Getting Your Skin Ready for the Big Reveal

Getting Your Skin Ready for the Big Reveal

Recently the women of the daytime TV show The Talk decided to begin their season au naturel—no makeup, no wigs, no fake eyelashes, nada (not even gloss)! This multi-cultural group of women stunned in their organic glory, which made me wonder if I was brave enough to reveal my imperfect skin to the world. I’m not one to be three-layers deep in foundation, but I rarely leave the house without concealer, foundation, blush, gloss and mascara. (Okay, maybe I’m two layers deep.) So this made me wonder—if my skin were glowing and healthy looking, might I dare to go completely bare?

I looked to the Sharecare skin experts for advice on how to get skin worth showing off. Here’s what I discovered.

1. Eat your squash (and other vegetables)
“The key to flawless skin is what you put into your body—not what you smear on it,” says Mehmet Oz, MD. “The antioxidants responsible for glowing, youthful skin—called carotenoids—can be found in squash and other colorful fruits and vegetables. Carotenoids fight free radicals and help to protect skin against damage and disease, while vitamin A-rich foods like liver will help prevent dry skin.”

It’s also important to drink plenty of water. Dermatologist Doris Day, MD, tells us, “Drinking water helps the skin look its best since there are elements in the skin such as hyaluronic acid and a vascular network that hold water, and that makes the skin look younger and plumper.”

2. Work up a sweat
Moderate exercise boosts circulation and delivery of nutrients to skin cells, helping to detoxify the body,” says dermatological chemist Ben Kaminsky. “Exercise also boosts oxygen and other nutrients to the skin, helping to increase collagen fiber regeneration.” And that’s not all. “The increased relaxation you feel after exercise shows on the face with lessened muscle tension and fewer worry lines.”

3. Get a skin doctor
Now that you’re no longer an acne-prone teenager, you may think you don’t need a dermatologist. But these skin docs know the secrets to great-looking skin (notice that many of them walk around without foundation). “A dermatologist will be able to perform screenings and tests that can diagnose any problems, and the dermatologist can help recommend treatment to maximize your skin health,” says the Honor Society of Nursing. 

Related: Get advice on how to find a good dermatologist here. 

4. Protect what protects you
The skin is our largest organ and protects our entire body, so we need to protect it from environmental hazards. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher is a must. But did you know that sleep also protects your skin? “If you sleep too little, you're not giving the body time to repair itself,” says dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD.  “One study found that sleep deprivation disrupted women's skin barrier function (how the stratum corneum prevents water loss and blocks the entry to foreign substances), and this could trigger or exacerbate inflammatory disorders such as psoriasis, eczema and atopic dermatitis. All are reasons enough to get the seven to eight hours of recommended shut-eye you need per night." 

5. Buy only the products you need
More is not better when it comes to using skin care products. Dr. Marmur has this advice: “Narrow down what it is about your complexion you want to improve, and that will help narrow down your options. Are you in your twenties and looking for a preventive product? An antioxidant is a good bet. Do you want to fight wrinkles? Then something with retinoic acid will work. If brown spots and uneven skin tone are your problem, you can use retinoic acid or try a product with niacinamide.” 

6. Get even
Sometimes it may take extra help to get that perfectly even skin tone. “Chemical peels, laser surgeries and microdermabrasion are procedures meant to remove damaged upper layers of skin to reveal younger, healthier skin,” says Dr. Oz. “Some patients have found them to be effective, but results typically require repeated treatments” If you think it’s worth the splurge, contact your dermatologist.

If the women of The Talk can do it, so can I. In fact, with a little help, I think we can all learn to love the skin we’re in.

Medically reviewed in April 2020.

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