Upset that your skin doesn’t have that fresh healthy glow that your friend’s does? Here are six mistakes you could easily correct now:
If you still haven’t kicked the habit for health, do it for vanity. Experts say that smoking accelerates aging of facial skin, causing smokers to look 1.4 years older than nonsmokers, on average. Why? Tobacco smoke reduces blood supply to the skin and can cause loss of collagen and youthful elastic fibers. It also saps vitamin A levels and moisture, resulting in premature wrinkles – especially around the mouth.
2) Not Using Sunscreen
Sunscreen has been called the fountain of youth with good reason. In a study at Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Australia, researchers found that applying it daily can actually stop skin from aging for up to four and a half years. To nix wrinkles, spots and other signs of photo-aging brought on by the sun’s ultraviolet rays, slather on SPF 15 or greater anytime you’re heading outdoors. No excuses!
3) Not Moisturizing
By now you know the drill: a ritual of cleanse, medicate and moisturize is essential to keeping skin glowing and blemish-free. And when it comes to anti-aging, moisturizing may be the most important of the three steps.Dryness can cause the skin barrier to weaken, resulting in a low-grade inflammation that over time can prompt collagen break down and speed the aging process. Moreover, lack of moisture accentuates fine lines and wrinkles and makes skin dull and lifeless. For acne-prone skin, use an oil-controlling, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer along with your acne regimen.
4) Not Getting Enough Sleep
Not catching enough ZZZZs could be damaging your skin on a number of levels. Sleep is the body’s time to regenerate, shedding dead cells and replacing them with fresh, healthy ones. Skimping on this nightly reboot can result in sallow, crepey-looking skin, dark circles and an upset in pH levels on your face, which causes dryness and redness. So, yes, you really do need beauty sleep. Experts recommend 7 to 9 hours per night.
5) Exfoliating Too Much
No doubt, exfoliation can work wonders on a lackluster complexion. But if you’re scrubbing too often or using too harsh a product, it can also backfire big time. Over exfoliation can create tiny cracks in your skin’s protective outer layer — meaning irritants can enter more easily and cause redness and flaking. Experts recommend exfoliating no more than 3 times a week. On a daily basis, a salicylic acid-based cleanser will rid your face of pore-clogging oils without distress to the skin.
6) Never Seeing A Dermatologist
If you’re noticing wrinkles, dryness, age spots or are unhappy with your appearance for any reason, a dermatologist can provide treatments to improve skin’s texture, color and elasticity. But even if you don’t have problem skin, it’s imperative to have a yearly medical exam, sometimes called a “full-body check,” to inspect moles and other spots for early signs of skin cancer. Book an appointment now.