There are many reasons to maintain the health of your skin. The most obvious is because it improves your appearance. Smooth, clear skin makes a person look young and radiant. More importantly, your skin is the largest organ you have and caring for it is imperative to good overall health. There are some very simple ways to keep your skin glowing and they really do not require spending a fortune to accomplish.

Hydration is the most important factor for healthy skin. Not only must you be diligent about drinking the correct amount of water every day, but also remember to hydrate externally as well. Using the appropriate moisturizer for your skin type, avoiding facial products which contain skin-drying ingredients like alcohol and avoiding soap are all important. Wash only with a gentle body wash and facial cleansers and shower or bathe in warm, never hot, water.

Keeping skin clean is key to preventing breakouts. This includes ensuring all makeup is removed before going to bed. It is important to wash sheets and pillow cases frequently and replace pillows regularly as well. This prevents dirt and oils left behind from hair and skin to build up in the bedding. Keep your hands away from your face as much as possible to avoid transferring the oils and dirt on your hands to your face.

Sunblock is not just for the beach. It should be applied every day to provide the maximum amount of protection. Some makeup does include sunscreen but the SPF level is typically too low to provide much protection. Including a moisturizer with sunscreen as part of your morning beauty regimen can be beneficial.

Remember, not only will the sun cause freckles and darken age spots, it will also promote wrinkles and put you at risk for skin cancer. Remember the often forgotten areas like the back of the neck and the ears when applying sunscreen because all skin matters. Wearing a hat and sunglasses will also help to prevent squinting in brighter conditions, a habit which will cause crow’s feet.

The saying “you are what you eat”, really is true. One of the first places it shows is in the skin. Greasy, sugary foods will cause breakouts and dry patches. Whereas a healthy diet which includes fruits, vegetables, nuts and yogurt will help keep your skin soft and supple.

Those few hours you allow your body to rest every night is the only opportunity it has for recovery work. Too little sleep will make your complexion look dull, promote dark circles and puffy skin. Over time, all that puffiness turns to creases and drooping as the skin’s elasticity begins to weaken. Aim for at least 7 hours every night and do not fall victim to the belief that a weekend of sleeping in will make up for a week’s worth of short nights. Recent studies have shown that you cannot “catch up” with lost sleep as far as much of your body is concerned.

Finally, avoid those things you know you should. This includes that extra martini, cigarettes and that 2AM slice of cold pizza. With just a bit of self-control and a little extra effort there is no reason you cannot have beautiful skin from head to toe throughout your lifetime.