Some habits are bad for you – and you know it. Like not brushing your teeth, smoking, not flossing and spending more time on your couch than at the gym. As far as skin is concerned, habits that seem like they’d be good for your complexion, like applying SPF every morning, might not be enough to counteract time and gravity. Here, what’s damaging your skin without you even realizing it. Fix them, and you set yourself up for gorgeous, glowing skin through your 30s and beyond.
1. Falling asleep with your makeup on
It’s a universal beauty truth: Sleep is great for your skin, since overnight is when your skin cells get a chance to repair the day’s damage. Not only can makeup potentially clog your pores, but it can also make matters worse if you happen to have sensitive or easily irritated skin.
2. Applying sunscreen only once during the day
Sunscreen only lasts for two hours. By the time you run out to grab lunch or hop in the car for your home, its protective effects have worn off – but the UV rays are still going strong. That’s why it’s essential to reapply your sunscreen throughout the day.
3. Not exfoliating on a regular basis
“As your skin ages, dead skin cells quickly accumulate on the surface,” says Dr. Tim Falla, VP of Research and Development at Rodan Fields. “You must clear off dead skin cells first to give the products that follow an opportunity to be effective.” For the best results, your safe bet is to take a multi-pronged approach to exfoliation and exfoliate your face once in a week.
4. Staying up past your bedtime
If you’re burning the midnight oil, you’re not only sacrificing an energy reboot, but also your skin’s health. As we mentioned, your cells are no longer dealing with everything that’s assaulting it during the day, think ultraviolet radiation, pollution, and the everyday grime and grease – so it can finally prioritize taking care of itself. If you skip it, though, you miss out on the results of that repair, like enhanced radiance and firmer skin – and your skin looks duller and drawn because of it.
5. Using your makeup brushes without cleaning them
Cleaning your makeup brushes can be a tiresome thing to do. Every time your brush touches your face, it picks up bacteria, which can then hang out and grow within the bristles and then return to your face when you use it again. Play it safe and thoroughly cleanse your brushes with a brush cleanser at least once a week. Your skin will thank you.
6. Giving into your sweet tooth
What monster would swear off gummy bears? But for the sake of your skin, you probably should. Research shows that high-glycemic foods, like white bread and sugary foods, are closely correlated with acne breakouts, while low-glycemic foods, such as most fruits and beans, aren’t. We’re not crazy here: You shouldn’t delete chocolate from your diet. But if you’re eating it on a regular basis and also dealing with acne, try limiting it to once a week.