More likely than not, you’re committing at least one of these cardinal beauty crimes every day but fear not – sin-free skin is just some good behaviour away…
Zits and blemishes can be annoying, yes, but we can’t stress how bad touching, popping and picking at your spots is for your skin. Firstly, you’re spreading bacteria to clean areas of your face via fingers – more spots – and secondly, you could end up with a face full of scars that might not ever disappear. It’s so tempting to burst whiteheads and squeeze blackheads, but don’t do it – it ain’t worth it in the long run.
2. Sun damage
Everyone knows by now that the only safe tan is a fake tan, but so many girls continue to roast under the sun’s harmful rays without protection in pursuit of a glow. No more! Whether it’s the depths of winter or the height of summer, you need to use SPF. In the colder months the added SPF in face creams, foundation and beauty products is enough to protect you, but in summer those harsh rays will get you even if you’re not lying out actively baking. Always wear SPF on exposed skin, and if you’re actually going to be sunbathing don’t use anything less than SPF30 – and top up regularly. Burnt, damaged skin is so not hot, now or in the future. You’ll thank us one day!
3. Sleeping in makeup
Not taking your make-up off before you go to bed is not only lazy, it’s also seriously bad for your face. Your skin regenerates overnight, so that’s when you should be feeding it extra nutrients and allowing it to breathe, not covering it in a mask of pore-clogging chemicals. Leaving your make-up on will result in break-outs, a blotchy and unhealthy complexion and generally lacklustre skin. Plus, it’s totally dirty and gross – can you imagine all the bacteria lurking in your pillowcase? Ewwww.
We don’t need to tell you how bad smoking is for your health in general, but did you know how bad it is for your skin both now and in later life? If you’re a regular smoker, in five to ten years you could develop wrinkles around your mouth, dark under-eye circles and uneven pigmentation. However, if we can’t appeal to future you, how about your vanity right now? Smokers have a dull, greyish tinge to their skin as the result of taking in toxins orally and also from blowing harsh chemicals in the environment around your face.
5. Yo-yo skincare
Unlike hair, which does well with a bit of a variety in terms of products, skin needs an established routine to look its best – and no, a face wipe is not gonna cut it. If you want to establish a skincare routine, first identify your skin type – are you oily, dry, combination, sensitive? – and then find suitable products. Cleanse, tone and moisturise every day, gently exfoliate once a week and give yourself a mask or treatment once a month to get the most out of your skin. It takes a few weeks to get into the swing of things, so don’t give up right away if you’re not seeing immediate results.
6. Not drinking enough water
Your body is 60% water, but this is lost throughout the day and needs to be put back by drinking H2O. All your body’s processes need water to function, not least your skin, which craves hydrations from within as well as in the form of lotions, balms and creams on the outside. Drinking 1.5-2 litres per day helps remove toxins from your skin, boosts circulation for regeneration, keeps cells lubricated and alert and basically gives you a natural radiance. The only thing for it is several glasses of plain old water every single day – sugary and even diet drinks don’t count.
7. Stripping essential oils
When you’re having a greasy or spotty day and your skin feels like an oil slick, it can be super tempting to attack it with harsh, astringent products that promise to dry up your face. Stop! While applying a drying spot cream to a blemish is fine (in moderation), stripping your face of its natural sebum is not good, as your skin just panics and produces even more grease. If you’re oily, choose products, specially designed for your skin type, like a gentle toner and light moisturiser, and use these all over your face, even on spotty areas. That way you won’t get any dry, flaky patches or dull skin.
- You don’t need to use products like under eye cream or anti-ageing serums yet, no matter what marketing companies and salespeople might tell you.
- While eating junk won’t give you spots, bad nutrition will. Make sure you have a balanced diet rich in skin-loving minerals.
- The less you touch your face the better, so keep your bacteria-covered fingers away from your chin in class.
- The biggest skin sin of all? Covering up your gorgeous, youthful complexion behind tons of make-up. You don’t need to wear a mask, just add coverage where you really need it. You’ll never be as naturally luminous as you are right now.