There is plenty of advice these days on what to do for healthier, more beautiful skin, but very few professionals concern themselves with what bad habits you should quit in order to have the most beautiful skin possible.
But doing away with practices that damage your beauty is just as important as what you do right. Stop any or all of these three skin-damaging habits and you will increase your chances of having radiant Outer Beauty for years to come.
1. Stop smoking. There is perhaps nothing more detrimental to your health than cigarette smoking, and that includes your skin. Smoking damages collagen, which over the years causes the skin to sag and produces wrinkles, including the infamous “marionette lines” on the sides of the mouth. Smoking also constricts blood vessels, reducing blood flow to skin, which in turn reduces the oxygen supply and hampers the skin’s ability to rid itself of waste products. Smoking also thins the skin, contributing to the characteristic smoker’s pallor. If you want to do one thing to instantly improve your beauty, give up the Camels.
3. Stop using damaging products. Home scrubs, high-alcohol facial washes and those blackhead-removing strips do more harm than good. They can cause micro-tears in your skin, dry it out and over the long term, do real damage. Instead, talk to your dermatologist or aesthetician about professional-quality products or in-office procedures like microdermabrasion.
There is a great deal you can do right to give yourself the beautiful, youthful skin you know is in there somewhere. Start by quitting harmful habits and you’ll have made a wonderful beginning.
Debra Luftman, MD is a board-certified dermatologist and the creator of the Therapeutix skin care line of products. She is the co-author of the book The Beauty Prescription (Contemporary, 2008).