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While maintaining a consistent skin care routine can help keep your skin healthy, supple and radiant, you also need a healthy lifestyle. Everyone has bad habits – and that’s completely normal – but if they’re wreaking havoc on your skin then it’s time you re-examine and start making some changes.
Here are five lifestyle habits that could be affecting your skin, and what you can do to improve your skin’s overall health:
Exercising regularly is not only great for your body and mental health, it’s also great for your skin. So if you’re not exercising enough, you’re missing out! Exercise improves your blood circulation, which explains that post-workout glow (yes, it’s real).
Try to squeeze at least 30 minutes of exercise into your day. Dedicate that time to doing a type of exercise that you enjoy, whether it’s hot yoga, jogging or high-intensity workouts, and you’ll notice a brighter- and healthier-looking complexion. Sweating also plays a huge factor in improving your skin, as it helps open up your pores and releases toxins and impurities. Just don’t forget to wash your face immediately after your workout or the bacteria can end up irritating your skin!
This habit may be the most obvious yet the most difficult to achieve. If only there were more hours in a day, right? Getting enough sleep every day is extremely important as night time is when your skin goes into repair mode and your skin cells regenerate. Lack of sleep leads to a dull complexion, not to mention the eye bags you’ll be left with the next morning!
Living in a fast-paced environment can make it hard to get at least 7-8 hours of shut eye but it’s not impossible! If you have trouble getting to bed early, try setting up a bedtime ritual like taking a warm shower or wearing a soothing heated eye mask before bed. You could also slather on a sleeping mask and you’ll wake up to dewy skin the next day.
A diet that’s high in sugar and processed food won’t do your skin any good. If you find that your skin feels congested or you’re constantly getting acne, then sugar may be the culprit. While indulging in pizza, burger or donuts isn’t totally forbidden, you should still try and limit your intake of unhealthy foods for the sake of your skin.
Your diet should consist of mostly nutritious foods like vegetables, fruits and plenty of fiber. For even younger-looking skin, you can follow a Korean diet filled with fermented vegetables, fish and tea.
Drinking enough water is also vital for maintaining healthy and hydrated skin, so aim to drink at least 8 glasses a day. If you find yourself always craving sugary drinks like soda, then it’s best to start drinking fruit-infused water, which is just as refreshing but a far healthier choice!
Stress is never good for your skin. Too much stress causes the body to release a hormone called cortisol, which produces excess sebum that leads to skin inflammation or breakouts. The only way to change this habit is to not stress, although that’s easier said than done.
One way to de-stress is to meditate, which you can do in the comfort of your home with a guided meditation app like Headspace. If you want to relax with skin care then you can always do a spa facial at home, which is just as relaxing (especially for Taureans like me).
Sunscreen is a must – even during the colder months. Skipping sunscreen puts your skin at risk of sun damage, which causes sunburn, dark spots and premature aging. You may not have younger looking skin forever but you can delay aging as much as possible by protecting your skin with sunscreen.
Sun gels are ideal for your everyday routine as they’re lightweight, but if you have dry skin, you can opt for sun creams. To find out which sunscreen is right for your skin type, check out Chapter 17 of the Beauty Book.