We discuss the skin sins that you could be committing without realising. Although there are plenty that you’re probably aware of, like going to bed without taking your make-up off, we want to discuss the ones that are not always considered. You might be surprised at how simple daily routines can actually be causing your skin more harm than good.
Skin Sin #1 – Having a desk job and using your tablet or phone
When you think of causes of premature skin ageing, having a desk job or spending long periods of time looking at technology probably isn’t one you consider, but cosmetic surgeons are reporting a rise in the number of men and women developing premature creases around their eyes and forehead from spending their days squinting at their computer screens.
Spending excessive amounts of time on our tablets and mobile phones, looking downward the whole time mean that the neck muscles can become shortened at the front, the skin sags and you can develop jowls and deeper set wrinkles (hands up who has just changed their viewing position!). The number of people that are seeking anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers to help soften or prevent tension lines around the forehead or lines around the eyes caused by squinting is increasing every year.
Skin Sin #2- You’re using hot water
After a long day there’s nothing more relaxing than a hot, steamy shower, right? But while this might relax your body and mind, it is a definite big no-no for sensitive skin. Hot water can severely dehydrate your skin, while the extreme temperature can further irritate already sensitive skin. Lukewarm is the preferred temperature with some skin care specialists recommending plunging your skin into ice cold water.
Skin Sin #3- You’re over exfoliating with your washcloth
When it comes to removing stubborn make-up, we often need a little help in the form of a muslin cloth or washcloth at the end of the day. Not removing our make-up properly remains one of the ultimate skin sins, so we need the additional help to make sure the skin is left clear of all traces.
Although washcloths work great for removing stubborn makeup, you need to take two things into consideration, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Firstly, washcloths can actually be quite abrasive to the skin if you get into the habit of scrubbing your face with it.
So take a gentler approach and wipe your skin gently instead of rubbing. Secondly, like all fabrics, washcloths can also trap oil and bacteria within their fibres, especially if you hang the cloth to dry and then use it repeatedly for the next few days.
If you really can’t do without using a washcloth, then use a new one daily or try switching to disposable wipes. If you like the exfoliating element but want a more controlled version of this rather than the unmeasured effects of a washcloth, a light chemical peel performed by a professional aesthetic nurse would be better for your skin’s overall health.
Skin Sin #4 – Using water to wash your face
It might come as a surprise, using water to clean your face twice a day could actually be doing it more harm than good if you have sensitive or dry skin. It can be particularly detrimental if you have a skin condition such as Rosacea or Eczema. Water evaporates on the skin, making it dry out more quickly, meaning that skin prone to eczema or excessive dryness will suffer. Additionally, any sudden temperature changes, such as using warm water during the winter period when the air outside is cold, can cause skin to flare or react.
Warming the face can also increase circulation to the surface of the skin which, for a condition such as rosacea, will make the skin redder and more inflamed.
So what are your options if you should try to avoid using water to cleanse your face? You could switch to a cream cleanser or Micellar water that can be applied to a cotton wool pad and then directly to the skin to cleanse it. Due to the nature of the cleanser, it will leave your skin clean and refreshed, without the need for rinsing with water after.
Skin Sin #5 – Not changing your pillowcase often enough
Life just sometimes gets in the way and, let’s face it, we all hate the dreaded job of changing the bed covers, especially the duvet cover, but not changing your pillowcase often enough puts your skin at risk from blemish and infection causing bacteria. This is particularly disappointing since if you have spent time (and money) before bedtime on removing the debris of the day and slathering your skin in expensive skincare.
Changing your pillowcase at least once a week will keep oil and debris from transferring from your pillowcase to your skin, keeping it clean for longer.
Skin Sin #6 – Not using oil on oily skin
Traditionally it has always been recommended that you should avoid putting oil on your skin if your skin type is oily. However, skin care specialists have discovered that it’s actually vital to treat oily skin with more oil, as it helps with balancing and regulating the skin’s natural moisture. Even though you might consider your oily skin as a pain, you’re actually lucky to have the skin type as your skin can remain more youthful in appearance for longer due to it’s increased hydration.
Skin Sin #7 – Driving
Who knew that the simple task of driving could cause damage to your skin, but If you spend a lot of time driving you may be unknowingly subjecting it to UV damage which can still happen through a glass window. Older cars do not have UV filters in their windscreens and, although modern cars do have UV filters in the windscreens, most car side windows do not, leaving your skin susceptible to direct UV damage. Indeed recent studies have shown how different sun damage can be on the non-window side by comparison to the window side.
We would always recommend that applying an SPF factor of at least 20 is a part of your every day skincare routine, but especially on a day when you are driving. If you have a suspicious looking mole that appears uneven, discoloured or has become itchy then seek professional advice immediately or alternatively you could book in for a consultation with one of our plastics surgeons for removal and analysis.
Medically reviewed by
Last Updated: March 1, 2018
Published On: March 1, 2018