12 Ways to Wreck Your Skin
3. Head to the Tanning Bed
Think a tanning bed is safer than being outside in the sun? Think again.
Tanning beds give you a concentrated burst of ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B light. These rays cause skin aging and could triple your risk for melanomaskin cancer. "Never go into a tanning parlor," Levine says. "There couldn't be a worse thing to do to your skin."
You know about the health risks of smoking, including lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, and stroke. But did you know that smoking can also lead to wrinkles? Study after study shows how extensively smoking ages the skin. "It does a lot of what the sun does. It just does it inside [the body] instead of outside," Dover says. "It makes the skin weak, tired, and listless looking."
5. Use the Wrong Cleanser
A big mistake people make when they wash their face is using a harsh soap that's meant for their body. Keep the bar soap in the shower. Use only a mild cleanser for your face, especially if you have sensitive skin, Stein says.
If your skin is acne-prone, make sure the cleanser you use is oil-free and non-comedogenic. People whose skin is on the dry side should follow up each wash by applying a layer of lotion (preferably one that contains sunscreen) to seal in the skin's moisture.
6. Scrub Your Skin
Washing your face is a good idea. Scrubbing it isn't.
Be gentle to your skin. Wash your face using a soft, circular motion.
7. Pop Your Pimples
Control any sudden urge to pop a pimple. "Picking can actually make the acne worse and lead to permanent scarring," Stein says. "Better to leave it alone."