Picture it, you wake up, the birds are singing, you feel on top of all the admin duties of life. Your job is good, you've been getting to the gym regularly, and—oh—what's that? You take a look in the mirror and you're inexplicably broken out—again. But why, you ask the skincare gods, why??
You moisturize, you cleanse, you always remove makeup before bed. But do you know that your gym routine, the length of your showers and the order you apply your products could be affecting your skin? When it comes to unraveling the mystery of a breakout, a girl's gotta bone up on all the skincare knowledge she can. Even the little known facts. Presented below for your convenience are seven bad habits most of us are committing—let's call them the beauty sins. Fix them, and you just might wake up with the skin you've always dreamed of.
You're Out of Order
According to this informative article on the Women's Health Magazine website, you could be applying your products willy nilly. Is it moisturizer and then acne treatment? Anti-aging and then SPF? Dr. Debra Luftman, who's a certified dermatologist, says you should always use "treatment-oriented" products first. So if you're using a spot acne treatment, put that on before anything else. You don't want any barriers obstructing the treatment's ability to do its job.
You're Still Messing With Your Zits
C'mon admit it. While we all know this one, it's so common, it bears reminding. This is serious! You've messed with zits before and not had any adverse effects, so you start to do it all the time. You never how deep a pore clog is embedded. The deeper it is, the more messing with it becomes a serious hazard. You're spreading out the infection, you're causing redness, you may be creating a tear in the skin that takes weeks to heal and even becomes a scar. A small red bump is easier to cover up than the grossness you create with your fingertips that are probably not squeaky clean before you pinch.
You're Not Washing Your Pillow Case (or Your Phone)
Every time you do your laundry, you should include your pillow case. It collects more dead skin, oil and moisturizer detritus than anything else you own. Then it delivers it right back to your skin when you lay down at night. Nice thought, huh? If you wear makeup to bed, you're making it worse. As for your phone, it gets oily and dirty too. So wipe it down with at least a soft cloth once per week.
You're Not Moisturizing Enough or Fast Enough
Your face is precious, it's the first thing people see, and that's why you give it your utmost attention — often to the detriment of the rest of your skin. Use body lotion on your body and hands and face lotion on your neck and chest. Trust me, your 40-something and 50-something self will thank you. Lotion isn't just to introduce nutrients and moisture, it's also to act as a barrier, keeping natural moisture inside where it belongs. Experts say that you should apply lotion within three minutes after you get out of the shower. Every second counts when it comes to moisture loss. You may not be able to break three minutes, but know you need to do it ASAP.
You're Hitting the Gym With Makeup
No matter how hot the people in your gym are, you need to brave the floor bare faced. Why? Because makeup and sweat add up to serious pore clogging problems. Keep makeup-removing wipes in your bag and use them before you work out.
You're Skipping Strength Training at the Gym, Too
Here's another reason why keeping your muscles toned keeps you looking great. Toned muscles support skin, helping it to look firm. Sagging muscles, well, they don't help. Get in the habit now of using that balance ball for sit-ups, work in some squats. You don't have to go crazy, but cardio-only is sort of like a waste of time.
Your Showers Are Too Long and Too Hot
Hot water zaps your skin of moisture like crazy. We all love a hot shower, but if you're cranking it full blast on the regular, you're asking for dry, ashy-looking skin. Of course, it stands to reason that the longer you stand under the hot waterfall, you're letting go of more natural moisture. So keep your showers short and sweet. When it's time for a hot bath, look for moisturizing bubbles, bombs and salts.