5 Skin Care Mistakes That Are Making You Look Older

It’s not uncommon for women to have an entire drawer (or two or three) devoted to complexion-enhancing, anti-aging products. But in spite of good intentions, sometimes simple mistakes or downright forgetfulness can age delicate skin. Nix bad habits and replace them with a few minor adjustments that just might make a world of difference.

1. Skipping SPF

There’s no denying that exposure to UVA rays leads to aging, but many women fail to wear sunscreen on a regular basis. It makes no difference if the weather is sunny, cloudy or rainy—harmful rays are finding their way to your skin. The result is fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and more, so dermatologists recommend using a broad-spectrum sunscreen or moisturizer with SPF 30 on a daily basis to keep a youthful visage.

2. Going to Bed with Makeup

Daily makeup, dirt, oil and environmental toxins all take a toll on the skin, so washing nightly before bed is essential to keeping your face in tip-top shape. Sleeping in a day’s worth of makeup is not only a recipe for acne breakouts, but also for advanced aging. Your makeup traps all the free radicals in the environment and as a result causes the breakdown of healthy collagen that results in fine lines. Failing to wash before hitting the pillow also means you miss the chance to apply your nightly anti-aging creams or serums on fresh skin.

3. Using Harsh Cleansers

There’s something desirable about a squeaky-clean finish, but the price paid is delicate facial skin that’s stripped of its natural oils. When the skin’s natural lipids are depleted, the result is a dry, dehydrated epidermis that is more prone to wrinkling. Instead of using harsh bar soaps, opt for a creamy or oil-based cleanser instead.

4. Not Exfoliating or Over-Exfoliating

When it comes to exfoliating, there’s definitely a happy medium. Exfoliating works to remove dead skin cells, revealing younger-looking skin. Even women with dry skin can and should exfoliate—the key is using a non-irritating, gentle exfoliator no more than twice a week. Over-exfoliating can be as bad as not exfoliating at all because it makes skin appear raw, dry and dull instead of youthful and vibrant.

5. Skipping the Neck

Even the most dedicated skincare enthusiasts have a tendency to overlook other parts of the body when it comes to anti-aging treatment. Your neck often displays signs of aging before anything else because its skin is thinner than that on your face. It also doesn’t have oil glands like your facial skin, which leads to dryness and a wrinkled appearance faster. Don’t neglect moisturizing and applying SPF to the skin on the neck, all the way down to the décolletage, to keep a crepey chin, neck and chest at bay.

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