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We all make mistakes to our skin care routine, that will later on fire back on us. Sometimes we sleep in our makeup, we forget/skip the daily sunscreen, and neglect to take necessary appointments with our dermatologist. So, in the spirit of making things right between my coating layer & I, I’ve conducted some research that I’d like to share with you, and summed up all the essential steps in skin care we should do to restore, reinvent and keep up a healthy skin.

1. Drink water. At least one liter a day. Fresh juices (sans Vodka :p) are a great addition, along with maintaining a healthy diet, filled with fresh vegetables and fruits.

2. Use rich moisturizing face and body lotions daily, and directly within 10 minutes after you shower, while your pores are still open and highly receptive. Remember, a hot shower strips your skin of its natural oils, which can be substituted by moisturizing. Keep the lotion bottle at a visible place in your shower so that you instantly remember this step.

3. Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Every day, of at least SPF 30, and reapply more often. UV rays damage your skin, cause brown spots and accelerate its aging process.

4. Clean. Take off your makeup at night, directly when you get home. Don’t wait until you’re too tired to get up, walk all the way to the sink, and wash it off. If you so tired, at least use makeup remover wipes, and store them near your bed. Your pores will thank you later.

5. Exfoliate regularly. A baby’s skin rejuvenates itself completely every 14 days, however, that of a 30-year-old takes 28 days, leaving a dry-out or oily appearance (depending on your skin type). So why don’t you jump-start the process by gently exfoliating your face & body twice a week, and going to your trusted beauty advisor for a more deep exfoliating session once or twice a month.

6. Give your hands the royalty they deserve. Avoid tearing open cans and boxes. Use moisturizing antibacterials, instead of those that are solely made of alcohol which dehydrate your skin. At night, rub your hands with alpha hydroxy acid lotions (they are too thick for the day). If your hands are chapped, use shea butter, and for deep rehab, apply a moisturizer, then wear some cotton gloves overnight.

7. Same care applies to your feet! They carry your whole weight along every day, and are your connection to the ground! Deep clean on a daily basis. Scrub & exfoliate at least twice a week, and keep your toe nails tidy. If you suffer from dry soles, don’t harshly peel them, instead, excessively apply a deep moisturizer overnight, and then wear cotton socks. You’ll notice a dramatic change in the morning.

8. Never ever pop a pimple. Not only it’s disgusting, it can also clog your skin with oils and dirts by your fingers and cause further inflammation at the site.

9. Stick with the program. It would take up to six weeks to start seeing real changes in your skin, whether you’re using anti-aging creams, acne treatments, or a skin lightener. According to Dr. David Bank, a dermatology professor at Columbia University, if you didn’t start seeing changes within six weeks, chances are the product you’re using will never work for you, so change it.

10. Unless you’ve taken a Microbiology course like I did, you cannot imagine how ugly -and easily- bacteria can grow upon accumulated skin oil and makeup radicals. So clean up your makeup brushes ideally every week. How? Using either a liquid hand-soap or baby shampoo, with slightly warm water (hot water can cause bristles to fall off), then rinse thoroughly, squeeze out excess water, reshape, and balance them over the sink to dry.

11. Sleep well. Your whole body rejuvenates itself during sleep. Blood flow is said to be at its best to your skin during night-time rest, that’s why we look so miserably colored (or discolored) on the days we get up with not enough sleep.

12. Stick to a mole checkup on a yearly basis, as much as possible. Even though people nowadays are more keen on monthly self checkups, a yearly visit to the dermatologist might save your life!

What are your personal skin health & beauty routines? & which one of the essentials do you tend to skip at times?

– Image via.