For a long time, I didn’t give any cares about my skin. In high school, I spent an unhealthy amount of time parked in front of a magnifying mirror picking at my pores with tweezers. I frolicked about in the sun without sunscreen, I wore makeup for 12+ hours, sometimes falling asleep without bothering to take it off.
Then, spring of 2017, I learned my lesson. I went to Cancun, Mexico. After spending eight months out of the sun, I thought I would be fine if I did not wear sunscreen. When I woke up two days later to my face lobster red and swollen from sunburn, I realized how important it is to take care of your body’s biggest organ. Not just haphazardly slather on some moisturizer periodically, but GOOD care of your skin.
Here I have pulled together some small tips to include in your daily routine that won’t cost much time or money. From one person who didn’t fuss over skin care to another, practicing some of these habits every day will add up quickly and leave you with some new baby-quality skin.
- TAKE OFF YOUR MAKEUP AT NIGHT. Probably the easiest tip on this list. Taking off your makeup before bed (or after you’re done for the day) gives your skin valuable, much needed time to breathe.
- Wash your face in the morning or at night. Doesn’t matter which time, just keep it consistent and do it every day. Washing either in the morning or at night consistently puts your skin on a schedule. Washing too many times a day can dry it out- if you feel like your face is dirty, rinse with some water and a fresh washcloth.
- Use unscented, alcohol free face wash. Alcohol is frequently used in facial products to allow other ingredients, like vitamins, to seep into your skin. However, to do this, the alcohol strips your skin of its natural barrier. This causes your skin to dry out, which can in return spike oil production. Except for acne spot treatments, avoid any combination of the ingredient “alcohol” in your face wash. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just something that works well with your skin type.
- Wash your pillowcase. Regularly. Your face oils rub off on your pillowcase each night. Washing your pillowcase every week will clean off the dirt and oil, preventing transfer onto your skin.
- Smother on sunscreen. Even if you are not prone to sunburns, wearing sunscreen is a good practice to incorporate into your everyday routine. This protects your face from harmful UV rays, which slows the rate of wrinkle production and decreases your chance of skin cancer.
- Don’t you dare pick at your face. As tempting as it is to pop an especially good zit, knock it off. Breaking the skin can make the inflammation worse, leave scarring or scabbing, create skin discoloration, or lead to infection.
- Quit touching your face with dirty hands, especially when you work out. Although this one seems obvious, it is harder to implement. We all have habits of rubbing our eyes when we are tired or wiping the sweat from our foreheads on a hot day. Without realizing, whenever we touch our face without washing our hands first, we are transferring whatever we have previously touched directly onto our nice face skin.
- Drink all of the water. Like all other body cells, skin needs water to function well. Dehydration can cause your skin to be dry and flaky. Drinking at least eight glasses of water a day can improve skin health.
And there you have it, folks! Eight pretty simple (and cost efficient) tips to keep your skin baby-fresh.