The truth is we can do some really bad things to our skin—sometimes without even realizing it. Whether that damage shows itself immediately or builds up over time, why spend all that time on your skincare routine when there are daily habits that could be creating serious setbacks in your efforts for healthy, glowing skin. So, if you’re ready to make a change, here are five things that are wrecking your skin.
1. Not Wearing Sunscreen Every Day
The number one cause of premature aging of the face and skin cancer is ultraviolet exposure. Be sure to use a UV-ray-slaying moisturizer that protects your skin and stop sun damage before it starts. Look for sun protection that is broad-spectrum and protects against both UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of at least 30. It’s best applied in the morning, after your moisturizer, but before your makeup, and remember that reapplication is advised for all-day protection. For maximum protection, trying using your sunscreen over a product containing vitamin C.
2. Pimple PoppingWe get it, you see that huge pimple on your face, and you want it gone, now. But we can’t be clearer here, pimple popping is not the answer because it can lead to scars and infections. Also, not good for your skin? Too harsh and strong acne treatments that can lead to irritation, dryness, and redness. Suddenly you’ve replaced one skin problem with another one. Instead, if you have acne-prone skin be sure to adopt a skincare routine that focuses on healing and repairing your skin. It’s also important to understand what is causing your acne (diet, hormones, stress, medication, skincare products), and then fight the acne-causing bacteria by using a skincare line that relies on botanicals, antioxidants, and professional-grade remedies to gently clear and heal acne without stripping your skin. Also consider working regular professional facials into your skincare routine. An esthetician can correctly clear your pores and do extractions in a way that won’t damage your skin.
3. Going to Bed Wearing Makeup
Did you know that going to sleep with your makeup on leads to premature aging? You’re tired but washing your face and skipping your nighttime skincare routine is not a time to cut corners. Throughout the day, dirt and makeup become trapped, causing the skin barrier to break down. At night, during the cell turnover process, new skin cells push to the surface while your skin sheds old cells. Makeup traps these dead skin cells, leaving a dull complexion while causing your skin to appear aged. It can also lead to acne flare ups, dry skin, and red, itchy skin.
4. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Speaking of going to bed, sleep is the key to getting the skin of your dreams. The bulk of your skin repair happens at night, while you sleep—the reality is it’s where the magic happens. At night, energy and cellular functions focus on repair and recovery to prepare the skin for the next day. New cells are formed, shedding old and damaged ones, and products penetrate more deeply creating faster results. So how much is enough? Studies show that women who got at least seven hours of sleep a night had less wrinkles and dark spots than those who slept five hours or less.
5. Too Much of a Good Thing
Over-washing (or washing with soap) and over-exfoliating are habits that will cause your skin to suffer if done too often. Your skin is delicate and should be treated that way so it’s good to be particular in what you put on it. Using the wrong cleanser can strip your skin from natural oils and disrupt the ideal pH balance. Chronic over-washing will cause the skin to dry and crack, leaving it prone to infections and flares of inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema. Be sure you are washing your face twice a day with gentle, yet effective cleansers infused with nourishing vitamins, botanicals and antioxidants that are formulated for your skin type. Also consider double cleansing at night for maximum results.
While you might think exfoliating every day is good for your skin, using scrubs and peels daily to remove flaky skin is very damaging and can even lead to breakouts. When done properly (once or twice a week) exfoliation will create healthy, balanced skin and improve the effectiveness of moisturizers, masks and serums.