By Rachel Grumman Bender, Prevention.com
(Photo: Getty Images)
When it comes to having a radiant complexion, some women were just born with it, right? While there's no denying that good genes play a role, smart skincare routines undeniably make a huge difference. We asked 4 beauty experts (all with amazing skin) to share their daily habits, and learned that you don't have to load up on pricey products to get glowing results.
They don't depend on sunscreen alone for UV protection.
There's no way around it: People with flawless skin slather on sunscreen rain or shine. But they also take things one step further, because they know how easy it is to miss a spot or forget to reapply. "I found that although sunscreen is good, I was still getting a tan while wearing it," says Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, a dermatologist and founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care in Chevy Case, Maryland, and clinical professor of dermatology at the George Washington Medical Center. "I've had three skin cancers, so I'm fanatical about wearing hats and sun protective clothing. Now I can now spend hours outside with my kids without getting sunburned." Dermatologist Karyn Grossman, MD, a dermatologist at Grossman Dermatology in Los Angeles and New York City, even had UV-blocking film applied to her car windows to guard against sun damage while driving.
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They swap out physical scrubs for chemical exfoliators.
Physical exfoliators--particularly, chunky grainy scrubs--can be harsh on your skin. "I'm not a big believer in scrubs," says Grossman. "People tend to over-scrub their skin, which can cause microtears that lead to irritation." Instead, Grossman prefers chemical exfoliators, such as retinoids or alpha hydroxy acids. They trigger cell turnover, which helps skin slough off more efficiently, she says, "and they're also collagen stimulators, so you're getting two-for-one."
Falling asleep with your makeup up on--along with dirt and pollution--is a skincare no-no, since it can clog your pores and lead to inflammation and breakouts. While it's best to wash with a gentle cleanser, Grossman admits that between work and caring for her kids there are days she's too exhausted to wash her face. Her no-fail solution: Leaving makeup removing pads on her nightstand so she can do a quick cleansing swipe before passing out. (The Power Nutrient Solution is the first-ever plan that tackles the root cause of virtually every major ailment and health condition today.)
They know that water temperature matters.
Hot water can strip skin of its moisturizing natural oils. Both Grossman and Tanzi wash their face with lukewarm water instead, which is less drying. "I never put my face in hot water," said Tanzi. "I don't go in hot tubs or steam rooms, and I'll take a warm shower and wash my face with tepid water."
They keep stress in check.
According to a study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, stress affects how the protective outer layers of your skin function, which can lead to redness and irritation. Not to mention wrinkles: "When I get anxious I furrow my eyebrows, and I can see faint lines--the dreaded '11s'--starting to form there," says Courtney Dunlop, beauty editor and co-author of Break Into Beauty. "So I make it a point to relax my face as much as possible throughout the day. I also find that regular exercise and deep breathing helps lower stress."
Sure, it can take Herculean willpower not to pop a zit, but trying to squeeze it repeatedly can make matters worse, leading to even more inflammation, broken skin, and scarring. "When I get a pimple, I'm very careful not to pick," says Grossman. "Inflammation is the problem, so I'll dab 1% hydrocortisone cream on the spot several times a day to decrease inflammation," she says. But what if you really can't resist? "I tell my patients that if the pimple is very white, you can squeeze it once. If one push doesn't do the trick, it's not ready and you need to leave it alone."
They break a sweat.
Turns out the fountain of youth may actually be a treadmill. "Exercise is important because it helps keep circulation going and stimulates the lymphatic system, which brings nutrients to and carries away waste from the skin," says celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas. "The lymphatic system doesn't have its own pump, so it needs exercise and diet to keep it healthy." Even more encouraging: Research out of McMaster University in Canada found that people over 40 who exercise regularly have skin that's closer in composition to that of 20- or 30-year-olds.
They log in at least seven hours of sleep every night.
It's called beauty sleep for a reason: Research shows that when you're sleep-deprived, people perceive you as having more wrinkles and saggy skin. Dunlop aims to get 8 hours of sleep every night. "It's a lofty goal, but one that I prioritize," she says. "On the occasions that I don't get a good night's sleep, even if it's just one night, my eyes get very puffy and my whole face seems to sag. It ages me instantly."
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Like smoking, the motion of sucking through straws or water bottles and chomping on gum can bring on fine lines and wrinkles. "I've 100% given up gum," says Grossman. "All of that excess motion on the lower part of your face and pursing your lips increases lines around the mouth." Instead, she recommends swapping gum for mints (and using a water bottle that either squirts or has a wide mouth so you can sip it).
By Rachel Grumman Bender, Prevention.com
This article 'Daily Habits of People With Flawless Skin' originally ran on Prevention.com.
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