Don’t take too many showers. Yes, it’s almost summertime and you’re working up a sweat, but taking multiple showers throughout the day can wreak havoc with your skin: Though you might think it’s hydrating, topically, water can have a drying effect on your epidermis. To avoid looking like a prune, douse in small doses and always moisturize immediately after showering.
Do drink plenty of water. While topically water can hinder your skin, drinking 64 ounces of water daily is essential for a healthy complexion because it flushes out toxins and keeps your insides running efficiently. Whether you drink bottled, filtered, or tap water doesn’t matter—getting your eight glasses in matters most. Remember that fruits and veggies are also good sources of H20
Don’t go overboard with rich moisturizers. While you want to keep your skin supple during spring/summer, you can afford to lighten up—especially since thick doesn’t necessarily equal better. Heavy creams can create a barrier on the surface of your face and keep your skin from absorbing moisture. And formulas that contain synthetic ingredients can trap dead cells and leave your complexion looking dull.
Do use a nighttime face lotion. There’s evidence that skin-cell regeneration is slightly faster at night than during the day, so take advantage of your skin’s receptiveness and don’t skimp on overnight hydration.
Don’t apply too many face products at once, no matter how eager you are to try them out. Using too many products can irritate the skin!
Do nourish your skin with a nutrient-packed moisturizer—in other words, rather than use a bunch of different formulas, find a multitasking hero product that takes care of your needs in one go. Look for one that contains vitamin C, to even skin tone and minimize blotchiness, and potent antiagers like retinoic acid and niacinamide.
Don’t drink too much coffee. While a cup a day—minus whipped cream, sugar substitutes, etc.—may be beneficial, too much Starbucks can be dehydrating. (Your skin needs all the hydration it can get!).
Do lavish your face and body with coffee topically. Numerous studies point to coffee-derived caffeine’s skin-tightening and redness-soothing properties, making it the perfect antidote to undereye pouches and rosacea. In addition to stocking your shelf with caffeine-laced eye and face serums, you might also consider investing in caffeinated anticellulite creams, as they’ve been shown to temporarily lessen the appearance of dimples.
Don’t sunbathe. A little sun can perk up your complexion, but even a slight tan represents injury to your largest organ (your skin). The incidental sun exposure you get while driving in the car or walking to lunch is enough to meet your daily vitamin D quota, so don’t neglect your skin sunscreen-slathering duties. Using a formula that’s SPF 15 or higher is essential, and it should be reapplied every couple of hours.
Do apply self-tanner. There’s nothing wrong with sporting a faux glow! And with today’s odor-blocking technology, avoiding that nasty smell is a cinch. For foolproof self-tanning, be sure to exfoliate skin the night before you apply product, and don’t forget to moisturize (dry skin is more prone to streaking).
Don’t use a harsh alcohol-based toner or toothpaste to tame blemishes. Stripping the skin of moisture will send oil glands into overdrive and may worsen your condition. Likewise, a dab of toothpaste on problem spots will do more harm than good: The menthol it contains can cause itching and inflammation, resulting in further acne flare-ups.
Do use an appropriate topical treatment on a blemish right away. One that contains lactic acid is best for cysts—hard, painful bumps that appear under the skin and can last for weeks—while a salicylic acid or benzyl peroxide formula is ideal for minor to moderate breakouts.