5 Habits that are Ruining Your Skin

You want to treat your skin right so it looks great. But some of the daily routines you may not think about can add up to damage over time. Keep your complexion on track and know which habits to change.

You don’t wash your face before bed.

The urge to skip the sink is completely understandable, especially after a long day. But just because you can’t see grime on your face doesn’t mean it’s not there – and over time, your complexion will pay the price.

Use a gentle cleanser with moisturizers like glycerin or botanical oils to keep your complexion hydrated. 

And if you can’t get to the sink or just don’t want to, a few passes with a facial wipe will work in a pinch.

You smoke.

Nicotine reduces blood flow to your skin, which means it doesn’t get enough oxygen and nutrients. And the chemicals in tobacco damage the collagen and elastin proteins that give your skin structure

A smoker’s skin is thin, dull, more wrinkled, and less able to heal.

Plus, years of puckering your lips to hold a cigarette or squinting your eyes to keep out smoke may deepen lines and lead to more wrinkles in those areas.

While antioxidants like vitamins A and C can ease some of the damage, the only surefire fix is to quit for good.

You skimp on sunscreen – or just skip it.

Sunshine feels good on your skin, but it also has ultraviolet (UV) rays that are damaging. UV light leads to both premature aging and skin cancers

And it’s not just beach days when you need protection. 

The sun can damage your skin even when it’s cold or cloudy outside.

A broad-spectrum SPF blocks both UVA and UVB rays and keeps you fully protected. Look for a minimum of SPF 30, and if you’re outside, plan to reapply every 2 hours. 

Be sure you use enough: A full teaspoon is just about right for your face, including your hairline, around your nose, and under your chin.

You eat lots of sugar and not many fruits and vegetables.

Some studies have found that diets heavy on sugar can speed up the aging process. 

That goes for sweet treats like lollipops and ice cream as well as starches in refined carbs like white bread and pasta. 

A skin-friendly diet should focus on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

Research shows that fresh fruits and veggies may help prevent damage that can lead to aging skin.

You’re too harsh on zits.

When you’ve got a pimple the size of Mount Vesuvius brewing on your face, you want it gone ASAP. Popping it is not the answer because that can lead to scars and infections.

How about a cream? Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are two of the most common and effective treatments. 

High concentrations of medication can lead to irritation, especially if your skin is sensitive. That could leave your complexion looking even angrier than before.

You exfoliate flakey skin.

Scales and flakes are the first sign of dryness. Though exfoliating will slough away loose patches on the spot, that rough treatment can actually disrupt the barrier that balances moisture in the skin.

So rather than scrubbing away, soothe dryness with hydration instead. 

Fragrance-free lotions and creams with moisturizers like glycerin, dimethicone, petrolatum, and butters like cocoa and shea absorb quickly and leave your skin quenched but not greasy.

Skin is your first layer of defence against the outside world. 

Skin can also give important clues to your overall health. 

Learn to take good care of your skin, so your skin can keep taking good care of you.