Another day, another skin care trend. While it can be fun to click on “the hot new skincare craze” there are timeless, consistent, hard fast rules that people with great skin always follow. A solid base is essential for any skin care newcomer or bonafide “skincare junkie”. See below for seven habits of people with great skin – as written by our senior medical aesthetician.
1) Never Ever Go to Sleep Without Washing your Face – Even if you Haven’t Worn Makeup That Day.
Is it that terrible for your skin to skip cleansing before bed? The short answer: YES. The longer answer: All of the pollution, free radicals, germs, sweat and so on accumulate on your skin all day. When we go to sleep, our body temperature decreases however our peripheral skin temperature rises. Warm skin absorbs product better which means that all of the aforementioned ‘nasties’ are now being absorbed by our skin. When it comes to skin, Cleanliness really is next to Godliness.
2) Sunscreen. Every. Single. Day. Not just “at the beach”. Not just “when it’s hot”. Every day.
UV rays are consistently beating down on us, regardless of season or the heat outside. Inside all day? We are still getting passive sun from windows and lets not forget HEV blue light from our computer screens, televisions, tablets and cell phones. We need daily protection from HEV light and UVA/UVB rays. SPF protection is the single biggest thing we can do to protect our skin short and long term.
3) Hands Off! And be extremely gentle when you do wash/moisturize your face.
This one is pretty simple and something we are all hopefully already practicing regularly. Your clean hands should only be touching your face when you are washing and doing your skincare routine am and pm. Treat skin gently when you are cleansing and moisturizing as well as applying makeup to the fragile skin on our faces.
4) Moisturize and do so with the correct moisturizer for your skin.
More expensive or Instagram-able doesn’t automatically mean “better”. Oily skin, dry skin, young skin, acne prone skin? Every type of skin needs moisture regardless of your skin condition or age. Very often oily skin, acne-prone or reactive skin can be ignored or mis-diagnosed as not needing a moisturizer. Even a featherlight, oil-free or gel moisturizer will help balance out your skin and even help keep oil-production in check as your skin will not be trying to over-compensate, resulting in dehydrated yet oily skin.
5) You are what you eat – and drink ( and what you don’t eat and drink!)
Nothing takes the place of a healthy diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, good fats and whole grains washed down with lots of fresh water. Nix the bleached sugar, preservatives and pre-packaged vitamin-deficient foods as much as possible. Remember to gravitate to foods that have “seen the sun”!
6) Exfoliate Once a week.
This can mean a gentle manual exfoliation, AHA/BHA serum, or a retinol (to name a few). Exfoliation encourages cellular turnover. The correct exfoliator for your skin can be selected by visiting a skincare professional. This is extremely important as exfoliating agents can often be one of the most damaging parts of skincare routines when incorrectly chosen products are used.
This one is easy to say and can be tricky to do. Prioritizing sleep is extremely important – not just for our skin but also for our overall health. Physically and mentally, sleep can make all the difference In the world. Studies have shown that sleep impacts everything from our hormones, immunity, inflammation, and aging. Try to put electronic devices away at the same time every night. Store them away from your nightstand or bedside as the light from computer and phone screens interrupts our circadian rhythms and suppresses the release of melatonin. All of this makes it difficult to sleep. Bedtime story anyone?
When I finished writing this list and reflected on it, I noticed that half of the tips on this list are either completely free or alterations on what you may already be doing. Great skincare habits don’t have to be expensive, complicated or fussy. The bottom line is that skin is the largest organ of the body and healthy skin makes for a happy body.