Are you aware that the anti-aging and skin cleansing market has been booming since the start of this decade, to the tune of almost $121 billion each year? This makes sense considering society’s complicated relationship with vanity, particularly with skin care and anti-aging. People seem to gobble up everything that is being touted to make the skin look smoother, and mind you, it isn’t just the baby boomers getting into it but millions of millennials and the much younger consumers.
Unfortunately, in spite of the improvements in the skincare industry, many people are still practicing bad things that will only damage the skin. Worse, the most gullible are getting into bad skin care stuff that has nothing to do with getting smoother skin. We want you to know the worse things you are doing when it comes to your skin. If even just one of the things below hits you, we advise you stop doing it now.
Spending Too Much Time Under the Sun or Not Using Sunscreen on a Hot Day
Any form of prolonged UV (ultra-violet, as in, direct sunlight) exposure is bad for you. Consider that tanning, alongside smoking, is one of the most harmful things you could be doing to your skin and body. Overexposure to the sun can make skin age and wrinkle faster, and not to mention the threat of skin cancer. If you really want good and healthy skin, avoid this as best you can. But if you will be exposing yourself to the sun on the beach, don’t forget to slather on that 50+ sun protection factor (SPF) sunscreen because many people tend to forget to slather on protection when at the beach. Make sure that you use a water-resistant and sweat-proof sunscreen if you’re at the beach or exercising outside.
Research First Before Believing Those Ridiculous Skin Cleansing Treatments
If you’ve been gullible to believe those ridiculous vampire skin treatments, snail skin treatments, sheep placenta treatments, and bird poop in-your-face, then we plead for you to think again because all these treatments are just plain harmful to your skin. Also, over-exfoliation and steam facials are some of the worst trends that could be harming your face. These treatments, though well intentioned, can result in broken capillaries and skin sensitivity for a number of patients. Over-exfoliating for example can strip your skin of its necessary oils. In actuality, the simpler your skin regimen, the better, and please do know the ingredients in your products.
Too Long Hot Showers
Just as it’s bad to be overexposed to the sun because of the extreme heat, the heat from those too long showers is making your skin extra dry because it’s washing off your skin’s natural oils. Remember that extreme temperatures can mess with the delicate balance in your skin, and push it to a state of stress.
This extreme heat can cause cellular damage, ‘burning’ skin, and broken capillaries. Excess heat can also strip away your outer layer of skin tissue, causing inflammation and itchiness. Try to shorten your hot showers as much as possible or adjust the heater to just produce lukewarm showers.
Picking Those Pimples
Some call it cathartic, others call it gross, but often, it will result in hefty scars and poor skin health you have easily avoided. Dermatologists have seen their fair share of acne scars and, consequently, they know that picking your pimples is a real no-no. You should start to think of your pimples as big ugly sacks of oil, dirt, and bacteria, and that is what they really are. So by popping them, you’re running the risk of that gunk spurting out and creating a dozen or so more pimples all over your skin, or simply spreading more bacteria that will be detrimental to your skin’s health.
Going to Bed Without Removing Makeup
Though it may seem harmless, it’s not. Not taking your makeup off before you go to sleep is another bad habit that every woman should avoid. Not only will it be clogging your pores while you sleep, but will also cause premature aging. Makeup effectively masks the skin, so if you forget to take it off, you’re preventing it from breathing and recovering from the onslaught of debris you encounter on a daily basis especially when you’re wearing makeup the whole day. This debris onslaught is usually pollution, bacteria, and straight-up dirt that makes its way to your face and sticks to it. Be sure to cleanse and moisturize your face and neck before you hit the pillow. And in this relation…
Not Washing Your Face Before Going to Bed
Even if you don’t wear makeup the whole day, washing your face before going to sleep with water and face wash or a gentle soap or a cleanser removes dirt and oils and keeps your skin clean and healthy. Avoid strong, scouring soaps though.
Going to sleep without washing your face is just as bad as leaving your makeup on when you sleep because it can clog pores and leads to acne. Using a face wash is best, but in a pinch, you can use face wipes with gentle solutions and with no fragrance. Washing your face before you go to sleep will remove all debris and excess oils, while still leaving your skin hydrated.
Thinking That the Skin Is Just on the Outside
This really comes down to looking after your overall health and staying healthy also means having healthy skin. It takes a holistic approach to skincare and this all starts from within. To achieve great skin, you also need to eat well, get enough sleep, avoid stress and don’t over indulge in unhealthy habits like smoking, along with using good skin care cleansing and treatments. Eating well is the ethos that every healthy person should take. You need to believe that beauty begins in the belly and the advice even from dermatologists is not to eat unhealthy carbohydrates and sugar. Instead, eat lots of fermented foods full of nutrients and natural probiotics and where possible avoid processed food and unhealthy chemicals that compromise gut health. Basically, you want to get enough nutrients to keep your skin nourished. Also, the usual advice is to cut out diuretics like alcohol, caffeine, and colas and instead, fill up on foods rich in antioxidants, and this is where your vegetables and fruits come in. This way you’re promoting a healthy digestive system, boosting antioxidant intake and promoting good skin health. As the skin ages it needs more nutrients, proteins, and antioxidants to function at its best, so load up on your colorful veggies and fruits, down at least six glasses of water a day, and make smart choices from the inside out because it will help you in the long run. And speaking of water…
Not Drinking Enough Water
Water plumps up your skin cells and makes your skin look fresh and bright. When you are dehydrated, your skin starts to dry out. Drink at least six glasses of water each day to keep your skin healthy.
Never Leave Dry Skin Untreated
Dry skin is bound to do a lot of damage if left untreated. Never forget to apply a moisturizer right after you step out of the shower or bath. With your skin still damp, apply the moisturizer so your skin will keep that moisture in. You can also apply after you wash your face before you sleep or before going outdoors for extended periods in wintry weather or during summer.
Having Bad Shaving Habits
You may be in a hurry and need to shave quickly, but your skin cannot sustain rough treatment with the blade, especially if it’s done often. Shave carefully and gently using a lubricating gel or foam, and pat dry with a towel after cleaning instead of wiping as this will keep some moisture on your skin. Skipping shaving cream or gel is a near-guarantee for skin irritation and it increases your chances of getting annoying shaving bumps. You can also look for a razor with a moisturizing serum built in as well that moisturizes up to two hours after shaving. Another unhygienic shaving habit is using old, dirty blades on your razor, and this means you can get a not-so-good shave. Old and dirty blades will damage your skin and even cut you if you force the shave.
Rushing Your Skin Care Routine and Getting Overzealous With Face Wash
Credit yourself with having a skincare routine or at least using a face wash, but when you’re late for class or work and breeze through the motions, this is a capital crime to your face. You can easily end up skipping important steps, tugging on your skin, or unevenly applying products, and this also applies at night when you rush things because you’re so sleepy. This means breakouts, dry skin patches, or acne. This will make you spend more time in caring for your skin and whatever has broken out. Just as sinful is to keep washing your face often because you think it’s going to clear up your skin. Washing more or scrubbing harder won’t give you a flawless complexion. On the contrary, cleansing or exfoliating your skin until it peels, stings, or flakes can cause irritation and inflammation, which aggravates acne, prevents you from using the products that do help, and makes your skin look worse. In other words, stick to washing gently twice a day and using scrubs just once or twice a week, and don’t ever rush your skin routine.
Not Washing Your Neck and Chest (or Ignoring Both)
Your face is your obvious focus, but those cute off-the-shoulder tops show off your neck, chest, and shoulders in your selfies as well. So, skin care game should include your neck and chest as well because it’s useless to have a flawless face and your selfie reveals a lot of acne and impurities below. Treat the face, neck, and chest as one cosmetic unit because they are exposed to similar UV radiation, pollution, and weather elements. So whatever you’re using on your face, take it on down to the top of your torso. This way you have one gorgeous dewy glow and no weird tan lines.
We did say 12 things, right? But we did mention about smoking earlier, right? So we would just like to add smoking at the end because this does nothing to make your skin smooth or healthier.
With all the skin treatments out there, it’s easy to overlook the simple things you can do to renew your skin or make it unhealthy. The absolute first step you should take is to quit smoking if you’re into this habit. No matter what treatments you try for your skin, if you’re constantly smoking then this will undo all your skincare regimens. It’s like, “don’t do a skin laser to reverse the effects of aging and then smoke cigarettes.” You’re undoing any benefits you’re getting from the laser treatment, and you’re impairing your body’s ability to heal, and the same goes if you’re regularly treating your face with skincare products. You can always spot a smoker from the wrinkles around their mouth. Other than being strict about using sunscreen, stopping your smoking habit is the best thing you can do to stop the signs of aging and to make your skin healthier. Though we did mention coffee earlier, there is no factual evidence that coffee has a negative effect on the skin since the drink contains antioxidants that are good for the skin. However, consuming more than 3 cups of coffee daily will be bad for your skin because of too much consumption of caffeine.