Bad skincare habits, like all bad habits, are hard to break. Unfortunately, these same habits undermine our journey to clear and healthy skin. So the sooner we break these bad skin habits, the sooner we can achieve the complexion we want.
We’ve all been there.
We buy the best skincare products. We include them in our skincare routine and use them religiously. But we still don’t get the results we want.
It’s possible the product is not the right one for our skin type. Or it’s just not a very good product at all. It’s possible that our own skin care habits are to blame, too.
The road to clear and healthy skin is a wholistic one. Products matter. But what we do in addition to using the right products matters as well.
Let’s have a look at some of these bad skincare habits that are jeopardizing our skincare journey. Let’s see if we can break them today!
Bad skincare habit: sleeping with makeup on
Not washing our face at the end of the day and sleeping with makeup on is one of the worst habits we’ve all been guilty of at some point, and it should be at the top of the list of bad skincare habits we need to break asap.
Imagine how much dirt, oil, dead skin, pollutants, germs and bacteria accumulate on our face throughout the day. And imagine letting them sit on our face while we sleep. Yikes!
And makeup. No matter how clean our makeup brand is, no matter how hypoallergenic, they’re not meant to stay on our skin overnight.
This single bad habit is the cause of many skin problems like clogged pores which lead to acne and premature aging (source).
So no matter how tired we are, how sleepy or how drunk (it happens), cleansing our face at night is very important.
If you want to go a step further, try double cleansing. It’s one skincare practice that’s really changed my skin for the better.
Some of my favourite facial cleansers include:
- DHC Cleansing Oil
- I’m From Fig Cleansing Balm
- Hada Labo Foaming Cleanser
- Rovectin Skin Essentials Conditioning Cleanser
Another bad skincare habit: skipping sunscreen
Another habit at the top of the bad skin habits list is skipping sunscreen.
This isn’t just bad for our skin, it’s dangerous too. Not protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays can lead to skin cancer (source).
So it’s really very important to wear sunscreen everyday, whatever the season, even if it’s a cloudy or a rainy day. The sun is still out there, even if we don’t see sunshine or feel its warmth.
If you sweat during the day, best to reapply sunscreen so you’re continually protected.
Stuck at home? I still wear sunscreen when I’m at home because the sun can get through those windows.
When choosing sunscreen, it’s important to consider products that have:
- Broad spectrum protection, which means it can protect us from both UVA and UVB rays
- An SPF of at least 30
Personally, I prefer chemical sunscreens vs physical sunscreens because it usually leaves no white cast and my skin just feels better under it. And that’s important too — finding a product you enjoy using so you’ll want to use it everyday.
My go-to sunscreen is Biore Aqua Rich UV Watery Essence.
Not drinking enough water
We know keeping our skin hydrated and properly moisturized is key. But we sometimes forget that we need to keep our whole body hydrated too.
I used to have such a bad habit of not drinking enough water. And it’s not only bad for our health, it impacts the way our skin looks and feels too.
Not drinking enough water can make skin look drier, flakier, wrinklier and just not as fresh, dewy and youthful as we like (source).
So one day a few years ago, I started bringing a refillable bottle of water with me all the time to remind me to drink, even when I’m not thirsty.
I started feeling better, got less headaches, curbed (some!) of my sweet cravings and gave my skin the hydration it needs.
Not getting enough sleep
Sleep is another thing we’re not getting enough of. These days, we’re so busy doing busy things.
Remember beauty sleep? It’s a real thing!
In fact, sleep might be the closest thing there is to a fountain of youth because that’s when our body recovers and repairs itself. It’s that important.
Ideally, we want to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Do this and we give our body the chance to:
- Produce new collagen
- Boost blood flow to the skin for glowing complexion the next day
- And just help us achieve an overall happier, healthier look
So let’s try to get those zzz’s.
Smoking and drinking
We know smoking is bad, like, really bad for our health. And it leads to bad skin and bad complexion too.
It ages us prematurely; ever heard of smoker’s lines? Smoking is also a risk factor for psoriasis and can lead to a dull and uneven skin tone.
How about drinking? I enjoy a glass of wine every now and then but drinking excessively and binge drinking can impact our skin more than we realize.
And actually, alcohol is one of the worst, most aggressive compounds that destroy our skin. Scary!
The issue is two-fold: dehydration and inflammation. Alcohol takes all the fluid out of the skin while also causing redness and inflammation.
So while occasional drinking is generally considered okay, drinking plenty of water while consuming alcohol is best.
If you need to boost your skin’s hydration, try:
Touching and pricking our face
One study has shown that we tend to touch our face up to 23 times an hour. That’s a lot!
And I know we like to think our hands our clean, but they aren’t always 100% free of germs and other icky stuff.
That icky stuff inevitably ends up on our face and causes all sorts of skin problems.
And pimple popping? I know it’s very tempting (and sometimes very satisfying) to do the popping ourselves, but it’s really best to leave that to our dermatologist and other professionals.
Not only do we risk getting infections, we might end up with acne scars and blemishes too. Definitely a bad skincare habit we need to get rid of immediately.
Dealing with acne scars? I’ve had success making mine look lighter and less noticeable with these:
Not listening to our skin
Sometimes, we want certain products, so-called holy grail products or products with cult status, to work for us so badly, we ignore warning signs.
Maybe our skin itches a little or we experience a little redness. Maybe we break out.
Or maybe nothing happens after months and months of usage. But we still persevere hoping it’s working. Maybe.
We should learn to listen more carefully to our skin. How does it feel when we’re using the product? How do we feel? Are we noticing changes, good changes?
Is the product actually formulated for our specific skin type? A product formulated for dry skin won’t work if you have oily skin; sensitive skin needs special TLC.
Does it contain specific ingredients we’ve had previous negative reactions to? It’s good practice to familiarize ourselves with active ingredients.
Are some of the products in our skincare routine canceling each other out or worse, reacting badly to each other? Read up on how to add new products to your skincare routine to avoid this from happening.
Are we using the right product for the season? It’s a good idea to swap heavier moisturizers for lighter ones in the summer months.
Paying attention to the little things goes a long way and helps us fine tune our skincare regimen.
Bad habits for skin — basic hygiene
Other bad skincare habits are every day things we tend to take for granted. Things like:
- Not changing our towels often enough, or sharing them with others
- Not cleansing or changing our clothes after working out
- Forgetting to clean our phones
- Forgetting to clean our makeup brushes and sponges
Today is the best day to start paying attention to all the bad skincare habits we’ve built over the years. Knowing what they are is the first step.
It might be hard to get rid of them, it will take some time, but it’s definitely worthwhile.
Happy skin experimenting! Check this out if you want to read up on good skincare habits for clear, healthy, glowing skin.
What are some bad skin habits you’ve broken or need to break? Would love to hear from you in the comments section below.