5 Things to Avoid!

Written by Kristina Collins, M.D., FAAD

There are a few major skin offenders that can seriously destroy any good skin care routine. Here are the top five things you need to avoid to maintain healthy skin.

1. Avoid excess sun exposure.

There is no such thing as a safe tan. Even if the skin does not appear burned, a tan occurs as the skin attempts to protect itself from damage. Indoor tanning in particular leads to a 75% greater risk of developing melanoma during your lifetime. Self-tanners and bronzers are safer ways to get the look without the risk but be sure to check the EWG’s Skin Deep Database to search any prospective products before buying.

2. Avoid harsh products or exfoliators.

Do not use harsh scrubs or exfoliators on your skin, as these can cause greater inflammation and break down your skin’s protective barriers. Skin care does not need to hurt or burn to be effective. Mechanical brushes and scrubbing devices can also be overly harsh and are not necessary for cleansing the skin. The same goes for hot water, which is very drying and hard on the skin. Always use lukewarm water to cleanse and pat dry to avoid drying out your skin.

3. Do not pop your pimples/zits or pick at your skin.

Keep those pointy fingertips and sharp nails away from your delicate skin. While it can be tempting, picking at the skin and squeezing or popping pimples is likely to lead to even more inflammation or damage. Instead, use an acne spot treatment serum or acne patches that contain salicylic acid to spot treat blemishes. Again, if you have a pimple and desperately want to pop it, use a warm compress to help open the pores and then gently press and roll the area using the sides of your two index fingers.

4. Do not go to bed without washing your face.

Your skin needs to breathe and it is important to wash away oil, bacteria, makeup, and grime that builds up throughout the day.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

If you have a skin issue that isn’t responding to healthy hygiene habits and a daily skin care regimen, then it may be time to consult a doctor. Having a skin problem does not mean that you are unclean or you are doing something wrong. Skin issues can happen to anyone, at any point in life. The good news is, there are plenty of treatments available to make sure you can feel confident in your own skin.