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Her Campus / Megan Charles
Style > Beauty

7 Bad Skincare Habits You Should Break by Your Twenties

From cleasing to wearing SPF, college is the time when you start to form concrete beauty habits that will impact your skin for years to come. The truth is that not all habits are good for your beauty routine, and some of them can actually be harmful to your skin. Here are a few habits you should break as soon as possible to get the clearest and healthiest skin you’ve ever had.

1. Don’t Use dirty makeup brushes

assorted make-up products against a yellow and blue background
James Lewis/Unsplash
It’s always easy to put off cleaning your makeup brushes and sponges, but a dirty brush or sponge can really harm your skin. Besides accumulating old makeup, used brushes and sponges can carry dirt and dust, face oil, and whatever you may spray in your bathroom. Dirty beauty tools can cause skin irritations, acne, and sometimes serious infections. Plus, they’re less effective and can streak your makeup. There are numerous methods you can use to clean your supplies from brush cleansing balm to dish soap and canola oil. Just set aside one day every week to clean your brushes and sponges and see your skin improve.

2. Avoid over-cleansing

woman applying lotion
Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels
Just because you scrub your skin rigorously doesn’t mean you’re cleansing it effectively. While it may feel nice, it can disrupt your skin’s barrier function and cause your face to over-produce oil, making it just as bad as under-cleansing. You should also be wary of harsh scrubs. Here’s a basic rule to remember: If your skin stings or is inflamed after using your cleanser, you’re damaging your skin more than you’re helping it.

3. Try not to overload on products

happy woman removing a face mask
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
There are so many products that promise they’ll make your skin soft, clear, healthy, etc. It can be hard to choose between the dozens of options, and you may start to think that using more products is better. However, when using a bunch of different products, the best-case scenario is that the active ingredients cancel each other out. The worst-case scenario? Doubling up on products could cause irritation or even skin damage. To keep your skin healthy, make sure to read the ingredients lists and get samples before purchasing a product to see how it works with everything else you use.

4. Change your skincare products

a cup of makeup brushes is in focus on the right, and a small handful of brushes lays out of focus on the table to the left
freestocks | Unsplash

Do you sometimes wonder if your favorite beauty product is really working? Your skin changes as you age, in addition to being affected by other factors like climate and stress. If you feel like that “holy grail” product isn’t working anymore, it’s probably because your skin, or your location, has changed. Instead of hoping your skin will come around, try exploring some new products. You never know what you might find, and your skin will thank you for it.

5. Don’t sleep with makeup on

Woman laying in bed
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz from Unsplash
This is a bad habit everyone knows about, but continues to do. While it may be easy to just fall asleep and worry about the consequences later, there are many health risks associated with sleeping with makeup, in addition to the acne, chapped lips, and weaker eyelashes. Try putting some makeup remover wipes right next to your bed so that on those days when you just need to hit the sheets, you can still do a quick wipe of your face and avoid any issues.

6. Wear sunscreen, always

woman with hands out window of car
Photo by averie woodard from Unsplash

While everyone knows sunscreen is important for protecting against sunburns and skin cancer, sunscreen can also protect against aging. SPF can stave off the wrinkles, spots, and loss of elasticity caused by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. Anytime you are out in the sun, you should make sure to wear makeup with SPF or classic sunscreen to protect against these harmful UVA/UVB rays. And remember, just because you have dark skin or tan easily does not mean you are protected. Start using that sunscreen now so you’ll have beautiful, clear skin forever.

7. Take care of more than just your face

RF._.studio via Pexels
While your face is important, you should not forget the rest of your skin, including your neck and chest. All the things that damage your face can damage the rest of your skin, leaving wrinkles, sunspots, acne and more. Start using serums or lotions meant for your neck and chest now to avoid serious damage later in life. As for the rest of your body, try and use some simple scrubs to get rid of dead skin and regularly use lotion to keep your skin moisturized and healthy.

Your skin is your body’s largest organ, meaning it’s critical you keep it healthy. By learning to avoid these bad habits now, you’ll be guaranteed to have clearer and more radiant skin both now and in the long run.

Xandie Kuenning is the Career Editor at Her Campus and a graduate of Northeastern University with a Bachelor's in International Affairs and minors in Journalism and Psychology. She is an avid traveler with a goal to join the Travelers' Century Club. When not gallivanting around the world, she can be found reading about fairytales or Eurasian politics, baking up a storm, or watching dangerous amounts of Netflix. Follow her on Instagram @AKing1917 and on Twitter @XKuenning.