6 ways you’re damaging your skin without realizing it
Beautiful skin is one of the secrets to looking younger and healthier. But whether it seems like you’re getting more pimples than you want or your skin just has a dull appearance, there could be a reason for it. Everyday things that you’re doing could be damaging your skin, without you even being aware of it. Here are some of the most common culprits that take a toll, damaging your skin.
Washing your face is a great thing, and it can actually make your skin look better when you do it the right way. But it’s possible to get too much of a good thing. Washing your face too often and with harsh products can actually damage your skin. Wash your face no more than at morning and night, and choose a gentle cleanser appropriate for your skin. Even oily or acne-prone skin can suffer when you use strong products that strip away all of your natural oils.
Some people still think that having a tan looks healthy, but by now we know that a real tan is incredibly damaging to the skin. Whether you’re intentionally trying to achieve bronze skin or you just accidentally soak up some color from not wearing sunscreen, the effect on your skin is still aging. Tanning leads to wrinkles, leathery skin texture, brown spots and uneven skin tone—to say nothing of the increased risk of melanoma. If you must have that glow, fake it with a self-tanner.
As if you didn’t already have a list a mile long of reasons not to smoke, what it does to your skin is tragic. Smoking makes your skin look yellowish or gray and increases fine lines and wrinkles around your mouth. You’ll benefit your health in many important ways if you ditch the smoking habit—looking better is just a bonus. Heads up: your smoker friend can even have a bad effect on your skin, even if you’re a non-smoker. You’ll benefit your health and your friend’s if you offer encouragement to quit.
It gets a little annoying that diet is mentioned as a factor in most health issues, doesn’t it? But it’s even true that what you eat affects your skin. Even more disappointing: sugar is among the worst things you can eat. Sweet foods raise your blood sugar, which makes your skin look old. If you want vibrant, beautiful skin, focus on whole foods, like healthy fruits and vegetables.
Picking your skin
It’s almost irresistible to try to pop a pimple or pick at scabs. But that moment of satisfaction you get in popping a zit or picking at your skin actually damages your skin in the long run.
Nothing feels better on sore muscles than a hot shower. But if you take hot showers too often, you’re drying out and damaging your skin and stripping it of its natural oils. Take warm showers—cool is even better—and be sure to use a gentle cleanser instead of harsh soaps. Follow up with a lightweight lotion when you’re done to seal in all that moisture after the shower.