Many of us take our skin for granted. We may spend long hours in the sun without putting on sunscreen, pick at our pimples or even forget to wash our faces before going to bed. Unfortunately, these bad habits can take a toll on our skin after a while. It is important to nourish your skin and avoid habits that may harm it. Here are seven ways you can maintain youthful looking skin.

Don't Skimp on Sleep

Getting only a few hours of sleep every night will not just make you cranky; it can also age your skin. If you get fewer than six hours of sleep a night, your skin may not have a chance to produce new collagen. If there is not enough collagen, your skin may start to sag prematurely and develop wrinkles. When you skimp on sleep, your body also won't have a chance to increase blood flow to your skin, so you may wake up to a dull complexion. To keep your skin looking young, make sure to get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night.

Watch Your Alcohol Intake

Sipping on a cocktail during happy hour is enjoyable every once in a while. However, you don't want to drink alcohol too often. Consuming too many alcoholic beverages can remove a lot of fluid from your skin, leaving it dehydrated. You may develop fine lines and wrinkles sooner if you drink too frequently. Try not drink alcohol more than once or twice a week. When you do want a drink, choose clear liquor, like vodka or gin, because they leave your system faster. 

Cut Down on Your Sugar Intake

Consuming too much sugar isn't just detrimental to your waistline; it can also age your skin. Sugar can actually attach to your collagen fibers, forcing them to lose their flexibility. If you eat sugary treats on a regular basis, your skin can lose elasticity and become more susceptible to premature wrinkles. Do your skin a favor and limit the amount of sugary treats you consume. If you do get a craving for something sweet, have some fresh fruit.

Get Moving

Regular exercise can do much more than help you maintain a healthy weight. If you include physical activity into your routine, you can also benefit your skin. Exercise increases blood flow to your skin, giving it the oxygen and nutrients it needs to thrive. For the best results, try to exercise most days of the week. Include different exercises into your routine to avoid getting bored. For example, if you jogged today, consider lifting weights or swimming tomorrow.

Drink Plenty of Water

One of the simplest ways to keep your skin young and beautiful is to drink eight glasses of water a day. Water helps flush toxins out of your body, leaving you with a glowing complexion. If you get bored with the taste of plain water, try tossing a lemon or lime in your glass.

Don't Forget to Exfoliate

If exfoliation isn't already a part of your skin care routine, it's definitely time to add it. Exfoliating removes dead skins cells, leaving your complexion youthful and glowing. When applying an exfoliating product to your skin, be gentle. If you scrub too hard, you could irritate your skin. Aim to exfoliate your skin once a week.

Get a Chemical Peel

If your skin is looking dull, think about getting a chemical peel at your dermatologist's office. This skin treatment is effective at treating sun damage, fine lines, acne scars and hyperpigmentation. 

For more information about taking care of your skin, contact Calais Dermatology Associates.