Pointers for a perfect complexion

       
November 7th, 2013 | Contributed by:

Pointers for a perfect complexion

No matter who you are, blemish-free skin is always a top beauty priority. Still, certain lifestyle factors or habits can get in the way of a clear complexion.

Whether your type is oily, dry or combination, there are certain strategies and solutions that can be invaluable in your efforts to achieve a flawless face. Here are some helpful hints:

Detox your diet
Cleansing doesn't have to involve an all-liquid diet, but it does mean you'll need to get rid of certain unhealthy fare and replace it with more nutritional foods. The fact is, what you eat can have a major impact on your skin, so it's important to feed your body the right nutrients to make sure your skin cells can regenerate properly for a rejuvenated and radiant appearance. 

Meagen McCusker, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Connecticut Health Center, explained to The Washington Post that it's best to avoid refined sugars and high fructose corn syrup, which can promote inflammation. Not only that, but she noted that sugar also damages cell membranes and destroys collagen, which is the protein that keeps skin looking supple and taut.

Los Angeles-based dermatologist Jessica Wu told Women's Health magazine that dairy products actually fuel your oil glands, thus exacerbating breakouts.

So what should you be noshing on? Alan Dattner, a New York dermatologist, told the news outlet that nuts and wild salmon offer the essential omega-3 fatty acids that promote healthy skin. He also recommended incorporating fish oil and flaxseed into your diet for the same benefits.

It goes without saying that hydration is important for overall health, but it's also crucial for your complexion. Aim to drink eight glasses a day to flush out impurities that can make your skin look dull.

Be a clean freak
If you want to keep blemishes at bay, you have to wash your face regularly – no excuses. That means using a cleanser that can regulate oil when you wake up and before you go to bed, as well as after a sweaty gym session. Don't wash your face more frequently than that, though, or you could actually dry out your skin and cause oil glands to go into overdrive. You'll also need to reach for a makeup remover at the end of the day to avoid acne. Breakout-prone skin needs moisturizer, too, so reach for an oil-free formula, which will boost hydration levels without clogging pores or leaving a greasy residue.

Cleanliness is key for other aspects of your life as well – like your makeup brushes. If you don't wash them, the bacteria and dirt that builds up in the bristles could end up back in your pores. So remember to massage a bit of facial cleanser and warm water into them once a week, then lay them flat to dry.

Women's Health noted that smartphones are filled with germs, which can land on your face every time you put one to your ear. Keep antibacterial wipes on hand to prevent your chatting from compromising your complexion.

TLC
Most importantly, be kind to your skin to avoid the angry red bumps.

Exfoliate once a week to facilitate cell turnover and slough off dead skin and debris that can clog pores. Be gentle with your application, though – an ideal product that contains natural exfoliants, like alpha-hydroxy or glycolic acids, will do the work for you.

When it comes to your nighttime skin routine, reach for a treatment that contains calming ingredients, like aloe vera or chamomile.

Whatever you do, don't stress. Cortisol, one of the primary stress hormones, is directly related to oil production – so it's important to relax to minimize acne. Whether it's taking a morning yoga class or a warm bath at night, simple soothing acts will also keep your skin from freaking out.

       

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