Whether you’re watching commercials on TV, scanning the shelves of your local beauty supply store or examining the fleet of bottles in your medicine cabinet, one thing’s for sure — there are a lot of products out there that promise to fix our skin. And while some certainly do the job as promised, you might feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of options and steps in a recommended skincare regimen.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend tons of money or time taking care of your skin in the traditional way. The following are seven examples of how you can preserve, protect and cleanse your skin without a single product.
Add Probiotics to Your Diet
Probiotics are known as “good bacteria.” The live microorganisms help promote good digestion and improve gut health. They also purge toxins from the body, as well as free radicals that can do damage to the skin. You’ll find them in lots of foods you already eat — yogurt and pickles, for example — as well as more exotic options, like kombucha and tempeh.
Keep Temperatures Cool
As lovely as it is to hop into a hot shower or crank up your heater in winter, these temperatures do nothing but dry out your skin. And, as you know, dry skin requires attention from lotions, serums and other gentle cleansing products.
Keep temperatures slightly cooler so that your skin doesn’t get so dry. To that end, a humidifier can add moisture into the air at times of the year when it’s drier outside — winter and summer, specifically. Your skin will love that.
Filter Your Water
We’ve just touched on the importance of water for improving your skin sans products. It’s also up to you to make sure the water you’re using to hydrate your body is free of any disinfectant byproducts or other particles that could do more damage than good.
Your best bet is to filter the water you drink and to ensure the water in your shower and sinks is well-filtered, too. Shortening the amount of time you spend showering can reduce the number of disinfectant byproducts your skin is exposed to as well.
The skin around your eyes is perhaps the most sensitive and delicate on your body. Wearing sunglasses prevents this thin layer from overexposure to sunlight, which means it’s less susceptible to wrinkles and fine lines. Plus, you’ll be adding another defence against skin cancer.
Wash Your Sheets and Towels
This is an especially important point if you suffer from acne or have oily skin. Your sheets will retain skin cells, oils and other particles that can do further damage to your skin. Experts suggest washing your sheets about once a week to ensure they’re clean enough to keep skin healthy. Even every couple of weeks is probably okay, but maybe try to swap out your pillowcases a bit more often than that.
When it comes to bath towels, the ideal is to wash them every few days. Things like hand towels require a bit more frequency since they’re used by multiple people and are exposed to more germs and contaminants.
Get Enough Sleep
It may be easier said than done, but getting a full night’s sleep is not only vital to your body in general, but to your skin, too. When you’re asleep, your metabolism kicks in, which helps to regenerate your skin. So long as you’re getting the recommended amount of sleep each night — a solid seven to nine hours for adults — you’ll avoid dehydrated skin, puffy eyes and dark circles.
Listen to Your Body
Finally, it’s essential to remain in tune with your body and with your mind — sometimes, the way you feel internally can affect you externally, too. You might find that you’re stressed out, and that’s causing your skin to change. Rather than slathering on a new product, you might find a way to de-stress that ends up also assuaging your skin concerns.
Reflecting each day just might be the ticket. Check in with yourself both physically and mentally to keep yourself balanced inside and out.
Skincare isn’t just about products — it’s about what you eat and how well you take care of your body. Try taking a full approach that improves your health and watch just how much your skin will shine.
Emily is a freelance writer, covering conservation and sustainability. You can read her blog, Conservation Folks, for more of her work.