The Seven Sins of Skincare

Far earlier than you think they should, the lines on your face begin to appear.
Now, we know. They’re meant to be a good thing. The lines and wrinkles on your face, so popular thought goes, are the roadmap of your life. They’re a sign of all the times you have smiled; all the stresses you have managed your way through. They are a part of who you are.

They still… well, they still don’t look great, do they? For a start, they wreak havoc with makeup. Foundation no longer glides over a smooth surface, it gathers and cakes in the the furrows of your face. Particularly bad wrinkles can even create shadows on the face, giving you contours where you really didn’t want contours.

The unfortunate thing about wrinkles is that they are not all caused by smiles and pleasant, picture-book experiences. Some of them are caused by outright bad decisions; lifestyle choices where the receipt is written on your face. When we spend all night searching for a miracle anti-wrinkle cream, we don’t tend to think about that side of things. It’s a lot easier to focus on the fix than the reasons the problem may have arrived – especially if it’s shown up a lot earlier than you anticipated.

“It doesn’t matter,” you think stubbornly. “I’ll just head on over to the likes of and get them sorted out!”

It’d work, too – but it’s not going to change the underlying issue. Sorry to be blunt, but: some of the choices you make are going to leave lines on your skin. They can do it before you reach the “normal” ageing point, as well. So while there may be a solution for today’s annoying line across your forehead – what about tomorrow’s? Because if you don’t change your habits, there will be a tomorrow.

When we think of deadly sins, we think of the classics: lust, avarice, wrath. Beneath these – and admittedly less “deadly” – are the seven sins of skincare. Ignore them at your peril…

Sin #1: Smoking
Come off it – you know you shouldn’t smoke. It’s pretty much impossible in this day and age to not know you shouldn’t smoke – the information has seeped into the public consciousness.

If the threat of terrible cancers and reduced life expectancy doesn’t make you slap on a patch or switch to e-cigarettes, then maybe the skincare concern will. Smoking is generally bad for the skin as it restricts blood flow – but your lips will be the biggest victims. You will begin to develop pucker lines; all, vertical lines caused by the repetitive action of taking a drag. Your days of perfectly lined lips are numbered.

Sin #2: Neglecting A Well-Researched Skin Regime
The key word here is “well-researched.” Sure, you can head to any drug store and pick up a product that has anti-ageing on it and consider it a job done. But to be able to make a difference with skincare, you need to understand a little about ingredients.

Rather than just buying something because it looks nice, learn the ingredients you need and those that are just filler. For anti-ageing, you want plenty of mention of the following: peptides, retinoids and the acidic twins glycolic and hyaluronic.

Sin #3: You Don’t Supplement Collagen
Many a face cream will shout about its collagen content, and for good reason. Collagen is a protein that begins to break down as we age. It helps keep the skin elastic and more resistant to wrinkles, so when you begin to run out, it’s time to do something. A face cream, however, will contain minute doses of collagen that is unlikely to do much to change your facial lines.

Instead, take collagen as a supplement. It tends to come in a powder and can be added to your morning coffee – you won’t taste it, provided you stir well.

Sin #4: You Don’t Replenish Fluids When You Drink Alcohol
The hangover that you get from excess alcohol consumption is not really about alcohol – it’s about dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, and it will strip moisture from your body – and thus your skin – in no time at all.

Ideally, you just wouldn’t drink alcohol, but for most of us, that’s not really feasible. Instead, make sure you spend the next day replenishing fluids. It doesn’t have to be huge amounts of water, either – you can use herbal tea or smoothies if you prefer. Just steer clear of black tea and coffee – they’re diuretics, too. This is especially important in winter, when moisture is at a low point anyway.

Sin #5: You Go To Sleep With Your Makeup On
No! Bad! There’s also barely an excuse for this, no matter how tired you are. A simple application of a cleansing oil takes less than a minute and will remove any makeup without the need for scrubbing. Apply, leave for 30 seconds and then wipe off with a face cloth. It doesn’t need to be difficult, but it does need to be done – your skin needs to breathe and regenerate as you sleep.

Sin #6: You Sleep On Your Side
Sleep lines can quickly become wrinkles if they are left unchecked. If you sleep scrunched up into the side of your pillow, then soon, people will be able to tell at a glance which side you sleep on.

Teaching yourself to sleep on your front is the ideal. If that’s not possible, there are various pillows and pillowcases that are designed to stop your skin from being lined as you rest. Invest in them – they’re much cheaper than fancy face creams and will make a real difference.

Sin #7: You Don’t Sleep Enough

It’s the inevitable mention of not getting enough sleep. We all know it’s a rule we should obey, but how many nights have you skipped the full six hours? Your skin, like the rest of your body, needs the time to relax, recharge and regenerate cells. For what it’s worth, you don’t necessarily need the full eight hours you hear quoted as a good number so often. Six will suffice, and can actually extend your life as explains.