When it comes to taking care of your skin, your skincare routines are only as effective as the habits they’re paired with. As much as we rely on our holy grail products to help, they can’t do everything for us. Some things that secretly damage our skin are certain behaviors that may seem totally unrelated. When addressing your skincare woes (read: blemishes, irritations, premature aging, etc.), it’s important to take into account how certain lifestyle practices may be hindering your skin’s success and what can be done to help.
Here are some of the best habits to start implementing on your journey to better skin:
Wash Your Makeup Brushes
No matter how diligent you are about removing makeup and washing your face, without cleaning the tools you use, your skincare woes will not improve. Dirty makeup brushes wreak havoc on the skin because they collect product residue, dirt and oil, and are a breeding ground for bacteria. A buildup of bacteria can compromise your complexion in the form of acne breakouts and rashes. To protect your skin and kill any harmful bacteria that lingers in your makeup brushes, it’s a good idea to wash your brushes every 7 to 10 days. Swirl them in soap and warm water, reshape and lay flat to dry overnight.
Invest in Silk Pillowcases
Since your face has more contact with your pillowcase than any other fabric, it’s crucial to choose the right kind. Due to their composition, cotton pillowcases are harsher on the skin and your face can develop creases and wrinkles that can become permanent over time. While silk pillowcases don’t necessarily prevent wrinkles altogether, they are a better option than cotton alone, as the fabric doesn’t create friction and helps prevent abrasion of the skin. Also, silk helps retain moisture, which can be beneficial in wrinkle prevention.
Get More Beauty Sleep
Sleeping for at least eight hours a night can be easier said than done, but it really is important to try. During sleep, your body enters repair mode and regenerates skin, muscles, and blood cells. Sleep deprivation impacts overall skin function and contributes to dark circles, increases signs of premature aging, and decreases the ability for skin to repair itself at night from environmental stressors such as sun exposure. Additionally, without sleep, your body is unable to produce new collagen, which you need in order to prevent your skin from sagging.
Hands Off Your Face
As tempting as it may be to pick at a blemish or rub your eyes, it’s much better to resist the urge as best you can. Touching your face in general introduces oil, dirt, and bacteria to the skin that can contribute to acne. Picking will only make a blemish worse and can cause scarring, discoloration, and increased inflammation. Rubbing your eyes can break the delicate capillaries under your skin and damage tissues, which can contribute to premature aging in this area.
Clean Your Phone Screen
If you’re noticing more concentrated breakouts along your cheek and jawline, your phone screen could be the culprit. Considering how frequently you come into contact with your device, the other people you let touch it and all the places you put it down, phones are a breeding ground for bacteria and our screens are covered in it. By cleaning it daily with an antibacterial wipe (or even twice a day, depending on how often you use it), you’ll mitigate the swarm of germs and help to better protect your skin.