While makeup can conceal your skin's blemishes and make you look flawless, nothing beats naturally smooth and porcelain skin. The key to getting a clear complexion? A proper skincare routine for your skin type. That, and promising not to commit any of these top 10 skin sins.
We got in touch with Dr. Ayees Mendoza, a dermatologist from the Philippine Dermatological Society, to help us rank some of these nasty skin habits and explain why these can be very harmful to your skin.
10. Not giving your nails a break from polish
Your nails deserve the same TLC you give your skin. While having polished digits make you look effortlessly chic, it can also be very damaging to your nails. Give your tips a two-week break to let them breathe. "The problem with leaving nail polish on for too long is that it can cause drying and discoloration of your nail plates, leaving them damaged," Dr. Ayees shares. "To prevent infection, avoid cutting or forcefully pushing back your cuticle. Make sure your nail salon follows strict cleanliness and sterilization of the materials to be used. You may think of purchasing your own tools to use at the salons. If you have nail problems, don’t cover it up with polish." If you do encounter infections, we recommend consulting with your dermatologist right away.
9. Licking of lips
One of the most annoying feelings in the world is having a pout that feels like it's in a drought. While licking your lips is probably the only thing you can do from keeping your lips from looking dry, it actually does more harm than good! Yes, apart from dehydration, your saliva is actually one of the reasons your lips are becoming drier. Dr. Ayees tells us, "Apart from being dehydrated, having dry lips is usually secondary to licking your lips often. Your saliva actually has enzymes that chew up certain proteins on your lips, making it dry. If you leave your lips dry and cracked, it can lead to possible infections and inflammation." So what do you do when you find yourself having dry lips? Avoid licking your lips and apply a good hypoallergenic lip moisturizer or a lip balm regularly.
8. Not staying hydrated
Believe your mom when she tells you that drinking water regularly will help you get clear skin. But more than drinking eight to 10 glasses of water every day, Dr. Ayees tells us that it is important to apply moisturizers on your skin on a regular basis. "After bathing with a mild cleanser, gently dry your skin with your towel, then follow it up by applying a layer of mild lotion to lock in the moisture that went into the skin as you bathed. Remember that having dry skin can predispose you to problems like itchiness, allergies, and eczemas. By keeping your skin hydrated, you [avoid] developing skin problems in the future."
7. Sleeping with makeup on
We don't even need to tell you that you shouldn't sleep with makeup on because we're pretty sure you already know this...and we're also pretty sure you're still guilty but we totally understand. Who has the time to remove makeup after a long day when your bed is calling your name, right? But when you think about the consequences, is that extra 10-minute sleep worth it? "Sleeping with makeup on can actually cause a breakout of acne by clogging the pores," Dr. Ayees tells us. "Throughout the day we are subjected to dirt and dust from the environment. If we don’t get to wash our face and remove all the dirt and makeup, you will most likely develop problems on your skin the following day. Eye makeup can also cause clogging of the follicles of your eyelashes and cause inflammation or infection. So, it’s very important to remove your makeup before you rest for the day." Hear that, ladies?
While it's good to exfoliate to lift dirt and dead skin cells, doing it too much can also damage your skin. "Exfoliating can improve your skin’s appearance by removing the topmost layer of dead skin cells that make your skin look dull. However, not all skin types may benefit from this," Dr. Ayees says. For those with dry skin, Dr. Ayees recommends exfoliating just once a week, using mild body cleansers and soft face towels, and scrubbing gently. If you have oily skin, Dr. Ayees says, "You may scrub gently twice a week to get rid of the dead skin cells that clog the pores, until you achieve the right balance of moisture (not too dry, not too oily)." Over-exfoliation can make your skin dry and irritated—which is not what you want for your skin. "The goal is more of keeping your skin clean and well-moisturized. After exfoliating, don’t forget to apply hypoallergenic moisturizers."
5. Showering for too long
Love long showers? You may want to kick that habit because it's actually really bad for your skin. According to Dr. Ayees, it's been reported that prolonged showers make your skin even drier. "It may seem ironic because when we think of water, that means that it will hydrate your skin more. However, when you spend hours and hours in the pool or in the ocean, at the end of the day, you'll notice that your skin is even drier compared to before you started. That is because, there is the tendency for the water content in the skin to evaporate into the atmosphere, making your skin drier. That’s why it is important to either lessen the duration of bathing, especially if you have a background history of atopic dermatitis (wherein you generally have dry skin) or apply a good moisturizer after you bathe to lock in the water content in the skin."
4. Using of colored or overly scented body washes and lotions
If you're ever suffering from dry or irritated skin, one factor might be your overly fragrant body wash or lotion. Best to go for mild body products to keep your skin's moisture level at a normal level. Dr. Ayees says, "A common question we get is how do we know if a certain product is actually safe or hypoallergenic? We’ll know if a product is mild if it has less color, less scent, and less lather when you use it. Products that are too colored, too scented, or lather too much when you use them often makes your skin dry. They contain added ingredients such as coloring and fragrance that can possibly dry your skin and cause irritation. If you have a background of atopic dermatitis or a history of developing allergies, it is better if you use soap-free cleansers or washes that have less color, less scent, and less lather when you use them."
3. Not using moisturizer
If you have dry skin, moisturizer is your best friend...and same goes for those with oily skin. "Having naturally oily skin usually means that your sebaceous glands are more active than usual. Some say that it’s like having a natural moisturizer, except that tendency is for you to become too shiny. And usually, having oily skin predisposes one to have acne-prone skin. The right way to go about this is that you have to start treatment that can lessen the oiliness such as topical retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, or salicylic acid. However, these treatments can make the skin dry and sometimes cause irritation. That’s why it is best to pair it with a light oil-free based moisturizer that is non-comedogenic and can help balance the problem. It’s just a matter of finding the right kind of moisturizer for your particular skin type," shares Dr. Ayees.
2. Picking or popping zits
Want to have skin free of dark spots, pimple marks, and scars? Stop picking on your pimples! The proper way to deal with pesky zits is by keeping your skin free of dirt and minimize its oil production, since acne is caused by bacteria, excess sebum production, clogged pores, and inflammation. To do this, Dr. Ayees recommends washing your face with cleansers that are designed for oily and acne-prone skin two times a day. "You will need topical anti-acne products if you have mild-moderate acne. However, you will need oral anti-acne medications if you have moderate-severe acne." To find the perfect medication for you, it's best to consult with your dermatologist.
1. Skipping the sunscreen
We've said this over and over again: Never, ever skip the sunscreen—even when you're just indoors. It's the number one skin sin because not only will your skin be damaged by the harmful UV rays, sun damage can also lead to skin cancer. It also makes your skin age a lot quicker! "Being constantly exposed to the sun is actually one of the main causes of the signs of skin-aging such as having fine lines and wrinkles as well as pigmentation. It's important that when you choose sunscreens, it has to be 'broad spectrum,' at least SPF 30, and water-resistant," Dr. Ayees tells us. Broad spectrum means it protects against UVA, which causes ski-aging, and UVB, which causes burning—which can lead to skin cancer. As for how often you must apply sunscreen, Dr. Ayees recommends to put some on 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every two hours. Make sunscreen your best friend! You'll thank us later.
Clarisse G. Mendoza, MD, Fellow Philippine Dermatological Society, Immunodermatogy Unit Head, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, is an Active Consultant at Asian Hospital & Medical Center and an Associate Active Professor at De La Salle University Medical Center. For more information, log on to the Philippine Dermatological Society website.
This story originally appeared on Spot.ph.
*Minor edits have been made by FemaleNetwork.com editors.