No matter how hard we try to keep it at bay, stress happens. Life is busy, and as business owners and high achievers, we’re at greater risk of ignoring ourselves as dictated by our hectic high-paced regime. It’s easy to dismiss self care as a luxury that can be pushed off the agenda. But when it comes to our skin, what we neglect now we will most certainly pay for later.
Prolonged stress — coupled with the lack of a regular maintenance regime — wreaks havoc on our skin. From premature aging and dark undereye circles to breakouts and inflammation, for most women, the true state of our immunity can be “read” on our faces. The good news? Small changes in our daily habits can dramatically improve both how we look, and how we feel.
Here are 5 ways to go from ghastly to glowing:
- Double down on hydration: You may think you’re drinking enough, but my bet is you’re not even close. The rule of thumb is ½ ounce of water for every pound you weigh or 8-10 8 ounce glasses, but I find this is not nearly enough. When we’re busy and constantly on the go, our bodies require much more than the baseline amount. Add a workout or a cup of coffee or tea to your day and you need to increase again. With few exceptions, you can never drink enough water, so take your current intake and consider doubling it for a few days.
Pro Tip: Keep a pitcher or large water bottle prepped at all times, both at home and at the office. Add a few slices of citrus or a handful of berries to add some flavor if you don’t find plain water refreshing, and before long you’ll look forward to your liquid treat.
- Wash your face. Every night, no exceptions: When we’re spent from the day or get home later than usual, it’s tempting to fall into bed without properly washing up. Even the occasional slip up can clog your pores and accelerate the aging process. Make your evening regime non-negotiable and notice how different you feel, and how much more vibrant your skin is as a result.
Pro Tip: Here are a few of my favorite products, that are great for effectively removing makeup and the debris from the day while also nourishing the skin. Veritas Iconic Cleanser and MyChelle Gentle Cleansing Wash.
- Look out for labels: Many skin care products and makeup lines have ingredients that actually result in aging the skin and make us appear older than we are. It can be overwhelming to know what can stay and what needs to go, but it’s worthwhile to be picky about what we put in our skin.
Pro-tip: Check out the Environmental Working Group (EWG’s) cosmetics database to see what brands and products are on the safe list. I use Veritas, Environ, Advanced Mineral Makeup and Jane Iredale Makeup. You can also schedule a consultation to get a custom assessment of your skincare and makeup products: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Use Protection: Do you reserve sunscreen for a day at the beach? Even if you spend the majority of the day indoors, you are exposed to UV rays multiple times throughout the day. Consider incorporating a base makeup (liquid or powder) with built in SPF, or wearing a hat when you can (make it a fashionable one!) And if you aren’t already in the habit of wearing sunglasses, please start! The right pair not only looks fabulous, but protects your eyes from the sun’s wear and tear. If you want to choose the best option – apply sunblock every day after your skincare products but before your makeup.
Pro-tip: Look for sunblocks that contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Use mineral based makeup for added protection.
- Start a sleep schedule. Evenings can be a great time to play a quick game of catch up. But if we’re not careful, sending one email can turn into hours of work. Too much screen time in the hours before bed makes it difficult to fall into the deep sleep our bodies need to repair and reset from the day’s activities. Your skin combines to be your largest organ, and its not immune from needing a little TLC. Getting ample sleep can help reduce the dark circles under your eyes, improve the tone and texture of your skin and help promote an overall glow.
Pro tip: Commit to one week of sticking to a bedtime before midnight (10-11pm is ideal according to most health experts), and be sure to shut off your electronics at least an hour before you plan to shut your eyes. Reserve an hour early in the day — getting up earlier if necessary — to get caught up on emails and other to do’s. Chances are you’ll be more productive and get more done in less time, even if you consider yourself a night owl. Try it and see!