Here at Curology, we’re dedicated to helping you get your healthiest skin possible—and that doesn’t have to be an overly complicated task!
We’ll explain everything you need to know about healthy skin habits that are backed by research, why they’re important, and tips you can follow to create habits that stick. We’ll also share some lifestyle changes you can embrace to help boost the look and feel of your skin—and your overall health.
The skin is the body’s largest organ. Think of it as your protective armor. It keeps potentially harmful bacteria and other germs out and moisture (not to mention your muscles, bones, and other organs) in. It plays such a vital role in your overall health, helping regulate body temperature and alerting your nervous system by detecting pressure, pain, heat, and cold.¹ In short, your skin has a big job.
On top of all that, the appearance and feel of your skin have the ability to help boost your self-confidence, improve your mood, and positively affect your quality of life.² Having a healthy skin routine adapted to your skin’s goals and concerns, like anti-aging, acne prevention, and rosacea management, helps you to put your best face forward. We’re not saying your skin needs to be “perfect” by any means! But doing all that you can to care for it is a different story.
Healthy skin habits include more than choosing the right skincare products (although that’s a great first step!). Adopting certain lifestyle changes can make a big difference in reducing the signs of premature aging in your skin.
Here are five healthy skincare habits to adopt for a healthy skin glow:
Work out. Among its many benefits, exercise stimulates blood circulation, which can help towards well-nourished, radiant skin.
Stay hydrated. While drinking water doesn’t directly hydrate your skin, it does help improve overall body function, which is key to helping your skin look and feel its best. To hydrate your skin, specifically, apply a moisturizer with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, a humectant that helps attract and retain water in the skin.
Wear sunscreen. Sun exposure can cause dark spots (sunspots) and exacerbate hyperpigmentation from inflammatory conditions like acne. Protect your skin from UV rays by applying sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher daily, even when the sky is overcast.
Eat a healthy diet. A balanced diet rich in antioxidants, fatty fish, nuts, fruits, and veggies provides your body with essential nutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, and vitamin E may be beneficial for the skin, and antioxidants scavenge for free radicals, which can damage skin health.³ And don’t forget that getting enough sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle.
Adopt a simple skincare routine. An important healthy skin tip for your face is to adopt a simple skincare routine. At Curology, we’re all about keeping it as easy as possible. A three-step approach that includes cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting or treating is all you need. Wash your face and hydrate (with moisturizer) morning and night, treat your skin at night with acne-busting or anti-aging ingredients in the evening, and protect your skin each morning by wearing sunscreen.
It may sound cliche, but it’s true: The perks of healthy skincare habits are more than skin-deep. Here are just a few potential benefits of dedicating yourself to caring for your skin:
Improve the look and feel of your skin. A healthy routine can help prevent the roller coaster ride of chasing one pimple after another. That doesn’t mean you won’t experience blemishes or other skin conditions. It just means you’ll be more prepared to address them when you do.
Boost your self-esteem. Pimples, acne scarring, and other skin conditions can make you feel self-conscious and impact your personal relationships,⁴ but regular skincare can help keep you feeling as good about the skin you’re in as possible.
Positively affect your overall well-being. When your skin is dry, red, and irritated, it can be challenging to concentrate on anything else—especially if it’s itchy.
Reduce the risk of skin issues later on. It’s well known that sun exposure can cause skin cancer, but it can also cause sunspots (aka age spots or liver spots) and exacerbate other forms of hyperpigmentation.⁵
It can be frustrating to feel like you’re doing everything right and still not see a difference in your skin. Like all good things, getting healthier skin takes time and patience, and it all depends on your skin goals and how your skin responds (remember, everyone’s skin is different!). Here are some signs your healthy habits for glowing skin are working (and what it looks like when they’re not):
You have an even skin tone. Uneven skin tone can result from acne, prolonged sun exposure, or other skin conditions like rosacea or melasma. Patches of darker skin are created when something, like the sun or hormones, triggers your body to overproduce melanin, which gives skin its color.
Your skin texture is consistent. This refers to the feel of your skin—is it depressed in some areas and raised in others? Texture changes can occur from acne scarring and too much time in the sun.
There’s moisture in your skin. Dry skin may be red, cracked, and irritated, and it often occurs when your skin lacks oil (sebum). Fine lines and wrinkles can be more noticeable with dehydrated or dry skin. Dry skin may also be more susceptible to acne breakouts and infection.
Your skin feels firm. The skin naturally loses its shape as we age—collagen breaks down, weakening the skin’s foundation.⁶ Poor skincare can accelerate this process, including too much time in the sun without protection.
The skin’s surface is smooth. Like texture, smoothness refers to the feel of your skin. Think of smoothness as the feeling of lightly gliding your fingers over glass versus sandpaper. Depriving your skin of nourishment and hydration can change how your skin feels.
Just as some simple habits can help improve the health of your skin, there are a few things that wreak havoc, including:
Dehydration. While hydration levels don’t directly improve your skin’s appearance or texture, your body does function best when you’re adequately hydrated. So remember to drink up!
Smoking. This speeds the breakdown of elastin and collagen and accelerates skin aging.⁷ If you haven’t already, quit.
Excessive sun exposure. While there’s no way to avoid the sun entirely, there’s no such thing as a healthy tan (unless it’s sunless). Protect exposed skin with sunscreen.
Poor diet. Just as a healthy diet promotes healthy skin, an unhealthy diet can negatively affect the skin. Take sugary and greasy foods, for example, which have been associated with an increase in acne.⁸
A poor or inconsistent skincare routine. Regularity is key! Having stellar skincare for a few days in a row doesn’t make up for weeks of not washing your face or using a hydrating cream or lotion. Remember, the journey to having healthy skin is a marathon, not a sprint.
Curology was founded in 2014 by Dr. David Lorschter, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, to help bring effective skincare to people across the United States.
Curology’s full-service skincare pairs you with a licensed dermatology provider who will examine your skin and skincare goals to prescribe a personalized formula that use clinically proven and effective ingredients to treat acne, signs of aging, and rosacea. Our skin experts are here to answer questions and give you and support you need to follow your treatment and achieve healthier skin.
Want to give it a try? The first month is free.* Just answer some questions and snap a few selfies to help us get to know your skin. If Curology is right for you, we’ll send you a personalized prescription formula along with other recommended products. Just pay $4.95 (plus tax) to cover shipping and handling.
The skin is the body’s largest organ. Think of it as your protective armor. It keeps potentially harmful bacteria and other germs out and moisture (not to mention your muscles, bones, and other organs) in.
It can be frustrating to feel like you’re doing everything right and still not seeing a difference in your skin. Like all good things, getting healthier skin takes time and patience, and it all depends on your skin goals and how your skin responds (remember, everyone’s skin is different!).
The American Skin Association. Healthy skin. (n.d.).
Dreno, B., et al. The impact of acne, atopic dermatitis, skin toxicities and scars on quality of life and the importance of holistic treatment approach.Clinical Cosmetic and Investigative Dermatology. (2021 June 14).
Dumoulin, M., et al. Clinical effects of an oral supplement rich in antioxidants on skin radiance in women. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology. (2016).
Brown, B.C., et al. The hidden cost of skin scars: quality of life after skin scarring.Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery. (September 2008).
Wang, R.F., et al. Disorders of hyperpigmentation. Part I. Pathogenesis and clinical features of common pigmentary disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. (2022, February 10).
Ganceviciene, Ruta, et al. Skin anti-aging strategies.Dermatoendocrinol. (2012 July 1).
Morita, A. Tobacco smoke causes premature skin aging. Journal of Dermatological Science. (December 2007).
Yang, J., et al. A review of advancement on influencing factors of acne: An emphasis on environmental characteristics.Frontiers in Public Health. (2020 September 17).
Donna McIntyre is a board-certified nurse practitioner at Curology. She obtained her Master of Science in Nursing at MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, MA.
* Subject to consultation. Subscription is required. Trial is 30 days. Results may vary.
Donna McIntyre, NP-BC