We all want soft, supple, bright and younger-looking skin, don’t we? But sometimes it’s our bad habits that mess up with our skin and prevent it from looking its best. Here are 5 things to avoid to achieve the beautiful complexion we crave for.
1. Exfoliating too much
You know how the old saying goes: “too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.” That’s true for exfoliation too. Exfoliation is an essential step in any skincare routine because it removes the dead cells on the surface of the skin. This prevents them from clogging up the pores and cause breakouts, and restores a brighter and youthful appearance to your complexion. But if you exfoliate too often, you will remove too many layers, which will only damage the skin’s protective barrier, causing dryness, flaking, irritation and even inflammation.
2. Using body products for the face
While I have no problems in using a face moisturizer on my body, I wouldn’t recommend doing the opposite. Body products are designed for the thicker body skin and so usually contain a higher concentration of emollients, emulsifiers, fragrance and other ingredients that could cause havoc on your face and, even worsen skin conditions such as acne or rosacea.
3. Not using a product with retinoids
After sunscreen, creams and lotions with retinoids are the most effective anti-aging products. Retinoids, such as Retinol, Retinyl Palmitate, Tretinoin and Retinaldehyde to name a few, are all forms of Vitamin A that have been proven to slowly reduce wrinkles and prevent new ones from forming, as well as helping treat acne and hyperpigmentation. Your early 20s is a good time to start using a retinoid cream at night. I’d avoid using retinoids during the day though as they can make skin more sensitive to the sun.
4. Getting too much unprotected sun exposure
While getting 30 minutes of unprotected sun exposure once a week may be useful to get the Vitamin D fix our bodies need, if you don’t wear sunscreen regularly you will just damage your skin (and increase your chances of getting skin cancer). Your skin may look fine now, but years of unprotected sun exposure will soon catch up with you, causing fine lines and wrinkles to form prematurely, and brown spots to appear. And avoid tanning beds too. They, too, cause cancer and can make you age faster.
5. Touching your face
It is impossible to keep our hands entirely germ-free all day, so keep them away from your face. Easier said than done, I know, but when you touch your face you may transfer some of these germs on it, which will increase the risk of breakouts and irritations. Oh, and don’t pop pimples or blackheads either as that can result in infections and scarring.
Are you making these skincare mistakes? And do you know of anything else we should avoid for our skin’s sake?