have light skin and hair.
What degree to use depends on how much and often you are exposed to sun. if you work outdoors and most of your time is spend under the sun, you definitely need SPF 35 and higher. In other cases SPF 15 – 20 will be sufficient. You need several pea-sized drops to cover you face, neck and forearms. And don’t be afraid to lack vitamin D – if you stick to a balanced diet you’ll get all you need with food.
4. Always Remove Makeup
Sleeping with your makeup on is one of the most frequent and baneful habits you can have. Makeup is for covering your skin, not for improving its health. In fact, makeup can damage the health of your skin and the longer you leave it on, the worse its effects can be. You must remove makeup every night, all the way down to clean skin. Makeup that needs special chemicals for removal is probably doing more damage to your skin than makeup that comes off with soap and water. I’d like to share with you several efficient and easy ways to remove your make up without special expenses. And what is most important is that you won’t have irritation or allergy, unlike using harsh commercial makeup removals. The first way is to use baking powder and honey. It sounds weird, but believe me it works! Just mix 1 tablespoon of powder and honey in your palm and gently rub the surface. This method is probably the best as it suits all skin types and all kinds of make-up.
You can also remove your makeup with the help of olive oil. This way, you will nourish and mollify your skin at one time. However, be careful if you have oily skin type – you can only worsen the greasiness. Finally, you can resort to oatmeal. This method is my favorite since it is ideal for sensitive, acne-prone and itching skin. Plus, it foams very easily and produces the effect of a gentle exfoliant. So you are only to choose what you like.
5. Eat Well
I know, it’s difficult to balance your diet in our rush and busy life, but you have to set priorities correctly. A balanced food will help you to avoid many diseases, enhance your beauty and keep fit. Make sure you supply your body with 5 main food categories: meat and fish, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, cereals and products rich in healthy fat and oils. Do not go mad on one or two of these categories – complete rejection of certain products will cause vitamin deficiencies. A diet high in fruits and vegetables and with fewer processed grains will provide you with all of the right vitamins and minerals for good skin health. Avoid eating too much sugar, greasy foods, and red meats – twice a week will be sufficient to supply your body with all the necessary stuff. Caffeine is okay in moderation, but don’t overdo it. Eat no less than three meals a day and don’t pack your stomach so that you cannot breath!
I usually start my day with cereal, one boiled egg and a glass of orange juice. I snack on a banana or an apple and sometimes I treat myself to a cup of coffee. I usually serve meat or fish with stewed vegetables for dinner. Before hitting the sack, I usually snacks on food that is light on the stomach and low in calories, for instance, fruit salad.
You know perfectly well that exercising is beneficial to your lungs, heart, muscles and bones. But could you imagine that you will improve your skin by keeping fit? Exercise increases the flow of blood to your skin, which helps your body remove waste. Gradually, you can gain healthy complexion and nice blush on your cheeks! It also releases endorphins and reduces levels of hormones known to negatively impact skin structure. Exercise has even been shown to improve acne. In addition, sport is a great and free remedy for depression. As an added bonus, exercise can leave you with a rosy glow that lasts hours after your workout is over. Just make sure you drink enough water while exercising. You will feel dehydrated if your body loses at least 1% of water. Always carry a bottle of water with a lemon slice; it will renew your water balance. A person should drink not less than 2 liters a day, but during intense exercises double this amount to feel comfortable.
However, do not torture yourself by hours of severe training! Perhaps, yoga will become your cup of tea. I also recommend to consult a qualified specialist to determine the program which suits your needs best.
7. Wash Pillowcases Frequently
Pillowcases are something people tend to forget about. They wash them, but often not regularly. You may ask why it’s so important to keep them fresh regularly. Do you remember that we spend at least a third of our life sleeping? That’s the case! There can be hundreds of kinds of microorganisms in your pillow that you are unaware of. You can also find in your bedding dead skin cells, sweat, oils, food crumbs and human liquids. This makes perfect conditions for generation of bacteria. You’d better not neglect these simple rules and practice good house hygiene.
You don’t have to wash all of your bedding every week, but you should wash pillowcases at least that often to reduce bacteria that can cause breakouts. Washing pillowcases weekly will also improve the quality of your sleep, which is another factor in having healthy skin. Do not forget about the pillows itself! Wash them at least twice a year. It is also useful to dry them up under direct sun – most bacteria die after 10 minute session. Moreover, what a joy is to inhale the scent of fresh and clean linen!
Be sure to sanitize your phone at the same time. Anything that spends time near your face needs to be as free of bacteria as possible.
8. Consider Retinol
Perhaps you’ve heard about marvelous effect from using this ingredient. About 40 years ago retinol forerunner, named Retin-A, was used for acne treatment. Dermatologist discovered that retinol not only alleviate acne, but improve the general appearance. Retinol, or vitamin A, actually helps your skin repair itself faster and speeds the rate at which your skin grows. In other words, retinol causes skin to turn over faster so that you always have fresh, new skin cells on the surface rather than old, dry ones. Retinol also boosts collagen production, which can help to reduce wrinkles. You can see results in as little as two weeks with some products. Nowadays retinol is included to many beauty products like cream, sunscreen or foundation. This trick makes retinol less irritating to your skin.
However, there still exist argues between dermatologists and cosmetologists as for the safety of beauty products that contain retinol. Some reckon that you can use it all day long; others believe it can damage your skin. Anyway, you’d better not overdo with the agent – one portion before bed will be sufficient. Ideally, you should consult your dermatologist as for the expediency of using retinol. Moreover, forget about it during pregnancy and breast-feeding period.
9. Avoid Hot Water
Hot water causes your skin to dry out and can even cause mild burn. The result is red, scaly, and even swollen skin that can take as much as two hours to recover. Plus, if you use too much soap or shower gel, you can destroy the protective layer of your skin. As a result, it will not retain sweat and dirt along with nourishing moisten and oils. Unfortunately, in the cold season hot showers only exacerbate the situation. Warm showers are okay, but you don’t want to see steam wafting up around you. In addition, I advise you to try contrast and cold showers. I know, it will be terrible at first. The main point here is not to torment yourself. Start with 30 seconds of cold water and gradually enhance it to 5 minutes. If you try, you will notice positive changes in two weeks. Cold water stimulate blood circulation; as a result your skin cells receive more air. Furthermore, you will divert such diseases like hypertonia, varicosity and hyperhidrosis. As a bonus, cold shower improves your mental skills. It will surely help you to wake up in the morning and to feel fresh and full of energy during the day. Isn’t it what you need?
10. Wear Sunglasses
The skin under your eyes is thinner than the skin on almost any other part of your body. As such, this skin is more prone to damage. Wearing sunglasses provides more protection for the skin around your eyes than sunblock ever could. Not only do glasses shield the skin from the sun, they prevent you from squinting in bright light, which also helps to prevent wrinkles. Moreover, wearing sunglasses will protect your eyes from harmful sun rays and avert cancer, cataract or singe.
While choosing your pair, try them on and see how much you see above and under the rims. Make sure, sun rays can’t pass from the upper rim. Reject the pair that does not provide you with the information on the material and protecting properties. Don’t be afraid to ask shop assistant about the quality certificate. If everything is okay you can decide on the style and color. I recommend choosing soft colors like green or brown. They are comfortable for your eyes and you will gain clear view. As for the style, choose whatever your heart desires! The only thing you should regard is your face shape. Aviators, oversized, wraparounds, butterflies or rimless… Which would be your favorite?
Caring for your skin is a lifelong process. The tips above are designed to get you up and feeling good in just two weeks, but the best thing you can do for your skin is to take care of it day in and day out. Treat your skin well to keep it looking healthy and beautiful your entire life. What are your secrets to perfect skin?