Most of you might be familiar with the basics of a proper skincare routine and the various do’s and don’ts for healthy skin and might also be practising the same diligently. However, there are some less obvious ways, like certain habits, which may be causing harm to your skin without your knowledge, making all your skincare efforts go in vain. Though such habits stay with us all the time, we do not pay attention to them until our skin gives us an alert in the form of breakouts or rashes. Let’s have a look at a few of them here.
Not Washing Your Face Post Exercising:
It is recommended to wash your face twice daily, especially after exercising. This is because the sweat while exercising carries with it the dust and grime hidden inside the pores and letting it stay on your skin for long is not good for the skin health. The longer the salty body fluids in sweat cling to your skin, the higher are the chances that they may affect the skin’s pH, attract dead skin cells and bacteria, and cause issues like acne. Hence, the most critical rule to skincare is to wash the face after a workout. If there is no running water to wash the face, you might also use facial wipes to do the job.
Wearing Filthy Sunglasses:
Quite often, your favourite pair of sunnies might be the real reason why you are suffering from frequent breakouts. How many of us realize that the habit of wearing dirty sunglasses can irritate the skin? It is a good habit to wipe the sunglasses clean before wearing, just as you would do to the regular glasses. Wearing dirty sunglasses can cause the bacteria to breed and penetrate the pores on your face, especially the area around the nose, and result in skin irritation. According to Dr Joshua Zeichner of Mount Sinai Hospital, the friction caused in the area where the sunglasses touch the skin, together with the buildup of dust and oil there, can result in blocked pores and inflammation and can trigger acne. Hence, it’s a good habit to clean the sunglasses every time before you wear them.
Long Showers and Showerhead Sans Filter
Long showers (especially hot showers), may sound lavish but may leave the skin dry. Another primary culprit behind the various skin issues could be the showerhead. Many may not even think about what comes from their showerheads after they turn on the shower and get busy cleansing and exfoliating their bodies. Professor Norman Pace, Department of Biology at the University of Colorado, states that millions of microorganisms get accumulated inside an unfiltered showerhead and cover the body once the shower is turned on.
Further, during long showers, the chlorine in the water binds to the hair and skin, leaving the latter dry and devoid of moisture. This can lead to premature ageing, wrinkles, and dry skin. Further, the chlorine can also cause an itchy scalp. Hence, it is advisable to invest in a good shower filter to eliminate the chemicals, which cause dry and itchy skin, in water.
Using Dirty Pillow Cases:
If you wake up most mornings with breakouts despite having washed your face before hitting the bed, then the silent culprit could be your pillowcase. According to Dr David E. Bank, Founder/Director, Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery, pillowcases can be the cause of ‘acne mechanica.’ Acne Mechanica is a category of acne that occurs as a result of any object or material touching the face. Dirty pillowcases are a storehouse of oil, grime, and dirt that gets transferred to the face skin upon friction during the sleep. So, it is an excellent habit to launder these pillowcases at regular intervals.
Clinging Perennially to the All-Pervasive Smartphones:
A smartphone is probably the most common object that is close to your face almost all the time. It is also an object that does not get washed. Mobiles carry nearly ten times more bacteria than present on toilet seats, according to microbiologist, Charles Gerba, from the University of Arizona. Further, the heat generated from cellphones acts as a booster for microbial growth, for microbes tend to multiply in warm places. The pressure that arises from sticking the phone to your face all the time causes friction and encourages the oil glands to produce more oil, attracting all the dirt and bacteria into the pores. So, if you are a constant user of mobile phones, try using a hands-free microphone or a Bluetooth earpiece or keep the phone slightly away from the face, especially your cheeks.
Most men inadvertently do more harm to their skin than good by using the seemingly innocuous product – the aftershave. While aftershaves are touted to be the best for the skin as they contain alcohol which minimizes the chances of infection on cuts, it must be noted that alcohol is an irritant that dries the skin out completely. Try to replace your alcohol-based aftershave with a hydrating post-shave lotion.
Not Having a Post-Pool Shower:
After getting done with swimming in the pool, many may be tempted to lie down under the sun and air dry their bodies postponing their showers. This is a bad habit. Washing your post-pool residue is vital for many reasons, and foremost among them is the chlorine clinging to your skin. Though chlorine in the pool eliminates most bacteria, it may cause itching, redness, rashes, and eczema if left on the skin for a long time. Therefore, do a favour to your skin by getting into the shower immediately after hopping out of the pool.
Not Staying Hydrated:
Water makes up for almost 60% of the human body and helps flush out toxins from the body, maintain a healthy weight, and produce saliva and other body fluids. Water also contributes to healthy and youthful-looking skin. Not drinking enough water can make the skin lose its elasticity and bubbliness and eventually lead to dryness, wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin. Thus, staying hydrated is an essential habit one must cultivate for better skin health.
You Smoke and Drink too Much:
Too much smoking and drinking can lead to changes in the skin and several adverse skin conditions. Nicotine reduces the blood flow to your skin, while tobacco inflicts damage on the collagen that provides the skin with its structure. Smoking, thus, makes the skin dull and reduces its healing ability. Also, alcohol abuse can reflect on the skin. Alcohol depletes the body of vitamin A that is responsible for keeping the skin firm and young-looking. Conditions, like facial redness and flushing, can occur due to alcohol abuse.
In addition to changing the above habits that destroy the skin, one must also develop the habit of having a good night’s sleep and following a proper diet routine by eating a lot of fruits and veggies. After all, your habits become YOU!