Healthier skin is never achieved with a temporary solution, but always through a long-term plan to revitalize and rejuvenate your body. To achieve the healthier, younger-looking skin that you’ve always wanted, it’s necessary to make changes to your lifestyle by adopting new attitudes towards how you treat your skin. This process is not nearly as intimidating as it sounds, especially since we’ve put together a collection of some of the simplest and most effective changes you can make to your daily life to reach your skin care goals.

Avoid the Sun

It’s no secret that the sun can have some of the most damaging long-term effects on your skin. As great as those summer rays may feel on your skin, there are a few things to keep in mind to avoid letting those sunbeams hurt you. Sunscreen is crucial to your protection, especially during the summer. Use sunscreen with at least 15 SPF and be sure to reapply every two hours while you’re outside (and even more often if you’ve been swimming). Try to stay in the shade and cover your skin with long-sleeved shirts and wide-brimmed hats during peak hours of sunlight.

Don’t Smoke

For the health of your skin, it is very important that you do not smoke. Since smoking has a constricting effect on your blood vessels, it stops your skin from getting an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients. This can seriously affect the health of your skin and cause you to wrinkle easier and give your skin an older appearance. Smoking can also reduce the elasticity of your skin by damaging collagen and elastin, the fibers that preserve your skin’s strength.

Be Gentle with Your Skin

Even though cleansing your skin on a regular basis is healthy, excessive cleansing can have a negative effect on your overall skin care. Being gentle with your skin, especially while cleaning yourself, is crucial to maintaining and improving the health of your skin. While showering, limit your time under the water and avoid using soaps which are too powerful. Getting clean is important, but it can be damaging for you to remove too much of your skin’s natural oils. While shaving, always shave with the grain and only use a sharp, clean razor. Make sure that you’re lubricating with shaving cream or lotion as well because a dry shave can result in irritation.

Eat Healthy

A healthy diet is always a solid recommendation when trying to improve your life, but it can be especially helpful in strengthening your skin. Starting your day with yogurt or steel-cut oatmeal can help make your skin firmer while adding walnuts to either of those options can restore your elasticity. Be sure to incorporate lots of fruits into your diet as well: pomegranates can assist in blood flow and give you a rosier, more youthful appearance. Vegetables like kidney beans can also clear your skin and reduce blemishes. Don’t think that a healthy diet should stop you from being able to treat yourself though, the cocoa content in chocolate hydrates your skin, making it look younger and firmer.

Manage Stress

When you’re anxious or stressed out, your body releases stress hormones that can increase the production of oils on your skin. An increased amount of oil makes your pores more likely to clog and can lead to a greater possibility of pimples and other types of blemishes. To avoid acne breakouts, make positive changes to how you deal with stress. Organize yourself, both your personal and work life, and set reasonable expectations. By getting on top of your life and having a greater feeling of achievement on a daily basis, you can greatly reduce the amount of stress in your life and improve the health of your skin.

Get Your Beauty Sleep

Sleep is a critical part of your body’s restorative processes, especially for your skin. While you are sleeping, your body is repairing your skin by generating new cells to replace your old ones. Always be sure to cleanse and moisturize before you go to sleep – it’s a perfect opportunity for you to let your oils and moisturizers soak into your skin. To improve your sleep habits and ensure that you get at least eight hours of sleep for a full recovery from your day, perform a bedtime ritual at a regular time every night to make it easier for your body to fall asleep.

How have you changed your life to improve the health of your skin? Share your tips with us!