Image Source: Getty Images I hardly seem to go a day without getting compliments on my skin. Fortunately, I have great genes. My mom has amazing skin that is ageing beautifully, and it seems I’ve inherited that same porcelain skin.
However, I’m just as convinced that a few key things have been instrumental to both ensuring that my skin grew healthy and lovely and that it will continue to remain so. Since I think they are pretty universal for anyone, whether they’ve been blessed with good genes or having nice skin is a daily battle, I figured I would share them here.
In case you missed the lesson in elementary school, this acronym stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid! I’m putting this tip first because, really, the other two are tied to it. First and foremost, I’ve always kept my skincare routine simple. I don’t use any particularly fancy products or systems, and I aim to keep everything as minimal as possible: minimal steps, minimal ingredients, minimal touching. I use a gentle, handmade goat’s milk soap for cleansing, moisturize daily with SPF in the morning and pure jojoba oil at night, and exfoliate regularly with both a scrubby sponge and a retinol serum. If a blemish happens to creep up, I’ll dot it with tea tree oil until it’s healed. It doesn’t really get much simpler than that!
I’m convinced that having kept my skincare routine at a minimum, I’ve maintained what natural health my skin has as well as kept it from responding negatively to any particular ingredient or process. I never have to let my skin “heal” from a treatment or “calm down” from the use of a certain product. I don’t strip my skin of all its natural protective barriers, and I don’t overload it with substances it wouldn’t otherwise come into contact with.
So, above all else, keep it simple!
2. Avoid the sun
I know that it’s become a bit universal that a tan is a sign of health and beauty, but even sunless tanning is absolutely no good for you or your skin. While I’ll admit that at times the lengths I go to in order to avoid the sun can be extreme by most people’s standards, I feel the fact that my skin doesn’t have a hint of sun damage is all the proof I need that it’s worth it. I honestly have developed a sense of pride in the fact that I (no exaggeration) glow in the dark and can blind people with how much light reflects off my skin, and I have no desire at all to have a tan – no matter how slight.
In order to maintain healthy levels of Vitamin D and serotonin, you only need about 15 minutes of daily sun exposure – and that doesn’t need to be all in one go. Even someone like me, who constantly puts in effort to NOT get sun exposure, winds up with enough incidental exposure to maintain health. The only people who truly need to worry about getting enough sun are those in the extreme north or south, where sunlight can literally be hard to come by, particularly in the winter months.
I always wear sunscreen, even with my efforts to point-blank stay out of the sun, and since I do a lot of walking, I always carry an umbrella and aim to walk in the shade as much as I can. Protecting your skin from the sun not only keeps it looking young and healthy – it’s the most critical way to prevent skin cancer.
So for beautiful, healthy skin, stay out of the sun!
3. Leave it alone
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but picking at a blemish is about the worst thing you can do for your skin. Picking at and touching your skin in general does it no good. I try to live by a hands-off approach when it comes to my skin: your hands harbor tons of bacteria and dirt, so even if you don’t currently have any pimples or clogged pores, touching your face all day long is a surefire way to get them!
The same goes for scrapes and scabs: I know it can be hard not to scratch and pick at them, particularly as they go through the itchy phase of healing, but it won’t make things go any better or faster as you heal to be picking at your scabs all day. You can, again, introduce dirt and bacteria to a wound that then winds up infected or at the very least, prolong the healing process as you continually reopen the spots just barely recovering.
Picking at your skin just leads to scars, whether on your face or elsewhere. Keeping your hands off will prevent the spread of bacteria and infection and will allow your skin to heal on its own, at the right pace.
Your skin is the largest organ in your body – it’s really good at renewing itself as long as you just leave it alone!
Please share any top skincare tips that you have in the comments section. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how to best care for your skin, and I’m sure other readers will find them helpful, as well.