1. Not Drinking Enough Water
According to one nearly unbelievable study, approximately 75 percent of American adults are chronically dehydrated. Being dehydrated is different from being thirsty; you may not know when you are dehydrated, but your health is affected nonetheless. When you're dehydrated, you may find that you are more lethargic and that it's harder to formulate coherent thoughts. After all, water composes around 60 percent of the human body, and your brain is almost entirely water.
Another common symptom of dehydration is dehydrated skin. When you're skin is dehydrated, it doesn't have enough water to perform basic functions like cell replication and oil balancing. Dehydrated skin is different from dry skin since your skin is considered dry when it has low levels of oil, but these two conditions often go hand in hand. When your skin is dry or dehydrated, it is more prone to inflammation, which means that dry skin is more likely to develop acne or other inflammation-related skin conditions. Many different factors can contribute to skin dryness, but if you make sure to drink enough water, you can at least make sure that dehydration isn't one of them. While you're at it, make sure that you've filtered your water and that it doesn't contain potentially dangerous chemicals like chlorine or fluoride.
2. Taking Hot ShowersAfter enduring a long day in the office, a hot shower can seem like just the thing to take the edge off and help you relax. Similarly, cold days seem to practically beg for hot showers, but you should be wary of a practice that may seem like nothing more than a minor indulgence. While hot showers may feel good, they are bad for your skin, and they can actually leave your skin drier than it would be if you had stood in a cold winter blast all day.
Hot showers don't only make your skin dry; they also remove your skin's natural barrier. This barrier keeps irritants out of your skin, and without it, your skin is much more likely to become inflamed or irritated, and skin that is unhappy ages faster. When combined with skin dryness, this unfortunate consequence of hot showers is bound to give your skin a hard time. However, showers that are warm without being hot are great for relaxing your muscles, and they may also make it easier to fall asleep. If you're struggling with a cold or the flu, taking a shower can be just what you need to feel a little bit better, and showers that are on the colder side can help you feel alert in the morning. As long as you remember not to overdo it, you shouldn't underestimate the therapeutic effects of showers.
3. Sleeping with Makeup OnAfter a long night or a hard day, it can be tempting to leave your makeup on when you go to sleep. If you cut this corner enough times, however, your skin may be permanently damaged as a result. Every time that you sleep with makeup on, you run the risk of clogging your pores and aging your skin. Leaving makeup on overnight can provide your skin with the perfect breeding ground for acne, and this practice also makes it hard for your skin to heal itself and replicate cells in the way that it usually does. Over time, this will cause the bags under your eyes to worsen, your skin to lose its lustrous glow, and wrinkles to form in the creases of your face.
Despite how tempting it may seem to leave your makeup on, take a couple of minutes to wash your face before you go to bed. In general, you might want to limit your makeup use as much as possible; makeup should be a tool that you use to accentuate your naturally beautiful features, and caking it in is bound to harm your skin whether you sleep with it or not. Also, make sure only to use makeup that is made by ethical brands who don't use any toxic ingredients that are bound to harm your skin more than makeup would on its own.
4. Applying Too Much FoundationIf you decide that makeup is an integral part of your routine, you should still be wary of the potential dangers of foundation. Some people seem to think that foundation is the same thing as concealer, but if you make this mistake, you'll make whatever condition that you're trying to conceal even worse. As a side note, it's always better to treat underlying conditions instead of concealing them since conditions that are ignored and covered up always get worse. For instance, acne, which is quite an unsightly condition, causes many young women to seek a way to hide it. However, acne thrives when your pores are blocked, and foundation has a way of blocking your pores worse than they were before.
If you do decide to take the route of covering up blemishes or other skin issues, you should apply concealer first and then apply a thin layer of foundation. Foundation is simply meant to add to your skin's natural tone, and it can serve as an excellent base for other types of makeup if you use it effectively. Just remember to remove your foundation as soon as you're back home, or you're ready to go to bed.
5. Tying Your Hair Back Too Tightly
While a tight bun or ponytail might seem like the perfect hairstyle to complete your look, you should be wary of tying your hair back too tightly. When you tie your hair too tightly, you can stretch the skin on your forehead, which can cause it to become dry, red, or inflamed. Beyond potential skin issues, tying your hair too tightly can also cause a condition called traction alopecia. This condition is a gradual form of hair loss that occurs when you pull back the areas of your skin near your face repeatedly over a long period of time. While you might not notice symptoms of traction alopecia for years, you may suddenly notice that your hairline has receded significantly long before you should have experienced any natural balding. Once you've pushed back your hairline with traction alopecia, there isn't much that you can do to reverse this condition, which just drives home the point that protecting your hair with loose ponytails and soft buns is the best way to guard your scalp's health in the long term.
6. Washing Your Face Too FrequentlyOne mistake that people frequently make when confronted with acne is washing their faces too frequently. Even if you don't have acne, you might feel like washing your face 3-5 times per day is the right way to go, but there are a number of reasons why you should limit your face washing sessions to one of two times each day. While oily skin can sometimes be a problem, the oil that your skin creates is designed to create a barrier against irritants and toxins, and if you remove this skin barrier, you can leave your skin open to inflammation and disease.
Washing your face too frequently can also make your skin dry, and dry skin is far more likely to develop issues than skin that is perfectly moist. If your skin is too dry or if you're constantly interrupting your skin barrier, your skin's inflammation increases, which makes conditions like acne worse. Whether certain scientists are to be believed and the source of acne is inflammation, what's certain is that inflammation only makes this condition worse, which means that you may make your acne worse by washing your face too much.
7. Picking at AcneWhile washing your face too much definitely makes acne worse, picking at your zits can cause even more trouble. The only situation in which it makes sense to mess with pimples is when they show white, pus-filled nodules, and you can "pop" zits like these carefully as long as you don't damage the rest of your skin. Even then, it's best to let your pimples heal in peace, but asking people who suffer from acne to entirely ignore their issue isn't always a realistic request to make. Whatever you do, just make sure that you don't fester over a boil over a matter of days. While a big zit might be itchy and annoying, the more that you scratch at it, the bigger it gets, and the more likely it becomes that you'll eventually need to take action and pop it. However, you should keep in mind that even the most surgical of acne pustule removal methods still has a chance of leaving a scar. Scars from acne can last all throughout your life, so you should always be careful when taking action against your acne.
8. Using Toxic Cosmetics
While it's probably best for your skin if you limit your makeup use as much as possible, if you feel like you have to apply makeup to achieve your true beauty, you should only use natural cosmetics that don't contain any toxic ingredients. However, it's not like your favorite makeup products have labels that say "Hi, I'm toxic!" Instead, you'll need to use your discernment and determine which ingredients are good for you and which aren't.
For instance, you should avoid any products that contain parabens or phthalates like the plague. You should also shun any products that have any artificial colors or fragrances, and ingredients like ammonia and formaldehyde are a no-go. In general, it's best to leave guesswork out of the equation and only use cosmetics products that manufacturers have specifically labeled as being organic and non-GMO.