8 Skincare Habits That Can Ruin Your Skin

Clear and healthy skin can be achieved easily by paying attention to a few very simple things.

By Simone Sydel5 min read
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First, you need to make sure you’re using the right products for your skin type and skin concerns. Next, you need to avoid doing something that could damage your skin in the long run.

Prevention is crucial because some types of skin damage can be reversed by using a few targeted products, while other types of damage could very well require some more intense treatments that usually come with a high price tag.

Therefore, to save your skin and your money from having to do expensive procedures, avoid getting into the following eight skincare habits that can ruin your skin:

Sleeping in Your Makeup

The number one skincare advice all dermatologists and estheticians can agree on is that sleeping in your makeup is incredibly bad for the skin.

Regularly sleeping in your makeup can affect your skin in different ways, depending on your skin type. If you have oily or combination skin and sleep with your foundation on your face, you’re dangerously close to having to deal with blackheads, whiteheads, and other forms of acne caused by waxes and oils in foundations. If, on the other hand, your skin is on the dry side, sleeping in your makeup may dehydrate it even more. When your skin is dehydrated, your pores often look larger, and the foundation can separate and settle into any existing lines, making them even more pronounced.

Sleeping in your makeup makes oily skin more prone to acne breakouts.

And lastly, let's not forget the potential danger of eye infections, which could happen if you are wearing your mascara for a long time and just adding on to it the next day instead of thoroughly removing it first.

So, to avoid all this, you should just spend an extra 5-10 minutes and properly remove your makeup after a long day of wearing it.

A great tip to ensure you always remove your makeup before going to bed is to do it right when you get back home and not wait until later when you will probably be too tired to do it.

Using Makeup Wipes To "Cleanse Your Skin"

Makeup wipes are affordable and an excusable option if you don't have anything else at the moment. However, makeup wipes don't leave your skin thoroughly clean. In fact, these don't even thoroughly remove your makeup, and they tend to just drag it around and leave traces of foundation or eye makeup smudged and clumped up in other areas of the face.

Makeup wipes are also filled with alcohol and fragrance, which can be severely dehydrating to the skin and can also trigger irritations in people sensitive to fragrance.

Makeup wipes are filled with alcohol and fragrance, which can dehydrate the skin. 

Besides that, have you noticed how harsh you have to pull your skin to remove your waterproof mascara properly? This creates unnecessary friction and inflammation in your skin.

You should, instead, invest in micellar water or a cleansing balm that will remove your makeup without hurting your skin.

Product To Try: Banila Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm. Formulated with active botanicals, hot springs water, and vitamin E, this cleansing balm will gently remove even the most stubborn, waterproof makeup without irritating or damaging your skin. 

Using Harsh Cleansers

Harsh cleansers formulated with drying, stripping, and irritating ingredients, such as alcohol denat, witch hazel, and fragrance, are your skin's nemesis.

You need a gentle cleanser that's not going to make your skin feel stretched, dry, and tight after cleansing. Also, you should avoid cleansers that give you that squeaky clean feel and make your skin look shiny. This isn't a sign that your skin is clean – it's a sign that your cleanser dehydrates your skin.

You need a gentle cleanser that won’t make your skin feel stretched, dry, and tight after cleansing. 

Your skin should feel normal and soft after cleansing, and you should be able to make facial expressions like lifting your eyebrows or moving your mouth without your skin feeling like it's about to tear.

To achieve this, you should opt for gel, cream, or milky cleansers that contain mild surfactants to remove grime, dust, and dirt from your skin after a long day but won't leave it raw and dehydrated. Also, look for cleansers that contain calming and soothing ingredients with antioxidant properties such as Centella Asiatica, green tea extract, panthenol, niacinamide, etc.

Product To Try: Vivant Skincare Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser. This gentle antioxidant gel cleanser will remove the day from your face while leaving your skin soft and nourished.

Rubbing Your Face with a Towel

Not only does rubbing your face with a towel feel bad, but it also instantly irritates your skin by removing the dead skin cells on the surface in a process called manual exfoliation.

Exfoliation is a step that happens regularly in a good skincare routine, and it helps bring out smoother and naturally glowy skin. However, you should opt for products that contain enzymes or hydroxy acids that gently dissolve the bonds between the dead skin cells and encourage them to shed naturally, rather than vigorously removing them with a towel.

Although the dead skin cells on the surface are considered... well... dead, they still have an important function in the skin's health. Dead skin cells are actually matured cells that have been moving through the skin layers over a period of about 30 days, and during that time, they have acquired impeccable moisture-holding capacity.

Leave your skin to dry naturally after cleansing.

They should shed naturally when it's their time to do so because if you remove them manually, you’re uncovering a new layer of skin that, yes, looks glowy and healthy but also consists of young and immature skin cells that don't have the same moisture-holding capacity. This is how dryness, dehydration, and irritation occur because your skin needs moisture to function properly and look healthy.

My best advice as an esthetician is to leave your skin to dry naturally after cleansing. It will do so in no more than 2-3 minutes, and you will be saving it from unnecessary harm in the long run. 

Not Using a Moisturizer

Using a moisturizer after cleansing or after using a water-based serum is incredibly important because it helps seal the moisture into the skin.

Let's say you've just cleansed your face and applied a hyaluronic acid serum. What you want to do to retain all the benefits from that serum is quickly slather some moisturizer on damp skin before all that goodness evaporates. The sole role of a moisturizer is to create a protective seal on the surface of the skin that slows down transepidermal water loss and prevents issues such as dryness, dehydration, irritation, and discomfort.

If your skin is on the oilier side, look for a moisturizer that's lightweight and doesn't contain heavy, pore-clogging ingredients such as oils and waxes. On the other hand, if your skin is on the dry side, you should definitely opt for a heavier moisturizer that contains nourishing ingredients such as lipids and emollients that will help soften the skin and relieve discomfort caused by dryness.

Best Moisturizer for Oily Skin: Krave Beauty Oat So Simple Water Cream

Best Moisturizer for Dry Skin: La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra-Moisturizing Cream

Not Being Diligent with Your Sunscreen

Not applying sunscreen doesn't only increase your chances of getting skin cancer, but it also accelerates skin aging and prevents issues such as acne or hyperpigmentation from going away. 

That's right. No matter how long we've lived under the sun, science clearly shows that the UV rays damage the skin in more ways than we could imagine. 

First of all, UV rays can penetrate the skin and harm the fibroblasts, which are the collagen-producing cells. This results in loss of elasticity and prematurely saggy skin.

UV rays can penetrate the skin and harm the fibroblasts, which are the collagen-producing cells. 

Next, we have pigmentary issues which the UV rays are also responsible for exacerbating. If you’re dealing with hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone, exposing yourself to the sun without a thick layer of SPF on the affected area isn't doing you any favors.

And lastly, we have inflammatory conditions such as acne that often require medication or strong prescription creams to be treated. Both of these happen to affect the skin's ability to deal with the sun, and while you’re trying to fight one issue, you’re creating another two by simply not using sunscreen. Not using sunscreen while treating your acne with targeted products could increase the chances of burning and hyperpigmentation that will remain long after acne is gone.

Picking and Scratching

Nobody can resist that juicy pimple that looks like it's just a squeeze away from being gone forever. However, by picking, squeezing, and scratching your skin with your nails, you’re not only increasing your chances of having a full-blown infection on that spot but also permanent scarring.

Keeping your hands away from your face is really your best bet if you want that pimple to go away like it never happened. Another great thing you can do to make it disappear overnight is to apply a dab of salicylic acid toner or serum directly on the pimple as a spot treatment.

Product To Try: Paula's Choice CLEAR Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution

Holding Your Phone up to Your Face

Our phones are dirty. Very dirty! The screens on our mobile devices are an absolute magnet for dirt and bacteria from our pockets, handbags, and even our desks. Now, imagine placing that dirty screen on your face and transferring all that dirt onto another bacteria magnet which is your skin.

The bacteria on your phone can cause breakouts on the lower cheeks and chin area. 

Holding your phone up to your face certainly doesn't sound like something you should do, especially if you don't want to be dealing with breakouts on the lower cheeks and chin area where our phone usually touches our face while we’re on a call.

To avoid this, you could either switch to taking your calls on Bluetooth or putting them on speaker, but the best thing to do is to wipe your phone with a little bit of isopropyl alcohol on a cotton round once every few days. 

Closing Thoughts

Preventing skin damage will certainly pay off in the long run, which is why you should avoid these harmful habits. Your skin will definitely thrive without these things and will look healthy, plump, and smooth for much longer than you would imagine.

Which one of these habits are you getting rid of today?

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