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7 Mistakes Secretly Damaging Your Skin

You know you shouldn’t be popping those pesky pimples or slathering alcohol on your face, but what else could you be doing that could be potentially damaging your skin? Here are the top 7 mistakes we see. After you read, avoid, avoid, avoid!

01 | Cleansing and exfoliating.

What we mean is don’t overdo these things, as it can cause dryness, irritation, breakouts and long-term damage. You’re generally being too aggressive if you exfoliate until your skin feels raw, you cleanse more than twice a day or you use products that are too harsh for your skin type (such as using acne treatments on dry skin). Always listen to your skin!

    02 | Your relaxing hot shower. 

    Sure, it feels great to turn your shower into a steam room, but drenching yourself in overheated water strips away your skin’s natural protective oils, causing dryness (which then can lead to wrinkles, sensitivity and even blemishes). Plus, all the purifying agents used to treat water can cause chemical build-up on skin. Consider installing a shower head filter to avoid chlorine and other chemicals.

      03 | You slather on anything with all-natural ingredients. 

      Not all natural ingredients are good for you. For example, menthol (derived from peppermint oil) is technically natural, but it can be highly sensitizing to skin. Also, don’t believe all the “natural” claims you see on bottles. The term isn’t regulated and anyone can display it on their products—even if there’s only a drop of nature in a cocktail of toxins. To help navigate, read the labels and make sure the company is transparent (no secrets) and lists all their ingredients on their products and website.

        04 | You apply your skin care incorrectly. 

        You want to apply your skin care in the correct order (generally, from thinnest to thickest consistency) so your skin can properly absorb the beneficial ingredients. And although you’ll read that oil-based formulas should always be applied last, that’s not necessarily true! Z Natural Life’s Revitalizing Facial Serum, with its base of jojoba oil (a substance very similar to your skin’s sebum), makes an amazing first layer because your skin drinks it right up, creating the perfect canvas for the rest of your skincare routine. You also want to make sure your skin is still damp after cleansing to enhance absorption of your skincare treatments. Finally, don’t simultaneously use too many new products at once, as they can contain clashing ingredients that cause major irritation.

          05 | Eating too much sugar.

          We get it—that chocolate cake a la mode is making you salivate, and you just need a bite of it! That’s totally fine (hey, we’re all about balance and doing things that make you happy), but try not to make sugar consumption a regular habit, particularly refined sugars like soda. These can skyrocket your insulin levels, which triggers enzymes to break down collagen and elastin, the two proteins responsible for taut, firm and bouncy skin.

            06 | Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase.

            Although you might wash your pillowcase often to avoid bacterial build-up, materials like cotton can cause creasing on your face which, yes, creates wrinkles over time. On top of that, cotton can absorb all the precious skin care you so diligently applied, essentially “stealing” it from your skin! Stick with a satin or silk pillowcase to wake up with smooth, radiant skin.

              07 | Not washing your glasses.

              Your eye glasses, sunglasses, phone, hats—essentially anything that goes on your face—need to be wiped down every day so blemish-causing bacteria doesn’t transfer onto your skin. And don’t get us started on unwashed makeup brushes, sponges and applicators. Keep a consistent cleansing schedule to make sure you’re not sweeping bacteria and grime on your beautiful visage!