If you didn’t know better, you might think the secret to looking your best is buried deep within a jar of pricey products. Not so.
Little things you do every day can do as much, sometimes more, to “give your skin all the fuel it needs” to recharge, repair, and withstand life’s daily stresses, says Doris Day, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University Langone Medical Center.
Get started today with these six healthy habits that will leave you looking your best.
1. Sleep on it.
All you have to do is check the mirror after a night of tossing and turning to understand just how much your skin needs shut-eye.
Research backs that up. A 2013 study in the journal Sleep found that people who were sleep-deprived had puffy, blood-shot eyes, dark under-eye circles, more wrinkles, and droopier eyelids than well-rested folks.
The culprit? The stress hormone cortisol.
“It’s at its lowest during sleep, so if you’re not sleeping enough, your levels of cortisol go up and that results in a loss of collagen,” says dermatologist Amy Wechsler, MD, author of The Mind-Beauty Connection. “You can see it after even a single sleepless night.” Aim for 7.5 to 8 hours of shut-eye every night.
2. Break a sweat.
Talk about motivation to move more: People over 40 who exercise regularly have the skin of people half their age, according to a 2014 study at McMaster University in Ontario.
Even better, you don’t have to run marathons or spend your life in yoga class to reap the rewards. People in the study who exercised at a moderate pace — they jogged or cycled for half an hour twice a week — also saw benefits.
3. Stick to the shady side of the street.
That sunscreen you wear every day helps, but don’t count on it alone. For one thing, it wears off as the day goes on.
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