Up your H2O quotient
You've likely heard it before but we think it's worth a reminder that staying hydrated is the first step towards clear, healthy skin -- not a pricey skin cream. Getting your eight glasses a day means skin stays supple rather than looking (and feeling) tight and dry. Water also helps to flush toxins out of your system, which further helps to keep skin looking its best -- on a budget! If you don't love plain old H2O, spice up your sipping. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime, toss in some sliced cucumbers (oh-so-refreshing) or even some frozen berries. The subtle twist of flavor will make it easier to drink more water, rather than relying on juice or soda.
Get more sleep
They don't call it beauty sleep for nothing. Getting enough sleep (aim for seven to eight hours) lets your body repair itself and helps ensure you not only feel -- but look well-rested, bright and refreshed without having to rely on a makeup bag full of products. Skimping on sleep can mean dark under-eye circles, puffy eyes, sallow skin and even breakouts. If you're having trouble sleeping, avoid caffeine in the evenings, stay away from sugary snacks before bed and do whatever relaxes you. Take a hot bath (drop in some lavender essential oil for added relaxation) and try an herbal tea.
Stock up on fruits and veggies
What you eat not only affects your health and your waistline, it has a significant impact on your complexion. Limiting yourself to processed and fast food and refined sugar and flour can mean pale, lackluster skin. Just as much as your body needs nutrients, so does your skin. Give your complexion what it really needs by loading up your fridge with fresh fruits and vegetables, along with good fats. When you lack certain nutrients, it shows up on your skin in the form of flakes, dryness, excess oil or blemishes depending on the deficiency. Not to mention fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants, which help protect skin from free radical damage (wrinkles, fine lines). So don't rely on that jar of $100 wrinkle cream -- get smooth skin on the cheap with fruits and veggies.
Going to the gym just to fit into your bikini come summer? Staying active is also great -- and a budget-wise boost -- for your complexion. The more you move, the more the blood pumps through your body, leaving skin with a healthy, natural glow. Even if you don't have time for long workouts, you can fit in extra movement where you have time. Take the stairs, play in the park with your kids, join a weekend sports league or walk instead of driving shorter distances. Your body and your skin will thank you.
Stress happens, but the more anxiety you're under, the worse your skin likely looks. Stress not only makes you feel worse (tired, grumpy), but it can also cause skin irritations, breakouts and a pale, drawn complexion. Combat the effects of stress by doing what you can to unwind and keep anxiety at bay. Try a yoga class, take regular breaks from stressful situations, go for walks or meditate -- anything that helps you stay calm and centered.
More skin care tips
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Spa skin care secrets at home
Stars with glowing skin