By   February 17, 2013

Your complexion can be a fickle thing. One day your skin may be clear and smooth, and the next it may not. Worse still, after a lifetime of ideal skin, you could find yourself in the middle of an uphill battle trying to get back what you have lost! Don’t lose heart! Here are some tips to improve and keep your skin looking its best!

One of the obvious points of skin care is the daily cleansing of your face and pores. If you resist this regular routine, your pores can build up and you will notice annoying blackheads beginning to appear. Simply rinsing them out nightly with warm soap and water is just enough to get the job done.

The best, most important way to assure your skin stays healthy is to protect your skin from the sun. Too much time in the sun can cause dry skin, age spots, freckles and wrinkles. Too much sun exposure can also cause problems which are more serious such as skin cancer.

To keep your skin healthy, don’t smoke. Smoking causes your skin to age and it can cause wrinkles on your face. When smoking it makes the blood vessels in the outer layers of skin more narrow. This decreases the blood flowing in your face and depletes the skin of oxygen and important nutrients, needed for healthy skin.

A valuable skin care tip is to avoid pricey cleansing products made with a long list of unnecessary ingredients. Because cleansers really only stay on the surface of the skin for a brief period of time, a simple product that is free of potentially irritating chemicals is more than sufficient to eradicate oil and dirt.

Believe it or not, your makeup does have an expiration date. You will need to throw out your old cosmetics at least every six to eight months, probably sooner. Bacteria and other harmful elements can grow and thrive in your makeup and that is bad for your skin.

To get the best use out of your skin care products, you have to apply them in the right order. You should start by the less thick product and make sure it penetrates your skin. Then move on to a slightly thicker product and finish with the thickest one. Do not apply a new product until the previous one has been absorbed.

If you choose to wear foundation, it pays to know what kind to wear based on your skin type. The wrong foundation can make you look startingly artificial, whereas the right foundation, applied properly, can really bring out the best in your skin. Foundations come in a number of different forms – powder, powdercream, cream, whipped or foam, liquid/lotion – and they all apply and appear quite differently, so it’s worth doing the research to find out which type best suits your complexion.

A very useful tip for hand care is to always cover them in the cold weather. The skin on your hands is thin, and it can easily get irritated and crack. Wear gloves in the winter to prevent them from drying and cracking.

After you shave your face or any other body part, you need to apply a moisturizing product that does not contain any alcohol or fragrances. The alcohol and scents can burn or irritate the skin on your face. You should use a soothing product that will cool and tone your skin.

If your skin is oily, choose an oil-free foundation or a mineral powder. They have been especially designed to ensure that the skin’s excess oils are absorbed into it, with a matte sheen the result. Be wary of liquid foundations if your skin is oily, since lots of them tend to exacerbate the problem.

Smoking can significantly damage your skin in many aspects. Excessive smoking can contribute to premature wrinkling of the skin due to the lack of oxygen and nutrient flow to the blood vessels. When you smoke, you are causing your blood vessels to narrow. Collagen and elastin, are two fibers that contribute to the elasticity and strength of the skin are also severely damaged while smoking.

Use witch hazel to soothe inflamed or itchy skin. Look for witch hazel that is NOT distilled and contains five to ten percent witch hazel leaf extract. Unfortunately the distilled version which is widely distributed has very little healing property. Find a health food store to purchase your witch hazel.

To combat dry skin, make sure your diet contains plenty of vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to dry eyes and skin and consuming the nutrient, increases your body’s cell growth rate. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe. Dark greens like spinach and kale are another good choice.

Summertime can lead to dry, weather worn skin. To help prevent this, eat foods rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. These nutrients have been scientifically proven to heal skin and prevent weather damage. Foods rich in these nutrients include raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. Shoot for at least one serving per day.

Oatmeal is used to treat many different skin disorders or illnesses. It is a great home remedy for acne. Cook a bowl of oatmeal and then allow it to cool. When it is cool, apply it to your face and allow it to sit until it is dry and then rinse. This will help with several skin problems, especially acne.

If you are dealing with the aftermath of an allergic reaction or sensitive skin issue, refrain from making the problem worse by trying to conceal redness or irritation with other cosmetic products. This can exacerbate the problem. Also the unsightly appearance of irritated skin and can also cause significant discomfort and delayed recovery.

Now that you have the intel on how to fight the battle for ideal skin, apply what you know. Skin care all comes down to proper maintenance and good daily habits. Keep that up, and not only will your skin’s condition improve, it will stay that way!