12 Surprising Things That are Damaging Your SkinYou probably know that too much sun exposure, sleeping in makeup, and smoking are all terrible for skin, but these twelve surprising things damage your skin, too:

1. caffeine

Since caffeine is a diuretic, too much of it can dry out the skin and magnify wrinkles. Quench dehydrated skin by drinking a ton of water in lieu of coffee.

2. Hot showers

Long, hot showers strip away natural oils on the surface of the skin, leaving it scaly and dry. Instead, opt for lukewarm showers that are gentler on the skin and always follow up with a moisturizer.

3. Smartphones

Love talking for hours on your smartphone? Be careful -- it can lead to blemishes and rashes along the jawline and cheeks because of dirt and bacteria on the surface of your smartphone. Be sure to clean your smartphone regularly with antibacterial wipes.

4. Dirty pillowcases

Your skin sheds its dead cells while you sleep. Those cells build up on your pillowcase over time, leading to bacterial growth. To maintain healthy skin, wash your pillowcases at least every two weeks.

5. Sugar

Consuming too much sugar damages the collagen in your skin, contributing to premature wrinkles and fine lines. Opt to eat fresh fruit instead of refined sweets.

6. Alcohol

Like caffeine, alcohol is a diuretic, which dehydrates the skin. Without adequate moisture, the skin becomes dry and dull-looking. Limit alcohol intake to special occasions.

7. Fad diets

Constant yo-yo dieting can cause the fibers in your skin to loosen over time, creating stretch marks and sagging skin. Follow a well-balanced diet that's high in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains and lean proteins. 

8. Salt

Eating high sodium foods regularly sucks the moisture from your skin, leaving it looking dull and dry. To avoid this, cut down on salty treats and apply a moisturizer nightly.

9. Stress

Not only can stress cause blemishes, rashes, and dullness, but stress lines from facial movements can also lead to premature lines and wrinkles over time. Reduce stress by taking time to engage in self-care, such as yoga, meditation, and exercise.

10. Heavy makeup

A few days a week, you should skip makeup altogether and allow your skin to breathe. Wearing heavy makeup all the time can result in breakouts, clogged pores, and premature aging.

11. Saunas

Saunas and steam rooms can cause sagging since they break down elasticity and collagen in the skin over time. Opt for hot tubs instead.

12. Chlorine

If you like to swim a lot, you should always make sure to shower after a dip using an extra sudsy soap. That's because, even after a shower, chlorine can cling onto the skin and react with topical medications, cleansers, and lotions.

References
  1. "32 Surprising Things That Ruin Your Skin," Good Housekeeping, June 16, 2014.
  2. "11 Surprising Things You Didn't Realize are Damaging Your Skin," Insider, September 17, 2018.

anti-aging | dermatology | acne | skincare