Self care is the best skin care

No matter what your age, gender or level of income is, there are really simple things you could do to improve the health of your skin for free. They are so basic and everyone knows about them, but sometimes we just need a little reminder every now and again. None of them involve buying an expensive cream or an ultrasonic device of some sort. The only investment would be a little bit of your time and careful consideration for your well being. I invite you to take care of yourself, and your skin will notice. Below are my six free tips for healthy skin at any age.

  1. Get enough sleep

    What do you think is the single big contributor that wreaks absolute havoc on your health? Lack of sleep. Making more time in your day by sacrificing on sleep seems like the easiest answer to mounting pressures of modern living. Most of us lead busy lives and there are always things to do, including staying up late to enjoy a couple of quiet hours once everyone else in your household has gone to bed. It is very easy to not see sleep as priority, but cutting back on shut-eye drastically affects your overall health. Perhaps the most superficial effect is the dark circles and bags under your eyes! Sleep is still not very well understood and remains a mystery to neuroscience, but it is absolutely vital for hormone production. If you want better skin, you should sleep 7-8 hours a night, as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation and almost any imaginable health care practitioner under the sun.

  2. Drink water

    Water is so immensely important to our skin, as well as the work of all other organs in the body, that staying hydrated should truly become a habit. Personally, I find that the recommended 8 cups/2 liters a day is excessive, and I do wonder why there is absolutely no leeway according to age, gender, body mass and level of physical activity. I think that it’s important to trust your thirst drive as well as think about the recommended levels of water intake. I’m including drinking water in my list of free (or relatively low cost) things you can do for the health of your skin, because it’s cheaper than fizzy drinks, however, of course clean water straight out of your faucet comes at a price. Nevertheless, staying hydrated can prevent many other health risks like kidney stones and digestion problems. There is also anecdotal evidence that staying hydrated helps with acne and healthy hair growth. Water also flushes out impurities and improves blood circulation, so you end up with glowing, healthy skin.

  3. Wear a hat when out in the sun

    Protecting yourself from excessive exposure to the sun is another almost free thing you can do for your skin. There are a million and one various suncare products out there, from 100% natural and pure zinc oxide to clinically tested broad spectrum sunscreens, so go with what you feel is best for you. Some sun exposure is completely healthy and desirable for normal vitamin D production that takes place in the skin itself, but as anything in excess, too much sun is bad for you. Many medications and even birth control pills increase your level of sensitivity to the sun, so please make sure you stay sun safe! Wearing a hat when you’re out enjoying the sun is a very simply and easy thing to do, and your face will thank you. Buy a big broad brimmed sun hat once, and wear it! Protective clothing, like a long-sleeve tee shirt, is also a wonderful way to limit sun exposure.

    Wear a hat when you're out in the sun, and you'll reduce premature aging and dark spots

    Wear a hat when you’re out in the sun, and you’ll reduce premature aging and dark spots

  4. Don’t smoke, or quit if you do

    There is so much evidence that smoking is horrible for your health and skin, that it feels silly to write yet another article about it. Since we’re on the subject of free things you can do to get healthy skin, not smoking will save you a LOT of money, not to mention reduce risks of various cancers.  Smoking constricts the blood vessels, so your skin gets less oxygen and nutrients, and starts looking dull and gray, with premature wrinkles. Do yourself a kindness and quit – and don’t expose yourself to second hand smoke either. Your skin will thank you!

  5. Manage stress

    Some stress is actually good for our overall health – the short-term kind, that gives us a challenge and an adrenaline rush. But long-term, repetitive, unadressed stress depletes us emotionally and physically, and our skin is usually where it shows first. There are various ways to manage stress – funny enough, some of them are already mentioned in this blog post, like getting enough sleep! From meditation to doing sports, to finding meaningful ways to connect with others, stress can be kept at bay and your skin health will improve too

  6. Go for a walk once a day

    My husband and I are lucky: we have a cat that likes to be taken for daily walks around where we live. Granted, that is an unusual situation, but if you include a daily walk into your routine, I guarantee you will notice a difference in your skin health. It’s a very low impact activity, so everyone can enjoy it, plus taking a walk is absolutely free! Walking is a very gentle form of exercise, but it increases your muscle tone and improves blood circulation, so prepare to notice rosier cheeks and better complexion!

    If you can think of any other very low cost or free tips for healthy skin, that don’t include buying an expensive cream, please tell me below in the comments!