Skincare has become an integral part hygiene culture within the past few years. Celebrities, influencers, and dermatologists alike have all taken to social media to share their best skin care tips, tricks, and routines will fellow skin care lovers. However, it’s always difficult to assess how well certain products/routines will work on your skin specifically through a screen. Even if you’re watching a YouTube video of someone who has the same skin type as you, a certain product that works for them, may not work for you, it’s all very subjective.
While the products and routines may all vary person-to-person, many of us don’t realize that the things we do everyday, and the ways in which we run our households, contributes vastly to our skin’s health and strength. This is especially true for those with sensitive skin; everyday choices can make or break how much damage is being done to our skin daily.
The first thing you want to think about in regard to skin health and its relation to your home is the temperature. When you raise the thermostat in your house and keep it on a high setting for long periods of time, the air will become hot and dry, which is a bad thing for your skin. Dry-heated air will suck the moisture from your skin, leaving it much more susceptible to flaking, especially in the winter. Try to remember to turn down your heat after an hour, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to completely shut it off, but definitely low enough that you can’t fully feel the heat in the air. If you’re in a part of the world where turning your heat down is just never an option, consider buying a purifier and/or humidifier to introduce moisture back into the air.
Along those same lines, it’s important to be conscious of the temperature of your water when you shower. Just like before, when you take hot showers for long periods of time, your skin is more susceptible to drying, flaking, and overall irritation. This doesn’t mean that you should be taking cold showers everyday, but try to keep it as luke-warm as possible, and less than ten minutes. Your skin will thank you, and so will the environment.
While it’s difficult to give generalized product recommendations, there are certain things everyone should be looking for in their skin care products. One of which is steering clear from anything with a fragrance. Fragrances in anything we put onto our bodies can be a hit or miss, but especially in terms of things we put on our face. Products with a scent are like a hot shower, they can dry you out and cause major irritation. Individuals with sensitive skin especially should always reach for something that’s labelled “fragrance-free” or “hypoallergenic.” These labels ensure that the products are more simply made, and don’t contain as many chemicals as their more natural counterparts.
Something that should 100% be a part of all of our skin care routines is moisturizing, and yet, most of us don’t even bother. I’m not referring to moisturizing your face after a cleanse, but instead, your body after a shower. After you shower you have a solid 3 minutes of optimal absorption time. Find a simply-made fragrance-free body moisturizer that works for your skin, and after you dry off, immediately lather up with said moisturizer. This will ensure your skin is absorbing as much hydration as it can.
The final two tips have to do with the outdoors. First, always make sure you’re dressing appropriately for the daily weather. If you know your skin becomes especially sensitive or damaged when conditions are cold, windy, extremely hot, humid, etc., make sure you’re getting ready with that in mind. If it’s windy and you know your skin is likely to dry and crack, wear a scarf to cover your face for the moments you are outside. Throw on an extra layer of moisturizer and take some petroleum jelly on the go with you in case any dry spots bother you throughout the day. If it’s hot, it’s extremely important that you wear some sort of SPF, which leads us into the final tip.
SPF moisturizers, and sunscreen in general, are stigmatized to only be used in the summer months when one is hitting the beach, however, once those summer months are over does the sun go away? NO! And neither should your sunscreen! Applying an SPF daily is extremely important as prolonged sun exposure can lead to early aging, sun spots, and an increased risk for melanoma. Especially now, with climate change being as bad as it is and the ozone layer depleting more and more everyday, the amount of radiation we’re exposed to daily is only going to get worse, so protect yourself, and your skin.
No matter what type of skin you have, there are changes we all can make in our personal lives to enhance our skin’s health and appearance. So be cautious, moisturize daily, wear a scarf, and PLEASE don’t forget to wear your sunscreen.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.