Going off to college means uprooting your entire schedule -- new friends, junk food, parties, and of course late night studying sessions. If you're not careful, the healthy skin you came in with will quickly change.
We've got you covered with these 8 clear skin tips for college students.
Water, Water, Water
It may not be exciting, but drinking water throughout your day will guarantee your body (and skin) gets the water it needs, plus the extra benefit of keeping your stomach feeling fuller, longer.
With easy access to cafeteria, it's easy to walk in and get a carb-heavy snack between classes. That will definitely add to the weight gain most college students want to avoid.
Pick out a cool water bottle (we like the Gaiam bottles) and fill it up throughout the day. Healthy skin is well hydrated skin. Your face (and your hips) will thank you!
Start Fresh Faced Each Day
I know it will be tempting to just hop out of bed, pull on some clothes, put your hair up or under a hat and head off to your early class. But those with good skin know that starting the day with fresh skin is a must! So get to that sink and wash it!
If you have to wake up really early for a class and know you'll be showering later, just keep a pack of pre-moistened facial cleansing cloths in your room. Our best budget pick: Biore: Daily Recharging Daily Cleansing Cloths. You'll be fresh in no time flat.
Skip the Pizza, Grab a Salad
Sure, eating pizza, greasy foods and chocolate won't cause acne, but regular consumption of unhealthy foods just isn't good grounds for healthy skin or a healthy body.
And, late nights with friends many times involve foods only available late at night like those mentioned above. Prepare for those foods by keeping your regular meals full of healthy fruits and vegetables. Then, the times that you do splurge won't be a big deal at all!
Never go to Bed with Your Makeup On
While you're sound asleep, your skin is working hard to rejuvenate fresh new skin cells. Why would you make it work harder with a face full of foundation?
Your skin needs time to breathe, so clean it each night. We know it's a pain to walk down to the bathrooms when it's late at night, so when you can't get yourself up, use those facial cleansing clothes you have after reading tip #2. Ideally though, it's best to give your face a thorough washing and rinsing at day's end to really get rid of the daily dirt and grime that your skin has accumulated.
Our best advice - go wash your face before you start your homework or watch your favorite show. Then, it will be done when you're too tired to think about it.
Have a Well-Stocked Bathroom Kit
Being prepared and organized will mean you always have the products that you need on hand. We love Lands' End's Toiletry Kit for its durability, but you can find these bags at stores like Walmart and Target, with more budget-friendly pricing.
Stock it with the following items for your skin, and add what you'll need for the rest of your hair, teeth and body.
- Face cleanser
- Toner, if desired (Do you need one?)
- Day and Night moisturizer - SPF for day, no SPF needed at night
- Acne spot treatment
- Body Wash
If you have these minimal things in your bag, you can cleanse, tone, moisturize your face and body each day and night.
No Smoking Zone
College brings forth all sorts of new chances to be independent, and I'll bet you just about anything that within the first week or two, you'll be offered at least a dozen cigarettes if you don't already smoke.
Besides the fact that smoking makes you smell like an ashtray, smoking also causes wrinkles along your lips. Think it's not a big deal because you're so young? Think again! If you're not careful, your future could look like this.
Just do yourself a favor and say, "No thanks, I don't smoke." Then, you can get on with having a good time and being a non-smoker. Because really, no one cares if you smoke or not - you'll just be the one with extra money in your pocket.
Sunscreen isn't Optional - But it Can Be Easy!
You'll never hear me tell you to forget the sunscreen. On those long walks to and from classes, your skin needs protection, simple as that.
But when fall and winter come, applying your sunscreen to your face will be easier than ever if you use a moisturizer with SPF. (See why you should use at least SPF 30.)
We recommend Neutrogena's Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30. It comes in a tint or non-tint option, perfect for men and women.
Look at Your Phone - It's Full of Grime!
Cell phones are breeding grounds for dirt, grime and makeup. If you take a second to look at your phone, you'll see just how dirty it is, but that probably doesn't stop you from answering it, does it? Maybe you've noticed that you have acne in the same area that you hold your phone? No wonder!
Take some time on occasion to clean your phone. It's really easy to do, and it will save your skin from being exposed to all of the junk on the phone.