5 Habits to Avoid for Healthy Skin

How to Maintain a Glowing Complexion

Your skin is your largest organ, and it can also be the most complicated to care for. Yet there could be parts of your daily routine that are harming your skin, however unintentionally. If you’ve developed any of the following habits, keep reading to learn how to make a change and maintain a healthy, glowing complexion!

Woman with healthy skin with green background illustration
No smoking


Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Smoking is one of the most harmful things you can do to your skin. Not only do cigarettes reduce blood flow to your skin, resulting in premature wrinkles, the toxins also inhibit collagen and elastin production, which causes skin to sag. Smokers also commonly experience a complexion that is dull and discolored.

But there’s good news! Quitting smoking has an almost immediate effect on your skin. As blood flow increases, your skin will receive the oxygen and nutrients it needs to develop a healthier appearance. If you’re having trouble quitting smoking on your own, talk with your doctor and make a plan that will help you establish better habits.


Skimping On Sunscreen

Sunshine may be good for the soul, but it’s not so good for your skin. Even on the cloudiest of days, your skin is susceptible to the sun’s damaging UV rays – and over time, this harmful radiation can cause discoloration, wrinkles, and even skin cancer.

Protecting your skin with sunscreen, however, will help prevent signs of aging and sunburn, as well as reduce your risk of developing cancer. Experts suggest making sunscreen a part of your daily skincare routine, and reapplying every two hours if you’re going to be spending time outdoors. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30, and if you have sensitive skin, opt for a mineral formula.


Piling On The Sugar

A squeeze of honey here, a dollop of whipped cream there … Sugar is delicious, but it’s also very easy to exceed the recommended daily intake (6 teaspoons for women, 9 teaspoons for men). And while honey and maple syrup are obvious sources of added sugar, sugar is also lurking in everything from your breakfast cereal to your condiments. Unfortunately, consuming excessive amounts of added sugar has been linked to acne, premature wrinkles, and other skin woes.

A skin-friendly diet is one filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fatty fish. If your sweet tooth is acting up, try biting into a square of dark chocolate – the antioxidants will do wonders for your skin! Just make sure to select a variety with at least 70% cocoa for the most benefits. 


Sleeping In Makeup

The temptation to fall into bed after a long day – or simply fall asleep on the couch – without washing your face first is strong. But skipping the sink at night can be a real detriment to your complexion. That’s because washing your face not only removes your makeup and other debris, but it also helps unclog your pores. Picking up this bad habit can ultimately lead to dryness, breakouts, and premature aging.

Ideally, you should be washing your face every night before you go to bed with warm water and a gentle cleanser. Aim for about 20 or 30 seconds of washing before rinsing, and pay special attention to your T-zone and U-zone (around the jawline), which can be the easiest to miss. In a pinch, you can use a facial wipe, but try to make washing at the sink a priority.

Sleeping z's

Skipping Sleep

Yes, beauty sleep is a real thing. Research suggests that poor sleep negatively impacts your skin’s appearance, causing dark circles, puffiness, acne, and a sallow complexion. Over time, sleep deprivation can rapidly deplete your skin’s elasticity and plumpness – negating the many anti-aging benefits of getting enough sleep. 

Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep every night to function at their best, so set yourself an alarm each night that will nudge you in the direction of your bed. Staying up late every now and then won’t age you overnight, but if you know you’re going to be out late, be kind to your skin by drinking lots of water, avoiding high-sodium foods, limiting alcohol consumption, and, of course, washing your face before you finally hit the sack.

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