You have the best intentions for your skin. You probably have a bathroom drawer full of products to prove it, and you use them every day.
But maybe you’ve overlooked a few things. Do you have any of these five bad skin habits?
1. Making a Sad Face
They’re called frown lines for a reason. “Being unhappy creates bad facial posture — a frown, pursed lips, and tense facial muscles,” says New York dermatologist Doris Day, MD.
While you work on getting happier, there’s a shortcut you can take for your face. Try moving your ears back without touching them, Day suggests. Even if you can’t do it, just trying helps.
“It’s a very open expression. You can’t frown and pull your ears back at the same time,” she says. “You will feel happier, and people will respond to you more happily.”
2. Skipping Sunscreen
“You can’t emphasize enough how much sunscreen matters when it comes to skin aging,” Day says. “Ninety percent of wrinkles are from sun exposure. Only about 10% are genetic. You have a lot of control.”
Wear a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day. Slather it on, even on cloudy days. Errands, driving, walking your dog … anything outside requires sunscreen.
Your sunscreen should say “broad-spectrum” on the label, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays burn. UVA rays tan, but cause wrinkles. Both rays can cause skin cancer.
Reapply it, too. Check the label to see how often.
3. Overindulging Your Sweet Tooth
Too much sugar can speed up skin aging in a process called glycation, says New Orleans dermatologist Patricia Farris, MD.
She explains that sugar attacks collagen and elastin, which your skin needs for fullness and elasticity. The result: Your skin can wrinkle and sag.
So change your eating habits. Go for lots of fruits and vegetables and good fats, like those found in salmon. That’s your best diet plan for looking younger longer, Farris says.
4. Skimping on Sleep
While you sleep, your skin repairs itself. Too little sleep means too little time for skin repair.