Skin care is at the fore of many women’s minds – mums included.
Just because you’ve got kids doesn’t mean you can afford to neglect your skin – the stress of running around after a family means you should care for your skin even more.
So here, in no particular order, are nine skin care tips that will surely keep your skin strong and supple.
1. Stay away from soap
That nice, clean feeling you might get from using soap every shower is actually a bad feeling – it’s the feeling of losing all your skin’s good and natural oils. These oils are made up of good fatty acids that create an acid mantle barrier that protects your skin from infection and naturally keeps it hydrated. Stripping all these good oils away with soap leaves your skin vulnerable to all the contagions you come across in daily life. So a simple fix – cut the soap! Switch to a natural, soap-free body wash or cleanser to keep your skin healthy.
When your skin is looking dull and lifeless, it’s probably because there’s dead skin still sitting there! Exfoliating will get rid of these dead skin cells and open your skin up to better receive the other products you are using on it. There are two types of exfoliants – chemical or physical. A chemical exfoliant is one that you put on your skin, leave it sit, and it dissolves the dead skin for you. The physical one, on the other hand, requires you to scrub the dead skin cells off yourself. This can be done with a brush, or a cloth. If your skin feels raw or gets irritated when you exfoliate, you’re probably doing it too often. To tell if you need to exfoliate, put a piece of sticky tape on your skin, press it down, then peel it off. If you can see flakes of skin on the tape, you should exfoliate!
3. Protect against the sun
Your skin is delicate, and even the slightest sunburn is destroying the top layer of your skin. Even if you don’t turn red, the sun is still damaging your skin every time you step outside. If you must be in the sun, the best way to protect your skin from damage is to cover up. Wear as long sleeves as possible, and anywhere that isn’t covered, apply sunscreen. You can get moisturisers with sunscreen already built in – so you can easily make it a part of your skin care regime. Also take care against tanning beds, if you would like to have that tanned “glow”. Although tanning companies may say that tanning beds do not contain the harmful UVB rays, the UVA rays they do contain put you at the same amount of risk for damaging your skin – you just won’t see the burn. So keep sun exposure to a minimum to keep your skin looking great.
4. Hydrate from the inside
While you are maintaining your skin from the outside with moisturisers, toners, and cleansers, remember to keep hydrated from the inside, too. Your skin takes a toll straight away when you become dehydrated. You can see the effects of dehydration on your skin by testing skin turgor – how long it takes your skin to snap back into place when you pinch it. To test – pinch your skin and pull up a little, then release quickly and see how long it takes for your skin to resettle into normal position. If you notice that it is taking longer than you’d expect for your age or the condition you know your skin to be in, it’s a good sign that you should drink more water.
5. Rest is best
When does your skin do most of is repairing and regenerating? While you’re asleep. A sleeping body creates the best environment for your skin to replace the cells it lost during the day, and repair any damage that might have occurred. You may notice that the first thing that gives away the terrible night’s sleep you had is your puffy eyes, dark circles, and pasty look. All of this comes from inadequate time for your skin to restore itself – get those few extra hours and those dark circles will have had the time to go away. So remember to include sleep as one of the most important parts of your skin care regime.
6. Don’t smoke
It can’t be put more simply. Don’t smoke, don’t think about smoking, and if you do smoke, quit. Not much else on the planet is as bad for you as smoking – especially for your skin. To start with, smoking makes the tiny blood vessels in the outside layer of your skin more narrow than normal, and this decreases blood flow. With this decrease in blood flow, the important nutrients and oxygen your skin need aren’t getting there as easily – so your skin’s health takes a toll. The chemicals in cigarettes also have a very negative effect on collagen and elastin – the very fibres that give your skin its strength and elasticity. So what more needs to be said? Smoking negates any kind of skin care you attempt – so stop smoking and your skin will start repairing straight away.
7. Eat well for YOUR skin
People always say that the key to healthy skin is your diet, and that certain foods will make your skin problems flare up. This is true, to an extent. Obviously, eating healthy foods will help your skin, and your general bodily health as well, but cutting out certain foods just because someone else says it cleared up their skin may not be the best idea. Everyone’s body is different, and so everyone’s skin is different, meaning that foods that cause skin irritations in one person may be perfectly fine for another person to eat. If you have issues with your skin, try excluding or cutting back on dairy or gluten – these foods have been known to cause skin irritations. This may not fix any problems you have – there is only a chance that these foods are causing your bad skin, so if you cut back on dairy or gluten and nothing changes, put it back in your diet because it is still a staple and you need the nutrients for good health.
8. Practise yoga
Yoga is not only good for flexibility, muscle tone, and stress management, but it’s also good for your skin. Yoga improves your blood circulation and makes you sweat – which helps to purify your skin. By sweating, you are detoxifying your skin – any toxins you might be exposed to in your daily life can be expelled through the sweat glands and thus helping your skin to get that elusive “yoga glow”.
9. Don’t be picky with your skin
The more you touch your skin – your face, to be specific – the more you will be vulnerable to break outs and irritation. There is so much bacteria and general dirt on your hands, and every time you touch your face, you are depositing some of that bacteria into your pores. Once you start thinking about it, you’ll notice that you touch your face at least a few times per minute – usually more – and for no real reason other than habit. If you actively try not to touch your face, you’ll decrease the amount of bacteria and other dirt that can cause irritation and break outs on your face. You should also try to leave your face alone, especially when you have a break out – don’t stand at the mirror picking and worrying over bad skin, you’ll just exacerbate the problem. Apply whatever treatments suit your skin best, and leave them – they’ll clear up your skin much quicker if you aren’t constantly picking and putting more bacteria straight where you just washed it away.
Follow these tips and see how your skin comes up glowing. This advice is good for skin of any type or age, but remember that what works for others, may not work for you. Find a skin care regime that fits your skin, and stick to it.