These are the basic "rules" I follow that have NEVER failed me (sidenote: click on the photos to be directed to the websites where you can purchase the items). Let's get into it!
Water is the most important factor in achieving clear skin. Water keeps the skin hydrated from the inside out and flushes out toxins from our body. I like to keep a refillable water bottle handy to ensure that I'm drinking enough daily, once I finish the bottle I refill right away! Here's a few cute bottles (at different price ranges) that can help you stay on track.
Don't compare your skin to others' (especially pictures of your favorite celebrities &/or models). Remember that no one is perfect no matter how many instagram filters or contour tutorials you see. Comparing yourself to supermodels and celebrities' photos that are photoshopped, retouched, perfectly lighted, and have on a full face of makeup are not what you need to be striving for. Instead focus on your beautiful unique skin and strive to achieve YOUR perfect skin. Remember, there's no one like you. We are our own fabulous and unique beings.
Think of sleep as your skin's fountain of youth. While we are asleep our bodies increase the blood flow to our skin which gives us that natural glow in the morning. Too little sleep can cause the stress hormones in our bodies to increase which then causes acne, faster aging, puffy eyes, and a duller complexion. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to get that "I woke up like this" look and change your pillowcases weekly. Read this article by everyday health to get a more in depth understanding of how important sleep is for your skin. The article goes in detail about how sleep affects our skin: http://www.everydayhealth.com/skin-and-beauty/amazing-reasons-to-sleep-for-skin-health.aspx
Don't fall asleep with your makeup on...EVER.
You're exhausted and that walk to the bathroom to wipe off your makeup seems so far away-- "how can I spend that 1 minute to wipe this off my face? I'M EXHAUSTED! Blah blah blah." Do not fall for your excuses! Get your butt up and take it off.
Think about it, that make up has been sitting on your face and getting cozy in your pores all day long and the last thing you need to do is go to sleep with it. Make up combined with the days' sweat and natural oils of our skin get clogged in our pores which causes a back up of dirt that needs to get out. If you fall asleep with your make up, you're falling asleep with all the days' sweat and grime. Make it a habit of washing your face nightly to remove the days' dirt. And for those times when you're "too tired" keep some coconut oil or wet wipes by the bed and take it off! Here are my two favorite makeup removers and they're cheap.
Get a Skin Routine
Skin is our bodies' largest organ and barrier against germs and infections. Keeping your skin clean and healthy keeps your barrier strong. A good routine equals good skin, and getting into the habit is easy. You should be washing and moisturizing your face every morning and night. In the morning I cleanse with face soap and apply a small amount of cetaphil's intensive moisturizing lotion. Then, at night I remove any make up, cleanse again, apply my own apple cider vinegar toner, and moisturize again. I also like to use a coffee and oatmeal scrub or a honey probiotic mask once or twice a week. I love using a jade roller in the morning if I have time, or at night, after I wash and moisturize my face. The jade roller is made from 100% jade and is double ended. Roll it across your face in an upward direction towards the ceiling to allow the blood in your face to rise to the top and give you a natural glow and get your skin products deeply massaged into your skin. The jade roller also stays cold naturally which helps reduce any puffiness, tighten pores, and smooth out fine lines. You can get one here by GingerChi -- it's inexpensive and an incredible investment. (I'll post my exact regimen later).
Eat Well and Balanced
This one is simple: eat well, look good. A healthy and balanced diet is key to beautiful skin. Make sure to incorporate collagen boosting foods such as fish, berries and citrus fruits to increase the skin's elasticity. Try to eat a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables daily, cut out excess sugar like sodas and candy, reduce or eliminate your dairy intake and drink water. Also, take a probiotic every other day to aid in having the healthy gut nutrition that our bodies need. Probiotics are made of healthy, good bacteria that our stomachs need to stay balanced and help control the bacteria in our skin. If probiotic pills don't agree with you, then try drinking Kombucha, which is a fermented, lightly carbonated tea drink that has the same properties as a probiotic pill, and they come in a lot of yummy flavors. There are plenty of foods that are great for our skin, but here are the top 25 foods according to Prevention Magazine.
Lastly and most importantly, DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE ALL DAY AND DO NOT POP ANY ZITS!!
I'm the most passionate about this one as you can tell by the title. Our hands are constantly handling objects that carry millions of bacteria. When we touch our faces with dirty hands we're spreading bad bacteria and germs around and those germs find their way into our pores which in return cause annoying and unnecessary zits. Popping zits (especially with unclean hands) opens the wound to more dirt and germs when it is not ready to naturally go down. On top of that, popping pimples usually leads to scars that can sometimes be permanent. So take your pick between a pimple that lasts a few days or a discolored scar that won't budge. I know zits are annoying and unsightly, but honestly they're not a big deal. Everyone gets them and we always think it's worse than it really is. Dab some tea tree oil on it and it'll be gone in no time.