While having and maintaining clear, smooth skin comes easy for a lucky few, many of us occasionally struggle with unsightly blemishes and a cloudy complexion. The quality and appearance of our skin, which is the largest and fastest growing organ of the human body, is affected by everything from sleep to diet to hormones—not to mention excessive exposure to sun, extreme temperatures and chemicals.
In order to achieve a clear complexion, it’s important to know that good skin starts from the inside out. But there are also a number of external treatments, and methods, to help you enhance your natural glow. Below are our top tips to help you achieve your best skin ever!
Get Your Glow On
What you put into your body directly correlates to how your skin looks. Consuming a diet high in sugar and processed foods will not help you achieve a clear, glowing complexion; however, eating whole foods with a good proportion of healthy fats will do wonders for your skin. Here are your best bets:
- Vegetables like spinach and leafy greens, as well as orange and yellow veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes
- Fatty fish like salmon or mackerel
- Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (the good kind!) like nuts and avocados
- Blueberries and blackberries (loaded with antioxidants!)
Be a Sleeping Beauty
The term “beauty sleep” isn’t a misnomer. The quality and quantity of sleep directly impacts how our skin looks in the morning. Lack of sleep can cause blood vessels to dilate, resulting in stubborn black under-eye circles. It also affects the skin’s natural process of renewing, restoring and rebalancing itself overnight. Consistently sleeping less than the recommended 6 to 8 hours affects your hormones and creates stress on your body, which also affects the way you look (and feel) in the morning.
Institute a Ray Ban
Wearing sunscreen daily is crucial for healthy, glowing skin. Damage from excessive sun exposure accelerates the aging process and elevates the risk of skin cancer; beyond that, it causes wrinkling, spotting, sallowness, blotchiness and diminished skin elasticity. Wearing sunscreen every day will protect your face from harmful UV rays, which will benefit your complexion in the long-term.
It’s Maintenance, Baby!
While there are a million products on the market promising amazing looking skin, it’s better to go back to basics for an effective routine that offers long-lasting results:
- Avoid touching your face to prevent bacteria and germs from getting onto your skin
- Wash your face every night with a skin care product specifically designed for your skin type (dry, oily, normal, sensitive, combination)
- Look for skin care products (and makeup!) free of chemicals, sulfates, parabens, alcohols and fragrances, all of which can cause irritation or clogging of your pores
- Wash your makeup brushes and replace them frequently
- Wash and switch pillowcases regularly
- Moisturize with a retinal cream after washing your face at night
Give Yourself the Spa Treatment
While you can always splurge on a treatment by a professional, at-home treatments are fun, easy and effective. After washing and exfoliating your face, fill a bowl with hot water and essential oils to steam and open your skin. Then, choose a mask for your skin type, wait the recommended time, and rinse. Finish your treatment with moisturizer and repeat the process as often as once a week for the best results.
Keep in mind: if you’re dealing with complex, reoccurring skin issues, it’s wise to seek the advice of a professional dermatologist. At-home treatments will only go so far if there are underlying issues. That said, there are many simple things you can do to care for and enhance your skin.