No matter how much effort you put into your skin care, chances are that you occasionally indulge in activities that may worsen the appearance of your complexion.
Whether that’s a misstep in your beauty routine or just a bad lifestyle habit, it’s important that you nip these negative habits in the bud and protect your skin from the get-go.
And to help you identify different types of behaviors that are making your skin look unattractive, here’s a list of the most common beauty-related mistakes and how you can fix them.
Take a look and see if you’re guilty of these everyday skin care slip-ups!
Picking at the Skin
Let’s face it – few of us can resist the temptation of popping the occasional zit or blackhead, either as a mindless post-shower ritual or to actively get it out of the way before you leave the house.
As satisfying as the feeling of squeezing out a spot can be, this instant gratification can actually cause prolonged damage to the skin.
This is because most people pop their pimples in less-than-sanitary conditions.
If you’re using your fingers to squeeze out your zits, you are only introducing more harmful bacteria to the already irritated area of the skin.
So, how do you deal with these pesky skin care baddies without causing long-term harm to your dermis?
The answer is opting for gentler, yet potent ingredients that will help fight off bacteria and reduce inflammation on the skin.
An especially effective agent for dealing with acne, blackheads and other types of imperfections is salicylic acid, which contains gentle exfoliating properties that can contribute to an accelerated healing of the skin.
You can treat your skin to salicylic acid via face washes or spot treatments.
When we have those dreaded periods when our skin seems to be riddled with every type of imperfection there is, your first instinct might be to grab the quickest face wash and scrub it into oblivion.
Well, as liberating as the feeling of immaculately clean skin can be, vigorous exfoliation can actually cause more harm than good in the long run.
Exposing your skin to harsh exfoliants can aggravate your skin, causing micro-tears and exacerbating already existing skin issues.
For example, if you’re experiencing redness or irritation on your skin, forceful exfoliation will only make this problem worse.
Moreover, treating your skin to physical means of exfoliation tools may contribute to increased dryness. This can subsequently cause accelerated production of oils in the glands, causing more acne and breakouts.
That’s why it will be a good idea to get rid off all the harsh mechanical and physical exfoliants, including cloths, brushes, scrubs and beads.
And if you’re wondering if there’s any way to purify your skin on a deeper level without risking irritation, the answer is a resounding yes!
The solution lies in so-called chemical exfoliants, which act by gradually removing outer layers of dirt and dead skin cells, revealing healthy new skin that’s hiding underneath.
The most widespread chemical exfoliants include alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids and retinoids.
Which type of exfoliant you choose to include in your everyday skin care will largely depend on your skin type and the issues that you wish to treat.
For example, alpha hydroxy acids are known for their gentle properties, which is why they are usually recommended for people with sensitive or mature skin.
Beta hydroxy acids boast incredible skin-purifying potentials, making them especially beneficial for people with oily and acne-prone skin.
Retinoids can be used to treat acne, but also premature signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles and age spots.
Skipping on Sunscreen
As nice as it sounds to have a shortcut for radiant, youthful looking skin, getting to that goal actually takes a lot of work.
And prevention is one aspect of skin care that often gets overlooked.
One of the key product for making sure your skin doesn’t age prematurely is sunscreen, whose role is to provide a protective shield from UV rays and other kinds of environmental pollutants that are contributing to accelerated occurrence of fine lines, age spots and wrinkles.
And not just in the sizzling summer months, either!
Ultraviolet rays have the potential to cause damage to your skin regardless of the season or weather conditions.
In order to make sure your skin is fully protected at all times, it’s best to start thinking of your sunscreen as an integral part of your beauty routine.
And before you start worrying about the overly thick and greasy feeling that comes with wearing sunscreen, fret not – modern-day formulas have evolved so much, you’ll be able to easily find sunscreens that go on light and don’t leave your skin with a ghost-like cast.
You can apply sunscreen at the very end of your skin care – after you’ve put on your moisturizer, but just before primer or makeup.
Take a liberal amount and apply it to any areas of the skin that will be directly exposed to sunlight.
Not Removing Makeup Before Sleep
Over the course of one day, skin is exposed to a host of outside pollutants.
This includes harmful particles from the air, excess sebum, but also makeup and other products you put on your face in the AM.
Now, imagine going to bed with all that pore-clogging gunk on your face. Sure, you may secure a couple of extra minutes of sleep, but you are also almost certainly ensuring you’ll wake up with worse skin the next day.
This is why it’s crucial to take the day off and thoroughly remove makeup, dirt and all other skin irritants from your face, chest and neck before bedtime.
By purifying your skin from potential allergens, you will minimize the chances of breakouts and irritation in the skin.
There are several different methods for removing makeup and other product residue from your face.
The quickest, no-effort solution are makeup wipes, which can do the job when you’re in a pinch, but aren’t ideal for removing dirt and pigment that lodged deep in your pores.
For this purpose, you need a more heavy-duty cleanser. Cleansing balms and oils can be incredibly potent in melting away even the full-coverage, waterproof makeup.
To make sure your skin is squeaky clean, you can follow up your oils and balms with a gentler, more lightweight formula.
Gel or foam cleansers can do an excellent job of removing any leftover makeup and product, leaving your skin pristine and prepped for skin care.
Overly Hot Showers
Sometimes, it can be incredibly soothing to blast your face and body with a piping-hot stream of water.
However, this can lead to some less than desirable effects on the skin.
Exposing your skin to excessive temperatures can cause of a range of adverse consequences, including:
- Rough texture
- More prominent blemishes, capillaries and other imperfections
- Increased redness
- Worsening of rosacea and other conditions that usually accompany sensitive skin
In order to avoid suffering through all these nasty side-effects, it’s best that your dial down the temperature and go for more lukewarm water next time you decide to take a shower.
Likewise, when you step out of the shower, it’s strongly advised not to use a towel to rub it dry.
Instead, pat your body dry and leave your skin damp.
Be quick when it comes to applying your skin care – if you go straight into your toner while your skin is still moist from the shower, you will be able to prevent the initial loss of moisture and help your skin lock in the hydration.
Not Moisturizing Oily Skin
If your skin naturally produces a lot of sebum, then slapping on moisturizer might be the last thing you want to do before leaving the house – especially when the weather is hot and humid.
However, this line of thinking is very, very wrong.
Just like any other skin type, oily skin is also vulnerable to dehydration, i.e. loss of moisture in the cells.
And when your skin is deprived of H2O, this is when your complexion becomes dull and you might even begin to notice flakiness, rough patches and all-around lackluster appearance of the skin.
Fortunately, you can achieve moisturized skin without worrying about it looking overly greasy.
The only trick is to look for products specifically labeled for oily skin.
Here are some of the ingredients that are packed with water, but will still keep oils at bay:
- Hyaluronic acid
- Cucumber extract
- Aloe Vera
Alternatively, if you still feel like traditional moisturizers feel too heavy on the skin, especially during the scorching summer months, you can always opt for lighter, yet equally nourishing formulas, such as essences, serums and ampoules.
Another way for oily types to infuse their skin cells with water is by treating themselves to a nutrient-packed face mask, which will replenish the skin with precious H2O without weighing it down.
Lack of Sleep
Many factors closely tied to negative effects on the skin are related to lifestyle.
And one of the most important aspects of healthy, youthful-looking skin is sufficient sleep.
While you’re snoozing the night away, your skin uses this time to regenerate and heal itself from all the damage that occurred during the day.
And when you don’t catch up on your zzz’s, the lack of sleep will be quick to manifest itself on the skin.
Some of the most prominent symptoms of insufficient sleep on the skin include:
- Dark under-eye circles
- Sullen complexion
- Loss of volume and elasticity
Of course, all of this can be counterbalanced by securing those eight or nine precious hours of slumber.
Additionally, you can promote the regenerative processes that occurring at nighttime by treating your skin to a rich PM regimen.
This is when you want to feed your cells with all those heavy-duty formulas that might be too overbearing on the skin during the day.
This includes thicker serums, eye creams, nutrient-packed moisturizers, lip masks and sleeping packs.
Sometimes, the culprits for subpar complexion lie in what we eat.
Your dietary choices can greatly affect the way your skin looks, and indulging in unhealthy foods can often lead to an increased occurrence of imperfections on the skin.
For example, if you tend to consume a lot of processed carbs and refined sugars, you may be contributing to breakouts, acne and more pronounced signs of premature aging.
On the other hand, overly salty or spicy food can cause symptoms of rosacea and other skin allergies to become even more noticeable.
That’s why, if you want to make sure your skin is treated well both from the outside and the inside, it’s best to stick to a balanced, yet nourishing diet plan.
Just like there are well-established skin care baddies among foods, there are positively super-charging ingredients that can completely transform your skin, whatever your woe du jour may be.
For example, if you’re worried about increasingly noticeable signs of aging, it’s best to introduce more foods enriched with natural fats. Some of these fat-packed goodies include:
- Olive oil
On the other hand, if you’re battling overly oily skin, here are some foods you might want to introduce on your plate:
- Lean protein
- Fresh lemon and lime
If you are looking to purify your skin and make sure it’s protected from all kinds of environmental damage, make sure to treat yourself to a daily dose of antioxidants and vitamins. You can find them in:
- Leafy greens (kale, spinach, collard greens)
- Dark chocolate
- Green tea
Once you ditch the processed stuff and establish healthy eating habits, you will soon start notice the improvements on your skin, as well.
Now that you’ve gone through this list of most common skin care faux pas, it might be a little easier to correct your behavior and make better choices for your complexion. By ditching these bad habits, you will actively contribute to clearer, healthier look of your skin.