10 Skin Care Commandments

We all want youthful, clear, healthy skin, but as we age, stress and sustain damage to our skin, it seems tougher and tougher to keep it healthy. Following these 10 must-dos for clear, healthy skin will help you get and maintain the beautiful skin you’ve always wanted.

Exfoliate: New skin cells are made in the dermis (our inner layer of skin). As the new skin cells form, old, dead skin cells are pushed to our skin’s outer layer (epidermis). The old skin cells eventually slough off naturally. However, some dead skin cells hang on for too long, which leads to uneven skin tone, dull-looking skin, and clogged pores, which cause acne. Additionally, as we age, our natural cell turnover rate slows down. Exfoliating your face regularly reduces clogged pores and helps your skin look brighter.

Use Sunscreen: Too much time in the sun is known to prompt acne breakouts. Protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays by using a face-specific sunscreen on your face. Apply it 20 minutes before you go outdoors. Face-specific sunscreen doesn’t contain any added fragrances, oils, or chemicals that clog your pores.

Moisturize: The demands we place on our skin cause the skin’s surface to crack, which translates into dull-looking skin. Using a moisturizer on the skin fills in the cracks by adding lipids, natural fats found in the skin, filling in the gaps between skin cells, producing smooth-looking skin. Try using face moisturizers with ceramides, which aid in repairing skin barrier function, and hyaluronic acid, which helps plump up face skin cells by attracting water to surrounding tissues. If you struggle with acne, look for a moisturizer that says, “noncomedogenic,” on the label. This means the product does not cause acne.

Keep Your Face Clean: Keeping your face clean is an important step to avoiding acne breakouts. Regularly washing your face removes impurities, extra oil, and dead skin cells from your face. Wash your face twice a day with a mild facial cleanser. Using a harsh soap may actually cause irritation. Use a soft cloth or your hands to wash your face with lukewarm, not hot, water. Rinse your face well before you dry it with a clean towel. Use a clean washcloth and towel each time you wash your face, as dirty washcloths and towels can spread bacteria.

Choose Makeup Wisely: If you’re prone to acne breakouts, it’s important to choose your makeup wisely. Avoid heavy, greasy products that contain ingredients like cocoa butter and mineral oil, as these ingredients can cause pimples. Instead, look for makeup products that say, “noncomedogenic,” on the label. This means that the product won’t clog your pores, one of the leading causes of acne. Additionally, avoid using makeup removers containing alcohol, as this can dry out your skin and make it appear dull.

Don’t Stress: Acne often shows up when you’re stressed out. Try not to fret over the small stuff in life. When work, school, or family has you stressed out, make time to do something relaxing each day, like taking a warm bubble bath, reading a good book, watching a comedy show, or taking a walk.

Use Lemon Juice to Remove Blemishes: Lemon juice is high in citric acid, which helps exfoliate the skin, remove excess oil, and kill the bacteria that can cause acne. Lemon juice is also a great skin-lightener, as it has a bleaching effect on the skin. Apply fresh lemon juice to the blemishes on your face, and allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before you rinse it off. Alternatively, try combining one-fourth teaspoon organic honey with one-fourth teaspoon lemon juice. Apply to the blemishes on your face, and allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before you rinse it off. Repeat either process a few times a week for a month or until you see results.

Change Your Diet: Some foods are known to quickly raise your blood sugar, which results in a boost in your insulin level. Too much insulin in your bloodstream can lead to changes in your body that result in the growth of pore-clogging cells and increase activity in your oil glands. Research indicates that you might have fewer acne breakouts if you cut back on your consumption of white rice, sugar, pasta, and white bread and eat more vegetables, whole grains, and beans.

Use Hair Products Strategically: Acne can be caused when oils from hair styling products, such as shampoo, conditioner, gels, and hair spray, seep into the skin and trap acne-causing bacteria in the pores. To prevent this from happening, wash your face after you style your hair for the day.

Use Aloe Vera: Aloe vera contains a lot of vitamins that help heal skin and diminish scars. It is also an excellent moisturizer. Fresh aloe produces the best results. You can easily find aloe plants, and they require little maintenance. Break off a small piece of an aloe leaf, and peel the outer layer to get to the gel. Gently massage the gel into your skin, and allow it to sit for 30 minutes before you wash it off.

You don’t have to dream about having healthy, beautiful skin. By employing these strategies, you can prevent and treat acne breakouts and blemishes. With fewer acne breakouts and blemishes, you’ll look and feel better.

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