BLUSH HOUR TALKS TO NATIONAL TRAINING DIRECTOR FOR ULTRACEUTICALS TRACEY BEEBY REGARDING SOME BAD HABITS WE SHOULD TRY TO AVOID WHEN SEEKING HEALTHY, GLOWING SKIN.
FIVE BAD HABITS THAT ARE RUINING YOUR SKIN: From binge-watching you fave trashy reality TV show (Dance Moms FTW!) while wearing a pizza-stained onesie to eating Nutella straight from the jar when no one’s watching, we all have cheeky habits we’re not (usually) proud of. And while most of our little quirks and bad habits are no biggie, when it comes to your skin there are certain behaviours you should steer clear of at all costs if you want a healthy, glowing complexion. Beware these five bad habits that could be ruining your skin:
1. Constantly touching your face
Our hands come into contact with millions of germs daily, and unless you’re regularly going through swimming pool-sized quantities of Dettol, chances are you’re transferring these germs to your face when you unconsciously touch your skin. “When we touch our face, germs may be transferred onto the skin and enter open lesions – this could risk exacerbating any acne condition,” says Tracey Beeby, skin whizz and trainer for skincare brand Ultraceuticals. And it’s not just your fingers that you need to worry about – your mobile phone’s covered in more bacteria than a toilet seat (apologies if you just threw up in your mouth a bit). Wipe your phone down regularly and put it on speaker instead of holding it up to your face when possible, and try to avoid touching your skin throughout the day – particularly around any areas where you’re experiencing break outs.
2. Skipping moisturiser
Even if your skin feels oily, that doesn’t mean it’s hydrated. “Too often an oily skin with breakouts presents with an impaired lipid barrier [that’s your skin’s outer protective layer, FYI],” says Tracey. “Using a moisturiser that mimics the skins own natural moisturising factor is essential to ensure the external lipid barrier is maintained at optimum strength. With an unhealthy barrier, the skin will have an overproduction of dead surface cells that build up and eventually may begin to clog the pores. This leads to a domino effect leading to the varying stages of acne formation.” Try using a lightweight oil-free moisturiser morning and night to keep skin healthy and hydrated.
3. Stripping your skin with harsh products
While it’s tempting to scrub your skin til it’s squeaky clean – especially when oil and pimples are making you feel gross – using harsh cleansers and annihilating your face with super strong treatments can backfire in a big way. “Harsh stripping products will lead to an impaired lipid barrier and lead into acne formation,” warns Tracey. Be gentle to your skin and look for cleansers and treatments that aren’t chock-full of alcohol and scary-sounding chemicals, and don’t exfoliate more than two or three times a week.
Another thing to beware of is benzoyl peroxide – it’s an ingredient often used in anti-acne products, and while it can be helpful if you’re battling a giant zit of doom, be aware that can be quite damaging to your skin and isn’t ideal to use in the long term. “Benzoyl peroxide is an oxidant. This means that it is creating oxidation, the opposite to an antioxidant…it can lead to further lipid oxidation within the pore making acne even worse,” warns Tracey. “It also can create irritation on the surface of the skin leading to further dead skin build up and inflammation.” If you’re on the hunt for an effective but gentle spot treatment, look for one that contains salicylic acid, mandelic acid, niacinamide (that’s vitamin B3, FYI) or clove oil.
Try: Ultraceuticals Ultra Clear Spot Treatment, $39.
4. Squeezing pimples and blackheads
You’ve heard it a thousand times, but this a major no no. “Squeezing or picking at the skin can lead to the infection spreading both superficially and beneath the skin,” warns Tracey. “Beneath the skin is where our sebaceous glands [that’s our oil glands] reside and if the skin is squeezed hard it’s possible that these glands can burst and spread the infection.” Basically going to town on your face is a bad idea, and if you can’t deal with pimples and congestion and need it extracted (and I totally understand this feeling), just make sure you visit a professional skin technician – they’re trained in hygienic extraction methods.
5. Avoiding sunscreen
If you’re one of those cheeky monkeys who skip moisturiser because they’re scared it’ll cause more oiliness and breakouts, you’re probably guilty of skipping sunscreen too (even though you know it’s the most important anti-ageing product you can use). It doesn’t have to be this way my friend. “The use of sunscreen itself does not cause breakouts,” says Tracey. Just make sure you double cleanse at the end of the day to avoid blocked pores, and look for a sunscreen that’s designed specifically for your skin type – there are fantastic ones on the market now created for oily and acne-prone peeps. Try: Ultraceuticals SPF 30 range, it will wow you!!