There are a million reasons you should reach for that glass of water, and smoother skin is one.
"To have smooth, soft skin, it's really important to drink enough water or other nondiuretic fluids during the day. When you are well hydrated, skin is smoother and more elastic," says Stephanie White, founder and president of Become International.
We all know it's important to use sunblock for health reasons, but it'll go a long way toward keeping your skin smooth, too. "Use sunblock religiously," says White. "Sun damage creates wrinkles and coarsens the skin. Find a sunblock you like that is made for the face, preferably with natural ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide."
We can't say this enough: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research for the Department of Dermatology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, agrees.
"Moisturize twice daily," he said. "It will improve skin hydration and seal in cracks between dry cells on the surface of the skin."
This moisture factor can make or break the smoothness of your skin, especially depending on the season, says Dr. Omar Ibrahimi, founding medical director of the Connecticut Skin Institute in Stamford, Connecticut.
"Steaming hot showers, particularly in the winter time, drain the skin of important moisturizers such as ceremides. Taking lukewarm showers and religiously applying a gentle moisturizer within three minutes of getting out of the shower will help keep your skin nice and hydrated," he explains.
The solution to smoother skin isn't always to be found on a drugstore shelf. Sometimes, the simplest, most natural products have the power to make you glow.
Alexis Wolfer, founding editor in chief of TheBeautyBean.com, has some suggestions for natural ways to get smoother skin.
"Make a yogurt mask," she suggests. "Apply a thin layer of full-fat Greek yogurt to your face and let it dry for about 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water. The lactic acid helps break down dead skin cells while the fat deeply moisturizes."
Vargas provides her own recipe that also uses yogurt as a preferred DIY skin-smoothing ingredient. She explains, "The yogurt in this mask acts as an anti-inflammatory, and the lactic acid peels the skin. Strawberry tightens the pores, and the almond powder is a gentle scrub to get the pores nice and clean. I recommend using it twice a week."
First, rub a cotton ball with raw apple cider vinegar on the area that is breaking out, and follow with this mask:
Mix together and apply to the entire face. Use the almond powder to scrub the t-zone, where it tends to be oilier and where teens have the most blackheads. Let the mask sit for 15 minutes and rinse.
Your skin needs extra care at night, so don't use your daytime moisturizer before you go to bed. According to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, you should look for a moisturizer that includes a retinoid.
"It stimulates collagen growth and normalizes skin cell turnover," he says.
When all else fails, there's no shame in your game if you feel that your skin needs some outside help.
While less may be more when it comes to daily skincare, as Dr. Krant points out, there are specific situations that may warrant a professional treatment — including discolorations, acne scarring, visible sun damage and the like. Used with many or all of the clear skin tips listed above, Dr. Ibrahimi believes that some professional treatments can help smooth any remaining blemishes that refuse to budge.
He says, "Blue low level light therapy has been clinically shown to be as effective as topical acne medications and is a nice adjunct to help obtain clearer skin."
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