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Skincare 101: How Guilty Are You Of These 7 Skincare Sins?

There are some things in life you should simply never do. And yet, it can be hard to break habits and behave ourselves, sometimes.

When it comes to taking care of our skin, the rules are simple enough to stick to. But how many of these sins have you committed in the last year of sitting around at home? In the last six months? Two weeks?

Hopefully, none at all! But let’s take a look…

 

Picking & Touching Your Skin

Amidst a pandemic, keeping your hands off your face has become more than a skincare thing. It’s genuinely become an issue of safety, and our health.

Picking at our skin and touching our faces can cause serious problems, simply because we transfer the bacteria on our hands to our faces. Take a moment to think about all the things you touch over the course of the day. Now think about that dirt and grime all over your face. Not pleasant, is it?

Touching and picking are both unpleasant to think about, but can actually lead to scarring and infections for our skin.

Transferring all those bacteria also risks triggering dormant skin conditions like acne, can cause blackheads, blocked pores and unsightly breakouts.

All in all, it’s best to keep your mitts away from your face.

It’s natural to touch our faces, sure. It’s human nature. But try to keep it to a minimum, wash your hands regularly, and keep your nails clean. That way, at least you’re minimising the risk.

 

“Forgetting” to Remove Your Make-Up

This is one of the worst things you can do, especially if you struggle with your skin.

As we sleep, our skin works to restore itself (which is why a good night cream is essential). So when we fall asleep without properly removing our make-up, we leave layers of dirt and grime essentially blocking up our pores and glands.

These blockages can lead to serious long-term problems with our skin. They can inflame acne and worsen a variety of skin conditions.

In fact, even if you don’t wear make-up, it’s absolutely crucial that you properly cleanse your face of the dirt and pollution that builds up on your skin throughout the day. It’s just not possible to keep your skin in good condition, otherwise.

 

side-on view of woman touching side of her head, lying on bench outside

Going Outside Without Sunscreen

We don’t care if it’s pouring it down outside. If there’s a blizzard, even. You need to wear SPF every single day.

Did you know that 80% of sunlight passes through clouds? We did. Which means even during the coldest months, the rainiest days and the heaviest storms, your skin needs to be protected.

It’s important to wear the highest SPF for your skin type, to protect yourself from UVA, UVB and various other damaging light sources from the sun. Without protection, you’re at risk of skin cancer, premature ageing, hyperpigmentation, dark spots, age spots, sun spots and more…

 

Smoking & Drinking

Two perfectly normal, perfectly common activities. Yet they’re really not good for our skin at all. Smoking and drinking speed up the natural ageing process in two different ways.

Drinking dehydrates our skin.

Yes, this is fairly temporary (although we’ve all had those hangovers that just won’t go away). But over time, it can cause more serious damage.

Repeated dehydration from drinking alcohol can lead to a loss of collagen and elastin in our skin. Since these are two of the most important ingredients to keeping us looking youthful and healthy, this is worth some consideration! Without these two, the skin develops wrinkles, grows dull and loses volume (goodbye plumped up skin!).

Smoking is equally bad for us.

By thinning blood vessels and limiting our oxygen and nutrient supply, smoking tobacco seriously reduces the supplies our skin receives. Without oxygen and nutrients, there’s no chance of healthy-looking skin.

 

Eating Processed Foods

Most of us are guilty of the occasional indulgence in processed foods. But excessive amounts of sugar, products containing additives and preservatives, and foods with high levels of oil and salt can be detrimental to our skin.

Over time, these ingredients cause our collagen levels to slowly degrade. This not only leads to acne, oily skin, and the associated breakouts, but does nothing for our youthful glow, either.

Replacing processed foods with natural ingredients isn’t all that hard when it comes down to it. Try making some of your favourite foods at home from scratch. It might seem like a lot of work to begin with, but you’ll soon learn to love the process. And trust us, your skin will thank you.

 

artistic representation of stress, person surrounded by stress words and triggers, hand on head, palm out, eyes closed

Stressing Out

Okay, stress isn’t exactly something we indulge in. It’s not even something we can avoid altogether. But it is something we can manage, so that we keep our daily stress levels in check.

Working out, getting plenty of sleep and meditating each day can work wonders to reduce our stress levels. But letting stress get out of hand can cause a whole host of issues that aren’t restricted to skin alone. In fact, hair loss and brittle nails have also been linked to stress.

In terms of skin, stress can make our under-eye circles suddenly more prominent (which combined with less sleep, is not a good mix). It can cause our skin to flare up and worsen pre-existing skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. And it can increase our blood pressure (not good) and lead to imbalances in our hormones.

All of which royally mess up our skin.

 

Skipping Exfoliating

Over-exfoliating isn’t the answer to great skin, but skipping it altogether is probably worse. Most of us should exfoliate at least once a week to remove the build-up of dead skin cells, dirt and grime that accumulates on our skin.

A proper exfoliation routine can help unclog our pores. And without that routine, you’ll find all kinds of skin problems can arise.

Blackheads and pimples might be the first thing you think of, but you can actually develop fine lines and wrinkles from not exfoliating, too. This is because the skin has no real opportunity to renew itself without us first removing the dead skin cells on the surface.

Forgetting to exfoliate can also lead to acne, thanks to the bacteria that gets left on our faces. A good scrub or chemical exfoliator is all that’s needed for our skin to understand it’s time to replenish itself, and our skin to get its glow back.

We understand it can be hard to keep track of exfoliating when it’s not a daily thing. Try to stick to the same day every week, and set a reminder if you’re prone to forgetting.

 

How Did You Do?

So how guilty are you of these skincare sins? Only the occasional slip-up, or a regular sinner?

The chances are, there’s room for improvement. But knowing what’s good and bad for our skin is a great starting point (even if you already knew some of these sins!).

Take a long hard look at your habits and see what changes you can make. Every little helps.

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