We all want healthy, luminous skin and we work hard to get it (not to mention all the money we spend!). Too many women, though, are unknowingly doing a daily disservice for their seemingly well cared for complexions. Here are three bad beauty habits you need to break now:
#1: Going to bed with your makeup on
It’s so tempting at the end of a long day to just fall into bed without washing your face. But sleeping with your makeup on can clog your pores (leading to blackheads, whiteheads and acne), reduce the skin’s natural ability to fight damage caused by free radicals from the environment, and lead to a dull complexion because natural exfoliation of old skin cells is prevented by that layer of makeup.
So try to take those couple of minutes each night to wash the makeup and grime from the day off your skin. If you can’t be bothered with soap and water, at least swipe a cleansing pad over your face and neck before getting into bed.
#2: Popping your pimples
It never fails: you wake up the morning of a big event with a red, angry pimple right in the middle of your face. Fight that urge to squeeze it, though, because you’ll be doing more harm than good to your skin. You may feel like you’re helping the process by squeezing an acne cyst, but the pressure from popping it actually pushes more of that oil and bacteria back into the pore than anything that comes out of it.
Not only may the acne last longer, but popping and picking at pimples increases your risks of scarring and discoloration, which can be much harder (and more expensive) to treat than the acne itself. Your best bet is to see your dermatologist, who may be able to inject the pimple with a small amount of steroid; this decreases inflammation and helps to deflate the bump much faster.
#3: Not wearing sunscreen
You’ve heard this a million times before, but skipping the sunscreen will always be on a dermatologist’s list of the worst beauty habits anyone can have. In addition to protecting us against skin cancer, sunscreen is the single most effective anti-aging tool for our skin: sun spots, wrinkles, rough texture and dullness can all be minimized if sunscreen is part of your daily routine.
Multitask by picking a morning moisturizer with broad spectrum sun protection (anywhere from SPF 30-50, depending on the season and your activities)- that way you only have to apply one cream before your makeup and you’re out the door.