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10 ways you could be ruining your skin

Categories: BeautyApril 13, 2015 | Posted by Mukti

Don't sabotage your skincare success by engaging in any of these 10 no-no's:

1. for your skin's sake, stop smoking!

Apart from putting yourself on the road to becoming a cancer statistic, smoking is a surefire way to age your skin prematurely. Smoking constricts blood flow in the capillaries, which reduces the flow of moisture and nutrition to the cells and directly causes wrinkles and fine lines. And yes – wrinkles are a LOT worse in smokers than non-smokers. If that’s not enough of a deterrent, how’s this? Cigarettes contain 4000 chemicals that destroy collagen and elastin, the fibres that give your skin its strength and elasticity. Want to look 15 years older than you actually are? Go ahead and smoke. It will give you wrinkles, lines, crow’s feet, uneven skin tone and skin spots. Thanks, but no thanks.

2. dehydration disaster

The difference between dehydration and dryness is that dryness is a lack of oil ON the skin and dehydration is a lack of moisture IN the skin. Nicely hydrated skin is plump and soft like a baby’s bottom. Dehydrated skin feels dull and papery. What happens when you don’t drink enough water and become dehydrated? Not enough moisture is transmitted from the inside (dermal reserve) to the outside layers of your skin (epidermis), resulting in dehydrated – older looking – skin. Apart from ensuring you drink enough water, be aware of your environment and take steps to hydrate your skin more often if needed. Spending a lot of time in air-conditioned or heated rooms will evaporate the moisture from your skin, as will very hot or cold climates.

3. sun protection fail

Inadequate sun protection is right up there with smoking as a surefire way to age your skin prematurely. If you spend too much time in the sun without enough sun protection (sunscreen, hat, clothing, sunglasses) you may get more fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots, discolouration, textural changes and worse – skin cancer. Choose a nanoparticle-free sunscreen and apply it daily to your face after you cleanse, tone and moisturise and before you apply your makeup.

4. you can leave your hat on

Sunscreen isn’t enough to protect your face from UV rays, especially if you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the sun. A broad-brimmed hat is essential, especially in Australia’s harsh climate. Besides – hats are sexy. Click here to see our post on 7 sexy hats that look hot while keeping the heat (and UV rays) off.

5. going ott with exfoliation

Exfoliating can brighten your skin as it increases skin cell turnover and stimulates the production of new cells, helping your skin look rejuvenated. But don't go over the top with exfoliation or you could do damage. If you exfoliate too often or use an exfoliant that’s too harsh, your skin could become red, irritated, tight, excessively dry, flaky or you may experience a burning or stinging sensation. Remember: use a gentle, natural exfoliant every 2nd-3rd day and avoid scrubbing the skin. Look out for exfoliators that are spherical so that they don't tear at the epidermis and gently massage in circular motion with your fingertips allowing the product to do the work.  

6. Not cleansing daily is a big no-no

As I wrote about in this post about correct cleansing, removing dirt, makeup, sweat, oil, bacteria and impurities is imperative for beautiful, glowing skin. Everyone should cleanse daily, but  it's even more important not to skip it if you live in a polluted city and wear makeup. A thorough cleansing ritual with a cleanser selected for your skin type is essential for men, women and teenagers.

7. good old-fashioned soap...NoT!

Soap may be old-fashioned, but it's not as pure and harmless as it sounds. It’s way too harsh on the skin as it’s very alkaline and drying. It strips the hydro-lipid film from the surface of the epidermis and leaves the horny layer exposed, unprotected and subject to moisture loss. Any cleanser that leaves your skin feeling ‘squeaky clean’ or taut is too dehydrating. That goes for foaming cleansers and acne products as well as not-so-good old-fashioned soap.  

8. hitting acne with all guns blazing

It’s tempting to go ballistic with any product that promises to get rid of your acne when you're in the grip of a breakout. I truly sympathise, as it can be an embarrassing skin problem – especially adult acne. I recommend avoiding products that contain hydrogen peroxide, retinoic acid, benzoyl peroxide, hexachlorophene and other harsh ingredients. These substances alter the keratinisation process and weaken the ability of the cells to bond together, as well as impeding the transfer of moisture to the epidermis. Think gentle, healing, soothing and calming ingredients, like organic aloe vera and chamomile.

9. the deadly 3: alcohol, sugar, trans fats

Where diet is concerned, these are the big three enemies of your skin (not to mention your overall health). Alcohol is super-dehydrating, it deprives your skin of vital nutrients and can lead to skin problems like rosacea. Sugar or high-glycaemic foods that rapidly convert to sugar in the body are detrimental to your skin too, as they cause your insulin levels to spike, which leads to inflammation. Inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles. Digested sugar permanently attaches to the collagen in your skin through a process called glycation, which increases the effects of ageing. Trans fatty acids, or trans fats, are formed when manufacturers of processed foods turn liquid oils into solid fats. There’s only one word to describe trans fats: evil. They offer no benefit to the body and cause much damage, least of all it’s effect on the skin. Trans fats are found in deep fried foods, commercial cakes and biscuits, pies and pastries. Eating trans fats can increase your bad (LDL) cholesterol and decrease your good (HDL) cholesterol, increase sebum production and lead to clogged pores and acne. Cut trans fats out of your diet but don't forget to keep eating good fats (omega-3s and omega-6s) and applying them to your skin via your skincare products.

10. Using the wrong SKIN CARE products for your skin type

People get quite confused about their skin type and subsequently don’t know which products they should be using on their skin. I posted a guide to knowing your skin type and choosing the right products here. While the typical categories of oily, dry, and combination skin are good basics, they don't address the wide variety of other problems or nuances that can affect skin type. Your skin type can change depending on the weather, your stress levels or hormonal fluctuations. It’s not unusual to have more than one skin type: sensitive and dry, oily and blemish-prone, sun damaged with acne. If you choose the wrong products for your current skin type, you’re asking for problemos amigos.

if you’re not sure which Mukti Organics products are suited to your skin, take our online skincare consultation by clicking here.

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Join the discussion (2)

SarahSarah says:

Apr 17, 2015 08:27am

Love this article! very informative


MuktiMukti says:

Apr 22, 2015 10:19am

Thanks Sarah!

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Hi, I'm Mukti, the founder and creator of Mukti Organics. My aim is to assist you in achieving beautiful, radiant skin without using products containing toxic chemicals. Certified organic skin care is better for you, your family and our planet. Click here to sign up and receive 15% off your first order. Signing up and commenting on our blog posts enters you into our bimonthly draw to receive $150 worth of products of your choice.