Our skin is fragile and, as the largest organ on the body, deserves our tender, loving care. Skin care is rife with questions: Just how much moisturizer is too much? What causes acne? Which cleansing techniques best minimize pores?—and these are just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re looking for ways to ramp up your skin care routine, keep these tips in mind.
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7 Daily Habits That Might Be Ruining Your Skin
News flash: smoking kills, and causes a host of other health problems. If you’re still sucking on those cancer sticks, it’s high time to stop. If you won’t do it for your lungs, do it for your skin. Smoking can ruin the elasticity of your skin, and lead to advanced aging that sees you with numerous wrinkles long before they’re due. Get the patch or break all of your cigarettes in half—just do whatever you have to in order to quit this nasty habit.
Forgoing Daily SPF
The beach and the pool aren’t the only places sunscreen is necessary—you should wear it every single day. Many makeup brands are now including SPF protection in their ingredients, but it’s important to make sure every bit of exposed skin has a nice slathering of sunscreen. Don’t forget your scalp! Always wear a hat when possible, and keep your ears in mind when you’re spending long hours baking underneath the hot sun.
The Wrong Cosmetics
It’s a vicious cycle: we use makeup to hide blemishes, and that makeup in turn makes our blemishes worse. Be strategic about your makeup purchases. Look for brands labeled as non-comedogenic, as these are designed to avoid pore clogging. If you have oily skin, stick to light, oil-free cosmetics that won’t exacerbate a pre-existing acne issue. Also always be sure to wash off your makeup at the end of the day before going to bed, and remove makeup before heading into the gym.
Using Harsh Acne Treatments
If you struggle with acne, you’ve likely used a variety of acne treatments, and probably found that many of the stronger options (we’re looking at you Accutane) can cause side effects worse than the pimples they’re treating. Use an acne treatment that utilizes gentle, natural ingredients before trying out options that contain harsh chemicals.
Who doesn’t enjoy a luxurious shower or long hot bath? Unfortunately, even though that hot water feels soothing and relaxing on your skin, it can actually be doing your epidermis a major disservice. Hot water strips the skin of its moisture, and can leave you with dry and brittle skin that cracks easily—unsightly, and not to mention, painful. Stick to lukewarm showers, try avoid prolonged exposure (a shower timer can help you save water and your skin), and always use moisturizer after your shower or bath to help replenish the skin’s moisture.
Your Cell Phone
Consider your cell phone. It’s constantly on-hand, goes everywhere with you, and gets set down in the dirtiest of places. Raise your hand if you take your phone with you into the bathroom—no judgement here. Now consider where you’ve placed your phone—on the sink while washing your hands in the restroom, on the common table in the lunchroom at work, and think of the many times you’ve dropped it onto the ground. Cue you, a few hours later, getting a phone call. You’ll lift that dirty screen right up to your cheek. This can cause the spread of dirt and bacteria that can make your skin blemishes worse. Carry around phone-friendly antibacterial wipes and give your smartphone a good wipe down every few hours or before taking a phone call.
During the night, our pillows get a real workout. Our skin and hair produce oils, and dead skin cells slough off right onto the material. Over time, the acne bacteria found on our skin can build up, and this combination of dead skin cells and bacteria can result in worsened breakouts. Always be sure to wash and change your pillowcase every week or every other week. It’s also important to consider the material of your pillowcase, and silk tends to be a popular and effective contender for improving skin and hair issues. Silk is hypoallergenic, and contains actual amino acids that are gentle on the skin. Silk can wick moisture away (great news for those of us that seem to sweat buckets in our sleep), and is better for temperature regulation, meaning you won’t get overheated and produce more sweat that gunks up your pillow. Check out the awesome silk pillowcases from LilySilk.com and do your skin and hair a huge favor.