Are you in the habit of touching your face, going to bed without removing your makeup or neglecting to put on sunscreen? These bad habits and a host of others can contribute to problem skin. If you want your complexion to glow, kick these common bad habits to the curb NOW!
Out with the bad …
- Smoking – Age can be a touchy subject and no 30-year-old wants to be told they look 40 or older. Smoking leads to premature aging and deprives the skin of oxygen, making it thin, dull and wrinkled. Kicking this bad habit is good for your skin and your general health overall. Having trouble quitting? Seek professional help.
- Touching and Picking Your Face – Easier said than done, but so crucial to sustaining clear skin. Our hands are in contact with billions of germs and bacteria daily, from touching doorknobs, using public restrooms and shaking hands. Those germs and bacteria are easily transferred to the face, which can cause breakouts. Resist the urge to pop, pick or scratch pimples or acne as that will only prolong the breakout. And if you must touch your face, always wash your hands thoroughly!
- Going to Bed in Full Makeup – Makeup is best worn while you are awake, not while you are sleeping. Wearing makeup to bed can cause pores to clog and result in acne. Develop a daily skin cleansing regime using safe skincare products suitable for your skin type. Clean skin = glowing complexion!
- Skin Care Products – Skin care products are not “one size fits all.” Selecting the wrong cleanser or moisturizer could spell disaster for your skin. Dry skin is best served by a cleanser with an oil-based component. For oily skin, a more water-based cleanser is recommended. It may take several trips to the cosmetics counter before finding the right fit for you skin type, but you should consult a dermatologist for professional help and advice as well.
- Exfoliation Overkill – The adage “too much of a good thing can be bad” might apply when it comes to exfoliation. Yes – exfoliation is good, but not needed daily. Over-exfoliation can lead to dry, irritated and red skin. A good compromise is to exfoliate once (for dry skin) or twice (for oily skin) per week.
- Using Dirty Makeup Brushes – Guess what? Makeup brushes and sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria, which is why it is so important to clean or replace them on a regular basis. Brushes or sponges used for applying foundation or concealer should be washed or replaced at least once a week. Brushes used to apply eyeshadow should be washed or replaced at least once a month. And lastly, share your cotton balls, but never share your brushes and sponges with friends to avoid cold sores, pink eye and breakouts.
- Neglecting to Wear Sunscreen – Sunscreen comes in many options – lotion, spray, stick – so there is no excuse to leave home without lathering up. Sunscreen provides protection from the sun and decreases your risk of skin cancer. Make it a habit to wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher daily. And don’t be stingy with it! Apply it everywhere on your body that may be exposed to the sun.
- Give Up the Sugar and Carbs – While loading up on sugar and carbs might be great fuel to get you to the finish line of a marathon, they are not so great for your skin. Diets high in sugar and carbs, such as ice cream, cakes, white bread, rice and pasta can speed up the aging process.
In with the good …
Once you have “kicked” those bad habits – replace them with some good skin habits.
- Try developing a daily skin care routine that includes cleansing and moisturizing twice a day.
- Get your beauty sleep! Try to get at least eight hours of sleep per night. This good skin habit is part of Jennifer Lopez’s beauty regimen!
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! The benefits of hydration include fewer wrinkles, improves complexion, reduces puffiness, clears acne and tightens skin.
- Create a skin-friendly diet. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables!
- Have regular exams with a dermatologist to assess the health of your skin and check for skin cancer.
When it comes to skin care, the good always outweighs the bad. By embracing good skin habits, a glowing complexion is yours to have.
What is Holistic Dermatology?
Holistic dermatology relies on using all-natural products and remedies to treat skin conditions. Using natural dermatology to treat the underlying causes of an individual’s skin problem using the least invasive means first.
What Causes Your Skin to Break Out?
Although everyone has different underlying causes for skin issues these are some common things that can cause anyone’s skin to break out. Acne affects up to 80% of people sometime during their lives. So, it’s important to know what might be causing the breakouts so you can preemptively treat the root causes instead of focusing only on the symptoms.
The simplest cause of most breakouts are clogged pores for an assortment of reasons. Acne of all stages, white heads, black heads and pimples are all caused when your hair follicles become clogged with excess oil and dead skin cells. Often time in addition to regular daily activities, excess sweating, make-up use or a build-up of other products can affect negatively affect your pores.
One of the biggest factors when it comes to breakouts is hormonal changes. Hormones fluctuate for many different reasons and stress is one of them that affects both genders. Emotional stress hasn’t been proven to trigger brand new cases of acne, but it can prolong or worsen existing breakouts.
Contrary to popular belief cutting out greasy foods alone has very little effect on acne. However, many studies have found links between worsened acne symptoms and dairy products, sugar, and carbohydrate-rich foods. It’s important to note that people's bodies respond differently to all types of dietary restrictions, so it may not be a quick fix.
Tips and Tricks for Effective Holistic Dermatology
While many people are stuck at home unable to visit the dermatologist, the following suggestions are some holistic acne treatment tips that can be used at home.
Simple Stress Relievers
When cooped up at home, or under pressure from outside sources it’s important to take time for yourself and acknowledge the connection between a person's mental health and their physical well-being. Practicing deep breathing or yoga, reducing your caffeine intake, exercising, lighting incense or candles and listening to music are all simple ways to reduce some stress that can have a positive effect on your skin.
It may be common sense that you should establish a routine even when at home, but it can easy to forget. Avoiding touching your face is not only a good suggestion to avoid getting sick and spreading germs but it also keeps extra dirt and bacteria from transferring from your fingertips to your pores. While it is important to remove excess oil, buildup, and sweat washing your face too frequently or with harsh chemicals and exfoliants can have adverse effects as well. Use warm, water and a mild cleanser, do not scrub, rinse with cool water, pat dry with a clean towel and follow up with a moisturizer of your choice.
Switch Up Your Diet
While you may not have a severe allergy to certain foods or food groups if you are noticing worsening skin issues such as dryness, discoloration, itchiness and increased breakouts it’s worth it to examine your diet. Keep a food journal to help you keep track or try your own version of an elimination diet if you already suspect certain types of foods may be causing a break out. In general, decreasing your intake of processed food and sugar is a great first step. Increasing cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts will help detoxify your system and fresh berries can help reduce inflammation.
Use Natural Products
There are some natural products that you may already have at home that can be used to relieve some symptoms. Dry bouts of inflammation like psoriasis or eczema can be soothed with ginger root, spirulina, and turmeric which are all-natural anti-inflammatory immune boosters. Oily skin and acne breakouts can be reduced with witch hazel and tea tree oil. Both of these can be used as a holistic treatment for acne because they address bacterial build up and help keep your skin clean and dry. Bakuchiol, a new and exciting holistic treatment has been shown to act like a natural retinoid, with less irritation. It can reduce acne and inflammation and prevent wrinkles.
Power Up with Probiotics & Supplements
Keeping your skin healthy from home can be as simple as boosting up your internal nutrients. A lot of nutrients come from our diet, however, sometimes supplements can help fill the gaps. Studies have linked increased intake of probiotics, omega-3’s, vitamin B, vitamin D, and zinc to benefiting people with acne. If you are unable to get these supplements, work on incorporating a nutrient-dense diet, make an effort to eat and drink things with higher levels of these key nutrients.
Consult with a holistic dermatologist online!
While non-emergency in-person appointments have been put on hold as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, receiving a virtual consultation with a holistic skin care specialist to better understand your individual situation is highly recommended.