Our skin is the first line of defense against the rest of the world. Sometimes we tend to forget about this essential part of our health or aren’t quite sure what to do.
While not exactly delicate, your skin faces adversaries every day, so it’s always in need of support.
These are the 15 best ways you can keep your skin beautiful and strong.
Your skin is highly dependent on water. There’s a really simple test that helps show if you need to drink more water. Lightly grab the skin on the back of your hand and hold it for a few seconds. If your skin snaps back immediately, you’re well-hydrated. If your skin slowly makes its way there (and looks wrinkly along the way), it means you’re not drinking enough water.
You should drink about half your body weight in ounces of water every day. That’d be 75 ounces for a person weighing 150 pounds. Of course, you should drink more water if you exercise.
There are certainly benefits to getting vitamin D from the sun. But it’s possible to get too much sun. After approximately 10 minutes of sun exposure, slather on the sunscreen to protect your skin from UV damage.
Zinc and titanium dioxide should be the primary or only ingredients. Exceptions can be made for natural ingredients. Stay away from oxybenzone and octinoxate because they can harm coral reefs and marine life.
Add collagen to your routine
The protein in your skin is 75-80% collagen. Starting in your 30s, your body’s ability to produce collagen decreases. Since collagen provides structural support for your skin, this becomes more imperative the older you get. Optimal collagen levels are a hallmark of beautiful, healthy skin.
If you opt to supplement, look for Type I and III collagen with low molecular weight peptides. This is key because smaller collagen peptides will absorb much better to help provide structural support for your skin.
Since Type I and III come from cows, “pasture-raised” and “grass-fed” can help ensure you get the highest quality product possible.
Get your daily vitamin C
Antioxidants can help protect you from damaging free radicals—which the sun is notorious for creating. But there’s another reason you should be getting your full amount of vitamin C each day. It helps with collagen production. In fact, without enough vitamin C, your body can’t make the collagen your skin so desperately desires.
Broccoli is a far better source of vitamin C than oranges. Plus, it comes loaded with potassium, carotenoids for eye health, iron, and more. If you choose to cook it, lightly steaming your broccoli will retain the most nutrients compared to other methods.
Relieve some stress
They say how you feel on the inside shows up on the outside too. Yes, it’s true. There’s a brain-skin connection that inextricably links your stress level and skin health.
So whether you choose to meditate, take a few deep breaths, pick up a hobby, or pet some puppies, make sure you find some time to take care of yourself and relieve some stress.
Moisturize throughout the day
Moisturizers are key to any good skin care regimen. Everyone’s skin is different so it’s best to stick with natural products with short ingredient lists. If your pores do get clogged or it doesn’t work well for you, you’ll have a better chance of figuring out what works best.
The best time to moisturize your skin is right after a shower. You should also moisturize before bed and when you wake up.
A warning about soap. Soap can easily dry out your skin if you have the wrong kind. For example, people with oily skin can tolerate essential oils. Your best bet, however, is to locate soap with natural ingredients (same as your moisturizers, or goat’s milk if you have sensitive skin) that has no added fragrances, including essential oils.
Sweat doesn’t just help you cool down. It’s also a way your body helps remove toxins that may clog your pores. It may seem strange, but a study found toxins in sweat that failed to show up in blood serum testing. This means sweating is the best way to get those toxins out of your body because they’re not being eliminated any other way!
Just make sure you wash the removed toxins off your skin later.
Eat the rainbow
The more color (from fruits and vegetables) you can get into your diet, the better. Coloring is an indicator of polyphenol content, potent antioxidants. Plus, the fiber and small amount of natural sugar from fruits and vegetables can help curb your sugar cravings.
Don’t touch your face
Your hands touch your most germ-ridden objects. The TV remote, keyboard, door handles, etc. Keeping your fingers away from your face will not only keep these microbes away, it’ll also prevent contamination from larger, pore blocking nightmares.
Stay away from heat sources
Going outside when it’s hot is fine. Just make sure you use sunscreen!
What you want to avoid is direct heat from fireplaces, campfires, and space heaters. They can degrade the collagen in your skin.
Get some peace (lilies)
Air pollution can seriously affect the appearance of your skin. Pollutants range from UV radiation to cigarette smoke. Unfortunately for us, our inside air is worse than the air outside. Having a hardy plant like a peace lily can help clean your air. Spider plants and Boston ferns also do well. All 3 plants are really hard to kill, so don’t let your brown thumb prevent you from cleaning your air.
Each plant can cover about 100 square feet. At the very least, make sure you get enough to cover your living room, kitchen and bedroom.
Sleep for 7-9 hours every day
Get your beauty rest. Sleep is rejuvenating and helps reduce stress. As mentioned earlier, stress is a leading cause of wrinkles and crow’s feet. Just be mindful of your pillow. Wash it regularly to remove oil, makeup, and whatever else has decided to take up residence on it.
Eat fish or supplement with omega-3s
You can moisturize your skin from the inside. Quality omega-3s can go a long way toward keeping your skin looking and feeling healthy. Wild-caught salmon can be a great source, but the best source of omega-3s and overall nutrition is sardines. Try any of these 51 simple sardine recipes here. #3 is a great way to ease yourself into eating sardines.
If you’re not a fan of eating fish, your next best option is a krill oil supplement or high quality fish oil. Algal sources are a great vegetarian option that provides both EPA and DHA.
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells. You should take care of this one or twice a week. Sugar scrubs work exceedingly well with the benefit of not adding harsh chemicals to your routine. When you’re exfoliating, remember that you’re just trying to remove dead skin cells, not the stubborn red wine stain on your carpet. A gentle, circular motion works best.
Pat your face dry
If you’re scrubbing, you’re being far too rough on your skin—especially the delicate skin around your eyes. You could also be aggravating other issues like razor burn, acne, or abrasions. Instead, simply pat your face dry with your towel to dry it off.
It might seem like there are a lot of tips here and that it’ll be difficult to implement these right away, but a lot of them are great ways to support your overall health:
- Drink enough water every day
- Get your daily vitamin C
- Take care of stress
- Sweat—in a sauna or through exercising
- Eat the colors of the rainbow
- Get 7-9 hours of high quality sleep
- Ensure you get enough omega-3s
- Put a plant or 3 in your bedroom, kitchen, and living room
- Supplement with collagen
The rest require very little—you just have to remember to do them.
- Use sunscreen
- Moisturize your skin regularly
- Keep your fingers away from your face
- Stay a good distance away from heat sources like fires and space heaters
- Exfoliate 1-2 times each week
- Pat your face dry after taking a shower or bath
Staying on top of this tips can help keep your skin looking and feeling youthful.