Great skincare starts and ends with you. Ensure your skin looks its best by avoiding these ten skin damaging habits.
1. You are over-exfoliating
It’s a common misconception that if you have oily skin, you need to exfoliate daily. Over-exfoliation strips the skin of good oils and weakens the protective epidermal layer known as the Barrier Function. Skin cells regenerate slowly. So, by weakening the Barrier Function repeatedly, your skin becomes susceptible to infection. As a result, your skin produces more oil, causing blemishes.
The remedy: Experts recommend you exfoliate a maximum of 1-2 times a week.
2. You are going to bed without removing makeup
Falling asleep with makeup on prevents your skin from carrying out micro-circulation, the process that helps to revive skin during sleep. As a result, your pores become clogged and bacteria clings to them, which leads to acne outbreaks and / or dry skin.
The remedy: Ensure you have makeup wipes next to your bed – they’ll serve as a constant reminder.
3. You are picking or popping pimples
Popping a pimple spreads the bacterial fluid that the infected pore contained, resulting in additional irritation. It also allows further germs and bacteria to enter the infected pore, which will aggravate the pimple even further. If the fluid gets into other pores, this can lead to further breakouts. Constant popping and picking drives the infection deeper and can damage the skin’s protective epidermal layer, causing permanent scarring.
The remedy: Avoid touching, picking or popping the pimple. However, if you elect to pop it, ensure you wash your face and hands first.
4. You are not getting enough sleep
A lack of sleep does more than cause dark circles under your eyes, it affects your skin. Your skin functions in harmony with your circadian rhythm – your body’s sleep cycle. A good night’s rest helps to renew skin by a process called microcirculation. While you sleep your body increases blood circulation and oxygen flow to the skin. During this phase, your skin receives internal attention, rebuilding skin cells and collagen. So, without enough sleep, your skin loses its healthy glow and becomes susceptible to damage.
The remedy: According to experts, the average adult needs 6-8 hours of sleep per day.
5. You are not drinking enough water
Water is a vital resource for your body and skin. Like most cells, skin cells are made up of water. If your body does not take in enough water, these cells and fibres in your skin suffer and cannot function properly. As a result, your skin will appear tight, dry and flaky. And if your skin is dry, it lacks elasticity, making it more prone to wrinkles.
The remedy: Experts recommend drinking 8 – 12 glasses per day, depending on your lifestyle and bodily needs.
6. You are not eating right
A balanced diet keeps your skin looking healthy. By eating badly, it is likely that you’re passing over foods with vital vitamins and minerals. For instance, fats are used to help form a protective layer on your skin that prevents skin from drying out. Another key part of eating well is vitamin A, which helps to protect skin against ageing and free radicals. Plus, Vitamin C helps to build collagen and protect against skin damage. Ultimately, poor diet causes your skin to dry out more regularly and age more rapidly.
The remedy: Ensure every meal is well-balanced and nutritional. Top dietitians suggest you have at least three types of vegetables of a different colour per meal.