it’s no secret that taking care of your skin is important. not only does it make you look and feel good, but it can also help you avoid serious health problems down the road.

unfortunately, many people have bad skincare habits that can damage their skin. if you’re not careful, these habits can lead to wrinkles, acne, and even skin cancer. 

here are some of the worst skin care habits to avoid:


1. not wearing sunscreen

one of the worst things you can do for your skin is going outside without wearing sunscreen. ultraviolet (uv) rays from the sun can damage your skin cells, leading to wrinkles, sun spots, and even skin cancer.

if you’re going to be outside for more than a few minutes, make sure to apply sunscreen with an spf of at least 15. and don’t forget to reapply it every two hours or after swimming or sweating.

2. smoking

smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your skin—and your health in general. cigarette smoke contains thousands of chemicals that can damage your skin cells and lead to wrinkles, premature aging, and even skin cancer.

if you smoke cigarettes, the best thing you can do for your skin is to quit. if you’re not ready to quit, try to smoke less and avoid smoking around other people, so you don’t expose them to secondhand smoke.

3. skipping moisturizer

if you have dry skin, it’s important to moisturize it daily. otherwise, your skin will become cracked, flaky, and dull-looking.

to keep your skin hydrated, apply a moisturizer immediately after showering or bathing while your skin is still damp. and be sure to choose a moisturizer that’s right for your skin type—for example, if you have oily skin, look for a “non-comedogenic” or “oil-free” moisturizer that won’t clog your pores.

4. sleeping in your makeup

sleeping in your makeup is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. makeup can clog your pores and irritate your skin, leading to breakouts, premature aging, and even skin infections.

so make sure to remove your makeup before going to bed—and don’t forget to cleanse your face. double-cleansing with an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser is a good way to remove all traces of makeup.

5. using dirty makeup brushes

if you use makeup brushes, it’s important to clean them regularly—preferably after each use. otherwise, they can become breeding grounds for bacteria that can cause breakouts and skin infections.

to clean your makeup brushes, dip them in a solution of warm water and soap, then rinse them thoroughly. let them air-dry or dry them with a clean towel before using them again.

6. picking at your skin

picking at your skin is tempting, but it’s a bad idea. not only can it damage your skin, but it can also lead to scars and infections.

if you have a pimple that you can’t resist picking, try to pop it with a clean needle instead. If you have blackheads, see a dermatologist and have them extracted professionally.

7. using harsh scrubs

scrubs can help remove dead skin cells, but a harsh scrub can damage your skin. avoid scrubs with large, rough particles, and be gentle when scrubbing your skin—you don’t want to irritate or cause microscopic tears.

8. not washing your face

you should wash your face at least once a day—preferably in the morning and at night. if you don’t wash your face, dirt, oil, and makeup will build up on your skin, leading to breakouts and clogged pores.

and be sure to choose a facial cleanser that’s right for your skin type—for example, if you have sensitive skin, look for a “gentle” or “hypoallergenic” cleanser.

9. overusing astringents

astringents are used to remove excess oil from the skin, but using them too often can strip your skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. if you have oily skin, use an astringent only once or twice a day—any more than that will probably do more harm than good.

10. not drinking enough water

drinking plenty of water is important for overall health and is also good for your skin. when you’re properly hydrated, your skin is better able to protect itself against damage and stay plump and elastic. aim to drink eight glasses of water a day—more if you’re active or live in a hot climate.

bottom line

taking care of your skin is important for both health and beauty. by following these simple tips, you can help keep your skin looking its best.

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