Top reasons for problematic skin

Your skin always has one problem or the other. One week you’re fighting acne, the next you are dealing with uneven skin tone, and the following one you’re looking for ways to moisturise dry patches.

You think you’ve tried all you can to have the flawless skin. So you’re now convinced that your skin will always be your enemy. Well, it doesn’t have to be. Maybe you just need to change a few things. What are you doing wrong?

  1. You use a washcloth

Do you use a washcloth to clean your face? This is a habit you need to drop. While washcloths might be alright for the rest of your body, they are too harsh for facial skin. Instead, use your hands to lather up your face and rinse.

  1. You use soap

Many people still use soap to wash their faces. Soap is so harsh that it not only washes away dirt, but also removes your skin’s natural oils. This can make your skindry and irritated or stimulate oil glands to produce even more oil to counter the dryness — which often leads to more zits. Ugh! Even worse, some soaps have pH levels so high that using them on your delicate facial skin can eat away the outer protective layer of skin.

This layer keeps the other layers protected and traps in moisture. Without it, your skin will be easily irritated, inflamed and blotchy. Instead of soap, go for gentle cleansers and exfoliators which will remove dirt and not natural oils. If you’re a fan of soap, go for specially formulated brands, made for the face and with neutral pH and gentle ingredients.

  1. Your phone is dirty

When is the last time you cleaned your phone? No, we don’t mean casually wiping it to remove dust and smudges. We’re talking about using an antibacterial or alcohol-based wipe. Research has shown that our beloved phones carry even more germs than a public broom handle.

In one study, scientists found that while toilet seats had about 3 types of bacteria, a mobile phone surface had as many as 12 strains of bacteria! Imagine holding that onto your cheek every day. No wonder the acne on your jawline and cheeks doesn’t clear up. Soak a piece of wool in disinfectant and use it to wipe your phone regularly. You can also use your usual antibacterial wipes.

  1. You don’t sleep enough

Who needs sleep when there are parties to attend or work to do? You find the idea of beauty sleep hilarious and are convinced that the idea was invented by lazy people who wanted an excuse to sleep. Turns out the joke is on you. Your body repairs and rejuvenates itself constantly, a process which speeds up during sleep.

When you get little sleep, your skin cells have less time to regenerate — which can leave you with dull, wrinkled, lifeless skin. Stress hormones will also make your skin more susceptible to irritation and inflammation. Research has shown that poor sleepers have twice as many as the signs of aging as people who report having quality, uninterrupted sleep. To reap the benefits of beauty sleep, you need to have seven or eight hours of sleep every night.

  1. You leave your skin bare

After cleansing your skin, do you wipe the water off and wait for a few minutes before applying moisturiser? This could be why your skin is dry in spite of all your efforts to keep it moisturised. Those few minutes are enough to dehydrate your freshly cleansed skin. Immediately after cleansing your skin, apply an alcohol-free toner followed by a moisturiser.

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