If you are would like to improve your skin, and are considering buying some expensive medicinal or cosmetic product, or even a range of expensive medicinal or cosmetic products, you might want to first consider a number of much simpler, much cheaper, and much healthier options. Your skin is not just a bag that holds your insides together, and having nice skin does not mean just painting or decorating yourself from the outside; your skin is an organ, and therefore a part of your body as a whole, so having nice (or in other words, healthy) skin, means having a healthy body. Healthy food, regular exercise, a good night's sleep - or even just a good life- could be much butter for your skin than any kind of treatment you may be considering.
Still, we can be more specific than to say, "simply be healthy in general"; there are a number of different ways of being healthy that can help you focus on your skin if you believe such focus is due. As such, here are some easy tips on how to improve the quality of your skin without bothering with expensive lotions or other professional treatments.
1.) Sweat: Not just any old exercise will do; taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work is not going to improve your skin. You need to sweat! Sweating opens up and cleans out your pores, which contributes to healthier and better looking skin. In addition, there is a rumor that sweating can also serve to clean toxins out of the body. While this is quite possibly true, some medical professionals are skeptical of the toxin cleansing power of sweating. According to Dr. Dee Anna Glaser, a Dermatology professor at St. Louis University, as well as a founding member of the International Hyperhidrosis Society (which is a medical group dedicated to studying and treating heavy sweating), sweat does contain trace amounts of toxins, but its main function is to cool the body down, and "sweating heavily is not going to release a lot of toxins." Dr. Glaser also suggests that too much heavy sweating can be a bad thing, so don't overdo it! Still, that doesn't mean that regular exercise, along with a decent sweat, isn't great for your skin.
2.) Eat oily or fatty foods: You don't need to put anything on the outside of your skin; eating oily foods can be just as good for moisturizing your skin from the inside. Consuming certain oils like olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil is one good way to get this inner moisturization (but avoid canola oil), and a number of foods will do the same: any foods high in omega 3 fatty acids like salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, chia seed, flax seed, hemp seed, or eggs. Another good bet for inner moisturizing is any food that contains good fats: avocados, olives, nuts, seeds, nut or seed butter, soy milk, or tofu. One type of food you may want to stay away from if you're worried about your skin is dairy: according to holistic teacher Karyn Calabrese, steering clear of dairy can have drastic changes for troubled skin. “It is so responsible for the puffiness and the bags under your eyes and it’s amazing when you get away from them how your whole facial structure starts to change,” says Calabrese.
3.) Eat, or if you like, wear Vitamin C. If wrinkles are your beef, then Vitamin C, used either inside or outside of your body, could be your best bet for improving your skin. According to the above mentioned holistic specialist Karyn Calabrese, the best way to fight wrinkles is to build up your collagen, and one of the best ways to do that is to eat Vitamin C. Foods that are high in Vitamin C include: strawberries, cherries, any citrus fruits, papayas, blackcurrants, kiwis, yellow bell peppers (all bell peppers have it, but the yellow ones have the most), guava, brussel sprouts, any type of melon, dark leafy greens (kale is the best; other notables are mustard greens, chard, and spinach), amalaki fruit, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, and certain herbs like cilantro, chives, thyme, basil, or parsley. In addition to all these forms of internal Vitamin C treatment, experts recommend some homemade facial masks made from pineapple or grapes (which also contain Vitamin C) which are supposed to be particularly good for fighting wrinkles.
So, before you embark on a complex and/or expensive moisturizing or anti-wrinkle regimen, you might first want to try simply changing your diet and exercising more often (and, if you really want to, you could try rubbing some pineapples or grapes on your face). As we said before, just generally having a healthy body (the skin is a part of the body) is probably the best thing you can do for your skin. What's more is, all of the ointments and lotions you might otherwise use might actually be bad for your body (and by association, for your skin). Just consider the skin's power to absorb (think tobacco patches to help people quite smoking): the chemicals used in those company creams (sodium lauryl sulphate, which has been associated with cancer, is one to watch out for in particular) are not necessarily things you want absorbed into your body.
Another good exercise might be to sit down, and soberly take a look at what these companies are offering, and the way that they are offering it. By waving attractive celebrities in front of people's faces (who are no doubt Photoshopped up the ying yang to look that good), they play on their anxieties. Whether or not these company creams do work (and I doubt that they do, or that they do anything that natural products can't do), you should resent being bated, and avoid supporting these tricksters in the first place. Cosmetic companies do not want to help you: they want your money, in which case, actually curing your skin would not be in their interest, since then you would no longer need their products.
One last point: a good friend mine stopped using shampoo several months ago. At first, her hair was greasy. Now, on the other hand, her hair looks perfect. In other words: shampoo is useless, it is all marketing, and it actually makes your hair greasy. If there is any similarity between the example of shampoo and facial creams or lotions, then those products may actually be what is making your skin dry in the first place. To sum it all up: try exercise, and a healthy diet (including omega 3 fatty acids, healthy fats, and Vitamin C) to nurture your skin, before you bother with all of the company creams and lotions (not to mention other more drastic treatments).