6 Skincare No-Nos You Should Definitely Stop Doing Now

Some food for thought: are you aware the anti-aging skincare market is positively booming right now? It’s estimated that by the end of the year, the global skincare industry is set to reach almost $121 billion.

It makes sense when you think about our society’s complicated relationship with aging. Botox, facelifts and anti-aging serums are just all part of our skincare vernacular these days. But if you think it’s just aging baby-boomers who are guiding this market boom, you’re wrong.

Younger consumers are becoming more and more aware of the value in taking care of your skin from a young age – and so they should. Prevention, as they say, is always better.

We’ve already told you some excellent things you should be doing for your skin now, but sometimes what you need to hear is what not to do.

So before you start extracting blood and peeling off layers of skin in an effort to better yourself, we asked the help of a these much-sought-after skincare professionals, who let us know the very worst things you could be doing when it comes to your skin.

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Bad skincare habit #1: Spending too long in the sun 

It’s an obvious one, but one that bears repeating: any form of prolonged UV exposure is bad for you. Celebrity facialist Melanie Grant considers tanning, alongside smoking, as one of the most harmful things you could be doing for your body. Overexposure to the sun can make skin age and wrinkle faster (not to mention the ever present threat of skin cancer).

If you know what’s good for you, avoid it as best you can – but if you will be exposing yourself to the sun, slather on that 50+ like there’s no tomorrow.

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Bad skincare habit #2: Going overboard with your routine

Kaye Scott, co-director of Bondi’s cult skincare medical centre The Clinic, says over-exfoliation and steam facials are some of the worst trends that could be harming your face. These treatments, though well intentioned, can result in broken capillaries and skin sensitivity for a number of patients. Over-exfoliating for example, can strip your skin of its necessary oils.

“Keep it simple,” Kaye says, “Know what is in your product and what it’s doing,” as it’ll save you in the long run.

shower lady
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Bad skincare habit #3: Long, hot showers

In a similar vein, you might want to try and avoid those steaming hot showers. As much as warming up under a hot shower head sounds just about perfect in the dead of winter, the heat from those prolonged showers is actually making your skin extra dry because it’s washing off your skin’s natural oils.

Extreme temperatures can mess with the delicate balance in your skin, and push it to a state of stress. This means cellular damage, ‘burning’ skin, and causing broken capillaries. Remember: your skin is a pretty precious organ. Excess heat can strip away your outer layer of skin tissue, causing inflammation and itchiness. So, maybe cool it on the hotness, okay?

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Bad skincare habit #4: Picking your pimples

Some call it cathartic, others call it gross, but more often than not, it’ll result in hefty scars you know you could have avoided. Dermatologist Dr Natasha Cook, from Darlinghurst Dermatology, has seen her fair share of acne scars and, consequently, she knows that picking your pimples is a real no-no.

You should start to think of your pimples as big ugly sacks of oil, dirt and bacteria (which is what they are), so by popping them, you’re running the risk of that gunk spurting out and creating a dozen or so more pimples nearby. Just don’t. It’s not worth it.

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Bad skincare habit #5: Forgetting to take your makeup off  

Though it seems harmless, not taking your makeup off every night is another bad habit Melanie says to avoid. It could not only be clogging you pores as you sleep, but can also causing premature aging.

Makeup effectively masks the skin, so if you forget to take it off, you’re preventing it from breathing and recovering from the onslaught of debris you encounter on a daily basis (like pollution, bacteria and straight-up dirt that makes its way onto your face). Be sure to cleanse and moisturise before you hit the pillow.

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Bad skincare habit #6: Thinking skin is just outside-in

This really comes down to looking after yourself properly and thinking holistically. Melanie says that to take a holistic approach to skincare, “it start’s from within. To achieve great skin you need to eat well, get a sufficient amount of sleep, avoid stress and don’t over indulge, along with using good skincare and having regular treatments.”

Eating well is the ethos Carla Oates from The Beauty chef takes. She believes “beauty begins in the belly” and advises against “eating unhealthy carbs and sugar.” Instead, “eat lots of fermented foods full of nutrients and natural probiotics and where possible avoid processed food and unhealthy chemicals that compromise gut health.” Basically, you want to get enough nutrients to keep your skin nourished.

Carla also advises to try cutting out diuretics like alcohol, caffeine and colas and instead, fill up on foods rich in antioxidants (eating the rainbow is a cheat’s guide to this). This way you’re promoting a healthy digestive system, boosting antioxidant intake and promoting good skin health. “As skin ages,” she says, “it needs more nutrients, proteins and antioxidants to function at its best.”

So load up on your colourful vegies, down at least six to eight glasses of water a day, and make smart choices from the inside out – it’ll help you in the long run, we promise.

Rebecca Russo is a freelance writer, editor, community radio dabbler, occasional hiker and celebrity autobiography enthusiast. She has written for online publications including Junkee, AWOL, Fashion Journal and Tone Deaf. Find her online here.