No Makeup Necessary!
As teens we break out in acne and assure ourselves that sunscreen is totally overrated, all the while still not realizing how great our skin really is. Then we grow up and suddenly our skin becomes a major concern.
The reason for the difference is that when you are younger, your skin's cells regenerate every 28 days. This basically means that within not even a month, your skins dead cells are falling off and being replaced by new, healthy, glowing cells. As we get older, this process slows down. The general rule is that the number of days your skin cells take to turn over is the same number as your age.
Unfortunately, as kids we have all the time in the world to care for our skin and just choose not to, but as adults we have all the ambition and no time. The good news is that glowing skin is not that hard to achieve; and dermatologists agree!
Don't Skip the Sunscreen
Slathering on the sunscreen only when you're headed to the beach or the pool just isn't enough. People fail to realize that even the tiny bit of sun you are getting when you walk down the driveway to get your mail or walk from your car to the grocery store is seriously damaging your skin. Another important reminder is that the sun is not only dangerous when it's bright and sunny outside. Even on cloudy days you are being exposed to harmful UV rays.
A sunscreen with at least SPF 15 should be a part of your daily routine; a very important part. Don't worry about putting on too much; make sure that you are evenly coated and apply it before you get dressed. Reapply your sunscreen every two hours to areas of skin that are exposed. The extra time and effort now will save you a lot of regret later.
It's Okay to Let Your Skin Lie About Its Age
You don't have to just accept your skin's slow regeneration with a heavy heart. You can help the skin's shedding process through regular exfoliation. This process helps you to remove dead skin cells and reveal the bright healthy skin underneath. Exfoliation also helps your other products to penetrate the skin more efficiently.
When it comes to exfoliators, you have two options;
- Glycoloic Acid - this acid in a gel or foam is ideal for those with more sensitive skin. People often assume that exfoliators have to be grainy and rough to work properly, but this is not the case. Glycolic acid actually loosens and dissolves dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. You can think of this process like a game of Pac-Man; the acids work over the entire face, eating all the impurities. The main thing to remember with Glycolic Acid is that you don't scrub with it. Spend at least 2 minutes gently massaging it into your face to allow it enough time to work.
- Retinoids - these offer a stronger treatment for skin that can tolerate it. These are available in cream cleansers and a night cream with Retinol is also a great way to get healthy glowing skin. Prescription strength products are also available through a dermatologist for those with especially problematic skin. These can only be used at night though since they cause extreme sun-sensitivity.
Give Your Skin Some Oxygen
Everybody knows (or should know) that physical activity is good for your body and your overall health. What you may not know is that the increased oxygen supply to your blood during exercise is excellent for your skin. Working out gives you an instant radiance as well as helping your complexion.
Gradual Tanners for Glowing Skin
As you've already read, exposure to the sun is harmful and permanently damaging to your skin. Obviously a nice tan does wonders for the overall appearance of your skin, but it's better to take a safer route to sun-kissed bliss. To reduce the risk of uneven color, orange tints, or streaks, choose a gradual tanner (sometimes called "glow lotions"), instead of a traditional self-tanning product. You basically just apply the product just like you would your lotion and within a few days you have a beautiful, naturally looking tan glow.
Be sure that your skin is clean and dry before applying, and use slightly less on rough, bony areas like elbows, knees, and ankles. When you apply the tanner to your face, be sure to apply it gradually and evenly. Also avoid your eyebrows since the lotion could cause them to change color as well. Make sure to wash your hands after each application; unless you have a particular liking for orange palms.
A Healthy Lifestyle Leads to Glowing Skin
Any dermatologist will tell you that the quickest way to evaluate the overall health of a person is to look at their skin. Your skin says a lot about you, your lifestyle, and how healthy you are (or aren't). It goes back to the basics your parents have been telling you all along; eat your fruits and vegetables, drink lots of water, and get enough sleep.
Just drinking more water will do wonders for your skin since it aids in flushing toxins out of the body. Basically it allows you to get glowing skin from the inside out. It's also a good idea to fill yourself with omega fatty acids such as certain types of fish, avocados, and almonds. Unsaturated fats such as these are a much better option than fatty foods like red meat and cheese that are filled with saturated fat.
A good rule of thumb is that if it's good for your body (particularly your heart), then it's good for your skin. A healthy body and glowing skin go hand in hand; and you deserve them both.
Updated October 24, 2011