When it comes to our skin, we’re all just out trying to do our best, right? We test out products, wash our faces regularly, moisturize... but it turns out that some of our most persistent habits can be very bad for our skin. The good news is that most of them have easy fixes—so you can turn bad habits into good ones.
1. You don’t clean your makeup brushes.
Besides being good for keeping your makeup looks #onfleek, cleaning your makeup brushes on a regular basis is also a fundamental aspect of a good skin care routine. “If not properly cleaned, makeup brushes can carry hordes of bacteria that can cause serious damage to the skin. “Not to mention the buildup that gathers on dirty makeup brushes causes them to deteriorate quicker, affecting your makeup application.”
Tragic all around. But the key to avoiding this travesty is simple: Clean your tools regularly. You should spritz your brushes once a week with a cleansing spray and deep clean them once a month with shampoo or gentle soap. This is the best way to prevent buildup from causing infection, as well as problems like acne and irritation.
2. Not Exfoliating
exfoliation. As you get older, your need for regular exfoliation increases. Plus, when you’re using potent anti-aging products, you want to make sure they are being well absorbed.
Of course, there is such a thing as too much exfoliation, so you need to find a balance. For most people, a couple times a week does the trick. As you age, this may be closer to 3 or 4 times a week.
Here are my two favorite body scrubs that I have been using for a while:
Hold my drink has a soft and fluffy texture and can be used as a daily exfoliator. Coconut oil and vitamin E seeps into your skin as you exfoliate and tease out ingrowns. Bonus, it literally smells like a coconut in a jar without any added artificial fragrance.
What It Does
-Moisturizing organic coconut oil melts into your skin.
– Natural sugar cane gently buffs away dead skin. Perfect for dry legs, arms and even your lips.
-Vitamin E is full of antioxidants and amazing at targeting fine lines and dryness.
Goddess Body Scrub is a gentle, salt-based body exfoliant that hydrates skin with organic coconut oil, scented with dry lavender buds and few drops of lavender essential oil. Goddess Body Scrub is highly moisturizing and gently exfoliating blend of organic coconut oil. It leaves the skin silky, soft, glowy, and hydrated with light scent of lavender.
These amazing scrubs exfoliates while providing nutritive minerals. It’s the perfect thing to use before putting on a moisturizing mask. If you have oily skin or otherwise sensitive skin, be careful not to exfoliate too vigorously.
3. Leaving Your Makeup on Overnight
You’re tired. Your eyelids are closing against your will. You’re almost considering sleeping in your jeans. Stop! Wait! It’s time to wash off your makeup.
Naked skin is happy skin. Especially if you’re wearing chemical makeup brands, you want to give your skin a break over night.
In the same vein, make sure to wash your makeup off before working out. When you break a sweat and your pores open up, dirt, oil and, yep, makeup will get in there.
Also, unless you want to wash your pillow cases every day (Ouch! Said mother earth) you should do your best to keep them clean in between washes. Another reason that washing your face before bed is a must!
Don’t consider this a free pass to skip washing off your makeup at night: If your skin is dry skin, lather up less often, since doing so strips away natural oils. Wash with a creamy or oil-based cleanser at night (they’re gentler on dry skin) and rinse with just water when you wake up. “It’s enough to clean your skin in the morning, and you’ll retain more of your own moisturizing oils,” says Ellen Marmur, a dermatologist in New York City. Try L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Purify & Mattify Cleanser and/or St.Ives Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Scrub.
5. Not Sleeping Enough…
Getting less than seven hours of shut-eye can make your skin duller and fine lines (like the ones around your eyes) more obvious. Your skin can rebound from the occasional late night, especially when you’re young, but a few in a row will catch up with you. If you have trouble falling asleep, don’t start watching Black Lightning or The Good Doctor reruns: Bright screens suppress melatonin, a hormone that makes us sleepy and regulates our circadian rhythms. That second part is a biggie. When melatonin levels drop and your circadian rhythm gets thrown off, your skin cells can’t turn over as efficiently, causing even more wrinkles and dullness over time, says Phyllis C. Zee, the director of the Center for Circadian and Sleep Medicine at Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University Hospital in Chicago. A warm shower or bath before bed is much better for inducing sleep, says Michael Breus, an author, a psychologist and sleep medicine expert.
…And Not Sleeping Smartly
Your sleeping conditions matter. First things first: your pillowcase. “It collects oil, dead skin cells, bacteria, and excess night creams. “As you toss and turn, all of that is deposited right into your pores. I recommend changing them at least once a week (twice is better). While you’re at it, swap out the regular cotton version for something smoother, like satin, silk, or Egyptian cotton, since rough pillowcases can actually cause wrinkles. And if I can convince you to make just one more change, plug in a humidifier. It counteracts the skin-drying effects of air conditioning and heat.
6. Overlooking Sunscreen in Certain Areas
Slathering SPF over your entire face (even in the winter) is a good start, but you can’t ignore the rest of your body—and certain areas are missed too often. “In my practice, I’m seeing an epidemic of skin cancer along the hairline, the jawline, and the ears,” says Dennis Gross, a dermatologist in New York City. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher all over your face and exposed skin from the neck down. And keep in mind that light cotton clothes won’t totally protect skin on their own in the summer.
7. Forgetting Face Wipes
Washing your face before bed or after spin can be a pain. We get that. But letting makeup, dirt, and bacteria linger can cause breakouts, dullness, and even wrinkles over time. Which brings me to face-cleansing wipes: A single towelette removes a day’s worth of grime, and you won’t need to haul yourself to the sink. Try Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes, AVEENO ULTRA-CALMING MAKEUP REMOVING WIPES, and AVEENO POSITIVELY RADIANT MAKEUP REMOVING WIPES. Keep them on your nightstand or in your purse so you actually remember to use them.
Please, I beg of you, just quit. On top of a long list of evils, smoking breaks down elastic fibers in the skin (which is why smokers’ complexions look yellow) and revs up the enzyme responsible for breaking down collagen (and that definitely leads to wrinkles), says Francesca Fusco, a dermatologist in New York City. Your skin can bounce back once you quit. “Within two weeks, you see improvements,” she says. “The texture improves; it’s a little smoother. Over time, the brightness comes back.
You can achieve the skin you want! By ditching some of your bad habits and adopting some good ones, you could find yourself waking up to younger, more radiant looking skin!
What skin habits do you want to break? Have you broken any of these already? Tell me in the comments below!