Self-Care Tips for Total Wellness

July 16, 2020
Woman smiling outdoors in the sunshine

Skin care is a wonderful way to practice self-care. Taking the time to take care of your skin daily can be helpful for your overall health and well-being. While some people view self-care as ‘selfish’, in times of stress and uncertainty, self-care can be a way to relax and stay balanced. Taking care of yourself will allow you to better take care of others!

Acne, melasma, rosacea, and psoriasis are some skin conditions that manifest from hormonal imbalance. The skin is our largest organ and changes in our skin can be a visible sign of imbalances within our body. Here are some skin care tips to boost your self-care regimen and improve your overall health, from the inside and out.

Morning Skin Care Routine

We spend most of the day catering to the needs of others, whether that be our employers or children. Taking a few minutes to apply skincare in the morning will give you a few minutes of me-time before the day gets busy! A morning skincare routine will also help prep your skin for makeup application and protect your skin from the environmental stressors it comes in contact with during the day.

1. The best way to start your morning skin regimen is by cleansing the skin with a gentle facial cleanser to remove any oil or debris your skin may have accumulated overnight. Harsh cleansers are not necessary especially if you washed your face the evening before.

2. After cleansing, apply a powerful antioxidant on clean skin such as a Vitamin C Serum, Green Tea polyphenols, or Coffeeberry containing-products. Vitamin C is a great antioxidant that defends your skin from free radicals that the skin creates secondary to UV (sun) exposure; however, many Vitamins C products are not effective because Vitamin C is unstable.

3. Next, if you tend to experience dryness, hydrate your skin with a facial moisturizer. If not, you can skip this step in the morning and apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. This is the most crucial step in protecting your skin from the sun’s harsh UV rays and will help you maintain an even skin tone, free from discoloration and dark spots. Protecting the skin from the sun is one of Dr. Zenovia’s favorite forms of self-care.

Night Skin Care Routine

A nighttime skincare routine is especially important because nighttime is when your body recovers. During sleep, our body is hard at work undoing the damage from the environmental factors we are exposed to during the day as well as the oxidative stress we experience internally.

1. Start your nighttime skin care routine by cleansing to remove any dirt, leftover makeup, or oils from the skin.

2. Next, use a glycolic acid product – either a pad or topical serum. Dr. Zenovia always recommends a prescription retinol in the evening as well. Retinol is still considered the best anti-aging product by most dermatologists.

3. The next imperative step is to moisturize with a hydrating cream that suits your skin. If you have acne-prone skin, Dr. Zenovia recommends hydrators with hyaluronic acid. If you experience dryness and flakiness, Dr. Zenovia recommends ceramide-containing moisturizers. If you have a skin disease, like rosacea, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis (these are ALL common) you may need to mix in your prescription creams as well.

Additional Self-Care Practices

Aside from a morning and nighttime skincare routine, other great self-care practices include:

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will prevent dehydration and keep you feeling energized. Following the 8x8 rule, drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day can help ensure you are staying hydrated.

Schedule A Yearly Checkup

Visiting a board-certified dermatologist every year for a skin health exam is preventative care and definitely a form of self-care. A yearly skin exam allows your dermatologist to thoroughly check for any suspicious spots.

Facial Massage

When applying serums or oils, take the time to really massage these products into the skin. Not only is facial massage relaxing, but it can help improve the penetration of your products with manual force. There are skincare tools available on the market to help with facial massage and product absorption, like crystal/jade rollers and dermarollers.

Healthy Eating

Eating a poor diet rich in sugars and animal products increases inflammation in the body and on the skin. Try to incorporate whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes into your diet. Healthy eating helps prevent disease, optimizes our overall health, and can make us feel great! Dr. Zenovia follows a Mediterranean diet which helps keep the skin balanced. Here is a blog post that goes more in-depth about the Mediterranean diet.

Sleep Hygiene

When we lack sleep, our skin does not have sufficient time to repair itself which, in turn, results in dull appearing skin. People notice their skin improve overnight with a good night’s rest. Sleeping 7-9 hours every night is a great way to care for your body and directly improve the appearance of your skin. Having good sleep habits will also help you feel energized to approach each day and can positively affect your emotional and physical health.

To improve your sleep hygiene, aim to go to bed at the same time every night, and read before bed instead of looking at your devices or watching TV. Removing electronic devices such as tablets and phones from the bedroom a few hours before going to bed will also help. Studies have found that when people read on blue light-emitting devices in the evening it took them longer to fall asleep. They also had less REM sleep and woke up feeling more tired, even after a full night's rest.

What are the self-care habits you incorporate in your daily life for overall health?

Be sure to follow @drzenovia on Instagram to learn more about hormonally impacted skin!