“Beauty is only skin deep”, but that doesn’t mean we should neglect the most prominent aspect about us — our faces. Having amazing skin not only boosts our confidence but it can also reflect our daily regime and practices.
While there are many factors that contribute to spectacular skin, there are also dozens of seemingly innocuous things we do every day that might be ruining our skin.
Are you guilty of committing these 10 skin-sabotaging habits?
Skimping On Makeup Removal
A mistake that many women make is being miserly on their makeup removal products. Not removing your makeup properly can cause dirt to accumulate in your pores, and this causes your skin to swell and hence, makes your pores appear larger.
An essential step in reducing your pore size and obtaining smoother skin is to clean out your pores and prevent them from being clogged up. Oftentimes, it would take more than a couple of wet wipes to completely remove your makeup. Be generous with your water, cream and gel makeup removers — really soak your cotton pads up if you’re wearing heavy makeup!
And don’t forget to clean and cleanse into your hairline and under your jawline, as these are also spots that we cover with our foundation.
Using Harsh Products
The tautness you feel after cleansing your face may be wonderful, but it is actually a sign that your cleanser is a tad too harsh. While it’s good to remove dirt from your face, harsh cleansing products can strip natural oils away from your face and leave your skin dehydrated. And what happens when your skin is dehydrated? It works to produce more oil on your face to compensate for the lack of natural oils. You don’t want your skin barrier to be compromised, so be sure to stick to soap-free products and cleansers labelled with terms like ‘gentle’ and ‘hydrating’.
Picking/Touching Your Face
Leaning your chin or jaw on your palm, touching your cheeks — these are bad habits that most of us unknowingly do. The thing about our hands is that they touch everything and anything. Germs and bacteria are everywhere (even on your keyboard), so we never know what we might be transferring to our faces via our hands. Constantly touching your face can trigger breakouts, so remember to keep your hands to yourself!
Not Cleaning Your Phone
Since we are on the topic of germs, we feel the need to inform you that one of the grimiest objects we own is actually our mobile phones. Think about it; we’re often on our phones typing away or holding them to our faces. Considering that we touch a bunch of different things throughout the day — door handles, lift buttons, cash — the top place inhabiting germs is our tiny technological device. Aim to clean the exterior of your mobile phones with antibacterial wipes daily, and try not to hold your phone directly against your cheeks.
The sun does not discriminate. You’re exposed to it nearly every day when you’re outside, and even when you’re indoors, UV rays still seep through your home and office windows. Daily sun exposure without protection can speed up your skin’s ageing process. Fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and even skin cancer can start to develop.
Besides lathering your body and neck with sunscreen that’s SPF 30 or higher, you can also start to use moisturisers formulated with SPF for your face. Sunscreen is one of the best (and most inexpensive) anti-ageing products you could ever own.
Using Dirty Makeup Tools
Considering that you may be using them almost every day, how often do you wash your makeup brushes and sponges? In actuality, your makeup tools collect plenty of product, oil and dirt, all of which can impact your skin. Get into the habit of rinsing and cleaning your makeup tools at least once a week; more if you’re using heavy makeup daily.
Excessive Washing and Exfoliating
Cleansing your face twice a day is healthy, but any more than that and you’ll risk skin dehydration, which leads to overproduction of oil. And while it’s good practice to use scrubs frequently, over-exfoliating can really irritate your skin and cause inflammation. The better option is to exfoliate once or twice a week with gentle scrubs.
Rubbing Your Eyes
The skin around your eyes is extremely thin and delicate, and tends to reveal signs of wrinkles and fine lines much more easily. Whether you’re pulling on your skin while inserting contact lenses or removing stubborn eye makeup, the elasticity fibres in the eye region are highly susceptible to wear and tear. When applying eye serums or creams, use your ring finger (it exerts the least pressure) to gently pat the area. Always be mindful to avoid tugging at and rubbing your eyes.
Not Showering After Exercise
When we are pressed for time (or just plain exhausted), it can be tempting to skip the showers after a workout. Trapped oil and dirt are major triggers of breakouts, so make sure to hit the showers or at the very least, dab your face with a toner-soaked cotton ball post-workout.
Lack of Quality Sleep
Your cells repair and regenerate during deep sleep, so skimping on your snooze will prevent your skin from getting its well-deserved revitalisation. Dull skin and dark circles come easily to those who lack proper sleep!