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Top 5 Skin Care "Don'ts"

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Skin care "do's" are important for sure - like following a good (easy!) skin care routine, wearing sunscreen, etc. But there are some big skin care "don'ts" that are equally important. I have pulled together the 5 biggest "skin care no-no's" gathered from dermatologists and estheticians. They are (in no particular order):

1. Don't over exfoliate. While exfoliation is absolutely key to gorgeous, smooth, younger-looking skin, skin can react poorly to too much exfoliation. Stick to 1 to 3 times per week, and give it a rest if your skin starts looking shiny or red and irritated. If skin is over-exfoliated you are not giving new skin time enough to develop and you are sloughing off more than just the dead skin cells.

Top 5 Skin Care Don'ts2. Don't smoke. There are zillions of reasons not to smoke, but in addition to inner health you can add skin health as another reason. Smoking accelerates aging and causes wrinkles. Here's a link to a great article that explains how and why it happens.

3. Don't pick! Gross. I know. But it has to be said. Picking at blemishes and blackheads can cause scars, spread bacteria that makes breakouts worse, and leave skin looking irritated. Leave them alone, and use good products that help to keep your skin clear.

4. Don't leave make-up on overnight. I hear from customers all the time that they are too tired at night to wash their face. Believe me - I get it. I have been known to whine about "getting ready for bed" like a child, even using my super-fast Garden Girl system. But I always do it. Because leaving make-up on (and I only wear a little!) plus all the "stuff" your skin has been exposed to during the day (pollution, free radicals, etc.) can clog pores, cause irritation and actually accelerate aging. Take the 60 seconds to clean up and your skin will thank you!

5. Don't load up on chemicals. Even the most expensive skin care can be laden with unnecessary chemicals. Things like sulfates (sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate), parabens, and phthalates can irritate skin or worse, have been linked to cancers. Look for products with natural ingredients with natural fragrances or that are fragrance-free. But beware of products that claim to be "preservative free". Products without preservatives, particularly if there is any water in the formula, can quickly become bacteria-havens which can cause breakouts and irritations.

OK so that's 5, but I feel like I can't end this post without a reminder about sunscreen as well, because it's so important. So instead of "do use sunscreen" I suppose I could add a 6th "don't" - "don't forget sunscreen"?

Keeping these "no-no's" in mind each day can make a huge difference not only in how your skin looks now, but how fantastic it will look in the future.

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