When you think about your skin and how to make it look great, there are SO many options and treatments available with tons of new products claiming miraculous results. They seem so promising and naturally you want to try them all, but is that really the best approach?
In this article I will cover the basics of taking care of your skin that aren’t based on hype or the latest and greatest skincare buzzword.
I’ve always known how important moisturizers and facial/body creams are... I watched my mom use them her whole life and my aunt was also obsessed. She was actually the first one to introduce me to a skin care routine.
During this period, I took care of my skin just externally and my coloring got better, it was more plump, but I still had acne. The acne created other issues like redness and scars until I started tweaking other things.
Skincare isn't only what you apply to your face...it is much more than that. That’s why I want to introduce you guys a holistic approach that made my skin change for good from the inside out with external support.
This routine is what based worked for me, so it may not necessarily work for you, but it's a good starting point if you want to start dealing with your skin problems and actually do things that will work.
Doing something is better than nothing. As soon as you start seeing how your skin reacts, you’ll feel more motivated, willing to learn, and then on your own with time, you’ll figure out how to optimize your routine for your unique skin.
Here are my essentials:
1. Eliminate makeup for 1 week
If you don't regularly use makeup, go straight to the second point.
What I recommend is taking a short trip, a week off, or just take advantage of summer/winter holidays to do a makeup detox and restart your skin, give it a break and let it breath. Do it for as long as you can, but aim for at least one week.
This creates the baseline you need. Yes, people will see your acne and you may look terrible. I know, it sucks, but just focus on the fact that its only one week... one week for your skin and for you.
The week without makeup will be tough, but you’ll see by the end of it how much better your skin looks and feels after it’s had time to breath.
Part of the reason I recommend doing this during a vacation or by taking time off is so that you feel comfortable without wearing makeup. It can be torture enough just not wearing makeup if you are used to it, but not wearing makeup at work may be too much.
Find a way to take a week off!
2. Drink a lot of fluids
This is important not only for skincare, but for your health in general. It’s essential.. we are walking liquid, literally!
Keep a big bottle of water on your desk at work, a bottle in your purse or backpack, and force yourself to drink it.
The Mayo Clinic recommends men drink 3.7 liters a day and women 2.7 liters. Obviously that will depend on how big each individual is, but use it as a baseline and see how much you are actually drinking.
Measure how many bottles you have to drink per day, be accountable to yourself.
This doesn't need to be just water, it can be any liquid (except from coffee and soda).
Other alternatives are green tea, water with lemon, blueberries or any fruit. You can add some stevia if you want it to be more sweet. Basically, just find what works for you to stay hydrated!
3. Eat a balanced diet full of colors
The best place to start is from within: your digestive system.
There are so many diets out there and it can be really confusing.
Just stick to the basics. Try to eat as healthy as you can, including tons of fruits and veggies. Also, try to eat homemade food as much as possible. If you’re going to eat a hamburger, buy the meat and do it yourself. Cook the food you eat! That way you’ll know the ingredients.
Also try to eliminate or at least minimize any processed foods.
Another thing that has worked for me is making a morning smoothie full of micronutrients before having breakfast. You can find my fav recipe here.
Nutrition and diet are deep topics, but generally including fruits and veggies and eliminating processed foods are a great starting point.
Dance, swim, walk, run, join a gym, a spinning class, or whatever you need to make your face sweat!
This is crucial: do it with clean skin that has no makeup and shower shortly after the workout.
Exercise by itself has countless health benefits.
When it comes to the skin, whenever we sweat, our pores open up and the dirt we’ve been accumulating gets flushed out.
But make sure to shower or wash your face after the workout. The dirt and other things that get excreted out of your pores from sweating should be washed away.
5. Wash your face every time you wake up, after your workouts and when you go to sleep
This one is pretty self explanatory! Throughout the day and during the night your skin is exposed to different environmental contaminants and even though your skin is your biological shield, exposure to these pollutants can have negative effects on the skin.
In addition to washing, you can also exfoliate up to once a week.
Make it a routine that everytime you wake up and before going to bed you wash your face especially if you have been wearing makeup.
You don’t need expensive products, a white soap is enough.
6. Use at least a moisturizer with spf
Ideally you will have a minimalist skincare routine, but if you’re just starting to take your skincare seriously and you have to choose what to invest your money in first, go with a good moisturizer that has spf.
Use moisturizer twice a day: right after you washed your face in the morning and at night before you go to bed, and use it religiously.
You may want to have one moisturizer for the morning that has spf and one for night that doesn’t since face lotions with sunscreen tend to be more expensive.
Stick to the moisturizing routine even when you are tired or in a rush, it takes 1 minute. Do it!
Moisturized and protected skin looks healthier and more youthful. The sunscreen slows down the aging process of losing skin elasticity, which is vital to combating wrinkles.
By moisturizing this way, you will be fighting against oily skin and acne. Strangely enough, letting your skin dry is not the solution to oily skin and acne, it’s actually one of the worst things you can do. The drier your skin is the more oil it will produce to compensate for the lack of moisture it should have, which can lead to more acne.
7. Supplement your diet if you want better results
If you want to maximize your skincare routine, there are natural solutions that are proven to promote healthier skin from within. My go-to is collagen.
Collagen is a protein that our body naturally produces that keeps the skin plump, youthful, smooth, and elastic.
But here’s the bad news: beginning in our twenties, we produce 1% less collagen in the skin each year. That means every year our skin gets a little more fragile, thin, and wrinkly.
If I had to choose, collagen would be the first thing I would start taking. It also helps with acne and your overall health. There are of course other great options you can consider adding to your routine like turmeric, probiotics, some types of oils, etc.
Fancy Formula’s collagen supplements with hyaluronic acid and biotin are built for exactly this reason and come in different flavors with different add-ins like turmeric, matcha, and charcoal.
8. Treat your skin softly, don't stretch it
Love yourself and love your skin. When you wash your skin and apply creams, you are stretching it during the process. The more gentle you are the less you will stretch it.
The skin of your face is very thin (especially around the eyes) and if you rub it aggressively you could be overstretching it and over time that may add to the aging and stress process. A stretch is a stress to the skin afterall!
Ideally, if you’re applying anything to your skin you should do it with soft and upward strokes in a circular motion. When you are working around the eyes, use gentle taps using the pad of your ring fingers for the most gentle touch.
Getting sufficient sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health, which is really how well all the systems in your body are working, the skin being one of those systems. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep.
The more restful your sleep, the better your body will function, and the healthier skin your skin will be.
Lack of sleep, fatigue, and the related stresses can cause hormonal changes and elevated stress hormones. Over time, these stress related issues can develop into skin problems. As your body becomes overstressed from a lack of sleep, you don’t have optimal ability to repair and maintain your tissues. The skin will eventually have resources taken away from it and used in other areas of the body.
10. Be patient and loving with yourself
Life isn’t always easy. We can have some stressful days, weeks, months, and even years.
When we feel anxious, upset, or stressed out, it can be associated with different levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, or other hormonal changes.
The more balanced we can be emotionally through being patient, meditation, and self-loving, the better our body will be down-regulated and our parasympathetic nervous system will be more active.
The parasymphatetic nervous system is the ‘rest and digest’ part of our nervous system. It is when our body takes the time to recover and heal our bodies and perform maintenance work.
If you are constantly stressed out and hard on yourself, you will have increased sympathetic nervous system activity. This will lead to signaling that makes your body think you need to run or fight! Your body won’t be in clean up and repair mode, it will be in anger mode!
Try to dedicate 10 minutes a day to meditation or listening to relaxing music with your eyes closed and find some inner peace!