Over the years, I’ve adopted different rules and routines for keeping my skin looking and feeling healthy, vibrant, and beautiful; simple ways to keep my skin looking its best.
My number one rule? Always remove makeup before going to bed. It sounds simple, but many nights its so tempting to put it off until the morning, especially after a long day. Here are nine more rules I follow for great looking skin, plus a roundup of my favorite products for the winter season:
2. Go sans makeup every now and then
Give your skin a break and let it breathe. This is especially important when working out to prevent those tiny, annoying breakouts caused by sweat.
3. Wear Sunblock
Always incorporate sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher into your daily skincare routine, especially in the wintertime. Benefits of sunblock include decreased risk of skin cancer, prevents premature aging, helps maintain an even skin tone, and reduces exposure to ultraviolet rays UVA and UVB. Here’s a quick refresher on UVA and UVB rays:
UVA – Ultraviolet A “long wave” rays make up 95% of the rays that reach the surface of the Earth. They can penetrate skin much deeper than UVB rays, and are responsible for signs of aging, such as dark spots and wrinkles. They can also initiate skin cancers, and these are the same rays that make you tan in the summertime. UVA rays can penetrate glass and clouds. So if you think you’re protected in the winter more because it’s gray and overcast, think again!
UVB – Ultraviolet B “short wave” rays don’t penetrate the skin as deeply, and are what cause redness and sunburns. They are most intense from early spring to early fall, and during the day’s sunniest hours. Even though they dwindle in the winter, the rays that do reach the Earth’s surface are easily reflected off of snow and ice.
4. Stay Hydrated
Most people know to drink plenty of water, but do they actually do this? This is something I am trying to be better at this year. Oftentimes at work, I find myself reaching for another cup of coffee when I’m thirsty. Lately, I’ve been keeping my stainless steel bottle at my desk and pre-fill it with water every morning to remind myself to drink more. Your skin is an organ, and is mostly made up of water. Without water, your skin cannot look it’s very best. Staying hydrated helps reduce wrinkles, improves your complexion by flushing out toxins, reduces puffiness, slows aging, and much more. Remember, drinking coffee or tea does not replace water!
5. Exfoliate Twice a Week
Our skin is constantly regenerating new cells while sloughing off the old. Exfoliating helps speed up the process, while getting rid of that flaky top layer so that moisturizers can better do their job. A good exfoliation also creates a wonderfully smooth palette for makeup application. I typically exfoliate twice a week at night with thisandthis, so that my face feels fresh and smooth in the morning.
6. Work on Controlling Stress
Okay, easier said than done! Oftentimes, we can’t help feeling stressed with our day to day lives, but we can reduce its effects on us. I like to unwind by taking a warm bath several times a week, or by applying a soothing face mask after my nighttime cleanse and laying down for ten minutes. Or, I’ll lose myself in a book. Whatever you do that helps you feel less stress, try to do it at least twice a week. It makes a world of a difference.
7. Clean Your Makeup Brushes
This sounds so basic, yet many people (including myself) forget to do this. I try to wash my makeup brushes at least once a week, and replace them when needed. Be sure to only wash the brush part and not the handle where the fibers connect, to avoid weakening the brush. You can accomplish this several ways: using a dedicated brush cleaner, these handy wipes (great for travel), a quick dry cleaner, or a very small amount of mild dish soap, being sure to rinse well. Pat the bristles dry with a paper towel, and place them on a drying mat.
8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega 3 and Essential Fatty Acids
Omega 3 acids and essential fatty acids help to ward off inflammation that can increase fine lines, sagging, and blotchiness. It also serves as energy for the muscles, heart, and other organs. I’ve recently started incorporating these vitamins into my daily routine, while trying to add more inflammation-fighting foods. My favorites include walnuts, broccoli, salmon, flax seed, and spinach.
9. Keep Your Routine Simple
I’ve mentioned before that my skin style is very dry. I make sure to use cleansing products with no harsh chemicals that can make my skin feel tight or drier than before. I look for moisturizers, such as this whipped moisturizer or this creamy one, that are rich yet absorb into my skin quickly, so I don’t feel greasy. I also use a daily eye creamto help reduce the appearance of fine lines.