With the arrival of warmer weather, you may be looking forward to getting outdoors more and enjoying the beautiful spring and summer months. Along with that, you’re probably planning to reveal a little extra skin, but you may be concerned about the best ways to keep it healthy.
It’s a fact: If you expect your skin to look its best year-round, you can’t take it for granted. Stress, environmental toxins, sun damage, and poor nutritional habits all take their toll, and eventually lead to skin that looks dull, tired, and older than its real age. What can you do to protect your skin and keep a healthy glow?
Here are our favorite tips for maintaining bright, healthy skin 365 days a year.
Wear Sunscreen All Year
In summer, it goes without saying that you put sunscreen on before heading outdoors. It may never occur to you to wear SPF in the dead of winter; however, just because the sun is farther away from you in winter doesn’t mean the UV rays won’t damage your skin.
Before going outside in any season – even if it’s cloudy outside – apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Make sure the label says “noncomedogenic,” which means it won’t clog your pores, and remember to reapply at least every two hours. A good habit to get into is to use at least a teaspoon on your face, and one ounce (enough to fill up a shot glass) for the rest of your body.
Don’t Hit the Sheets Without Washing Your Face
Always (yes, always) wash your face as part of your pre-bedtime routine, even if you aren’t wearing any makeup. No matter how sleepy you feel, it’s worth the few minutes it takes to wash the day’s impurities out of your pores. Your skin needs to breathe overnight, and it can’t do that if you don’t clean your face. It doesn’t take a long, elaborate night time skin care ritual – just use a cleanser and toner and follow it up with moisturizer. Sweet dreams!
Exfoliate for Better Health
Want an easy way to get that healthy glow? Exfoliation is the key. At least once or twice a week, exfoliate your skin to remove old, dead skin cells, which will brighten your skin naturally. If you’re looking for an all-natural exfoliant, finely crush some walnuts and stir them into a few tablespoons of plain yogurt. Walnuts are packed with antioxidants that promote radiant skin while they simultaneously help remove dirt and toxins.
You Are What You Eat
There is a persistent myth that bright, healthy skin comes from a bottle in the form of expensive topical creams or lotions. However, nutrition is the real-life fountain of youth. Pay attention to what you eat, and opt for whole, minimally processed foods. Load up your plate with lots of fresh produce and foods with healthy fats – such as avocados, olive oil and fish.
To make sure you are consuming enough nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, think about your meals as if they’re a rainbow. If you missed any colors at breakfast, think ahead to how you can include them in your lunch, and so forth.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Along with your healthy, balanced diet, don’t overlook the need to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Skin cells, like any other cell in the body, are made up of water. If you aren’t giving your skin an adequate amount of water, the lack of hydration will eventually cause your skin to become tight, flaky and less resilient.
Always keep a glass of water within arm’s reach, so it will be right there whenever you feel thirsty. That way, you won’t be tempted to go off in search of a carbonated, sugary soda or another cup of coffee.
Work It Out!
Ever notice that healthy glow on your face after you finish working out? That’s no coincidence! Cardio, weightlifting, and yoga will increase your heart rate, thus improving your circulation and accelerating your body’s cleansing processes. If you’re short on time, take a brisk walk around the block to achieve that just-worked-out appearance.
Catch Those ZZZZZs
There’s a good reason it’s called beauty sleep. If you fail to get enough shut-eye, one of the first things to suffer will be your skin. Your skin gets tired just like you, and it will show fatigue by sagging and drooping. Don’t skimp on sleep! Your body, mind, and skin need it to recover and be fresh for the next day.
Keep Skin Moisturized
Even if your skin tends to be oily, you shouldn’t neglect to moisturize. Find the right moisturizer for your skin type, and make sure it is lightweight and oil-free. Choose a moisturizer with SPF to protect your face from UV rays during the day, and a richly hydrating cream formulated for overnight use to apply before bedtime to enrich your skin while you sleep.
Make Time for Yourself
Have you ever noticed your skin care suffers when you feel overly stressed out? This is because stress causes your body to produce cortisol and other hormones, making the skin oily and more prone to breakouts. To combat stress, practice healthy techniques like breathing exercises, yoga, mindfulness, and meditation. You can even go a step further by treating yourself to a pampering massage, which will further improve your skin by improving your circulation and helping your body flush out toxins.