We all know that one girl who claims she never washes her face and just happens to wake up with perfectly dewy, not-a-pimple-in-sight skin. We want to hate that girl. But perfect skin doesn’t just have to be a pipe dream: Here are seven rules girls with great skin never, ever break.
Wear Sunscreen Daily
Wear a minimum of SPF 30 every day—shoot for 50 if you’ll be stepping outside—to prevent sun damage, skin cancer, wrinkles, and sunburn. Remember to cover your face, décolletage, hands, and any exposed skin, and reapply every couple hours to be sure you’re protected.
You know that glow you get after going for a run? It does more than just burn calories: exercise delivers oxygen to our skin, says Lynda Torrey, director of education at the Woodhouse Day Spa.
Never Sleep in Makeup
With makeup wipes and micellar water, taking off your makeup before you go to sleep should literally take seconds. Your skin likes routine, so it’s easier to track why you’re breaking out when you have a steady and consistent regimen.
In addition to a smoother appearance, regular exfoliation allows all skin-care product to absorb better and work more efficiently, says beauty expert Christina Marrale.
Never Pick Zits
We know, we know, it’s so hard to resist. But you’ll make them worse and they’ll probably leave a scar, says dermatologist David Bank. Treat your breakout with salicylic acid (we like Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment) until the inflammation goes down. If you absolutely must pop the pimple, make sure it’s ready (only pop whiteheads!) and use clean, dry hands and an extractor. Oh, and same goes for scabs: You won’t help the pimple heal any faster if you pick at the scab it left once you popped it. For smaller scars caused by shaving nicks or deep scratches that are less than six months old, use an at-home silicone cream to help flatten and remove redness, says Dr. Bank. The cream should be applied twice a day for two months in order to get the best results. For more substantial and older scars, the best recommendation is to have at least four sessions of vascular laser treatments or a Fraxel laser treatment to help reduce the scar itself and restore the skin to its natural color, says Dr. Bank.
Eat the Right Foods
Everyone knows gorging on junk food isn’t doing your skin any favors. But if you’re eating a consistent diet filled with fruit and vegetables, be sure you’re not overdoing it on the sugar, which can trigger acne. Other foods to add to your diet: tomatoes, which are rich in vitamins A, B, C, and K, alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene; olive oil contains major antioxidants such as vitamins A and E, which help restore skin elasticity; kale is the top of the list when it comes to beauty foods as it’s full of antioxidants which can slow down the aging process. Kale also contains vitamin A, which is essential for the health of your skin.
We probably don’t have to tell you this, but smoking is terrible for your skin, says Chase Polan, the founder of the leading luxury and all-natural skin-care line, KYPRIS Beauty. Limited lung capacity leads to decreased oxygenation of tissues and toxins that your liver now has to process, which will diminish glow. Remember, your skin doesn’t have a liver, so you’re creating a cloud of pollution around your skin, which is inflammatory, which causes dull, dehydrated, sallow skin.