7 Things You Should Never Do to Your Skin

Republished from Hallie Gould

The worst things we do to our skin are often completely unintentional—forgetting to remove our makeup before a nap, blithely hanging out in the sun, or snacking on fried foods with abandon. But it’s time to educate you on what might be causing those annoying irritations or acne flare-ups.

We chatted with celebrity esthetician Jillian Wright, owner of Jillian Wright Clinical Skin Spa in Manhattan and founder of Jillian Wright Skincare, on the seven sins of skincare and made a handy list just for you. She’s performed facials on the likes of Kim Kardashian West and Kristen Wiig, so you can definitely trust her. Print it out and stick it on your fridge so you can check each one off as you go about your day. Hey, it feels good to cross something off your to-do list.

1 – Pick or Touch Your Face

“Touching your face will more often than not bring about zits. You bring bacteria to the surface when you pick or touch, which will spread and cause unnecessary acne, especially around your mouth. In the morning, after you apply your skincare products and makeup, try your hardest not to touch your face until you are ready to take it off and prepare for bed.”

2 – Expose Your Skin To Sun Without Protection

“Not only does the sun cause hyperpigmentation (discoloration), fine lines, and wrinkles—it also causes your skin to lose its elasticity. So if you are wondering why you all of a sudden can see enlarged pores, it may be because of unprotected sun exposure. Use a sunscreen every day, including during the winter, and try to wear a hat when you are in direct sunlight.”

3 – Forget to Exfoliate

“Your skin, being the largest organ, goes through a lot to protect us internally and externally. You are constantly shedding dead skin cells that sit on the surface and dull your complexion. Make sure to exfoliate once or twice a week (depending on your skin type) to reveal fresh, healthy skin. By helping with the process, you’ll keep your skin vibrant, youthful, and energized.”

4- Smoke

“Aside from the fact that you’re inhaling carcinogens, the trail of primary and secondary smoke travels up your T-zone, making it more clogged with blackheads. The smoke will also cause fine lines on your upper lip.”

5 – Eat Processed Foods

“When you eat processed foods, fast food, and takeout, you have no control over the ingredients. You have absolutely no idea what you are putting in your body and how it may affect your skin. Eating whole foods (veggies, fruits, meats, fish, grains, and beans) prepared and cooked at home is so much better for you and easier to regulate. Also, if you are acne-prone, there are certain triggers like sugar, dairy, and fast food that might exacerbate the issue. Check with your local clinical nutritionist for a consultation.”

6 – Stress out

“Environmental and emotional stressors can cause your skin to behave badly. You can have increased inflammation, breakouts, and tired, sallow skin. Take note of the changes that have occurred in your lifestyle. Same with emotional stressors—are you on deadline? Are you preparing for a major presentation?  Are you traveling? Not sleeping? Sad? These factors all have a hand in creating dysfunctional skin.”

7 – Consume excess sugar, dairy, salt, alcohol or caffeine

“Anything in excess can throw off your balance in life, love, work, family, and even your skin. If you have concerns about your diet, consult a clinical dietitian who can help identify potential problem areas.