Effective skin care is not limited to a dermatologist office, a day spa, or a specific line or brand of skincare products. There are plenty of ways you can improve your skin health from the comforts of your own home.
In fact, these DIY skin care tips are so fundamental, yet largely ignored, that they can hardly be classified as DIY. The easiest ways to improve your skin at home require very little time and effort, but produce a bevy of results.
Here are 3 ways to improve your skin at home:
- Refine your skincare routine
- Eat your way to healthy skin
- Keep humidity in check
#1: Refine Your Skincare Routine
Skincare is a booming industry. You would be hard pressed to spend 10 minutes on the Internet without running into an article featuring the “only products you need for perfect skin.”
The sheer volume of products on the market is overwhelming not to mention the myriad of skincare tips available for your constant perusal.
In this blog we want to keep things simple; a great skincare routine starts with three basic steps: cleanse, moisturize, and protect.
Healthy skin begins with cleansing. Regularly cleansing the skin will remove dirt, debris, sweat, and excess oil build-up from the day’s activities.
Cleansing frequency is largely dependent on skin type. If you have dry skin, cleansing your face once in the evening will help to remove grime while retaining sufficient moisture. If you have oily, acne prone, or combination skin, you will need to cleanse your face twice: in the morning and in the evening.
The perfect cleanser for your skin is out there, it just may take some trial-and-error to find the right one. If you suffer from dry, dehydrated skin, you want a cleanser with moisturizing ingredients like ceramides or glycerin. If acne or excess oil is of major concern, ingredients like salicylic acid or tea tree can effectively dissolve the oil and dirt sitting on the surface of your skin.
The cold, dry weather associated with the fall and winter months prompt us to whip out our creamy moisturizers to combat the chap. But, did you know that you should moisturize your skin all year long?
Moisturizers work to prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and replenish the skin with the lipids and moisture necessary to repair the skin barrier according to a 2012 study published in Dermatological Therapy.
Adding a moisturizer to your skincare routine is an imperative step to achieve skin health restoration. You can vary the viscosity of your moisturizer depending on the time of year. For example, a thick and creamy moisturizer is relatively unpleasant during the summer months, so you can switch to a hydrating serum with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, glycerin, and polyglutamic acid.
The last, but certainly not the least, important step in your skincare routine should be sun protection. Sun protection, specifically UVA and UVB broad-spectrum protection, is absolutely necessary whether the sun is shining in the sky or the clouds mask its view.
UV damage can severely damage your skin. Aside from accelerating the aging process and triggering an overproduction of melanin, which produces brown “sun spots,” UV damage can cause skin cancer. Ultraviolet rays from the sun penetrate the skin, generating free radicals; these free radicals wreak havoc in your body causing harmful inflammation and damaging healthy cells.
Pretty easy to remember to wear your sunscreen when you look at it this way, huh?
#2: Glow from the Inside Out
You know that phrase “you are what you eat”? While you may not actually be what you eat, what you eat will certainly show up on your face.
The food we consume largely influences our bodily function. Diet has been closely associated with the development of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). But, diet does not only impact your internal mechanics; it also has an impact on skin health. In a 2002 study by the JAMA Dermatology journal with just under 25,000 participants, researchers found that consumption of fatty and sugary food products, milk, and sugary beverages exacerbated existing acne.
The good news is: diet is largely under your control. You can actually eat and drink your way to healthy skin!
Drink Your Water
We all agree, to varying degrees, that water is incredibly important in your diet for various bodily functions.
Water is the primary ingredient in our cells, tissues, and organs, and it acts as a solvent for amino acids and glucose (sugar), a nutrient carrier, a body temperature regulator, a lubricator for joints, a shock absorber during exercise, and more. Whew!
There is no question that water is the essence of life.
Water also plays a major role in our skin chemistry. In a 2015 study, scientists studied the impact of water on skin physiology and the results were undeniable. An increase in dietary water consumption in 49 females drastically improved skin physiology markers including improvement in epidermal (top layer of skin) and dermal (second layer of the skin) hydration, regulation of TEWL, and improved efficacy of various biomechanical functions.
So how much water do you actually need to consume daily?
In the aforementioned study, researchers added 2L or approximately 70 ounces of water to participant’s diets to monitor impact on skin function, but the recommended daily water consumption varies from source to source.
The best way to determine how much water you should drink daily is through trial-and-error or speaking directly with your doctor.
Keep Processed Sugars in Check
We noted the 2002 study, which determined a correlation between milk, sugary foods, sugary beverages and acne, but what exact foods should you avoid to eat your way to healthy skin?
Here are some of the most common dietary culprits that trigger skin conditions:
- White bread, pastries, and refined carbohydrates
- Fried foods
- Soda, sweetened tea, and other beverages with sugar sweetener
- Processed meat including hot dogs and sausage
- Red meat
- Margarine, shortening or lard
Antioxidants are a Game Changer
“Antioxidants” has become a trendy word in the skin care world and for good reason. Antioxidants are a key player in your body’s fight against free radicals and skin damage.
The best antioxidants to include in a healthy skin diet, especially one focused on fighting off skin cancer, include: beta carotene, lycopene, omega-3, polyphenols, selenium, vitamin c, vitamin d, vitamin e, and zinc.
There are plenty of tasty foods that are rich with these nutrients. Add a few (or all) of these nutrient-dense foods to your diet to achieve healthy skin:
- Beta Carotene: carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, apricots, and mangoes
- Lycopene: tomatoes, watermelon, guava, papaya, apricots, pink grapefruit, blood oranges
- Omega-3: salmon, albacore tuna, walnuts, and flaxseed
- Polyphenols: green tea and black tea
- Selenium: chicken and grass-fed beef
- Vitamin C: oranges, lemons, limes, strawberries, raspberries, broccoli, and bell peppers.
- Vitamin D: salmon, tuna, vitamin D milk
- Vitamin E: almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, and soybeans
- Zinc: beef, lamb, chickpeas, lentils, and black beans
#3: Keep Humidity in Check
Humidity has an undeniable impact on your skin. Too little humidity, and you have dry, flaky, or itchy skin. Too much humidity, and you may experience skin congestion, which can cause breakouts or a rash.
A humidifier helps to regulate humidity levels in your home. Humidifiers work by releasing moisture into the surrounding environment to elevate local humidity levels. The effect is increased humidity and comfort. Running your humidifier at night is an effortless, first step to your skincare routine.
Increased humidity in your home, particularly humidity levels between 40% and 60%, can improve your skin in the following ways:
- Rehydrate dry, itchy, or flaky skin
- Rehydrate dry, chapped, or cracked lips
- Increases efficacy of topical skincare products
- Protects the skin barrier from pollutants and bacteria
- Improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Improve dandruff as caused by a dry, flaky scalp
With input from dermatologists, we created Canopy to help you achieve optimal skin health for a relentlessly glowing complexion.
Canopy is an no-mist humidifier, meaning no bacteria, particles, or dust will be spewed into the air and onto your skin. Its paper filter and UV light technology kills any contaminants that enter the water tank, which ensures a clean stream of invisible moisture to keep your skin (and body) healthy.
In addition, Canopy has up to 36 hours of run time. But, convenience doesn’t have to be costly! Canopy is powered by USB-C making it 5X more efficient than leading humidifiers on the market keeping hard-earned money in your pocket.