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Angela Palmer

Beating Bad Habits

By January 26, 2013

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As a skin pro, people assume that I always take perfect care of my skin. And they're right! Umm, sometimes. Well, OK, not really. Although I do try to do my best, I'll admit I have plenty of bad skin care habits. I confess to:

Scrubbing the heck out of my face. It's not good for the skin at all, but there's just something so satisfying about scrubbing until the skin shines. In reality, though, scrubbing can really irritate the skin and make inflammatory acne worse.

Regular exfoliation is important, though. It keeps the pores clear and makes the skin feel super smooth. A gentle scrub is OK in most cases.

Or, a cream-based exfoliant is another option for a scrub-free exfoliation. Some good choices are OTC salicylic acid masks, glycolic acid, or other alpha hydroxy acid products. Many prescription medications also exfoliate the skin (those like Retin-A, Differin, etc.) so if you're using them you don't need an extra exfoliant.

Popping pimples. Ack! The biggest no-no when it comes to good skin health. Although I don't do it regularly there are some times when a certain pimple drives me to insanity and I pop it.

When I'm feeling really tempted, I'm trying to apply a warm compress of weak salt water to the pimple instead. After a few sessions, the pimple usually comes to a head and drains on its own, without any squeezing involved. Much better.

Going to bed without washing my face. This is actually a recently developed bad habit for me. I have washed my face, religiously, before bed for decades. Even if I had no makeup on.

But as life has gotten busier, I've gotten lazier. Even this ingrained routine has started to slip. I'm just so tired at night. But I don't like how my skin feels yucky in the morning when I skip my nightly cleansing.

I'm trying to get going on my nightly skin care routine earlier in the evening, instead of waiting until I'm so tired I just fall into bed. Prepackaged cleansing wipes are an option that others swear by.

But the most important factor -- getting those topical acne medications on the face at night. If I'm not cleansing my face at night, those also fall by the wayside.

I also know when I'm really focusing in on building good skin care habits, my skin looks much better. I'm trying to use that as an incentive to do those things I should be doing.

What skin care habits are you trying to change? What's your biggest challenge? Feel free to drop me a line in the comments section below.

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