We are all guilty of doing things that damage our skin and unless you live in a bubble, it is difficult not to.
You randomly attempt to moisturize, cleanse and even exfoliate when you’re feeling ambitious. So why isn't your skin Scarlet Johansson perfect already?
Maybe it's because seemingly harmless, everyday behaviors (like that Butterfinger bar you wolf down every afternoon) are silently damaging your skin. Here's what you need to steer clear of in the name of a beautiful, radiant complexion.
Overindulging in too much salt, caffeine, sugar, wine, beer and hard liquor will showcase itself on your face and your body’s skin. As we already know, alcohol dehydrates and inflames your skin, making it dull and blotchy. If you must indulge in the occasional adult beverage, make sure to keep a glass of water handy to sip on between drinks. This helps keep you hydrated and assists your body in flushing out the alcohol.
Additionally, avoid mixers that are chock full of sugar and if you are at a restaurant, just say no to the triple fudge mud pie with extra whipped cream from the dessert menu. Sugary foods break down the elastin and collagen in your skin which causes dullness and wrinkles over time. The same goes for the opposite side of the spectrum, too much salt and caffeine will dehydrate your skin, making it look old and tired. Keep to one cup of coffee a day and no, that doesn’t mean a Venti Caramel Latte!
2. Excessive Cleansing
You still need to wash off your makeup at night and take a shower every day, but excessive washing won’t make your skin any cleaner. In fact, the more you lather up, the drier your skin becomes, since doing so strips away natural oils. Wash with a rich, creamy or oil-based cleanser and follow up with a good all-day moisturizer.
3. Harsh Exfoliators
Removing dead skin cells isn't intended to hurt. If an exfoliator burns, stings or causes your skin to become red and blotchy, chuck it; along with peeling your skin, it's removing your skin's natural hydrating oils. Coarse scrubs and abrasive peels can cause swelling and inflammation, which leads to clogged pores and even wrinkles and brown spots. Use a gentle exfoliator with microbeads or even sugar just once or twice a week, or a mild lactic acid peel once a week.
If you have dry skin, toners are not for you. Toners are made to remove skin oil that dry skin requires to help keep water from evaporating. Dry skin types often are wary of using a moisturizer for fear of getting acne. The problem with that is the skin gets so dry without it, that the barrier function becomes impaired, leaving the skin without a defense against bacteria and other acne causing substances.
5. Zero Sun Protection
If you don’t follow any of the above recommendations, at least heed this one. The sun is the number one,numero uno, #1 environmental cause of premature aging. Ultra Violet (UV) exposure gradually destroys the integrity of the skin’s structure, so you won’t notice the total effects until years later. Tanning veterans often wind up with wrinkly, leathered skin. So if you are not after that look, then grab sunglasses and hat and apply a natural sunscreen every time you’re out in the sun.
In addition to the above tips, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water, consuming a healthy diet and avoiding alcohol and tobacco will go a long way to keeping your skin in good condition.
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