11 things you're doing to your skin that you shouldn't be

Eleven things you're doing to your skin that you shouldn't be, according to Lawrence skin-care experts:

  1. Not using sunscreen year-round: Local skin care experts agree that daily sunscreen use is ideal for preventing skin cancer and premature aging of the skin.
  2. Sleeping with your makeup on: Women who sleep with their makeup on might be inadvertently giving themselves acne, says Lawrence esthetician Karin Kelley.
  3. Drinking alcohol, consuming caffeine and smoking: All three activities can dehydrate and damage the skin, according to local esthetician Shea Pritchard.
  4. Not washing your face at night: At night, your skin repairs itself, releasing toxins, so it's best to wash your face every day before bed, says Lawrence esthetician Liz Black.
  5. Going to the tanning salon: Ultraviolet rays — whether from the sun or a tanning salon — increase the risk of skin cancer and can prematurely age the skin, asserts Lawrence dermatologist Matthew Buxton.
  6. Using too harsh of skin-care products: Lawrence esthetician Marcia Butell says products high in alcohol can dry out the skin, while Black says chemical-laden products "strip the skin of its natural protectants" and Buxton notes that gritty cleansers often cause irritation. Several local estheticians advise using only organic, planted-based products.
  7. Not drinking enough water: Kelley says people who drink about 3 liters of water a day will be properly hydrated — and it will show in their complexion.
  8. Overexfoliating: Kelley says people should only exfoliate their skin about once a week, as overdoing it can cause redness and inflammation by removing the skin's natural protective barrier. "By disrupting that acid mantle, that protective layer, you're causing bacteria to get in and water to leave the skin," says Black. "You might see acne on the skin because of it. You'll see dryness, premature aging." Kelley adds that the types of exfoliating brushes that are popular nowadays can actually lead to more acne by spreading bacteria across the skin.
  9. Not eating a healthy diet: Skin care experts concur that a balanced diet favoring fruits and vegetables over processed, fried, starchy foods can do wonders for the skin.
  10. Using one-size-fits-all products: Skin care experts say it's best to find products that fits your skin type, whether it's dry, oily or somewhere in between.
  11. Not exercising enough: "Having a good sweat really will clean out the pores and helps your body eliminate toxins," says Kelley.


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