Special Report

27 Bad Skin Habits You Need to Break Right Now

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6. Stress

The evidence for a link between stress and aging of the skin is not great, English said. Stress can exacerbate many existing problems, especially in older people, but more research needs to be done. One connection, between acne breakouts caused by anxiety, is well-known. When the body is stressed it produces androgens, a type of hormone, that trigger the skin’s oil glands and hair follicles, leading to acne.

Stress can make the skin more sensitive and can also make it harder for skin problems to heal. Cortisol is another hormone that gets released when the body is under stress, and it signals the skin’s glands to make more oil. Oily skin tends to be more prone to itching, rashes, and other issues.

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7. Using tanning booths

Many people decide to “prepare” their skin for the coming summer season by going for a few tanning sessions, but this is a terrible idea. “This is the absolute worst UV exposure,” English said. The quick and intense burst of UV light the skin is exposed to has the highest association with melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer, he noted.

Richmond added that she sees much more melanoma and basal cell carcinoma in young women who have a history of tanning, some in their 20s and 30s. In addition to increasing the risk of skin cancer, tanning dramatically accelerates the aging of the skin, resulting in earlier wrinkles, uneven skin tone, persistent redness, and brown spots, she explained.

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8. Consuming too much sugar

There is some data that suggest high-sugar diet contributes to premature aging, but there is no proven connection, English said. Excessive sugar may dehydrate body cells, including skin cells.

Wrinkles can occur as a result of dehydration, and the best way to stay hydrated is to drink a lot of water. As a result of dehydration, loss of collagen and elasticity can lead to sagging skin and loss of hyaluronic acid, both of which can hurt the skin’s ability to retain water. This makes fine lines and skin scaling even more apparent.

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9. Rubbing your eyes

Rubbing one’s eyes is often a reaction to being tired. It’s almost instinctive. However, as is the case with most habits, a problem occurs when it’s chronic. The issue with rubbing your eyes all the time is the sensitivity of the skin around them. It’s one of the places where aging signs first appear. The pressure applied to the skin can break small blood vessels, leading to the formation of dark circles and drooping eyelids.

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10. Taking hot showers

Hot showers, especially in the winter, feel great. But the hot water removes natural oils and moisture from the skin. Dry skin can ultimately result in itchiness, redness, scaling, and can make eczema worse. Dermatologists recommend short showers with lukewarm water.