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Breaking Bad Habits: 5 Skin Care Practices to Stop Doing Today

Woman Applying Makeup

Nobody in the world sets out to have worse skin, and many of us dedicate special time within our daily routines to take care of our skin. You know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men (or women), though.

Chances are that you’re doing more to hurt your skin on a daily basis than you realize. Sorry to be the bearer of tough love, but it’s true. As much of a bummer as it might be to find out about the mistakes you’ve been making, it isn’t as bad as watching your skin get worse for the next 20 years, right? I’m a “silver lining” kind of person.

In the interest of self-improvement, check if your skin is paying the price for any of these bad habits and cut them out of your life ASAP.

Counting Your Makeup Remover as Washing Your Skin

You’ve heard the age-old tip that you need to wash your face twice a day, but if your makeup remover wipes can get rid of your makeup, they can clean your skin too, right?

Not so much.

Makeup remover products use a combination of different ingredients to cut through waterproof makeup and other resilient cosmetics. As helpful as that is for your lip stain, it often leaves residue or chemicals behind on your skin.

Even if your makeup remover is residue-free, it was designed for one job only: removing makeup. It just doesn’t have what it takes to clear away dead skin cells, excess oil, pollution residue, and all the other complexion-killing nasties that build up on your skin throughout the day.

Instead of trying to get away with one step, you need to give your skin the attention it deserves: removing makeup first and then using a skin cleanser. It only takes a few more seconds, but you might be surprised how quickly your skin shows its appreciation in the form of a healthy glow.

Going Light on the Water

I’m fairly convinced that when doctors go to med school and learn how to conduct an annual physical, rule #1 is to tell everyone to drink more water. You might be tired of hearing about drinking more water, but it really is true.

Your skin needs hydration from both the inside and the outside. Moisturizer does a great job of locking in hydration, but if the skin is already dehydrated and it isn’t getting water from you, that moisturizer is locking in a whole lot of nothing.

There are plenty of theories about how much water is “enough,” but one of the most common is to take your body weight and divide it in half, and that is the number of ounces you need each day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you need 75 ounces of water per day. Follow that up with a great moisturizer each day and you’ll be golden.

Leaving Your Sunglasses at Home

Sunglasses do way more than making you look like a sophisticated socialite. They also keep your eyes looking younger for the long haul.

For one, sunglasses protect the gentle skin around your eyes from sun exposure by offering your sunscreen a helping hand. Sun exposure breaks down the natural firmness in your skin, and because the skin around your eyes is so thin already, you can imagine how quickly the sun makes it sag and age.

On top of that, roaming around without sunglasses makes you squint more, even if you don’t realize you’re doing it. Take a moment to look in the mirror while you squint and see how many wrinkles appear or get darker. Those exact wrinkles will get more and more pronounced if you keep squinting often enough.

Stopping Your Skin Care Products at Your Jawline

If you want to look younger, your neck is the unsung hero you really need to show some love to. The skin on your neck ages and sags just as much as your facial skin (or even more than the facial skin in some folks). So why are you only putting your lifting and firming creams on your face?

That ends now. For all the skincare products you use on your face, including cleansers, exfoliants, serums, and moisturizers, just keep them going all the way down through your jaw and neck. You can even use them on your décolletage if you want to keep your chest looking younger too.

Using Dirty Makeup Brushes

Fair warning: this will probably gross you out.

Most people rarely think about cleaning their makeup brushes, but if you don’t, those brushes can become full-blown hazards. Even the cleanest of skin has some amount of oil, dead skin cells, and debris on it. All of that transfers to your makeup brushes each time you use them.

At best, if you don’t clean your brushes, your makeup will become clumpy and the colors will get muddled when you apply it. At worst, the debris buildup will clog your pores or irritate your skin, and the brushes can even harbor bacteria which can lead to a major skin infection.

To keep your skin healthy and bright, give your brushes a good cleaning every three weeks or so. There are plenty of makeup brush cleaning products out there, or you can use a simple residue-free shampoo. Let the brushes air-dry overnight.

P.S.: all of this is true for anything you use to apply makeup: foam blenders, sponges, you name it.

Break Your Bad Habits in 2020

So there it is – the Band-Aid has been ripped off and you’ve probably discovered that you have at least one of these bad habits that are hurting your skin. Don’t beat yourself up – we all make mistakes.

Besides, this is actually good news. Now that you know, you can turn it around and make 2020 a year of beautiful skin, probably with less effort than you expected. Go forth with healthier skin, my fellow skincare enthusiasts.

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