We're all guilty of committing skincare sins every once in a while, but forgetting to wash your face one night before bed probably isn't going to cause your skin to self-destruct. That being said, there are some things that you should never do to your face no matter what the state of your skin. The face is not only home to the thinnest skin on the body (which is also partly to blame for under eye circles. Thanks, eye skin); it's also subject to daily sun exposure, makeup application and removal, and all kinds of crazy home facial concoctions that your friend is selling in mason jars. Our faces have it tough, and we owe it to them to show a little love by not, you know, getting a little too enthusiastic with exfoliating.
By now we all know the basics of a good skincare routine, but let's review them so we're all capiche. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, healthy skin comes down to developing and maintaining a skincare routine that's best for your skin type. Although you're free to customize your skincare rituals, there are three essential components that we all need to follow: cleanse, moisturize, and protect. Speaking at the American Academy of Dermatology, Dr. Sonia Badreshia-Bansal offered this advice to all skin types:
“No matter what your skin type, using daily moisturizer and practicing year-round sun protection are vital to maintaining healthy, glowing skin,” said Badreshia-Bansal. “That’s because with adequate hydration and use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen, the skin has the advantage of protecting itself from free radicals and harmful ultraviolet radiation that cause skin damage, discoloration, premature wrinkles and even skin cancer. Over time, a careful and consistent skin care routine with products designed for specific skin types can gradually improve the overall health and appearance of the skin.”
Excellent. Now that we know what to do, here's what to avoid at all costs:
1. Picking at Blemishes
This is a really bad idea for two reasons. One: your skin is far more likely to scar after popping a zit, and scars take forever to fade. Two: our fingers are pretty much bacteria-ridden meat sticks, and a pimple is a localized infection. The result of this biological meet-and-greet? Mr. Pimple comes back... with friends. So when the urge arises, sit on your hands and wait it out, or if Mt. Vesuvius appears, call a dermatologist.
2. Trying To Pop A Cyst
I know — we just went over acne, but cystic acne deserves a class all of its own. Dr. Elizabeth L. Tanzi told Teen Vogue that cysts aren't actually pustules at all, but a fluid-filled infection deep in the skin. The result? They never come to a head like a pimple. Also, a cyst causes damage to the tissues surrounding it in the first place, so trying to pop one only exacerbates the issue. What a joy.
3. Over Exfoliating
Exfoliating keeps your pores clear and your skin looking fresh, but over exfoliating can cause unnecessary irritation. “You’re actually removing the protective barrier that your skin has,” Dr. Ben Johnson, founder of Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare, told Bustle. “Once removed, your skin is exposed to environmental toxins and sun damage, causing aging.”
4. Regularly Sleeping In Makeup
Kim Kardashian may do it, but sleeping in makeup is still a bad idea. Sleeping in makeup regularly can result in breakouts, dryness, eye irritation, and oh-so-glamorous styes.
5. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Getting sufficient shut-eye is more important than bingeing the latest show on Netflix, at least as far as your skin is concerned. Cosmopolitan reports that lack of sleep can result in dry skin, breakouts, redness, and dark circles.
6. Not Wearing Sunscreen Daily
Dermatologists recommend wearing sunscreen daily to fight premature aging and reduce the likelihood of developing cancer.
7. Not Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes
I know, it's hard to imagine that the makeup brushes that bring you such lovely contouring could be contributing to your breakouts, but they could be if you're not washing them regularly. Luckily it's not too much of a hassle: foundation and concealer brushes should get a dip weekly, while eye brushes need to be cleaned monthly.
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