Any skin care expert will tell you that proper TLC is THE number one way to achieve clear, blemish- and bump-free skin. Yes, there are plenty of products out there, formulas that have been concocted to help with every skin problem under the sun — from acne and scarring to redness and hyperpigmentation. But did you know that a lot of times, the secret to keeping your complexion bright, beautiful, and blemish free actually lays in what not to do to your skin?!
Yep, bad habits can be the culprit for a lot more of those skin issues than you may realize. Here are some of the ways you might be harming your skin… without even realizing it.
Bad Skin Habit: Sunbathing… without SPF
We might sound like a broken record, and it’s possible your parents or doctors have nagged you about the importance of sunscreen before, but we’re here to it again because SPF is just that important. You probably think about slathering on sunscreen to prevent sunburn and, in the long term, avoid skin cancer. Both of those are true, but did you also know that excess sun exposure without protection can lead to fine lines, wrinkes, age spots and dark spots? Yup, it’s true. So if you want to avoid looking like your older than you are, put on your SPF every day (no matter the weather) and wear a wide brim hat! For your face, we recommend SLMD’s Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15. Your complexion will thank you!
Bad Skin Habit: Washing or exfoliating your face too much
Yes, there is such a thing as being too squeaky clean. Have you ever washed your face several times in one day and noticed that it only appears more greasy and feels less “clean?” Washing your face is imperative, but cleansing too often strips your skin of its natural oils, which then encourages your skin to produce even more oil in response.
We recommend using SLMD’s Salicylic Acid Cleanser, which exfoliates the skin and unclogs pores, but doesn’t leave it feeling stripped or dry. Stick to cleansing twice a day — once in the morning and once at night!
Bad Skin Habit: Sleeping in your makeup
Remember what we said about cleansing at night? That means taking off your makeup! Sleeping in makeup can cause clogged pores, breakouts, irritation and rough skin texture. We’ll venture to guess that these are probably things you’re aiming to avoid. Bottom line: Be sure to take your makeup off thoroughly (and wash your face!) before you hit the hay.
Bad Skin Habit: Removing your makeup too forcefully
You’ve probably been told to be gentle when removing your makeup — and for good reason. But we’ve all got that shadow or mascara that feels like it could last through the apocalypse, and rubbing more intensely seems like the only way to get it off.
Be warned: The skin around your eyes is thin, delicate and prone to dryness. Tugging at any skin, but especially your under-eye area, can spread infection to your eye and can also cause fine lines and wrinkles to form prematurely.
To remove makeup the right way, apply your remover to a cotton pad sparingly (using too much could flood the eye and cause irritation). Next, gently press the pad to the eye and hold in place with light pressure for at least three minutes. For hard-to-reach places — like the tear duct and lower lash line — dip a cotton swab into the remover and wiping it on the area carefully.
Bad Skin Habit: Constantly touching or picking at your face
Yes, blackheads count too! If Dr. Pimple Popper’s videos aren’t proof enough, it’s best to leave the poking, prodding and popping to a professional. Squeezing these blemishes with your own two fingers often spreads the bacteria and leads to infection, as well as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation — those stubborn dark marks that drive you crazy. Instead, try your best to release the sebum naturally with a quality cleanser and scheduling an appointment for your next facial.
Bad Skin Habit: Not getting enough sleep
Snooze time is important — not just for your energy level, but also for your overall health. Not getting enough shut-eye affects your entire body, including your skin, which goes through its natural repair cycle at night to stimulate collagen production and increase cell turnover. Ideally, adults should be getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. To do this, try to maintain a consistent bedtime so your body becomes used to winding down at the same time.
Bad Skin Habit: Using the same products year-round
Just as you change your closest each season and switch out those chunky sweaters for light sundresses, you should do the same with several of your skin care products. Why? Each season affects your skin differently. Heavier ointments and creams should be used during the winter when your skin is feeling more dry and gels or alternative moisturizers should be used in the warmer months.
Bad Skin Habit: Taking long, hot showers
It’s certainly tempting to crank that water temperature way up (especially during super cold months!) but warm is the way to go when it comes to the temperature of your showers. Though it might feel incredibly relaxing, hot water can be very drying and strip the skin of its natural oils. This is especially true if you have sensitive skin — hot showers may lead to scaly or cracked limbs. Always take a warm shower and keep it short (around 10 minutes or less). Instead of rubbing, pat yourself dry and moisturize with a body lotion as soon as you step out of the shower, which helps lock moisture in immediately.