Healthy Skin On a College Budget

by Kiana Carver

photography courtesy of Carina Lee

At the start of the fall semester, the typical college student has to juggle classes, extracurriculars, social life, work and staying healthy. Balancing all of these components of college life is no easy task. Some can see the stress manifest on their own skin, whether it be acne, redness, dryness or all of the above.

Having regular skincare routine is important to keep skin healthy and youthful. Don’t worry—it can be done in a time-and-cost-effective way for busy college students on a budget.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking water is the easiest way to improve your skin. Everyone should drink at least 64 ounces of water each day to stay hydrated. An easy way to remember to drink water is to carry around a reusable water bottle.

Dehydrated skin looks dull and can even make you look older. Drinking enough water ensures that the skin cells are functioning as they should be, thus creating healthier skin.

Identify your Skin Type

Knowing your skin type is essential before purchasing new skincare products. Skin types include dry, oily, combination (both dry and oily), red and sensitive. For example, if someone has oily skin, an exfoliator that clears pores would be more beneficial, versus an oil-based product that would clog them.

Read the labels of the skincare product you are interested in to make sure it targets whatever impurities your skin tends to manifest.

Invest in the Essentials

There are a few skincare products that are universally important, no matter the skin type. Sunscreen should be the most important part of any good skincare routine

Mayo Clinic suggests a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 15 SPF in order to protect from ultraviolet rays.

Furthermore, The National Institute of Arthritis and Skin Diseases warns that prolonged exposure to UV can lead to premature skin aging and increases the risk of melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Another staple of a solid skincare routine is a good facemask. Not only do they help skin recover from a long week of wear and tear, but also serve as a good form of relaxation. Facemasks come in many different varieties: clay masks, peel-off masks, sheet masks and cream masks. Setting aside time once a week to do a facemask will really contribute to happier, healthier skin.

Skin Care is Self-Care

Believe it or not, skincare is a form of self-care, which is essential to the typical student who endures a lot of stress.

According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, improving your relationship with yourself by maintaining your physical and mental health will make you more resilient.

Taking care of your skin not only improves your physical health, but can also increase confidence and happiness.

“Having clear skin helps boost my confidence, especially for business presentations,” said Tianai Xiong (Questrom ’21). “I feel like I have nothing to worry about or hide.”

When it comes to life, it’s good to put your best foot forward, but having your best face forward helps a great deal as well.