Most girls have their beauty routine all planned out. They have a go-to skin care regimen that simply never fails them, but while one may take good care of her skin, it's inevitable that there are still some bad skin care habits that every girl is guilty of doing. To make sure that your skin care routine is spick and span, we asked dermatologist Dr. Coreen Copuyoc to list down the ten things every dermatologist wants you to stop doing, STAT.
- Picking, pushing, popping and manipulating your zits.
Picking, popping, squeezing, and even touching your zits can do more harm than good for your skin. Newly formed acne can appear as red, inflamed bumps with no purulent material yet, but when it is aggressively manipulated like when you try to pop it, more inflammatory cells flock to the area which causes the bump to get redder, bigger, and deeper!
- Self-medication and using "Miracle" products.
Self-medicating yourself for different skin problems like rashes, zits, bumps, etc. can prove to be harmful, and even dangerous. Self-medicating not only puts your skin at risk for infection, it also prolongs resolution for your skin problem too. Good skin requires commitment and there are no miracle creams that can give you perfect skin in an instant.
- Leaving make-up on overnight.
Removing make-up is super basic, but I still have many patients who get lazy to remove all the gunk on their faces before sleeping. With the relatively complicated make-up trends nowadays (eyebrows, lips, and contour on fleek, anyone?), I can't put enough stress on the importance of investing in a good make-up remover. Use a make-up remover and wash your face with a gentle cleanser daily. This prevents comedone formation and encourages proper skin turnover, too.
- Over-washing and scrubbing your skin.
There are people who are obsessed with scrubs for both the face and the body. For the face, I highly discourage scrubbing it because it's not really a necessary step to achieve great skin, and may just cause irritation. If you feel like decreasing dry, flaky skin in some areas of your face, use a daily toner with clarifying lotion followed by a good moisturizer instead! You may also visit a board-certified dermatologist for a diamond peel, or a silk peel.
- Stop the skin whitening obsession.
It's not a secret that a lot of girls are obsessed with skin whitening. Melanin is the skin component that causes our skin to have color and it serves a protective purpose, too. Using whitening creams diminishes the amount of melanin in our skin making it more susceptible to photodamage and skin cancer. Instead of pouring your energies in trying to change your skin color, embrace it, love it, and focus on maintaining its beautiful and natural glow instead.
- Tanning, and too much sun exposure.
Getting that tan may seem like an awesome idea when you're at the beach, but always remember to do it in moderation. Sun exposure, especially during peak hours from 10 AM to 3PM, induce photodamage and premature aging. So if you can help it, avoid direct sunlight during these times. UV exposure is a major factor in the development of skin cancer as well. So, always remember to wear sunscreen with at least SPF 30 or higher, and reapply every two to four hours.
- Eating too much sugar and dairy!
Recent studies have shown that a diet high in sugar and dairy encourages acne development. Try to stay away, or limit sweet and dairy intake and eat a lot of fruits and vegetables instead. Eating food with high omega-3 fatty acids such as fatty fishes, seafood, and soybeans also helps reduce inflammation, helping to maintain clear and bright skin.
- Not drinking enough water.
Skin is essentially 64 percent water. So drinking plenty of water throughout the day also helps in keeping skin smooth and clear. When a person is dehydrated, skin appears to look duller, and wrinkles and large pores become more obvious. Drink eight glasses of water as regularly as possible. This habit will surely make your skin feel, and look fresher!
It's no secret that smoking does a lot of harm to your skin. Carbon monoxide found in cigarette smoke displaces oxygen while nicotine decreases the blood flow. These things lead to dry, yellowish or grayish, aged skin. Apart from that, these chemicals also delay skin healing and regeneration. While cigarettes are often associated with serious illnesses like different forms of cancer, smoking has also been found to be associated with different skin disorders such as psoriasis and cutaneous lupus erythematosus, too. So stay away from cigarettes, please. It's really bad, and the reasons why are just too many.
10. Sleep deprivation, or sleeping late frequently.
Our skin needs ample circulation and rest time to regenerate all its needs. Sleeping late deprives the skin from recuperating from all the stresses it has encountered within the day, and free radicals accumulated molecularly within the skin. Remember, your whole body needs approximately eight hours of sleep a day. With enough sleep, you'll feel better, think better, function better, and look better!
Dr. Coreen Copuyoc is a dermatologist who used to be a certified Candy Girl! She finished as a Chief Resident of Dermatology from St. Luke’s Medical Center, and is now board-certified by the Philippine Dermatological Society. Follow her on Instagram as @coreenmd and find her at www.medifi.com if you need an online consultation.