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Going to college will be one of your greatest adventures: you’ll meet a bunch of friends, get to focus your attention on papers that really interest you and you’ll create a bunch of special memories. Most people who go to college are in their late teens or early twenties, which means your skin is usually young and supple. It can be easy to take that for granted, assuming that your skin will never change, but trust me it begins to change very fast, especially near your late twenties. The more effort you put in with your skin now, while you’re young, the easier it will be to slow down the effects of ageing and to maintain your healthy, glowing skin through your thirties.

1. Keep Covered With a Hat
The sun is one of the biggest factors affecting your skin quality and appearance. Some of my fondest memories from college include sitting on the grass with friends in the sunshine. Without a hat, these hours spent in the sun wreck havoc on your skin, causing fine lines to pop out of nowhere, sun spots to sprinkle all over your face and just generally age you more. A really simple and inexpensive fix is buying a hat. Take a note out of a sorority girl’s handbook and buy yourself a cute sorority hat. Not only will it keep the skin on your face protected from the harsh sunshine, but it will also keep you fashionable on and off campus!

2. Sunscreen
Sunscreen is so important, especially around your eyes because the skin there is so thin and easily affected by the harsh sun rays. Even with a great hat, you’ll find a little sun will still reach your face. In order to be fully protected, the best thing you can add to your beauty regime is a generous layer of sunscreen every morning before you leave the door. Of course, the most important and sensitive part of your body is your skin, but don’t neglect other areas, especially your neck and chest area which can be a hot spot for fine lines as you age – trust me on this one. Making sunscreen application a part of your morning routine will do wonders to enjoy that your skin stays young and healthy.

3. Skincare Routine
Once you’ve got the sunscreen added into your morning routine, you’ll want to check that both your morning and night routines are adequate for your age and skin type. If you wear makeup during the day, I highly suggest a double cleansing routine to ensure that your skin is 100% clean when you prep it for sleep. Make up residue can cause your pores to clog up, look bigger over the long time and make your skin look older too. You’ll want to cleanse your skin at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. You’ll want to apply a moisturiser every time you cleanse, with a thicker moisturiser at night time so you can wake up with fresh and supple skin. Developing a skincare routine that works well for your skin type is one of the best steps you can take while you’re young.

4. Exercise
You should exercise because it’s good for your body, but one of the surprising benefits of exercise is that your skin is healthier too. My face always looks so nicely flushed after a good work out and I know that exercising regularly helps combat stress and ensures that my skin texture is better, with less blemishes. Getting your heart rate up has so many benefits, but better skin is definitely one of them for me. Try to exercise 3-5 times a week, for at least 30 minutes. This is something that most college students forget because their metabolisms are still pretty good and their schedules are busier than ever. Try to make exercise an essential part of your weekly routine and your skin will thank you for it.

5. Drink a Lot of Water
You’ve heard the facts; we’re 70% water, which means water is even more important than the food we eat. Many of us walk around each day dehydrated without even knowing it. This means there’s not as much water available for the body to process, to clean out toxins and ensure everything’s working the best it can. One of my simple tricks is to add a little lemon juice to a glass of water, drink it relatively fast and repeat. Two glasses of lemon water in the mornings, before I do anything else, ensures I am hydrated and ready to start the morning in the best way possible. It also helps keep my skin clear, healthy and hydrated.

6. Diet
If you’ve moved out of home for the first time for college, you may be forgetting to eat as healthy as you once did. It can be tempting to eat out a lot, and often cheap fast food options are less expensive than cooking at home. Try to make food at home, focusing on getting a meal that’s balanced with proteins, fats and natural carbohydrates. Aim to have around half your plate made up of vegetables, with a quarter for a starchy food such as rice or potatoes and the other quarter for meat or another protein source. Food such as berries and leafy greens are packed with nutrients that will help ensure your skin is looking it’s best. Just remember you are what you eat, so eat the best foods you can.

It’s easy to take your skin for granted when you’re young, but it will change as age wears you down. Use these simple tips to ensure your skin is the best it can be, now and for years to come.

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