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How do you get radiant skin? Though your skin is your largest organ, it can also be the most delicate—and the first to show signs of your body being out of balance.
Your skin quite literally holds you together. When something is going wrong in your life—stress or hormonal imbalances, for instance—your skin physically manifests the problem. Which is why, when it comes to our skin, keeping this vital organ healthy and radiant is not just a matter of aesthetics.
Manage the health and appearance of your skin with these ten little secrets that can make a big difference:
1. Better Cleansing
You’re likely to be aware of your skin in the morning as you’re getting ready for your day, but the most important time to give it attention is actually at night. The dirt and bacteria that settles in throughout the day plus any leftover makeup can clog pores and cause blemishes. Before you turn in for the night, use a gentle cleanser that will remove the grime without stripping your skin’s natural oils.
2. Stress Less
Simply put, stress shows on your skin. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is released during periods of prolonged pressure and has been linked to redness and acne flare-ups. Take the time to breathe deeply, go for a walk, or run—whatever calms you may help calm your skin.
3. Stay Out of the Sun
Your skin can get UV damage any time of year. Getting too much sun over the years is definitely something that can increase your chances of ending up with wrinkles down the road. To give yourself added protection against the sun, choose a daily moisturizer with built-in sunscreen.
Missing the mark on your eight glasses a day isn’t the only thing that can affect your skin’s hydration: dry air, harsh soaps, and skin care products that contain alcohol can also make you feel shriveled. So drink your water and use a good moisturizer as soon as you cleanse. Covering up with a scarf or using a humidifier can also help keep moisture locked in.
5. Get Good Fats
Yep, omegas are good for you, so don’t get caught up in low-fat diets. Foods like salmon, flaxseed, and almonds boost hydration, which gives your skin a dewy, healthy glow.
6. Use Toner
Toner can make the biggest difference, but is perhaps the most commonly skipped step of any skin-care regimen. The right toner can rejuvenate your skin and help even out skin tone. Be sure you look for one that’s not too harsh. A good toner will balance and brighten your skin.
7. Don’t Smoke
Because smoking constricts the tiny blood vessels in the outer skin layers, less blood can get there to nourish the skin with oxygen and nutrients. Smoking can also damage collagen and elastin. Even the facial expressions used for smoking (puckering the lips, squinting the eyes to keep smoke out) can contribute to fine lines.
8. Watch the Eyes
The delicate skin around your eyes can be the most susceptible to bags and wrinkles. A gentle eye cream or serum can be just the thing to naturally lift and tighten the eye area and give you a younger look.
9. Move More
Your skin is no exception to the many benefits of regular exercise. Stick to a workout routine, and your skin is likely to firm up. That’s because cardiovascular workouts nourish your skin with oxygen and boost collagen production. Get your heart pumping and watch your skin snap into place.
10. Stay Cool
It can be relaxing to sit back in a hot bath, but don’t do it all the time. Hot water removes oils from your skin. Shorter showers that are on the warmer side are gentler on skin and less likely to strip it of its own natural defenses against aging.
Taking a holistic approach to your skin care by starting from the inside and not just relying on cosmetic procedures is the best way to guarantee a healthy complexion. Incorporate a few of these ten steps into your routine and you’ll see how quickly your skin repays the favor.