Breaking up is hard to do, but sometimes necessary....With some bad habits, it's pretty clear that they're doing more harm than good. You know you should quit, but you ignore it and just keep on truckin'. With others, you don't even realize how bad they are for you until you better educate yourself or see the benefits you achieve when you actually stop.
And so is the case of the bad skin care habits I've practiced for many years that I finally kicked to the curb.
Are you guilty of any of these? Let's find out, shall we?
1. Not Properly Removing My Makeup
This is a real no-no. While I’ve never slept in makeup (that’s just gross), I didn’t start properly double cleansing and removing all traces of it until this year (yikes!). So how did I remove my makeup, you ask? I used my exfoliating scrub every night – that’s right – a harsh scrub that’s supposed to be used after properly cleansing and removing makeup. It’s a wonder I still have skin on my face.
What prompted me to stop? My love for beauty blogs and a serious focus on skin care this year forced me to do a lot of reading on the benefits of double cleansing and proper makeup removal products. A few months ago, I started using Garnier Micellar Water to remove my makeup each night and I noticed a difference in my skin after the very first use. Softer, less irritated skin, instantly! Cleansing balms, oils or milks are also great for thoroughly removing makeup.
2. Manually Exfoliating Every Night
I had a few pimples in my teens that prompted me to focus on exfoliation. Why? Because I found daily exfoliation with a rough scrub was the only thing at the time that prevented and reduced my outbreaks. I knew that exfoliation should be done only once or twice a week, but….exfoliating every night kept my skin so clear and even, why would I ever stop?
Well, it’s been many years since I’ve gotten a blemish, but this skin care habit never died. Fast forward to earlier this year, my skin started getting angry. My pores became super large and my cheeks got redder and bumpier than usual. I couldn’t figure out what was going on, but decided it was time to give my exfoliating scrub a rest to let my skin calm down.
BEST. DECISION. EVER. I now manually exfoliate with a milder scrub only once or twice a week and continue to use an exfoliating toner both morning and night. My skin and I are now back on speaking terms.
3. Rinsing With Hot Water
Again, going back to my teen years, I believed that using super hot water on my skin would open my pores and make my skin cleaner and clearer. While dermatologists recommend using lukewarm water on skin, I obviously knew better and ignored this advice all the time (what do doctors know, anyways?).
The problem? Hot water strips skin of moisture and can also cause redness and irritation. The temperature of the water you use doesn’t affect how clean your skin will be (hello, that’s what cleansers are for!) and pores don’t open and close. I finally came to terms with this habit and realized that hot water is best saved for laundry instead.
4. Foaming Cleansers/Irritating Ingredients
I did a whole post on this topic here; foaming cleansers that leave your skin feeling tight and dry are the devil! Again, I loved these cleansers for their “deep cleaning” ability (at least, that’s what I thought). In reality, all they did was leave my skin overly dry, red and irritated. In addition, many of my skin care staples included irritating ingredients like menthol (Avon’s ClearSkin Pore Penetrating Scrub) or alcohol (Clean & Clear Salicylic Acid Astringent).
Again, realizing that my skin was crying for help, I better educated myself on the negatives of sulfate-based foaming cleansers and other irritants. I promptly swapped these skin killers for a more gentle, hydrating option (like CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser).
For skin care ingredients that can benefit your skin, read this.
5. Pimple Popping
This is a bit of a cheat here, because while I don’t really get pimples anymore to pop, I do occasionally squeeze some small bumps or blackheads that I come across. I’ve learned the hard way that squeezing a spot to death just makes matters worse (e.g. bigger, redder, nastier). I still have a slight discolouration between my eyebrows from 20 years ago from over-squeezing a huge cystic blemish because I thought I knew best.
That being said, if I squeeze a spot, I make sure to do so with properly cleansed skin and hands. I also make sure to apply only gentle pressure to the spot I’m squeezing to avoid tearing skin and causing infection. I’ll also use my exfoliating toner to “buff” any areas that appear swollen to speed up the healing process and unclog pores.
For acne sufferers, a good blemish/spot treatment and daily acid exfoliation is your best bet. Keep those popping fingers away.
What bad skin care habits are you guilty of?