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by Alexandra Nicole Nuralam

11 Skincare Tips for Your Worst Habits

Image via @pmkellyjr

Everyone has their vices — smoking, drinking too much, snacking on junk food. The thing is, not only are they detrimental to your health, but they also have negative effects on your skin. The facts are real: smoking causes cells to be starved of oxygen, resulting in dull, sallow and lacklustre skin. Alcohol causes puffiness and dehydration, causing your wrinkles and pores to be more visible. And since you are what you eat, your skin issues could be due to all that junk food you’re eating; diets high in carbohydrates and processed sugars have been associated with breakouts.

Naturally, you should break these practices for good, but it’s difficult. In the meantime, here are the best ways to take care of your skin, even with your bad habits.

Smoking

Smoking causes the direct release of carcinogens onto the skin, which dramatically increases how quickly the skin will show visible ageing. It speeds up the process of collagen breakdown, increasing skin laxity and the appearance of fine lines. Do you really need another reason to quit?

Skin Tips:

1. Use products that boost blood flow. Products with ingredients like ginseng, peppermint, and rosemary are all beneficial for boosting circulation to get your skin glowing

2. It’s essential to use products that help with skin repair while you sleep. Peptides are a powerful ingredient that can help negate the effects of smoking by encouraging collagen formation.

Drinking too much

Of course, you can still have a glass of something. But drink more than one cocktail a day, and your skin suffers. Alcohol causes all sorts of complexion issues. It works as a diuretic at first, causing dehydration, and then increasing the level of inflammatory agents in the bloodstream—which can lead to accelerated ageing and specifically worsens rosacea.

Skin Tips:

1. Rehydrate! Drinking alcohol not only depletes water out of the skin and body but essential vitamins too. Replenish the hydration levels of your body by drinking plenty of water and add fruits into your diet for a boost of antioxidants.

2. Use hydrating ingredients to put moisture back into your thirsty skin cells. Layering on heavy, greasy moisturizers isn’t really going to work; instead, opt for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, and sodium PCA to quench thirsty skin cells and restore them to a healthier state.

Eating junk food

People used to think that diet didn’t affect your complexion, but the sad truth is, it likely does. Research has shown that high-glycemic foods — sugary foods and refined carbohydrates — may be the trigger for inflammatory conditions, like acne. Similarly, dairy can be problematic if you are prone to cystic breakouts in the chin and jawline area.

Skin Tip:

For our bodies to function well, we need to eat well. A healthy body is built from healthy ingredients. Cut the junk, and you could see an improvement in acne in about six weeks. Instead, reach for snacks like berries (which are rich in antioxidants) and healthy fats like peanut butter, nuts, and avocado—they provide nutrients for the hair, skin, nails and basic metabolism.

Skipping SPF

Skipping SPF is a big no-no; UV rays that are the cause of sun damage and skin cancer are always present, and it is important to protect your skin. Plus, the best way to keep your skin from getting fine lines and wrinkles is to use sunscreen.

Skin Tips:

Find a lightweight sunscreen if you don’t like the sticky feeling, and opt for a chemical sunscreen if you are concerned about it leaving a white cast on the skin.

Staying up late

Sleep deprivation causes stress, which can worsen skin issues, including acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Sleep is also the time when your body repairs the damage from the day, and interrupting that process will slow down cell turnover. This can mess with the way blood flows to the skin, which can make your complexion sallow and dull.

Skin Tips:

1. Exfoliate regularly to get rid of dead skin cells; if you’re not getting enough sleep, there’s probably a lot of buildups that result in dull, lacklustre skin.

2. Your skin looks more tired when you lack sleep because your skin is dehydrated. Drink even more water than usual, use a hydrating serum, moisturizer and throw on a sleeping mask for a boost of hydration.

3. Incorporate niacinamide into your routine. The Vitamin B3 derivative is an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and improves the skin’s ability to fight back.

Not cleansing at night

Letting your skin marinate in makeup—not to mention a day’s worth of sebum and dirt—can lead to clogged pores and breakouts, especially if you’re prone to acne. Makeup should be removed every night to allow the skin to repair and regenerate overnight.

Skin Tips:

1. Pull out your nighttime skincare products and have them set up on your counter next to your sink or vanity table, ready to go. Start off with a cleansing balm to properly remove any traces of makeup.

2. If you’re really worn out and want some semblance of a routine with minimal movement, use a cleansing wipe but be sure to rinse your skin with water. Cleansing wipes aren’t the greatest choice because they just smear dirt, bacteria, oil and makeup across your face. It is rather like applying cleanser to your face and then not washing it off. Wipe, rinse and get on with the rest of your skincare.

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