“If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good. If you play good, they pay good.” – Deion Sanders
Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders always had something to say, and pretty much always backed it up. The two-time Super Bowl champion and six-time NFL All-Pro is widely regarded as one of the best cornerbacks to ever play the game. And, oh yeah, “Primetime” played nine years of Major League Baseball and, along with Bo Jackson, is probably the most successful multi-sport pro athlete in modern American sports history.
While most of us don’t possess Deion’s athletic prowess, or dramatic flair, or his wallet, I think most can agree with perhaps his most famous quote. Well, perhaps not the “pay good” part, but that’s beside the point. Looking good leads to feeling good and feeling good can have a very real effect in multiple areas of life.
In the new year ahead, keep Deion’s sage advice in mind and give your skin the much-deserved attention it’s worthy of. Luckily for you, we’re here to guide you through developing a skincare routine that can boost your look and self-esteem – and could even have you exuding some Primetime-esque swagger.
Load Up on Water
If you often find your skin dry, flaky and tight, you’re likely not drinking enough water. And you’re hardly alone. Nearly 80 percent of American men say they fall short of the Institute of Medicine-recommended three liters of water a day for proper hydration.
While three liters might seem like a lot, once you see the benefits that even a few weeks of consistent hydration provide, we’re betting you’ll be on board. Proper water intake will leave your skin more elastic (read: less wrinkles) and instill a healthy glow that gives off a vibrant look.
To complement all the H2O, try a gel moisturizer for oily skin to improve your skin’s natural ability to hydrate. Use one with a water-based solution that allows your skin to breathe and helps form a protective layer to shield off contaminants and harmful UV rays.
Use Sunscreen Often
There’s certainly nothing wrong with soaking up the occasional ray or two, but like most things, it’s best done in moderation. Beyond the aging aspect of getting too much sun, there’s the threat of skin cancer and other serious conditions from overindulging. Applying sunscreen regularly, like every day or just about every day, is a great call, as is reapplying frequently on days where you’re out and about for extended periods.
Understand Your Skin Type
In any “New Year, New You” pursuit, it’s important to know where you are to get where you’d like to be. When it comes to your new skincare routine, you need to know what type of skin you have to treat it properly. You likely fall into one of three categories:
- Shiny = oily skin, meaning you’ll need non-oily products
- Matte = dry skin, meaning you’ll need a natural face wash product and want to steer away from alcohol-based products that will dry and irritate skin
- In between or “normal” = neither noticeably shiny or dull, meaning you’ll need products that fall somewhere in between the above
No matter how your skin is classified, a charcoal mask peel is something you’ll want to add to your skincare mix. Using just once a week for 10-15 minutes, it won’t hurt or damage your skin and will emulsify and bind to blackheads, dirt and oil.
Cleanse, Moisturize and Exfoliate on the Regular
You should wash your face twice daily in order to prevent clogged pores and get rid of excess oils that build up on your face throughout the day. When applying face wash, first wet your face with warm water and then gently rub the product all over your face. Avoid rubbing, which can irritate the skin. Use cold water to rinse the face after the fact.
On the moisturizing front, this should immediately follow your face wash in order to aid hydration and prevent flakiness and the overproduction of oil from stripped cells.
Two to three times a week, take a few minutes to apply an exfoliator or face scrub on your face, neck and beard in small, circular motions. This will make it easier to shave by unclogging pores and raising hairs. On the days you shave (and please, we implore you to use good, clean razors every time), use a razor bump cream to aid the exfoliating process, soothe irritated skin, prevent acne breakouts, slow the natural aging process and more.
Get Your Heart Rate Up
Speaking of slowing the aging process, exercising regularly is a great way to hold onto that youthful energy you once possessed without a second thought. Two and a half to three hours of exercise per week will produce sweat that helps rid your skin of pollution from the environment, dirt and oil that collect throughout the day.
And, oh yeah, that runner’s high or energy boost you get after a great workout? Those feel-good endorphins will help reduce tension throughout your body, including reduced strain on the skin. Cleanse your skin and apply moisturizer after workouts to really stick to your new regimen.
Stress will show in your mood and can manifest in your skin as well. While it’s not true that stress causes acne, facial tension and tiredness are factors that can increase the likelihood of frown lines and under-eye bags, which have the potential to become permanent if they appear frequently. Exercise and dedicating time to your mental health and well-being are good ways to mitigate sweating the small stuff in all facets of life.
Whatever your motivation, taking care of your skin should be a top-of-mind health priority. We can help make that pursuit easier for you with this helpful guide.