4 Skin Habits to Break

As a dermatologist in Toronto, I believe that your skin can reflect your health and well-being. A flawless complexion is not the result of luck; it requires a conscious effort to make good lifestyle choices and follow proper skin care practices. Neglecting your skin can result in unwanted changes such as dryness, irritation and wrinkles.

How we live day to day has a huge effect on our appearance. Although many of our daily habits may seem insignificant, they can hurt the quality of our skin. Here are 4 habits that are worth breaking:

1. Using the wrong products for your skin type

Knowing your skin type and which products to use plays a significant role in the way your skin looks. For example, if a woman believes her skin is oily, when it is actually oily and dry (a common combination), she may choose products that further dehydrate her skin, resulting in a flakey, dull complexion. Consulting with a licensed medical professional who can evaluate your skin’s characteristics will help you choose products that will create harmony and health within your skin.

Additionally, using skin care products that contain medical-grade ingredients often produce dramatic improvements in the skin. When you choose high-quality cleansers, serums and moisturizers, your skin receives active ingredients that have been scientifically shown to be effective.

2. Skimping on sunscreen

Sun exposure is a primary culprit for age-related problems such as dryness, wrinkles and uneven pigmentation. Even a minimal amount of sun exposure affects the skin. By applying sunscreen consistently every day, you can protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. It takes only minutes, and the benefits are well-worth the effort.

3. Over exfoliating

Using physical and chemical exfoliating agents as part of a regular skin care program is important for maintaining beautiful skin. However, overdoing it can make the skin sensitive and irritated. Remember that facial scrubs should be used only 2 or 3 times a week, and medical spa treatments, such as lasers or chemical peels, should be performed about twice annually, depending on your individual skin needs.

4. Neglecting the skin below your jawline

Many people take great care of the skin on their faces but neglect their necks and décolletage. These areas are actually very vulnerable to signs of aging since the skin there is thin and delicate. Treat them the same way you would your face: Apply facial moisturizers day and night, and be sure to minimize sun exposure and use sunscreen.

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