11 Things You Shouldn't Do If You Want Clear Skin

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Ah, problem skin. If you have it, it's probably one of the biggest banes of your existence. There are so many things to be done, but what about nighttime, specifically? What are some things you should avoid at night if you want clear skin? I have some answers for you.

Unfortunately, there are more items on the no-no list than can strictly be considered fun. After all, who likes changing their pillowcase? Or cutting back on their sweets intake? Or adding exfoliation into an already-long nighttime routine? Luckily for us, all of the above become slightly more palatable when you remember the fact that it's all in the name of preventing the dreaded breakout. After all, for many, clear skin is something of a holy grail — and your before-bed routine is key when it comes to defeating all things acne.

So, since we can all agree that the night is long and full of terrors, what can we do to make sure our skin makes it through those hours without breaking out? Here are 11 things to not to do at night, if you want clear skin — starting with, of course, makeup removal 101.

1. DON'T Go To Sleep With Your Makeup On

OK, we pretty much all know this is a no-no by now. Luckily, it's easier than ever to get your makeup fast, what with all of the great makeup wipes and micellar waters out there right now. Find your favorite and go to town.

2. DON'T Skip Washing Your Face

So, if you didn't happen to wear makeup that day, that means you get a free pass on the whole face-washing thing, right? Nope — even if you don't wear any cosmetics, it's important to cleanse the day's wear and tear off of your face before you go to bed. As dermatology professor Dr. Jeanette Graf explained to StyleCaster, you should be washing your face twice a day, full-stop.

3. DON'T Skip Your Exfoliation

If you've already gotten into the groove of removing your makeup and washing your face every night, there's another step you might want to add to your routine: Exfoliation, a couple times a week. This is key when it comes to busting acne, since, according to WebMD, dead skin cells can clog pores and make a general perfect environment for pimple-causing bacteria. Just make sure not to overdo it.

4. DON'T Skip Your Moisturizer

If you've got oily, acne-prone skin, you might be thinking that you don't need moisturizer. Not so, though — moisturizer can actually help save your skin from a whole host of skin woes. According to famed esthetician Renee Rouleau, skipping moisturizer can cause breakouts, rather than the reverse. Go for something light and oil free if you're worried about aggravating your pores, but it's not something you should let fall to the wayside.

5. DON'T Skip Your Spot Treatment

You'd be amazed at what a good spot treatment can accomplish. Some prefer benzoyl peroxide, while others swear by salicylic acid — heck, even hydrocortisone cream can work some serious wonders!

6. DON'T Touch Your Face A Whole Lot

Once you've got your nighttime face routine done, do yourself a favor and cease all touching of your face. You don't want to undo all your hard work with your bacteria-spreading hands.

7. DON'T Sleep On A Dirty Pillowcase

Changing your pillowcase regularly is important, and doubly so if you have problematic skin. As Dr. David E. Bank explained to the Huffington Post, pillowcases can be bad news — you don't want all the old grime and pore-clogging products from your hair touching your face for eight hours a night (or however much you happen to sleep).

8. DON'T Sleep On Dirty Hair

Speaking of which? Dirty hair and reactive skin don't always go together either. It's trendy these days to go longer between washes, but that can be tough on your skin, especially if you have long hair. Make sure to keep your hair clean — or, if you prefer to go longer between washes, keep your hair out of your face by tying it back.

9. DON'T Eat A Big Dessert

Dessert is my favorite meal of the day, but sadly, processed sugar is something of an enemy when it comes to clear skin. According to WebMD, consuming lots of sugar causes a spike in insulin, which in turn increases oil production and the clogging of follicles.

10. DON'T Drink A Big Drink

Sadly, alcohol is basically sugar, and it hates your skin accordingly. It also dehydrates, and combats the cells that detoxify your body, as Dr. David Colbert told the Huffington Post.

11. DON'T Stay Up All Night

And last, but not least? Go to sleep early for once. According to Rouleau once more, a poor night's sleep increases stress, which in turn increases breakouts.

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