Your skin is basically an ill-tempered five-year-old: cranky, high-maintenance, and takes things personally. Every time you do something wrong, it fires back by going dull, breaking out, and showing signs of aging. Here are 16 things you might be doing that are holding you back from the glowing, perfectly even, clear-pored skin of your dreams. How many are you guilty of?
1. Not wearing sunscreen on nonsunny days. Even when it’s overcast, those aging UV rays can get ya. Need a sunscreen rec? Fine your SPF soulmate.
2. Picking at your face. You know you shouldn’t, but it’s so, so tempting. But it can lead to acne scars, so stop it.
3. Not taking your makeup off before bed. This not only gives your makeup time to clog pores, but you’re interrupting your skin’s overnight repair process. And yes, you even have to wash off mineral makeup too. At the very least, keep some makeup wipes on your bedside table for the times when you just can’t.
4. Not rinsing right after the gym. This can cause breakouts not only on your face but on your back too.
5. Having the same morning and nighttime routines. Your skin needs protection during the day and ingredients that help it repair at night.
6. Reaching for the same washcloth several nights in a row. Ideally you should be washing them after every use because the moisture in them allows bacteria to grow. And bacteria wasn’t invited to this skin party.
7. Ignoring antioxidants like vitamin C. These ingredients kill aging free radicals, and they’re your best defense against fine lines.
8. Not using the right motion when you cleanse. According to one facialist , you need to “glide your fingertips, covered with cleanser, up over your nose, onto your forehead, around the eyes, and down the cheeks until you reach your chin. Kind of like doing mini breaststrokes on your face.”
9. Failing to take your makeup off before you work out. Hello, clogged pores!
10. Not reapplying your sunscreen. Every two hours. No excuses.
11. Relying on facial wipes as your only cleansing tactic. They’ll work in a pinch, and they’re great for taking off makeup before you wash, but as one derm explained to us , they leave behind a film that can dry out your skin.
12. Using expired makeup.
13. Not applying enough sunscreen.
14. Hot showers dry out your skin. Lukewarm is your goal.
15. Not washing your makeup brushes once a week.
16. Skipping little areas like your ears, scalp, and the backs of your hands when you sunscreen up. Everywhere you have skin, you should have sunblock on.