While you’re sleeping, the skin’s repair mechanisms swing into action. Being sleep-deprived, by contrast, puts stress on the body, causing it to release more adrenaline and cortisol, which can trigger breakouts and other skin problems. And research from China found that insufficient sleep was a significant risk factor for acne among adolescents. Make getting seven to eight hours of shut-eye your last good-skin move of each day.
It takes a toll on nearly every part of your body, including your skin. In a study conducted at Stanford University, researchers found that during exam time, students who felt stressed had more severe acne breakouts than did those under less pressure. That’s because stress increases the body’s production of hormones such as cortisol, which can make skin oilier and decrease its ability to fight off acne-causing bacteria.
Soft water doesn’t remove soap well, so it can leave a residue on your skin. If your water is soft, use face and body cleansers sparingly (no more than a nickel- or quarter-size amount, respectively). Hard water, on the other hand, doesn’t allow washes to lather easily, prompting you to use even more cleanser, which can cause dryness. Gentle, non-soap formulas, which aren’t meant to lather, can minimize this.
If your complexion is red or blotchy, then tea’s anti-inflammatory properties can be soothing. The epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in green tea may help prevent the collagen destruction that leads to wrinkles as well as sun-induced DNA damage in the skin (think lines and discoloration), according to some experts. Consider subbing tea for your morning mug of coffee.
It may sound counterintuitive, but if you have dry skin, your choice of face wash may be even more important than your moisturizer. A non-soap cleanser is ideal because it helps to replace the moisture barrier in the skin.