As the day gets by, your skin ages. It is an irreversible natural process that occurs as the clock ticks. However, aging occurs faster in some people. This might be due to exposure to harsh environmental conditions like the intense sun. It can also be due to practicing unhealthy skincare habits. These habits can accelerate the aging process and cause people to look older than their age.
In this article, you will find 9 of these harmful skincare habits that can be causing you to age faster.
What Are the Skincare Habits That Can Accelerate the Aging Process?
So, what are these habits, and what can you do about them? In this section, you will find out habits that make you age faster and what to do about them.
1. Waking Up and Not Washing Your Face
The early morning face wash has so many benefits on the skin and skipping this can contribute to skin aging. This is because the skin heals itself over the night, secreting oil and toxins in the process. Not washing these off your face early enough can affect your skin, cause wrinkles and clog the pores. You need to get rid of these by-products early in the morning before anything else.
A simple face wash with warm water will do. However, you can also use a gentle facial cleanser to wash your face. Ensure you use a cleanser that works well with your skin type.
2. Not Wearing Sunscreen
It is a common misconception that you should only wear sunscreen when it is sunny outside. While some people wear sunscreen only on sunny days, others might avoid it. The sun is one of the leading factors of aging. It also causes sunspots and 90% of wrinkles, shining harshly on unprotected skin, exposing it to harmful UV rays. These rays damage skin cells which causes the skin to age.
Whether you are going out or staying indoors, you should always wear sunscreen during day time. Even when it does not look sunny outside, the sun’s UV rays are always present. Sunscreens protect your skin against harmful Ultraviolet rays, thereby keeping the skin fresh and young.
There are so many types of sunscreen available to choose from. While some only stay on top of the skin, others get absorbed into the skin. Whichever one you choose, ensure it is the right product for your skin type.
Using sunscreen that is not compatible with your skin can irritate it, causing the skin to get inflamed, leading to premature aging. You can confirm with your doctor before choosing a sunscreen for use.
3. Avoiding Exfoliators
Exfoliating involves removing free radicals, dead skin cells, and other impurities from the skin. This process helps maintain the skin’s health and should be done once/twice per week. However, some people avoid using exfoliators on their skin mainly because of their sensitive skin. Not exfoliating leaves dead skin cells and impurities on your skin which might not get removed by regular cleansers. This might cause damage to the skin, causing the face to wrinkle.
It is important you exfoliate to keep your skin healthy. Use recommended products for this process and make sure such products work well for your skin type.
4. Over Exfoliating
While regular exfoliation is beneficial to the skin, going overboard can cause skin harm and make you age faster. Exfoliating can be quite an effective cleaning process on the skin when done moderately. However, exfoliating more times than needed will rip away the skin’s protective barrier, making it prone to infections, pigmentation, dryness, and other skin damages. This can lead to premature aging.
Exfoliating once or twice per week is advisable. However, avoid using harsh exfoliants on your skin. Also, do not use abrasive scrubs while exfoliating, as they can harm your skin and affect the skin’s protective barrier. Using them might result in an earlier appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and even cause redness on the skin.
You should select an exfoliant based on your type of skin. People with sensitive skin should go for gentler exfoliants and softer body scrubs.
5. Not Removing Makeup before Bed
You might be tempted after having a long and tiring day to just go to bed without removing the day’s makeup. While many do not like admitting it, this is a common habit, especially with teenagers. Many beauty products like makeup are not made to stay on the skin for more than some hours in a day. Prolonging its removal will only make it harder to remove, and the strain might cause the skin to lose firmness.
Dermatologists advise washing your face twice per day, in the morning and before going to bed. During the day, a lot of dirt, pollutants, bacteria, makeup, and sweat sit on the face. When allowed to sit too long, they cause damage to the skin, making it age faster. Washing them off at night allows the skin to breathe and keeps the face healthy.
Take some time to wash off makeup from the face before going to bed. You can use an oil-based cleanser to lift makeup on the face and wash it off with warm water or a water-based cleanser. This will ensure excess makeups are removed from the face.
6. Treating the Skin Harshly
The skin is a delicate body part that should be handled with care. Some skin areas like the eye region are so delicate, touching them too much can cause damage. Washing other body parts aggressively can also cause harm leading to breakouts, swelling, and even premature aging.
Cleaning the skin is essential due to the accumulation of sweat and dirt during the day and sleeping at night. However, when you clean, you should be as gentle as possible, especially your face.
Using washcloths on your face is not advisable as scrubbing too hard might damage this skin area. Avoid using loofas too often on your skin. While they might help exfoliate the skin, they are made up of rough materials that can damage the skin if used too often. Loofas are also known to host bacteria, so avoid using one on your face.
Ensure you treat your skin gently and avoid using hard exfoliants or rough washcloths on it. Do not pull at your face while cleansing or applying makeup. This will help keep the skin healthy and firm.
7. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Although this might not seem like a skincare habit but not getting adequate sleep can negatively affect your skin. Premature aging has also been linked to poor sleeping habits. The skin heals itself best during the night, releasing toxins and repairing damaged skin cells. This will not often happen if you deprive yourself of the much-needed sleep, making the skin lose its glow.
It is recommended you sleep 7 – 8 hours per day. Regular sleep will make your skin look radiant and active. Do not forget to wash your face before going to sleep at night and do the same after waking up in the morning.
8. Using The Wrong Skincare Products
Have you ever wondered why some skincare products irritate your skin after using them? This might be because this particular product is just not right for your skin. Each of us has different skin types. They are divided into 5 categories: dry, oily, normal, combination, and sensitive skin. While some skincare products can be used on any skin type, many other products are made for a particular skin type.
Using the wrong skincare product on your skin can affect it negatively in the long run. It can cause irritation, blemishes, and even promote premature aging. The active ingredients in each product vary, so if you have sensitive skin, you really should be using less active products. People with oily skin should avoid oil-based products and opt for oil-free alternative skincare products.
When selecting skincare products, you should pay attention to the label to see if it is for your skin type. Usually, this is written on the product packaging. However, you can do your research before buying a skincare product. Seek medical advice before making a purchase.
9. Poor Diet
Eating right plays a major role in making your skin look healthy, radiant, and young. The body requires healthy food to grow properly and supply organs such as the skin with essential nutrients.
Some studies have shown that a healthy diet can delay aging, and you can improve your skin’s health by eating better. The skin needs ingredients such as antioxidants, vitamin E, beta carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, and more to function properly. These ingredients are contained in foods like tomatoes, nuts, avocados, berries, fish, and more. Eating these foods will give the skin a healthy supply of such ingredients, helping it eliminate toxins and free radicals that cause damage.
However, not all foods are healthy for the skin, and overeating of some can cause the skin more harm. Junk foods contain a high quantity of carbs and sugar which is generally not advisable if you want to maintain healthy skin.
As outlined in this article, you have seen habits that cause harm to your skin and accelerate your aging process. Not getting enough sleep can cause as much damage as scrubbing the skin too aggressively.
It is essential you avoid these habits if you want to get healthier skin and slow down your aging process. Everyone ages eventually, but practicing healthy skincare habits can ensure you get glowing skin for as long as you want.