One of the most important parts of my daily routine is taking care of my skin. In fact, it’s been a large part of my life since I was a young teen, thanks to my mom, who showed me the importance of proper skincare. Over the years, I’ve learned some things by experimenting and trying various products and services. Some have worked brilliantly and some have been more destructive than good. Overall, awareness and consistency have been at the forefront of me looking many years younger than I am. I recommend paying attention to your particular skin needs and doing what you can to protect it. Additionally, be aware of the following ways you may be sabotaging your skin.
You May Be Sabotaging Your Skin #1: Using too Many Products too Often
You might think the more products you use on your skin the better, but you could actually be doing more harm than good. Trust me, I believe in using stellar skincare products that are designed to work together synergistically. However, consider the condition of your skin and things like sensitivities, conditions, as well as the climate in which you live. All of these factors can greatly affect overall skin receptiveness to products.
An overstuffed skin care regime can damage sensitive skin and expose you to unnecessary chemicals and irritants. Most skin products contain ingredients that are meant to work well in small doses but can also create problems if overused. For example, Perioral Dermatitis can be caused by the use of corticosteroids. Always check the active ingredient list, as well as a full list of ingredients, and do some research about each one. Yeah, it’s a lot of work, but your skin is worth it.
You May Be Sabotaging Your Skin #2: Smoking
Despite the fact that smoking is one of the most dangerous things you can do for your overall health, it also destroys your skin. The toxic chemicals released while smoking reduce circulation to the skin, dehydrate it, and can cause premature aging. It is also known to rob you of vital minerals and vitamins your body needs to repair itself from cellular damage. Fortunately, once you quit, some of the damage can be reversed as your body heals and is restored to normal blood flow and oxygen levels.
Long-time smokers often find it difficult to quit even if they see these types of consequences. This is one of the reasons vaping and other pseudo smoking tools have become popular. Companies like Blazed Vapes have helped people to trade in their cigs for electronic versions that don’t contain the toxins found in regular cigarettes. Many opt to still add nicotine to their e-cigs, but they can also be used with just flavored oils.
You May Be Sabotaging Your Skin #3: Applying Retinol Right After Exfoliating
Gently exfoliating dead skin is a necessary part of skincare, especially as we age. Using retinol products can also be a promising way to renew your skin and promote stronger collagen growth. However, combining the two can adversely affect your skin.
On days you exfoliate, I recommend skipping the retinol all together for at least 12 hours. Wait until the following day if you can for best results. This is one of those “overkill” situations you don’t want to experience. Too much of a good thing can strip skin of vital moisture, oils, and that healthy glow we all seek. Additionally, take it easy when you use any products meant to remove dead skin. Gentleness and moderation on the frequency of use are imperative for success.
You May Be Sabotaging Your Skin #4: Not Using Sunscreen
Our skin is susceptible to sun damage after mere minutes of exposure. Keep in mind, burns and damage can happen even if the sun isn’t out. It’s important to wear protection in the form of a SPF makeup, sunscreen lotion, or both. Check out the labels on your skincare products and cosmetics for active sun protection ingredients. Some do not contain any, so you may need to supplement with an actual sun protection product.
I usually use a BB cream that contains 15 SPF and add an additional lotion that contains 30SPF when I am out in the hot months. I also recommend wearing a hat and sunglasses if you plan to be out for a long period of time in the sun. Sun damage is tough to reverse, and, in some cases, impossible, so the best defense is not to be exposed unprotected in the first place.
You May Be Sabotaging Your Skin #5: Wearing Too Much Makeup
I understand wanting to hide imperfections and blemishes, however, cosmetic overuse can cause the very thing you want to hide. Clogged pores, skin irritation, and allergic reactions to ingredients in makeup can be devastating to skin. Any of these conditions will cause you to spend more time and money to undo what could have been avoided.
Work on improving the condition of your skin with quality products and the advice of a skin care professional such as an esthetician, dermatologist, or cosmetic consultant. Use cosmetics that are hypoallergenic and have ingredients that heal and not harm. I believe you will need less makeup when your skin brightens and clarifies from true health and quality care.