You’re never too old to break a bad habit — especially if you’ve acquired a few bad skincare habits that need to be dealt with ASAP. Your 30s is the perfect time to reevaluate your skincare routine, identify problems that could be contributing to acne, skin lines, or pigmentation issues, and tackle them. There’s a solid chance all you’ll require is a few minor tweaks and adjustments, a bit more sunscreen, and a bit less time obsessing over zits or watching late night TV (because sleep is everything).
These six bad skincare habits are more common than you probably think. We make some of them without even realizing the effect they can have on our skin. But there’s good news: most are reversible. Squash those bad habits now and your skin will benefit for years to come.
There was a time, not long ago, when health and wealth were associated with glowing skin you could only get from hours of sunbathing. Of course, we’re now very well aware of how UVA and UVB rays are harmful to our skin and health and can cause premature aging. If you consider yourself a sun worshipper, be sure to invest in a separate facial sunscreen with broad-spectrum UV 50 protection. Wear a hat. And try to avoid lounging in direct sunlight between the hours of 10am and 2pm.
You Forget To Wear Sunglasses
When you were a teen, sunglasses were a fashion statement and little more. They’re still a fun accessory that can change up your style, but they’re also crucial to wear to protect your eyes from damaging UV rays. Wearing sunglasses that are marked 100 percent UV protection is one of the best steps you can take (along with finding a great retinol eye cream) to prevent crow’s feet.
You Fall Asleep Without Washing Your Face
You’ve had another late night out, your makeup looked amazing, and now you’re way too tired to wash it all off. Taking a few minutes to properly remove foundation, powder, concealer, and even lipstick with a oil-based cleanser will keep your pores from getting clogged and can prevent pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads from forming — even from stubborn places like around your lips. If washing your face is a total hassle, keep cleansing wipes on a nightstand for a fast, water-free cleanse before bed.
You Use Abrasive Exfoliants
After being told how important it is to exfoliate in order to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores, a lot of us did just that — and then we overdid it or used products that aren’t doing our skin any favors. Some of the more abrasive physical exfoliants that contain large grains, salt particles, or involve scrubbing with tough brushes, can aggravate sensitive or even regular skin types. They can even cause tiny tears in delicate skin and result in increased breakouts. Stick with gentler chemical exfoliators with BHA and AHA acids, such as glycolic and lactic acids.
You Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep
As if you needed another reason to get Netflix: it helps you get in your zzz’s when you need them so that you can watch your favorite shows without losing sleep. Getting enough sleep is so important to great skin — sleep deprivation can actually stunt collagen formation, which helps keep your skin looking tight and youthful. Make it a point to get 6-8 hours every night — if you can learn to sleep on your back to avoid wrinkles, even better.
You Pick At Zits
There are far too many amazing zit products on the market these days to resort back to the old days of playing DIY dermatologist in your bathroom. Picking your pimples can spread bacteria and cause more zits. Apply a product like Mario Badescu Drying Lotion and let the blend of salicylic acid and calamine work its zit-zapping magic while you sleep.