Ask Dr. Parks, Skin Care

9 Everyday Habits That Damage Your Skin

Obagi Facial Moisturizer, Glytone Exfoliating Serum, HydroPeptide Makeup Melt

Routines; we all have them in some shape or form. They may change up frequently, but the habits you develop during your routines tend to stay with you unless you actively make a change. Whatever your routine looks like, you may not realize that many of your daily habits might actually be harming your skin. Taking proper care of your skin requires diligence and consistency, and many things that we do during the day might actually be hurting our beloved skincare routine without us knowing. Let’s look at 9 habits you may have that might actually be hurting your skin.

Washing Your Face Too Much

It may sound counterintuitive, but washing your face too much actually can harm and irritate your skin. No matter what skin type you have, you should be washing your face at least once a day at night to wash off the oil, makeup, dirt and dead skin that accumulates on your face throughout the day. Washing your face in the morning depends on your skin type; if your skin is dry or flaky, you might decide to skip a heavier cleanser in the morning if it works for you. Either way, washing your face too much can strip your skin of necessary oils, and leave it feeling dry, tight and irritated. If you’re looking for a gentle daily cleanser, Avene’s Extremely Gentle Cleanser Lotion is formulated with Parcerine 1% to calm irritation and restore the skin’s barrier, leaving the skin deeply cleansed without over-drying.

Not Using Sunscreen

One of the most important steps of your daily routine should include an SPF before you leave the house. If you’re in a hurry and skip this step, you leave your skin exposed to harmful UV rays and free radicals that can cause dark spots and increased signs of aging. After your morning skincare routine, be sure to apply some sunscreen, like Elta MD’s UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40. Not only does this sunscreen protect your skin from the sun, it contains hyaluronic acid to keep it hydrated and smooth.

Going to Bed with Makeup On

No matter what you do- don’t do it! It may be so easy to just crawl into bed when you come home late and you’re tired, but at the very least, you should remove your makeup and wash your face. When you leave a full face of makeup on as you sleep, you risk your pores becoming clogged and this leading to acne. It can also cause your skin to look dull and tired. When you sleep, your skin is healing and working to restore itself, and when you don’t give it a chance to breathe, it can even cause wrinkles and fine lines. For a quick makeup remover that won’t dry out the skin, try HydroPeptide’s Makeup Melt. This cleansing balm helps to remove all makeup and deep clean the skin without leaving it irritated- perfect for when you’re just too exhausted to do your full routine but want to get your makeup off before bed!

Not Cleaning Your Cell Phone

Your cell phone goes with you everywhere- the grocery store, the mall and maybe even the bathroom. Due to this fact, it has more bacteria than you’d think, and carrying it around and even placing it on your cheek to answer a call transfers bacteria from your phone to your face. This can lead to acne and breakouts, especially on that side of your face. You should be wiping down your phone every day with an antibacterial solution to rid it of bacteria and germs.

Not Getting Enough Sleep

Sometimes your schedule may be so busy that you feel like you don’t have enough time in the day. If you’re juggling work, family, friends or other things, you might be skimping on your much-needed sleep to fit all your to-dos into the day. When you deprive your body of sleep, it not only affects your mind and energy, it can affect your skin as well. Your skin renews itself when you sleep, and when you don’t give it the time to heal, it can look dull, tired and textured. It can also lead to dehydrated skin, leaving it looking less youthful and glowy. Try to get 8 hours of sleep each night, and if you’re feeling restless at night and can’t sleep, SLIP’s Sleep Mist with Chamomile and Lavender helps to promote relaxation and sleep. That, combined with one of their silk pillowcases, and you’ll be in sleep heaven!

Over Exfoliating Your Skin

Sometimes, it may feel like the only thing to do when you’re frustrated with your skin is to scrub off the dead skin, but exfoliating too much can actually do more harm than good. When you overuse a physical exfoliant, you’re stripping the skin of needed moisture and exposing premature skin to the environment. This can lead to redness, irritation and even flakiness of the skin. Depending on your skin type, you should exfoliate 1 to 2 times a week maximum. For a gentle physical exfoliator, try Vita Liberata’s Super Fine Skin Polish, with sweet almond and walnut to keep skin smooth and conditioned. If you prefer a chemical exfoliant, Glytone’s Exfoliating Serum 11 uses 11% Glycolic Acid to retexture and renew the skin.

Not Washing Your Sheets

Laundry day. It’s not always fun, but its necessary. You may not realize that your sheets become full of dead skin, dust and dirt as you sleep, especially on your pillowcase. When you don’t wash your sheets, you expose your skin to dirt and bacteria that can lead to breakouts on your face and body. Be sure to wash your sheets once a week to keep them fresh and clean.

Showering with Super-Hot Water

Nothing feels better than a hot shower after a long day. However, taking a long shower with extra-hot water can be drying for your skin. Leaving your skin exposed to super-hot water for an extended period of time can disrupt the cells on the outer layer of the skin, leaving them dehydrated and irritated. Your best bet is to shower in warm water rather than hot, and always follow up with a moisturizer after showering, like Obagi’s Facial Moisturizer with shea butter, mango butter and avocado.

Drinking Too Much Alcohol and Not Enough Water

We’ve all been there- too many glasses of wine and not enough water. One night won’t cause permanent damage, but leaving your body without necessary hydration from water can have an effect on your skin, leaving it dehydrated and tired. Whether or not you enjoy some wine or skip the drinks, you should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day, and more if you’re consuming excess alcohol to keep your skin healthy and glowy.

No matter what your routines are, the most important thing is to take care of yourself by eating well, drinking a lot of water, getting enough sleep and of course, taking care of your skin! If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out.

About Dr. Alan J. Parks

Dr. Alan Parks is a board certified dermatologist. Dr. Parks founded his practice, Eastside Dermatology, in 1986 and has been practicing there ever since. In 2016 Dr. Parks launched DermWarehouse, an eCommerce website selling professional strength skin care products to customers across the United States.

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