There are many things we do, almost daily, that can be damaging to our skin. To keep your skin in the best condition and reduce breakouts, wrinkles, blackheads and more, here are 8 things that you may be doing every day which are ruining your skin, and how to prevent them from damaging your skin.
- Not using SPF daily.
Using SPF should always be part of your daily skincare regime, even if you’re not planning on being in the sun all day. Sun exposure can lead to the breakdown of important skin proteins such as elastin, collagen and lipids that are crucial to cells, let alone the increased chance of skin cancer. Not wearing a daily SPF is a surefire way to increase sagging skin, wrinkles and skin discolouration.
For daily use, SPF 15 or above will protect you, but look for SPF 30 or higher if you’re working outdoors, hiking, walking or just spending the day outdoors.
- Not cleaning your makeup brushes
This can be one of the easiest mistakes to make as you often forget when you last washed your makeup brushes and if they don’t look dirty you can forget about the bacteria hidden on the brushes. Besides the obvious pore blogging and breakouts using dirty brushes slows down your skin’s cell turnover process, leading to sensitive skin. Dirty brushes can also lead to your makeup looking worse as the application won’t be as smooth as a freshly cleaned brush.
It is recommended to wash foundation and concealer brushes once a week, whilst brushes used around the eyes should be washed twice a month. Lesser used brushes should be cleaned once a month.
- Not removing makeup properly
We all know sleeping in makeup can cause problems for the skin, from clogged pores to wrinkles, many people aren’t removing their makeup properly especially those who rely on wipes to remove their daily look. Although useful in a pinch, they don’t clean well or exfoliate, they often leave residue sitting on the skin which can cause dryness, irritation and sensitivity.
It is always best to use a double cleanse to remove makeup from the skin, the first cleanse will break down makeup and remove dirt whilst the second cleanse will hydrate, exfoliate or target a specific problem on your skin. If all else fails, keep a bottle of micellar water next to bed so you can remove your makeup even when you don’t want to walk to the sink.
- Touching your face
Whether you’re constantly brushing your hair out of your face, you have a nervous habit of picking your skin, or you’re prone to popping spots, the oil transfer from your fingers onto your face as you make contact can transfer oil, germs and dirt onto the delicate skin of your face, causing clogged pores, oily skin and breakouts.
This is a hard habit to break, but there are a few ways to stop this behaviour such as substituting for another habit (finger snapping or folding your hands), keep your hands busy (doodling or a fidget toy), or getting a friend to call you out everytime your hand goes towards your face.
- You’re showering too much
It may come as a surprise but there is a possibility you are showering too much, how often you shower will depend on your lifestyle, activity and skin type but excessive showering can cause you to lose oils that the skin requires to maintain a protective barrier.
You also need to be mindful of your water temperature, if you often use hot water to wash your face you can break down the protective covering (acid mantle) of your skin, using lukewarm water won’t dry out your skin whilst keeping the pH balance in check.
- Your hair products are clogging your pores
If you’re a fan of daily use of hair products you may often notice small bumps across your hairline. These products often contain oil which can clog up pores, this will show as small breakouts or bumps.
The next time you apply a product such as hairspray, use a clean towel to cover your face and protect your skin. Make sure to use a headband when you work out to stop hair products dripping onto your forehead as you begin to sweat.
- You over-exfoliate your face
Excessive exfoliating can strip your skin of essential oils, which can cause breakouts and irritation due to the fact you’re removing the top layer of your skin before it’s able to heal.
You also need to be mindful of the types of exfoliants you’re using. A harsh exfoliator with larger pieces won’t work well on sensitive skin nor should this kind be used too often. You should limit the number of times you exfoliate to once or twice for sensitive skin and three times a week at most.
- You don’t clean your phone screen
- You don’t clean your phone screen
Your phone comes with you everywhere and you constantly touch it, even in the bathroom (although many of us won’t admit it), your phone screen is dirtier than you think it is, especially when the bacteria is touching your face.
Sanitise your phone often with an alcohol solution to prevent bacteria making its way onto your face, causing breakouts, blocked pores, or worse.