You know that you need to eat right and exercise to take care of your body. But do you have a good skin care plan? After all, your skin is actually an organ, and it’s the largest one you have. That means it’s just as crucial to take care of your skin as it is your lungs, liver, or heart. Your skin is your only protection from everything around you, so you should return the favor and take care of it. Most people know you shouldn’t pick pimples or go to sleep with a face full of makeup. But unfortunately, even the best-intentioned people make skin care mistakes. Assembled in this article are the habits you need to break up with to avoid breaking out (and worse).
Top 4 Bad Skincare Habits
There are a lot of bad skincare habits, but how did we decide which ones were the worst of the worst? We mostly went with the most common ones. Let’s get started.
Exfoliating Too Much
Exfoliation can help remove dead skin cells on your face, freeing up trapped dirt and allowing you to have a smooth canvas for makeup application. And if a little exfoliating is good, a lot should be great, right? Well, it’s not quite the case here. Many exfoliating methods use large or fine grain salt or sugar, which can scratch the skin and cause irritation. Other methods involve salicylic acid which can also be irritating. While a little is okay, you shouldn’t include exfoliating agents in every step of your skin care routine. So it’s okay to use an exfoliating cleanser, but don’t use an exfoliating toner and moisturizer after that. In fact, exfoliating just once or twice a week should be enough for anybody.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Your college years are probably the worst in terms of taking care of your skin. Many college students drink a lot of alcohol (dehydrating), squint at computer screens and phones often (wrinkle-making), and fall asleep with makeup on (pore-clogging). But not getting enough sleep can be damaging in itself. Skin makes its repairs at night, and this process needs some time. If you’re cutting your sleep cycle short, you’re also skimping on that healing time. Of course, there are dozens of problems that can come from sleep deprivation. So even if your skin is not your main concern, you should make getting 7-8 hours a night a top priority.
Smoking Cigarettes (And Other Substances)
Although smoking was once touted as a healthy habit that could treat anything from asthma to influenza, nobody thinks smoking is healthy anymore. However, most people don’t realize that smoking can have a drastic effect on skin. Smoking replaces the oxygen in your lungs with smoke, which in turn deprives the rest of your body of oxygen. This includes your skin. Poor oxygenation of the skin can lead to discoloration. And, the chemicals in cigarettes can cause the breakdown of collagen and elastin, which means the tissue in your face (and everywhere else, including breasts) can get saggy. If you think you’re in the clear for smoking E-cigarettes, hookah, or marijuana, think again. Smokers often develop deep wrinkles around their lips because of the puckering motion they make every time they inhale. And, upon exhalation, many smokers squint to avoid eye irritation, causing early crow’s feet. So if you want to avoid damaging your skin, it’s best to stop lighting up any inhalants.
Steam is good for opening up pores, but hot water on your face can be over-stimulating. So if you love taking hot showers, either keep your face out of the stream or turn down the temperature when you’re washing your more delicate areas. This will prevent unneeded irritation, including inflammation and red spots.
Taking care of your skin doesn’t have to be rocket science. Being health-conscious in general can help you prevent a large number of skin problems. If you still aren’t sure whether or not one of your habits is damaging your face, be sure to talk to a dermatologist.