Copied to Clipboard
Everyone wants to look their best, and that starts with having great skin. The key to healthy skin is making good choices in how you take care of it, both inside and out.
In this article, we’ll walk you through what healthy skin is and give you 20 ways you can nourish your own so that your complexion looks healthier and happier!
What Is Healthy Skin?
You say you want healthy skin, but what is that exactly? We know what it’s not: red, dry, or full of acne. But healthy skin is more than a poreless, flawless complexion. It’s our body’s first layer of defense against the world, including bacteria and the environment.
At its core, healthy skin is simply skin that does its job. From protecting us from UV rays to alerting us to danger to keeping our ideal temperature and body fluids in check, our biggest organ might just be our busiest.
If you want to learn how to keep your skin healthy-looking, it’s helpful to know more about the skin’s structure and how it works. Skin is made up of the following three layers:
- Epidermis (top layer)
- Dermis (middle layer)
- Hypodermis (bottom layer)
The epidermis protects your body from outside irritants like UV rays, environmental and chemical factors, viruses, and more. It also works to keep your skin hydrated and produce new skin cells. The epidermis, which contains melanin, is also responsible for your skin color.
The dermis is the thickest layer of your skin, accounting for about 90% of its overall thickness. Collagen and elastin are found in this layer. They are the proteins responsible for your skin’s shape. The dermis has nerves, makes oil, produces sweat, supplies blood, and even grows hair.
The bottom layer, or hypodermis, is the cushiony layer protecting muscles and bones. The nerves and blood vessels in the dermis run through the hypodermis and then branch out to the rest of the body. This layer also contains fat that helps with temperature regulation.
Making sure that all layers of your skin are up to the task is a matter of taking stock of your habits and routines. If you focus on your skin’s function, its form will be sure to follow.
20 Tips For Healthier Skin
Just like there isn’t only one definition of healthy skin, there’s no magic potion to make your skin better. But there are small changes you can make to your daily routine that will take you in the right direction.
1) Fill Your Water Bottle
Time to filler up! Drinking water is the key to your skin's collagen production and elasticity. While it doesn’t directly affect skin’s hydration, water increases blood flow to the skin, giving you a healthy-looking glow.
If plain water is too boring, you can add some flavor with fresh sliced fruit or chow down on water-filled foods, like watermelon and cucumber instead.
2) Add More Antioxidants
Make your diet work for your skin. Adding more antioxidant-rich foods like berries, spinach, green tea, almonds, olive oil, salmon, and even dark chocolate can help you maintain a clearer-looking complexion. Yum!
3) Don’t Fear The (Healthy) Fats
That’s right. Some fats are actually good for your skin. Embrace them!
Fish oil and fish oil supplements are go-tos for healthier skin. It’s the omega-3 fatty acids they contain that help keep skin thick and moisturized. Time to trade in your fried foods for some fatty fish, like salmon, mackerel, or herring.
Besides fish, nuts can also be a great way to introduce healthy fats to your diet. Walnuts have both omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids. Almonds are also rich in fatty acids, as are avocados.
4) Curb Your Sweet Tooth
Sugary foods are a no-no on the road to healthier skin. Your dentist and dermatologist agree: Cut down on the sweets! Digested sugar will latch on to the collagen in your skin in a process called glycation, causing loss of elasticity.
5) Take Time For Massage
We probably don’t have to tell you twice on this one. Who doesn’t want a massage?
Massage can help decrease tension and increase circulation. With less tension, there is less cortisol, which helps prevent skin thinning and can lead to healthier skin. Good circulation results in better lymphatic drainage, which is essential for balanced skin.
In addition, massage therapy can even reduce stress and anxiety and improve your sleep.
There are several popular “tools” you can use to massage your face, like a jade roller or a gua sha stone. When used correctly as a part of your beauty routine, there really is no downside!
6) Don’t Smoke
Besides the obvious deleterious effects on your overall health, smoking wreaks havoc on your skin. Toxic to cells, it narrows the blood vessels and robs your skin of oxygen and nutrients. As a result, smoking speeds up the aging process.
Long-term smokers can suffer from dry skin, uneven skin pigmentation, eye bags, jowls, and deep facial lines.
Aging isn’t the only thing you have to worry about when it comes to your skin and smoking. Smoking may even make psoriasis and other skin conditions worse.
7) Stay Out Of The Sun
You have heard it a million times, but we’ll say it again. The sun can damage your skin, aging and drying out its underlying connective tissue. This makes your skin less elastic. The best thing you can do is limit your exposure and wear protective clothing and sunscreen.
Sunscreen is the secret sauce for keeping your skin from aging prematurely and protecting it from skin cancer. You’ll want to choose a mineral-based formula of SPF 30+. Put it on before going out in the sun, and reapply every couple of hours and after going for a dip in the pool.
If you are intent on getting that sunkissed look, try a self-tanner instead. Also, try to stay in during peak sun hours, opting for early morning or later in the afternoon for outdoor activities. And while you’re at it, invest in a big, floppy hat!
8) Avoid Tanning Beds
It’s probably another obvious one, but skip the tanning beds and sun lamps. These have the same UV radiation as the sun and can damage your skin just like being outside.
9) Check For Skin Cancer
It’s a good idea to do periodic self-checks for skin cancer because if it’s caught early, it’s highly treatable. Keep an eye out for spots that look irregular in shape or any blemishes that change, itch, or bleed.
If you see something suspicious, visit your dermatologist. Even if you don’t, consider making a yearly appointment with them for a more comprehensive skin exam.
10) Switch To Natural, Breathable Clothing
Keeping your skin healthy means staying away from potential irritants. This can include your clothing. Wearing polyether or other man-made fabrics can inhibit your skin’s ability to breathe by trapping heat and moisture, resulting in dry, irritated skin.
The best bet is to opt for natural, breathable fabrics, such as silk or cotton. Silk is gentle on the skin, though it can be more expensive. Cotton is usually the best choice as it’s cost-effective, hypoallergenic, absorbs well, and is comfortable.
That being said, certain natural fabrics, like wool and linen, can irritate sensitive skin, so you may need to do a little trial and error.
In addition to the material of your clothes, you also want to look at the fit. A looser fit will mean less friction against your skin. Choosing the best fabric and fit is even more important if you suffer from eczema or another form of dermatitis.
11) Use A Gentle Detergent
On top of soft, breathable fabrics and loose fit, it’s important to use a gentle detergent to wash your clothing. Choose something hypoallergenic and fragrance-free to minimize irritation.
It’s also smart to wash new clothing before wearing it for the first time. And when it comes to drying your clothing, instead of using dryer sheets, opt for wool dryer balls.
12) Check Your Medicine Cabinet
Some medicines in your cabinet may be interfering with healthy skin. Those known to potentially cause dryness include:
- Diuretics (water pills)
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Blood pressure medication
- Some acne medications
If you think your medication is getting in-between you and healthy skin, talk to your doctor. They may be able to suggest an adjustment to your routine that can help.
Have you ever had a giant pimple take up residence on your face before a big event? Stress could be the culprit.
When you are stressed, you trigger hormones that affect collagen and elastin, potentially leading to dull, pimply skin. Stress can also play a role in skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis.
In addition, if you’re stressed, you might rub or scratch your skin, something that could cause dermatitis. You might try meditation or yoga to keep your mind at rest.
Yoga and meditation can both decrease stress, help manage negative emotions, increase positive emotions, and maintain mental balance. These techniques also lower cortisol levels, which preserves collagen and helps skin stay healthier.
So take a deep breath and relax. Your skin (as well as the rest of your body) will thank you!
14) Stay In Shape
When you break a sweat, you get your blood flowing, meaning more oxygen and nutrients are being delivered to your skin. This extra blood flow also carries away free radicals and other impurities from cells. That’s why after a nice jog, your cheeks are all rosy and healthy-looking.
Just remember to wash your face or take a shower after your workout to avoid clogged pores, especially if you’re wearing makeup.
15) Catch Up On Sleep
Getting the right amount of sleep is important to your overall health, and this includes your skin. Your body’s internal repair shop is hard at work as you sleep, and the last thing you want to do is interrupt the good work being done.
According to studies, if you don’t sleep enough, you may be prone to more fine lines and wrinkles, less elasticity, and uneven skin tone. This is because sleep deprivation can cause a breakdown of skin barrier function and mucous membranes.
So pull up the covers. Seven to nine hours is generally optimal, so adjust your alarm to ensure that you’re clocking in ample beauty sleep.
Tips For Better Sleep
We know that getting enough sleep is sometimes easier said than done. If a lack of sleep is getting between you and a nice healthy glow, you might want to try a few things to improve it.
The first thing you want to do is make sure you’ve set a regular sleep schedule. Consistency, even on the weekends, is key. When you do get ready for some shuteye, make sure your room is cool, quiet, and dark. The ideal temperature is between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
Also, a white noise machine can help block out any distracting outside noise, while blackout curtains can work wonders in keeping the light from seeping in. Speaking of light, you’ll have to mind the blue light as well.
One of the biggest impediments these days to a good night’s sleep is your cell phone. For at least an hour before bedtime, you’ll want to put your electronics away. Exposure to blue light from computers, cell phones, TVs, and tablets makes it hard for you to catch your zzzs.
If you try to sleep but end up tossing and turning, the best thing to do is get up and engage in a calm, quiet activity until your eyes get heavy. Then give it another try. If sleep troubles become chronic, contact your doctor for additional options.
16) Put Down Your Phone
Speaking of your cell phone, it may be time to trade scroll for stroll. Put down your phone and head outside to breathe some fresh air. There’s nothing worse for your skin (or your mental health) than scrolling through social media and comparing yourself to others.
First, you have to know that many self-proclaimed experts may not actually be experts. Be sure to only follow recommendations from trusted sources. Also, keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different, so you want to set your goal to be a better, healthier you.
Social media is great to connect, but if you find yourself going down rabbit holes with no carrots to show for it, hop outside. With less stress and more time in the fresh air, your skin will give you a thumbs-up.
17) Keep Water Lukewarm
Washing your face, hands, and body regularly is not enough. You’ve got to do it right. This means turning that hot water down to a comfy lukewarm and choosing gentle fragrance-free soap that will not strip your skin of oil and make it drier. Be sure not to scrub or tug at your skin.
Whether you’re a bath person or a shower person, make sure to limit your soaking time. Ten to 15 minutes should do. Use a gentle body wash and, once you’re done bathing, gently pat yourself dry with a clean towel and slather on your favorite moisturizer.
Moisturizing when your skin is damp helps lock moisture in your skin barrier, giving you a healthier-looking glow. If your skin is dry, choose a thicker lotion.
Compared to thinner formulations that have a lot of water and can evaporate quickly, thicker lotions stay on for longer for better hydration.
18) Consider Your Shaving Habits
If you want your skin at its best, it’s always good to exfoliate your skin with a loofah or scrub before shaving your legs, as dry skin makes cuts and irritation more likely. Exfoliating also keeps the razor from being filled with dead skin cells in lieu of the target hairs.
Once you’re ready, skip the soap and lather up the shaving cream. It can be tempting to do a quick touchup without proper products, but your skin will feel it (and not in a good way).
When you break out that razor, shave in the direction the hair grows, then rinse with cool water. Although it will be a closer shave if you go against the grain, you risk razor bumps and irritation.
Once you’re done shaving your legs, moisturize while your skin is damp.
19) Update Your Skincare Routine
We’re all for routines, but they need to be revised every now and then. With the change in seasons, your skin will have to work in new conditions, and that can mean a little tweak to your product regime is in order.
For instance, during a hot and humid summer, your skin might appear more oily and require a lighter moisturizer. However, during the wintertime when the air is drier, your skin may be flakier, and conditions like eczema and psoriasis may be more pronounced.
You’ll want to start your routine by cleansing your skin. Use a gentle cleanser in the morning and at night, and be sure to remove any makeup. After that, you can exfoliate and tone your skin, and then apply a serum with active ingredients.
After your serum, apply your preferred moisturizer. If your skin tends to be dry, there are lots of hydrating ingredients that can help.
Some good ones to consider include:
- Hyaluronic acid
- Vitamin C
- Coconut Oil
- Alpha Hydroxy Acid
- Aloe Vera
- Vitamin A
- Green Tea
- Glycolic Acid
- Salicylic Acid
- Vitamin E
- Olive Oil
- Almond Oild
- Jojoba Oil
- Shea Butter
You also want to follow a “less is more” approach, limiting new ingredients to avoid irritating your sensitive skin.
Speaking of avoiding potential skin irritation, it’s a good idea to go through your products periodically and check their expiration dates. If you don’t see an expiration date, look for changes in color or consistency, separation (kind of like salad dressing), or a smell.
It’s best to toss anything that looks bad or is expired.
20) Check In With A Dermatologist
To keep your skin healthy, it’s good to check in regularly with a dermatologist. If you have itchy skin or suffer from acne, a dermatologist can help prescribe medications to help. They can also monitor for skin conditions like skin cancer, eczema, and psoriasis.
Achieve Healthy-Looking Skin
To get that healthy-skin glow back, think about what you put in and on your body. Revisit your habits and make sure you’re not doing things that irritate your complexion, like smoking or eating too much sugar.
Also, embrace skincare products from a company you can trust, like Bodewell.You’re one step closer to a healthier-looking complexion!