Things people with great skin do every day

woman with great skin applying makeup

BY KITTY
JAY
Are there secrets to having a
fabulously glowing complexion, or do people with perfect skin just have the
luck of genetics on their side? While the genes you inherited from your parents
naturally make up a chapter of your skin’s story, they certainly don’t tell the
whole tale.
So what do people with great
skin do every day? What lifestyle habits can you adopt now to achieve the
luminous skin of your dreams? Fortunately, it may not be as challenging as you
think. In fact, you are likely regularly doing some of these things already.
Wash
off that makeup
removing makeup
Of course it is oh-so-tempting
to hit the sheets as soon as you get home from a long evening out on the town,
but taking that extra few minutes to clean off your makeup is imperative for
beautiful skin. Makeup left overnight on your skin, particularly heavy
oil-based foundations and primers, causes clogged pores which can easily lead
to acne.
If the risk of unsightly acne
isn’t enough to convince you, would the risk of premature wrinkles do the
trick? As New York City dermatologist Dr. Eric Schweiger told the Huffington
Post, “Free radicals from the environment (often in the form of pollution)
remain on the skin when you do not clean your face properly at night. Free
radicals cause collagen breakdown over time, which results in the development
of fine lines and prematurely aged skin.”
Schweiger advised being
diligent about removing eye makeup as well. Eye makeup, when left on overnight,
can lead to clogged hair follicles that harbor the bacteria that cause styes or
other eye infections.
Use
the right products

spa mask
Utilizing skin care products
for great skin is not about spending a fortune or piling on a ton of product at
once. The key lies in knowing what your skin needs and buying the appropriate
products to get the job done. If you aren’t sure how to determine your skin
type, a visit to a dermatologist or aesthetician would be a smart move. 
Toronto dermatologist Dr.
Julia Carroll told Elle Canada that a universal rule for skin care is to
“abide by the following skin care commandments: cleanse, moisturize,
protect, and treat.” Carroll advised to invest the real money in the
treatment part of your plan, like a good topical vitamin C (one with at least
10 percent ascorbic acid) for day and a glycolic acid or retinol for night.
According to Carroll, “seeing an improvement in acne, discoloration, fine
lines, and wrinkles can take up to eight weeks,” so a little patience will
also be an integral part of your routine.
Take
the right supplements
beauty skin supplements
Could beauty actually be found
in a pill? While there certainly aren’t any magic potions out there to
instantly erase all of your skin woes, there are a handful of supplements that
are proven to boost the health of your body’s largest organ.
Chock full of gamma-linolenic
acid (GLA), an essential omega-6 fatty acid, evening primrose oil provides a
variety of benefits to the body, including beautiful skin. Says Dr. Andrew
Weil, practitioner of integrative medicine, “Evening primrose oil
nourishes the skin, hair, nails, even the joints. The GLA it contains helps
strengthen the skin barrier and reduces moisture loss… I recommend it for
arthritis, autoimmune disorders, premenstrual syndrome, and for healthy growth
of skin, hair, and nails.” Weil suggests a dosage of 1,000 milligrams per
day and advises waiting eight weeks to see results.
If you are already taking an
omega-3 supplement, you are on the right track for gorgeous skin. Not only a
great supplement for fighting off cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s,
omega-3 is also shown to assist the skin in warding off UV-inflicted sun
damage. Facialist Ildi Pekar told The Huffington Post, “Fish oil is great
for your heart and health but especially your skin,” adding that omega-3
also fights acne and wrinkles.
Collagen is the most abundant
protein in the body and is one of the vital building blocks of skin. Our bodies
produce less and less collagen as we age, resulting in skin’s loss of firmness.
While collagen can be found in a variety of foods we eat, it is not easily
assimilated by our bodies. High quality collagen supplements, however, have
been broken down into bio-available peptides, which studies now show can
improve the signs of skin aging like wrinkles, loss of moisture, and reduced
elasticity. Collagen peptides are taken in a powder form that easily blend into
smoothies or soups.
Hydrate
with lemon water

lemon water
Surely everyone knows that
drinking plenty of water is a clear path to perfect skin, right? It may
surprise you to learn that this widely held belief actually has no science to
back it up. In fact, the limited studies performed show that while adequate
hydration is essential for many vital bodily functions, when it comes to aging
skin, hydration can plump skin temporarily but can’t substitute for the
anti-aging benefits received from sun protection or topical emollients.
But don’t put down that water
canteen just yet! While there is some controversy surrounding drinking lemon
water, adding lemon to your water provides a double punch of hydration plus a
powerful boost to your daily vitamin C levels. Vitamin C, when ingested, helps
your skin to fight sun damage, is essential to the proper healing of wounds,
and is a necessary component in your body’s production of skin-building
collagen. Vitamin C’s wonders are catapulted when paired in the body with
vitamin E and zinc, so consider adding a handful of almonds to your daily
routine as well.
Avoid
alcohol
woman drinking alcohol
Years of excessive alcohol
consumption can lead to real health problems, including some nasty skin
conditions that are pretty easy to spot. Persistent facial redness, flushing,
hyperpigmentation, and skin-yellowing jaundice are all hallmarks of alcohol
disease in the body. But you have nothing to worry about if you are just a
moderate drinker, right?
According to the U.S. Office
of Disease Prevention, moderate drinking for women is just one drink per day,
and no more than seven per week. Eight or more drinks in a given week is
considered heavy drinking. Imagine having one glass of red wine with dinner
each night of the week, three margaritas out with the girls on Friday night,
and a mimosa at Sunday brunch, and you have officially crossed over into
“high-risk” drinking territory. Not exactly the “keg stands at a
frat party” image you conjure when you think of binge drinking, is it?
A night of drinking can leave
you dehydrated and bloated, which is not a great look for anyone in the morning
hours. And as for longer term effects, alcohol saps our bodies of essential
vitamins and minerals and impairs nutrient absorption. New York City
nutritionist to the fashion elite Jairo Rodriguez told Vogue, “Alcohol is
actually one of the worst, most aggressive compounds to destroy your skin. I
always joke with my patients, ‘If you want to get older, go ahead and
drink!'”
Eat
healthy foods
healthy foods
Even the most diligent of
beauty routines cannot combat the effects of a poor diet. As Jessica Crescenzi
of Beauty Guru NYC told Forbes, “whatever’s going on inside your gut will eventually
show in your skin.” So what are the food choices that people with perfect
complexions are making every day? The good news is, there are lots to choose
from!
Fatty fish like salmon are
abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as free radical fighting vitamin E and
anti-inflammatory zinc. Fish is a great source of protein, which is imperative
in boosting collagen production. Avocados, also rich in vitamin E, are loaded
with vitamin C, as well as the healthy fats that make skin thrive. Nuts and seeds
are great sources of balanced ratios of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (like
linoleic acid), which keep your skin from thinning. Colorful veggies and
fruits, like tomatoes and bell peppers, are filled with carotenoids that
protect skin from sun damage and wrinkling, and broccoli even hosts a special
compound called sulforaphane, which may help prevent skin cancer. Green tea has
been shown in studies to improve blood flow to the skin, as well as offer UV
protection and increase elasticity. Even antioxidant-rich dark chocolate can be
a boon to your skin, contributing to thickness, hydration, and sun protection —
provided you eat the kind with low levels of added sugars.
Avoid
smoking
quit smoking
Responsible for nearly six
million deaths every year, it’s certainly no secret that smoking cigarettes is
terrible for your health. If the risk of cancer, diabetes, emphysema, and
tuberculosis, to name a few, aren’t enough to make you put down that pack, you
may want to reflect on the way those cigarettes are likely to completely ravage
your skin.
Science shows that premature
wrinkling and sagging of the skin are directly caused by cigarette smoking.
Each puff of nicotine constricts the blood vessels, impeding the delivery of
nutrients and oxygen to your skin — and eventually breaking down collagen and
elastic fibers. Those lines that smokers tend to have around their mouth?
Sometimes called smoker’s lines, they are caused by the puckering of the lips
each time you inhale. Crow’s feet can also form around your eyes from the
constant squinting of trying to keep smoke out of your eyes.
And it gets even worse.
Cigarette smoking can be responsible for not only poor wound healing and the
occurrence of skin cancers like melanoma, but can also lead to a heightened
incidence of psoriasis, an inflammatory disease that causes red, scaly patches
of skin that can be itchy and painful.
The good news is people who
quit smoking can expect a rejuvenation in their skin, with one Italian study
showing an improvement in “skin age” of up to 13 years, visible just
nine months into the experiment. Pretty solid argument for abandoning the habit
for good.
Get
a good night’s sleep
sleeping
There is a good reason they
call it beauty sleep.
Dr. Jessica Weiser of New York
Dermatology Group told Vanity Fair, “Lack of sleep leads to puffiness and
dark under-eye circles, dryness, and an exaggerated appearance of wrinkles with
accelerated signs of aging.” She added that bad sleeping habits can also
trigger the production of stress-inducing cortisol, which can lead to acne,
eczema, and even psoriasis.
Want to make your time in
dreamland even more like a trip to the spa? Then ditch your traditional cotton
pillowcase and replace it with a silk one. Dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman told
Health that sleeping with the side of your face pressed against a cotton
pillowcase can cause deep sleep lines in your forehead and cheeks and rob
valuable moisture from your skin and hair. An upgrade to silk or satin,
however, will give your face a luxuriously slippery surface to slide over
during the night, protecting your delicate skin from creases. Lauren Valenti,
beauty editor at Marie Claire, tried a silk pillowcase out for a week and
reported her skin felt softer, with less visible redness.
Stay
out of the sun
sunscreen
Hold on to your sun hats,
folks. Sure, we all know by now that sun exposure is a leading cause of
premature skin aging, but did you know precisely how many of your wrinkles the
sun might account for? A scientific study of nearly 300 Caucasian women blames
the UV rays of the sun for 80 percent of the visible signs of aging, including
not only wrinkles, but also the skin’s loss of elasticity, texture, and
pigmentation. News like that is enough to make you wish that parasols would
come back in vogue.
Many people believe that if
they had a childhood spent in the great outdoors, the damage has already been
done. According to Dr. Perry Robins, president of The Skin Cancer Foundation,
that’s just not so. “For years, dermatologists believed that the majority
of sun exposure was received before the age of 18. We now know that the damage
is typically spread out over the course of a lifetime and that all of the
damage matters, yet many people still don’t know that. That’s why it’s so
important to be diligent about sun protection at every age.” The Skin
Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone protect their skin with a sunscreen
of SPF 15 or higher whenever they are outdoors, even on cloudy or cool days,
and to reapply after sweating or swimming.
But what if you just want a
“healthy tan” before hitting the beach this summer? While a base tan
provides a slight protection against sunburn, there is still not anything
healthy about it. In fact, the World Health Organization reminds us that a tan
is nothing more than a sign that your skin has been damaged by the sun and has
produced melanin in an attempt to protect itself. Still dying for that
“healthy” bronzed glow? Time to grab some self-tanning lotion and a
wide brimmed hat before you hit your next pool party.
Exercise
woman running exercise
It seems like scientists are
learning more and more each year about the incredible bodily benefits of
exercise. Time reported on the myriad rewards our bodies can enjoy by
participating in just 150 minutes of physical activity per week. Exercise can
prevent Alzheimer’s disease, relieve depression, aid in recovery from illness,
and shrink our fat cells. And that’s not all — exercise can also make your skin
look better. A study that was published in the journal Science Advances showed
that moderate exercise could actually delay the aging of our cells.
Cardiovascular exercise also
speeds up the blood flow to the skin, delivering more and more of the oxygen
and nutrients that skin thrives on. So is the gym a better beauty destination
than the spa? Perhaps — but be sure to follow the American Academy of
Dermatology’s recommendation to wash your face gently as soon as possible after
sweating to avoid breakouts or irritation.
SOURCE:
THE LIST
Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.