Written By Kevin Kerfoot / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
With a new year upon us – and amid a stressful pandemic – it’s a good time to try and be comfortable in your own skin. Here’s a few tips on improving how your skin looks and feels both now and in the future.
Moisturize to help skin shine
If you suffer from dry skin, it’s not just the type of moisturizer that needs your attention but also the method of application. Lotions are the least moisturizing due to the high water content, so opt for thick creams to maximize results.
Applying twice daily is normally sufficient, and you can help lock in moisture further by applying while your skin is still damp. This technique - called soak and smear - involves only patting dry your skin after stepping out of the shower before applying a moisturizer.
Cold weather can make dry skin more problematic, particularly the hands and face, which are more exposed. Try keeping a travel-size moisturizer in your purse or office drawer so you have it there after washing your hands. If your skin is oily, a moisturizer may not be necessary. For combination skins, there are special formulations available. Whatever your skin type, there are ways to help it stay soft and smooth.
Set a routine and Stick with it to help skin shine
Miracles don’t happen overnight despite what products may promise. Great skin takes effort, particularly as you get older, and it all starts with good habits. Setting a routine morning and night is crucial because most skincare regimens give the best results when they are consistently followed, but if certain products aren’t working for you, don’t be afraid to try something new.
To give your skin an extra boost, you might want to use vitamin C and vitamin E serums to strengthen its defenses and improve elasticity. Although it’s natural to want a product to have an immediate impact, it usually takes six weeks to be able to assess its effectiveness and start noticing any significant difference. Before giving up too soon, try to give any changes to your routine a proper chance and you might be pleasantly surprised.
Avoid Stress to help skin shine
Many skin problems are brought on or exacerbated by stress. So identifying healthy ways to keep your cool and relax is vital. Acne, psoriasis, eczema, and certain types of hair loss all get worse when you’re feeling stressed.
Find time to decompress. Practicing yoga or meditation is a good option, but even just doing breathing exercises can make a difference.
Avoid free radicals and get your antioxidants to help skin shine
After so many holiday parties and smoky rooms, the effects of poor air quality may become all too visible. Secondhand smoke and pollution can also accelerate aging of the skin. That's why it's so important to avoid these situations whenever possible, and to make sure you're eating plenty of antioxidant-rich foods to help protect your skin from pollution and smoke-induced free radicals.
Your skin definitely feels the effects of your diet choices so eat more foods rich in antioxidants - especially fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices - since they've been shown to help combat the effects of free radicals, which take a toll on your skin.
Be careful with sugar. Too many sugar-laden coffee drinks, candies, and desserts can elevate your blood sugar levels, which in turn can lead to collagen damage and make your skin less supple.
Sleep well to help skin shine
Scientific research supports the importance of "beauty sleep." While your skin has a remarkable ability to repair itself, poor sleep weakens that capacity. Researchers have studied the effects of poor sleep on the skin barrier. In one study, volunteers who reported poor sleep actually repaired their skin damage more slowly than those who reported good sleep.
Bags under your eyes are another annoyance. Being sleep-deprived can increase those dreaded dark circles. Concealer can help hide the issue, but there’s no substitute for shuteye.
Cleanse and exfoliate to help skin shine
After a long hard day at work, or a party that went late into the night, removing your foundation, mascara, and eye shadow can seem like a herculean task. It will, however, reap rewards.
Your cleansing routine may also be due for a makeover. Using a gentle cleanser morning and evening is recommended. If your skin isn’t too sensitive, exfoliate at least twice a week with a washcloth or brush.
Any build-up of dirt or oil in your skin can leave it looking flat. It can also block your pores, resulting in acne breakouts and irritations. That means always removing makeup before you go to bed and doing regular cleansing, as well as exfoliation, to remove the top layer of dead skin. This will help keep your skin clear and shining bright.
Hydrate to help skin shine
Your skin and body will benefit from drinking more water. It's easy to become dehydrated in the winter. Unfortunately, beyond fatigue and other health effects, dehydration also accentuates fine lines and wrinkles. The amount you need to drink varies, depending on how much you sweat and the amount you consume through other sources, such as beverages and food.
Women should consume around 72 ounces of fluids daily, and this increases to roughly 100 fluid ounces for men, according to information cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Always use sunscreen to help hair shine
Sunscreen should be an everyday essential. It’s often associated with being sticky and smelly, but most major skincare brands offer a daily version that is lighter and easier to apply. Even in winter, the sun’s rays can still emit damaging ultraviolet radiation. Use a product with an SPF of 30, and place it by your toothbrush so you don’t forget each morning.
“All the stresses and excesses of the holidays can leave your skin in bad shape, which makes you feel low too,” says Megan Rogge, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “The challenge is that at the start of a new year, we all want to look great. The good news is that with a little extra time and effort, or sometimes just breaking bad habits, you can change your skin condition for the better.”
The next beauty trend
A study from Indiana University published in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly finds that giving not only has positive effects on the person who is giving, but is also seen as attractive to others. The study concludes that more attractive people are more likely to be givers, and givers are rated as more attractive.
The researchers sought to find out if individuals who undertake more giving behaviors rated as more physically attractive and if more physically attractive people are more likely to undertake giving behaviors?
Those rating physical attractiveness had no information on participants' giving behaviors, allowing the researchers to determine if a person's giving behaviors correlated with physical attractiveness, without the halo effect of raters being influenced by knowing participants' giving behaviors.
The study disproves the perception that beautiful people are self-focused and vain, and that being rated as a little more attractive was associated with a little more generosity. When it comes to the older adults, volunteering and giving affection were related to higher attractiveness ratings. When it comes to young people, those who volunteered rated higher.
Link between generosity and beauty
"Although we cannot fully explain why the link between giving behaviors and attractiveness exists, we find remarkable consistency across the studies, despite being conducted at different times, using different participants, and using different methods and measures," says study co-author Femida Handy, of the University of Pennsylvania.
"Poets and philosophers have suggested the link between moral and physical beauty for centuries," added study co-author Sara Konrath, associate professor of philanthropic studies at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy on sabbatical this year at Notre Dame's Institute for Advanced Study.
"This study confirms that people who are perceived as more attractive are more likely to give and givers are seen as more attractive. Our findings suggest that beauty products and procedures may not be the only way to enhance an individual's attractiveness. Perhaps being generous could be the next beauty trend."
Looking for 100% chemical-free, all-natural nourishing face and body oils? Check out Earth & Elm Nourishing Face Oil and Earth & Elm Nourishing Body Oil. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral care, skincare, body care and foot care. If you are looking for more health resources check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
With over 30 years of writing and editing experience for newspapers, magazines and corporate communications, Kevin Kerfoot writes about natural health, nutrition, skincare and oral hygiene for Trusted Health Products’ natural health blog and newsletters.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.