More often than not, having bad skin is a product of our daily habits. A ten-step skincare routine is not always the answer to having clear, healthy skin—most of the time, it’s all about rectifying the things that we do that cause damage to our skin; habits that we’re not always aware of.
That said, here are the most common ways that you may be causing harm to your skin—and what you can do to avoid them:
You’re not visiting a professional when you need to
Going to an aesthetician from a reputable beauty school or dermatology clinic is a great idea if you need cosmetic skin treatments like facials or superficial chemical peels. But if you go to an aesthetician when, in fact, you need medical treatment, you may be causing more harm than good to your skin.
Moderate or severe cases of acne, skin dryness, psoriasis, and other types of skin problems often need medical intervention. For example, if you have severe acne that won’t go away despite over-the-counter treatments, a visit to a dermatologist can help you find out what is exactly causing your acne and what you can do to get rid of it in the safest and most effective manner.
You like popping zits
Popping your zits may feel satisfying and can minimize the appearance of your pimples, but you are harming your skin in the process. Squeezing your pimples can result in more swelling and redness—and may even cause an infection. Worse, popping your pimples can also lead to scabs and leave permanent scars or pits.
If you have a habit of popping your zits, stop immediately. Instead, use pimple patches to reduce the appearance of your pimples if you really have to. Otherwise, let the pimple go away naturally and avoid scratching your face, especially with unwashed hands.
You’re not eating right
Diet plays a big role in the health of your skin. If you have a balanced diet with relatively low to moderate amounts of sugar, saturated fats, and salt, you are less likely to develop or exacerbate acne. Your skin is also more likely to have less oil and look less tired—as opposed to eating an unhealthy diet.
That said, try to limit your intake of refined carbohydrates, sugar, fat, and salt. On the other hand, increase your intake of foods that are best for healthy skin, such as tomatoes, berries, nuts, fatty fish, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, etc.
You’re not using enough sunscreen—or not using any at all
Even if it’s not summer—or if it’s not particularly hot outside—putting on sunscreen should be a daily habit. UV rays can cause premature skin aging as well as signs of sun damage such as wrinkles, liver spots, actinic keratosis, leathery skin, and more. It can also cause worse effects like skin cancer, immune system suppression, and eyelid cancers, among others.
Luckily, it is fairly easy to avoid these harmful effects. Simply put on a liberal amount of at least 15 or 30 SPF sunscreen to all exposed parts of your body before you go out. Also, keep a tube of sunscreen with you so that you can touch up whenever needed, especially if you are going to be out and about between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M. when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
You’re using products that are too harsh
Sometimes, doing the most in your skincare routine is the exact reason why your skin is bad. If you use too much product, use products that are too harsh for your skin type—or both—you might be making yourself more susceptible to all sorts of skin problems
If you are experiencing skin problems despite having a skincare routine, it may be time to rethink the amount and type of products you use. Start by only limiting your products to three or five. If that doesn’t work, you may need to find new products altogether. Talk to your dermatologist if you are unsure of what type of products you need to use, especially if you have moderate to severe skin problems.
These are not the only habits that can cause harm to your skin, but they are, by far, some of the most common. If you are guilty of these bad habits, it’s time to start finding alternatives and better ways to take care of your skin, such as eating healthy, putting on sunscreen, and finding the right products that work best for your skin type.