1. Drink Green Tea – If your complexion is red or blotchy, this tea’s anti-inflammatory properties can be soothing. Iced is best because hot beverages can worsen redness and other symptoms of rosacea. Plus, the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in green tea may help prevent the collagen destruction that leads to wrinkles as well as sun-induced DNA damage in the skin (think lines and discoloration). This summer, consider subbing iced green tea for your morning cup of Joe.
2. Keep Stress at Bay – It takes a toll on nearly every part of your body, including your skin. In a study conducted at Stanford University, researchers found that during exam time, students who felt stressed had more severe acne breakouts than did those under less pressure. That’s because stress increases the body’s production of hormones such as cortisol, which can increase oil production and decrease your skin’s ability to fight off acne, psoriasis and rosacea.
3. Limit Indoor Sun Exposure – Yes, that’s right. UV rays (in particular UVA rays) can penetrate the windows in your home and office and cause wrinkling and brown spots. The same goes for car windows: Studies have found higher rates of skin cancers on the left side of the face and upper body than on the right, since that side is more exposed when you’re driving. Make protection a no-brainer by always wearing a moisturizer with SPF.
4. Get Restorative Sleep – While you’re sleeping, the skin’s repair mechanisms kick into action. Being sleep-deprived, by contrast, puts stress on the body, causing it to release more adrenaline and cortisol, which can trigger breakouts and other skin problems. Research from China found that insufficient sleep was a significant risk factor for acne among adolescents. Make getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night your last good-skin move of each day.
5. Check Your Medicine Cabinet – Some oral contraceptives, antibiotics, fertility drugs, and anti-seizure medications can bring on breakouts. Antihistamines, diuretics, and some antidepressants can cause dry skin. And certain antibiotics, diuretics, and diabetes treatments can make you more vulnerable to sun damage. If you find your skin is reacting more while you’re taking a particular drug, talk to your physician.
6. Don’t Forget Feet – In a 2004 study, volunteers at a beach were provided with sunscreen and told they’d be evaluated on how well they used sunscreen. Even though volunteers had every reason to be diligent about sunscreen application, researchers found that the participants rarely applied the product to the tops of their feet. However, our feet are just as at risk for skin cancer as the rest of our body. Skin cancer on feet often goes unnoticed because people don’t check their feet as diligently as they check other body parts. Lessen your risk for skin cancer and flip-flop tans – apply sunscreen to your feet.