It’s spooky season, which means it’s time to find out if you’ve got some scary skincare habits going on!
If any of the following sound familiar, it’s time to change your skincare routine and fast.
Every day that you repeat these habits, you could be damaging your skin.
And damaged skin looks wrinkly, dull, and dry—horrors!
5 Scary Skincare Habits to Avoid This Halloween
Smoking does dastardly things to your skin. First, it breaks down the elastic fibers responsible for holding the skin’s shape. Second, it encourages the enzyme that breaks down collagen—and collagen keeps your skin taut. Third, it narrows your blood vessels, limiting the flow of oxygen and nutrients to your skin.
Over time, this damage and breakdown causes yellowed, wrinkled, and saggy skin—a complexion worthy of a Halloween costume. Smoking also causes age spots and can worsen skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
The good news is that if you quit, your skin will improve. Studies show that quitting smoking can reduce the signs of damage, including age spots, redness, and other forms of discoloration.
In one small study, researchers found that quitting smoking led to a reduction of 13 years in participants’ “biological age.” This number was based on factors like skin brightness, smoothness, elasticity, and coloring. In a later study, scientists also found that quitting smoking led to the reactivation of collagen production.
The results happen quickly—you may see changes as early as one month after you quit, and certainly after three months.
2. Using Makeup Wipes in Place of Cleanser
Makeup wipes can be convenient and fast, but don’t let them take the place of regular cleansing. If you’ve fallen into the bad habit of using only makeup wipes to cleanse, you’re inviting doom into your complexion.
There are a few problems with this. First, many makeup wipes contain alcohol and other drying ingredients that leave your skin parched for moisture. Over time, they can exacerbate dry skin and leave fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable.
But the most important thing is that makeup wipes don’t get your skin clean enough on their own. You may remove some of the surface makeup, but you’re leaving some of the dirt and grime behind to clog your pores and cause acne breakouts and irritation.
At most, the wipes smear around whatever makeup, dirt, and dead skin is on your face—they aren’t very effective at removing it.
On top of that, makeup wipes leave stuff behind on your skin. Dr. Nada Elbuluk, associate professor of clinical dermatology at USC Keck School of Medicine, told TODAY.com that when you use wipes, you’re leaving undesirable ingredients on your skin:
“[Y]ou’re wiping things on the skin to get the oil, makeup and dirt off,” she said. “But you’re leaving some of the residue from the wipes on the skin. And that’s something that needs to be cleansed off as well.”
We all tend to scrub a lot with a makeup wipe, too, thinking we’re getting everything off that way. But scrubbing can lead to irritation and redness, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Plus, you’re scrubbing in the ingredients used to make the wipe—which are probably not good for the skin.
Finally, makeup wipes can be bad for the environment. They create extra waste and they often contain harsh chemicals and can be made from a blend of cotton and plastic.
It’s time to ditch this terrifying habit.
3. Sleeping In Your Makeup
Speaking of cleansing, don’t rely on a makeup wipe, but do cleanse your skin before bed.
If you go to bed without cleansing your face, you’re asking for a horror show. Short Hills Dermatology out of New Jersey goes so far as to say that if you do that, you’re inviting premature aging:
“Sleeping with makeup prevents the skin from this much-needed renewal, resulting in healthy collagen breaking down. Light is unable to reflect off the skin, making your skin appear old and rough. As makeup interrupts cell turnover, fine lines and wrinkles can occur. To keep skin looking radiant and youthful, allow your skin to rejuvenate by removing your makeup!”
When you sleep, oil flows to your skin’s surface to aid in the repair process. Residual makeup traps the oil, causing clogged pores and breakouts. Skin inflammation, dryness, and blackheads all result from going to sleep without cleansing your face first.
No matter how long that Halloween party goes or how much the candy has sapped your energy, do your skin a favor and cleanse it before you hit the sack!
4. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Even one bad night’s sleep can be enough to make you look older the next day. Perish the thought! Add a few more nights of sleep deprivation and you may not even recognize the image staring back at you in the mirror.
In a study on women between the ages of 30 and 49, researchers found that after five nights of poor sleep, participants had up to double the number of fine lines and wrinkles and up to three-quarters more brown spots!
Sleep has a dramatic positive effect on the skin. It allows the skin to repair itself and provides time for the skin to produce the nutrients it needs to look its best—like collagen. Without enough sleep, the outer barrier suffers, increasing moisture loss and causing dryness and dullness. Skin will sag more easily as it will be lacking collagen.
A lack of sleep also stresses the body, which means that it will release more “cortisol,” the stress hormone. This hormone is directly responsible for breaking down collagen and causing more skin sagging.
You can keep these damaging monsters at bay by making sure you get a good night’s sleep on most nights of the week. That means 7-8 hours uninterrupted.
5. Using Too Many Products
Using too many skincare solutions—particularly those that aren’t right for your skin—can do more harm than good. Layering on multiple products may lead to clogged pores and a dull, lackluster complexion. Worse, you could be creating inflammation, irritation, redness, and even rashes.
If you’re not sure if you may be living in this sort of skincare haunted house right now, ask yourself these questions:
Do you have dry skin? Is it dull and lackluster looking? If so, ditch all the products you’re using and get one that’s effective! We recommend our Calming Moisture and Body Repair Lotion to help transform your skin from dry and dull to smooth and clear and with a healthier, more vibrant glow.
Are you breaking out? Cut back! Stick to a gentle cleanser, moisturizing toner (like our multi-benefit Rescue + Relief Spray that’s non-comodenic so it won’t clog pores), and quality moisturizer for a while until your skin comes back to life.
Is your skin irritated? It’s time to listen to it. Redness, inflammation, itching, and tightness all signal that something is wrong—and it could be that you’re overwhelming your skin. Cut back to the basics for a few weeks to see if things improve. Try our CV Skinlabs minimal collection. All four products are gentle and proven to help sensitive skin—boosting moisture and taming inflammation while restoring health and a youthful luminous radiance.
With all the beauty products out there, it’s tempting to try this and that and something else. But this Halloween, sit back and assess. Are these products really working for you? Is your skin happy, smooth, soft, and radiant? If not, it’s time to make some changes before you descend into the darkness!
What spooky bad skincare habits do you avoid?
Featured image courtesy of Los Muertos Crew via Pexels.