Although genetics play a big role in how your skin looks and feels, your daily habits also affect your overall skin health. The things you do and don’t do can either hurt or benefit your complexion, as well as sabotage your healthy skin efforts.
If your skin is not looking so great, you can benefit from tweaking or changing your habits. Here are 7 habits that can help you have youthful, glowing skin.
1. Protect skin from the sun/UV rays
Prolonged and unprotected sun exposure is the number one cause of premature skin aging. It speeds up the breakdown of collagen and skin elasticity, causing wrinkles, sunspots, and sagging skin. It also worsens the appearance of existing signs of aging and increases your risk of skin cancer.
Those with healthy, glowing skin are aware of the effects of sun exposure, which is why they make UV protection a priority. This means wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher daily, regardless of the weather. Other important sun protection measures include limiting sun exposure (especially during peak hours), seeking shade, and wearing clothing/accessories to cover skin exposed to the sun.
2. Don’t go to sleep with makeup on
How bad is it really to sleep with your makeup still on? Well, with all the dirt, bacteria, and cosmetic residue sitting on your skin, your pores can’t breathe, resulting in clogging and further inflammation. Makeup, furthermore, traps dirt and pollutants, causing oxidative damage that can compromise the skin’s barrier function and accelerate the skin aging process.
While a night of sleeping with makeup on will not wreak havoc, this should never be a habit. This is especially true if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin. Make sure to wash your face every night with a gentle cleanser or a formula right for your skin. Skip facial wipes, as they don’t actually clean your skin, but smear around dirt, makeup, and dead skin.
3. Don’t smoke
Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your skin and overall health. It speeds the skin’s aging process, contributing to wrinkles, sallow skin, and dull complexion. Cigarettes contain nicotine that impairs blood flow, reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrients that reaches your skin. The chemicals in the smoke, furthermore, damage collagen and elastin, causing wrinkling and sagging skin.
These are just some of the reasons you should quit or never start smoking in the first place. Kicking the habit or not smoking can stop further damage and wrinkling, particularly to your lips and mouth. If you need help quitting, see your healthcare provider.
Read on and learn what smoking does to your skin.
4. Moisturize on a regular basis
There’s more to daily moisturizing than preventing dryness and soothing sensitive skin. It also has anti-aging benefits, as it plumps up your skin, giving it a firmer appearance and making wrinkles less visible. It can also help with acne, as properly hydrated skin can stop your sebaceous glands from producing more oil than it actually needs.
Using a good moisturizer is important, especially if you have oily or acne-prone skin. Dr. Sylvia Skin Care’s Deep Hydrating Moisturizer is effective at restoring moisture in the skin without the use of oil-based ingredients. It strengthens and hydrates the skin without clogging the pores or triggering breakouts. Here are 5 ways to get the most out of your moisturizer.
5. Eat right and exercise
A diet filled with highly processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and prepackaged/ready meals can spike blood sugar levels, causing inflammation in the body. This can aggravate skin problems like acne and even lead to the breakdown of collagen. Processed foods, furthermore, are loaded with added sugar that is linked to glycation, which is known to damage collagen and elastin.
This only makes it important to mind your diet and fill it with more fruits and vegetables. You should also pair it with regular physical activity, which increases blood flow and helps nourish skin cells. Exercise, furthermore, transports away waste products and helps promote collagen production.
6. Get adequate sleep
Beauty sleep is not a myth. Your body goes into reparative/regeneration mode during your slumber. This allows the skin cells to replace damaged ones and produce new cells. It is also during your sleep when your skin’s renewal rate doubles and your body makes more collagen. Quality sleep also gives your skin a break from pollution, UV damage, and other environmental stressors.
This is why you should not skimp on sleep or stay up late most days of the week. Keeping your room dark and quiet, as well as limiting the use of electronic devices before bedtime can help improve the quality of your sleep. The same is also true for sleeping in a cool room and on a mattress that is neither too soft nor too firm. Check out our previous post for 7 ways to get beauty sleep.
7. Manage stress
Apart from general aches and pain, uncontrolled stress can also make your skin act out and aggravate existing skin issues. High or increased cortisol (stress hormone) levels can increase sebum production, which can then clog the pores and trigger breakouts. They can also contribute to the breakdown of collagen and elastin, leading to premature aging on the skin.
Taking steps to manage your stress benefits both your physical and skin health. You can do this by taking a break or stepping away from overwhelming tasks or projects. Exercising regularly also helps, as well as trying yoga/meditation, and getting professional support if needed.
Find out how Cutis can help
If tweaking habits don’t seem to improve your skin health or existing skin problems, we at Cutis can help. We have non-surgical anti-aging and rejuvenation treatments that can help tackle dull skin, acne, wrinkles, pigmentation, and sagging skin. We use US FDA-cleared and CE-marked devices to address different skin, face, and body concerns.
Contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore today and schedule a consultation with one of our aesthetic doctors to find out which treatments are right for your skin and goals.