Special Report

27 Bad Skin Habits You Need to Break Right Now

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21. Using the wrong soap

The right soap for one’s skin depends on age and baseline oil production, according to Richmond. People with oily skin will need a foaming cleanser to remove the excess oil and should be diligent about washing their face twice daily to prevent acne and an oily sheen, she noted. “More than twice daily is probably not necessary and may dry out even oily skin.”

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22. Touching your face too much

People regularly touch or squeeze their pimples, sometimes without even realizing it, Miller said. But this can leave dark spots or even scars. “I encourage my patients to try to be self aware and redirect their picking,” he said. “One simple technique is to put a rubber band on your wrist and snap it every time you feel like picking.”

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23. Staying up all night

“When we sleep our body repairs/replaces collagen, hence lack of sleep can contribute to aging,” Miller said. “Poor sleep can cause abnormal levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can also affect skin health. It worsens inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and eczema,” Richmond added.

Sleep deprivation also reduces the production of growth hormone, thereby lowering the efficacy of cellular repair mechanisms and accelerating the aging process. “Worsening of dark circles is another telltale sign of lack of sleep as a result of dilation of the small blood vessels under the eyes, leading to purplish discoloration and puffiness,” Richmond added.

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24. Excessive alcohol consumption

A study of more than 11,000 people showed a correlation between high alcohol consumption and visible signs of premature aging. More specifically, drinking too much increases the risk of developing arcus corneae (a white or gray half-circle on your eye) and earlobe crease (a line or a wrinkle in the middle of the earlobe). Alcohol also causes dehydration, which is a major contributor to premature aging.

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25. Cranking up the heat

Increasing a room’s temperature dries the air by sucking out the moisture. Over time, this can lead to dry and itchy skin. According to one study, even a 30% difference in relative humidity can affect skin properties in a short time. In the study participants, there is a significant decrease in skin elasticity and significant increases in wrinkles after exposure to dry air. Bedroom temperatures should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Sleep Foundation, and the World Health Organization recommends a temperature of 69.8 degrees Fahrenheit for the living room and 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit for other occupied rooms.