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The Worst Skin Sins

Avoid breaking these four skin commandments

You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: take care of your skin or you’ll be sentenced to a future of leather, sunspots and all other descriptors synonymous with unfortunate. And while character’s a great thing to have, you don’t want to speed up the aging process by rejecting SPF, moisturizers or even cleanliness. So in order to help keep you looking your best, here’s four deadly skin sins and how to avoid them.

Sin 1: Lack of Sunscreen 

If the potential for skin cancer doesn’t scare you (which it should), perhaps the promise of premature aging will, especially since wrinkles around the eyes can start to develop by the early 20s and spots, moles and discolouration can essentially appear at any time. So should you rush out for a bottle of Banana Boat 45? Technically, yes. But if you’re not willing to lather up on a regular basis, at least invest in a facial moisturizer with an SPF of at least 20 so that you’re offering yourself minimal protection. After all: leathery face is terrible, but cancer is even worse.

Sin 2: Harsh Soaps

We all want the cleanest face with the best possible results, but giving yourself a chemical burn will not help with the porcelain complexion you’re vying for. Pay attention to the skin type you have over the one that you want: if you react to soaps easily, head to a dermatologist for their facial wash recommendations, or to chains like Aveda or Body Shop that offer alternatives for temperamental skin types. And if you think your skin can withstand anything? Don’t push it too far. If you use heavy-duty products made for problem complexions, keep your face moisturized with aloe and vitamin E-based products to prevent over-drying or burns.

Sin 3: Neglect

We’ve all gotten home and collapsed into a pile of mascara and concealer only to wake up looking like Courtney Love after a bender. And while not every night can deliver a thorough pre-bedtime regimen, it’s still crucial to wash your face before hitting the sack to prevent clogged pores and bacterial build-up. Since your body goes into repair mode throughout the night, it’s important to remove makeup and grime before retiring so that you don’t develop a problem complexion in the morning or beyond. So in moments of absolute exhaustion, use a disposable face wipe to give your skin a necessary reprieve “ or at least to avoid the infamous a.m. raccoon eyes.

Sin 4: Old Makeup

A haven for bacteria, old makeup not only doesn’t deliver the performance it once used to, but it can lead to pink eye, acne and allergic reactions. Thus, make sure you keep tabs on your stash so you can pitch what’s old and invest in what’s fresh. You may not be able to justify tossing a $30 bottle of foundation or pricey mascara, but you’ll prevent a bevy of problems by using only new product on your face. After all, you only get one. 

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