8 Easy Changes To Make For Better Skin

Illustrated by Paola Delucca.
If achieving clear, glowing, incredible skin were as easy as slathering on a single cream, we’d be the first in line to scoop it up. But great complexions aren't made by magic potions. They’re achieved by eating right, taking care of your body (the skin is your largest organ, after all), and — yes — using the right products.

So can a few easy lifestyle tweaks really deliver fewer breakouts, less pronounced wrinkles, and a killer glow? The simple answer is yes. With a change to your daily routine and the help of complexion-transforming products like the genius new Clarins Boosters, here are eight proven ways to get your best skin ever — from the inside out.

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Illustrated by Paola Delucca.
Hide Your Booze
An occasional glass of wine is one thing. But heavy drinking —whether it’s a one-night binge or a regular habit — is nearly as bad for your skin as it is for your liver. “Alcohol dehydrates...and causes your face to look bloated and puffy,” says Annie Chiu, dermatologist and founder of The Derm Institute in Redondo Beach, CA. “It also deprives skin of vital vitamins and nutrients, especially vitamins C and A, antioxidants needed for collagen production.” Translation: The more glasses you throw back, the faster you're aging your skin.

Sugary mixed drinks are especially bad. Sugar causes inflammation, exacerbating conditions like acne and rosacea in the short-term and damaging cells and collagen long-term, says Chiu. If you do go on a margarita bender (it happens), down lots of water the next morning, cut out caffeine (which will further dehydrate you), and replenish your skin’s moisture with a hydrating sheet mask followed by a hyaluronic-acid-based moisturizer.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca.
Grab Some Greens
A less-than-stellar diet will show in your skin. But the good news is, a healthy one will, too. “What you eat affects your hormone balance, which can cause acne and create or lessen inflammation,” says Chiu. So follow an antioxidant-rich diet to nourish and protect both your body and your skin.

If you're already mentally meal planning, Chiu suggests loading up on foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium (found in foods like brown rice or eggs), beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re particularly pimple-prone, steer clear of foods with a high glycemic index, says dermatologist Whitney Bowe. Foods like white bread, white rice, cookies, and cakes are known to increase breakouts. We're not telling you to cut out all the fun stuff, just keep things in moderation.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca.
Hit The Sheets
Need another reason to hit the sheets early? Beauty sleep is a real thing, friends. “Less than six hours of sleep a night will negatively impact your appearance,” says Chiu. “When you’re asleep, the...nervous system takes over, increasing blood flow and oxygen to the skin and building more collagen.” Skimp on the ZZZs and your body concentrates blood flow around your internal organs, not your skin, which is bad news for lines and wrinkles — both immediately and over time.

Lack of sleep breeds puffiness, too. “Excess fluids and toxins are drained when you sleep, so if you don’t get enough rest...you’ll look puffy — especially around the eyes where there's less fat.” Other super-fun side effects: dark circles, dullness, and zits. If you do have a night or two where you toss and turn, you can give your skin a temporary wake-up call with the right products. We like Clarins Booster Energy, which is packed with ginseng, known for its stimulating properties. Add a few drops to your favorite moisturizer to quickly perk up a dull complexion.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca.
Stress Less
Easier said than done, we get it. But here’s why you’ll want to at least try: “When you’re stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol, which causes sugar levels in your blood to increase, damaging collagen and increasing oil production that leads to acne, fine lines, and wrinkles,” says Chiu. Stress can also cause psoriasis or eczema flare-ups and can even dry out your skin.

For the good of your face (not to mention your psyche), try to find ways to chill out. Get a massage, drop in on hot yoga, or just take some breaks throughout your day to mindfully breathe in and out, says Bowe.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca.
Wash Up
“At night, you remove dirt, grime, and sweat that have accumulated all day, which can cause inflammation and barrier damage over time.” But if you think cleansing just at night is enough — think again. As you sleep, you slough off dead skin cells and dirt that need to be washed away. “[An a.m. cleanse also] gives you a clean, blank canvas for a better, longer-lasting sunscreen application,” says Chiu.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca.
Get City-Smart
Smog, smoke, and dirty city air are bad for your lungs — and your skin to boot. “Pollution breaks down collagen and the lipid layer in your skin, impairing its barrier and...accelerating aging,” says Chiu. “The tiny particles can also penetrate into the deepest layers of your skin and cause inflammation and dehydration, which eventually lead to a loss of elasticity and firmness.”

Since moving to a farm far from vehicle emissions isn’t an option for most of us, developing a strong anti-pollution plan becomes key. Chiu recommends eating antioxidant-rich foods (see how much we like these?), applying sunscreen daily, and layering on an antioxidant serum.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca.
Work It Out
Turns out that spin class may improve more than just your energy levels. “When you exercise, you supply your body with oxygenated blood, which gives you a post-workout glow and decreases toxins in the body.” It also reduces your stress levels. (That's what we call a win-win situation.) Just remember to shower afterward, says Bowe. You don't have to do a full shampoo-condition-repeat sesh, just hop in long enough to wash away breakout-causing sweat.
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Illustrated by Paola Delucca.
Take Cover
Sunscreen is not a negotiable step for your beauty routine. “It is the single most proven [factor] for anti-aging,” says Chiu, who recommends wearing SPF 30 or higher every day. “UVA rays penetrate through cloud cover and glass, so you need to do this daily — rain or shine.” Reapplying that sunscreen at least every three hours is also a must. Wearing sun-protective clothing and seeking out shade whenever possible will make a serious difference over time, too. Vampires have enviable complexions for a reason, after all.