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5 Common Skincare Mistakes to Avoid

"A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." -George Bernard Shaw We all make mistakes. We stumble out of bed, occasionally leave the coffee maker on, and forget to pay the parking meter. Stuff happens! But when it comes to skin care, it is essential to avoid unnecessary errors in our daily routines. Here are six common skin care mistakes to avoid: 1.) Take a long, hot shower. Oh, yeah, nothing feels better in winter than a nice, long, hot, steamy shower. Except that afterwards your skin is likely to lose essential lipids and oils it needs to stay healthy! Hot water strips moisture from the skin faster than warm or cool water. A lengthy exposure to hot water will actually be more likely to break down the lipid barrier in skin and make it more susceptible to irritants. In a study on irritation from the surfactant sodium lauryl sulfate, researchers found that the hotter the water, the more irritated participant’s skin was (Contact Dermatitis). The skin barrier is compromised and softened, allowing ingredients to penetrate the skin better, meaning that irritating ingredients do more damage. In addition, these irritants are compounding the irritation that might come from being in overly hot water for an elongated time period. You might not like the solution, which is to keep showers short — think 10 minutes or less — and to use warm, not hot, water. But your skin will definitely thank you for reducing the heat and time of your showers. 2.) Avoid alcohol in skin care products. Yes, you read that right. Straight rubbing alcohol (ethyl or isopropyl) on your skin is terrible - it can be drying, harsh and irritating. But certain types of alcohol in a skin care product can be beneficial – thinning the solution, helping absorption, and even hydrating your skin as a part of the formulation! Certain alcohols like the list below are called “fatty alcohols” and don’t have the same function as harsh rubbing alcohol. They actually hydrate and emulsify:
  • Stearyl alcohol
  • Cetyl alcohol
  • Cetearyl alcohol
  • Cetostearyl alcohol
  • Cetyl alcohol 40
  • C12-15 alcohols
  • Lanolin alcohol
So while you would never apply pure rubbing alcohol directly to your skin (hello, drying!), if you use the right type of alcohols in a formula it can make everything a whole lot more beneficial. Who knew avoiding alcohol was a bad thing?! 4.) Use pore strips. Pore strips contain a hairspray-like substance on one side. It sticks to the material within your pores, but when you rip the strip off, it stretches the pore. Over time, this leads to enlarged pores, in which material collects, leaving you with a nose that is more likely to trap dirt, debris, and sebum. The best alternative is to cleanse with an oil-based cleanser. Over time, it will cleanse and refine the pores, leading to refined skin. 5.) Use moisturizer inconsistently. Moisturizer is great because it provides the skin with a source of potential moisture. When your skin is thirsty, there's a place to take a drink and replenish itself. And when it's not so thirsty, the moisturizer serves a protective purpose. Think of your skin's dilemma: It’s going out in the cold and then coming back into the heated indoors. It's being out in the sweaty, humid sun and those cold, somewhat drying showers. Try Skinfix Daily Lotion for consistent use twice a day, year-round, to ensure your skin gets what it needs. 6.) Spending a fortune on skin care, but eating a lot of junk food. The glycemic index is a system that rates food on a scale from 1-100 based on how much these foods raise blood sugar after eating them. When you get too much sugar in your body, it has some pretty profoundly negative effects on your skin. Studies demonstrate that diets high in sugar and high-glycemic foods like potato chips, white bread, pasta, candy, and white rice could be the culprit for this skin condition. A 2007 study demonstrated that putting teen acne sufferers on a low glycemic diet helped to reduce acne appreciably (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition). In addition to sugar being a culprit for one earlier in life problem, it’s also one of the culprits for later in life issues. Sugar can age you in high amounts — though in moderation, it’s not bad for you or your skin. What happens when you overdo it on the sweet stuff is an increase in Advanced Glycation Endproducts (aka AGE). AGE occur during the processing of blood sugar, which is inevitably increased when you eat sugar. In a multistep process, AGE inevitably ends up cross-linking into neighboring proteins and causing the hardening of collagen. And while free radicals speed this up, antioxidants won’t prevent it (Ending Aging).But you don’t have to skin sugar entirely. Skipping out completely — on a sugar-avoidant diet — can put the body in ketosis, increasing production of methylglyoxal, which is a crucial component in producing AGE (Annals of the New York Academy of Science). The key is, of course, moderation. Bottom Line For better skin: 1. Do not take long, hot showers. 2. Know that it's OK, and actually beneficial, to use skin care products with the right kind of alcohols in them. 3. Avoid pore strips. 4. Use moisturizer year-round. 5. Avoid sugar. By FutureDerm

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