We probably can all confess to at least one of these bad skin care habits. Learn what to avoid doing to keep your skin beautiful.
Do you ever go to sleep with makeup on? Or maybe you bite your lip? Many of us are guilty of at least one bad skin habit. While they may seem harmless, these skin care no-nos can keep us from looking our best.
Fixing a faux pas
Maybe it’s something we suspect we shouldn’t do, such as using old makeup brushes. Or maybe it’s something we’ve never considered before, such as not changing our sheets and pillowcases enough. Nevertheless, no matter what the bad habit is, there are natural ways to get our skin glowing again!
This one falls under the “we know we shouldn’t do it” designation. Not only will tanning accelerate our skin’s aging process, leading to prematurely older-looking skin, but it can also lead to skin cancer—definitely not worth it.
If you crave a golden glow, opt for a natural bronzer or sunless tanner, available at natural health retailers. And always make sure to be sun-smart by using a natural mineral-based sunscreen when spending time in the sun.
Although regular exfoliation can remove dead, dull skin cells, not going overboard is key. Generally, exfoliating once or twice a week with a natural product (such as one made from oatmeal or sugar) is sufficient. And exfoliation should be avoided altogether for those with sensitive skin prone to allergic reactions, or in the middle of an acne breakout.
3: Wearing makeup to bed
Wearing makeup to bed can be tempting on late nights, but it’s a definite no-no. Sleeping with makeup on can clog our pores so our skin isn’t able to breathe, and not removing eye makeup may even lead to an allergic reaction or an eye infection.
Wash your face with a gentle cleanser for your skin type, and use a natural eye makeup remover—even on lazy evenings!
4: Biting lips
Licking or chewing on our lips can dehydrate them, leading to dried, cracked, and chapped lips, which can be even harder to leave alone. Although this problem can be exacerbated in the winter, it can happen all year long.
Stop the vicious cycle by investing in an exfoliating lip scrub to remove rough skin, and then keep lips moisturized with a natural lip balm. You’ll be less likely to chew on them if they’re soft and smooth.
5: Using old makeup brushes
Makeup brushes can be a breeding ground for bacteria if not properly cared for. Be sure to clean your makeup brushes at least once a month. Use a natural makeup brush cleaner or a gentle Castile soap, available at health food stores.
Other cosmetic TLC tips include always washing your hands before applying makeup and not sharing cosmetics or cosmetic applicators (be especially cautious when trying out colours at the beauty counter).
6: Not caring for neck and chest skin
Don’t let your skin care routine stop at your face. Our delicate décolletages (our necks and upper chests) are exposed to the elements just like our faces, so they can show signs of aging faster than areas we keep covered up.
Incorporate your neck and chest skin into your daily cleansing, toning, and moisturizing routine—and when you’re in the sun, make sure to wear your natural sunscreen on your décolletage as well.
7: Squeezing pimples
We may try to convince ourselves that popping or picking pimples helps, but in reality it only makes acne worse and can cause scarring. Plus, it can spread bacteria to other areas of the face, leading to more pimples.
Help clear up pimples naturally with a gel or wash made with tea tree oil. Another option is herbal preparations for the skin that contain thyme, which may have a greater antibacterial effect than prescription acne cremes, according to a new study.
8: Using too much product
When it comes to skin care, keep it simple. Although all skin types can benefit from a daily skin care routine that includes a gentle cleanser, toner, and lotion, piling on the products can irritate skin, especially when using products that all have differing formulas and purposes. See the sidebar below to learn which skin type you have and how to best care for it.
9: Taking very hot showers
Sure, hot showers can feel great (even this time of year, since—who are we kidding?—the cold weather isn’t over yet) but they can wreak havoc on our skin’s lipid barriers, leading to dry skin. Lukewarm water is also recommended for those suffering from eczema or dermatitis, as it is gentler on the skin. Keep your showers short and the temperature mild.
10: Not changing sheets and pillowcases often enough
Our pillowcases and sheets absorb oils from our skin, and they can reapply these oils and dirt onto our skin later on. Changing pillowcases and sheets frequently is especially important for those with oily, acne-prone skin.
Skin types 101
Our skin type helps us determine how to craft our daily skin care routine.
Skin with visible pores that looks shiny quickly can be classified as oily. Often, oily skin is also acne prone. Cleanse twice daily, but don’t be afraid of using moisturizer—a lightweight oil-free lotion can still benefit oily skin.
If your cheeks are dry, but your T-zone (forehead, nose, and cheeks) is oily, that’s combination skin. A gentle cleanser and midweight lotion works best with this skin type.
Dry skin can feel tight and is often flaky. A mild creme cleanser can help retain moisture, as can applying moisturizer while skin is still damp after washing.
Sensitive skin can often look red, inflamed, and dry, and can react to irritants with itchiness, burning, and blotchiness. Often, those with sensitive skin suffer from allergic or contact dermatitis, or rosacea.
Although each condition requires slightly different treatment, generally, sensitive skin benefits from products with minimal ingredients. Soothing ingredients such as camomile, aloe, and green tea polyphenols can help, but alcohol and fragrance should be avoided.