Your dermatologist wants you to have clear, healthy skin, but he or she might not always tell you when that can be achieved at home for little to no money. Of course, sunscreen is critical, but more often than not, your daily habits can be affecting the quality of your skin more than anything you put on it.
We have collected 9 easy steps you can take to protect your skin from premature aging, blemishes, and cancer. Your dermatologist may or may not tell you these things, but in the end, certain lifestyle changes and inexpensive fixes can go a long way. Just remember to keep your doc in the loop so that you can work together for the best possible results.
1. Reduce Caffeine Consumption
Hydration is a vital component of healthy skin, and caffeine (like alcohol) is drying. It is a diuretic, which means that it causes the body to excrete more water than normal. Caffeine also must be processed in the liver, and some low-level toxins are a byproduct of this.
So it’s actually good that more water is pulled to help flush out your body, but you’ll need to compensate with extra plain water to stay properly hydrated. After that first cup or two of coffee, switch to warm water with lemon if you still need the relaxation of a warm beverage.
Our lives seem to get busier and more hectic every year, and that puts us under an enormous amount of stress. Too often, our first response to a problem like a flare-up of acne, eczema, or psoriasis is to head to the store for an expensive product to fix it. But it might be the stress itself that’s causing your issue.
We know this is easier said than done, but slow down! Buy a magazine instead of an expensive cream and just hole up in bed for an afternoon. Schedule some non-negotiable “me time” each day and take a walk, engage in a hobby, or just snooze. Even if it feels like you couldn’t possibly take the time to chill out, in the end, you will be much more effective after a break, and your skin will be clearer and more radiant.
3. Go Natural To The Gym
Women are trained early that they must be made up when they leave the house. It might feel really wrong to head to the gym with a bare face. But it’s time to put that worry aside and go natural when you’re going to be sweating. Makeup can interfere with your body’s sweat production because it clogs your pores.
That’s dangerous because sweating is a protective mechanism that keeps you from overheating. Plus, once you’ve broken out, you’ll want to slather on even deeper layers of makeup to cover the blemishes. It’s a vicious cycle. If you must, apply some waterproof mascara and shiny lip balm and leave it at that.
4. You Can Heal Some Skin Damage
A golden tan may look stunning, but it is damaging to your skin. We all need some sun exposure in order to synthesize vitamin D, but more than 10-15 minutes gets into dangerous territory. Don’t skip the sunscreen, especially if you live in a high altitude location. Regular tanning causes premature aging.
Of course, everyone makes mistakes, and if you do find yourself with sun damage, all is not lost. Skin care products with vitamin A (typically listed as retinyl palmitate, retinol, or tretinoin) can actually repair some of the visible effects of skin damage. You should be able to find a range of these creams over the counter.
5. There Are Multiple Ways To Reduce Your Risk Of Skin Cancer
Sun avoidance and sunscreen are two of the best ways to lower your risk of developing skin cancer. But certain supplements are also able to reduce the damaging effects of sun exposure. Two examples are Niacinamide and Heliocare, both of which can be purchased without a prescription.
Another great way to protect against and heal existing damage is through diet through . Foods like blueberries, watermelon, nuts, seeds, carrots, leafy greens, cauliflower, and green tea all support the health of your skin. These are foods high in antioxidants, which can help stave off premature aging as well as lower your risk of developing skin cancer.
6. Wash Your Makeup Brushes Frequently
This is probably not news to makeup users – the oils on our skin transfer to makeup brushes and attract all kinds of dirt and germs. Using a dirty brush puts you at risk for breakouts, so it’s best to wash all your tools about once a week.
But this is about more than breakouts – those same dirty brushes can actually make you sick. They can become contaminated with bacteria that is quite dangerous. A Staph infection , for example, is potentially deadly. If the skin on your face is already broken, chapped, or blemished, it is that much easier for bacteria to take hold and make you sick.
7. Use A Humidifier For Natural Moisturizing
Some dermatologists always have a new revolutionary product or treatment to hawk that will give you smooth, perfectly moisturized and glowing skin. And these products can have a place in your beauty regimen. But before dropping hundreds of dollars on the latest thing, try sleeping with a warm mist humidifier.
Adjusting the humidity level of your room can do wonders to relax and rehydrate dry skin. Essential oils like helichrysum, lavender, lemongrass, and frankincense can also improve skin condition, whether placed in your humidifier or mixed with a carrier oil and applied directly to problem areas.
8. Before Botox, More Sleep
If you’re concerned that your skin looks puffy, saggy, wrinkly, or just otherwise older than you really are, the cause could be as simple as not enough sleep . Along with smoking, lack of exercise, and unprotected sun exposure, insufficient sleep is at the top of the list in terms of things that can make you look older.
So before doing anything else, try adding in a few extra hours of slumber to your daily routine. It can be hard to shut down the devices and give ourselves over to more sleep, but doing so may free up countless hours during the day that you might otherwise spend on fighting the effects of exhaustion.
The takeaway here is that while your dermatologist is an important part of your skincare routine, often the strongest tools at your disposal have to do with self-care. Rest more, release stress, and eat healthy fresh foods. Put vanity aside and go makeup free more often, especially at the gym. All of these measures can be inexpensive yet contribute to more than just healthier skin. They add up to a happier you.
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