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12 Skincare Habits to Quit

Falling into bad habits is all-too-easy, but many can have some devastating effects on your skin in the long term, as well as your overall health. From smoking and drinking to tanning and over-exfoliating, here are some of the most common bad habits when it comes to skin care, as well as a few tips on how you can quit them.

Sun Tanning

Many people believe that getting a tan will help to protect their skin from damage, but this is so far from the truth…

There is actually no such thing as a safe tan. As soon as your skin begins to darken, this means that you are producing more melanin, which is already a sign of damage in itself. 

Tanning can lead to everything from premature aging to skin cancer, which is why sun protection is so important

Still want to darken your skin?

Fortunately, there are a few safe alternatives to tanning, such as sunless tanning lotions and spray tans. There are so many different sunless tanning options and formulas out there, so, even if one does not work for you, try more instead of giving up and resorting to the sun.


Your skin’s outer layer consists of a protective barrier, and this is designed to keep moisture in, while keeping everything from pollutants to dirt out.

There is no denying that cleansing is absolutely essential when it comes to healthy skin, but over-cleansing, just like over-exfoliating, can do so much more harm than good.

By constantly clearing away this protective barrier, and not giving it enough time to regenerate, you leave your skin vulnerable to all of the harmful elements around you.

Symptoms include:

  • Flakiness around the T-zone
  • Rashes
  • Adult acne

Wondering how often you should be cleansing?

If possible, keep it to once a day, in the evenings. If you cleanse your face right before you go to bed, you will not end up sleeping with toxins burrowing their way into your pores, and, if you sleep on a clean pillowcase, you should be able to just give your face a rinse with some water in the morning, rather than having to use a cleanser again.

The next night, this then all gets transferred back onto your face. Try to replace your pillowcases every 48 hours, because even though the extra laundry may seem like a chore, your skin will definitely thank you.


The importance of exfoliation is something that is often spoken about, but fewer know about the dangers of over-exfoliating.

Many people develop the habit of scrubbing their faces clean twice a day, but over-exfoliation can really damage your skin.

Here are a few of the most common symptoms:

Do you often experience this?

If so, it is likely that you are over-exfoliating, and need to cut back immediately. Refrain from any exfoliation at all for a few days, giving your skin a chance to recover.

Then, either use a gentler exfoliant, or reduce the frequency at which you exfoliate.

woman exfoliating body in the bath

If you do not break this habit…

You will end up causing chronic inflammation within your skin, meaning a long-lasting redness that you will find so difficult to clear.

. If you cleanse your face right before you go to bed, you will not end up sleeping with toxins burrowing their way into your pores, and, if you sleep on a clean pillowcase, you should be able to just give your face a rinse with some water in the morning, rather than having to use a cleanser again.

Using the Wrong Skin Care Products

Do you know what your skin type is?

You have probably heard this question many times, but there is a reason why it is important to know your skin type…

There are five main skin types out there, and each requires products and ingredients that are extremely different.

Here are some examples:

  • Dry Skin – requires a rich, thick and greasy moisturizer
  • Oily Skin requires a lighter lotion with ingredients to regulate oil production
  • Sensitive Skin requires gentle ingredients that will help to strengthen the skin’s natural protective barrier
  • Combination Skin requires a combination of the above
  • Normal Skin this is the only skin type that can use just about any product they like

As you can see, unless you have a normal skin type, which very few do, you should be letting your skin type dictate the products and ingredients that you use.

Not Cleaning Your Cellphone or Pillowcase

Think about all of the different surfaces that your cellphone comes into contact with each day, or even each hour…

And then think about how many times your cellphone touches your face.

You can probably see where this is going…

Each surface that your cellphone touches will transfer germs and bacteria onto your phone, which then move on to your face when your phone touches your face.

Wondering how to clean your phone?

The answer lies in antibacterial cleansing wipes, which are also convenient to carry around with you. Simply wipe your phone down a couple of times a day to keep it clean.  

In addition to cleaning your cellphone on a regular basis, you should also pay attention to the cleanliness of your pillow case. Your face rubs against your pillowcase throughout the night, meaning that any oil and bacteria is transferred onto your pillowcase.

The next night, this then all gets transferred back onto your face. Try to replace your pillowcases every 48 hours, because even though the extra laundry may seem like a chore, your skin will definitely thank you.

Over-Consuming Alcohol

Thanks to the intense thirst that you probably feel the morning after having one too many drinks, you are likely already well aware of the fact that alcohol dehydrates the body.

woman nursing a glass of whiskey

Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so, when your body is dehydrated, your skin ends up severely dehydrated too.

In addition to dehydrating the skin, drinking is also believed to deprive the skin of essential vitamins and nutrients, leading to premature aging

So, what can you do about this?

The answer is simple…

Simply cut back on the amount that you drink. Research actually shows that millennials are drinking far less than previous generations, so this will hopefully be a trend that continues to grow.

Going out for a few drinks every weekend is a habit that is easy to form, so try to change this now by picking new activities to try out instead.


Do you smoke?

If your answer is no, then congratulations, you have one less thing to worry about when it comes to your skin.

However, if your answer is yes, this is something that you really need to think long and hard about…

You are likely already well aware of all of the dangers of smoking, from lung cancer to yellow teeth and fingers, but did you know that smoking has a huge impact on your skin too?

Here are just a few of the ways in which smoking affects your skin:

  • Narrows blood vessels, reducing blood supply to the skin and causing a break down in collagen and elastin, resulting in premature aging
  • Reduces vitamin A levels
  • Delays wound healing
  • Puts your skin at a greater risk for bacterial and viral infections
  • Doubles your risk of developing skin cancer
  • Worsens psoriasis 

Need some help quitting?

There are so many options out there, from nicotine gum to vaping. You are best off trying a combination of quitting aids, and then slowly weaning yourself off them one by one as time progresses.

Not Getting Quality Sleep

For many people, the habit of late nights, and early mornings, is a tough one to break.

However, regular quality sleep is so important for your skin…


Here are just a few of the reasons:

  • Sleep deprivation leads to inflammation, resulting in a breakdown of collagen and elastin, and therefore a dull complexion, as well as premature aging
  • Sleep deprivation worsens existing skin conditions, from rosacea to acne
  • Poor sleep results in poor water balance in the skin, meaning everything from puffy eye bags to dryness

So, how can you break this habit?

It all depends on the reasons for your lack of sleep…

If you simply cannot seem to get to sleep at night, you can try a number of different methods, from sleep-inducing teas to removing all electronic devices from your bedroom.

If you seem to wake up frequently in the middle of the night, or believe that you may be suffering from insomnia, it could be worth speaking to your doctor for some extra help.

Touching Your Face

Whether picking at a spot or rubbing at an itchy patch, so many people unknowingly touch their faces throughout the day.

woman touching face in front of mirror

Wondering what the problem with this is?

It is similar to the bad habit of not cleaning your cellphone, in that your fingers, unless you have just washed them, are likely to be unclean. This is especially important for those who have acne, as it will spread bacteria and increase breakouts.

However, there is no denying that breaking this habit can be slightly tricky, especially when you do not realize that you are even doing it…

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your hands are always busy and never idle
  • Ask friends, family and co-workers to tell you whenever you are touching your face Wear cotton gloves or mittens at night to prevent yourself from touching your face in your sleep

Skipping Dermatologist Visits

There are millions of new cases of skin cancer diagnosed each year, in the USA alone, making this a disease that is on the rise.

This is the main reason as to why you should visit a dermatologist each year, as they are the best professionals to give your skin a once over, and check for any worrying signs.

If you tend to put off your dermatologist visits for as long as possible, this is a habit to change immediately. Early detection can sometimes mean the difference between life and death, so do not let this habit become a fatal one. 

Not Removing Makeup Before Bed

Let’s be straight here…

Sleeping with your makeup on every once in a while is not that big of a deal, and will not have any long-lasting consequences.

However, when this begins to develop into a habit, that is when the problems start…

While you are asleep, your pores need to breathe, and sleeping with your makeup on restricts this. It also traps free radicals into your skin, which then leads to inflammation and premature aging.

Sleeping in eye makeup is not quite as bad, but can still lead to eye infections and inflammation around the eyes.

Can’t seem to remember to remove your makeup before going to bed?

Keep a pack of makeup wipes next to your bed, so that you cannot help but see them every night. This will not only remind you to remove your makeup, but will also give you a way to do it quickly and conveniently.

Over-Consuming Sugar

From high-fructose corn syrup to cane sugar, sugar comes in so many different forms, and each one can be so damaging to your skin.


Sugar causes a process called glycation to occur within the body, which leads to the damage of collagen and elastin. Since collagen and elastin are the main structural proteins that give your skin its firmness and smoothness, the loss of this quickly leads to wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin and more. 

A study carried out by the British Journal of Dermatology determined that these accelerated aging effects begin around the age of 35.

However, it is never too late to improve your diet…

It may be hard at first to cut back on the amount of sugar that you consume, but try to find healthier ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. Swap sugar-filled refined chocolate for a high quality dark chocolate, and replace unhealthy soft drinks with fruit-infused sparkling water, or even a soda maker of your own.

sparkling water with antioxidants

You should also increase the amount of antioxidants that you consume, as these help to prevent collagen damage, while using skin care ingredients that will help to boost your natural collagen production. Retinol is one of the best ingredients for this, as are vitamins C and E.


By Lionesse

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  • Jill Gravelle

    January 31, 2018 at 7:40 pm


  • Linda Ousley

    February 1, 2018 at 11:13 am

    This advise is so true . I am 56 years old I look many years younger , no wrinkles what so ever in my face , look like my daughter’s sister . Pays off care for skin when child protecting it and not burning it up with products or ton of make up . Keep skin moisturized daily .

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