The internet is filled with articles offering great advice on how to care for your skin. From drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy diet to choosing the best in skin care products, there’s no subject that goes untouched. However, sometimes it isn’t about what we should be doing to keep our skin healthy, but instead what we shouldn’t.
Even those of us who are the most diligent with our skin care regimens can fall prey to bad habits. Sometimes, it’s that we’re unaware of the negative effects of certain things on our skin. In some cases, damage from bad skin habits can take months, or even years, to show. This means that by the time we realize we’re harming our skin, the behavior has become so ingrained that it’s hard to stop.
Are your ready to break the cycle of bad skin care habits? For clear, beautiful skin, here are five skin care habits that need to be broken, once and for all.
Touching Your Face
Have you ever stopped and counted the number of times you touch your face during the day? Probably not, because it isn’t something that most people ever think about. The reason this causes problems isn’t because touching your face is bad, it’s that your hands are a goldmine of dirt and bacteria that gets transferred to your facial skin every time your touch it.
Hands pick up dirt, dust and germs from every surface they touch. Even the most diligent hand washer can’t keep their hands clean 24/7. Each time you touch your face, delicate facial skin is exposed to whatever is on your hands and that creates a recipe for problems. Breakouts and even infections can result.
The remedy? Become aware of all the times you mindlessly touch your face and nip this habit in the bud.
Not Cleaning Makeup Utensils
Makeup brushes and applicators can be a breeding ground for dust, dirt, oil, and bacteria from cosmetics. Yuck. Who wants to put all that on their face? Before you get too grossed out, it’s perfectly fine to use your brushes without cleaning them every time. However, if you never clean them at all, you’re only giving all the dirt and germs a chance to multiple and cause havoc for your skin, and your cosmetic’s performance.
Clean reusable brushes and applicators once a week with a gentle, non-toxic shampoo (or your TEENA facial cleanser) and let them dry overnight.
Picking at Blemishes
It’s easy to become obsessed with a pimple. There’s this spot on your face, and you just want it to go away. The very nature of a pimple implies that there’s something in there that needs to come out, and the sooner it does, the sooner you can have your clear complexion back.
Except, it doesn’t really work that way. Pimples are tiny infections, and your body has a natural immune system to fight them. Picking at them will only make them worse. Would you continually pick at any other type of wound? Probably not because you know that it’s unsanitary, slows healing and increases the risk of scarring.
The best route is to treat your skin with care when you have a blemish. Wash with gentle cleansers and avoid drying acne treatments. Applying to harsh a drying treatment can dry out the skin to the point that it traps the pimple below the surface. Instead, choose a gentle blemish treatment that goes easy on active ingredients.
For chronic acne, or if you’re compulsively picking at your skin, contact a dermatologist for treatment.
Falling Asleep Without Washing Your Face
The temptation to just crawl into bed after a long day is strong. After all, your makeup from the morning has completely worn off, or maybe you didn’t use any in the first place. Is there really a reason to spend extra time washing a face that obviously isn’t dirty?
Absolutely, yes. Makeup, even when you can’t see it, can clog your pores. Add to this that dirt, sweat, oils, dead skin cells and toxins from the environment accumulate on your skin every single day. Do you really want to leave all that on your skin overnight, and transfer it to your bed linens?
It honestly only takes a few minutes to wash your face before bed. Moisturizing is a great idea, but if you’re struggling to stay awake, a quick cleanse is what matters.
Not Staying Hydrated
Proper hydration is your skin’s number one BFF. Our bodies are an average of 50-65% water, so how on earth can we stay healthy without replenishing ourselves regularly? Water is essential for pretty much every single biological process, and that includes those necessary for keeping the skin healthy and clear.
Staying hydrated prevents your skin from looking dry and shallow. Plus, adequate water intake helps to flush out toxins that can cause blemishes and premature aging.
Aim for at least 8 to 10 cups of water per day. Many people don’t have a realistic idea of how much this is. Some perceive it to be way more than it is, while others seriously underestimate the amount they’re consuming. Try setting a goal for yourself and make it fun. Buy a new water bottle and note how many times you’ll need to refill it to reach your goal or draw a cute chart to help keep track of your consumption.
We tend to think of bad habits as being big things that have a negative impact on our lives. But the truth is, when it comes to clear skin it’s usually the small things that add up and cause the most damage. Make a commitment to take care of your skin every day, in all the small ways that matter. You’ll be rewarded with healthy, clear, beautiful skin for years to come.