Most people, at one time or another, wish their skin was different—drier, better hydrated, or clearer. No matter your skin type, your skin is a part of who you are and performs essential health functions. Whether you’re happy with your skin or not, you can love the skin you’re in by cultivating skin-supporting habits.
Your skin: Unique, beautiful, and powerful
You have singular biochemistry that makes your skin unique to you. Everything about it, from the tiny freckles on your face or arms to the rosy glow of your cheeks, is an integral part of who you are and affects how you interact with the world around you. While there might be things about your skin that you don’t like, it’s a beautiful, powerful part of your body that’s worth appreciating (and, hopefully, loving).
Your skin is made to interact with the environment without the rest of your body getting harmed. It’s your personal barrier between you and everything that can potentially harm your body. Think of how many surfaces you touch every day. Each of those surfaces has bacteria, fungi, or other infectious pathogens, but your skin is your first line of defense. Considering that you’re exposed to thousands of microbes each day, your skin does an incredible job.
Skin also offers protection from harmful UV rays and environmental stressors. Your skin needs a little help in this category, which we’ll discuss later, but without your skin, UV rays would penetrate deep into the body, causing irreparable harm.
It’s not always easy to love your skin, especially if you struggle with breakouts or a skin condition. However, the skin you’re in is the skin you’ll have for your lifetime. When it’s not necessarily doing what you want (hello, breakouts), think of the daily strength and protection it offers. And no matter your skin type—oily, dry, combination, sensitive—a little extra love can bring out your natural glow.
6 ways to show your skin some love:
1. Wear sun protection every day
Your skin protects you from UV rays. But that protection only goes so far, and for some people, not very far. Anytime you get tanned, your skin undergoes some level of damage. Consequently, the skin creates melanocytes to darken the skin and better protect it from UV rays. Some skin is better at sun protection than others. However, all skin, no matter the color, is susceptible to sunburn without proper protection.
Wear a broad spectrum physical sunscreen, like SkinResourceMD’s Essential Solar Protector or Hyaluronic Facial Solar Protector, every day. These types of sunscreens prevent UVA and UVB rays from penetrating the skin. Unlike chemical sunscreens, they don’t absorb into the bloodstream, where they can potentially stay in your system for days or weeks.
To reduce the area where you need to apply sunscreen, wear SPF-protective clothing. SPF 50+ long-sleeve shirts, pants, and hats also reduce the surface area you need to cover with sunscreen.
Moisturizers keep the skin supple and flexible so it better resists scrapes and cuts. Moisturizers like Oil Free Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer by Skin Resource.MD offer light, gentle moisturization for all skin types. It’s also full of antioxidants that help prevent damage from free radicals.
3. Choose skincare products made for your skin type
If you don’t know your skin type, check out our skin type how-to to get to know your skin better. Once you know your skin type, look for products designed for you. Oily skin needs lightweight products that won't clog pores, such as Oil Free Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer. Dry skin needs richer moisturizers with extra help from products like Ultra Rich Biolipid Cream and Visibly Moist Toner.
Oily skin can benefit from products that cut through oil and fight bacteria that cause acne. Tea Tree Deep Clearing Facial Cleanser, for example, uses antibacterial tea tree oil to combat acne. When coupled with Pore Purifying Astringent and BHA Treatment Gel, it can be used to help control acne without stripping your skin of its natural moisture.
4. Good nutrition: You are what you eat
Your body can only work with the building blocks you give it. The best building blocks come from healthy, nutrient-dense food. Eat a colorful diet to give your body a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Support your skin health with foods rich in vitamin C, lean proteins like fish, chicken and beans, and foods rich in vitamin E like almonds, avocados, and mangos. Avoid added sugars and empty calories from prepackaged foods, such as chips, cookies, and candy.
5. Get your ZZZZs
Your skin heals from daily damage while you sleep. Make time for seven to nine hours of shut-eye every day. Try to have a consistent bedtime and wake time, and avoid stimulants like caffeine close to bedtime.
Your skin needs water to stay flexible. How much water you need depends on your size, activity level, and climate. In general, try to drink eight to ten eight-ounce glasses of water each day. Increase your water intake if you’re active and perspiring more than usual or if the weather is hot.
Find your natural glow
Show your skin a little love not just because you want a healthy glow but because of the protection and strength your skin gives you. The more you come to love the skin you’re in, the more you’ll radiate a fresh, active glow no matter your skin type.