Dermatologists Weigh In On The 5 Worst Things You Can Do to Your Skin
Avoid These Mistakes!
One day – decades from now – my tombstone will read, “Here lies Francine … a loving mother and wife, devoted to her family, friends and daily application of SPF 50.” (Clearly, I’ll need a big tombstone or a really small font.) In any case, I think you’ve come to know my thoughts on the topic of sunscreen. Along with healthy eating, proper hydration, restful sleep and daily cleansing, sunscreen is probably the best thing you can do for your skin. Ok, so we know our must do’s. But what about the must don’ts? Well, I did some digging to research what dermatologist’s biggest concerns are (and there were many!). But we narrowed the list down to the top 5 worst things you can do to your skin. Young, old and anywhere in between, here’s what NOT to do.
For a few great exfoliation tips, be sure and read this post.
While your skin needs to be cleansed twice a day - morning and evening - a double cleanse isn't always necessary - especially when you wake up in the morning. It really depends on your lifestyle. Double cleansing (starting with a balm/oil, then following with a water-based cleanse) is great if you’ve worn a face full of makeup, packed a day’s worth of activity into an hour, or if you're a city dweller exposed to high pollution levels. But dermatologists warn us that over-washing is one of the worst things for your skin. It can lead to dryness, sensitivity and irritation. So, skip the double cleanse on your non-makeup days. Choose a sulfate-free cleanser to avoid stripping the skin of its natural oils. Be gentle and don’t rub the skin too harshly. These are few wonderful cleansers to try.
Scrubs, acids, retinols, peels and devices are absolutely fabulous and sometimes a necessary way to shed dead skin cells and reveal fresh, radiant skin. But doing them all in succession – every day? Not so fabulous. Over exfoliating leads to irritation, redness and inflamed skin. You may even develop a rash-like texture, leading to uneven tone (like patchy, red blotches). Breakouts are another common reaction, especially small, rough, bumpy pimples. These gentle scrubs are my favorites.
I’m certain you are diligent about daily sunscreen. But far too often, we scrimp on how much and how often we need to apply. Once in the morning doesn’t suffice since it can easily come off your face within a couple of hours. Whether it is from sweat, water, touching your face, etc. Especially in the summer months, it’s critical to reapply every 2 hours or so to get optimal protection from UV rays. If you’re wary about layering sunscreen over make-up, sunscreen powders are awesome. Keep one stashed in your purse or car.
Did you know that cotton pillowcases absorb dirt, grease and grime? And did you also know that the average American changes their sheets and pillowcases once every 24 days??!! That makes for a nasty buildup of oils, dirt and sweat from daily use. Most people don't realize that our hair holds more dirt in it than anywhere else on our bodies. They can also harbor bacteria, cause allergies and are a leading cause of acne and blackheads. Who knew it's one of the worst things for your skin?! Experts suggest washing your pillowcase every two days or so. But since cotton fabrics may cause split ends, frizz and hair breakage, swap it out for a lighter fabric, like silk.
Just this weekend, I came across one of my favorite influencers sharing her tips on at-home dermaplaning using a hand-held razor. It took her two minutes of moving that blade around her face and the result was smooth and glowing skin. So, yesterday morning I tried it. And promptly shaved off half of my right eyebrow. I’m not kidding. Half my eyebrow. Gone. So, please don’t try this at home. Don’t DIY and experiment with using tools “off-label.” Use them the way they are intended. Or better yet, go to a professional. Need I say more?
Meet Francine, our self-described skin care and beauty junkie. As a 40-something Southern California native, Francine is a firm believer in the power of sunscreen and a gorgeous nude lip. She’s an AKT Fitness owner and hi-tech marketing communications consultant by day and mom to three high-energy, testosterone-driven boys by night (hence her preference for red wine with an ice cream chaser).
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