5 Things That Are Sabotaging Your Skin Without You Even Knowing It

And how to fix them, STAT.


Kristen Dold |

Thoughts to keep you up at night: Totally innocent, normal things you do on the daily can secretly mess up your complexion. Eek!

Thankfully, Dr. Sonia Batra, a dermatologist on The Doctors and Dr. Francesca Fusco, dermatologist and professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, have got the fixes so you can go filter-free in no time.

1/ Your SPF game is strong. . . on your cheeks

We miss around 10 percent of our face each time we apply sunscreen. For full coverage, use a 50C-size dollop of SPF 30, making sure to hit the most overlooked skin cancer hot spots: the skin around the eyes (skip the lids), bridge of the nose, hairline, part, and ears. If you need immediate protection, choose a mineral-based formula made with zinc and titanium oxide, which sits on top of the skin. Chemical sunscreens need about 20 minutes to sink in.

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2/ You’re mask-obsessed

Heaven is a glass of wine and a goopy mask—just don’t make it a nightly ritual. Ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid (popular in rejuvenating, exfoliating, and acne masks) can dry and irritate skin if used too often, or even trigger the skin to produce excess oil, clogging pores. Get your mask on one or two times a week max, and afterwards, apply a concentrated lotion with hyaluronic acid to rehydrate.

3/ You love your morning coffee, 10 a.m. matcha latte… and 3 p.m. tea

As a skin-care ingredient, caffeine de-puffs eyes and tightens skin, but swallowing too much can dehydrate your dermis, enhancing fine lines and leaving you looking drab and tired. Sip under 300 milligrams a day (about the amount in three eight-ounce cups of joe).

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4/ You sleep on your side

Smooshing your face into a pillow for eight hours can lead to lasting creases and wrinkles over time, while bacteria and oils that transfer from face to pillowcase can cause breakouts. Can’t sleep on your back? A silk pillowcase can curtail creasing (wash it every few nights to cut back on acne).

5/ Your brows are meticulously threaded

When your threader is flossing off those little hairs, they can break close to the skin, triggering ingrowns that can lead to annoying bumps or even painful inflammation. Wax or tweeze to guarantee hairs come out at the root.

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