The Product-less Guide to Good Skin

From a very young age, I sought out wellness advice. Some might say I became obsessed with having good skin and healthy hair. Makeup was nonexistent in my tween years- I was all about the preservation of the epidermis.

My “routine” consisted of using a a warm face towel every morning and night before applying Vaseline brand lotion. That’s it. That’s all I did for about the first decade of my life.

It wasn’t until I started modeling at 15 that I actually had a full face of makeup applied. That’s when I started to have skin “issues.” Products, other peoples hands, airplanes, lack of sleep, poor diet, and other factors started to make my skin irritated, blotchy, and dull.

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When it comes to skin and health, I’m a true believer in the “less is more” philosophy. Since modeling, I’ve tried numerous overpriced lotions (La Mer, La Prairie…) and trendy skincare products with ingredients such as charcoal, turmeric, and green tea extract. You name it. I’ve applied it. Nothing makes my skin as clear and glowy as simply following some basic “good skin” rules. Rules are:

Sleep

“Forty percent of all Americans are sleep deprived, getting less than the recommended 7 hours a night. That shows directly on your skin, according to a study coming out of the UK. They found fine lines and wrinkles increased by 45%, blemishes increased by 13%, and redness increased by 8% after just five nights of poor sleep.” (TheNewPotato)

Don’t Touch Your Face

“If you are acne-prone, absolutely face-touching can lead to breakouts. Rather than the word ‘cause,’ however, think ‘trigger.’ Acne is caused by the confluence three factors: excess oil, excess skin shedding and p. acnes bacteria,” said Dr. Shamban. “What touching can do is spread existing p. acnes — the culprit behind red inflammatory acne papules, pustules and cysts — on the surface and beneath the surface of the skin. Beneath the skin is where it does the most damage because it can spread to other pores and manifest in yet another pimple.” (HuffingtonPost)

Hydrate

“The fact is that skin is an organ, and just like any other part of the body. your skin is made up of cells. And skin cells, like any other cell in the body, are made up of water. Without water, the organs will certainly not function properly or at their best. If your skin is not getting the sufficient amount of water, the lack of hydration will present itself by turning your skin dry, tight and flaky. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling.” (UWHealth)

Avoid Processed Foods

“A paper published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recently stated that eating empty carbs and sugar foods – generally those that are processed including soda, candy bars, white bread and crackers can trigger acne. These are also considered “high-glycemic foods” and are highly inflammatory. They cause a spike in blood sugar, increasing hormones that stimulate oil production and cause inflammatory acne lesions.” (TheAlternativeDaily)

Use Only as Many Products as You Need

“Overdoing products that break down the stratum corneum cause irritant contact dermatitis and will trigger an immune response as part of the body’s healing mechanism. For instance, mixing and matching different skin care products can cause serious inflammation…The main objective of your daily regimen is to maintain the protective surface of your skin. If you use too many acids and harsh products, you erode that layer and expose yourself to infections and strip the stratum corneum of moisture.” (ShareCare)

Eat Good Fats

“The foods highest in omega-3 fatty acids include seafood (especially tuna and salmon) as well as walnuts, canola oil, and flax seed. These fatty acids are responsible for the health of the cell membrane, which is not only what acts as the barrier to things that are harmful, but also the passageway for nutrients to cross in and out and for waste products to get in and out of the cell… the membrane is what influences the cells ability to hold water, having a nice, healthy barrier yields moister, softer, more subtle, and more wrinkle-free skin.” (WebMD)

Sweat

“There are studies that show that the act of sweating not only removes impurities from your skin, but can help protect it from bacteria like E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus by secreting a rather nifty natural antibiotic called Dermcidin.” (IntoTheGloss)

Rinse Face Immediately After Sweating

“Allowing sweat to dry on the skin can clog pores and cause acne…sweating is a necessary way for your body to release toxins. With your system detoxified, your skin will be brighter and healthier – this is one of the reasons spas use steam treatments.” (TheBaltimoreSun)

Relax

“Stress forces your body into “panic mode” on every level as it focuses solely on calming you down, slowing your heart rate and pumping blood to your heart, instead of repairing your skin cells, reducing inflammation and keeping levels of youthful collagen high — all of the things it needs to do to reduce acne and stop signs of aging appearing prematurely.” (WorksWithWater)

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