Under Your Skin: Tips for Looking Fresh and Vibrant

Having better skin is something that many of us strive for, but it’s not something that is always easy to achieve. There are so many different possible causes that it can be difficult to put your finger on exactly what is causing the issue. Your best bet is to take a few courses of action to give yourself the best chance of seeing results.

There are a few simple changes that you can make to your skincare routine and lifestyle which can all add up to making a big difference in the end. Here are some skin tips for looking fresh and vibrant.

A Good Night’s Rest

Let’s start at the beginning (or the end depending on which way you look at it!). Getting a good night’s sleep is hugely important for our health and wellbeing – and this is certainly the case when it comes to our skin. This is the time when our body’s repair functions kick into action, helping to put right some of the damage that has been caused during the day. If you are sleep deprived, this can cause an increase of adrenaline and cortisol which are both common hormones linked to skin problems. What constitutes a good night’s sleep varies from person to person, but it is generally agreed that between 7 and 8 hours is good.

Try Water-Based Hair Products

Some conditioners (as well as volumizers and styling creams) have been found to clog pores and lead to acne. These products inevitably run down your body when you are showering, as well as when you sweat. Some brands specialize in water-based hair products so try these out if you find you have clogged pores and acne on your forehead (which is a telltale sign that they may be causing problems).

Keep Track of Your Dairy Intake

Though a certain amount of dairy in your diet shouldn’t cause you too many issues; too much can lead to acne breakouts according to research from the Harvard School of Public Health. It’s not been clearly agreed why this is the case, but it’s thought to be something to do with the natural hormones that are particularly prevalent in milk. While cutting down on your dairy is unlikely to solve the problem on its own; it should help those who are particularly prone to suffering severe acne breakouts.

Cut Out Bad Habits

We all know that bad habits like smoking causes a myriad of health issues, and causing skin problems is just another one to add to the list. Similarly, binge drinking sessions can cause facial flushing (due to damaged blood vessels), as well as dehydration which will inevitably dry your skin out. Eating too much junk food has also been linked to a variety of skin issues. Ultimately, following this advice can only be a positive thing for your overall health, not just your skin.

Avoid Excess Sun Exposure

Though the right amount of sun can be beneficial for our health; the link between UV rays and skin cancer continues to be shown over time. If you are out in the sun for a prolonged period of time; make sure to wear sunscreen with a high SPF factor. Also, don’t forget about the exposure that can occur even when you are indoors. If the sun is shining through the window of your office, home or car, you are still at risk. Wear moisturizer with an SPF factor to ensure that you always have some level of protection wherever you go.

Improve Air Quality

We’ve already talked about how smoking can be harmful to your skin, but even being in a smoky environment can be problematic as this can encourage the release of free radicals which damages skin and quickens aging. Other indoor pollutants can also cause issues. For example, if you cook with oil, you should always use the fan to prevent the air from becoming too dry. The same goes if you have an extractor fan in your bathroom. Also consider running a humidifier in your bedroom to further improve air quality.

Try to Reduce Your Stress

Again, this is another factor that spreads into all areas of life. Stress is often a cause of severe acne breakout as it increases the production of hormones such as cortisol which makes skin oilier and reduces its ability to fight off bacteria that causes acne. One of the best ways to combat stress is by taking some time to yourself every day. Whether you enjoy a relaxing bubble bath, listening to calming music or yoga; try to focus on your immediate surroundings rather than external factors which are beyond your control. When you are less stressed, you should also find it easier to get a good night’s sleep; which was the first point on the list (I’m sure you remember!).

Check Your Medicine Cabinet

If you take various medication, some of it may be causing skin issues. There are a range of options if you are looking for treatment for skin conditions, but it is probably best to get in touch with the professionals. Just some of the things that may cause issues are oral contraceptives, antibiotics, diuretics, and antidepressants. Always consult with your doctor before altering any medication.

Drink Green Tea

Try replacing your morning cup of coffee with green tea instead. It is packed with soothing and anti-inflammatory properties which can help if you suffer from red and blotchy skin. It also contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which has been found to hold back collagen destruction that leads to wrinkles. And also be aware that drinking it iced rather than hot is better for your skin.

Find Out If Your Water is Hard or Soft

Soft water doesn’t tend to remove soap well so you can end up with a residue on your skin. If this is the case be sparing with face and body cleansers. Conversely, hard water doesn’t allow for easy lathers so try non-soap formulas. You should be able to find out from your water provider about the hardness of your water.

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.
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