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The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Skin, According to Skincare Experts

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by Jessica Toscano Nov 30, 2020

Man washing face

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Whether you’re one of the 1.68 million Americans who’s dropped $500 or more on skin care within the last three months or a minimalist who occasionally splurges on a few product must-haves to maintain a clear complexion, you probably agree that skin health is pretty important — like, really important. I mean, it *is* your largest organ. Also, it’s a great indicator of your health, oftentimes changing in color when you’re sick; resulting in acne when you eat certain foods; and becoming raw, inflamed, or masked by dark spots if you’ve had too much sun exposure.

Your skin is also the protective barrier that shields you from environmental stressors like changes in temperature, UV rays, and bacteria that can negatively impact your general health and well-being. Since November is Healthy Skin Month and winter is rapidly approaching, we spoke with skincare experts to uncover *exactly* what you need to keep your skin healthy. (FYI, you probably could have done without the few hunnits you spent on products.)

Maintain a consistent skincare routine.

“Healthy skin is a lifestyle,” celebrity facialist Candace Marino, tells Intrigue, “which means what you put in your body, put on your skin, and how you spend your free time will ultimately impact how your skin looks and functions.” While you may not have control over certain factors (like the environment) that take a toll on your skin, you can still maintain a healthy barrier with a consistent routine.

Whether your main concern is pigment, acne, dryness, age, or a combination of the four, Marino recommends sticking to what she refers to as three "non-negotiables": sunscreen, antioxidants, and exfoliates. When used regularly, this combination can help prevent skin cancer and signs of aging, protect cells from everyday damage caused by air pollution and Blue light, and treat concerns with pores, acne, pigment, and signs of aging.

Eat antioxidant-rich foods.

“You want to eat the rainbow,” says Mary Stevenson, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and assistant professor in the department of dermatology at New York University. “There are a lot of products you can promote, but that doesn’t stop anyone from needing to eat a healthy diet full of antioxidants — a lot of veggies [in] all colors: dark greens, dark reds, oranges, [and] purples.” Eating foods rich in antioxidants like kale, berries, and cabbage helps protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals, and thus, prevents signs of aging. Boom.

Ditch the booze.