8 Lifestyle Habits That Could Be Ruining Your Skin

By Simone Sydel··  8 min read
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8 Lifestyle Habits That Could Be Ruining Your Skin

We’re quick to spend money on expensive products and procedures to fix imperfections, but we oftentimes completely disregard simple lifestyle habits that are quietly ruining our skin.

I always like to point out that preventing skin damage is easier than getting rid of it, but I don't only mean taking good care of your skin through products and procedures. Sometimes, we can prevent much more by simply tweaking our daily routines and changing some lifestyle habits that affect our skin in an undetectable way until one day you notice the damage and wonder how did that even happen.

I'm sure you’re aware of some of the things that are listed below; however, in this article, I will further elaborate on how these eight lifestyle habits could be ruining your skin.

Not Getting Enough Sleep

We all know we should get enough sleep, but many of us don't keep up with it for various reasons. I often stay up late and wake up early to finish everything on my to-do list for the day, but the painful truth is that we can’t function properly when we’re not well-rested.

Blood circulation is reduced after sleep deprivation, resulting in a sallow complexion.

I always notice a severe lack of concentration and a hangover-like feeling when I don't have a good night’s sleep. This is also exacerbated by feeling agitated and being irritated easily, even with the smallest things. Whenever this happens, I also notice the toll my lack of sleep takes on my skin as it makes it look sallow and dry in the morning, with enlarged pores and a yellowish complexion. This happens because the blood supply, which is essential for bringing nutrients to the skin, is reduced after sleep deprivation, resulting in a sallow complexion.

Sleeping in Makeup

This is another thing we all know is a bad idea, but we sometimes it do anyways. Regularly sleeping in your makeup can not only clog your pores and cause you to deal with blackheads and acne, but it can also dry out your skin even further, especially if your skin is already on the dry side.

When your skin is dried out, your pores will look larger, and the foundation can separate and settle into any existing lines, making them even more pronounced, which can make you look older.

Therefore, try to at least remove all your makeup with micellar water or a makeup-removing balm and ideally follow it up with a second, thorough cleanse so that your skin is fresh and clean before going to bed.

Drinking Too Much Coffee

This is probably a problem most of us can relate to, and even though we know it’s hurting us, we can hardly imagine starting the day without a caffeine kick.

But as an avid coffee drinker, I now cringe when I remember how I used to drink five to six strong coffees a day. This was before I learned about how coffee really works and why it's so bad for you. Our body’s stress reaction is what then gives us a false sense of “energy.” Adrenaline is also a hormone that can stimulate our oil glands to increase oil production, potentially leading to clogged pores and acne breakouts.

Instead, you should try swapping coffee with a healthier alternative such as green tea that has a high content of polyphenols, which are compounds known for their superb anti-inflammatory benefits.

Swap coffee for green tea, which has superb anti-inflammatory benefits.

I'm not going to lie to you; it will definitely take some time getting used to the change, but you will eventually get there if you truly want to, and you will probably thank me later.

Eating Inflammatory Foods

Inflammation can be good or bad, depending on the situation. On one hand, it’s your body’s natural way of protecting itself when you’re injured or sick. On the other hand, chronic, sustained inflammation is linked to an increased risk of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Interestingly, the foods you eat can significantly affect the level of inflammation in your body. Food that contains high contents of sugar, dairy, artificial trans fats, vegetable and seed oils, as well as extremely spicy foods, could cause inflammation in the body and even affect your skin through hormones.

Too Much Stress

Stress could be the root cause of many health concerns such as high blood pressure, migraines, and various heart diseases, and the skin isn't immune to it either.

Stress and acne have long been suspected to go hand in hand as increased acne severity is closely associated with hormonal imbalances such as the spike of cortisol and adrenal androgens. As we already mentioned above, these hormones directly stimulate our oil-producing glands into increased oil production mode, which leads to clogging of the pores, inflammation, pimples, and full-blown acne breakouts.

But besides hormones and the increase of natural oils, the skin also loses some of its ability to protect itself because its barrier becomes compromised and weakened by stress. For adults, this can lead to further complications, such as long-term inflammation that leads to premature signs of skin aging. Stress has a mean reputation for damaging the proteins that hold collagen and elastin together, causing wrinkles, loss of suppleness, and visible loss of elasticity.

Increased acne is associated with hormonal imbalances such as the spike of cortisol and androgens. 

Moreover, stress can disrupt metabolism, and this may cause loss of sleep, bad digestion, depression, anxiety, irritability, and even aggression. Additionally, stress can actively interfere with your daily skincare routine as we all tend to skip on doing our routines from time to time after a long, exhausting, and stressful day. And lastly, we often make facial expressions such as raising our eyebrows or frowning when we’re under stress, which can lead to premature lines and wrinkles in those areas.

Drinking Too Much Alcohol

Although alcoholic beverages like red wine are known to have some benefits in improving blood circulation and giving you rosy cheeks, consuming alcohol in excess is never a good choice if you aim to have beautiful skin.

First of all, alcohol is a toxin with little nutritional value and can contribute to decreased liver function, reduced immunity, hormone disruption, cell damage, and insulin issues due to the (usually high) sugar content. And what do all these parts have in common? Oh, that's right, your skin's health and appearance pretty much depend on them.

People with liver issues tend to develop rashes on their skin, and their complexion usually becomes yellowish, an instant indicator there’s something wrong there even if they don't notice it through other symptoms, such as bloating.

Hormone disruption can lead to all sorts of damage to the skin, including acne breakouts, while cell damage can definitely lead to a loss of collagen and elastin, as well as pigmentary issues.

Additionally, alcohol is a diuretic which means that it can make you lose plenty of skin cell-loving water from the body quite rapidly, leaving your skin dehydrated, dull, and sallow-looking. 

Consuming alcohol in excess can also lead to permanent skin conditions like rosacea, which can be controlled, but it’s a notoriously difficult condition to deal with, and it requires special care and attention at every given moment.

Furthermore, the sugar levels in alcohol are insane, and as I already mentioned above, excessive amounts of sugar isn’t something acne-prone skin accepts well.


Carbon monoxide released from cigarettes is the main factor that deprives the skin of oxygen and nutrients. While healthy blood supply is recognizable by rosy cheeks and supple complexion, the same can’t be said for long-time smokers whose complexion takes a greyish, sickly appearance. As you also probably already know, smoking can lead to serious health issues, including deadly cancers.

After as little as one week after quitting smoking, you will notice a brighter complexion.

After as little as one week after quitting smoking, you will surely notice a brighter complexion as the body is quick to recover once you stop supplying it with poison. But smoking is not an easy addiction to kick, so make sure to seek help and support when deciding to quit.

Not Getting a Healthy Dose of Sunshine

The sun can be therapeutic for the skin, and it can help with vitamin D synthesis; however, everything in excess can become a problem, so it’s important that you’re using adequate protection when exposed to the UV rays. Otherwise, getting your daily dose of sun is a healthy habit for both mind and body!

Closing Thoughts

Our skin is incredibly efficient in taking care of us and fighting off environmental pathogens and aggressors that could potentially do great damage to our organs.

However, although incredible, our skin isn't immune to the damage we perpetuate, which is why it's a good idea to be gentler towards it and avoid habits that could be ruining our skin.

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