Ten things to do to achieve and maintain good skin

There are times when I cannot help but feel slightly annoyed by women with beautiful skin. I mean, how dare they flaunt perfectly clear and luminous skin while I am struggling to fix the damage caused by a previous breakout and dealing with new one?  

It is incredibly easy to feel down when you look into the mirror and see every tiny flaw and blemish that your skin has suffered! But while there are types of skin problems that only hormonal adjustments can correct, the good news is that good skin is not completely out of our reach. Even though a  big part of it is genetics, our personal habits also play an important role.

Use sunscreen. This is probably the most common skin care advice offered, and that’s because it's the most important. UV rays from the sun accelerate skin aging, and also make us susceptible to skin cancer, so sunscreen is not just for vanity. Applying SPF 15 or higher is good, but ultimately, the amount of product and the frequency of application matter more than the SPF level. You need about two tablespoons' worth of product to provide ample coverage for your face and other exposed parts of the body like your neck and arms.  If you can, apply every two hours, especially if you are outdoors a lot. Check out Liz's current HG, or choose from these lightweight formulas.

Refuse to sleep with makeup on. A whole day’s worth of gunk on your face mixed with dirt and sebum buildup becomes prime breeding ground for bacteria! It’s gross, plus it can lead to acne problems and other skin irritations. It is always best to be thorough with makeup removal, especially if you wear a full face of makeup. A good cleansing oil or micellar water is your best bet. For nights when you are simply too tired to do a thorough removal, good quality makeup wipes by your bedside are a lifesaver. You can even make tipid and use just one sheet by following this tip!

Moisturize. Regardless of your skin type, hydrating your skin is a must! Moisturizers provide relief for dry skin, and make oily skin less oily. That sounds oxymoronic but oily skin produces more oil when stripped and dried out, because it tries to compensate for the moisture that has been lost. If you have oily skin or cannot stand a greasy feeling on your face, gel moisturizers are your best friend.

Exfoliate. Exfoliators slough away dead skin and allow the healthy skin underneath to benefit more from your skincare. They also make your face smoother so makeup applies more easily. Look for a gentle product that doesn't feel too abrasive because those can cause micro-tears in your skin, and stay away from microbeads, which are bad for the environment. Cure Natural Aqua Gel is still our fave pick.

Mask up. I personally love doing sheet masks. They are such an easy way to incorporate a power-packed treatment into your regimen! Just slap them on clean face, let the essence absorb, and, voilà! You’ll have lovely, soft skin. There are many types of masks, and you can use different ones according to your skin’s needs at the moment. The staff polled their top picks here.

Visit a dermatologist. With medical degrees tucked under their belt, dermatologists are the only real experts on all things skin-relate. Attend a consultation to learn more about your skin’s condition, and work with your derma to determine the best skin care regimen for you.

Eat well. Maintain a healthy diet, and load up on foods that are rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, C and E. Antioxidants slow and prevent free-radical damage, while vitamin A, C and E help to repair the damage that various stressors (e.g. sun, pollution, sickness) cause to the skin.

Hydrate. While it is good practice to drink plenty of water for overall health, it also helps you keep your skin clear and supple. Water facilitates flushing out the toxins from your body, and the cleaner you are inside, the better your skin will be.

Move! Working out makes you sweat, and sweat removes toxins from your body including substances from our alcohol, cholesterol, and salt intake. Sweating also opens up and unclogs the pores. This way, it can avert acne that may occur from the dirt and bacteria that may would otherwise be trapped in your pores. A few studies have also suggested that perspiration contains a natural antibiotic called Dermcidin that kills some bacteria on the skin’s surface.

Image via Tribeca Smiles

Image via Tribeca Smiles

Avoid smoking. A lot has been said about the detrimental effects of smoking on our health, but chronic smoking also causes premature aging, adding several years to our faces. Smoking reduces the circulation of oxygen in our blood, and that can certainly reflect on the skin. Many of the chemicals in our cigarette smoke can also destroy collagen and elastin, thus diminishing the integrity and elasticity of the skin. This results in saggy, dull skin and premature wrinkles.

While these tips may not make your skin as perfect as a baby’s bottom, they will set you on your way towards having better skin health. Diligence and dedication are key to most everything!

Have some tips to share yourself? Fire away in the comments!