Today’s skincare market is flooded with all kinds of lotions, creams, and serums containing all sorts of ingredients. There are so many choices that you hardly know which one to pick. And it doesn’t end there. You’ll need to incorporate these products into your skincare routine, making it even more complicated. There must be a better way of caring for your skin that doesn’t require you to be all worked up and overwhelmed.
How about taking the minimalist route? The minimalist movement espouses going back to the basics and eliminating unnecessary elements that make life less pleasurable. By taking away the frills, you can add more value to the way you live.
It’s the same thing with skincare regimens. By getting rid of unnecessary products and steps, you can protect your skin from ingredients that can actually cause clogged pores, even breakouts during your period. Here are three basic ways to create a minimalist skincare routine that both your skin and your less-stressed self will love.
Know the essentials: cleanse, moisturize, protect
When you take away the non-essentials, you’re most likely to end up with these: a cleanser, a moisturizer, and sunscreen.
You can give your skin the gentle cleansing it needs while taking care of the environment at the same time. Choose from effective yet gentle and sustainable cleansers like yogurt, chickpea powder and turmeric, and oatmeal (just pick one!). By going for net-zero lifestyle products, you can give your skin a break from toxic chemicals that damage it and also pollute the earth.
If you have oily skin or are prone to acne, opt for cleansers that have glycolic or salicylic acid. These ingredients can unclog skin pores and reduce swelling and redness. Regardless of your skin type, skip any product with methanol, cetyl, ethyl, or any other kind of alcohol that can irritate and dry the skin.
Most gentle and water-based moisturizers can work well to soften normal skin. If, however, you have dry skin, pick an oil-based moisturizer that can hold the water in or look for one with lactic acid in it. Use petroleum jelly to soothe and treat damaged skin at bedtime, especially if you have cracked skin.
Oily skin also needs moisture. Soften up with a light, non-comedogenic moisturizer (won’t clog pores) that isn’t oil-based.
The sun is your skin’s worst enemy. Frequent sun exposure causes premature wrinkles, age spots, and sagging skin. In worst-case scenarios, it can even lead to skin cancer.
Whatever your age and lifestyle, you need sunscreen to protect your skin’s health. Use it every day, especially on parts of your skin with sun exposure. Choose a sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection and has an SPF of at least 30. Apply generously and reapply every two hours, particularly after a swim. If you have severely oily skin, you can ditch the moisturizer and apply sunscreen instead during the day.
Hydrating with water is one of the best and easiest ways to take care of your skin. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend a daily fluid intake of 15.5 cups or 3.7 liters for men. It advises a water consumption of 11.5 cups or 2.7 liters for women. Adequate hydration helps flush out toxins, enhance skin elasticity and tone, and plumps the skin, creating a youthful appearance.
Adopt good lifestyle habits
Without even touching any skincare product, you can already make significant improvements to your skin by just tweaking your lifestyle habits.
Get enough sleep
Sleep allows your body to repair and restore the skin by building up collagen supply. Collagen is a kind of protein that strengthens and makes your skin supple. By setting a sleep schedule, creating a bedtime routine, ditching your electronic gadgets, and avoiding stimulating activity an hour or so before bedtime, you can allow your body to heal. Get enough Zzzs and give yourself beautiful, glowing skin.
Regular exercise can also improve the skin by boosting blood flow. Proper circulation delivers the nutrients and oxygen that your cells and tissues need to revitalize. A workout can also support collagen production to keep skin firm and supple.
Eat a healthful diet
Lastly, let’s talk about eating healthy. Starchy carbs that break down quickly, such as baked potato and white bread, have a high glycemic index that can cause skin inflammation and worsen conditions like acne. Excess sugar can also wreak havoc on the skin by causing the cross-linking of collagen, resulting in the loss of elasticity and causing wrinkles to appear. Replace these foods with nutrient-laden green and leafy vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats, such as Omega 3 fatty acids from salmon and plant oils, and Omega 6 fatty acids like those from flaxseed and sunflower seeds.
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