Your skin is one of the first things people notice about you, and while some people seem to have simply been genetically blessed, the rest of us (despite our best efforts) put our skin problems down to bad genetics or age and are deemed un-fixable.
While we know certain habits such as drinking alcohol, smoking and a few too many lounging sessions in the sun are definitely doing our skin no favours, could some of the damage actually be caused by the habits we least suspect and do on the regular?
I’m sure everyone would agree that prevention is better than cure, and although there are a gazillion lotions, potions, treatments and surgeries available to fix our skin hang ups, the actual cause & cure may be easier to find than we think.
1 -NOT READING THE LABELS ON THE PACKAGING
Yes it looks like it’s written in Swahili and is so small you barely notice but the ingredients sometimes used in our products aren’t always as good for us as we’d assume. In fact, they can be very harmful.
The worst to keep an eye out for are Ethanolamines (listed on an ingredients label as MEA, DEA and TEA) these ammonia compounds are used as emulsifiers or foaming agents. The scariest concern about these is if used repeatedly and for a prolonged amount of time they can increase the risk of cancer.
Other harmful ingredients to stay clear of include Parabens, certain sulfates and alcohols. This is mainly to do with their corrosive/harsh properties, causing irritation, dryness and loss of skins naturals oils ultimately leading to premature ageing.
(I’ll do a detailed post about all of these soon.)
2 – LEAVING YOUR MAKEUP ON OVERNIGHT
Wearing makeup (even if you wear a lot of it) DOES NOT give you wrinkles; but leaving it on for bed does. I read something when I was really young stating that every time you leave your makeup on, you age 7 days … I don’t know how accurate that is but I do know it leads to the breakdown of collagen in your skin, making it age faster.
Some people also argue that simply wearing makeup gives you spots … it shouldn’t. If it is then you may want to check the ingredients or change brands as you could possibly be allergic to something in it.
Of course it doesn’t harm to go bare faced and let your pores breathe but if you wash your makeup off before bed PROPERLY you will be fine.
3 – TALKING ON THE PHONE AND TOUCHING YOUR FACE
Here’s a shocker: Do you know that your mobile phone has more bacteria crawling around on it than a toilet seat?
Yeah, grim and it means that speaking on the phone can cause acne or rashes around your jawline/cheeks.
If you’re anything like me you’ll also be no stranger to touching your face, your hair and then your phone, then your hair again and then your face. It’s a vicious germ spreading cycle and you probably don’t even realise you’re doing it.
You wouldn’t touch your face after using the bog now would you? So make sure you’re wiping your phone down on the reg with anti-bac wipes.
4 – NOT WEARING SUNCREAM EVERY DAY – YES, EVEN IN THE WINTER
Well the sunny weather might have disappeared, but the sun itself hasn’t … and neither have it’s harmful rays.
The UV rays are still just as powerful and damaging in the colder calendar months.
It doesn’t mean you have to carry a bottle of Piz Buin round with you every day, sun protection can be incorporated via your daily moisturiser or foundation even.
5 – OVER EXFOLIATING YOUR SKIN
Why is that everywhere you look, you hear different things about what you should be doing to your skin? The answer to that is that it all really depends on your skin type.
When it comes to exfoliating though, generally, you shouldn’t be doing it more than twice a week.
Yes, it’s brilliant for scrubbing away the excess crap that gets stuck in your pores, essentially letting all the goodness from other products sink in to your skin better and preventing break outs.
HOWEVER, if you do it too often you’re constantly stripping away the natural oils your skin needs, which causes breakouts and irritation. You’re not giving your skin time to heal because you’re constantly scrubbing the top layer away.
Your skin is smart, it’s your biggest organ, it can shed dead cells on its own. In the long run, over-exfoliation can thin the skin and also slow down cell renewal (causing wrinkles.)
6 – TAKING HOT LONG SHOWERS
Probably one of the best things in life … but it isn’t the best thing for our skin.
Hot water strips our skin of it’s natural oils which can leave us with itchy, dry and rashy skin. Luke-warm showers are best, but if you do have a hot one try make it last no longer than 10 minutes.
7 – NOT HAVING A WATER SOFTENER
Hard water contains a high level of metal and minerals – meaning it’s harder (mind the pun) to get completely clean and wash off any kind of soap/product. As you can imagine this can lead to acne, dryness, eczema and plays havoc on our anti-aging efforts.
Most of us have hard water (this depends on our post codes and environmental factors) as soft water isn’t a necessity. However water softeners/filters can be added to the water system to create healthier water for drinking and washing.
Other methods of creating healthier water to wash your face (and hair) with include:
- Boiling your water
- Infusing water (with things like rosemary and lavender)
- Using cleansing water (bought from any drug store)
- Filtering your water (get a shower filter system installed)
8 – UNDER OR OVER TREATING YOUR ACNE
So a whole solar system of raging, red, aggressive looking spots decide to take residence upon your face, and you’re tempted to:
A) Wash your face vigorously in bleach or something for days on end
B) Cry, and vow to never put another product on your skin again
Both are just as bad as each other. Acne isn’t caused by being dirty (it’s all down to hormones) so don’t scrub your face (as this will cause irritation), don’t layer on products (this can worsen your spots and leave you with scars) and DO NOT pop them.
But that doesn’t mean ignore them.
Gently wash acne areas with a PH balanced cleanser, thoroughly rinse and DO apply a moisturiser (oil free.)
Ingredients that are good for acne:
Salicylic acid, Benzoyl Peroxide, Clay, Tea Tree Oil, Azelaic acid, Retinoids, Alpha-hydroxy acids
9 – DRINKING COFFEE
Apparently 80% of us drink coffee daily, I definitely do. I have been known to demolish 5 cups of coffee in the morning but turns oit that coffee is just as bad as alcohol for our skin *cries*.
Caffeine dehydrates us, making our livers work over time and causing a build up of toxins. With coffee being a diuretic we lose hydration, and dehyrated skin (as we know) means inflamation and loss of collagen (premature aging.)
Basically it’s a nightmare for skin and even more so for acne prone skin. I’m not saying ‘stop drinking coffee’ but definitely make sure you’re flushing your body out/detoxing with water.
10 – NEGLECTING YOUR LIPS
And finally. Even if you’ve nailed the rest of your skin care regimen, don’t forget about your lips. Dry lips can cause lines to form around the mouth, making you look older. Plus, who finds chapped lips attractive?
Lip sugar scrubs help keep dry lips at bay and lip glosses/sticks/balms that have petrolatum, dimethicone and glycerin are good for lip hydration.
So, now you know!
Go on, tell me, honesty, how many of these things did you do? Who’d have thought it ey?
Happy face loving chikkas!
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