Gentle exfoliation is an important part of your regular skincare routine. It sloughs off the dead, outer layer of skin to encourage a healthy glow and perky complexion. However, over-exfoliating can cause your complexion to become patchy and dry. If you are using abrasive cleansers or harshly scrubbing, it can irritate your skin and strip off the top layer of natural oil, which can trigger breakouts and inflammation. Signs of over-exfoliation: skin redness, irritation, inflammation, over-sensitivity, breakouts, uneven tone, rash.
2. Skipping sunscreen
Besides the obvious risk of the temporary discomfort of a sunburn, skipping sunscreen can leave skin vulnerable to skin damage that cause wrinkles and cancer. Wear at least SPF 30 or higher every day – yes, every day – and try to use a physical/mineral sunblock instead of a chemical sunblock. Physical sunblock does not absorb the UV rays, as they create a barrier to filter them out by using minerals as their active ingredients (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide). Keep skin healthy and protect from dry skin, premature wrinkles and even serious skin diseases.
3. Going to bed with makeup on
If you follow my blog you have heard me preach this one before! Skin repairs itself at night. If you go to bed with makeup on, your skin cannot get the oxygen it needs. The natural collagen building process will be compromised, clogging pores, and the natural skin rejuvenation process cannot occur. Who wants to wake up to dull, unhealthy looking skin? NO THANKS!
4. Taking hot showers
I admit this one CAN be difficult. Hot water in the shower feels so good! Unfortunately, if your water is so hot you can boil pasta, you are damaging your skin’s outer protective barrier. Hot showers strip the skin of natural oils, which can cause dry or irritated skin. If you suffer from eczema, it can worsen the condition.
5. Not getting enough antioxidants
We should be devouring 5-7 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables to keep acceptable levels of antioxidants in our bodies. Not providing enough nutrition for our skin can result in prematurely breaking down collagen in our skin cells, causing unwanted deep lines and sagging of skin. Pass the broccoli please!
6. Picking at your face
Let’s face it… we have all picked at a blemish or scar on our face at some point. It’s a natural reaction – you don’t want that THING on your face! Most of us know you shouldn’t pick but sometimes you don’t even realize you are doing it. Picking at your face is a destructive habit that can cause severe scarring, hyperpigmentation, aggravate acne, or even cause a serious infection. You can possibly displace the infection, causing it to go deeper into your skin. Picking can provoke inflammation that could potentially last longer than the initial breakout. It is best, although difficult at times, to let the pimple take its course and heal on its own.
There is a condition called Skin Picking Disorder (SPD) – yes this is a thing! If you can’t control urges Harvard has some helpful tips to fight the habit. A licensed psychologist has some tips as well.
For the rest of us… just stop it!