You know your diet coke addiction and sunbathing ways are bad for your skin, but read on to see the mistakes you don't even realize you're making.
We don't know about you, but if we hear the same-old skin care tips one more time (you know -- wear sunscreen, have a derm check your moles once a year, exfoliate twice a week), we're going to scream.
We all know about these often-repeated good skin care habits we need to follow for a perfect, glowing complexion. And as beauty veterans, we're even familiar with the more obscure tips, like patting your moisturizer into your skin instead of rubbing it, or applying urine on your face to fight acne (which is so false BTW).
And even we were surprised -- no, shocked -- by these skin sins everyone commits, including us.
These eight habits not only mess up your skin, but some can even wreck your health. So here they are, the bad skin care habits you -- yes, you -- are committing on a daily basis. See 'em, learn 'em, and fix 'em -- A.S.A.P.
SKIN SIN NO. 1: NOT USING OIL ON YOUR FACE
Keep in mind that using oil on your face isn't just beneficial for those with oily skin; even normal and mature skin can benefit from this skin care habit. The key is to get high quality oil with a "molecular structure that's so small it can penetrate into your skin without sitting on top and clogging your pores," says Cahitas. One we love: Eve Taylor Essential Oils, $29.50. Use it after you cleanse at night, when you don't mind looking a little greasy.
SKIN SIN NO. 2: EATING DAIRY AND OTHER INFLAMMATORY FOODS
Speaking of tofu and other protein-packed foods, it's a good idea to limit your consumption of protein and not consume more than one type at a time. "Protein takes the most digestive work, as the foods have to be broken down into amino acids from complex chains," says celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder. This energy spent on digesting protein takes away from what Snyder calls your "Beauty Energy," which she describes as "energy that can be redirected away from digestion to grow thick, healthy hair, clear up dark under-eye circles, repair the collagen in our skin, etc."
SKIN SIN NO. 3: USING TOO MUCH CORTISONE
Overusing cortisone cream also causes collagen to break down, which leads to thinning of the skin and -- worst-case scenario -- stretch marks. So, how to use this product safely? Wu says to only use it when you really need it, and for a max of two weeks at a time. Also, use the mildest form and apply a very thin layer on areas with thin skin, such as the groin, face, and underarms.
SKIN SIN NO. 4: NOT AIRING OUT YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES
Need a good reason to take this extra, time-consuming step? "I had a patient who developed a rare skin infection normally seen in aquarium workers and those who work with fish," says Wu. "We traced it back to her makeup brush that she'd been using twice a day but never aired out [after washing]." The lesson: Wash your brushes and don't stash 'em until they're bone dry. And of course, see your doc if you develop a new rash.
SKIN SIN NO. 5: USING RECREATIONAL DRUGS
A recent study in the "Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology" found that patients with this rare disorder, Purpura, all had traces of levamisole in their blood -- a de-worming drug that was found in 70 percent of confiscated cocaine in 2009, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
"We believe these cases of skin reactions and illnesses linked to contaminated cocaine are just the tip of the iceberg in a looming public health problem posed by levamisole," say the study authors. While the de-wormer has been found in cocaine since 2003, drug enforcement officials have found its levels in recreational drugs have risen in recent years due to its efficacy as a diluting agent. As we learned during our elementary school days, the clear message here is don't do drugs. Especially if you don't want ugly, painful purple sores.\
SKIN SIN NO. 6: TAKING SUPPLEMENTS WITHOUT A DOC'S APPROVAL
Wu says, even if you're not on any meds, "mixing supplements can be hazardous to your health." For example, mixing omega-3 fish oil supplements with other supplements like ginger, gingko, or even Advil, can lead to an increased risk of bleeding, which is especially dangerous if you're undergoing surgery or even a teeth cleaning.
SKIN SIN NO. 7: DRINKING YOUR WATER INSTEAD OF EATING IT
Murad suggests noshing on foods that have large quantities of H2O, such as watermelon (97 percent water) and zucchini (95 percent water). Cells can more easily absorb the water in food since it comes along with other nutrients that the body needs to absorb. As a general rule, start eating more fruits and vegetables, which have higher percentages of water than processed foods and meat.