WOW | Beauty

7 Things To NEVER Do To Your Skin

When it comes to caring for your complexion, getting facials or even seeing a dermatologist isn’t what matters most. It’s how you treat your skin every single day that’s crucial, and some common missteps can seriously mess with your beauty. Stop making these seven mistakes and get on the path to healthy, young looking skin at any age.

things-to-never-do-to-your-skinMistake: Forgetting to use sunscreen every day, including during the winter

UVB rays—the ones responsible for burning—are much stronger during the summer, but UVA ones tend to remain pretty constant all year long. UVAs won’t turn your skin pink, but they do contribute significantly to both skin aging (including wrinkles and brown spots) and skin cancer. UVAs also penetrate glass and clouds, which means they’re streaming into your windowed office as well as your car. The upshot is that protecting yourself is simple: Slather on a broad-spectrum SPF 30 (or a moisturiser with SPF built in) every day, year round.

Mistake: Taking long, hot showers

Steamy showers may do wonders for sore muscles and a sour mood, but they’re guaranteed to turn your skin into a dry, flaky mess. Hot water can strip skin of essential moisture and oils, leaving it red and itchy. This can worsen already dry skin, aggravate conditions like eczema and rosacea, and—since itching can lead to scratching—put you at risk for infection. For healthier skin, turn the temp down to warm and exit long before your skin starts to prune. (If your mirror gets steamed up, the water is probably too hot.) Pat yourself dry and apply lotion (or coconut oil) to your still-damp skin to lock in moisture.

Mistake: Over-exfoliating

Sloughing away the layer of dead cells from your skin’s surface is a surefire way to look instantly younger—unless you overdo it. You might not realise that gritty scrubs and cleansing brushes aren’t the only means to exfoliation; many anti-aging ingredients in creams and serums serve as chemical exfoliators. It’s not unusual for people to routinely use a retinoid, an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), and a mechanical cleansing device, so they wind up red and irritated instead of glowing and radiant. If your skin is starting to look inflamed, try dialing back on how often you use your power washer or AHA.

Mistake: Catching too few z’s

It’s hard to get the skin of your dreams if you don’t regularly get enough sleep. Yes, under-eye circles are a concern, but night is also when your skin does the bulk of its repair work, like creating new cells and mending or shedding old, damaged ones. Your skin also makes the most of any creams you apply at night. Products penetrate more deeply, yielding faster results. There’s no hard-and-fast rule about how much beauty sleep you need, but based on a recent review of more than 5,000 studies, it is recommended that adults get at least 7 hours a night.

Mistake: Going to sleep without washing your face

In an ideal world, you’d wash your face twice a day—when you wake up and before you go to bed. But since few of us lead perfect lives, most experts would be happy if we’d just cleanse before hitting the hay. Sleeping with makeup, oil, and other impurities on can block your pores and lead to breakouts. It also disrupts cell turnover, which can leave skin looking dull. To easily remove debris, keep no-rinse face wipes in your nightstand.

Mistake: Trying to scrub away acne

Acne isn’t a hygiene problem—it’s a hormonal issue. And excessively cleaning your skin with harsh soaps or exfoliating beads won’t banish blemishes. It will just make your acne flare and cause so much irritation that you won’t be able to use products or medications that might help clear the condition. Instead of trying to scrub your pimple-prone skin into submission, wash it gently with a cleanser that contains salicylic acid, which unclogs pores and smoothes skin by sloughing off dead cells.

Mistake: Picking, scratching, squeezing, and popping

Whether you’re tempted by a pimple, scab, or growth, the consequences of being hands-on with skin lesions can be ugly. Picking will increase inflammation and may lead to permanent scarring. Scratching may appear to bring some relief to conditions like eczema, but it will ultimately aggravate the problem. Scratching increases the sensitivity of your nerve endings and causes your skin to feel even more itchy. Safer (and more effective) solutions include spot treating blemishes with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid and moisturising skin daily to keep itching at bay. Got a growth that doesn’t heal? See a doctor ASAP; it may be a sign of skin cancer and shouldn’t be ignored.