Skin + Hair Basics

11 Uncommon Tips for Better, Clearer Skin (From Cold Showers to Meditation)

A good grooming regimen isn’t the only thing that can improve your skin. In fact, numerous everyday habits and hobbies can make a big difference.

11 Uncommon Tips for Better, Clearer Skin (From Cold Showers to Meditation)

Most people who are looking to improve their skin health will start with the skincare regimen itself, both in terms of the products used as well as the cadence and frequency of use. And while that’s a very fine place to start, it’s also one part of a bigger picture: Much of your skin’s health can be managed through the decisions you make every single day, and small changes to your daily routine. 

There are some big “umbrella” approaches to better skincare, all of which can improve things drastically. They include reducing stress, eating healthy foods, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and so forth. But under each of these umbrellas are habits and strategies for managing things like hydration, wellness, and stress. Read on for 10 easily adopted examples, which can have you on the fast track to clearer, brighter, and smoother complexion in a few short weeks.

1. Take Cold Showers

As great as they feel on the spirits, those long and hot showers will severely deplete your skin of its natural oils. And you need those oils in order to maintain smoothness and hydration—not to mention, parched skin easily flakes and breaks out. So, lower the water temp (something lukewarm is fine, it doesn’t have to be cold) so long as it’s not piping hot. That being said, if you can tolerate cold water, it is a terrific way to boost circulation and improve nutrient delivery throughout the body. The benefits are enormous for things like immunity and stamina, but also for your skin, too.

And while you’re at it, try to shorten the amount of time spent in the shower. Basically, if the bathroom feels like a foggy steam room after you’re done, then you need to make some changes.

2. Do More Cardio

File this one under “stressing less” in that cardio can wash your cares away by increasing endorphins. On top of that, by stimulating blood flood you are also improving nutrient delivery to the rest of your body, which naturally improves skin’s own functions since it is getting better fed. Add to all of this the fact that long term wellness has unparalleled health benefits all the way down the list, and you can see why staying active (with your heart rate high) is so well reflected in the mirror.

3. Cut Back on Vices

In tandem with eating well and staying hydrated, you need to also cut back on things like coffee, alcohol, and smoking. For alcohol and smoking, the list is endless as to why they are so detrimental to your overall health (and your skin included in that). As for coffee, the high caffeine levels makes it a severe diuretic, so instead of that watery base keeping your body hydrated, it actually dehydrates you by making your body retain less water.

4. Meditate More

It’s important for mind and body alike to set aside a small amount of time each day for centering oneself. There are many ways to meditate, be it through breathing exercises or yoga or even a long walk through a verdant park. Find that serenity, focus on the positive, clear your head, and release any stress. The lessened cortisol levels work wonders on the skin, too, especially in terms of decelerating signs of aging as well as lowering the chances of a hormonal breakout.

5. Wear SPF Year Round

It’s obvious that UV protection is important when the sun is high in the sky, but UV rays don’t discriminate on cold, cloudy days—and they even penetrate clouds and glass. So, whether you’re outdoors or not, and whether it’s June 21 or December 21, you need to apply SPF daily (and at least your face, since that tends to be people’s priority when it comes to slowing premature signs of aging. UV exposure is one of the most damaging things for skin, so do your part in countering the offensive. One of the easiest ways to do this is by choosing a daily daytime moisturizer with SPF 30+.

6. Keep All Devices on Night Mode

This one requires a little setup, so follow closely: Many of us stare at some type of screen all day, switching between phones, laptops, desktops, tablets, and televisions. These devices emit the full spectrum of visible light colors (the same colors emitted by the sun—we know them as ROYGBIV, or red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). Now, think of the word ultraviolet light, as in UV light, which is invisible—this is the type of light adjacent to the blue-end of the visible light spectrum, next to the blue/indigo/violet. Sure, these blue-ish visible light tones won’t wreak nearly as much havoc on skin as the invisible ultraviolet light. However, non-stop exposure to HEV-emitting screens could have drastic long-term impact, and current generations are believed to be the guinea pigs in eventual findings, since the wavelengths from these light sources can deeply penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin. Current generations will be the guinea pigs in these studies, but the current belief is that HEV light can generate free radicals much like UV rays, and can expedite things like wrinkling, dark spots, fine lines, and dullness. 

In short, you can minimize the damage experienced by HEV blue-hued lights from your devices by turning all of them to “night mode” for the entire day, which not only benefits your skin directly, but also gives your eyes a break and improves your sleep cycles. (Which in turn benefits your skin by promoting better quality rest.)

7. Use Silk Pillowcases

Most of us use cotton pillowcases, but cotton is extremely absorbent and tends to soak up excess oils from the skin, and also retains those oils. As a result, cotton pillowcases compromise skin’s moisture as your face rests against the fabric all night. Secondly, it can also accumulate bacteria and sweat more easily, and transfer those things back to your skin (increasing the chance for acne). Silk pillowcases wick away moisture, so they won’t soak up your moisturizer or sebum, nor will they retain any sweat or slobber. Silk is also one of the most gentle fabrics you can press against your face for 8 hours a night, and as a bonus, it stays much cooler than cotton, so you’ve always got two “cooler sides of the pillow”.

8. Humidify the Bedroom

Another nighttime tip: Keep a humidifier on in the bedroom, or do what you can to prevent the room from being too dry. (Obviously you don’t need a humidifier if it’s the height of summer swelter, unless you use an air conditioner that parches the entire room.) The air around you will always try to reach equilibrium, pulling moisture from wherever it can, including your skin, hair, and mouth. The more humid the air around you, the better your skin will look on the regular. Sure, it might make your hair a little frizzy in the process, but there are solutions for that, too.

9. Prioritize Fiber

Sure, we could tell you to take a daily multivitamin, too, but that’s one in the same with eating a healthier diet across the board. For now, we’ll spotlight fiber: Having a high-fiber diet will improve waste expulsion from the body, while also dialing up your blood flow and nutrient delivery throughout your body… meaning skin is better nourished, too.

10. Try Face Yoga

We’ve mentioned a few ways to boost circulation in the body, but targeted circulation cis also a good habit. Just like a scalp massage can improve nutrient delivery to the hair follicles (and improve hair retention), so too can a face massage boost circulation to the face and benefit one’s complexion. An increasingly common way of doing this is face yoga, which is exactly as it sounds: Moving and stretching the face in different ways so as to stimulate circulation in the area. You can check out Real Simple’s guide to face yoga if you’re interested in incorporating the minutes-long face yoga routine into your daily regimen.

11. Stay Curious

Keep your mind sharp. Keep yourself nimble. Do whatever you can to stay active, engaged, and curious. Find added purpose in your everyday life; this stimulation will do a host of good for your body, from lowering stress to reducing sedentary hours. “Learning a new skill” is a roundabout way to arrive at having healthier skin, but there’s a reason that we use the word “youthful” to describe people with the aforementioned curiosity and joie de vivre. These people exude that youthful energy and radiance, and they’re an odds-on favorite for a life lived long and happily. It’s no surprise they’ll wear youthfulness on their faces, too.

Cardon Products Are