Whether it's for health or beauty reasons, you've probably done some research on how to better protect your skin. With new products hitting the shelves every day, healthy skin care can get confusing. However, according to the pros, healthy skin has a lot to do with what not to do rather than the products you use. Avoid these five habits discussed by Atlanta dermatologists, and you'll be on your way to preserving your skin for years to come.
The top, most agreed on habit to avoid by Atlanta dermatologists was excessive sun exposure, more specifically tanning beds. The risks of indoor tanning include: a much higher possibility for skin cancer, premature skin aging and changes in skin texture. Many argue that they only tan in order to boost their vitamin D. However, there are much safer methods of getting enough of vitamin D through your diet and supplements. Indoor tanning can also lead to blinding eye diseases if eye protection is not used.
Not applying sunscreen
If you want healthy skin, you must wear sunscreen — no ifs, ands or buts. Whether it's out of lack of knowledge or pure laziness, many do not wear sunscreen as often as they should. According to Dermatology Affiliates' Rutledge Forney, sunscreen should be applied strong and often. "SPF is maintained by frequent application," Forney said. "A minimum of SPF 45 when you are outside at the beach and at sporting events or driving in the car for extended periods is important. Daily application of at least an SPF 30 whether you "need" it or not has been shown to decrease the risk of melanoma by half."
When it comes to your health, smoking is the mother of terrible habits. Droopy, dry and wrinkled are not words we want to associate with our skin, but smoking leads to all of the unpleasant characteristics. The effects of smoking on your skin are abundant, and if you are still smoking, it's time drop the habit.
Letting your skin get dry can be detrimental for the health and appearance of your skin. "Emollients help to keep the skin moist and supple; drinking water is not enough!" said Jodi Ganz, physician at Olansky Dermatology Associates. Work moisturizers, bath oils and/or soap substitutes into your daily routine to keep your skin happy and hydrated.
Exercising with foundation on
Whether you're jogging through town or working out at the gym, you'll likely see people you know. So, you wear makeup to hide imperfections. However, the benefits of wearing makeup while working out are competing with some nasty cons. "When you are working up a sweat, it is important to have clean skin to avoid clogged pores, which lead to breakouts," Forney said.
Picking at your skin
Pimples, flaky skin, raised growths and any other element keeping our skin from being smooth are "fingernail magnets," Forney said. Picking at imperfections disrupts the skin's natural ability to heal and increases the risk of infection. Constant picking also leads to a thickening of the area of skin that leads to even more picking. "We frequently see patients with bumps we call 'worry' or 'pickers,' which are nodules that have become a habitual sites for picking," Forney said. "These are hard habits to break, so put a Band-Aid on a spot that you can't leave alone and give it a chance to heal."