8 Bad Beauty Habits You Need to Break
Nasty Habits, cont'd.
5. Nasty habit: Going to bed with makeup on
We know you're tired, but washing your face at the end of the day is not an optional beauty step (and don't forget to wipe off your eye makeup, too). Cleansing your face isn't just about preventing breakouts, points out Jeannette Graf, MD, a dermatologist in Great Neck, New York. "Your skin is most amenable to renewal while you sleep. When you leave makeup and crud on your face, you miss out on nature's own healing powers."
Easy fix: Use a mild, creamy formula to clear your skin without drying it out and an oil-based eye-makeup remover to lift clingy mascara residue. Premoistened cleansing towelettes come in handy for those nights when you just can't turn on the faucet. Remember to follow with an anti-aging treatment or night cream.
Try: Biore Makeup Removing Towelettes, $8
6. Nasty habit: Rubbing your eyes
Avoid the temptation to rub dry or irritated eyes. "Friction makes your mucous membranes release histamines, so they get more itchy, watery, and swollen," says Susan Resnick, OD, an ophthalmologist in New York City. It also damages collagen and elastin, making those crow's-feet you hate even worse.
Easy fix: For quick relief, use unpreserved artificial tears to help soothe and moisturize dry eyes. And keep the skin around your eyes hydrated with a mild eye cream or Aquaphor. If the irritation doesn't improve within a few weeks, see your eye doctor.
Try: Dr. Hauschka Eye Contour Day Balm, $52
7. Nasty habit: Over-exfoliating your skin
As you get older, you need a little extra help removing dead skin to keep your complexion smooth and bright. But don't scrub too hard or too often -- you'll strip your skin of its protective lipids and end up looking red and irritated, says Dr. Graf.
Easy fix: Dial back on the frequency. "Once a week is plenty if you have dry skin or if you use a prescription retinoid," says Washington, D.C.-based dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi, MD. If you're oily, every day is probably okay. Cleansers or peels with glycolic acid and handheld cleansing brushes tend to be gentle yet effective options.
Try: Olay Professional ProX Advanced Cleansing System, $30, or Avon Anew Clinical Advanced Retexturizing Peel, $25
8. Nasty habit: Scratching your arms and legs
Spring may almost be here, but try telling that to your dehydrated skin. "By the end of the season, most people's skin is rough, flaky, and itchy," says Dr. Graf. When you scratch a spot that's already in bad shape, it becomes itchier and more irritated and can even bleed and get infected.
Easy fix: To boost your skin's hydration levels, moisturize in the morning and before bed. Pick a rich lotion that contains petrolatum to seal water into your skin and colloidal oatmeal or hydrocortisone to calm the itch. You should also skip the soap and water and use a moisturizing body wash in the shower.
Try: Cetaphil Restoraderm Skin Restoring Body Wash, $15, and Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream, $6
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, March 2011.
SAVE EVEN MORE! Say “Yes” to Ladies' Home Journal® Magazine today and get a second year for HALF PRICE - 2 full years (22 issues) for just $15. You also get our new Ladies' Home Journal® Family Favorites Cookbook ABSOLUTELY FREE!