What affects skin texture?

Getting Beautiful Skin Image Gallery Sun exposure, genetics and hormones can all affect a person’s skin texture. See more pictures of getting beautiful skin.
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You've seen the glossy photos of celebrities in magazines, complete with flawless skin. There are no bumps, blemishes, pores, roughness, oil or dry flakes -- all the things you probably fight.

You might be wondering if there's anything you can do to improve your skin's texture and make it look like a celebrity's. The bad news is that makeup isn't the only secret to celebrities' flawless skin -- those professional photos often go through heavy retouching before the rest of the world sees them. However, the good news is that while you might not get the picture-perfect skin of your favorite star, different elements can affect skin texture, and there are steps you can take to improve your own.


Most people's skin fits into one of four categories -- oily, normal, dry and combination. As their names suggest, oily skin often has a slick or sticky texture, while dry skin can be flaky and rough. People with combination skin usually have oily skin on their forehead, nose and chin -- also known as the T-zone -- and dry or normal skin on their cheeks. In all skin types, dead cells can build up on the skin's outer layer, called the epidermis, leading to a rough texture and a dull appearance. Exfoliation, either with gritty scrubs or chemicals like salicylic acid, will remove the old cells and reveal the softer, brighter skin underneath.

At the same time, a number of skin conditions can affect the texture of the skin, including acne, rosacea and eczema. Medical conditions can affect skin texture, too. For example, the autoimmune disease lupus can cause a scaly, butterfly-shaped rash across the nose and cheeks. Hormonal changes can change the skin, as well -- pregnant women, for instance, can experience acne and pigment changes known as pregnancy mask. And a number of things that change skin texture, like the size of your pores, are hereditary.

While some aspects of your skin texture are beyond your control, there are steps you can take to help improve it:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet, and drink plenty of water.
  • Follow an appropriate skin care regimen for your skin type. Most skin care plans include cleansing, toning and moisturizing, with regular or periodic exfoliation.
  • Use sunscreen -- sun damage can cause freckles, wrinkles, rough spots and cancer.
  • Consider taking a vitamin that includes vitamins C, E, A, B and K. The jury's still out on just how much vitamins affect people's health, but some studies suggest that these vitamins can improve skin health [source: Bouchez].

The skin is the body's largest organ, and it can take a while to see an effect when you change the way you care for it. But with patience and the right steps, you may see a change in your skin texture.


Lots More Information

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

  • Bouchez, Colette. "Nutrients for Healthy Skin, Inside and Out." WebMD. (7/30/2009) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/skin-nutrition
  • Tortora, Gerald J. and Sandra Reynolds Grabowsi. "Principles of Anatomy and Physiology." Ninth edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York. 2000.