Think you’re taking good care of your skin? You might want to think again! There are many hazardous things that everyone comes into contact with, and even parts of your everyday skincare routine may be more damaging to your skin than you know. Check out this list of the top seven surprising things that actually harm your skin.
Exfoliating can be good for skin, but only if it’s done gently, sparingly, and with the right products. Exfoliating more than once per week or using harsh products can strip your skin of oil, irritating it more than healing it. If you exfoliate this often or less and still have dry skin, you need to hydrate more, not exfoliate more. In addition, remember that you need to moisturize your skin or use face oil after every exfoliating treatment.
2. Being sedentary
Physical activity helps keep you in shape, but it’s also good for your skin. When you’re active, you boost your circulation, and blood delivers healing oxygen and other nutrients to your skin. Blood also acts as something of a trash collector, picking up dead skin cells and other impurities as it circulates. The increased blood pressure also helps to push these nutrients to the outer layers of your skin. When you exercise, you may notice a glow and radiance in your skin, but your skin may become sallow and dull when you’re sedentary. Not only is your skin not getting nourishment, but those dead cells and impurities are building up, making your skin look dull.
This may seem confusing to some, as coffee grounds are often used in a skin treatment or mask. However, there is a difference between applying caffeine right to the skin and ingesting caffeine. When you ingest your daily coffee or soda, caffeine works as a diuretic, causing you to lose moisture. This, in turn, can dehydrate your skin, making it look dry and sallow. Leftover coffee grounds also only contain residual caffeine, as most of this ingredient is dripped into the brewed coffee itself. The grounds in your facial treatment contain far less caffeine than what’s in an actual cup of coffee!
4. Red meat
Red meat absorbs moisture from your body as it gets broken down in the digestive system, and this too means less moisture and hydration for your skin. Too much red meat can lead to dry skin that looks less radiant and supple. The same is true of chicken, pork, and processed foods, but red meat is the biggest offender when it comes to damaging your skin.
5. Cheap makeup items
Sometimes expensive makeup brands are priced higher because they contain more high-quality ingredients that protect your skin. In contrast, cheaper brands may contain less-quality ingredients that dry and damage your skin, potentially even causing breakouts and irritation. If possible, try samples of name brand cosmetics and see if they make a difference to your skin’s overall appearance. You may be pleasantly surprised, not just by how high-quality products look on your skin, but also by how your skin looks even without makeup.
Like caffeine, alcohol is a drying agent, so ingesting too much will dehydrate your skin from the inside out. If you’re a heavy drinker, you may notice that your skin is dry, flaky, and never seems to look healthy. Just as dabbing alcohol to your skin on the outside when you have a cut or scrape will dry up the skin, drinking alcohol in excess will dry up your tissue from the inside.
7. Scratchy pillowcases
Consider the fact that your face is pressed up against your pillowcase for eight hours every night, and you may realize why scratchy materials can easily damage your skin. If you wake up in the morning and your face seems more wrinkled than when you went to bed, invest in soft cotton or silk linens to protect your skin.
If your skin seems to lack radiance and looks dry, sallow, or even irritated, check if any of these seven factors may be the culprit. Consider changing your diet, your skincare routine, and your makeup brands. Sometimes even the smallest change can make a tremendous difference to your skin, keeping it looking its best!