These 5 Habits Are Wrecking Your Skin—Here's What Experts Say to Do Instead
Maintaining or even achieving healthy, glowing skin can feel like a never-ending struggle. One day you could be in the clear, feeling great, sporting that barely there makeup look that everyone loves. The next day, you could wake up with some zits, redness, or a mysterious dry patch somewhere on your face.
There are a lot of factors at play here when it comes to your skin health. It could be genetics, hormones, diet, lifestyle choices, your environment… The list goes on and on. You can't solve every skin condition. In fact, it's best to see a dermatologist for anything that seems serious or can't be fixed with home or over-the-counter remedies. But you can take some control of your skin health and make some changes so that you're setting yourself up for success.
To start, you can clean up some not-so-good-for-you habits. Here are some to watch out for:
Eating poorly. We're all about balance here and allowing ourselves treats now and then, but without a diet full of nutrients, you're not helping your health across the board. The Mayo Clinic says that the best foods for healthy skin are the ones that are good for your health overall. Think things like antioxidants, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and fatty fish.
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Smoking. Quit the habit. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) says that smoking can speed up the aging process and worsen certain skin diseases, like psoriasis.
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Tanning. It's important to protect your skin from the sun, so make sure you apply sunscreen daily and spend your time outdoors with skin safety in mind.
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Not Washing Your Face. You don't have to have a lengthy skincare routine, but you should try to put in a little effort. The AAD recommends gently washing your face in the morning and at night to remove dirt, bacteria, and makeup.
Letting Your Stress Run Wild. Stress can really mess with your whole body, and your skin can be one of its victims. The AAD says that when you don't manage it, you might encounter flare-ups of skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.
The above list is not 100% exhaustive of all the changes that can help, but it's a start, and you can discuss more tips with your doctor or healthcare professional. You can also experiment with replacing these bad habits with other things that can be good for your skin, like vitamins and supplements (with your doctor's okay), certain foods, and other lifestyle changes. We've outlined some below.
Who What Wear beauty director Erin Jahns saw some amazing results after taking Moon Juice's skin supplement for three weeks, saying she thought her skin looked and felt healthier, brighter, and smoother. The formula contains antioxidants to prevent signs of aging and promote collagen production and elasticity.
Containing organic algae and 14 herbs and minerals (including spirulina and chlorella), Hum's detox supplements work to clear acne. It's recommended to take two supplements a day, and many users report seeing results after six to eight weeks of consuming.
Add one of these sachets to water for better skin. The powder contains vitamins C and E, CoQ10, grape-seed extracts, lutein, and zeaxanthin to protect and prevent free-radical damage and build collagen.
After taking Mighty Night consistently for a month, my skin felt so much softer and smoother. The supplements contain ceramides, CoQ10, valerian root, and passionflower to promote cell turnover and skin hydration and also help you sleep. It's recommended to take two capsules at bedtime.
This powder contains 18 bio-fermented and probiotic superfoods that work to improve gut health, which in turn can make your skin healthier and more radiant. For dosage, mix one teaspoon into water or another beverage.
While your body creates collagen, the production of the protein decreases as you get older, which can lead to wrinkles and crepey skin, among other things. Sometimes, you might need to add on collagen-rich foods or supplements. Vital Proteins makes a variety of these products—in particular, its Beauty Collagen supports glowy and hydrated skin.
An editor-favorite brand, Sakara Life's Super Powder is a blend of plant protein, daily greens, phytoceramides, digestive enzymes, B12, and L-theanine. These ingredients all work to improve energy, skin health, immunity, and gut health.
If you're going to have your daily latte, why not make it good for your skin, too? This turmeric-and-matcha blend contains nutrients that support energy, focus, metabolism, immunity, gut health, and of course, glowing skin.
These gummies are formulated to hydrate the skin so that it really glows. They contain hyaluronic acid, collagen, and sea buckthorn.
The Nue Co.'s Skin Filter targets sun damage, pigmentation, breakouts, and impurities. It contains a blend of vitamin C, zinc, champagne grape seed, and melon.
WelleCo's daily supplement is formulated with nutrients that are supposed to nourish, brighten and firm skin, and reduce visible signs of aging. To use, add two teaspoons to water, almond milk, coconut water, or a smoothie daily.
Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to skin and heart health. And according to Oregon State University, they play a critical role in normal skin function and appearance. Sources of omega-3s include salmon, nuts, and avocados.
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Getting the recommended servings of vegetables will help your overall health. "In general, eating a clean and plant-based diet with fresh fruits and vegetables is healthier, as they are full of fiber, low-fat, and low-sugar, thus stabilizing insulin levels. Spikes in insulin can also cause acne," Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in private practice, told us. Leafy greens are always a good option.
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Antioxidants are known to protect against free radicals that come from exposure to UV rays and pollution. You can find antioxidants in green tea, tomatoes, and blueberries.
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Vitamin C is another powerful antioxidant that can protect the skin. Plus, it's a precursor to collagen production, which promotes skin thickness and health. Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, tomatoes and tomato juice, potatoes, red and green peppers, kiwifruit, broccoli, strawberries, brussels sprouts, and cantaloupe.
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Research has shown that probiotics can prevent and treat skin conditions like eczema, acne, and allergic inflammation. Food and drink like kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, miso, and kombucha are all sources of probiotics.
Yes, you read that right. Red wine contains resveratrol, another antioxidant that's good for your skin and heart health.
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If you can't possibly start your day without a cup of coffee, you're in luck. It has antioxidant properties and might improve circulation.
Exercise can improve circulation, which can help your skin and make it glowy. Yoga, in particular, is one to prioritize as it has many skin benefits, including reducing inflammation, relieving stress, balancing hormones, and improving digestion.
Getting enough sleep is key to helping your skin look its best. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a lack of sleep can cause the stress hormone cortisol to be released, which can lead to inflammation in the skin.
Do your best to protect yourself from sun damage. The AAD strongly recommends applying sunscreen every day when you go outdoors.
Alcohol is a diuretic, which can leave your skin feeling dehydrated. It also reduces those good antioxidants, messing with cell renewal and turnover. And if that's not all, it's also pro-inflammatory.
Next Up: No Lie: These Vitamins Will Make Your Hair, Skin, And Nails Flawless
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.