Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so it deserves our care and attention. Whether you want to eliminate wrinkles, achieve a healthy glow or maintain optimal skin health, there are some easy steps you can take to help improve its complexion.
Start by regularly cleansing your skin. Use a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser without alcohol that removes dirt and makeup. Finally, rinse with lukewarm water before patting dry.
1. Wash Your Face Regularly
Washing your face frequently is an essential step in maintaining healthy skin care. It removes dirt, oils and other impurities for a refreshed appearance and feel. Furthermore, washing helps regulate pH levels on the surface of your skin so moisturizer can penetrate deeper into it for proper hydration.
According to New York City-based dermatologist Hadley King, washing your face twice a day is generally recommended for all skin types; particularly after exercising or wearing heavy makeup. But if your complexion tends to be oily or prone to breakouts, then washing more frequently might be better suited.
Dr. Zeichner recommends using a cleanser tailored to your skin type and concerns, along with using lukewarm water for maximum comfort when cleansing your face. He cautions that hot water can aggravate existing conditions if you have rosacea or sensitive skin; thus, using the appropriate cleanser is key.
Face washing not only eliminates makeup and grime from your face, but it also removes dead skin cells that accumulate over time. This improves your skin’s overall health by decreasing clogged pores, acne scars, and wrinkles.
Dermatologists suggest washing your face both morning and night, since skipping this step can leave an accumulation of dirt, pollution, oils on your skin that could contribute to inflammation, breakouts, dullness and more. Even if you’re not wearing makeup, your skin still absorbs oil and bacteria from its environment.
No matter your experience level when it comes to face washing, we’ve asked the pros for their tips on how often and which cleansers they recommend using. Read on for their dos and don’ts, plus our list of the top expert-approved face washes you should always have in your bathroom cabinet.
If you’re uncertain how often to wash your face, it’s best to experiment with different approaches until you find the one that works best for your skin type. In the meantime, make sure you use a mild, gentle cleanser tailored for your skin type every day.
2. Exfoliate Regularly
Exfoliating your face regularly is one of the best ways to improve its health and appearance. It removes dead cells that build up on the surface, leaving it dull and dry.
Additionally, it can reduce clogged pores and acne breakouts, giving your skin a healthier-looking and feeling complexion. Furthermore, other skincare products like serums or moisturizers will be able to penetrate deeper into your skin for even further benefit.
Dermatologists suggest exfoliating two to three times a week (an acid serum twice a week and an occasional mask or peel is ideal). If you’re new to exfoliation, start with one to three days per week and assess how your skin responds before increasing the frequency.
For optimal results, you can use an at-home facial scrub, gel-based exfoliant or body exfoliator. Be sure to rinse away the product and your dead skin cells afterward, then pat your skin dry with a clean towel.
To avoid skin irritation, always adhere to the instructions on the label of your exfoliating product and use it gently with light pressure when rubbing it onto skin. Over-exfoliation can cause damage, so be sure to stick with recommended frequency.
When using a face scrub, body exfoliator or chemical-based peel, it’s essential to adhere to the directions on the package. Over-exfoliating can lead to inflammation, irritated or damaged skin and even cause acne breakouts.
Furthermore, it’s essential to pay attention to your skin’s needs depending on the weather. Cold temperatures can easily dehydrate skin while warm and humid weather tends to produce oilier pores.
Exfoliation can be beneficial for all skin types, but should be avoided if you have sensitive or broken skin. For instance, avoid using exfoliators on any areas where cuts or sores exist until the injury has healed completely.
3. Moisturize Regularly
Moisturizers are essential elements of any skincare regimen. Not only do they moisturize the skin, protect it from environmental damage and stimulate cell regeneration, but they also increase blood flow to the face – giving it a youthful appearance.
Many people forget to moisturize their faces on a daily basis, yet it’s an essential step in keeping skin looking and feeling its best. Even if you use anti-aging cream to combat wrinkles, moisturizing your face regularly remains key for maintaining its optimal look and feel.
Dry skin can be especially vulnerable to cracking and flaking, which can be painful in severe cases. Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid these problems by applying a high-quality moisturizer regularly.
Selecting a moisturizer specifically tailored for your skin type can help you get the best results. For oily individuals, opt for lighter formulas that won’t clog pores; on the other hand, those with sensitive skin should look for products with soothing ingredients like aloe vera that will be gentle enough for daily use on delicate skin.
For healthy, supple skin all year long, apply moisturizer after washing your face in the morning and again before going to bed at night. You can also reapply it during the day if your skin feels dry or rough.
Maintaining skin hydration during wintertime is especially crucial. Dryness can strip away your lipids, which form the outermost layer of your skin and shield it from harsh weather conditions. Without these protective layers, redness and flaking may occur which leaves your complexion looking dull and tired.
Combatting dry skin with water: Drink more throughout the day and use a gentle cleanser that won’t strip away its natural oils. You could also add a humidifier to your home for increased humidity levels.
If your skin is already dry, you may need to reapply heavier moisturizer during the day. This is especially true if you spend time outdoors in the sun where ultraviolet radiation can exacerbate dryness and make breakouts more likely.
4. Wear Sunscreen Regularly
Wearing sunscreen regularly can give your skin a healthy, fresh, and radiant appearance. It also shields you from sun damage that could cause wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and other signs of aging.
By exercising regularly, it can help prevent skin cancer – the most prevalent type in America. Estimates estimate that 96,400 Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma this year and another three million will experience nonmelanoma skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.
The ideal sunscreen is broad-spectrum, shielding your skin from both UVA and UVB rays that can cause skin damage such as premature aging, sunburns, and cancer. Some sunscreens use chemicals that scatter the rays while others contain physical ingredients that block them out completely.
For optimal protection, apply an ounce of sunscreen to your entire body before heading out for the day. Reapply it every two hours while swimming, sweating or exercising.
Sunscreen is an essential part of your skin care regimen, so be sure to apply it regularly and adhere to the directions on the bottle. If you don’t have time for reapplication, cover any exposed skin with a protective hat or sunglasses for extra protection.
When selecting sunscreen, be sure to opt for a formula that is water-resistant and offers at least SPF 15 or higher. Additionally, look for products with high percentages of antioxidants which can help combat free radicals and keep your skin looking youthful and vibrant.
Even if you spend most of your time indoors, you can still be exposed to the sun’s harmful rays through windows. Fortunately, many window shades and tints now exist that reflect ultraviolet rays and reduce your exposure by up to 80 percent.
However, if you plan to be outdoors for an extended period of time or have sensitive skin, applying sunscreen on both faces and necks is recommended. Apply the sunscreen 20 minutes prior to going out so that the formula has time to absorb into your skin.
Contrary to its importance, many people neglect applying sunscreen on a regular basis. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that more than half of respondents only reapplied their sunscreen once or less frequently. They cited various reasons for not doing so regularly, such as not feeling exposed enough for it or disliking how it feels on their skin.