Could you be standing in your own way when it comes to glowing, wrinkle-free skin? You might just be surprised at how many skin-sabotaging habits you practice on a daily basis. Read on for a list of eight ways you could be contributing to your skin problems.
1. Sleeping with your makeup on
Skin regeneration usually happens when you’re getting some shuteye, and this can be hampered if you don’t remove your makeup before hitting the sack. Keeping your makeup on may trap dirt and oils against your skin, which can result in enlarged or clogged pores.
2. Skipping sunscreen
If you haven’t seen this video yet, it’s worth a watch:
The skin damage you can get from failing to protect yourself from the sun isn’t just unpretty, it’s also a potential health risk since it can lead to skin cancer. That aside, the daily application of a good sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and protects against both UVA and UVB rays is the best way to prevent premature skin aging.
3. Overexfoliating… And underexfoliating
Let’s be clear about one thing: exfoliating can do your skin a lot of good because it helps you get rid of dead, dry, wrinkle-causing cells and brightens your skin. But if you exfoliate more than once or twice a week, you run the risk of scrubbing away the new skin cells too. Not giving these skin cells the time to heal and grow so your skin can rehydrate and be rejuvenated after exfoliation is a common mistake, and this won’t only land you with the wrinkles and dry skin you were trying to avoid; it could also leave you scarred.
4. Not moisturizing
Applying moisturizer daily is a must, whether you have dry, normal, oily, or combination skin. The mistake of skipping the moisturizing portion of your skin care regimen is often made by those with oily skin, but what you might not realize is that it could make the problem worse. Failing to use moisturizers for hydration may cause your skin to overcompensate and generate even more oil because of the dryness.
5. Skimping on sleep
Because your body repairs itself best when you sleep—and that includes your skin—not getting enough sleep can mean that your skin cells don’t have enough time to rejuvenate or renew themselves. While the number of hours required to constitute a good night’s rest can vary, most peg these at between seven and nine hours a night. Less than that, and you risk sporting dark circles under your eyes and tired skin.
6. Sleeping in the wrong position and on dirty pillowcases
If you sleep with your face buried in your pillow, you’ve probably noticed that you sometimes wake up with lines and creases. What you might need to start worrying about is the fact that if you make this a habit, those lines and creases may eventually become permantent and form the foundation for wrinkles. You should also change your pillow cases at least once a week as these tend to accumulate residual oil from your face and scalp, not to mention chemicals from conditioners and the like. Do you really want to press your face into something covered in oils and other residue?
7. Washing your face in too-hot water
Hot water strips the skin of its natural oils, and this could make your skin overcompensate by generating even more oil, so you’re giving yourself oilier skin when you all but scorch your face in hot water rather than using lukewarm or cold water to cleanse.
If improved heart and lung health aren’t enough to convince you to quit this habit, try appealing to your vanity. According to an article by Dr. Lowell Dale http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/quit-smoking/expert-answers/smoking/faq-20058153 on MayoClinic.org, “The nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin. This impairs blood flow to your skin. With less blood flow, your skin doesn’t get as much oxygen and important nutrients, such as vitamin A.
“Many of the more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke also damage collagen and elastin, which are fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. As a result, skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely because of smoking.”
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Liana Smith Bautista is an article writer, web content manager, manuscript copy editor, and blogger—and she thinks it's awesome that she earns her living marketing on her love for the written word.