Skincare is one of those things that most people don’t start thinking about until it’s too late. You know what I’m talking about–if you get a pimple, you’ll put some spot cream on it, or wash your face a little bit more, and if you get a sunburn, you’ll put some aloe vera on it. But it’s less likely that you’ll actually start to do the things–like removing all of your makeup before you go to bed and wearing sunscreen every day–that are actually required to prevent those things, right? Reactivity is much, much easier than proactivity, after all.
This is especially true if you’re a teenager and you haven’t really started to have a ton of skin issues. Why start to deal with something when, technically, you don’t really have to? While your mom might have an extensive skincare regimen that involves facial peels, serums, anti-wrinkle creams and, most importantly, lots and lots of time, you’ve probably got other things that you’d rather (or have to) be doing, like studying for exams or finding out what the latest dank memes are. Still, though, there is a lot to be said for starting a skincare regimen in your teens–or, if the word “regimen” tends to conjure up an image of wrinkle cream and Botox, a set of good skincare habits to prevent everything from acne to dryness. So, check out these easy skincare habits every girl needs to have before turning eighteen:
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Sunscreen. Is. So. Important. (Imagine this as one of those tweets that has the clapping hands emoji in between each word for emphasis.) It's so important, in fact, that dermatologists often cite sun protection as one of the most vital things for teens to implement into their daily lives. While you're probably not too focused on wrinkles right now, this prevents premature aging (which you'll definitely be happy about in fifteen years or so) and acne scars, which are often worsened by sun exposure. And, most importantly, it's a good way to prevent skin cancer. So, try to wear a moisturizer with at least SPF 15 (but probably higher) every day. Your skin will thank you later. Image source:iStock
Using A Mask At Least Once A Week
Not only does a face mask make for an excellent addition to your Snapchat story, they're also great for keeping your skin clear and happy (which, I guess, are their intended purpose. But whatever). Masks add an additional layer of deep cleaning and moisturization that your regular cleansers and moisturizers might be missing.But, you might be asking, what kind of mask should you be getting? It depends! For acne-prone skin, you should look into the Queen Helene Mint Julep mask,for a moisturizing mask, try the Origins Drink Up mask, and for a sheet mask, get the Tony Moly tea tree oil mask. Image source:iStock
Letting Your Skin Be
As in, do not pick at your skin. Don't pop. Don't poke. Don't touch, basically, since any kind of contact between your skin and hands is basically the worst thing you can do for your skin. Not only can the oil from your hands can get into your pores, causing more breakouts, the action of popping can actually push the pus from the pimple into other areas around your face, making overall inflammation much worse. Plus, popping pimples can cause acne scarring, which you definitely don't want, since, unlike regular zits, those are permanent.
Washing Your Face Once a Day
Most people feel like they have to wash their face twice a day--in the morning when you wake up, and before you go to bed. This actually isn't the best habit, however, since washing your face too much can strip your face of its natural oils, which both dries it out and causes more breakouts. Instead, skip the morning wash, and just wash your face before going to bed. If your face feels oily in the morning, just splash some water on it (or, if you must wash, make sure to use a super gentle cleanser like Cetaphil or Kiehl's). Image source:iStock
Using Non-Comodegenic Makeup
If you're buying any kind of cosmetic product for your face--think foundation, blush, bronzer--"non-comodogenic" is the first word that you should be looking for. This means that the product is scientifically proven to not clog your pores, which is one of the most common causes of acne.
If that word isn't there--or of the product contains ingredients like isopropyl palmitate, isopropyl myristate, butyl stearate, isopropyl isostearate, decyl oleate, isostearyl neopentanoate, isocetyl stearate, myristle myristate, cocoa butter, acetylated lanolin, and D & C red dyes--this means that it could very well increase the risk of breakouts and you should probably stay away. Image source:iStock
Removing Your Makeup Before Bed
Removing your makeup should be a little bit of a "duh." Still, though, just in case you wear makeup and aren't removing it before bed, just know that wearing makeup overnight can prevent the skin from renewing itself overnight, which can cause breakouts and overall dullness in your skin. So, use makeup remover, then wash your face at the end of the day.
Washing Your Sheets And Pillowcases Regularly
When was the last time you washed your sheets? Yeah. That's what I thought.
If you can, try and wash your sheets every week. Your skin cells fall off and spread around overnight, which, when mixed with the oil that ends up on your bedding every night, can lead to breakouts on your face and body. (And, if washing your sheets every single week seems a bit much, just wash your pillowcases, or keep a few spare sets that you can switch around.) Image source:iStock
Do you already do any of these skincare habits? Did I forget any good ones? Let us know in the comments!You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.