Our skin is our body’s largest organ. As we age, environmental facts like lifestyle choices and genetics can lead to changes in our skin texture. It’s natural: no-one has completely texture free skin and it’s unrealistic to think that’s possible. But there are things we can do to improve our skin texture as it will not only improve your skins appearance but it can help your skincare products absorb better on the skin and even allow your makeup to apply more evenly, as well as generally be good for your skin health.
Skin texture is defined as:
- Skin that feels rough to touch
- Visible pores
- Uneven skin tone
Textured skin is a term given to skin that appears raised or uneven. It can appear anywhere on the body, but you’re more likely to notice it on your face.
Some of the reasons we have skin texture include…
- Dead skin cell build up
- Sun exposure
- Large pores
- Lifestyle factors like smoking and drinking
Here are some simple ways to refine your skin texture…
Make it a ritual! Making your skincare into a ritual means you’re more likely to stick to it. When it comes to skincare and seeing results, consistently is key to see what is working and what is not so you can really get the best out of your skin.
Prevent your skin from drying out as this can cause texture. Dried out skin can also cause your pores to overproduce sebum which can lead to acne. “Hydration is everything. All our cellular functions including the natural desquamation (shedding) process requires water to happen,” says Rebecca Elsdon, leading skincare expert and Owner of Skin health clinic: Re:Skin.
Incorporate these ingredients
Vitamin C can help even out your skin tone and the anti-oxidant rich ingredient can help protect against future environmental damage too. Glycolic Acid is also a popular AHA to help exfoliate to reveal glowing skin below. Retinol can help stimulate cell turnover and approve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and skin tone to improve overall texture.
Don’t forget the SPF
UV rays can damage collagen and elastin fibers, leading to textural irregularities. Even on cloudy days: apply your SPF. The sun ages your skin, by using spf it protects your skin from sun damage, improving the texture and clarity of your skin as it prevents oxidative stress which leads to lack of elasticity in the skin. “Sun damage will worsen skin health and can cause textural issues,” says Rebecca Elsdon, leading skincare expert and Owner of Skin health clinic: Re:Skin.
Exfoliating your skin will remove build up, dead skin cells and reveal smooth skin underneath and it can also help improve the efficiency of your other products that you use afterwards… a big bonus!
You can either use a chemical or physical exfoliant (or a bit of both).
But don’t overdo it! You could end up making your skin over sensitive or irritated if you try and over exfoliate. Once or twice a week is usually enough to reveal glowy, radiant skin. “Your skin cells are constantly turning over every month and your skin naturally sheds dead skin cells. The process of exfoliation helps remove these dead cells and can result in brighter-looking skin. Exfoliation can also help some with acne-prone skin by helping to remove debris blocking pores. Exfoliation can be achieved through chemicals or by physical methods such as scrubs, brushes, cloths and masks,” says Consultant Dermatologist, Dr Ben Esdaile at Skin+Me.
Consume a diet rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals to support your skin health. You should also make sure to include lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. “Our skin works hard to provide a protective barrier for us, but this means it is constantly bombarded with challenges such as water, light, friction and chemicals. Research has found that the natural compounds found in plants – polyphenols – can help to boost the health of skin cells and reduce the effects of ageing. Fresh vegetables, especially if locally-grown and full of colour, are abundant in polyphenols. Choose dark leafy greens such as curly kale and chard and mix them up with coloured produce such as carrot, butternut squash and peppers,” says Caroline Hind mBANT CNHC, Registered Nutritional Therapist for Vitaminology.
Drink your water
Ensure you drink plenty of water to main your skin’s hydration levels and it will also be great for your general health to. “Research has found that drinking more water helps hydrate the top layer and even lower layers of the skin and can reduce signs of roughness and dryness. Importantly, skin elasticity also increases when individuals hydrate their body properly. There’s no need to take in huge amounts of water – just get into the habit of drinking small glasses of water or herbal tea regularly throughout the day,” says Caroline Hind mBANT CNHC, Registered Nutritional Therapist for Vitaminology.
Get lots of sleep
Prioritise good sleep as these can have an impact not only on your skin (your skin renews as you sleep) but in your health overall.
Look for overnight hydration masks to use on your skin before sleep for a boost too.
Excess cortisol, the stress hormone, can accelerate loss of collagen and elastin, the proteins responsible for youthful skin texture. This can lead to premature wrinkling and sagging skin. Stress can affect your skin as it causes increased inflammation, your glands also produce more oils when under stress, leading to more breakouts.
Look at professional treatments
Talk to a dermatologist or a skincare professional for advanced treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser therapy or microneedling. These will be able to give significant results on skin texture, more so than anything over the counter.
Refining your skin texture is not just about its appearance, it’s about promoting skin health too! It’s impossible to achieve perfectly flat, smooth skin… that would mean no pores and they are essential for skin health. The best thing you can do is get to know your skin and what it likes and what it needs.