Some people are naturally born with good skin, whilst others struggle with acne, eczema and other ailments.
Your diet and lifestyle can all play a major part in the condition of your skin, so luckily, there are things you can do to get better looking skin.
Here’s what you should be doing every day to improve the look of your skin:
Cleanse only once a day – and gently
Hot water and harsh facial scrubs can cause unnecessary irritation and redness in not only people with sensitive skin but those with normal skin too. It dries out the top layer of skin, leaving it vulnerable to infections, including acne and flaky skin.
Skin experts advise that unless you have oily skin, you should only wash your face once a day, in the evening, and with tepid water. In the morning, simply splash your face with mildly warm water, then in the evening, instead of using a harsh scrub, gently smooth a cleanser on your face, let it sit there for a few minutes, and wash it off.
If you have oily skin, use a gentle foaming cleanser twice a day with tepid water.
Use sunscreen in summer and winter
The most common cause of skin ageing (apart from smoking) is the sun, but many of us do not bother to apply sunscreen to our faces. And even those that do, forget to use it in the winter.
One way to remember to use an SPF cream is to incorporate it with your daily moisturiser. So pick a day cream with an SPF of at least 30 and remember to reapply every few hours, as any sun-screening product is only effective for a couple of hours.
If you cannot be bothered to reapply every few hours, then at least pop some on before you commute, to and from work. Another way to easily apply a sun-shielding factor is to use a mineral powder with SPF, which you can simply brush on at intervals during the day, much as you would a face powder.
Use a retinoid cream every night
Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A that have been proven to boost the collagen in skin, which helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and benefits the overall appearance of the skin. It can even out discolouration, plump up the skin, unblock pores, lighten brown spots and freckles, and give dull skin a youthful glow.
Creams that contain retinoids are available by prescription or over-the-counter, and can cause irritation, dryness and redness at first. This is why they should be used sparingly in the beginning until the skin has become used to them.
“A retinoid should be the foundation of any topical anti-aging regimen,” says dermatologist Paul M. Friedman, MD, co-author of Beautiful Skin Revealed: The Ultimate Guide to Better Skin.
Eat food that contains plenty of antioxidants
Antioxidants help to fight the free radicals that damage the cell structures of the skin, which contribute to the ageing effect.
Foods which contain antioxidants include salmon, blueberries, dark green vegetables, and green tea. In fact, if you are going to take up one habit to help your skin this year, experts suggest drinking a cup of green tea per day. Not only it is packed with antioxidants, but it is loaded with flavonoids (also known for their antioxidant activity).
Other foods to eat include ones with a high content of omega-3 as they help to hydrate the skin from the inside out.
When you are dehydrated, your skin starts to lose its elasticity and becomes dry. Moreover, water naturally clears unhealthy toxins from your body and boosts blood-flow.
A good circulatory system means that your blood supply is reaching your skin and helping to maintain it properly.
Water also helps compounds naturally water synthesise better and bonds chemicals together, so having more of it in your body is always a good thing.
Eat less sugar
Did you know that when you eat too much sugar your body starts to increase the amount of insulin in your body? This leads to cells growing which can clog up your pores. It makes sense then to cut back on sugary foods and fight spotty skin from the inside out.
Having a balanced diet, where you eat foods from all the major groups will not only benefit your skin, but your overall lifestyle.
Exercise to break a sweat once a day
Exercising gets your heart pumping and forces the blood around your body. This in effect, improves the circulation in the skin, and your complexion. So raising your heart rate can positively affect your skin-tone.
The skin also has endorphin receptors, which some experts believe is why it is so affected so positively by aerobic exercise.
Get a good night’s sleep
When we sleep, the body is busy repairing damaged cells, lowering our risk of heart disease, and carrying our vital work to enable us to function properly during the day. Any interruption or lack of sleep means that these vital repairs cannot be carried out.
Also. studies have shown that stress causes levels of cortisol to rise in the body which can lead to premature ageing. Sleep reduces levels of cortisol in the body, as does meditation and moments of relaxation.
So make sure you get your eight hours a day.