It never seems to matter how old or young someone is, their main concern is having the most clear, glowing, skin possible.
So in one glorious, practically biblical post, I present to you 10 of the most important rules of skin care that work for women of every age category.
The earlier you start the better — but it’s never too late to start!
Bonus: almost all of these are things you can do for free (or at a low cost), they may save you money in the long run, and have internal benefits for your body too.
Follow these commandments, and you’ll be set for eternity!
Thou shalt drink often of pure water
You may already know that the body’s composition is 2/3 water. If you skimp on replenishing your cells with the necessary hydration, they will effectively shrivel up and function slower, which will make you look older, faster.
The standard rule is eight, 8oz glasses of water per day. That’s based on an average that was set across the board for both men and women, but if you have more body mass, are exercising a lot, pregnant or any other factor that takes you out of the “average” range, then you probably need more water each day.
The good news is water is a cheap with powerful benefits. So let your cup runneth over!
Commandment # 2
Thou shalt protect thyself from the sun
The second beauty commandment says, “Yes! Let there be light!…. Just put on a hat and some sunblock when standing directly under it.” From sun damage to skin cancer there are some pretty big reasons not to fry yourself to get a golden glow during summer, or to ignore the inconspicuously grey winter days.
For fair skinned folks damage can begin after just 15 minutes of sun exposure. While it’s important to get healthy amounts of sunlight for its vitamin D, it’s also important to get it during the sun’s off-peak hours, before 11am and after 2pm.
Even on cloudy days protection can be important as UVA rays, the ones which cause aging, are penetrating the atmosphere and possibly your skin.
Thou shalt not cake on the makeup
Somewhere in Texas there is probably a similar list of beauty commandments that would oppose this notion. Sorry to disappoint any followers of the “pancaking” sect, but as a general rule coating the face in a layer of foundation or packing on the powder dulls the skin, and it often settles into fine lines accentuating the appearance of age.
Many foundations also accelerate the aging process because their formulations keep the skin from “breathing” properly, which is necessary for the overall health of the skin.
Thou shalt rest plentifully
The sleeping hours before midnight are the most important hours.
Going to bed late and sleeping in late won’t compensate for those lost pre-midnight zzzz’s. The ideal amount of sleep is considered to be 8 hours. For some people it will be less and others more, but the point is to let your body have enough time to do its crucial repair and refreshing work …that’s why we say, “get your beauty sleep.”
Thou shalt remove thy makeup every night
Commandment #4 was all about getting to sleep at a decent hour, but not so fast! If you are skipping cleansing your face at night, you are hosting a bacteria fest. Mascara and eyeliner residue can cause eye irritation and possibly infection.
Foundation residue can clog pores. Dirt, pollution and other grime from being out in the world are not doing you any favors either. If you aren’t changing your pillowcase regularly, then bacteria is piling up on there too. So take 60 seconds and get your face naked before bed.
Thou shalt resist the temptation of sugar
From a healthy skin standpoint, inflammation is the main contributor to wrinkles, blotchy red skin and acne according to research by the famed Dr. Perricone, author of “The Wrinkle Cure”.
Beware this inflammation-causing ingredient can be hidden in some unassuming places. Foods that are fried or carbohydrate-filled starches (like potatoes and white rice) convert into sugar too.
Do unto your face, as you would have your face do unto you
Meaning: stop being so rough with your face! Your skin doesn’t take kindly to being scrubbed, tugged and pulled, especially thin skin around the eyes.
So many people rub their eyes way too hard when they feel itchy, dry or tired and do it habitually without realizing how much collective damage they are doing.
Gravity and age are doing enough on their own, so don’t assist their progress by pulling on your skin unnecessarily.
Commandment #8 Thou shalt rebuke harsh cleansers
Having “tight, squeaky clean” feel after you wash your face is the first indicator that your cleanser is too harsh. Cleansing the face with detergent-based soap strips the skin of its natural oils, and leads to imbalance in the Ph levels of the skin, and over time it speeds up the appearance of aging. Yep, even for those of you with very oily skin have to be careful.
Start by tossing anything with the ingredient “sodium laureth (or lauryl) sulfate”, a foaming agent, found in just about every soap (even toothpaste).
Learn more about ingredients you should be tossing in my Toss The Toxins Toolkit!
Thou shalt avoid toxic activities
Toxic activities include smoking, drinking alcohol, being lethargic and eating a diet lacking nutrition. Your skin is a mirror for the kind of fuel and treatment you are offering to your body.
Am I saying don’t have a drink or a piece of cake? – No! But I am saying, don’t over do it if you want good skin (and a healthy body). Moderation, my friends. Moderation.
Eating nutrient rich foods is what helps your cells to regenerate properly, and since that happens from the inside out, what you eat today will show up on the surface 2-7 days afterwards.
Referencing commandment #6 (avoiding sugar) many people aren’t aware that alcoholic beverages, particularly mixed drinks, can be as sugary as eating a giant piece of cake.
Laziness is a recipe for decay. Exercising is essential to stimulate circulation and keep your body tuned up, and sweating helps release any toxins that have built up. All that leads to clearer, healthier and younger looking skin.
Thou shalt not covet another’s skin. Thou shalt laugh. Thou shalt love thyself.
These three commandments are lumped together because they are directly related to self-esteem, an invisible, yet important component to looking healthy and young.
Coveting another’s skin: Please don’t torture yourself by wishing you looked like someone else, especially if you are referencing images of models in a magazine. Every print image has been airbrushed to perfection, and that’s not a realistic goal for a real life human.
It’s futile to draw comparisons between you and others because of the countless, unique mix of variables like DNA, hormones, major life stresses, which affect how we age.
Laughter: It is a cheap and effective beauty treatment. Laughing sends signals to the brain that release “happy chemicals”, such as serotonin. Those happy chemicals contribute to vitality and vigor which exudes through our skin as a healthy, youthful glow.
Love Thyself: The final and most important commandment is to love thyself. Loving who you are, the way you are, and treating your body well brings a light into your face that is more radiant than any cleansing, exfoliating or moisturizing routine could offer.
Are you following some or all of these 10 commandments? What seems like the hardest one? Do you have other skin rules you absolutely follow? Tell me about all that in the comments below!
Graphic design by Emily Blue.