3 Skin Care Habits To Stop Doing Right Now + A Supplement To Help
Good habits beget good habits. If you're the type of person who regularly moves their body and tries to eat to fulfill their body's needs, I'm going to wager you also do your best to care for your skin. No, this doesn't necessarily mean you have a skin care arsenal with loads of pricey products, but I bet you at least tend to your complexion with consistent care—and steer clear of the "bad" moves we know to be damaging. (You know, the standard no-no list: excessive and unprotected sun exposure, smoking, not washing your makeup off nightly.)
But you may have some sneaky habits you've been sticking to that you'd be best to break. Here, surprising skin care mistakes and how to help:
1. You only rely on external sun care.
We know that unprotected and prolonged sun exposure does a number on your skin: It quickens signs of aging, contributes to several skin diseases, can cause sunspots, and so much more. To prevent this, we turn to sunscreen (ideally physical sunscreen, like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide). When used and formulated correctly, SPF does a great job keeping us safe.
However, research shows that with the right antioxidants, you can help mitigate UV exposure internally as well. "Skin photoaging is a result of the oxidative stress from UV radiation," explains board-certified dermatologist Kautilya Shaurya, M.D. "Your skin naturally produces antioxidants; however, as your skin ages, these antioxidant levels often decrease." When ingested, antioxidants can protect the skin against photoaging by both absorbing UV rays and preventing UV-induced free radical damage, per recent research. Look for antioxidants like astaxanthin, vitamin C, and resveratrol. For more info on using antioxidants to help deal with photodamage, look here.
2. You don't pay attention to signs of a weakened skin barrier.
A weakened skin barrier shows itself in several ways: discoloration, rashes, dryness, sensitivity, ashiness, and so on. You may think these are simple annoyances—perhaps to be expected if you have naturally dry or sensitive skin—but they are red flags that your skin barrier needs additional care. And this is critical because your skin barrier does quite a bit for your overall health.
"It protects us from mechanical injury, low humidity, cold, heat, sun, wind, chemical exposure, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other pathogens," explains board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, M.D., stating that, "a healthy barrier is critical to normal skin function."
You can do this through several steps: First up, see it as a clue that you need to stop exfoliation and overwashing—many times barrier damage comes from overdoing it. Then layer on supportive moisturizers that contain fatty acids, ceramides, plant oils, and biome-friendly actives. Finally, you can ingest lipids (like phytoceramides) and fatty acids that can bolster the skin from the inside out.
3. You're not tending to inflammaging.
A new-ish word to hit the skin care scene, inflammaging refers to premature aging that comes from the result of low-level, constant inflammation in the skin. And while you may not realize it's happening (it's low level and therefore doesn't really cause immediate and noticeable changes in the skin), it can do major damage later. Unfortunately, the inflammation can come from many causes: stress, lack of sleep, diet, and too-aggressive skin care habits.
Of course, it's vital to have a healthy lifestyle in order to avoid this low-level inflammation—but avoiding stress or sleepless nights isn't always realistic. You can turn to antioxidant and adaptogen-rich supplements to help mitigate the inflammation. Antioxidants and adaptogens work to neutralize free radicals in the skin, which drive inflammation and the aging process. "Free radicals are harmful unstable molecules that can damage your cells or DNA," says board-certified dermatologist Zenovia Gabriel, M.D., FAAD.
The fix: a smart skin care supplement.
Luckily, all these things can be remedied with a smart skin care regimen and supplement. Take mindbodygreen's nr+, for example. The innovative formula aids skin health in a variety of ways.
First up, there's astaxanthin, a wonder antioxidant for dealing with photodamage. Research has confirmed astaxanthin's outstanding ability to help skin manage photodamage, as one scholarly review of the antioxidant explained that numerous comparative studies of astaxanthin and other antioxidants showed was the superior antioxidant in promoting dermal fibroblasts (or, what helps make skin cells, elastin, and collagen).* To give you an idea of just how powerful, the free-radical-fighting effect of astaxanthin is up to 1,000 times higher than that of many of its fellow antioxidants.
There's also phytoceramides, which help bolster the skin barrier. This is where phytoceramides come in. Phytoceramides are ceramides derived from plants. They have a similar lipid structure to the ceramides found in our skin and may help replenish ceramide stores.* While you can use ceramides topically, most of the science points to snagging your phytoceramides from supplements for optimal benefits. This way, you can provide a more continuous stream of ceramides, naturally supporting stores from the inside out.
Rhodiola is an adaptogen, so by definition it helps your body adapt to stress.* These powerful, often antioxidant-rich herbs can adapt to what your body needs—whether it be a bit of energy when you're fatigued or a way to calm a stressful situation—and help manage your cortisol levels to stave off fatigue.*
Sometimes, even when we do our best, we miss signs that our skin needs help—or that we may not be tending to it as much as we can. In those moments, turn to a smart skin care supplement that tackles several concerns all at once.*