Although many companies sell so-called “miracle” products that can give you younger-looking skin or flawless skin, it is sometimes the actions we take every day that makes all the difference on our skin. Making simple changes in your routine can have a huge impact on the health of your skin and, consequently, on its appearance. Most of us spend every day damaging our skin without even realizing it. Here are some actions that can affect the health of your skin.
1. Sleeping with your makeup on
Although some of us forget it, you should always take the time to remove your makeup every night. In fact, going to bed with your makeup can wreak havoc on your skin.
“If you want to have beautiful skin in the morning, you need a makeup remover,” says Andrea Rodriguez, co-founder of Chalet Cosmetics. “Sleeping with makeup doesn’t just age the skin, it prevents the skin from recovering overnight to maintain its elasticity and hydration the next day.”
2. Not wearing any suncreen
Most of us know very well the importance of wearing sunscreen when going to the beach with friends, but what about the rest of the time? You expose your skin to the harmful rays of the sun every day. It is therefore important to start integrating sunscreen into your morning routine.
“The first thing you can do to reverse the signs of ageing is to be more diligent in using sunscreens,” says Dr. Brett Kotlus, an oculoplastic surgeon. “Ideally, you should use a sunscreen with SPF protection of 15 or more and a mineral-based product.”
3. Going to bed late
There is a reason why your skin looks dull and tired after a short night’s sleep. Sleep is restorative. Going to bed too late too many nights in a row can affect the appearance of your skin. “When the skin doesn’t get the optimal fuel it needs, it can become dull and pale,” said Dr. Dennis Gross to her. “Lack of sleep can be so stressful that our bodies, including our skin, generate free radicals.” It is therefore important to prioritize your sleep before investing in “miracle” creams.
4. Spending money on beauty products that don’t work
There are many skin care products on the market, and many of them are incredibly expensive. Certainly, which ones are really worth it? According to Dr. Kotlus, anti-wrinkle pillows are “not worth it”. Many women notice lines on their faces in the morning because of their pillows, so many companies have created pillows to prevent these unflattering marks. “Don’t waste money on anti-wrinkle pillows and pillowcases. Although sleep lines form during sleep, especially in sleepers, there is no scientific evidence that a pillow or special fabric reduces sleep lines,” explains Dr. Kotlus.
5. Popping your pimples
Be aware that popping your pimples only spreads the bacteria to the rest of your face. “As tempting as it may be to burst a pimple, try to resist,” says Dr. Gross. “If the temptation is too great, try washing your face with a clean washcloth.” Your body is intelligent. It knows when a pimple should disappear, so let your skin do its job.
6. Taking really hot showers
After a long day, there is nothing better than a relaxing long hot shower. With a glass of wine in your hand, you almost have a small spa in your bathroom. However, hot water is harmful to your skin, so avoid these hot showers as much as possible. Of course, they are pleasant, “but they will certainly turn your skin into a dry surface,” according to Dr. Arielle Kauvar, a dermatologist at Prevention. Shower under cooler water to protect your skin.
7. Don’t exaggerate with fillers and injections
We have all seen women and men who have clearly exaggerated with plastic surgery. Foreheads that do not move and tight eyelids always look abnormal. Other things to watch out for are face and lip fillers. “Please don’t follow the trend of overly swollen lips,” said Dr. Kotlus. “Big caricatured lips are not attractive.”
8. Going to the tanning salon
Laying on a tanning bed to cause skin cancer, but the damage doesn’t stop there. A translational behavioural medicine study found that cabin tanning users had higher rates of redness and swelling. If you have ever been tempted to go to a tanning salon before your vacation, don’t do it.
9. Using too much exfoliant
Although it is important to wash your face every night before going to bed, don’t overdo it. Using a facial brush or even a washcloth can be too harsh for your delicate skin. “It is not unusual for people to regularly use a retinoid, an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and a mechanical cleanser, so that their skin becomes red and irritated instead of radiant,” Dr. David Bank, an aesthetic dermatologist, told Prevention.
If you suffer from acne, it is especially important to be careful with your skin. Exfoliating your face when you have acne will only aggravate your skin. “It will only increase your acne flare-up and cause so much irritation that you will no longer be able to use products or medications that could help you get rid of your acne,” Dr. Kauvar told Prevention.
With all the skin treatments available on the market, it’s easy to overlook the simple things you can do to renew your skin. The first thing you should do is to stop smoking. No matter what treatments you try to do to improve the appearance of your skin, it will be in vain if you smoke. “Do not opt for skin laser treatments to reverse the effects of skin ageing if you plan to smoke cigarettes later. You cancel out all the benefits you get from laser treatment and reduce your body’s ability to heal,” says Dr. Kotlus. “You can recognize a smoker by seeing wrinkles around their mouth. In addition to being strict about using sunscreens, quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to stop the signs of skin ageing.”
11. Drinking too much coffee
One of the best things you can do for your skin is to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will keep your skin young and healthy. Anything that dehydrates you will make you look older. Unfortunately, this means saying goodbye to certain habits: “Alcohol and caffeine act as a diuretic and prevent you from retaining water, so your skin looks like a prune,” dermatologist Dr. Deborah Wattenberg told TODAY. “Junk food contains many preservatives and will have the same consequences on your skin.”
12. Washing your face too often
Washing your face every night is an excellent habit to have beautiful skin. But it is true that washing your face several times a day should be avoided. “Most people tend to use hard soaps that remove natural oils from their bodies and disrupt the ideal pH of their skin,” Rachel Nazarian, MD, told Marie Claire at the Schweiger Dermatology Group. “Chronic excessive washing will dry out and crack the skin, leaving it prone to infections and outbreaks of inflammatory diseases such as eczema, and can even highlight the signs of ageing, such as small wrinkles and fine lines.”
13. Touching your face
Have you ever noticed how much you touch your face? We all do it. Every time you touch your face, you expose your skin to bacteria. “Touching your face or resting your chin on your hands can introduce dirt, oils and bacteria into your skin, which can contribute to the creation of acne,” said Dr. Nancy Steely, Senior Director of Nutrition at Arbonne in Bustle.
Always touching your face is particularly irritating to the eyes. Dr. Steely explained that rubbing your eyes can “break delicate capillaries under the skin, damage the tissues in this area and increase the risk of wrinkle formation earlier in life.
Renowned beautician Renée Rouleau also focused on the delicate skin under the eyes. “Applying eyeliner or aggressively rubbing to remove eye makeup can create wear and tear on collagen and elastic fibres, causing wrinkles and fine lines to appear prematurely,” said Rouleau to Marie Claire. “You should always apply your eye cream with the ring finger and tap gently to avoid rubbing and pulling the skin.”
14. Eating dessert every night
Tanning beds and cigarettes are not the only things that damage your skin. The half-eaten piece of chocolate cake in your refrigerator can be just as harmful. Sugar consumption affects our body’s collagen reserves. Collagen is the magic substance that helps our skin look young. “Sweet foods break down collagen and elastin in the skin, causing wrinkles over time,” dermatologist Fredric Brandt told Allure.
Eating too much sugar can also affect your internal systems. “Sugar can weaken the immune system, and a weakened immune system is bad for fighting bacteria,” renowned dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer told New York magazine. When this bacteria is trapped in your pores, pimples can form. Sugar consumption can also increase our testosterone levels, which affect our skin.
15. Never seeing a dermatologist
When was the last time you examined your skin for new or changing moles? It is essential to constantly check for changes in order to quickly detect any skin cancer. However, self-checking will not be enough for everything. Make an annual appointment with your dermatologist to examine your body. “We look into more corners than you will ever look into,” dermatologist Patricia Wexler told Allure.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about your skin, consult your dermatologist.
Cover photo: Shutterstock