5 Bad Habits That Are Ruining Your Skin

A model with very clear skin

You think you do everything right: you cleanse, you tone, you moisturize, and you wear sunscreen every day. So, what’s keeping you from perfect skin?  Read below.

Coco Rocha wearing green eye make-up


Not to be a killjoy, but alcohol can be skin’s worst enemy. You don’t have to give up your drink of choice altogether, but drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a day can do serious damage to your complexion. Aside from causing skin to look sallow, a direct result of an over-stressed liver that can’t properly detoxify, alcohol increases the level of inflammatory agents in the bloodstream, which causes skin to sag over time. Drinking may seem fun now, but you’ll have to deal with consequences later. 

SmokingA model with very clear skin

It’s been proven that smokers will develop significantly deeper wrinkles and blotchier skin than non-smokers over time. Research published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery suggests that every decade of smoking results in a perceived extra 2.5 years of age. And really, who wants that?

Not Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes

Not washing your makeup brushes not only distorts your pigments, but can lead to clogged pores and bacterial infections. Every two to three weeks, wash your brushes with a gentle shampoo, such as Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo, or a brush cleaner from Smashbox. For a homemade recipe, try mixing a half a cup of warm water with 1/4 cup vinegar.  After cleaning, re-shape brushes and lay them flat to dry them overnight.

Not Cleaning Your Phone

If you’re going to go through all the trouble of cleaning your brushes, cleaning your phone should be a cinch. Constantly leaning one side of your face on a phone or cell phone can cause friction, oil build-up, and generate heat, all of which can make you break out. Every night, wipe an alcohol-dipped cotton ball across your phone to eliminate bacteria. Using an earpiece can also eliminate the problem.    

Picking at Your Skin

Possibly the worst habit of all! Yes, it works when your esthetician does it, but keep your hands away from your skin!  Squeezing a pimple pushes bacteria deeper into your pores, causing inflammation, infection, and scarring, almost doubling the blemish’s life span from one week to two. Chances are, you’ll get another zit nearby – bacteria loves to spread!  

To combat blemishes, simply dab some spot treatment with no more than 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide on the infected area once at night, and again in the morning. For those with truly sensitive skin, try something less drying. NYC-based dermatologist, Dennis Gross, MD, has developed a skin care line with farnesol, a gentler, botanically derived version of benzoyl peroxide, which is just as effective.