Five Tips for Healthy Skin

I don't know what it is about the change of season, but it always makes me want to get really organised! One area of my life I've been organising recently is my beauty regimes, in particular my skincare routine. At this time of year I love switching out my lightweight summer products in favour of deeply hydrating oils and moisturisers to (hopefully!) keep the dull and dry winter skin at bay. It got me thinking of some other things that can improve skin, and while this isn't new or revolutionary information I think it's just things we can forget about when we're going about our day to day lives. Here are five top tips for healthy skin, hopefully they give you some ideas about where to start if you're new to skincare (or refresh your memory if you're not!)

Stick to a Skincare Routine
Before I started blogging my routine consisted of face wipes, shower gel and any old body moisturiser if my skin was feeling dry (which it often was, lets face it that's a car crash of a skincare routine). Work out whether you have dry, oily or combination skin- there are lots of articles online which explain how to do this- and always go for products designed for your skin type. At the very minimum a face wash, exfoliator, eye cream and day/night moisturisers should keep your skin clean and hydrated. I'd also recommend using a toner, investing in a decent makeup remover and a couple of different face masks targeted for your specific skin complaints.  

Protect From The Sun
UV rays aren't just a problem in the summer, and are damaging to the skin all year round. We all know of the dangers of sun damage: premature aging, loss of elasticity and even skin cancer, but the majority of people still don't do anything to protect against it. There are so many products available now that there's no excuse, if you know you're unlikely to reach for the sunscreen every day choose a moisturiser or BB cream with SPF included. Seeing as you'll be wearing them anyway you can kill two birds with one stone. If you're already noticing changes in your skin, diagnosis and treatment for such damage can be found at many clinics such as London Dermatology Clinic.

 Don't Smoke
As a non-smoker I've never seen the appeal, in fact I've despised being around people smoking for as long as I can remember. However if you do smoke, quitting or at least cutting down is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your skin- or every other part of your body for that matter. Smoking causes premature aging (especially under the eyes and around the lips) and a sallow complexion with a loss of natural glow. It also causes a depletion in vitamin c which makes the skin more susceptible to UV damage, this happens due to a constriction of blood flow meaning smoking literally starves the skin of oxygen. 

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
 What you put into your body has a huge impact on your skin, eating a healthy and varied diet and drinking plenty of water will keep skin supple and looking radiant. The wrong things on the other hand will do the complete opposite: for example I always find that after drinking alcohol that my skin feels dehydrated for a few days after, and the wrong foods can bring me out in spots. While these kinds of occasions are always going to crop up, living a healthy lifestyle for the majority of the time will keep skin at its best. Fruits and vegetables are an obvious one- but things like nuts, eggs and poultry all contain ingredients that are beneficial for the skin. Exercise is also great for the skin, the increased blood flow means toxins are quickly removed and skin cells are nourished.

Keep Checks on your Psychological Wellbeing
Did you know that stress and anxiety can have a detrimental affect on your skin, hair and nails? This is more of a complex one as stress can mess with the skin in a number of ways. First off, it can cause problems such as cold sores, rosacea, psoriasis and acne to flare up. Secondly stress has also been shown to impair skin barrier function, which can result in dehydrated skin and make it more prone to irritants and pollutants which can cause infection. Finally, under times of stress people are much more likely to neglect their skincare routine meaning any complaints will get worse- dry skin can become sore and flaky, oily skin can cause spots and blackheads etc. Being stressed can cause havoc on your entire body but the skin is one of the places you'll spot physical changes first. Keeping stress levels under control will result in happier, healthier skin; if you have ongoing skin problems that nothing else has fixed, this is the one to pay attention to.

Looking for more skincare tips? Check out Carly's Beauty Blog who covers topics from acne to advice for different skin types to product reviews