Having troubled skin and think that achieving good skin is impossible? Well, I believe with the advancement of modern skincare technology, improving your skin is definitely not impossible! However, before you splurge on that extravagantly priced ‘magic’ skincare product that claims to reverse your skin’s condition, check out and practice these habits first. You may not think they make a difference, but these are what people with good skin swear by.
- Stay hydrated
Have you not already read the article of this lady who drank 3 litres of water a day, and took years off how she looked? (If not, read here.) 50-65% of our body is made up of water. And, our skin is the largest organ of our body. Skin cells are made up of water, and because of the large surface area of skin, they lose a large amount of water daily. It is very important to replace the lost amount, as the lack of hydration will cause skin to look dry, less plump, and flaky. Dry skin is also prone to wrinkles. Drinking water also helps to flush out the toxin built-up in our body, which in turn will benefit our skin.
However, the water that we consume everyday will reach all other organs first before it reaches our skin. Therefore we have to drink enough water to cover the dehydration from our body system as well as our skin. A recommended 8-10 glasses a day is ideal for radiant, glowy and dewy skin.
- Watch what you eat
We are what we eat. Period. So if you are eating unhealthy – high salt intake, oily foods, its no wonder you are not satisfied with your skin.
- Foods with a high glycemic index – your pastas, breads etc. These food puts a surge in the glucose and insulin levels in your body. They are said to aggravate acne in acne-prone skin.
- Sugar – Sugar is one of the worst thing you can have for your skin. Sugar promotes ageing, and they also weaken our immune system. If you are one who constantly take high amounts of sugar, you will find yourself less healthy and more prone to illnesses. Sugar destroys the collagen and elastin in our skin, thus causing more wrinkles and lack-lustre skin.
- Fried food – The oil in fried food is said to trap bacteria in your skin, thus causing one to break out more. Not only does this affect your skin, it is more worrying on your health as the oil buildup in your body is linked to a whole list of cardiovascular diseases.
- Processed food – As much as you can, have natural and wholesome foods. Processed foods are loaded with preservatives and all sorts of other chemical ingredients, sodium, sugar, salt etc. Much of the natural goodness of wholesome foods are lost through the process, you might as well choose natural choices that are definitely higher in nutritional content and more beneficial to health.
- Alcohol – Having a daily sip of red wine is known to have a stream of benefits for the health, but do it in moderation. Other alcohols (esp. hard liquors) are less in terms of health benefits. Alcohols (if drank in excess) not just gives you a headache and a bad start the following day, it also severely dehydrates your system. How many of party goers actually drink lots after a long party session to cover back the dehydration in your body? Hardly! Alcohol can also cause vasodilatation, which aggravates rosacea, and make your skin look dull. Therefore cutting down on alcohol is probably a wiser choice.
- Salt – Salt is said to cause swelling of skin tissues, giving them a puffy and unhealthy look. Reducing your intake will mean avoiding foods that are too salty as well, as much of our salt intake doesn’t come from us physically adding them into our foods.
Exercising promotes blood circulation, and this helps to nourish the cells in our body. Oxygen and nutrients are carried to the cells and with the increased blood circulation, promotes a more radiant outlook. At the same time, the waste and toxins are also carried away. This cell renewal process is sped up with exercise, therefore you will notice people who are physically active have a very healthy, glowy and radiant complexion. However, special attention to skin hygiene is required when exercising. Make sure to exercise with clean skin and wash away the sweat and bacteria after exercising.
- Wash your face thoroughly
This is self-explanatory. Hygiene is key when it comes to achieving good, healthy skin. As women, we apply tons of skincare products and makeup on a daily basis. Like how we take time to applying makeup to achieve a flawless-looking complexion, make sure we take the same amount of time to thoroughly remove every trace of it. Makeup is essentially chemicals. Just like we do not want paint on our hands without giving them a good wash, we will definitely not want makeup on our faces for more than what its intended for. Invest in a mild on skin makeup remover and facial wash, that gives a thorough cleansing effect.
- Use toner
We have heard varying opinions on the necessity on using toner. I included this as one of the necessary as I know people with good skin swearing by not skipping this step. Some facial washes can be harsher than you think (though they claimed to be mild / gentle). Soaps are typically surfactants, as they work all the same – to remove the grime and dirt off your face. Toners help to balance out the pH of your skin if you are using facial cleansers that are not neutral (more alkaline on its pH). Depending on your skin type and facial problems (if any), choose from hydrating toners to ones with balancing properties, or if you have oily skin, you may opt for astringents that includes pore tightening, oil reducing, anti-inflammatory in its targeted use. Whichever it is, the use of a toner prior to skin serums and moisturisers is said to aid in the absorption of the products used after.
- Always use SPF
Ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB) rays are women’s worst enemy. UVA rays goes past our epidermis layer down through the dermis layer of our skin structure, causing photo-ageing – skin ageing, freckling and wrinkling. Prolonged exposure to sun constantly make result in a higher risk of skin cancer. Always apply sunscreen before you step out, be it sunny or overcast. Opt for a sunscreen with SPF factor of at least 25-30. Broad spectrum sunscreen will mean the product is effective against both UVA and UVB rays. Japanese brands’ sunscreens have a PA+++ labelling. This PA rating is a designation used only in Japan to rate the UVA protection of a sunscreen. Make sure to choose one that works for your skin type and daily needs.
- Use a daily lotion mask
Think of an everyday mask as a daily moisturising treat for your skin. Instead of buying luxurious treatment masks that boosts correcting treatment effects, use a general hydrating mask that is suitable for everyday use. A daily mask is to supplement the hydration to your skin, and not a substitute for your skincare products. Personally I like to use gentle toners with botanical extracts, such as rose water, or even natural ingredients like honey water, green tea. Soak cotton squares or a clean cotton mask sheet into the lotion and leave it on your skin for 3-5 mins, before continuing with your usual skincare routine. This boosts the absorption of your skincare products used after. Do note to always water wash your face if you mix an edible mask mixture lotion on your skin.
- Give your skin relief from makeup and products
If looking at the ingredient list behind your skincare products overwhelm you, how would the idea of putting all these largely unknown chemicals on your face? Singapore’s highly acclaimed aesthetic doctor Dr. Georgia Lee recommends not putting any makeup on your face other than your trusty sunscreen when heading out. According to Dr. Lee, whilst foundations and BB creams as well as CC creams provide such good coverage, they do clog your pores even if they are claimed to be non-comedogenic. By not applying makeup and overly heavy on skincare products, it allows your skin to breathe naturally, regulate its oil production and maintaining skin balance. Use only when absolutely necessary for events and special occasions.
Achieving good skin and thus maintaining it is a religious habit that one has got to keep. Our body runs like a system : if every part of your body is functioning well and at its optimum, naturally you will look healthy and shine! Start your skin-perfecting journey by re-looking into your daily health and routines. Share your ideas with us and lets all work towards looking our best in our lives!
Signing off with Kitt and bare-faced me.