10 Things You’re Doing That Are Ruining Your Skin

My mother is always au naturale. It’s a major struggle to get the woman to do her hair, put on an outfit not from the consignment shop, and spread some makeup on her face. Comparatively, I drive her nuts too by constantly needing crisp clothes fit to the occasion and fresh makeup.

On one of our weekends away, she spotted me putting makeup on for the second time that day and she immediately made a horrified face. “You know,” she said, “It’s the makeup that is clogging up your pores and making your skin need makeup to begin with.”

Puh-lease. This is also the lady that has worshiping the sun since 1975. However, regardless of her poor sun habits, I started to really think – am I wearing makeup too much? If I curbed it a little, sporting makeup-free days or even immediately washing it off when I got home from work, would my face look less like a pizza? 

I decided to give it a try and I’ve been washing my face immediately at 7:00 pm when I walk in the door as well as wearing makeup less on the weekends. But, as OCD as I am, I’m now on a kick and I’m going to get you on one too. Read one for these things to avoid to get your skin looking a little clearer, too. 


Photo Courtesy of Anna De Bartoli

1. Not exercising is not only bad for your overall health, but bad for your skin, too. Exercise increases blood flow which will give your skin a healthy glow. Also, in perspiration, you are eliminating your body of toxins and dead skin cells. 

2. Hard water is often present for homes that are out in the boondocks (like mine). You’ll know you have hard water if you find your hair to be much drier and unpleasant and if it is difficult to get soap to really sud up in the shower. To make your water softer beyond a water softener in the pump, invest in a filtering shower head such as Aquasana

3. Long, hot showers actually break down the outer layer of the epidermis which can make your skin drier. If you feel like your shower may be too long, it probably is. Also watch out for reddening skin or an itch to know when it’s time to step out.

4. Not drinking water is probably the easiest way to dry out your skin and age it prematurely. Not only does drinking water energize you and keep you generally healthy, but keeping to about a cup of water an hour will hydrate you.

5. Talking on your cell phone is something we all need to do but can also cause breakouts. A cell phone has more germs on it than a toilet seat, and you probably only put your face to the toilet seat when you’re praying to the porcelein gods after a long night out. To combat this, regularly clean your phone with antibacterial wipes. 

6. Dirty pillowcases are a huge culprit of bad skin. Change your pillowcases once every two weeks to eliminate buildup on them and also consider investing in silk pillowcases, which are easier on your skin and your hair. 

7. Sodium, which is in sodas and junk foods, will dry and dull out your skin. Everyone eats this stuff once in a while, but get in the habit of eating healthier foods and fruits and veggies to not only hydrate your skin but make you healthier overall. 

8. Wearing sunglasses is up there with yapping on the cell phone. Remember, those sunglasses that lay on the floor of your car and in the bottom of your bag also go on your face. Keep these clean with antibacterial wipes as well. 

9. Not sleeping will dull your skin and clog your pores. I’m not sure why you would want to skip your eight hours anyway but get a good night’s sleep to ensure a better face for the next day. 

10. Chlorine, even if you take a shower following your summer dip, can hang out and react unpleasantly with various lotions and cleansers. To combat this, simply take extra care when washing after the pool and use extra sudsy soap or clean deeper than you normally do.







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