10 Bad Skincare Habits To Break NOW
We're all guilty. We have all popped a pimple when we know we should just leave it alone, or left the house without sunscreen. But we're all adults now. And it's time we start adulting when it comes to our skincare. It's a new day! Or at least ,it's Monday. Which makes it the perfect time to break our bad skincare habits!
1. Sleeping With Your Makeup On or Not Washing Your Face Before Bed
This one I am proud to say I have never done. But this is mostly because as soon as I get home one of the first things I do (besides removing my bra and weave) is take off my makeup. I have found doing my nighttime skincare routine as soon as I get home cuts down on my being lazy about it. I love makeup. But I hate the feeling of it on my face once I'm in the house for the night. I simply can't be comfortable walking around my house with a full face of makeup on. And even if you don't wear a full face sleeping with even just mascara on can have a negative impact on your skin (think fine lines and dark circles around your eyes...). Even if you don't wear makeup think about this: Think about all of the pollutants in the air that land on our skin as we go about our daily lives. Now think about laying your face down (with all those same pollutants still on it) on your pillow every night not having washed your face before doing so. Gross, right? So just remember that next time you feel lazy about washing your face before bed!
2. Pick your blemishes
Like I said above, we have all been guilty of this. This one is a tough one for me because I'm a picker. I have to make the conscious decision to not pick at my face. Which is hard. I know there are a lot of tips or hacks out there telling you how to "safely pop a pimple", but honestly? That shit doesn't work. I have yet to pop a pimple and have it not leave a scar or turn into an even bigger, angrier blemish. My less invasive tip for getting rid of a pimple quickly? Wash the blemish with a cleanser containing salycylic acid (just the blemish - not your whole face to avoid drying your skin out). I then apply my 2% salycylic acid treatment to the pimple. This will usually reduce the size of it overnight. Keep doing this over two days and the pimple should dry out quickly.
3. Not wearing sunscreen
I have only recently started wearing sunscreen everyday. Like a lot of women, I was under the misconception that if my makeup has SPF in it I was protected. Nothing could be further from the truth. The ugly truth that the makeup industry fails to tell you is that the amount of product you use on a daily basis (say, your foundation or primer) is not enough to give you protection. You would have to use three times the amount of foundation you normally apply to see any sun protection benefits. For visual reference: You would need a shot glass full of foundation. Who the hell is applying a shot glass full of foundation to their face everyday?? I want to meet this person. So in other words you MUST wear a sunscreen under your makeup. Period end of story. And this is especially true if you are using retinols or retinoids on your skin which makes your skin more sensitive and vulnerable to sun damage. Before doing my makeup, I apply my sunscreen all over my face and neck, then apply my primer where needed (usually my T-zone and around my chin and mouth) before applying my foundation.
4. Following Instagram Skincare Hacks
You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones showing you how to make your own face mask using baking soda and lemon and sugar! Or the one telling you to apply toothpaste or hydrogen peroxide to blemishes. Yeah...don't do that. I am all for natural skincare and finding ways to take care of our skin that is less toxic. But - do your research before following a skincare hack. The people doing them are not experts in skincare or dermatologists. They are usually bloggers and Instagrammers looking for views and likes. Just because something is natural doesn't mean it is safe to use in the capacity you see it being used in a 30-second video. Do your research before following a skincare hack. Ingredients like baking soda are way too harsh for the skin and citrus can wreak havoc on skin that is sensitive to it.
5. Not Washing Your Pillowcases often Enough
Bed linens are supposed to be washed every week. But did you know that pillowcases should be washed every two days? Pillows and pillowcases hold a plethora of bacteria. Sleeping on dirty pillowcases can lead to breakouts and even eye infections. This is because of the bacteria that lives on our faces naturally building up on our pillowcases. If you want to read more about that I highly suggest you Google it - and then gird your loins because it's a horror show of information. And when the pillowcases go unwashed for long period of time that bacteria can multiply...and keep multiplying. Have I grossed you out enough yet? Good.
6. Using Peel Off Masks, Pore Strips
I have a confession. I love pore strips. I love the satisfaction of pulling out sebaceous filaments and blackheads. What I don't like about them? The fact that they can literally rip your skin and cause broken capillaries along the nose. And they don't actually get rid of anything. Because a week - sometimes even a few days later- said blackheads and filaments are back like they never even left. Honestly it's an exercise in futility.
And peel off masks are even worse. Pulling off the surface layer of your skin is not a good thing. And that's literally what these masks do. Peel off masks offer no real skincare benefits. None. We have come under this impression that the painful feeling off removing a peel-off mask is good thing. It's the exact opposite. You are essentially damaging your skin every time you use one of these. So put the peel off masks down and I will put the pore strips down.
7. Using harsh scrubs
This is the same as using a peel off mask - except worse. Yup. Worse. How? Because rough physical scrubs can leave microscopic tears in the skin. You are literally ripping your skin when you use these. And this can leave your skin open to bacteria which can lead to guess what? More breakouts! If you want to keep your skin exfoliated switch to a chemical exfoliant like AHA and BHA which is gentler on the skin and can be used daily.
8. Touching Your Face
I am a face toucher by nature. I like rest my chin on my hands all the time while, working, reading, etc. This was a really hard habit for me to break and I still slip up sometimes. But the effects of not doing it were almost immediate. If you get breakouts around you mouth, chin and jawline take a look at your habits throughout the day in regards to touching your face. You may be surprised. And once you are aware of it make a conscious effort to stop. We touch a thousand different things everyday. All with their own little bacteria cesspool. And then we touch our face. Is it any wonder that our skin freaks out? I recently touched my face while working on a project. I simply wasn't thinking about it as I was too focused on my work. And I now have a giant cystic bump on my jawline to show for it. It's sitting there mocking me and reminding me - to stop touching my face!
9. Not Drinking Enough Water
My house and office are both dry like the Sahara Desert. And my skin suffers for it. But one of the things (besides adding hyaluronic acid to my skincare routine) that makes the biggest difference is making sure I am drinking enough water. Water is a salve for the body. It's a magical elixir. Feeling like you're getting sick? Drink more water. Feeling a little sluggish? Drink more water. Have a headache or migraine? Drink more water. Skin feeling and looking terrible? Drink more water! Seriously. Drink. More. Water. Because the majority of us busy adults don't.
10. Not Moisturizing Enough
I have super oily skin. And of the things I used to avoid was moisturizing. Why would I want to add more moisture to my already oily skin? Well it may sound counter-intuitive but just as dry skin needs moisture oily skin really needs it too. Because often times oily skin is dehydrated skin. The skin is dehydrated and so it over produces sebum (oil) to compensate. The moment I realized this and adjusted my skincare (and water intake- see above) and makeup routine accordingly it's been a game changer for me. My skin is still oily. But it produces nowhere near the amount of oil it used to. Check out my skincare routine post to find out what products I use to hydrate my skin.
Bonus Bad Habit
Not Washing Your Makeup Brushes
I wanted to include this one though I know it doesn't apply to everyone, so I decided to add it as a bonus bad habit to break. Washing your makeup brushes is a necessary evil. It's annoying and time-consuming. And simply needs to be done. We talked above about the bacteria that can grow on our pillowcases. That same bacteria (along with other stuff) can live on our brushes. The brushes we swirl around in our makeup and put on our faces. Everyday. I wash mine every week. And in between washes I use a brush cleaner every day that disinfectants them. Not only will this help with the longevity of your makeup brushes but it will also help with preventing breakouts.