It's never too early to begin habits that will keep your skin healthy through the years. Here are a few tips.
Wear sunscreen. This is the most important thing you can do to protect your skin. Over time, exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun or from tanning beds can cause wrinkles, sun spots, uneven skin tone, and broken capillaries, as well as skin cancer. The sun also helps the body get enough Vitamin D, so we recommended that you expose your skin to sunlight about 15 minutes a day. After that, protect yourself with a sunscreen with a broad-spectrum sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.
Control skin conditions. The most common complaint of women in their teens is acne. Start by talking with your doctor, who will suggest treatment options and determine if a dermatologist is right for you. You may also want to discuss body piercings, tattoos, or ways to get rid of unwanted hair.
Check your skin regularly. Although your risk of skin cancer increases as you get older, it is becoming more and more prevalent in young women, especially as the use of tanning beds increases. We encourage you to avoid tanning beds.
For do-it-yourself skin checks, or just remember the letters ABCDE when looking at any skin growths. Your doctor can also do this as part of your wellness exam.
Don't smoke. This can cause or aggravate acne, and will also accelerate your skin's aging process. Smoking will cause broken skin vessels, coarse skin, dryness, redness, uneven skin coloring, and is guaranteed to give you wrinkles — not only on your face but all over your body.
Exercise. It will keep the circulation flowing and the pores open. Also, exercise lowers stress hormones that can cause breakouts. Work up a sweat to clean out the pores, and add strength-training and yoga to help with muscle tone.
Get plenty of sleep. When we get a good night's sleep, our bodies naturally produce a hormone that keeps our skin healthy. When we don't, we produce too much of a different hormone called cortisol, which causes thinning of the skin.
Drink water. By drinking plenty of water, you flush out toxins and improve circulation, which keeps your skin moist and more resilient.
Eat well. Forget fast food and sugary treats. Choose whole foods that help keep your skin vibrant. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants to protect your skin, and Omega 3 fatty acids in nuts, seeds, and fatty fish keep your skin moist.
Choose the right products. When we're younger, a gentle cleanser and good moisturizer will do the trick. Be sure to wash makeup off at night, since sleeping in it can lead to acne and dry skin.