Your skin has a big job. As the largest organ in the body, it has to keep you warm, protect you from bacteria and other germs, and manage how you react to heat, cold, and other sensations. How your skin looks can also influence how you feel about yourself and how old or young you appear.
In the name of protecting their skin, many people go overboard and actually end up doing more harm than good. There are many ways you may be hurting your skin. Here’s a sample of them and a few things you can do instead.
Using Too Many Products
Often, when people start to notice wrinkles and other signs of aging, the first thing they do is start using skincare products, and lots of them. But using a variety of products and not really having an understanding of what those products do or how your skin is going to react to them is bound to lead to problems.
For example, if you start using a combination of strong ingredients, such as retinoids, alpha or beta hydroxy acids, or salicylic acid, your skin might respond by turning red or by flaking. Often, those ingredients on their own aren’t an issue. But using two or more all at once can cause irritation.
Since it can be difficult to know which ingredients will best help you and which products aren’t going to provide the most benefit, it helps to see a surgeon or medical spa to get a recommendation. If you think the products you’re using are hurting your skin, getting a professional recommendation about which products to use can help you get back on track.
Exfoliating your skin, whether by using a scrub, a brush, or a special mask, can feel good. But, when done too much, it can also leave you with angry, red skin that is more prone to breakouts. Over-exfoliated skin is more likely to feel dry and flaky. Some people describe feeling a burning sensation.
How often should you exfoliate? It really depends on your skin type. The drier your skin or the older your skin, the more gentle you’ll want to be. For the most part, it’s recommended that you limit exfoliation at home to once a week. If your skin is on the oily side, you might be able to exfoliate twice a week without any issues. No matter what, it’s definitely not an everyday process.
One way to help improve the look of your skin without the risk for harming it is to have Fraxel laser treatments. Since it is a non-ablative laser, Fraxel is a lot gentler on the skin than other laser types. It doesn’t damage or destroy the top layer of the skin. Instead, it works beneath the skin, creating micro-injuries that help stimulate collagen. It can help smooth lines and wrinkles, improve texture, and reduce the appearance of scars, dark spots, and stretch marks.
Taking Super Hot Showers
Few things feel more relaxing than taking a long hot shower at the end of a stressful day. But while the heat and steam can help soothe your senses, the heat of the water also does a real number on your skin. Hot water can cause your skin to turn red. The heat from the shower can also make your skin drier and itchier. That’s because the hot water can interfere with your body’s production of oils and fats.
Over time, your body might start producing more oils to compensate for the effects of the hot water, causing you to develop oily skin and making you more likely to break out.
There are two ways to reduce the harm caused by hot water. Turning down the temperature of the water to lukewarm will help a lot. Another option is to reduce the number of showers you take or the length of your showers. The less time you spend in hot water, the happier your skin will be.
Spending a summer’s day spread out on a beach towel and basking in the sun’s rays is one way to put your skin on the fast track to wrinkles and other signs of aging. Sun exposure is one of the leading causes of wrinkles, not to mention other skin unpleasantness, such as burns and melanoma.
Plus, if you spend time in the sun after a skin treatment like Ultherapy or Fraxel, you’re putting your skin at risk for a variety of problems, such as hyperpigmentation.
Your best bet is to limit the time you spend in the sun. That means no sunbathing –and no indoor tanning booths either! When you go outside, make sure to slather on an SPF of at least 30. For the best protection, reapply your sunscreen every two hours.
Got more questions about your skin and about what might be bothering it? The staff at Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique in Houston, Texas, is here to help. Call 281-810-9083 to schedule a consultation today.