Cleanse. Treat. Moisturize. Repeat twice daily. That is the universal formula for clear, radiant and youthful skin, right? Not necessarily. Even if you follow a strict regimen on a daily basis to keep your skin clean, healthy and wrinkle-free, there are some personal habits that could be preventing your skin from unleashing its natural glow. Take a peek at our list of radiance-zapping culprits to figure out if you need to fine-tune your daily routine.
YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO SAY “NO” TO JUNK FOOD.
The old adage “you are what you eat” is very true – especially when it comes to your skin. When your belly isn’t happy and your body is lacking the necessary nutrients to get through the day, it can absolutely affect the way your skin acts, feels and looks. The next time you shop for groceries, forgo the “Chips and Soft Drinks” aisle and load up on fresh produce and probiotic-rich foods instead. Fresh fruits and veggies are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants that help naturally protect your skin from free radical damage and also support healthy collagen production and increased elasticity. The skin and your gut are very closely connected and incorporating probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kombucha into your diet can encourage healthy bacteria to flourish in the gut. Refined carbs and processed foods are very effective in throwing off this healthy bacteria balance, which can ultimately lead to bad bacteria seeping into your bloodstream causing inflammation that is reflected in your skin.
RETINOL ISN’T A PART OF YOUR DAILY ROUTINE.
Are you noticing more wrinkles on your face and neck? Are you wondering why your acne didn’t disappear when you graduated from high school? If you’re shaking your head “yes” to one, or both, of these questions, you need to think about adding a retinol product to your skincare regimen. Research proves that retinol is the key to boosting cell turnover, which results in ridding the skin of bacteria-causing acne and softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Another added bonus? Retinol can also promote a smoother texture and increase your skin’s radiance.
YOU THINK SPF IS ONLY FOR BEACH DAYS.
Whether you live in the bone-chilling tundra of Alaska or call the blistering 120° temperatures of Arizona home, you need to wear sunscreen every single day. Skin cancer is on the rise, ladies – and your most effective tool for preventing those harmful UV rays from damaging your skin is using a daily sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. SPF also prevents sun-induced damage like brown spots, blotchiness and skin discoloration. Sun damage causes skin to age prematurely, so slathering on SPF 30 on a daily basis can help prevent fine lines and wrinkles from creeping in before you want them to.
YOU PROBABLY AREN’T REMOVING YOUR MAKE-UP AS WELL AS YOU THINK.
How many times have you washed your face at the end of the day, only to see some faint “raccoon eyes” in the mirror when you reach for the towel to dry off? Every woman has. And if you’re like most women, the sight of make-up residue triggers you scrub your eye area with excessive force while drying. This is doing way more harm than good to the delicate skin on your face. You can negate this issue by investing in a sulfate-free, oil cleanser. Skincare professionals suggest that the foamier the cleanser, the more effective it is at removing make-up and daily toxins that can wreak havoc on your skin. Start by squeezing the cleanser onto dry hands, and apply to dry skin. Add a splash of water to your hands to form a milky emulsion. Rinse clean and pat dry. If you see any make-up on your towel, repeat the process until your towel turns up make-up free.
YOU THINK THE BEST WAY TO COMBAT ADULT ACNE IS BY TURNING YOUR FACE INTO A DESERT.
When you have a breakout, only the lesion needs to be treated with a drying agent such as Benzoyl Peroxide, not your entire face. Applying a drying agent all over your face can disrupt your skin’s pH balance, triggering excessive oil production – the exact opposite result we’re aiming for here. When you have a breakout, reach for a product that is rich salicylic acid post-cleansing to stop that blemish in its tracks. If you’re still feeling overly cautious about moisturizing your face mid-breakout, use a gentle moisturizer that is designed to hydrate and nourish the skin without triggering a breakout or an inflammatory response.
Denise Prichard has been an avid beauty, health and nutrition writer for over five years - specializing in wellness, skincare, yoga & meditation, and clean eating recipes. She graduated with a degree in English from Arizona State University in 2010 and currently runs her own blog, Fueled by Vegetables, a project that stems from her passion of living a healthy, joyful life and encouraging others to do the same. She believes that beauty comes from within and can be achieved through a health driven lifestyle. Denise practices what she preaches as she is a certified yoga instructor and enjoys sharing her love of yoga with others, blogging about beauty & skincare tips (she is the skincare model for her company’s brand videos), inventing yummy and nutritious recipes and of course hanging out with her rescue dogs, Eleanor & Stevie.