Self-improvement is hard enough, but skincare can be an extra challenge. A lot of our self-esteem comes from our appearance.  So, when our face isn’t magazine-perfect porcelain, it’s hard not to let that affect us. However, you don’t need a beauty squad or a runway budget to have beautiful skin. If you want glowing skin without paying a fortune, here are a few affordable beauty tips.

H2O is Your Friend

“Drink more water” has been the internet’s call to action for some time. But, it’s likely one of the best suggestions you’ll find online. While the jury is still out on whether water consumption affects skin appearance, it’s still essential for overall health. Hydration is crucial to a healthy lifestyle, which is the basis for a lot of skin issues.  

Some people have a tough time getting in the right amount of water. It’s okay if it’s not your go-to. Try to doctor it up with lemon, fresh mint, or any other flavoring you might like. Alternatively, you could skip a few glasses and choose water-rich foods like a cucumber instead.

Stay Away from Junk Food

No one is perfect. We all crave a little extra salt or sweet somedays. However, good skin starts at an internal level. Research from the Mayo Clinic suggests food high in carbs or sugar triggers breakouts. The current leading theory is that they spike your blood sugar, leading to inflammation and increased oil production.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have tasty snacks. There are plenty of healthy alternatives.

Better Bites

So, if you can’t reach for your favorite chip bag, what can you eat? Foods high in antioxidants are great additions to your diet. That includes food like blueberries, cranberries, beans, pecans, and dark leafy greens. Produce high in water content like cucumbers are also a fantastic addition to help you hydrate.

If some of these superfoods aren’t to your taste, try green juice or smoothies. Pick ones low in fruit to avoid extra sugar.  

Most people don’t get all their daily nutrients just through their meals. Your nutrients are vital to skin health. So, it’s also essential to take any vitamins or supplements you may need.

Get Your Beauty Sleep

This suggestion is cost-free – and you don’t even have to do anything. Just make sure you’re getting all the sleep you need. Your age determines how much you’ll typically need. For most adults, a minimum of seven hours is necessary to keep you in top performance.

But, just because you’re snoring away doesn’t mean your body isn’t hard at work. Sleep promotes skin turnover and natural exfoliation, which is vital for a fresh-looking face.

A Strong Defense (against UV)

If there is one suggestion that’s non-negotiable on this list, it’s sunscreen. And not just in the summer, either. The FDA recommends that you apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is SPF 15 or higher every two hours while outside, even on cloudy days.

Aside from the health risks of sun damage, there are also visual consequences. UV light is the main culprit for skin aging, which includes dark spots and wrinkles. That can add years to your face alone. So, it’s crucial to incorporate sun prevention into your daily routine.

You can always opt for an umbrella or a hat on top of the sunscreen as well.

Scrub Away Your Worries

Exfoliation is critical to most skincare routines. It removes dead skin cells built up on the skin’s surface. That build-up clogs pores which leads to blemishes. Your body’s ability to handle that excess slows down as you age, which means you have to help it along.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), the right exfoliation technique depends on your skin type. If you have sensitive or damaged skin, you’ll need a gentle option. Look for chemical exfoliators that include glycolic and lactic acids; they’re effective but hydrating. Alternatively, you can go for a physical exfoliant, like a sugar scrub.

Drugstores offer cheap options for both, but you can even make your own exfoliator at home if you want. Common household ingredients like honey, oatmeal, and sugar are the basis for most recipes. Once that top layer of skin clears away, you’ll be able to glow for days.

Moisture is a Must-Have

Moisture is a staple for healthy skin. Your skin has to stay hydrated to glow after all, which is why it should be a part of your skincare on two levels: internal and external. You should eat hydrating foods and drinks to maintain a balanced lifestyle, but you also need something for the skin’s surface.

Regardless of your skin type, you should moisturize. The frequency, type of product, and timing depend on you (although you should always do it after exfoliating).

Get Your Heart Pumping

Exercise isn’t just for your brain or your body; it’s good for your skin too. There are more than a few reasons why you should consider adding a workout to your skincare routine. One example is that exercise increases blood flow. This process improves oxygen and nutrient delivery to your skin, which can help protect it from damage. You might also improve your collagen production and cell turnover on top of that. Another reason is that working out can reduce stress levels which contribute to breakouts and acne. The mood boost it provides will be worth the change alone.

You don’t have to make a gym membership to get started. Consider working out at home and with a gentle yoga routine.

Consistency is Key

It’s hard to keep up with a process that doesn’t always show immediate results. Unfortunately, skincare demands it. If you want to see a change in your appearance, you’ll have to make it a part of your lifestyle. That includes both skincare products and healthy lifestyle changes. However, just because it’s necessary doesn’t mean it has to be boring.

Find ways to make your skincare routine fun or relaxing. Have a mud mask date night with your partner, or lay back with a sheet mask while you watch your favorite show.

The Bottom Line

You don’t have to completely change your lifestyle or break the bank to have better skin. Small changes can help you find the glow you’ve always wanted. These affordable beauty tips are merely starting points on your skincare journey that won’t hurt your wallet in the long run. However, nothing beats confidence and a smile. You are more than your appearance, so aim to take care of yourself before anything else.

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