Ask Dr. Parks, Skin Care

10 Habits of People With Great Skin

There are days that we all wish that there was an end-all cure for skin concerns, some magic pill or cream that would make your problems go away overnight. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, but there are things you can do in your everyday routine to help make your skin the best it can be. Sometimes, the skin concerns you face have a lot to do with your genetics or hormones, but many times, creating a consistent and healthy routine for yourself can improve your overall health and your skin. Below, we’re showing you 10 habits that you can add in to your daily routine to help you work to get your best skin ever.

  1. Hydrate!

No, this doesn’t just mean hydrate your skin with a mixture of serums, creams, and oils, (although you should do that too,) it means hydrating your entire body by drinking plenty of fluids (i.e. water) every single day, and multiple times a day. Not only is water necessary for your overall health, it’s also vital in keeping your body’s largest organ (your skin) healthy and hydrated. Water helps to flush out toxins from the body, give vital cells and organs the hydration they need to function. It also helps the skin to stay supple and soft and contributes to the skin’s elasticity.

2. Sunscreen

One of the most important things you need to be doing every single day, regardless of the weather, is layering on SPF to your skin. It doesn’t matter if it’s cloudy, rainy, and cold or warm and sunny, you need to be wearing sunscreen on your skin everyday. UV rays can reach your skin through any weather and cause serious damage to your skin, including potentially making the current concerns you make worse. Add in a daily sunscreen to your routine, like one from Elta MD. (Check out our blog on finding the right Elta MD sunscreen for your skin!) Another great option is the SkinMedica Total Defense + Repair SPF 50, which is water-resistant and contains antioxidants to protect and heal the skin. If you’re looking for sun protection that blends into your skin tone and provides a sheer finish, the Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Face Shield SPF 50 is your go-to. It’s packed with antioxidants and blends into your skin to create a sheer and radiant finish.

3. Keep Your Skincare Consistent

One of the hardest parts about skincare is getting a routine together and sticking with it. Once you find an array of products that work for your skin and that you like, stick with it, as switching up different products and ingredients every week can irritate your skin and can make it difficult to nail down where the problem stems from. This also goes along to say that you should be going through your skincare routine consistently, at least every night but ideally every morning and night.

4. Exfoliation

It’s important to rid your skin of the dead skin cells that sit on top and below the surface of the skin to allow for new, fresh skin to surface. When you exfoliate, whether it’s physically or chemically, you help to keep your pores clear of congestion, ultimately helping to tighten them and keep skin looking radiant and clear. If you’re looking for a chemical exfoliant, try the Glytone Exfoliating Serum 5.5, the Neostrata Exfoliating Wash, or the SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser. Each of these contain chemical exfoliants that work deep within the pores to dissolve excess oil and debris, and clear dead skin cells from the pores. For a physical exfoliant, some great options include the Obagi360 Exfoliating Cleanser, the HydroPeptide Exfoliating Cleanser, or the Meg 21 Bright and Clear Exfoliating Scrub. Each of these uses mechanical exfoliants, like jojoba beads, to get rid of dead skin and reveal a brighter complexion.

5. Sleep

You need to get a good night’s sleep for a lot of reasons, but especially for skincare. Not sleeping enough causes a wide variety of health issues, including causing dark circles under your eyes, exacerbating hyperpigmentation, and contributing to signs of aging. In addition, not sleeping enough can cause you to overeat the next day, or eat unhealthy foods, which also isn’t the best for your skin. SLIP’s silk eye mask or pillowcase can help to prepare you for a good night’s sleep by blocking out extra light and providing a soft and luxurious place to lay your head.

6. Healthy Diet

Not only is it important for your daily life to eat a healthy, balanced diet, it’s important for your skin, too. Foods that are especially potent in sugar can increase cortisol, a hormone released in your body that causes sugars to bind to collagen and weaken it. Not eating a balanced diet also contributes to an overall less-healthy self. You’ll want to make sure that you’re including plenty of healthy fats, omega 3s, antioxidants, and Vitamin C in your diet. Healthy diet=healthy skin!

7. Remove Makeup Everyday

If you’re not doing this already, you need to start. Not only does it causes stains on your pillowcase, leaving your makeup on overnight can have serious effects on your skin. If your skin is acne-prone, or even if it’s not, leaving your foundation and concealer on while you sleep can clog your pores, contributing to breakouts and enlarged pores. It can also contribute to signs of aging, as makeup settles into fine lines and wrinkles. The time spent sleeping is when your skin repairs itself, and not allowing it to breathe can make it look dull and textured. If you can’t stand to do your whole skincare routine because you’re so exhausted, at least take off your makeup with a quick wipe, like Suzan Obagi MD Cleansing and Makeup Remover Wipes or the PCA Skin Makeup Removing Wipes. You can also use a liquid remover like the HydroPeptide Makeup Melt or the DCL Express Waterless Makeup Remover.

8. Exercise

Just like with everything else, getting out and getting some exercise at least 5 times a week is vital to your health. Exercising releases endorphins and can help to relieve stress, both of which contribute to glowy, more radiant skin. Your body needs exercise to stay in its best shape and perform its daily functions like it needs to, so be sure to get out and get exercise as much as you can.

9. Moisturize Daily

Even if you have oily skin, you should be moisturizing your skin every single day. Whether that’s through a light cream, a heavy oil, or a sunscreen+moisturizer combo, it’s important to replenish the moisture that your skin loses during the night and throughout the day. This works to make sure your skin has the hydration it needs to perform its functions, like stimulating collagen and elastin production and staying radiant and clear. A great all-around daily moisturizer is the SkinMedica Ultra Sheer Moisturizer with antioxidants and hyaluronic acid . For something a little thicker, try the Avene Revitalizing Nourishing Cream, made especially for those with dry or sensitive skin.

10. Don’t Skip Cleansing at Night

We’ve all been there- you’re exhausted and just want to crawl into bed and pass out. However, cleansing the day off of your skin is important, as it removes your makeup, excess oil, and dirt. It also helps to create a clean palate for your skin, allowing it to absorb products and moisturizer the best it can and repair itself overnight. A great gentle cleanser is the ClarityRx Cleanse Daily, infused with vitamins, or the La Roche Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser.

This list may look overwhelming, but many of these steps could already be something you’re doing in your daily routine, can easily be implemented to improve your overall health. Taking care of yourself to the best of your ability not only leads to great skin, it’ll keep you feeling your best.

About Dr. Alan J. Parks

Dr. Alan Parks is a board certified dermatologist. Dr. Parks founded his practice, Eastside Dermatology, in 1986 and has been practicing there ever since. In 2016 Dr. Parks launched DermWarehouse, an eCommerce website selling professional strength skin care products to customers across the United States.

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