Skincare products on the market might promise to work magic, but they aren’t miracle cures. Building a sustainable skincare regimen involves developing good skin habits that will serve your skin in the long run. These skincare tips can give you beautiful skin, helping you build the foundation of a natural skincare routine, without any products involved.
We all want healthy, beautiful skin, but with the constant shifts in trends and a million products available, it can be confusing to know what works and what doesn’t, especially if you are a skincare newbie. In fact, using a whole bunch of products may actually worsen your skin. In recent times, intricate multi-step regimens have slowly been taking the backseat as people lean towards going back to the basics. Known as skin minimalism or skinimalism, it involves using the most fundamental of steps consistently for a sustainable routine—cleansing, exfoliating, moisturising, and of course, sun protection.
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Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and can often reflect the state of your inner health. So giving it some TLC can be a form of self-care. Whether you are just figuring out a regimen that works for you or have it down pat—no matter where you are on your skincare journey, these skincare tips can help you establish good habits that can form the basis of your skincare routine, no products involved.
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1. Try not to touch your face
We touch our faces numerous times a day, sometimes without even realising it. But your hands can spread germs to your face which can enter your body through your nose, mouth and eyes, causing infection. Touching your face also increases the chance of irritating your skin. Popping your pimples, as tempting as it is, is also a habit you need to break—squeezing can further spread the bacteria and pus, and can also cause acne scarring. Wash your hands thoroughly and avoid touching your face unless necessary.
2. Change your sheets and pillowcase
Things such as sweat, bacteria, dust and dead skin cells accumulate on our sheets, which can be detrimental to your skin health. For people with oily skin, especially, changing sheets frequently can be helpful. Wash and change your sheets at least once a week. If possible, switching to silk or satin pillowcase can be beneficial for your skin and hair. Because of their smooth surfaces, silk or satin offer less friction than cotton covers. A clinical trial by Wake Forest University showed that sleeping on a silk-like pillowcase may help in reducing pimples compared to cotton. Silk is also hypoallergenic and absorbs less moisture from your skin than cotton. Moreover, cotton covers can absorb oils, grime and bacteria, which come in contact with your skin during sleep and can potentially cause breakouts.
3. Clean your phone screen
Since we use our phones all the time for various reasons, the phone screen can become a hotbed of bacteria both from our hands and from surfaces it comes in contact with. University of Arizona scientists have found that your cell phone can be ten times dirtier than your toilet seat, while a study published in GERMS found more than 17,000 bacterial gene copies on each phone of the secondary school student participants. Your phone screen can transfer all that to your face during calls. So clean the surface of your phone regularly—unplug and turn off your device, and wipe it with a microfibre cloth. You can also use disinfectant wipes, as directly spraying any liquid sanitiser can damage your phone.
4. Eat your way to beautiful skin
What you eat affects your entire health, including that of your skin. A wholesome, balanced diet is a key component in establishing a natural skincare routine in your life, inside out. Focus on getting a good, balanced dose of macros and micronutrients through fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and protein-rich foods. A diet rich in Vitamin C and other antioxidants will help against cell damage and inflammation. Your gut health can have a significant effect on your skin health. According to an article in Frontiers in Microbiology, research has shown that the gut microbiome influences the skin, and that things such as probiotics and prebiotics can be beneficial in preventing or treating inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Probiotics are live microorganisms that are beneficial for your health, found in foods such as yoghurt and kimchi, while prebiotics are fibres that support healthy bacteria, found in things such as garlic, onions, chickpeas, and bananas. Some probiotics can also boost the production of lipids which retain moisture in skin and help in balancing the pH level.
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5. Meditate for stress-free, radiant complexion
Stress can be at the root of a host of issues, including those of your skin. A study involving college students published in Acta Dermato-Venereologica showed that heightened stress levels are associated with conditions such as itching, hair loss, and scaly skin. Try to address the sources of your stress and cut down on them. Getting a good night’s sleep is important for the recovery of your mind and body, and practising activities such as meditation and journaling can also help.
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6. Stop using extremely hot water
Hot showers may seem soothing, but they might not be doing your skin any favours. Extremely hot water, especially for long durations, strips away the natural oils from your skin, drying it out. This can cause itchiness and irritation, and worsen conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. Similarly, water at very high temperatures can also disrupt your scalp and damage your hair. Opt for lukewarm water instead, and cut down your shower or soak time to about ten minutes. Pat dry your skin instead of rubbing harshly and use milder soaps, to be gentle to your natural skin.
7. Watch out for sun exposure
While sunlight is definitely important for your health for reasons such as facilitating Vitamin D production and exerting a positive effect on mental health, too much sun exposure can be detrimental. The UV rays in sunlight can cause sunburn and premature aging, and can lead to skin cancer. In addition to using sunscreen, it is also helpful to cut down on your time in the sun. Use an umbrella, sunglasses, or scarves when you go out for additional protection.
Lifestyle habits can also impact your skin. Exercise can be beneficial to your skin health, as it increases blood flow and helps supply your skin with oxygen and nutrients better. On the other hand, smoking hinders blood supply, leading to wrinkles, delayed wound healing, and pigmentation. Remember that the basic steps (such as cleansing, moisturising, and sun protection) involving simple products are definitely important for taking care of your skin, but these skincare tips that do not require products can go a long way towards contributing to better skin habits.
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