We all want beautiful skin. After all, it is one of our most valuable assets. Whether you are 20, 40, 60, or somewhere in between, skin care is the building block to a healthy appearance. But where do we start?
1. Cleanse, tone and moisturize every day.
It’s important to cleanse your face twice daily, morning and night; but cleansing is not the end of the story. A toner will remove dirt and oils that may remain after cleansing. Moisturizer protects the skin from drying, flaking and wrinkling. And despite what you think, it can help with acne. Moisture in the skin helps keeps pores open so blemishes don’t form.
2. Stay hydrated.
Skin is an organ made up of cells. And skin cells, like any other cell in the body, are made up of water. Without water, skin can’t function at its best. When you aren’t getting enough water, the skin becomes dry, tight and flaky. It’s that dry skin that is more prone to wrinkles.
3. Don’t smoke.
We have seen the adverse effects that smoking has on the body. Let’s not forget the effect that smoking has on the skin. Smoking narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which leads to decreased blood flow. This depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin which in turn leads to wrinkles.
4. Avoid excessive sun exposure.
Sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots and other skin problems. In addition, it also can increase the risk of skin cancer. Use sunscreen daily and limit the time you spend in the sun as well.
5. 9 Budget-Friendly Items
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser and Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser are rated highly by beauty bloggers and consumers alike. Dermatologist recommended in many cases, both are gentle enough for everyday use and can be found at your local drugstore or big box store for about $10.
Don’t forget the toner! Described as a basic toner, safe for all skin types, Boots Botanics All Bright Cleansing Toner, is reasonably priced in addition to being well reviewed. About $7.50 at Target.
In 2015, Consumer Reports tested 34 water-resistant sunscreen products. Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50, $10.50, and Equate Ultra Protection SPF 50, a Walmart brand, $9, topped the list of budget-friendly brands. For face-specific sunscreen, I vote for Aveeno Protect & Hydrate Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 for Face, $10. This sensitive skin favorite is highly rated by Good Housekeeping magazine because it doesn’t irritate skin or leave residue behind.
I am a moisturizer junkie! After more than 20 years of moisturizer use, I stand by the Oil of Olay brands which are consistently well-reviewed and moderately priced. My favorites for daytime use include Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging Moisturizer, $20, and Olay Regenerist Deep Hydrating Regenerating Cream, $25. If you want a little extra color, try Jergens Natural Glow Face Daily Moisturizer SPF 20, $8, which is a moisturizer with a sunscreen and a bonus color-enhancer that will have you bronzed in a few days without streaking. These brands can be found at your local drugstore.
Overnight moisturizers are heavier by nature, but should not feel greasy. Making the totalbeauty.com list of best overnight creams, Mario Badescu Skin Care Seaweed Night Cream, $22 at Ulta, fits the bill. Reasonably priced, it is deeply hydrating. Having used this cream myself, I’m a fan.
5. Eye Cream
Roc Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream, about $20 at drugstores, is one of Allure magazine’s best eye creams for 2015. It can be used safely on all skin types, though specifically formulated for sensitive skin.
Exfoliation is often thought too harsh to add to a skin care routine. However, exfoliation can help your skincare products work better and help your makeup go on smoother. St. Ives brand, long an American cult favorite, has a line of scrubs that incorporates even a gentle formulation. Most products can be found under $5 at local drugstores and big box stores.
Do you really need a facial mask? Consider this: a facial mask can draw out impurities from beneath the top layers of the skin. They can also help exfoliate dead skin cells and unclog pores so your toning and moisturizing products work more effectively. Besides, who doesn’t want to have a relaxing spa night, mask included? Try Nugg brand products, an Allure magazine favorite, found at Target for under $4.
8. Lips—Burt’s Bees
Without fail, Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm is hands down the best lip balm I’ve found for use year round. It is well-reviewed in a host of beauty blogs. Perhaps best of all, it can be found at any grocery store or drugstore for about $3.
While not necessarily an integral part of a healthy skin care routine, a facial every 3-6 months can be a nice addition to a regular regimen. Facials are not miracles and will not guarantee perfect skin, no matter how much you pay for them. But they can be a relaxing, stress-reducer which can be a benefit to your overall health when you can afford the splurge.