6 Bad Skin Habits to Stop Now
The new year is quickly approaching, which means you’re likely evaluating your life goals and aspirations for the next twelve months. Perhaps your new year’s resolution is to finally quit smoking (yay, you!), to get back into shape, or to save up more money for your 401k. These popular picks are all great changes to stick to once 2017 rolls around, but allow us to suggest one more: taking better care of your skin. Whether that means investing more time in your skin care routine or breaking up with bad skin habits, let’s leave dull, lifeless skin behind in 2016, shall we? The new year should be all about achieving a glowing complexion (if yours isn’t already!). Ahead, we share six bad skin habits you should bid farewell to ASAP.
1. POPPING YOUR PIMPLES
Real talk: We all pop, pick, and pry at our skin from time to time. We do it even though we know we shouldn’t. (Come on, fess up.) The problem with popping pimples is that we’re interfering with the skin’s natural recovery process. Our fingers—which may not be 100% clean—can contaminate our complexions with breakout-causing dirt, debris, and bacteria. As if that’s not bad enough, this poor habit also poses a risk of skin discoloration and permanent scarring. Keep in mind as well that applying sudden pressure onto your skin will likely leave it looking angry and irritated, drawing further unwanted attention to the problem area. Moral of the story: Popping pimples is just not worth it. Let’s all resolve to resist temptation and keep our hands off our faces from here on out. Promise?
2. USING THE WRONG PRODUCTS
How many times have you waltzed into the drugstore and grabbed any ol’ cleanser or serum off the shelf without paying close attention to the product label? If it’s more than once, you’ll want to reconsider the way you shop for skin care products. Just because an item is on sale or because your best friend swears by it, doesn’t mean it’ll be a godsend for your skin. Take the time to properly assess your skin type (and read the labels!) before you purchase and apply a product onto your skin. When in doubt, consult your dermatologist for product recommendations based on your skin’s needs.
3. SKIPPING SPF
Neglecting to apply broad-spectrum SPF year-round—even when it’s cloudy!—is one of the biggest skin care gaffs out there. Most people assume that sunscreen is only necessary ahead of a beach day, but they are so, so wrong. All skin types, tones, and ethnicities should wear SPF 15 or higher daily, with frequent reapplications at least every two hours. The sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays don’t have mercy on anyone. Prolonged, unprotected sun exposure can result in visible signs of premature aging—think: wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots—as well as certain skin cancers. Since the sun never takes a break (you may not always see or feel it, but it’s there…trust us), you should never hold back on protecting your skin with liberal coats of sunscreen.
4. NOT REMOVING YOUR MAKEUP BEFORE BED
We get it: You’re tired and just want to pass out without taking your makeup off. If this happens once or twice, we’ll let it slide. But if you’re consistently sleeping with your makeup on, know that you’re not doing your skin any favors. Sleeping with your makeup on can cause a host of skin problems as a result of dirt, makeup, and debris buildup, and potentially cause irritation and breakouts. Since your skin undergoes self-repair at night, you don’t want cosmetics to suffocate your skin and clog pores. If you’re feeling extremely lazy, store some cotton pads and a bottle of micellar water on your nightstand and gently sweep it across your face while atop your mattress. Since you don’t have to rinse when using micellar water, you can skip that dreaded trip to the bathroom.
5. APPLYING MAKEUP WITH DIRTY BRUSHES
Think about it: When your makeup brush is filled with dirt and gunk, you’re essentially allowing all of that grime to transfer onto your complexion with every makeup application. Not only can cleaning your brushes weekly lead to less pore-clogging dirt on your complexion, it can also help evenly distribute makeup and preserve the bristles.
Exfoliation is a very important skin care ritual to take part in, however it’s possible to overdo it and cause more harm than good. If you exfoliate too often, you risk stripping your skin of the hydrating oils it needs, which may lead to excessive dryness and irritation. There’s no magic number when it comes to exfoliation since everyone’s skin can tolerate different frequencies. If you’re unsure, start low—think: once a week—and slowly increase frequency as tolerated.