If your skin is looking dull, rough or congested, here are the things to stop doing, and a few you should start ASAP.
#1: Stop touching your face
It’s not the most groundbreaking piece of advice by any means, but it’s one of the most sensible if you want your skin to stay as clear and clean as possible throughout the day. We touch our nasty keyboards, phones, and plenty of other bacteria-ridden items at work, which you really don’t want getting on your face. Also consider cleaning your handphone more often if you make calls a lot, because you spend all day touching your phone screen with unclean hands.
Bottom line, stop touching your face! This includes resting your jaw on your hand when your neck is too tired to keep your head upright. If it’s a terrible habit, we recommend keeping a mirror near your computer monitor, so you’re more likely to catch yourself in the act and try harder to stop.
#2: Always wear sunscreen
Sun damage is no small thing. On a smaller scale it brings about premature ageing, dulls your skin, increases pigmentation (“sun spots” appear when your skin increases the melanin near the surface of your skin to protect you better from sun damage), and causes your skin to lose its elasticity.
#3: Avoid going long hours with a face full of makeup
Whether you wear makeup during the day or just skincare, you will still need to cleanse your skin before bed. All the makeup, pollution, dirt, dust, grime and excess sebum on your skin is just ready and waiting to clog your pores and give you a face full of zits. A cleansing brush or exfoliating wash is especially handy on particularly grimy days, but doesn’t have to be used everyday.
If oil cleansing or an extensive routine is too tedious, find yourself some affordable makeup wipes or micellar water to get the bulk of your makeup off, and follow up with a face wash after.
#4: Sleep well
When we’re young, it’s easier for our skin to recover from a late night or two, but as we get older, even a few in a row will take its toll. Dull skin, fine lines and dark circles become more obvious. If it’s an issue of not being able to fall asleep, avoid using your phone or laptop in bed as the artificial light can suppress melatonin in your body, making you even less sleepy. Less sleep at night means less time for your skin cell renewal process.
#5: Eat less fried, processed or greasy foods
The food and drinks you consume all have an impact on your skin. Greasy foods, too much sugar and processed foods are all terrible for our skin in the same way they’re bad for our bodies. Not only do you want to cut down on those types of foods, you also want to up your intake of antioxidants and foods that are going to help hydrate your skin (in addition to the water you drink). Some foods also contain minerals and vitamins that can give your skin a boost and deal with skin concerns like acne.
#6: Eat and drink your water
Hydrate, inside and out. Drinking more water not only helps flush out toxins from your body, it also helps the cells in your body (skin cells included) function better. So if you’ve got a big event (or a hot date) coming up, you want to make sure you’re making a more concerted effort to drink water everyday. The recommended amount has always been eight glasses, but as long as you remember to drink water throughout the day, you’ll be fine.
Your body will only retain so much of the water you drink, so it’s crucial that you supplement that with foods that have a high water content like broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, red cabbage, peppers and spinach.
#7: Detox your skin on a regular basis
The regular cleansing we put our skin through can get rid of grime and dirt, but over time our pores tend to clog on a deeper level allowing blackheads and whiteheads to form. To make sure you decongest your skin and avoid blemishes or acne forming, use a detoxifying face mask from time to time. I recommend using it once a week (or two weeks at the minimum), with more hydrating face masks in between.
#8: Don’t use a dirty or dusty makeup tool on your skin
One word: Bacteria. Leaving your brushes in the open to accumulate dirt and bacteria and then transferring all that to your face is how you get blemishes and congested skin. Washing your makeup brushes every week or two ensures you get rid of all the bacteria that’s found its way between the bristles. The bacteria can even get into your products if you dip the brushes in directly. Make a concerted effort to clean those brushes if you don’t want them to irritate your skin or break you out.
#9: Plump up your skin with hydration
Hydrating your skin is one of the key secrets to healthy and glowing skin, no matter what type of skin you have. You can hydrate it from the inside with the foods you eat and the water you drink, but on the outside you want skincare that is going to lock in moisture and effectively leave your skin hydrated for many hours at a time. Choose serums and creams with hyaluronic acid which is great at holding and attracting moisture within your skin. In fact, it’s actually a polymer that naturally occurs in your body to begin with. The only difference is that our personal supply of it begins to diminish with time from our teens due to things like sun exposure, ageing, and environmental aggressors, which is where skincare comes in to supplement things.
#10: Exfoliate regularly
Even if your skin is well-hydrated, you could have rough texture and dead skin cells sitting on the surface of your skin that are making it look dull. If you want to get that radiance back and give your skin a deeper cleanse, then try a physical or chemical exfoliant. Gentle products with AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) are chemical exfoliants that will gently sweep away the dead skin cells and decongest your pores. If you’re not sure how strong the product you’re dealing with is, just be sure to follow the instructions and not use it too often.
This story first appeared on herworldplus.com.