10 Habits That Could Ruin Your Skin (And How To Avoid Them)

We all dream of having a flawless, model worthy complexion but often achieving this can be more tricky than we’d like. You may moisturise, cleanse and tone religiously but your skin is still not picture perfect, and this could be down to a few bad everyday habits that are ruining your skin. Here at CGD we’ve rounded up the top 10 skin sins to avoid in the name of a glowing complexion.

1. Sleeping with makeup on

After a long tiring day or a late night out with friends, taking your makeup off may be the last thing on your mind. But letting your makeup and the oil buildup from throughout the day, sit on your skin all night, can lead to bacterial infections and clogged pores, which can cause acne. Plus your body temperature increases slightly when you sleep, which will enhance absorption of whatever’s on the skin surface, so if it’s makeup then you can expect an increase in spots.

If you’re too tired to do the full cleanse, tone and moisturise routine then using micellar water is a good alternative to take your makeup off quickly and effectively, just try not to make a habit of this. Try beauty cult Bioderma Sensibio H20 to gently remove makeup whilst cleansing the skin at the same time.

2. Using harsh cleansers

This may seem contradictory as cleansing is a crucial part of any skincare routine but over cleansing your skin can actually cause more damage. If you have dry skin then you need to be careful as cleansing too much will strip away natural oils, making your skin even drier.

Try to pick a creamy or oil-based cleanser at night as these are gentler on dry or sensitive skin, like Liz Earle’s Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. The plant-based cleanser includes naturally active ingredients such as, eucalyptus and cocoa butter leaving skin feeling soft and moisturised. For oily or blemish-prone skin types, then La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel is a great alternative.

3. Exfoliating too much

Whilst squeaky-clean skin feels great, exfoliating using gritty exfoliators can exacerbate oil production and worsen breakouts by spreading bacteria. If a scrub stings or leaves your skin red and blotchy then it’s best not to use it, as as well as wiping away flaky skin, it will also get rid of your skin’s natural hydrating oils.

Rough natural exfoliators can cause inflammation and irritation, but using a gentle exfoliator with microbeads or sugar is much gentler on the skin. Origins GinZing Refreshing scrub cleanser is perfect as it contains Jojoba and Carnauba wax to gently exfoliate to help unclog pores. If you need a guide to exfoliating read this!

4. Squeezing blemishes

We all know how tempting this can be but the reality is squeezing a pimple pushes the bacteria deeper into the pores, which can cause infection and scarring, making the blemish last for even longer. Instead of squeezing the spot, you should put a small amount of spot treatment on it at night to help soothe and reduce it overnight.

Try GLAMGLOW’s Super Mud Clearing Treatment, which contains a range of effective ingredients such as glycolic, salicylic and lactic acids that work to heal damaged skin and prevent breakouts. This innovative facial treatment also doubles as a face mask which absorbs impurities without affecting the skin’s natural oils.

5. Forgetting to use SPF

Unless it’s a particularly hot sunny day we’re all guilty of forgetting to put on SPF before foundation in the mornings. But even in winter, our skin is susceptible to sun damage so it’s a vital step to help keep skin looking healthy and glowing. If you’re in a rush in the mornings and don’t fancy layering on SPF and then foundation, make sure to use a foundation that has an SPF within in it to keep you protected throughout the day.

6. Using the wrong products for your skin type

Your skin will suffer if you don’t use the products specifically aimed at your skin type, leading to more breakouts and irritation. For oily skin, choose products with salicylic and glycolic acid such as, Alpha H’s Liquid Gold. This cult classic is an overnight skin treatment which works on renewing skin cells overnight whilst boosting the elastin and collagen within the skin to keep it plump.

For sensitive skin, look for face washes specifically targeted towards sensitivity like this Olay Foaming Face Wash. For face creams stick to paraben free formulas like Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream; it is pricey but it contains skin plumping hyaluronic acid, vitamins A, C and E, and soothing frangipani.

If you have combination skin then choose a foaming cleanser for oily skin and a clarifying toner, like this Dr Hauschka Toner. It’s packed full of anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory calendula, witch hazel and daisy which soothe and regulate sebum production whilst tightening pores. For moisturiser use a lightweight product during the day but a thicker one at night, like Origins Mega-Mushroom Face Cream to keep dry patches at bay.

Finally those with dry skin should make sure to include hydrating oils into their skincare regime to keep moisture locked in; try Clarins Santal Face Treatment Oil at night so it has time to absorb into the pores and when you wake up dry patches are smoothed, softened and diminished. If you need a more in depth guide to finding out your skin type and how to use the right products click here.

7. Lack of sleep

Getting less than 7 hours sleep a night can have an affect on your skin, making it appear duller and increasing fine lines particularly around the eye area. It’s recommended to have at least 8 hours a night to keep your skin replenished and hydrated. It’s also important to sleep with satin, silk or Egyptian cotton pillowcases because rough pillowcases can actually cause wrinkles during the night.

8. Not drinking enough water

One of the simplest ways to make your skin glow is by drinking enough water. Regular water consumption improves the colour and texture of your skin by ensuring new cells renew properly. It’s recommended that you drink at least 2 litres of water a day to ensure you have that healthy glowing complexion.

9. Eating junk food

As tough as it may be to hear, your diet affects your complexion more than you think. A recent study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that people who replaced processed carbs with high-protein foods broke out less. Simply put, high-glycemic foods such as white carbs cause your blood sugar to rise resulting in a surge of insulin. Higher levels of insulin in turn stimulates oil-producing hormones called androgens, which can increase the amount of blemishes on your skin. Its best to cut out junk food and replace with snacks that contain healthy fats which give essential nutrients for hair, skin and nails. If you don’t think you can live without your favourite junk food don’t worry, we’ve got you covered, here’s how to make your favourite junk food healthier.

10. Smoking

One final bad habit that can ruin your skin is smoking as it breaks down elastic fibres in the skin, which is why smokers’ complexions can look yellow-toned whilst it speeds up the enzyme responsible for breaking down collagen, which leads to wrinkles. If you want perfect skin you should think about quitting!

Do you do any of these things? How’s your skin looking? Let us know what works for you.