If we could turn back the clock, most of us would want to keep our baby skin forever. A baby’s skin is a perfect canvas. It looks almost poreless, with even skin tone that looks completely smooth and plump. As we get older, our skin can feel rough and bumpy, and look textured. Although the only way to get a perfectly poreless baby complexion once you’re out of diapers is with the right Instagram filter, there is plenty that you can do to help your skin look (and feel) as smooth as it can.
What Is Textured Skin?
Ideal skin texture is smooth and soft, but as we get older the texture of our skin can change. It can feel rough and bumpy, and perhaps even coarse. Textured skin can also be visible to the naked eye, especially for anyone who has scarring caused from acne or chicken pox. Some acne scars show up as deep pock marks, while others may have skin that resembles an orange peel.
What Causes Uneven Skin Texture?
One of the main culprits of uneven skin texture is the build up of dead skin cells. When old, dead skin cells are not removed, they can settle into the pores and make the face look bumpy and uneven, as well as dull. Our bodies stop renewing skin cells as quickly when we get older, which is why textured skin can become more prominent in middle age.
Other caused include pollution, sun exposure and the environment. Aging is another factor. As we get older collagen productions slows down. Collagen is what gives skin its support structure and plumpness. As we lose the skin’s elasticity and collagen dips, the face can look rough and bumpy. Our bodies also produce less oil as we age, and less oil equates with more dryness, and therefore a bumpier texture.
Scarring can also make the face look bumpy. Acne scars and chicken pox scars are some of the most common facial scars.
Why Is Textured Skin A Problem?
Textured skin is a particularly frustrating skincare problem. While many other issues, such as acne and discoloration can be temporarily fixed with a dab of concealer, it is harder to find a quick fix for textured skin. Uneven, bumpy skin surface is what stands in the way of smooth skin. While it is visible to the naked eye, textured skin is also problematic when it comes to applying makeup as cosmetics will “sit” in the grooves and bumps of the skin. Powdered foundation can settle into the skin’s texture and make it look worse than it really is.
How To Improve Skin Texture
Skin texture can be improved with the right products – as well as time and dedication. Here’s a look at some of the best ways to help achieve smoother looking (and feeling) skin.
Exfoliate. Getting rid of dead skin cells is one of the top ways to improve skin’s texture. Exfoliate at least once a week, using a rotating facial brush or a chemical exfoliant such as an AHA (alpha hydroxy) or BHA (beta hydroxy) acid. You can exfoliate with a mild scrub, a face wash or a leave-on treatment than rinses off.
Get Your Vitamin C. Dull, uneven skin needs all the help that it can get and some of that help can come in the form of the antioxidant vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to give skin a glow and protects the skin against damaging free radicals, which can also contribute to bumpy skin texture.
Always Wear SPF. Bumpy, uneven skin can also be caused by sun damage. You should be wearing sunscreen every single day, no matter the season and the weather report to protect the skin from the damaging rays of the sun. The easiest way to incorporate an SPF into your beauty routine is to choose a moisturizer with sun protection. Supplement your sunscreen with a hat and sunglasses, and a dab of a mineral based sunscreen. Clear and bronzed formulas are available.
Tackle Your Scars. Scars, whether they are from acne, chicken pox or a childhood tumble, also contribute to uneven skin texture. Help smooth their appearance with the right product, such as a patch or gel specifically designed to help treat scars.
Sweat It Out. You already know that exercise is good for your heart, but breaking a sweat can also help your complexion. A good sweat helps get rid of the gunk that is in pores, and also brings a boost of blood flow to the face which leaves skin looking healthier and refreshed.
Wash Your Face Every Night. Although it is tempting to just hit the pillow when you start to get sleepy, don’t. Always wash your face every night to get rid of any dirt, sweat and makeup that can clog pores. If you have time, add a toner to your beauty routine to get rid of any last traces of dirt- and help rebalance skin.
Laser Skin Resurfacing. Lasers can help improve skin texture and there are two different types- ablative and non-ablative. An ablative laser works by removing the top layer of skin. The new skin regrowth will be smooth and soft. A non-ablative laser doesn’t remove skin. It works by heating a deep layer of skin to help trigger collagen production, which will help skin look smooth and firm.
Embrace Retinols. Retinols are beauty all-stars. This vitamin A derivative helps boost skin cell turnover, resulting in smoother looking skin. Try a retinol based cream and start off slowly to prevent any skin irritation. As you see how your skin tolerates retinol, you can build up to more frequent use.
Get Your Beauty Sleep. There’s a good reason why it’s called beauty sleep. Our bodies switch into repair mode while we sleep, so if you’re not getting enough zzz’s, your body doesn’t have enough time to work its magic on your skin- meaning you’ll wake up to a dull looking complexion, not to mention dark circles and puffy eyes.
Chemical Peel. A dermatologist or esthetician can perform a chemical peel, which removes the top layer of the skin using an acid. Chemical peels can range from mild to a deep peel. Recovery times vary depending on the intensity of the treatment. This treatments not only helps improve skin texture but also helps fade discoloration and fine lines.
Moisturize. Keeping skin well hydrated is one way to give skin an extra boost in the glow and texture department as hydrated skin looks plumper and smoother. Layer on the moisture by starting with a hydrating serum before applying moisturizer. Look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, a moisture magnet that holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water, glycerin and ceramides.
Drink Up. Always drink plenty of water to help give skin extra hydration from the inside. Keep a refillable water bottle at your desk all day, and to make it more interesting add some slices of cucumber, mint or grapefruit. Another way to add more water to your diet is to each for snacks that are packed with water, such as cucumbers, melon and strawberries.
Best Products for Textured Skin
There are plenty of products which help improve the look of textured skin, and also help minimize the appearance of rough, bumpy patches temporarily. Here’s a look.
Start with Primer. Makeup primers work by creating a smooth canvas on the skin, getting it ready for easy makeup application. They contain silicones, so they work by literally filling in the gaps on the skin to create a uniform, smooth looking surface. Smashbox offers a wide range of primers that are designed for large pores, redness and radiance.
Cleanse Your Way to Better Skin. One way to keep up with gentle daily exfoliation is to use a cleanser that helps whisk away dead skin cells. Formulyst Clarifying AHA Cleanser gives skin a deep clean and whisks away dirt and makeup without leaving it too dry. It’s formulated with alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) derived from citrus and botanical extracts to wipe out dead skin cells and draw out impurities from the pores to reveal smooth, refreshed skin – without stripping the skin.
Apply A Retexturizing Mask. Masks can help clean pores and draw out impurities, but the Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay not only cleans but improves skin texture with Canadian willowherb and polishing jojoba beads.
Try a Smoothing Serum. When it comes to exfoliation, there can be too much of a good thing. Don’t over do it with a chunky scrub. Gentle but effective alpha hydroxy acid works to dissolve dead skin cells. Formulyst Retexturing and Perfecting Serum contains plant based acids to gently slough off old skin cells, leaving behind fresher, smoother looking skin. The serum also works to tackle unevenness and blotchiness.
Incorporate Peeling Pads. One of the easiest ways to quickly exfoliate your face without any mess or clean up is peeling pads. All it takes is a swipe over the face with a pre-soaked pad. M61 Power Glow Peel is a single use wipe containing glycolic and salicylic acid for a deep but gentle exfoliation. They are individually packaged, so throw one in your makeup kit when you’re traveling.
Exfoliating Toner. Another way to gently get rid of dead skin cells is to use an exfoliating toner. Cult favorite Pixi By Petra Glow Tonic contains a blend of soothing aloe vera to calm skin as well as glycolic acid to banish dead skin cells revealing fresher, smoother looking skin.