How about a New Year’s resolution – to take better care of your complexion? The best way to start the new year off is by ditching your bad skin habits and replacing them with kinder, gentler methods. And if you’re reading this is the future, it’s never too late to start treating your skin better.
It can be super easy to fall into these habits, either because they’re tempting to do, or because you had no idea they were harmful in the first place.
We’ve rounded up the most common skin mistakes you might be making, along with better habits to replace them. With just a few simple changes, you can enter the 20’s glowing.
9 Bad Skin Habits To Avoid
1. Failing to wash your face before bed
Please. I beg of you. Wash your makeup off before bed. I know the long day can be exhausting and all you want to do is crash into bed, but washing your face can save the condition of your skin. Going straight to bed (even if you don’t wear makeup) can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. The pollutants and sweat from the day are still on your skin, so they can cause damage and premature aging.
In a pinch? Keep some makeup wipes on your bedside table for those times when you come home late at night and crash straight onto the bed.
2. Over-cleansing and over-exfoliating
This one is tricky, because how often you should cleanse depends on your skin type. If you have naturally very dry skin, then forget it, you only need to cleanse once a day with a hydrating cleanser (not foaming).
But as a general rule, over-cleansing and exfoliating can leave your skin stripped of it’s oils, raw, and inflamed. Exfoliating should only happen once or twice a week, at most.
The point of exfoliation is to sweep away dead skin cells, but doing it every day scrapes off the healthy, living ones, too.
Confused? Just listen to your skin. If your face feels sensitive after exfoliation, reduce how often you exfoliate. Physical exfoliators can also be harsher than chemical ones, so consider switching to a product with AHA’s and BHA’s for a gentler scrub.
3. Skipping sunscreen on the regular
The best defence against signs of aging is simple – wearing sunscreen regularly. Eye creams and sheet masks are great, but sunscreen is the secret hero of ageless skin in the long run.
Not what you expected to hear? Sunscreen prevents skin discoloration, wrinkles and of course skin cancer (!), so it should be your skincare BFF. And don’t forget it on cloudy days. If the sun is out, you’re vulnerable to UV rays, so sunscreen is a must.
4. You smoke
This habit is definitely harder to kick, but smoking can cause serious damage to your skin. Not ot mention your overall health. Nicotine reduces the blood flow to your skin, so your skin doesn’t get the nutrients and oxygen it needs. Collagen and elastin damage, dullness, wrinkles and thinning skin can all be symptoms of smoking. If you don’t want to speed up skin aging, quitting smoking is a good move.
5. Picking at your skin
I get it. I had breakouts for years, and the temptation is to pop every pimple in sight. The issue with this is that you risk making acne scars and pigmentation worse, slowing down healing time, and even infecting your skin with bacteria from your hands. (Which just leads to more breakouts.)
Instead, be gentle with your skin. Always cleanse and apply products with clean hands, and avoid touching your skin throughout the day. If you think of skin issues like healing wounds, it’ll be easier to treat them kindly and let them heal. (You’d never scratch at stitches to try and make them better, would you?)
6. Forgetting to treat your neck and chest
Sometimes, we invest so much time applying products to our face, that we forget all about the neck and chest! This skin ages and needs care, just like your face. Applying any anti-aging and moisturizing products on this delicate skin will help you glow from the shoulders up.
7. Rubbing your eyes
This one is so easy to do. But the skin around your eyes is incredibly thin, though. Rubbing your eyes repeatedly can result in fine lines and wrinkles forming sooner. Your eyes are often the first to show aging, so apply eye cream with your ring finger, and take a gentle hand to your eyes when you treat them.
8. Not cleaning your makeup brushes
It’s so easy to forget to clean your brushes and sponges regularly. Somehow, I can go for weeks at a time without cleaning my brushes, and wonder why my makeup looks cakey. Bacteria can grow easily on makeup tools, and this goes straight on your skin, causing breakouts and inflammation. Once a week, use a mild cleanser for your brushes, or replace them when they get too old and worn-down.
9. Not sanitizing your phone
Our phones go everywhere with us. Countertops, coffee shops, car cup holders, you name it. All day long, they’re picking up the germs from public surfaces and our hands. If you touch your phone and then your skin, it’s almost like rubbing your face against those public surfaces, too.
Sanitizing you phone regularly minimizes the germs that come in contact with your skin when you scroll through Instagram or take a phone call. And you might see acne on your cheeks and jawline clear up, too.
Final Thoughts On Those Bad Skin Habits
It can feel a little overwhelming trying to do right by your skin, but take things slow. Good habits take time to introduce and keep. Eliminating bad habits, one at a time, will show you real skin improvements and slow aging, and that will make it all worth it in the end.
Reach out @kiseu