image by Jenna Stoyanov
Five Essential Tips For Healthy Skin
Your skin is the biggest organ of your body and it’s essential that you keep it healthy. Skin health is often neglected, so it’s no surprise that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of their lifetime.
Good skin care is so crucial, and it should be practiced by everyone. It’s not “girly” to take care of yourself. Regardless of gender, no one wants to be crusty. These tips will not only help the health of your skin, but with a little personalization, your skin will be glowing in just a few weeks.
Wear Sunscreen Every Day
Look, it doesn’t matter what season it is, or what the weather is— you need to use skincare products that contain SPF. I cannot emphasize this enough. The sun’s UVA and UVB rays are unforgiving and contribute to sunburns and aging, and may lead to dangerous skin cancers. If you want to keep your skin wrinkle-free for as long as possible, you need to protect it. It’s best to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Even if you use products that already have SPF in them, you still need to layer on that extra protection.
Avoid Heavy Fragrances
Fragrances can irritate your skin like no other. Even some “all-natural” brands include fragrance in their products (I’m looking at you, Lush). These can cause some not-so-nice reactions, including breakouts and rashes. It’s always best to avoid any fragrances when looking for skincare products. Fragrance can be listed in the ingredients simply as “fragrance” or “perfume,” but some fragrance can also be snuck in by using essential oils, which can be just as irritating as artificial additives.
Cleanse Just Enough
You definitely need to use a low pH cleanser every night to remove any grime from your face. Never leave any makeup on overnight, as this clogs your pores and irritates your skin— not to mention the mess it will leave on your pillowcase. However, harsh cleansers aren’t necessarily for everyday use, and may dry out your skin. If you have dry skin, try only cleansing at night, and just rinse your face with water in the morning. If you have oily skin, you can stick to cleansing twice a day.
Moisturizer Is Key
Regardless of skin type, your skin needs to be hydrated. There is a misconception that oily skin doesn’t need to be moisturized. When you don’t give your skin any moisture, your skin will dry out, therefore responding with more oil production and breakouts. It’s a vicious cycle, but you can stop it with a non-comedogenic moisturizer, meaning that it won’t clog your pores. Also, you should stop putting coconut oil on your face, since it has been found to clog pores.
Exfoliation seems like a great thing in theory, but it can actually be very damaging to your skin if you overdo it. While we all want to remove the dead skin from our face, there’s a correct procedure to follow. Depending on what product you use, physical exfoliation can cause micro-tears in the skin, leading to rough, damaged skin (if you use St. Ives Apricot Scrub, throw it away immediately and write an apology letter to your skin). Sugar scrubs are gentle enough for your skin, but don’t use them more than once a week.
As scary as it might sound, chemical exfoliation is the safest way to ditch dead skin cells. These gentle acids work to unclog your pores of all those dead skin cells. BHAs and AHAs are available in many different products, such as toners and serums. Its best start these out slowly, as these are active ingredients that your skin needs to adjust to. AHAs also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight (due to the exposure of fresh skin cells) so it’s super important to use a good sunscreen when using chemical exfoliants.