It’s that special time of year when many of us are planning on how to improve ourselves and our lives in the coming new year. Some of us might have lofty goals like climbing a mountain, learning to paint, or maybe just trying not to eat all the leftover holiday treats come January 1st. Luckily, there are a few simple ways to get healthier, more beautiful skin in 2017 – no mountainous commitment required!
1. Get Regular Facials
Skin is the largest organ in the body. The cells that make up our skin work hard every day to protect and and support our bodies. The outermost layer of skin is made of dead cells, constantly being replenished by new cells. This process of making new skin takes approximately 28 days, but steadily increases as we age. A monthly facial helps to get rid of the old cells, helping to reveal the healthy skin underneath. With the help of a licensed esthetician, you can build up the perfect regimen for you to improve the texture, tone, and health of your skin.
2. Remove Makeup Every Night
We’ve all fallen into bed after an exhausting day or a late night with our makeup still plastered on. But there are plenty of reasons to make it a priority to always wash our face before hitting the pillow. Dermatologist Dr. Eric Schweiger says, “One night of sleeping in your makeup is unlikely to cause long-lasting damage to your skin. However, each night you sleep in your makeup, your pores become more clogged.” Our skin repairs itself at night, and leaving makeup on can prevent the healing process from occurring. Over time, the side effects of sleeping in makeup can include fine lines, the development of acne, collagen breakdown, and premature aging. While it’s best to fully cleanse your face each night, consider keeping facial cleansing wipes next to your bed for a quick fix.
3. Use Quality Products
It’s tempting to use cheap products from drugstores that promise to revitalize skin. While you don’t have to purchase the most expensive products on the market, there are a few things to look for. The American Academy of Dermatology believes sunscreen and moisturizer are the two most effective anti-aging products, so it makes sense to spend a little more in this area. Professional-grade skin care products are different from over the counter ones. Professional products have higher concentrations of ingredients, higher quality ingredients, and are made in small batches to ensure freshness and effectiveness. They are generally sold by licensed or professional outlets and are clinically tested for the best results. When in doubt, contact your esthetician or dermatologist for recommendations.
4. Drink More Water
Water is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to improve skin condition. Dehydrated skin can look dry, tight, and flaky. Well-hydrated skin is plumper, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and pores. When skin is well-hydrated, it’s less likely to crack and let in external particles that cause irritations and blemishes. While using moisturizer helps to create a physical barrier to keep moisture in, drinking water helps improve the skin from the inside out. A general rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water daily. For a 150 lb. woman, that means drinking 75 oz of water a day. It’s also important to drink water throughout the day instead of all at once. Otherwise you’ll simply be making a lot of bathroom stops!
5. Sleep On It
Sleeping is one of the best things you can do for your skin and body. Your skin makes new collagen when you sleep. According to Dr. Patricia Wexler, a dermatologist in New York, only getting five hours of sleep a night can lead to twice as many fine lines as sleeping for seven hours. Sleep also increases blood flow to the skin and decreases puffiness and dark circles around the eyes. Using products at night while you sleep allows your body to repair itself more effectively. While the amount of sleep each person needs varies, you should be getting enough sleep that you feel wide awake all day long. Try pushing bedtime back by 15 minute increments until you find the right amount of sleep for you.
6. Decrease Stress
Most of us have had stressful days show up on our face. Harvard Medical School found that “considerable data suggests that stress and other psychological factors can activate or worsen certain skin conditions.” Stress can increase cortisol in the body, which increases dryness and fine lines. Increased stress can also cause breakouts and increase redness and inflammation. One way to decrease stress is to practice meditation. A recent study found that participants had a 20% drop in cortisol levels after four months of regular meditation practice. Find a quiet place with good lighting (so you don’t take a nap instead). Get comfortable and focus on your breathing for just five to ten minutes. Allow your body and mind to relax. You might want to listen to music, do a few simple yoga poses, or use an app such as Omvana to help guide your practice. You’ll reap the benefits on your skin!
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