Your skin can reveal the stories of your life. Good skin care and healthy lifestyle choices can help delay the natural aging process and prevent various skin problems.
Try any of these expert tips and tricks to get the clear, radiant skin you’ve always wanted!
1. SLATHER ON THE SUNSCREEN
You have probably heard it a million times, but wearing sunscreen is the single easiest way to look younger for life. Ninety percent of wrinkles are from sun exposure. It's so much easier to prevent the damage than it is to fix it afterwards. That means no slacking during winter months either, when rays are just as strong and can reflect off of buildings and sidewalks.
2. MUNCH ON MIXED NUTS
Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, which increases skin elasticity and may decrease skin cancer, according to recent studies. Throw in walnuts—which are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids—to lower inflammation and put the brakes on breakouts. Finally, add some macadamias. They're full of high quality oils and fatty acids that aid in skin repair and rejuvenation. Aim for a handful of each daily to reap their pore-perfecting benefits.
3. START USING SERUM
It's much more concentrated than cream or lotion, so you tend to only need a small amount daily to see results. Look for one with antioxidants, the skin's major defense against free radicals and stress, and pentapeptides, which are a must-have when it comes to boosting collagen, the support structure that gives skin a firm, youthful appearance.
4. SANITIZE YOUR SMARTPHONE
According to studies, that smartphone you can't keep your hands off of can get more germ-infested than a toilet in a public toilet. In fact, the glass touchscreens on mobile devices are so good at spreading viruses that sharing them may be almost as bad as sneezing in someone's face. Here's a scary thought: All those germs land right on your cheek and jawline every time you chat away, causing spots and irritation. To keep your phone (and face) bacteria-free, wipe it down with an antibacterial wipe.
5. DROP DAIRY FROM YOUR DIET
Dairy products contain cow hormones that stimulate your oil glands and your pores, leading to acne. Beware of hidden dairy in foods like salad dressing, protein bars, and shakes. And if you have to go there, stick to skimmed milk. The hormones are concentrated in the fat, so it's your best option.
6. EXFOLIATE FOR SMALLER-LOOKING PORES
It's amazing how something so tiny can feel so huge, but enlarged pores are one of the most common beauty complaints. Pores appear larger when they're filled with dirt, oil, dead skin cells, and keratin, a protein that lives on the surface of skin. Remove those plugs, and they seem to shrink. To clear out the gunk, start exfoliating regularly with daily applications. Then add a cleansing system to soften and smooth skin, and clear the dead surface cells. To keep pores from getting even bigger as you age, practice safe sun. Sun damage breaks down collagen, which can affect pore size as well.
7. RUNNING LOW ON SLEEP?
Pick up some soy milk. Keeps a carton in her fridge at all times to "fake a good night's sleep." The natural anti-inflammatory reduces swelling while soy proteins hydrate skin. The cold temperature helps shrink swelling and constricts veins to make eyes look less bloodshot. To make soothing, redness-busting compresses, pour a small amount of soy milk in a bowl, dunk two cotton balls, and squeeze out the excess. Then hold the cotton balls over your eyes (or any other area where you have red or irritated skin) for five minutes.
8. STAY OUT OF HOT WATER
A steamy shower may feel great, but it's one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Not only does the heat strip essential oils, but it creates a mild burn. Blood vessels respond by dilating in an effort to cool the skin, causing flushing and ruddiness. When you're in your twenties, you can take a hot shower, be red & swollen and recover in an hour, but in your thirties, it may take 2 hours. By your forties, your skin just doesn't have the ability to shrink back to its original state so you stay ruddy all the time.
9. SNACK ON WATERMELON
Adding a lycopene-rich food, such as this juicy pink treat, helps reduce damage and redness caused from sun exposure, prevents future wrinkling and possibly even lowers skin cancer risk. Aim for one cup each day by tossing it in salads, salsas, and smoothies. Or try this recipe for refreshing ice cubes: Purée watermelon, sweeten with concentrated apple juice, pour into an ice tray, and freeze. Then add cubes to water for a refreshing, skin-saving cocktail.
10. KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF YOUR FACE
Picking—even lightly—can permanently damage skin. You can have your skin cleared up with no medications, just by stopping touching it. Every time you press against a pimple, it causes inflammation and distress to the skin. At the same time, bacteria is pushed deep inside the pore, and the oil glands burst, causing even more trauma. The result? More acne, plus discoloration and scarring. If you're really hooked on popping, leave it to the pros and schedule regular monthly extractions with an aesthetician who knows how to do them safely and gently.