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All Of The Bad Skin Care Habits To Improve In the New Year

Updated June 3, 2020

A good skincare routine is always evolving and improving. In the pursuit of flawless, glowing skin, it’s hard not to whip out our wallets at the news of every beauty-related technological advance. However, we have to be honest with ourselves and admit that we can’t just buy our way to good skin. Good skin is built off of consistent, healthy habits.

And although we say we’d do anything for good skin, we’re also human. That means a late-night partying or the rogue urge to pick at our skin can derail all the progress we’ve made over the past few weeks. Luckily for us, the new year is a clean slate and permission for us to re-commit to the skincare goals we may have neglected as 2018 wore on. In celebration of the new year, we’ve compiled a list of skincare habits we pledge to change in 2019.

1. Sleeping on Dirty Pillowcases

As the year wears on and our schedules get busier, it’s hard to remember to wash our clothes every week, let alone our pillowcases. But we mention this resolution because it’s important. Unclean pillowcases can be a breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria–and that breeding ground comes into contact with our faces every night. Yes, we can steadfastly remove our makeup every night, but our pillowcases remain a veritable waste dump for any straggling debris that’s left on our faces at the day’s end. And there is always debris. To combat pillowcase buildup, have a few pillows on rotation, flip them regularly, and wash them once a week. Your pillows–and face–will be cleaner.

2. Using Abrasive Exfoliants

Who doesn’t remember buying St. Ives’ Apricot scrub from CVS as a little girl and scrubbing our faces until they were red and raw? At the time, we thought we were helping our skin by giving it a much-needed exfoliation. But now we know that mechanical exfoliation like causes “micro tears” to the delicate skin of our faces. These “micro-tears” make our skin more vulnerable to environmental irritants and more susceptible to bacteria sneaking into our skin and inflaming it. In 2019, follow TLC’s lead and say no to scrubs.

3. “Forgetting” To Wear Sunscreen

If you compile a list of advice from leading dermatologists, the one thing they’re all guaranteed to agree on is this: use sunscreen. Every. Day. Along with “drink more water”, it’s one of those pieces of advice that we’ve all heard a million times, and we’re all still struggling to adopt as a practice. Not only do sunscreens have the reputation of leaving your face like a Kabuki mask, they’re also famous for leaving behind a greasy film that makes makeup slide around your face like a skating rink. Fortunately, skincare technology has advanced in the past few years and lightweight, sheer sunscreens are now easy to find. That means you have no excuse to slather on the sunscreen after your moisturizer every day. That’s right–Every. Day.

4. Picking At Your Skin

If you commit to changing any bad habit in the New Year, let it be this one: stop picking your face. We’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard to resist attacking a whitehead or clogged pore that looks ripe for popping, but most of the time, picking does more harm than good. Not only can it push more bacteria deeper into your pores, but it also inflames areas that were otherwise calm. Also, picking can leave permanent scars in its wake. Ladies, just say no to picking.

5. Sleeping in Your Makeup

We’ve all been there–you come home from a crazy night out, tipsy, tired, and ready to flop into bed. The last thing you want to do is drag yourself into the bathroom subject yourself to your seemingly endless skincare routine. So you decide to close your eyes for a few moments just to rest a bit before you wash your face and…you get the picture. We understand that washing your face before bed is sometimes just impossible, so at the very least, commit to removing your makeup every night before bed in 2019. This means keeping a pack of makeup remover wipes by your bedside at all times. That way, you’ll have no excuse to snooze in your makeup.

6. Not Washing Your Makeup Brushes

Our makeup brushes are one of the tools we use every day but overlook when it comes to upkeep. Like any device that comes into contact with our faces, they need a good scrub-down once in a while. Foundation brushes, especially, should be cleaned at least once a week. If the idea of committing to a makeup brush cleaning schedule seems daunting, invest in a brush-cleaning pad for your sink. Not only will it cut down cleaning time, but it will work to get deeper into the brush bristles, ensuring a more thorough clean.

7. Product Overload

With all the incredible skincare products out on the market right now, it can be tempting to buy everything you see that has a five-star review on Amazon. However, this approach to skincare can be counter-productive. Not only do some active ingredients react negatively together (like salicylic acid and retinoids), over-treating your skin can cause your skin to over-react. This means that your skin can over-compensate for its oil-loss by producing even more sebum to make up the difference. That can result in a one-two punch of dehydrated, oily skin. Keep your skincare regimen simple by sticking to cleansing, toning, and moisturizing with a few tried and true products on rotation. Your skin likes routine!

8. Drinking Too Much Alcohol

You may hate hearing this, but it’s true: alcohol is bad for your skin. Not only does drinking produce toxic byproducts in your liver, inflame your bodily tissue and dilate your pores, it also dehydrates your skin and overall body. If cutting out drinking completely is unrealistic, try to stick to less inflammatory alcohols like red wine, which contain the antioxidant resveratrol. That way, you can have your wine and drink it too.

9. Stressing Out

And finally, the bad skin habit that beats them all: stress. Science tells us that high levels of stress cause the body to release the hormone cortisol, which not only incites the over-production of sebum in your glands but can contribute to eczema and psoriasis flare-ups. Although we could write a whole thesis statement on the negative effects of stress on the mind, body, and spirit, we’ll keep it simple. In 2019, pledge to take things less seriously, breathe deeper, remain present, and put yourself first once in a while. That way, by 2020, you’ll be glowing from the inside out.

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