Launder your pillowcases every 2-3 days. Pillowcases can house dirt and oil. Thick products from your hair are often transferred from the surface of your pillowcase to your face. You can prevent this by regularly washing your pillowcases. No matter what material your pillowcase is, if it isn’t changed regularly, it will have more grime, dirt, and sweat that will keep you from having radiant, healthy skin.¹ While you're at it, swap out the regular cotton version for something smoother like satin, silk, or Egyptian cotton, since rough pillowcases can cause wrinkles. If we can convince you to make JUST one more change, plug in a humidifier;² it counteracts the skin-drying effects of air conditioning and heat.³
Beauty sleep is called beauty sleep for a reason. Brighter and healthier skin begins with rest. While we’re off in dream land, our skin is busy rejuvenating itself, repairing free-radical damage and building new collagen. Getting quality sleep every night is essential to guaranteeing more radiant skin. "It's part of your circadian rhythms," says New York City dermatologist Jeannette Graf, MD. She continues, "At night, the pH of your skin decreases and microcirculation increases." Dr. Graf calls a full night's sleep "renewal mode" and recommends you get 7 to 8 hours each night.⁴
Don’t forget to exfoliate. While you might think expensive anti-aging creams and high-end moisturizers are the secret to beautiful skin, experts agree exfoliation is among the best ways to achieve and maintain a gorgeous complexion. “A good exfoliating agent will slough off the dull top layers, minimizing wrinkles, acne, and dry spots to reveal new, healthy, glowing skin,” explains Francesca Fusco, MD. If you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, try to avoid aggressively scrubbing your skin. Rather, use a cleanser with smooth microbeads two or three times a week.⁵ An even gentler solution for every day: use an exfoliation brush with soft bristles to very lightly scrub the skin without irritation.⁶ Make sure to keep anything that might touch your face protected from dirt and bacteria—especially make-up brushes!
Take shorter showers. Sorry! We enjoy a long, hot shower as much as the next person, but they strip and dry out your skin. You need to protect the moisture barrier—the outermost layer of lipids and water—because dry, cracked skin is prone to inflammation, ages faster, and looks dull and lifeless. One trick is shortening your showers to about five minutes and immediately moisturizing when you exit.⁷
Show SPF some love all year round. In rain or shine, winter or summer, whether you have ivory white skin or a dark complexion, your skin is always susceptible to sun damage. “You’re consistently exposed to the sun’s rays during daylight hours, even when you don’t realize it,” says Jeanine Downie, M.D. Dr. Downie recommends wearing SPF 30 every day to prevent fine lines, wrinkles, large pores, and uneven skin tone, in addition to preventing skin cancer. It’s essential you reapply your sunscreen every few hours, especially when you’re out and about, as SPF won't last all day, no matter what the label says.⁸
Prioritize tea time. People have literally been drinking tea for almost forever, and today more and more clinical studies suggest a hot botanical blend is good for your skin—from fighting free radicals to preventing acne.⁹ Next time you visit your local coffee shop, check out Rooibos or red teas. Common in South Africa, Rooibos teas are packed with nutrients and antioxidants that can even provide relief for skin issues like eczema, rashes, and sunburn.¹⁰¹¹White tea is another teaenjoyed for its mild flavor and skin benefits.¹² White teas contain antioxidants like most other teas which help fight off the effects of the environment. However, white teas are the least processed and have the highest amount of antioxidants.¹³
Feed your face. Your skin is hit with of environmental pollutants every day.¹⁴ The best way to attack the problem from the inside and out is by incorporating antioxidants into your daily diet. Antioxidants fight free radical damage, reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and inflammation.¹⁵ Daily smoothies are a quick, excellent way to supply your body with its needed nutrients and antioxidants. We also recommend eating a balanced breakfast containing protein, fiber, and healthy fats to regulate blood sugar throughout the day. Sharp spikes in blood sugar have been shown to cause acne, wrinkles, and rashes.¹⁶ It is important to make sure your diet includes key vitamins and nutrients essential to healthy skin. A few include Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, spinach, and walnuts), vitamin C (citrus fruits, chili peppers, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, and broccoli), vitamin E (almonds, squash, and grape seed oil), zinc (Greek yogurt), vitamin A (yams and sweet potatoes) and lycopene, a great antioxidant found in tomatoes.¹⁷
Face wipes are clutch. Washing your face before bed can be a chore, but allowing makeup, dirt, and bacteria to hang out on your face can cause breakouts, dullness, and wrinkles over time.¹⁸ Which brings us to face-cleansing wipes. A single towelette can remove a day's worth of grime, and you won't need to haul yourself to the sink. You're welcome.
Don't forget the essentials. We can talk all day about face wipes and tea, but if you're not working out and staying hydrated, you're going about this all wrong. Working up a good sweat will improve muscle tone, which results in fresher, younger-looking skin. Drinking water will assist in the skin's building of new cells and enhance its color and texture.¹⁹ It sounds obvious—we know—but this is just a friendly reminder.
Meditate. We’ve all probably heard those three dreadful words “You look exhausted!” This essentially translates to somehow looking unhealthy. The link between stress and dull, tired looking skin is clear. The more stressed we are, the worse we look. Daily meditation can significantly reduce stress levels, balance out hormones, lower your blood pressure, and stimulate lymphatic drainage, says celebrity facialist Kate Somerville.²⁰ When you get a chance, take a moment to focus on your breathing and relax.
Switch to almond milk. We have good news and bad news. The bad news is cow's milk isn't good for your skin. Dermatologists have studied the link between dairy and acne for many years, and recent research shows that rosacea flare-ups and other types of inflammation can also be triggered by drinking milk.²¹ Now the good news: the vitamin D-infused almond milk is a more than suitable substitute. Additionally, cheese and yogurt don't seem to have the same adverse effects.²²