4 ways you may be harming your skin without knowing it

4 ways you may be harming your skin without knowing it

You want the best for your skin. You not only want it to look great but feel great as well. Which is why skin problems can completely disrupt our lives. Rashes, dryness, itchiness, oily patches and irritations are both uncomfortable and embarrassing. You’re either scratching, unconsciously touching the area or re-adjusting your clothing so it’s not visible. It’s not a great way to live. Which is why you take such good care of your skin.

The thing is, caring for your skin isn’t only about having a good skincare regimen and avoiding obvious irritants. You also need to be aware of your surroundings and lifestyle. Here are four ways you may be harming your skin without knowing it.   

Staying a little too warm this winter

During this time of year, most people are just trying to stay warm. They bring out their thick blankets, drink loads of warm beverages and invest in coats and boots. If you’re doing these things, that’s perfectly okay. In fact, you’re making all the right choices. What you shouldn’t be doing, however, is turning your room heater up as high as possible or jumping in a boiling hot shower or bath.

Let’s start with hot air. Whether you’re using an everyday room heater or a central air conditioner, you need to be careful. At high temperatures, these can remove the moisture from the air in the room. When the air in a room becomes dry, so will your skin. It could cause more than a simple dry patch that just needs an extra bit of lotion at the end of the day. You could end up with irritations and even, in extreme cases, skin infections. Of course, you don’t want to give up using your heater completely and you can’t do anything about the air conditioning at your office or the shopping centre. However, what you can do is limit the time you have the heater on and keep it on a low setting.

Another way people love to heat themselves up during winter is by taking a long, hot, steamy bath or shower. While this may feel good at the time, it’s not good for you. The outermost layer of your skin, the epidermis, contains natural oils that your body needs in order to retain moisture. Spending too much time in hot water rids your body of these oils, leaving you with dry, irritable skin. If you do take a hot shower, make it as quick as possible and use a good moisturiser straight afterwards. Try a product that contains glycerine for skin, like Ingram’s Moisture Plus Triple Glycerine to keep your skin from drying out.

Avoiding doing your laundry for as long as you can

Many people don’t enjoy doing laundry. It takes up so much time and there’s ironing, separating, folding and packing away to do as well. Even if you take your clothes and bedding to a professional, it’s hard to find time in your busy schedule to get it there and pick it up again. The thing is, you have to do your laundry for the sake of your skin.

Re-wearing some clothing items may seem okay. For example, jeans don’t need to washed every time you wear them and a skirt can last more than one day as long as you haven’t spilt anything on it. However, wearing the same clothes over and over again, even if you’re not leaving the house, can be bad for your health. Your skin has natural oils and you sweat out toxins during the day. When you put on an item of clothing for the fourth time without washing it, you’re also exposing your skin to the oils it’s already tried to get rid of.

The more often you wash your bedding, the better. Think about everything your sheets, duvet cover and pillow cases are exposed to every night. Whatever is on your body when you hop into bed is transferred to your bedding during the course of the night, as well as your perspiration and skin oils. The longer you go without washing your bedding, the more these things build up. You’re exposing your skin to this every night and if you don’t keep your linen clean, you may end up with clogged pores, skin irritations or worse.

Being too clean (yes, there is such a thing)

There’s no strict rule for how often you should cleanse your face, it all depends on your skin type and your lifestyle. For example, some people cleanse their face only once a day and have perfect skin while others wash both in the morning and at night. However, most experts in the field agree that you should avoid washing your face more than twice a day, unless you’ve worked up a sweat on a run or at the gym. Washing your face too often strips away your natural oils, which causes your body to produce more. You may end up with oilier skin from washing too often.  

While you need to cleanse your face every day, you should definitely not exfoliate daily. Exfoliating once or twice a week is best. If you exfoliate too often (and too harshly) you may cause acne instead of getting rid of it because you’re scrubbing away the healthy skin cells that help protect your skin as well as the dirt and grime.  

Consuming too much dairy

Research is still being done on the direct influence dairy may have on your skin. However, a connection between drinking excessive amounts of milk and acne has been made by some dermatologists and dieticians. You see, milk contains hormones that could stimulate the oil in your skin, leading to breakouts and inflammation. This doesn’t mean you have to cut dairy out of your diet right now. What it does mean is that if you are suffering from skin problems and you drink lots of milk, you might want to try reducing your intake or cut it out and see whether your skin starts to clear. Of course, if you’re having recurring skin flare-ups, you should see a specialist so they can give you advice based on your specific case.