10 Bad Habits That Might Be Ruining Your Skin
Your skin-care routine may check all the right boxes, but there’s a good chance that some seemingly harmless habits are silently sabotaging your skin. From washing your face too much to skipping SPF and neglecting to wipe down your phone, there are a few not-so-obvious reasons you could be experiencing skin concerns like breakouts or premature aging. We rounded up ten bad skin-care habits to watch out for, ahead.
Bad Habit #1: Washing Your Face Too Much
Cleansing your skin is a non-negotiable part of any skin-care 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. The 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, to every skin tone. If you’re repeatedly exposed to UV rays without protection, 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 sensitive skin types, we recommend the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Milk SPF 100.
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 many of us tend to forget about as we go through our skin-care routines. When you’re moisturizing, applying SPF and cleansing, be sure to extend the love down to your neck and upper chest, too.
Bad Habit #4: Going to Bed With Your Makeup On
If you’re guilty of going to bed with your makeup on, 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. If you neglect to wipe off the grime before bed, it can lead to irritation, clogged pores, breakouts and dull-looking skin. If you’re lazy, store some face wipes or micellar water on your nightstand to cut out the trip to the sink.
Bad Habit #5: Not Wiping Down Your Phone
We’re all glued to our phones, 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. Give your phone a quick rub-down with an antibacterial wipe on a regular basis.
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: Skipping Sleep
Pulling an all-nighter might help you cram before a big exam or presentation, but it’s not doing your skin any favors. 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: Changing Your Skin-Care Routine Too Often
We get it: Nobody wants to stick to the same old formulas day in and day out. And why should you? There are so many beauty products out there to experiment with, but 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 skin sensitivities, so. if you have a solid skin routine with products that work for you, stick to it.
Bad Habit #9: Smoking
Quitting smoking is better for the overall health and wellbeing of your body and skin. Smoking is known to cause a dull, sallow and dry 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 and also leads to skin aging.
Bad Habit #10: Not Booking a Yearly Skin Check
It’s not for nothing that derms recommend that everyone get their moles checked at least once per year. When caught early, skin cancer can be treatable. Monitor your skin from head to toe every month, and pay close attention to any irregular-looking lesions or moles that are new or increasing in size. If anything looks out of the ordinary, book a visit to your dermatologist immediately. If all looks fine, still book your regular yearly exam with a professional. They have tools that can magnify spots on your skin that may not be as normal as you thought, plus 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.