Everyone has bad habits.
They know what they are and that they’re potentially harmful, such as smoking cigarettes and over-indulging in alcohol.
Come to think of it, over-indulging in anything is considered a bad habit.
However, I was not aware that some of these small, daily (and lesser-known) bad habits could damage your skin!
I didn’t even know some of them were bad habits, TBH.
For instance, I rarely wash my face before crawling into bed, and although I know that’s not ideal for your skin (duh), I had no idea it could actually be damaging it!
Will I wash my face every night from now on? Hmmm, probably not, but I will make a concerted effort to at least THINK about washing my face before I hit the hay.
Unfortunately, we are constantly harming our skin without even realizing it.
So what should you avoid doing to ensure your skin stays healthy?
I love loofahs — the harder I scrub, the better I feel.
But I have to cut back on the exfoliation, because even though you’re getting rid of grime, you’re also scrubbing away your skin’s good bacteria.
“We now understand that to maintain skin health, we must protect our skin’s healthy rain forest of powerful bugs that comprise the skin’s microbiome,” says dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD, author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin.
“Research has shown that our good bugs can prevent infection, control inflammation, aid in wound healing, and keep skin looking younger.”
This habit is going to be hard for me to break, but keep your loofah-ing to a minimum of twice a week — use your hands instead.
Taking Too-Hot Showers
Brace yourself — this one is going to hurt if you’re a fan of hot showers.
And I’m a big fan, so ouch.
“Hot showers strip your skin of its natural oils, drying it out, while also potentially causing a breeding ground for unfriendly skin bugs to proliferate,” Dr. Bowe says.
“I encourage my patients to take a warm shower — not too hot — to preserve their skin’s moisture barrier and overall health.”
If I cut out all my other bad skin habits, can I keep my hot showers?
Sleeping With Makeup On
Ok, I knew this one was bad and I am guilty on all counts.
When I’m tired, the last thing I want to do is get my face wet, let alone add cleanser and scrub to get rid of face paint.
Am I lazy or smart? If you’re tired, won’t this perk you up? (I’m lazy).
Don’t be like me — wash your face before you hit the sack.
The American Academy of Dermatology advises washing your face twice a day, and after activities that make you sweat.
Be sure to use gentle cleansers on your face and definitely don’t use a loofah.
Drinking Fat-Free Milk
Apparently there are people who drink milk for fun, but I’m not one of them.
If milk is your thing, steer clear of the fat-free variety — it can damage your skin.
A study from Penn State found an association between consumption of fat-free milk — but not full-fat milk — and greater instances of acne.
“The milk proteins, whey and casein, can impact insulin levels and unleash major systemic inflammation,” Dr. Bowe says.
“Importantly, whey and casein are often added in even greater quantities to skim milk in order to help thicken these fat-free milks.”
She suggests unsweetened non-dairy milks like almond, hemp, flax, or coconut instead.
Drinking Diet Soda
I kicked my Diet Coke habit years ago, but for those of you still on the diet soda train, you may want to slow down or hop off completely.
“Artificial sweeteners are linked to acne, diabetes, and rosacea,” Dr. Bowe says.
“Sweeteners may affect insulin levels, increase inflammation, and change the composition of good bacteria in your gut — and all this can show up on your face.
“High insulin levels are a primary cause of hormonal imbalances and skin disorders, especially acne,” Dr. Bowe says. “Since artificial sweeteners throw your blood sugar balance off, they too are capable of triggering skin issues.”
Not Using Sunscreen
This one is pretty obvious — sunscreen is your friend.
If you aren’t acquainted, welcome this new buddy into your life ASAP — not only does it protect your delicate facial skin, but it also helps prevent skin cancer.
And don’t just use it when you’re at the pool or the beach, use it every day.
“Sun exposure is the number one cause of premature skin aging,” Dr. Bowe says. “I use sunscreen every day, rain or shine, even in winter on my face and neck.”
You can easily make it part of your daily routine and eliminate this bad skin habit by using makeup with added SPF.
I’ll never stop popping any weird thing that appears on my face, but y’all should not follow my lead.
“Popping pimples is particularly bad for your skin because you are pushing inflammatory cells deeper into the dermis, which in turn increases your risk for dark spots and scars,” Dr. Bowe says.
“My best advice? Prevention is key, and using a retinol all over your face is a great way to prevent pimples,” Dr. Bowe says.
Cutting Out Coffee
I’m thrilled about this one, because I drink two Venti espressos every day, so to hear it may be good for my skin is very validating.
As with everything else in life, moderation is key, and there are certain ingredients in coffee that benefit your skin.
“Although we typically think about antioxidants in terms of colorful fruits and veggies, surprisingly, coffee’s flavonoids pack a powerful punch of antioxidants as well,” Dr. Bowe says.
“These antioxidants fight premature aging arising from damaging free radicals, light, and pollution.”
Did you know these were bad skin habits? Will this make you change them? Let us know below!
For More Skincare Tips, You Should Read These Articles: