Tips and Tricks for Soft, Beautiful Skin for Women and Men

Sugar Scrub Tutorial 3 - Image: © Briana Blair

Want smooth, flawless skin? You can have it!

Over the years I’ve gotten countless compliments on my skin. It’s not all genetics, so I’ll share my tips for getting smooth, amazing skin without a lot of work or money.

I’ve been lucky to have fairly decent skin for a long time. Unfortunately, it’s not perfect. However, I’ve developed a regimen that keeps my skin smooth, blemish-free and looking great, without breaking the bank on professional treatments or products. I like to keep things simple, so these tricks are easy to work into your normal beauty regimen.

One of the biggest things you can do for your skin is to stay hydrated. It’s no myth that when you’re dehydrated your skin will get dry and flaky, and lose some of it’s elasticity and healthy glow. Make sure you get plenty of liquids every day so your body can take care of your skin. Dehydration can also lead to blotchiness on the skin, so you want to avoid that.

You can help your body slough off old skin cells and produce new ones by making your showers quite hot. Don’t burn yourself of course, but take showers as hot as you can comfortably stand, then finish with a cool rinse. The heat will encourage your skin to drop the dead cells and create new ones, as well as opening up your pores to release dirt and impurities. The cool rinse will close your pores and leave you feeling smooth and refreshed.

I also recommend taking one really hot bath per week. Soak as long as you can, even if it makes you sweat. I do a 30-40 minute soak once a week and finish with a cool shower. Don’t use soap of any kind in your soak. Just fill the tub with clean hot water and relax. This is a great time to use a facial mask if you want. You can use body wash when you take the shower rinse at the end.

As for cleansing products, you don’t need to own a whole pharmacy, and you don’t need expensive products. A basic exfoliating body wash is all you need for showering. If you want, you can even go for a natural soap like I do now. For your face I suggest having some sort of seaweed mask, a gentle facial cleanser or an apricot exfoliating cleanser. Use the seaweed mask once a week during your bath. Use the gentle cleanser (I use a natural shea butter soap) every day, twice a day if you need to wash off makeup. Use the apricot cleanser (St. Ives makes a good one) twice a week. If you have really oily skin, go for a sensitive skin version of the apricot cleanser and use it 3 times a week.

When taking your daily shower, you can also use the cleansers you have for your face. Twice a week I use a sugar scrub and do my whole body, paying special attention to any bumpy or dry areas, like elbows, knees and feet. Be sure not to scrub too hard or too long. You don’t want to damage your skin.

When shaving, whether it be your face, legs or any other part, you need to take care of your skin. Always shave with warm, damp skin, and use a good lubricant under the razor. Believe it or not, hair conditioner works just like shaving cream and it makes your skin really silky. After you’re done shaving, rinse with cool water, and if you can, let your skin air dry. This will close the pores, reduce redness and leave you feeling smooth and fresh. If you have the time, using a product like Smooth Away (or 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper, which is the same thing only cheaper) can actually save you from ugly razor bumps and cuts. It’s not great for the face (beards), but it’s fantastic for arms, legs, upper lip and other areas.

Another trick I use is toothpaste. I know it sounds odd, but it works. If you find yourself getting a blemish, smear a bit of toothpaste (preferably a baking soda & peroxide version, gel won’t work) on the offending area before you go to bed. By morning it will look better, and after a few days it’ll be gone. You can even put a really thin layer on during the daytime and it’s pretty much invisible, especially if you apply makeup over it.

That’s another thing that goes into great skin: use as few products and as little makeup as possible. Don’t listen to beauty stores that tell you to use seven layers of product on your face then use two or three cleansers and a toner. You don’t need all of that. The best thing you can do for your skin is to put as little on it as possible. That goes not only for using less makeup, but also using fewer lotions and other body products. Trust me, people have marveled at my skin and how I keep it this nice without a lot of junk. Quite often, simpler is better.

You should note that these tips apply equally well to men and women. Guys are allowed to have great skin too, and women certainly enjoy it. It’s no surprise that companies are marketing loofahs and body products to men. Good skin is a universally wonderful thing, and everyone deserves to have a great wrapper! Use these tricks and you’ll see how great your skin can be.

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