17 Bad Skin Habits to Break

woman model white tank topAccording to Allure Magazine, there are 17 common skin sins that you should leave behind! Although we try our best, we may be guilty of a few of these. Are you?

1. Skipping Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen

As you know, the sun wreaks havoc on the skin, causing wrinkles, saggy skin, and sun spots. The solution is simple – use sunscreen daily (SPF 30 at the minimum!). The best sunscreens offer broad-spectrum formulas known to shield against both UVA and UVB rays and offer longer-lasting protection. We like Neova DNA Damage Control Active SPF 43 and Neova DNA Damage Control silic Sheer 2.0 SPF 40. Apply to your face and body daily and for days when you’ll be outside, reapply every two hours. We know it’s a pain, but you’ll thank us later.

2. Smoking

As if you need another reason. Smoking is not only detrimental to your health, but it causes deep wrinkles and uneven skin tone. A study conducted by Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that each decade of smoking results in a perceived extra 2 1/2 years of age. Okay, now are you ready to quit.

3. Drinking Too Much

After a stressful workday or a night out with the girls, you deserve a drink! A cocktail or two is fine, but drinking in excess causes the skin to suffer. Alcohol increases the level inflammatory agents in the bloodstream which can eventually cause sagging skin.

 4. Picking the Wrong Products

One of the biggest mistakes people make is using the wrong skincare products for their skin type. We can help! We invite you to come in for a free consultation to determine which products are right for you.

5. Ignoring your Neck and Chest

Your neck and chest are just as important as your face when talking about skincare. These areas are almost always exposed yet many of us neglect to give these areas the same care and protection. The neck and chest are extremely delicate and are just as vulnerable to photo-aging. The fix is simple: The next time you apply serum, face cream, sunscreen or give yourself an exfoliating treatment, extend everything down to your décolletage.

6. Overlooking Moles

The National Cancer Institute found that 50% more melanoma cases occurred in women ages 15 to 39 in 2004, than in 1980. That is a huge increase. It is extremely important that everyone get a mole screening with a dermatologist once a year, in addition to doing a self-evaluation. If you notice changes in your moles, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist.

7. Using Dirty Make-Up Brushes

You’re probably asking yourself the same question, “We’re supposed to clean our make-up brushes?” The answer is a simple “yes.” Dirty make-up brushes can create the foundation for clogged pores and bacterial infections. Be sure to clean your make-up brushes every few weeks with a gentle shampoo. We recommend Jane Iredale Truly Pure Shampoo and Conditioner or Jane Iredale Botanical Brush Cleaner – formulated with a microbial solution designed to eliminate bacteria.

8. Constant Phone Chatter

Are you known to be a “Chatty Kathy”? Then listen up! Resting your chin or cheek against a phone for an extended period of time can lead to breakouts. What causes these breakouts? The friction between your skin and the phone causes clogged pores and the transfer of bacteria. Maybe consider a headset?

9. Over-exfoliating

We all love that fresh, clean feeling after we wash our face, but too much exfoliating and harsh cleansing can actually cause more harm than good. In fact, over-exfoliating oftentimes leads to an increase in oil production and the spreading of bacteria can actually worsen breakouts. For a gentle alternative, we recommend using the Clarisonic Plus Sonic Skin Cleansing System For Face and Body:

  • An innovative approach to facial cleansing
  • Utilizes a flexible, dual brush design
  • Washes away six times more dirt and residue than cleansing by hand
  • Deep cleans pores and fine lines
  • Removes all makeup and cellular debris

10. Staying Up Late

Still partying till the sun comes up? Without an adequate amount of sleep, your body can become stressed. This stress can aggravate pre-existing skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis – making them much worse. A good night’s rest (usually 7 to 8 hours) is imperative to the body’s daily repair cycle – allowing for healthy cell turn over and the repair of daily damage. When you stay up late, you disturb this natural cycle which can negatively affect the blood flow to the skin, leaving you with a dull complexion.

11. Not Washing your Face at Night

As you sleep, your body temperature naturally increases which allows the skin to better absorb whatever is on the surface. But when you hit the hay before washing your face, the combination of make-up and daily oil build-up can lead to clogged pores and blemishes. Feed your skin cells at night with the best nutrition possible. We recommend TNS Essential Serum – an “all in one” product to encourage the maximum health potential of your skin.

12. Eating Junk Food

Despite what you may have heard, diet directly affects your complexion. Foods with a high sugar content causes your blood sugar levels to rise, producing insulin and stimulating oil production hormones – leaving you with pimples. Ditch the junk food and see an improvement in your skin within a month or two. Get back to basics! Next time you need a snack, try peanut butter, nuts or avocado—these foods provide healthy fats and nutrients for your hair, skin and nails.

13. Neglecting Your Eyes

The skin around your eyes is the most delicate, yet it usually receives the most abuse. Rubbing your eyes is one of the worst things you can do. Each time, you risk breaking tiny blood vessels under the skin that can cause dark circles and dullness. We recommend these eye products to eliminate dark circles and to help brighten up your eyes:

  • Skinmedica TNS Illuminating Eye Cream – This lightweight eye cream with the patented growth factor blend TNS®, peptides and chrysin helps brighten the skin around the eyes and minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and dark circles.
  • Obagi Elastiderm Eye Complete Complex Serum – Bi-mineral complex promotes elasticity to tighten and smooth out wrinkles and crow’s feet while malonic acid encourages skin cell renewal. Caffeine helps brighten dark under-eye circles and reduces puffiness. Features a rollerball applicator for easy use.
  • Neocutis Lumiere Bio-restorative Eye Cream – This gentle eye cream works to reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness with caffeine, bisabolol and sodium hyaluronate, in combination with the effective complex, PSP. PSP, or Processed Skin Proteins, is a naturally balanced blend of essential nutrients, such as growth factors, antioxidants and matrix proteins, including collagen.

14. Popping Zits

As tempting as it is, don’t do it! Squeezing a pimple actually pushes bacteria deeper into the pore, causing inflammation, infection, and sometimes scarring. Here’s what you should do: Use a spot treatment at night and in the morning – or whenever necessary. Try Obagi Tretinoin Cream .05% for spot treatment (or for overall acne treatment) or iS Clinical Active Serum.

15. Skipping the Gym

I know what you’re thinking, “Who has time to go to the gym?!” Between work, school, kids and life in general, it’s not always easy to make time for yourself. However, it’s time to make the change! Daily stress can lead to acne and other skin problems, but exercising has been proven to decrease tension, which can result in better skin. Along with those mood-lifting endorphins, exercise increases blood flow to the skin, creating a healthy glow. So go ahead and renew that old gym membership or dust off that workout DVD. You’ll see your skin gradually become smoother and healthier, not to mention it’s great for your overall health and well-being.

16. Tanning

The terrifying truth: UVA or UVB light can cause premature aging and increase the likelihood of skin cancer. The good news is, if you follow the right guidelines, this damage caused by the sun is preventable. Whether you’re lying by the pool, relaxing at the beach, or just running errands, make sure to protect yourself by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 every day. If you’re in the sun, make sure to re-apply every 2 hours. And never, ever use tanning beds. Instead, opt for a spray tan or self-tanning lotions. We recommend these great self-tanners to give you a healthy glow all year round:

  • Jane Iredale Tantasia Self Tanner and Bronzer— Hydrates and gives your skin a natural-looking tan without the damaging effects of the sun.

17. Overloading on Products

All too often, people purchase products for their daily skincare regimen without checking to see whether they’re duplicating ingredients or without realizing that some aren’t compatible with their other products. Active ingredients can sometimes cancel one another out, and other times they double-up and cause irritation or skin damage. We recommend that you come in for a free consultation to meet with an aesthetician to determine which products are right for you and when you should use them.

Complimentary Consultations

We know this is a lot of information to digest and with so many different skincare products out there, we don’t blame you for being confused. We’re here to help! Your personalized skincare regimen at Belcara Health begins with meeting your Advisor– an experienced medical professional and educator who will help you create a comprehensive plan to meet your beauty needs and to achieve your goals. Call today to schedule a free, one-on-one consultation – 410.296.0414.