We women spend an awful lot of money on ‘skin savers’. That is, special creams and creations that promise to turn back time, lighten and brighten, and basically make you look like the eternal Elves of fantasy novels (darn their magical porcelain skin!). The only problem is, sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t, but most of the time they will take a large chunk out of your wallet. It’s very important to leave that money for shoes and chocolate, so here are my suggestions for some skin savers that will be so kind to your wallet, your wallet will come back and give them a check for a million dollars when it makes something of itself later in life.
One of the first and best skin savers on offer is water. Seriously, you cannot drink enough of this magical stuff. It is ultra-cheap and it is really, really good for your skin. It hydrates your skin and helps prevent it getting dry and flaky. It is generally recommended that you try to drink roughly 2.2 liters - or about nine cups - in a day. If you’re worried that you may feel the need to pee approximately 147 thousand times a day, just think about the amazing advantages – glowing, healthy skin that brings on waves (Haha... see what I did there? Cos it’s water! ...OK. Carry on) of jealously from your friends. I try to always have a bottle of the good stuff with me, and I drink a huge amount of water. I even have a bottle on my nightstand for when thirst strikes in the middle of the night, and I take a big gulp before I start my day. If you begin the habit of glugging as much water as possible, you will notice a marked improvement in the condition of your skin over time.
SLEEP IS SO IMPORTANT FOR YOUR SKIN! I know that caps sentence was a bit loud, and I apologize. But I only yell at you because I love you! And sleep really is so crucial for healthy skin. You might have heard of beauty sleep – but did you know it was real? Yep, not just fodder for jokes about women sleeping with green masks and cucumber eye patches – it’s a real thing. When you don’t get enough sleep, it’s written all over your face - literally. Those dastardly dark circles may as well be colored on with purple marker! Your body is a hard worker, and during the night carries out repair and maintenance work. It renews itself, with tired old skin cells being replaced by happy new ones. If you go to bed at the right time (read: NOT 3 am after chain-watching eps of Friends!) and make sure you get enough sleep, your body can do its job and your skin will thank you for it.
The sun has been getting a bad rap recently, with many of us being warned to steer clear of too much exposure, as it heightens our risk of skin cancer. But like online videos with hilariously bad auto-captions, the sun can be a bit misunderstood. We actually need to get some sunlight every day, as our skin processes the UV in sunlight into Vitamin D, which is especially important for healthy muscles and bones. Depending on your skin type, time of year and location, the amount of sun you need will change, so make sure to consider these factors before going out. Generally a few minutes (15 or so) is enough. Try to steer clear of the hottest parts of the day when the sun’s rays are strongest (between 10 am and 4 pm). We’re not meant to be cave-people with animal-skin bikinis and crazy hair – we’re meant to be out enjoying some sun every once in a while.
4. Stress Less
If you’re stressing too much, it can affect your skin. Over-stressing can cause an evil chemical reaction that makes your skin more sensitive and likely to react badly to external stimuli. So uncontrolled stress can bring bad skin, which in turn causes more stress. What a vicious cycle! Not allowing yourself to just switch off, or keeping all your thoughts inside without speaking to someone for support will bring on this kind of stress. Take a deep breath, write down your stressors and how you can deal with each of them. Then, take a break and do something you love – read, play music, watch a fave TV show. Step outside yourself and let your stress fade away. While it leaves the room sheepishly, it will take its annoying friends Rashy McItchington and Eczema Spotzinki with it, and you won’t ever see them again. Phew! I hate those guys.
5. Food Choices
You are what you eat. A phrase often heard but more often ignored. It’s true though. What you put between your chompers makes a huge difference to the turn-out of your skin. It’s pretty simple: if you eat healthy foods that are full of vitamins and nutrients, your skin will soak up the goodness and reward you. If you fill up with only junk food, it will slap you across the face (with a pimple breakout). Your skin has to deal with bullies like temperature changes and dryness every day, so why not send it out with secret nutrient weapons up its sleeve to kick those dead-beats to the curb? Jujitsu those zits! Hi-ya!
Exercise is another free trick to get your skin looking ah-mazing. When you exercise, you increase the blood flow to your whole body, in turn refreshing your skin cells by giving them crucial nutrients and oxygen. As well as helping your skin to be on its best game, exercise also helps your blood flow to help carry away nasties like free radicals (they sound so much cooler than they actually are!) from your hard-working skin cells. And hey, now you have yet another reason to go to the gym tonight, and it’s not just to check out that cute guy on the treadmill beside you...
7. Washing Face Properly Every Day and Night
This one seems obvious, but so many of us forget to do it. But like the quiet kid in art class, this dark horse will turn out stunning results if you give it the time of day. Washing your face with specific-to-your-skin-type cleansing and toning products every day will wash all the yuckiness of the day off your skin. It’s like giving your skin a big hug! After hearing all that, I’m surprised you’re not washing your face right now! I would be, but then I would ruin this computer.
And there you are, proof that you don’t need to spend a dime to get your skin looking like a million bucks. Get them all down and you will have skin so amazing, airbrushed make-up models will be jealous. But I’m sure there are more! What skin tips do you have that don’t dent the wallet? Let me know in the comments!