5 Bad Habits That Are Aging You — & What You Can Do About It
You’re diligent about your multi-step skincare routine — but what if you’re undermining all that effort with these 5 bad habits that are aging you? See if you need to fix these quirks or if you’re in the clear.
There’s a lot more to keeping the lines and wrinkles away than a simple skincare routine. There are a lot of actions and habits that we might engage in without noticing how harmful they can be in the long run.
Don’t freak out though. It’s not too late to take note and make the right changes. While there is only so much that we can do to delay the visible signs of aging, it is important that we do the best we can to ensure healthy skin. Here, why you need to quit these five bad habits that are aging you.
1. Sir UV, Knight of the Anti-Aging Realm
Sin numero uno on my list is skipping sunscreen. No matter how old you are or what your ethnicity is, you should most definitely be wearing sunscreen daily. And it’s not enough to just put it on in the AM. You’ve gotta:
a. Put on the recommended amount (¼ teaspoon for the face pleaseandthankyou)
b. Re-apply for every two hours of sun exposure
As I, and many before me have undoubtedly mentioned before, UV protection is your number one champion when it comes to fighting the signs of aging. So remember kids, it’s cool to wear sunscreen. Spread the word.
2. Don’t treat your neck like Cinderella
Your face deserves all the goodness that products rich in ingredients like hyaluronic acid, green tea, and honey provide, but so do your neck and chest area. Don’t forget to pay attention to those areas while you go through your routines — or one day you’ll be that person who little kids point at when they ask their mothers, “Mama! Why does that person’s neck look like a turkey’s?” You don’t want turkey neck. Trust me.
So put some moisture-rich, firming products on your neck and, as Fiddy puts it, the “upper-titty area.” While there are some neck creams out there, you don’t have to buy anything specific for that purpose. For instance, I usually swipe my toner pad on my neck after I use it on my face, and put a bit of my moisturizer on the area as well. It’ll only take like 30 seconds extra.
3. It’s worth it — I promise
Absolutely under no circumstances should you be tumbling into bed at the end of the day without taking your makeup off. You might be tired and can barely hold yourself up, but you’ve gotta take five to 10 minutes to double cleanse and at least slap a sleeping pack on before heading off to la-la land. If you don’t, you’ll be kicking yourself the next day when you wake up looking like a soucouyant paid you a visit in the night.
Throughout the day, your skin is exposed to dirt, sweat, pollution, and bacteria that build up and can cause breakouts. Sounds gross, right? Remember that each time you’re tempted to go to sleep without washing your face.
4. Three words: tender loving care
That’s right. Your face is not a load of soiled whites, so you shouldn’t rub too vigorously when cleansing or use water that’s too hot. The skin on your face is a lot less hardy than the skin on the rest of your body and needs to be handled gently to avoid irritation. This applies especially to the skin under your eyes.
While rubbing your eyes might relieve the itch temporarily, it applies pressure on the blood vessels under the skin, causing dark circles to appear more prominently, as well as puffiness, redness, and you got it, wrinkles. Next time your eyes are itchy, treat the cause of the symptoms by reaching for allergy medication, some itch-relief eye drops, or flush with water.
5. Not too much, not too little
While we’re on the subject of cleansing, in addition to intensity and water temperature, the frequency with which you wash your face is also important. It’s another one of those YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) things in skincare, so you’ve gotta do what’s right for you.
While you should wash your face morning and night, depending on your skin type and whether or not you wear makeup, you might not have to wash with cleanser in the mornings. A lot of people with say, dry skin, don’t use a cleanser in the AM, instead simply rinsing with water, maybe using a pad soaked with micellar water to swipe away dirt first. The purpose of this is to preserve all the moisture locked in from a PM routine to help skin that struggles with hydration. There’s also the issue of using the right cleanser for your skin type, but that’s a whole other conversation.
Do you need to kick any of these bad habits that are aging you? Or have you long kicked bad skincare behavior to the curb? Share you skincare story in the comments below.