Affordable Tips for Better Skin Care
Clean and Healthy Skin
Feeling comfortable in your own skin can make you feel a thousand times better. On the flip side, when your skin has issues it can make you feel unattractive — skin problems are often a trigger for low self-esteem. I’m not claiming the following skin tips will be a panacea for all your problems: I do recommend that if you have serious skin issues to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist.
My skin tips are for anyone regardless of budget. Some of these tips are very simple and have nothing to do with what you apply to your face. Skincare is about setting good habits for yourself and following a smart routine.
What is your biggest concern when it comes to skin?
- One of the best treatments against acne is to place a fresh, warm towel straight from the dryer on your pillow before going to bed. The towel will absorb some of the negative bacteria breeding on your skin and body. Many of the culprits who cause acne sleep on your pillow and sheets. Silk pillow sheets and other common sheet fabrics promote and retain bacteria. For whatever reason, towels slow down that growth and absorb it.
- Wash your face regularly. Use a gentle soap for your face, nothing that will irritate it or has too much perfume or scent to it. The face is sensitive, so you don’t want to put anything too abrasive on it. Wash your face in the morning and at night.
- Avoid touching your face throughout the day. Your hands touch a lot of odd things throughout the day, so it’s best not to touch your face constantly or rub your eyes a lot. You’ll spread dirt this way and promote acne. Wash your hands regularly to prevent the spread of germs.
- Avoid sugar-loaded and carb-heavy treats like white bread, cake, soda, and white rice. I love cake, I make it, and I am an excellent baker. I have to be careful that I don’t overindulge in cake or else my face will explode with unwanted dots. Sugar and carbs get into your blood really fast, triggering a series of invitations for whiteheads to swarm your face. Minimize how much you eat these tasty things; they also promote inflammation, which can lead to a host of unwanted problems.
- Pepto Bismol face mask. Smear some Pepto Bismol on your face. Leave it there for about 5 minutes or so and promptly remove it. Leaving it on for too long will dry your face. Pepto Bismol can soften your skin, but more importantly, it contains bismuth subsalicylate — a relative of salicylic acid, a super fighter against acne. The beta hydroxy acid acts to unclog pores and promote skin turnover.
- Cheap skin exfoliator: combine olive oil with sugar. I don’t use this on my face, but will for my body, particularly my arms and feet. Rinse off with warm water. Don’t get it in your hair — olive oil will give your hair a different color until the next time you shower.
- Sleep on your back! Wrinkles love when you smush your face into your pillow for 6–8 hours. The worst sleep position is sleeping on your stomach. You’re forcing your whole face into your pillow and bed! That’s not good for your face. For women, sleeping on your back has other benefits. It’s associated with less boob-wrinkling and less sagging.
- Drink water. You need to stay hydrated to keep your skin looking healthy. Opt for water with your meals. Grab a glass of water when you first wake up.
- Avoid straws and bottles with tight openings. Constantly using straws and forcing your mouth to use suction will encourage wrinkles around your lips. Cigarettes and similar items are even worse.
- Wash your sheets regularly. Clean sheets = less chance for acne growth. Would you wear the same clothes every day? Then why would you use the same sheets for a month or more?
- Wear sunscreen. Not only is it important to avoid sunburns, but this keeps you from having discolored skin and more importantly — melanoma is one of the most common cancers and is deadly. If you have a strange mole that’s uneven, large, or a mixture of colors — you need to see a doctor immediately. Chapstick and some foundations have SPF built into them. Don’t forget to place sunscreen into your scalp line and behind your ears. Never go to a tanning bed: it will drastically age you with each use. It may be in style to have a tanned body, but if you go about it the wrong way the repercussions can be costly and deadly.
- Place aloe vera on sunburns. Aloe vera has cooling properties, it’s inexpensive, and can soothe the pain of MINOR sunburns. If you have a really bad sunburn, aloe vera might be too strong. Keep in mind that sunburned skin loses moisture, it’s dehydrated. Applying aloe vera helps skin retain moisture with a substance called mucopolysaccharides.
- Stop popping pimples. If you’re constantly popping pimples, you’re increasing your chances of creating scars. Each time you pop a pimple, you could be spreading bacteria to other parts of your face or body. Popping pimples could also delay your body’s healing process.
- Moisturize. There are very cheap moisturizers out there, and using one daily will help your skin to keep its glow. Lotion is an excellent choice for the rest of your body.
- Take a cold spoon to your face. You don’t have to use one of those fancy jade rollers. Massaging your face helps decrease puffiness. You’re manually helping retained fluid (known as lymph) to move out of areas where it’s stuck. Coldness helps decrease inflammation by causing blood vessels to contract.
- If you use a jade roller or something similar, don’t force it too hard or aggressively. If you’re too hard with it, you’ll encourage wrinkles. Also, clean your utensil after every use. Not cleaning it will encourage bacteria growth.
- Wear less makeup or no makeup at all. Caking on makeup all the time is clogging up your pores, the motions of makeup applicators can cause skin sagging/wrinkles, and a lot of these products have bacteria that promote acne. Avoid putting makeup on your t-zone where blackheads love to party. Get rid of old mascara to prevent eye infections. Also don’t share makeup. You don’t share drinks with people because it’s germy — the same goes with makeup.
- Wear clean clothes. You may be putting a lot of strain on your skin if you wear the same clothes and undergarments for more than a day. Put on fresh clothes after exercising as the sweat may promote acne in unpleasant places such as your bottom, breast area, and neck. Also, you don’t want to smell bad around your friends, family, and significant other. Wearing clean clothes also prevents more serious skin conditions, like staph infections.
- Reduce stress. Be mindful of your baseline for stress. When you’re too stressed, your blood pressure goes up, you dehydrate yourself, and your skin suffers. We’ve all been brainwashed to be more competitive than necessary and to think about stupid things like rankings and grades. You need to push back on this nonsense and prioritize your health instead. Focus on kindness rather than aggression. Stress wants to turn you into goo.
- Say goodbye to smoking. Smoking is bad for your lungs. Inhaling smoke is hard on your internal organs. It ages your skin faster as well as your hair.
- Lay off the alcohol. Alcohol dehydrates you, which is one of the worst things you can do to your skin. Over drinking will cause your skin to age faster, wrinkle, and lose its overall luster. Alcohol wants to turn you into a prune.
- Earl grey tea is great for your skin — even for MINOR sunburns. Try having an earl grey tea bath when you’ve been at the beach too long. Green tea is also good for your skin since it is full of antioxidants.
- Eat fruits and vegetables. This will help bring in nutrients and vitamins, giving you a healthy glow. Meats and grains are tasty but don’t really do anything helpful for your skin. Eat more plants, which can help fight against early aging.
- Drink a fruit smoothie. One of the best ways to get more fruits and veggies is to drink a smoothie. Look for fruits with Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Smoothies have anti-inflammatory properties and protect the skin from burns. Smoothies can help you to nourish a healthy glow.
- Sleep. Sleep is one of the best counters we have to a long list of illnesses. A long night of sleep is better for your skin than just about anything else. You’re allowing your body to rest and heal itself. Supposedly, we need at least eight hours of sleep a night. Women need nearly an extra fifteen minutes to sleep as they tend to have more burdens throughout their days than men. Some scientists recommend that if you’re intelligent, you should add an extra hour or two of sleep since your mind tends to work harder during the day. There is no perfect average for sleep! But if you’re not feeling right, then try to have more of it.
I’m going to leave you with this video. It might make you rethink your habits, so you can live a long and healthy life. When you live a healthy life, you give back to the world.
© 2013 Andrea Lawrence