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  • Writer's pictureDr Dara Seebaran Suite

The Scariest Things You Do To Your Face

Updated: Jan 6, 2019

With Halloween fast approaching and zombies and ghouls on the mind, here are the things we do to our skin that can make it our very own horror story.

1. Over-exfoliating: I am currently guilty of this one. I've recently started to use a glycolic acid face wash and I'm in love with the results. So in love that I'm using it everyday. MISTAKE. Fruit acids like glycolic acid, chemically exfoliate the upper layers of the skin and can reveal healthy glowing skin underneath. However if done too often, any form of exfoliation weakens the skin barrier, strips moisture. The skin is left irritated, dry and prone to other conditions such as acne, ezcema and roseacea. This also refers to physical scrubs and mechanical devices. I recommend using a chemical exfoliation instead of physical scrubs. They are more gentle and exfoliating only 1-2 times a week.

2. Tugging at our eyes: The skin around our eyes is the thinnest in the body and 10 times thinner than skin on the rest of the face. Its no wonder that skin around the eyes is the first to show signs of ageing.

Pulling on this delicate skin stretches the elastin fibres and weakens them over time, leading to sagging skin. Putting on contact lenses, eyeliner and agressively rubbing the skin to remove eye make up accelerates damage to the collagen fibres, leading to premature wrinkles and inflammation around the eyes.

We even need to be careful when applying eye cream. Use any product sparingly, apply to the bony rim or orbit and dab in using the ring finger as it is the weakest and does the least damage.

3. Over-washing your face: Washing your face everyday is a good thing, but three times a day is excessive. Our skin produces natural oils to moisturize, protect and re-enforce the skin barrier. Washing your skin strips it of these essential oils and changes the delicate pH of the skin. The skin becomes dry, itchy and inflamed. The skin is more susceptible to infection, eczema and roseacea. However over-washing can have the opposite effect, triggering more oil production, which makes the skin greasier and prone to acne.

To combat this, use a gentle cleanser that is free of oil and fragrance. Lather your face using your hands. Forgoing the washcloth which is harsh on the thin skin. Pat dry your face or let it air dry to reduce friction, and if it feels dry apply a mild moisturiser. AND don't wash your face more than twice a day!

4. Applying too much makeup: I love a well made up face as much as the next person, but wearing too much make up or wearing it too frequently can wreak havoc on your skin.

Acne occurs when hair follicles become blocked with dead skin cells, dried sebum and dirt. This is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and the follicle becomes infected. Wearing thick layers of makeup clogs the pores and exacerbates acne. Make-up can also dry out the skin, highlighting wrinkles and uneven skin texture. Foundations or powders with fragrance and colour can trigger allergic reactions, causing the skin to become inflamed.

When you must wear make up, use mineral makeup which is less likely to clog pores and avoid brands that contain parabens, formaldehyde and benzenes.

5. Picking spots: We all know how satisfying it is to pop a pimple. But this is almost the worst thing you could do if you suffer with acne. No matter how clean your hands are, squeezing a spot is likely to introduce bacteria deeper into the skin. Our nails make small cuts to the skin and the force we apply is traumatic to already inflammed skin. Picking a spot can make it worse, more infected and often makes the scar and post inflammatory pigmentation worse.

The best way to approach a spot is to use some blemish reducing medication such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulphur or zinc applied to just to the affected area. Don't suffer with acne alone, make sure to seek medical advice early on.

So there you have it, our tips for making sure you don't look like the undead.....unless you want to. To find out more about skincare habits check out our blogs Seven Summer Skincare Sins, Cellphones are Ruining Your Selfie and Sleeping Beauty: Is Sleep is Ageing You?

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