If you’re looking for a cream, lotion or wash to improve your complexion, your options are endless. But, if the thought of combing through thousands upon thousands of products to find the one perfect match for your skin is a little daunting, start with these five simple methods first.
1. Drink More Water
It’s no secret that water does great things for your body: energizes muscles, boosts your metabolism, and generally helps your body perform its functions better. But, it also can make you look younger and more vibrant, because a dehydrated state can make your skin look dry and wrinkled. Experts recommend drinking half an ounce of water for every pound of your body weight. So, if you weigh 130 pounds, you should be drinking 65 ounces of water every day for adequate hydration.
2. Get More Sleep
Good sleeping patterns are essential to overall skin health. Your skin uses periods of rest to restore and repair itself. Bedtime is when your proteins and melatonin are produced, and when other anti-aging activity occurs. Skin conditions and irritations are exacerbated when you’re sleep-deprived; that tired state can also accelerate skin aging. Sufficient sleep gives your body its best chance for optimal skin performance.
Sunscreen is arguably the most important component of your skincare arsenal. Regardless of the weather, sun exposure can cause skin damage. But, daily sunscreen application has been proven to prevent a multitude of skin cancers, including melanoma. If that’s not enough motivation, think of all the premature wrinkles, colored spots and weird textures you’re keeping off your face. For daily wear, try a moisturizer with a broad-spectrum sunscreen; it’ll feel less greasy and will smell less than a full-on sunscreen. Be sure to get at least SPF 15, but SPF 30 is recommended.
4. Get an Allergy Test
Dermatologists can test your skin to evaluate its response to the most common allergens. Once you know your irritants, you’ll be able to avoid the products that contain the fragrances, chemicals, etc. that could cause irritation or redness.
5. Keep it Clean
You know you shouldn’t sleep in your makeup, but you probably do anyway, at least on occasion. Remember that sleeping in your makeup can cause bacterial infections and clogged pores, and make your acne worse. As important as it is to wash your face before bed and in the morning, it’s just as important to be gentle in your washing. Over-exfoliating can dry out your skin and cause “microcuts,” through which bacteria can enter and, again, worsen acne. A couple of tips?
Wash your face after removing your makeup to ensure you get all of the concealer and foundation off.
For a gentler exfoliation than grainy scrubs, use a salicylic- or glycolic-acid cleanser. Start using one of these three times a week, alternating with your regular cleanser, and adjust depending on your skin’s reaction.
Avoid getting a daily cleanser with fragrance or harsh soap. If you have dry skin, try a cleanser with shea or glycerin. If you have oily skin, try a foaming wash to help your skin feel cleaner.