Skin Care Tips for College Students

Health Writer

The college years are all about staying up late, eating junk food, cramming for tests, partying and rolling out of bed five minutes before class starts. All of which can lead to skin problems. So how can a busy teen keep track of it all? With a minimal of effort and just a few minutes each day, you can improve the health of your skin. The following tips should help.

  • Drink plenty of water. Whenever possible, opt for water instead of sugary beverages. Drinking water helps hydrate your skin from the inside. It is recommended that you drink eight to ten glasses of water each day. Coffee and tea count toward your water consumption, but, you don’t want to rely on caffeinated beverages for all of your water consumption. Try to limit coffee and tea to one or two cups per day.

  • Use sunscreen. The effects of sun exposure might not show up on your skin for years, but, it does eventually lead to premature aging and puts you at a higher risk of developing skin cancer. Always use sunscreen when spending time outdoors. Even walking back and forth to class counts for being outdoors so get in the habit of putting on sunscreen every morning.

  • Use combination products. If you don’t have time in the morning to put on moisturizer, sunscreen and foundation, try a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen. It takes a few seconds to apply to your face and has multiple benefits.

  • Avoid cigarettes and limit the alcohol. Like sun exposure, the effects of smoking and partying might not show up for years, but they will dry out your skin and prematurely age your skin.

  • Clean your phone on a daily basis. You take your phone everywhere and by the end of the day it is filled with grime and bacteria, which spreads to your face everytime you talk on the phone. Wipe down your phone each night.

  • Wash your face twice a day. Start your morning off by washing your face. At night be sure to wash all of your makeup off to prevent clogged pores. Petroleum jelly works just as well as store bought make up remover. If you usually skip this step, keep some wipes next to your bed to remove your makeup right before going to sleep.

  • Keep your facial cleanser and products in your shower caddy. That way you can take care of your face while showering, saving you time.

  • Eat fruits and vegetables. College students are known for eating pizza, chips and other junk food. While these foods don’t directly cause acne or skin problems, eating unhealthy foods for extended periods of time can lead to health problems which usually show up on your skin. You don’t need to feel guilty any time you reach for a chip or piece of pizza but you should try to replace some of your junk food with healthier alternatives.

  • Find time for exercise. It might seem hard to fit exercise into your busy schedule but including even 15 or 30 minutes of exercise each day (or at least several times per week), will actually give you more energy and improve your stamina.

  • Remember the winter months tend to dry skin out. Switch to a creamier moisturizer to help keep your skin hydrated.

  • If you have acne or other skin conditions, keep up with your treatment. It is easy to skip a day, or two, or a week. But before you realize it your acne or other skin condition will flare up. You will feel better in the long-run if you take the time to follow the regimen that you know works.

  • Use an eye cream to help reduce the puffiness under your eyes. Staying up all night partying or studying shows up as puffiness and dark circles under your eyes. Eye creams meant to increase circulation will reduce puffiness.

  • Wash your hands often. Not only does this help reduce the number of colds or viruses you will pick up, it helps keep your skin clean. Like most people, you probably touch your face many times throughout the day, putting the dirt and grime you have picked up by touching doorknobs, handrails and any other common items, onto your face. Washing your hands often helps reduce the dirt you spread to your face. Hand sanitizers help but shouldn’t replace washing your hands with soap and water.

  • Wear flip flops in the shower when using dormitory showers or showers in the gym.

Skin care doesn’t have to be extensive or expensive. But taking a few minutes each day to care for your skin is worth the benefits of having clear, glowing skin. One word of caution, don’t share your skin care products or makeup with your roommate or friends.