What do you think of when you hear the words, “smooth skin?”
Do you think of skin that is flawless, soft, and radiant?
That’s what most people think about. Smooth skin is pictured as healthy, soft skin that is free of hyperpigmentation, scars, bumps, and other damage.
Very few people, however, get through life without suffering at least some skin damage. If you’re looking at your skin and thinking it’s not as smooth as it could be, read on for tips to improve that situation right away!
What is Smooth Skin?
The easiest way to think of smooth skin is to think of its opposite—rough skin. This is skin that is uneven in texture and appearance and that suffers from fine lines, wrinkles, scars, hyperpigmentation, acne, dryness, flaking, and other symptoms of skin damage.
Several factors can contribute to rough skin, including the following:
- Aging: As you get older, the cellular turnover rate in your skin slows down. That means that you have fewer young cells rising to dispatch the older cells. Those older cells hang around longer and can build up on the surface of the skin, causing roughness. This buildup not only makes skin look dull but can also clog pores and increase breakouts.
- Environmental damage: UV rays and pollution generate free radicals—unstable molecules that damage the skin’s outer barrier, triggering premature aging. Without a strong outer barrier, the skin loses moisture more easily, which is why older skin is often dryer skin. Free radicals also damage the fibers in the skin, breaking down the collagen and leading to sagging and wrinkles.
- Lack of moisture: Rough skin is most clearly linked with dry skin. As the outer barrier breaks down and the skin is unable to hold onto moisture, it becomes dehydrated. This leads to further damage and roughness, as well as fine lines and wrinkles.
- Unhealthy lifestyle: Too much stress paired with sleep deprivation and an unhealthy diet can also lead to rough skin. This sort of lifestyle can damage the outer barrier of the skin, causing dryness and increased damage to the collagen and elastin fibers. Smoking makes the situation worse, as it encourages the formation of damaging free radicals, leading to rough skin.
- Skin conditions: If you suffer from skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, keratosis pilaris, and others, these can be hard on your skin and cause it to become rough as you get older.
Smooth skin, on the other hand, is the opposite of all these things. You know how smooth a baby’s skin is. That’s because it hasn’t yet been damaged by all these factors. With time and simply living life, skin can lose that youthful smoothness and start to appear rough.
5 Wholistic Ways to Get Smooth Skin
You can’t lock yourself away in a dark room to protect your skin from the elements that cause it to become rough. There are steps you can take, though, to get smoother skin, no matter your age or how rough your skin is to begin with.
This is the most popular way to counteract roughness because it works! One of the main factors in creating rough skin is dead cell build-up. Sloughing off those dead skin cells through exfoliation helps clear the way for new, younger skin cells to come forward. After exfoliation, the skin looks and feels smoother. The more often you exfoliate, the more you stimulate cell turnover, potentially speeding it up for the future.
You have to be careful with exfoliation though. If you use the wrong product to shed those dead skin cells, you could make your skin condition worse. Harsh exfoliants with nuts, crystals, or beads can make microscopic scratches in the skin causing inflammation and sometimes encouraging breakouts. These are particularly problematic for those with sensitive skin.
For healthy, smooth skin, choose a gentler exfoliant infused with alpha-hydroxy acids like glycolic, salicylic, and malic acids. Use it as often as your skin needs it. If your skin starts getting red or breaking out, most likely you have the wrong product or you’re using it too often. Keep experimenting until you find the right one, then exfoliate at least 1-2 times a week.
2. Moisturize Wisely
Moisturizing is key to keeping your complexion soft and smooth. The most potent ingredients for correcting roughness include peptides and ceramides, as these can penetrate deeply into the skin, providing more lasting moisture, and they also help repair the skin’s outer barrier.
Look too for natural oils that hydrate without clogging pores, aloe to help soothe and calm inflamed skin, and antioxidant ingredients that will help protect the skin from damaging free radicals.
3. Incorporate Vitamin C Into Your Skin Care Routine
Vitamin C is a star when it comes to repairing skin damage and helping you achieve a brighter, smoother appearance. It is a powerful antioxidant and will help neutralize free radicals before they have a chance to cause damage. It also stimulates collagen production, which can help keep the skin’s structure strong and prevent the appearance of wrinkles, sagging, and bagging.
Choose a vitamin C serum and either mix it with your moisturizer or apply it directly before you apply your moisturizer.
4. Protect Your Skin
Since the sun is one of the main contributing factors to skin roughness, it makes sense that protecting your skin from damaging UV rays is wise if you want smoother skin. If you’re worried about getting enough vitamin D in your day, expose other areas of your body (like the arms and legs) to the sun while keeping your face protected.
Choose a safe sunscreen like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and use it daily. It’s best to avoid chemical sunscreens if you can. (See our post, “Study Finds Harmful Ingredients in Sunscreen—How to Choose a Safe Product.”)
5. Live a Healthy Lifestyle
The healthier you are inside, the more youthful and radiant your skin is going to appear. Plus, living a healthy lifestyle gives your skin what it needs to repair itself and appear at its best.
- Eat a healthy diet with plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid smoking.
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep most nights.
- Manage your stress by engaging in a stress-relieving activity every day.
- Drink plenty of water.
- If you live in a dry climate, sleep with a humidifier.
- Exercise regularly.
Get Your Glow On!
For more help in getting smooth skin, try our Rescue & Glow Kit.This unique collection helps calm, soothe, and heal irritated and sensitive skin, leaving behind a radiant glow. Each product delivers outstanding beauty benefits and proven results, even for the most sensitive skins.
How do you get smooth skin?