Think your skin-care routine is foolproof? It very well might be. But there’s also a good chance that seemingly harmless habits are silently sabotaging your skin. We’re not trying to scare you, but rather keep you well-informed. Below, we’re sharing the things you need to avoid to be that much closer to a glowing, radiant complexion.
BAD HABIT #1: WASHING YOUR FACE TOO MUCH
Cleansing your skin is a non-negotiable part of a skin routine, but going overboard can do more harm than good. Washing your skin more than twice per day can strip it of its natural oils and leave it more vulnerable to aggressors and pollutants. Same goes for over-exfoliating. Remember: You want smooth and radiant skin, not inflamed and irritated skin. If that means lathering up less often, so be it.
BAD HABIT #2: SKIPPING YOUR DAILY SPF
Sun damage doesn’t discriminate. It can happen year-round, and if you’re exposed without protection repeatedly, your skin has a higher chance of developing signs of aging — think: wrinkles, fine lines and sagging — and even some skin cancers. Why take the risk? Lather sun-exposed areas with broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher each and every day. For an extra dose of SPF look for moisturizers formulated with added protection.
BAD HABIT #3: NEGLECTING YOUR NECK AND CHEST
Your delicate neck and chest are among the first areas of skin to show signs of aging. Not surprisingly, they’re also the areas most neglected in a skin routine. When you’re moisturizing, applying SPF and cleansing, be sure to extend the love to your neck and upper chest, too.
BAD HABIT #4: GOING TO BED WITH YOUR MAKEUP ON
Ladies, if you’re guilty of going to bed with your makeup on once or twice, don’t sweat it too much. But if this is a daily occurrence for you, it’s time to kick the bad habit. Our skin is exposed to cosmetics, dirt, pollution, oil and more throughout the day that build up on the surface and can prohibit the skin from breathing. If you neglect to wash properly your face before bed, you’re essentially suffocating your skin while you snooze, which can lead to skin irritation, clogged pores, breakouts and dull-looking skin. The best way to deep clean your skin by dermatologists is a 100% silicone facial brush which are antibacterial, hypoallergenic and very soft to the skin. But if you’re lazy, store some micellar water on your nightstand to cut out the trip to the sink. No excuses!
BAD HABIT #5: NOT WIPING DOWN YOUR PHONE
We’re all glued to our phones on a daily basis, but did you know the very device we can’t live without could be wreaking havoc on our complexions? Cellphones are a breeding ground for bacteria and can lead to pimples on the side of your face and around your chin and jawline. Before you answer a call, take an antibacterial wipe and give your phone a quick rubdown.
BAD HABIT #6: FORGETTING TO WASH YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES
Like cellphones, makeup brushes can also gather and hold onto acne-causing bacteria if not cleaned properly or often enough. Once a week, use a mild soap or brush cleanser to rid your brushes of dirt and germs. To lower the risk of cross-contamination, consider designating certain brushes for certain products instead of using one brush for your entire routine.
BAD HABIT #7: CUTTING BACK ON YOUR SLEEP
Pulling an all-nighter might help you cram before a big exam, but it’s not doing your skin any favors … trust us on that one. It’s during deep sleep that our skin undergoes natural self-repair. If you continuously strip that time away, you could be left with tired and dull skin, more pronounced under-eye bags and circles, as well as more noticeable signs of skin aging.
BAD HABIT #8: YO-YOING BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN PRODUCTS
We get it: Nobody wants to stick to the same ol’ formulas day in and day out. And why should you? There’s a slew of beauty products out there to try and experiment with! While it’s fine to switch things up once in a while, trying a new product every day is a bad idea. Changing products too often increases the risk of new formulas upsetting your skin. If you have a solid skin routine with products that work for you, keep to it. Like they say: If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
If you must switch up your skin-care routine, do so as the seasons change. Typically, as the temperatures go up or down our skin-care needs change as well. Check out how to transition your skin care routine for fall here.
BAD HABIT #9: SMOKING
Quitting smoking cold turkey isn’t easy, but for the overall health and well-being of your body and skin, it’s surely worth it. Smoking is known to cause a dull, sallow and dry-looking complexion that can’t be remedied with moisturizer and a good skin routine. Smoking also damages your skin’s natural collagen and elastin, resulting in loose, sagging skin and accelerated signs of skin aging. And that’s not all. The nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of the skin, which impairs the blood flow to those areas. So please don’t make us beg, just quit.
BAD HABIT #10: NOT BOOKING A YEARLY SKIN CHECK
It’s not for nothing that derms recommend that everyone — yes, everyone — get their moles checked at least once per year. When caught early, skin cancer can be treatable. Here’s what you should do: Monitor your skin from head-to-toe every month, paying close attention to any irregular-looking lesions or moles that are new and/or increasing in size. If anything looks fishy, book a visit to your dermatologist immediately. If all looks fine, still book your regular yearly exam by a professional. Why? Because they have tools that can magnify spots on your skin that may not be as normal as you thought, and they can examine hard-to-see areas like your scalp and behind your ears. The whole process will most likely take less than ten minutes from start to finish. Easy, peasy.