SHESPEAKS Your Power to Influence

Six Bad Habits That Could Be Roughing Up Your Skin

Six Bad Habits That Could Be Roughing Up Your Skin

You’ve seen the error of your ways when it comes to sleeping in makeup. You’ve quit smoking, you’ve stopped tanning, you drink plenty of water, and you even make homemade avocado masks. You cleanse, tone, and exfoliate every day?but not too much, and only with the right products. 

We do everything we can to keep the skin on our faces and bodies looking soft, supple, and young, but even if you think you’re doing everything right, there are some common habits that undermine even the most valiant skincare efforts. Before you spend more money on fancy facials, and before you rush out and buy another expensive eye cream or anti-aging potion, check to make sure you’re not committing one of these six skincare sins. 

Taking Hot Showers
Pleasurable though they may be, long and steamy showers are terrible for your skin. The hot water washes away skin’s protective oils, leaving it
dry, tight, and itchy. Using a harsh, soap-based cleanser in a hot shower is double trouble: the two conspire to liquefy and wash away the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of skin cells and sebum. To take it easier on your body’s largest organ, switch to a lukewarm shower. The lower temperature helps keep the stratum corneum from rinsing away, as well as ensuring that you won’t linger in the shower long enough to do any other damage. 

Skimping on Sunscreen
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has been chiding us for years to
wear a 30 SPF sunscreen every single day. Of course, we all know to wear it on our faces, and definitely on our bodies while at the beach (right?), but sunscreen should really be worn everywhere, every day. That means you can’t skip it on cloudy days or overlook places like the tops of the ears, the scalp, the hands, the neck and chest, the lips, and the tops of the feet. According to the AAD, most melanomas and malignant skin lesions develop on areas of the body that are more exposed to the sun, including the head and neck, so don’t forget to cover every single inch. Also, if you’re using only a couple of squirts of sunscreen to cover your whole body, you’re not using nearly enough. 

Not Handling with Care
"Using a harsh, soap-based cleanser in a hot shower is double trouble"
Many of us rub too vigorously when drying off with a towel. The constant friction and abrasion on our body can strip away essential oils, leading to irritation and dryness; on the face, the constant tugging and pulling can lead to sagging. When drying skin, use a towel to blot or pat dry instead of rubbing. On the face, be sure not to tug on the skin, especially on the delicate areas underneath the eyes. Gently pat wet skin dry, and use the same delicate motion for applying eye cream. Pulling too hard for too many years could cause damage to the connective tissue underneath the skin’s surface. 

Using Dirty Implements
Makeup brushes and sponges, tweezers, razors, and other personal-care gadgets spend most of their time in a humid bathroom?a bacterial bonanza where they become magnets for dust, dirt, and oil. At best, they don’t perform well when they’re dirty; at worst, they can spread germs and distribute dirt that could clog pores and cause breakouts. Make sure to wash cosmetic brushes regularly with soap and water, replace razor blades, loofahs, and pumice stones regularly, and clean everything else with rubbing alcohol to kill germs. 

Too Much Touching
After you’ve been at the grocery store or the gas station or on public transportation, you’d never be willing to stick your fingers in your mouth, right? Yet few people give the same consideration to touching their face when their hands are dirty. Transferring dirt to the face is
a surefire way to cause breakouts and clog pores, so try to avoid touching your face more than necessary, especially when your hands are less than clean.

When you’re washing your hands, don’t forget your phone?cell phones can accumulate grime and bacteria that can easily transfer to the face. A recent study in the Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials reported that 95 percent of mobile phones were contaminated with at least one type of bacteria. Some even carried MRSA, a type of staph germ that can be hard to treat. Keep your phone clean by gently wiping it down with rubbing alcohol once a week to remove traces of makeup, sweat, and other contaminants. 

Scratching and Picking
Taking a pass at a momentary itch is one thing, but scratching repeatedly at one spot can literally scrape away the top layers of skin, leaving it dry, irritated, and exposed to infection. Picking at ingrown hairs, pimples, scabs, moles, or other spots can cause bleeding, create an open wound that’s susceptible to bacteria, and leave you with scars. If you experience constant itching, a dermatologist can help diagnose any skin allergies or
eczema , but most chronically itchy skin is caused by other bad habits (like hot showers or product overload) and should decrease with improved care. 

Having healthy skin doesn’t call for spending thousands of dollars on products and making frequent visits to the dermatologist?it simply requires the right care. Be good to your skin, and it’ll return the favor.

Orginally written for DivineCaroline.com by Allison Ford.


Make a Comment

Comment  *
 
 
  • MadHatter By MadHatter
    04.29.10  

    i am going to admit i am guilty for some of the things up on the list such as taking nice long hot showers to ease the muscle strain as well as scratching at a particular spot because my skin is dry. i clean my make up brushes 2 times a weeks so i can't say that i am lazy and not trying there! LOL

  • dreemz8680 By dreemz8680
    05.03.10  

    I love long hot showers....they are soooo relaxing..

  • deerland By deerland
    05.03.10  

    Scuni steam cleaners are great for killing germs on makeup tools as well as other grooming tools. I use mine often.

  • xwilla By xwilla
    05.04.10  

    Sigh.. .I'm good with all of the above except for the scratching and picking one. Sometimes I don't even notice that I'm picking at my skin until it's too late (and there's some red potch or mark :/). Great point about the hot showers! Most people aren't aware that "the hotter, the better" doesn't always apply when it comes to taking care of our fragile skin. :)

  • octoberinc By octoberinc
    05.05.10  

    I can't give up the hot showers. That is my guilty pleasure - I am grumpy all day if the water isn't hot enough!

  • mistique By mistique
    05.11.10  

    im not going to lie there is know way that i am giving up on the hot showers everything else maybe but definitely not my hot showers lol

  • nasonfamily By nasonfamily
    05.12.10  

    I am definately going to be aware of touchin, rubbing at picking at my skin, but the hot showers I cannot give up.

  • mardel By mardel
    05.17.10  

    I love hot showers and I do pick at my skin. I try to keep my hands busy with a book or the keyboard and that helps me!

  • Adamskds5 By Adamskds5
    05.19.10  

    I love my hot showers too much to give up. Everything else I can do that.

  • supermommy828 By supermommy828
    05.19.10  

    wow i do all of those things. now i can fix these habits and hope for the best for my skin!....oh but those hot showers are gonna suck quitting

More stories like this