We all have habits (sometimes lots of them) that we do not really pay attention to. I know that I do. Somehow I just do not think that they are all that important. However, since my skin is so important I really should pay more attention to the little day to day things I do that have such an accumulative impact upon my body’s largest asset. Starting skin-healthy habits is the best thing that I can do for myself. After all, my skin is the only skin that I have.
Three Not-So-Good Habits to Break
If your skin is not as healthy or as soft as you would like, you may be doing sabotage and not realizing it. Here are three habits that really do bad things to our skin. Correct these three things and you are on your way to healthy and beautiful skin.
Bad Habit #1: Dry Shaving
I am guilty of this when I am in a hurry. Are You? Shaving the underarm area and the legs can cause ingrown hairs, irritation, and razor burn. To prevent this and to take care of your skin, consider about 10 minutes of soaking and softening time in the shower or tube. This habit is recommended by most experts for those who want to keep good-looking skin. After soaking, we should apply shaving cream and not soap. Soap will invite cuts and make the razor dull. Shave in long strokes and use lots of body lotion after your shower or bath.
Bad Habit #2: Do Not Ignore Incidental Sun Exposure
I am really guilty of this one. Even though just walking or running from the car to inside somewhere is not mentioned as being as damaging as spending hours roasting on the beach, don’t think it is not. Accumulated “few minutes of exposure” here and there will still cause wrinkles. To prevent this problem, we should all be wearing a daily application of SPF lotion on our face under makeup and on other exposed body parts. I know that a lot of the good makeup lines have under-makeup versions that work really well.
Bad Habit #3: Exfoliation Avoidance
I am not so guilty of this one. I like to exfoliate, especially in the winter when my skin seems to be dryer. Just knowing that dead skin cells can and do start to build up on my skin is a real good reason to not do this bad habit. This build-up of dead skin can cause itchiness and rashes that look like acne. Yuck! So the experts recommend that we scrub daily with a good puff, a loofa, or any grainy exfoliator that will help to get rid of the rough, dry skin. Make sure to apply a good moisturizer to keep the skin soft.
Eight Good Habits to Make and Keep
Knowing and doing something about the three bad habits is a good start. Now finding out about and considering the good habits to start is the next thing to do. Then we will all be on the path to get the best-looking skin on the planet. The nine good habits are actually recommended by most dermatologists as the best advice for the best complexion that a person can have. So here are the nine good habits.
Good Habit #1: Cosmeceuticals – Avoid Using Too Much
Good Habit #2: Healthy Exercise Means A Lot
If you want beautiful skin then exercise could be for you. Consider twenty minutes of aerobic exercise to be essential to your daily routine. Exercise gives a glow to the skin. This is from the boost to the blood flow that exercise gives which also brings more nutrients to the skin. Keep in mind however, that the accumulation of sebum or oil through perspiration can result in folliculitis, as well as spiky heat and sweatband acne. To fix this problem, shower as soon as possible after any type of exercise.
Good Habit #3: Stay Away From Being Intimate With The Phone
Constantly rubbing on the mouthpiece may lead to rashes around the mouth and chin. Many dermatologists believe this and I am inclined to believe them. So the thing to do is when talking to somebody on the phone, hold the phone away from the mouth and chin when talking. It also helps to clean the phone often with rubbing alcohol or a mild soapy solution. Or better yet, get a speaker phone or headpiece.
Good Habit #4: Look For Spots on Your Birthday Suit
If you ever spot a sudden or suspicious-looking mole, growth, or bump on the skin – make an appointment with your dermatologist. There is no good reason not to at this point. Funny looking places on your skin are no laughing matter. Skin cancer rates are skyrocketing with no signs of slowing down. I have a full body check up with my physician at least once a year. This type of pre-skincare is essential to those who lived through the baby-oil-and-iodine, pre-sunscreen days.
This also applies to anyone in the high risk groups as follows: having a personal or family history of skin cancer, have a lot of moles, have light eyes or hair, have fair skin. These people should have regular checkups with a specialist. These exams should start in the teens and surely no later than 35. Many doctors advise that even those of us not in a high risk group should have a cancer-related checkup between the ages of 20-40. Also of note is that this checkup must include skin exam and must be considered every three to four years. At the age of 40 think about having a cancer-related examination with skin exam every year. Monthly self-exams are a good idea to notice any changes or growths.
Good Habit #5: Eating Healthy Foods
Healthy foods are foods that help your body and skin in the fight against the bad forces inside and out. Good Antioxidants are vitamin A, C and E as they are highly potent in the fight against sun damage and they also fight certain cancers (including skin cancer). This cancer fight is the big reason that antioxidants are essential to your health. A well balanced diet is the way to go. This includes a diet with at least five servings a day of fruits and vegetables, plus a multivitamin that meets the RDA standards.
Good Habit #6: Do Not Wear Makeup to Bed
Sometimes we all cheat on this one; at least I know I do. And I know it is a bad one to do. Layers of foundation, powder and even blush left on overnight can cause the skin pores to clog and lead to acne or folliculitis or breakouts. So knowing this should be a deterrent to even one night of leaving on the makeup. Taking off makeup is easy to do by way of using a mild non-soap cleanser. It is not necessary to waste money on a cleanser with glycolic acid or AHAs. These are not on your face long enough to absorb into the skin. They are more effective in moisturizers than in cleansers.
Good Habit #7: Get Enough Sleep and Good Rest
The effects of not enough sleep and too much stress are not hard to detect. One of the most common effects is under-eye circles. These are pretty noticeable and hard to cover up with makeup. Sleep time is necessary to budget in your busy day. This may include a short afternoon nap whenever you can manage it. Also, don’t sleep in the same position for extended periods of time (such as years). This can lead to wrinkles and everyday puffiness. The best thing to prevent this is special pillows that helps prevent sleep creases on the face.
Good Habit #8: Drink Plenty of Good Water
This one is a no-brainer but oftentimes overlooked fact. We should all probably drink more water and make it our daily mantra. Drinking water does keep you hydrated and this leads to your skin looking and feeling better. We need at least 6 to 8 eight-ounce glasses throughout the day. Drink more if you are a heavy exerciser and if you are into low-cal liquids, drink more water to avoid dehydration. A lot of the new sugar substitutes today are very dehydrating even though they taste good.