We all know that a lot of factors go into keeping our skin healthy and fresh. Even if you’re keeping a pretty consistent beauty routine, you might still touch your face, not keep your tech clean, or forget to wash your makeup brushes. In reality, there are a lot of skincare don’ts you’ve probably heard over the years. But what about these lesser known offenses? Take a look at this list and tell me if you’ve committed any of these skin sins:
1. Don’t: skip spot testing. You might be excited to slather on a new serum or moisturizer right after you buy it, but you should always do a spot test beforehand. Maybe your new product has an ingredient that your skin is allergic to – common ones are redness-causing retinol and glycolic acid, and the bleaching agent hydroquinone. You wouldn’t want that reaction appearing on your entire face, right? Instead, apply the product in a discreet area like behind your ear, wait 24 hours, and take notice of any redness, bumps, or irritation. If you have reaction, you should probably ditch the new product and look for something milder.
2. Don’t: think your hair product doesn’t affect your skin. Shampoos with detergents, gooey conditioners, hairsprays, and leave-in treatments can all clog pores or cause skin reactions. If you see a shampoo with sodium lauryl sulfate or ammonium lauryl sulfate, these are detergents that create a bubbly lather, but can irritate and dry out skin. Conditioners and treatments with shea butter, jojoba oil, or any silicones or petroleums can clog pores too, if left in contact with your hairline or shoulders for a long time. Try clipping up your hair while you condition, and once a week use a salicylic acid shampoo like Neutrogena T-Sal to help prevent breakouts. There’s also all the hairsprays and leave-ins that get onto your pillow at night, then transfer onto your face. The solution: tie hair up or wrap it with a scarf before you settle down for your beauty rest, and make sure to wash that pillow case often!
3. Don’t: tan right after waxing. Having hair removed from its root makes your skin sensitive already. If you go sunbathing right afterwards, you run the risk of getting sunburned in the waxed areas. Instead, wait at least 24 hours after waxing to tan. Or, stay out of the sun and go for a self-tanner instead, like St. Moritz Instant Self-Tanning Mousse to give you a bronze glow that rivals the real deal.
4. Don’t: neglect your mental health. Stress, anxiety, depression — all can have extreme effects on your skin. Stress releases cortisol, a chemical that can throw off the hormone balance in your body and cause breakouts. And while acne is probably the most common manifestation from a mental health issue, rosacea, psoriasis, or even eczema can be caused from mental imbalances. A simple remedy to calm anxiety and rejuvenate skin is to try deep breathing exercises. For an extra calming effect, try an aroma therapy treatment like this Stress Treatment from Tata Harper.
5. Don’t: drink too much caffeine. Coffee and certain kinds of tea have a diuretic effect, making you head to the bathroom frequently and drying out your body and its biggest organ: your skin! If this is a concern to you, limit caffeine intake to 1-2 cups a day, and make sure to drink plenty of water in between. Another option? Skip the caffeine and try a more natural alternative, like a juice that’s packed with antioxidant berries.
6. Don’t: hoard your products forever. Even if you treat your fave foundation or lipstick like it’s your bff, you have to part ways eventually. Over time, bacteria gets on product and can cause breakouts, or worse, eye infections. So toss that liquid eyeliner, pot of eye shadow, and mascara every 6 months or so – and even more frequently if you touch them with your fingers. Foundations, blushes, and powders can last up to 1-2 years, especially if you remember to wash your brushes and sponges (try this easy DIY cleaning solution). And as long as lipsticks are stored in a cool, dry, place, they’re good for a year.
What other skin care offenses have you committed?