15 Habits That Hurt Your Skin
Eileen Bailey | Oct 16, 2013
Reviewed by Michael Lehrer, MD on July 16, 2017
We know what we need to do to take care of our skin. But what about habits and everyday behavior that may actually be causing damage? Here are some things to avoid.
Applying sunscreen only once in the morning
It is a good start to apply sunscreen when getting ready to go to school or work. But it really should be reapplied on a regular basis throughout the day.
Not cleaning your makeup brushes
Bacteria and dead skin cells can build up on your makeup brushes. Use a mild facial cleanser and warm water to rinse your brushes every couple of weeks.
Picking at pimples, cuts, scrapes or insect bites
This might make you feel better in the short term or you might even believe this will help them heal quicker, but picking, popping or squeezing can actually cause infection (your hands are dirty) and can cause scarring.
Smoking doesn’t just cause medical conditions like lung cancer or heart disease, it makes your skin age prematurely and reduces the amount of oxygen delivered to your cells, which is needed for healthy skin.
Skipping the moisturizer
Your skin needs moisture and when in a hurry, it is easy to skip this step after a shower. But even taking a shower can leave chlorine on your skin, causing it to dry out. So, as soon as you get out of the water use a moisturizer.
Going to sleep with makeup on
Going to bed with your makeup on can cause blocked pores, which in turn lead to pimples or bacterial infections. Keep makeup remover towelettes by your bed for those nights you just don’t want to walk to the bathroom to wash your face.
Not drinking enough water
Skin is moisturized from the inside out, and if you aren’t drinking enough water during the day, your skin won’t look its best.
Taking long, hot showers
What doesn’t feel better than a long, relaxing, hot shower? But hot water strips your skin of natural oils and tends to dry it out your skin. Shorten your showers and lower the water temperature to keep your skin’s natural moisturizers working.
Not protecting your face from chemicals
This can include sprays you put into your hair, so when applying hair products, cover your face with a clean towel.
Going to bed late
When we sleep, our skin rejuvenates itself and when you don’t get enough sleep, it shows in your skin.
Touching your face
Think about all the times you touch your face - to rub your eyes or scratch your nose. Each time you do, you put dirt, germs and bacteria on your face.
Treating persistent skin problems at home
There are many mild skin problems that can be treated at home, but if you aren’t seeing any improvement, make an appointment with a dermatologist. Doctors recommend annual trips to the dermatologist as a precaution to check for potentially serious problems, such as skin cancer.
Not paying attention to skin types
Not everyone has the same skin type. Yours may be dry, oily or a combination, but others in your household may have a different skin type. Make sure you are using products designed for your skin type.
Using antibacterial products on your face
Antibacterial soaps should be used for hands, not faces. While they help prevent the spread of germs, they often can be too harsh for your face.
Exfoliating your skin gets rid of dead skin cells, which can make your skin look dull. Exfoliate at least once a week to keep your skin looking fresh.