The 5 Habits You Need to Change for Better Skin

We all have bad habits that can affect our skin. The good news? Focusing on these 5 beauty-busters by making a few changes can give you a big payout when it comes to having more vibrant, radiant, better skin.

woman worrying

1. Skimping on Sleep

Pandemic life has made it harder than usual to resist the urge to binge watch a show on Netflix, even if you’re working early in the morning. And if you have kids, staying up late can be the only time you get to yourself. But too many late nights will definitely take a toll on your skin. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body increases levels of stress hormones and decreases production of skin-repairing collagen.


2. Wearing Makeup Every Day

Your skin needs to breathe occasionally. If you wear makeup every day, especially heavy-coverage foundation, your skin doesn’t get the benefits of going bare. That’s even more true if you sleep with your makeup on, or if you put new makeup on top of previous makeup that wasn’t washed off. Those are cardinal sins in the skincare world, so if you’re guilty of them, stop right now and promise your beautiful face you’ll wash it every night!

Makeup can clog pores, affect your skin’s sebum production, contribute to acne and irritation, and even affect your skin’s natural ability to keep itself hydrated. Pick 1 day a week when you don’t have to go anywhere or video conference in for a meeting and leave your face bare. It will save you time in the morning and give your skin a chance to breathe. You’re gorgeous just as you are, so give your natural skin a chance to be free.

3. Not Managing Your Stress

This is a tough one, especially considering the state of the world today. But doing your best to manage your stress is so important, because stress doesn’t just affect how you feel—it can also impact the way you look. Unmanaged stress means you might be furrowing your eyebrows, scowling, or even changing your breathing. All these habits can create fine lines and wrinkles. Stress can also lead to breakouts.

A quick way to help? Focus on your breathing. Take 1 minute twice a day to sit quietly and breathe deeply. Concentrate on your breath moving in and out of your lungs and let your mind relax.

woman meditating

Gentle exercise can also help. Take a relaxing walk, do some stretching exercises, or try a yoga class. For more inspiration, check out our "5 Ways to Exercise without a 'Workout'" article.

It also helps to talk about your stress with an understanding friend or loved one. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed and like you have no control over your life, talk to your healthcare provider. Getting help dealing with stress can be empowering!

4. Overindulging in Alcohol

A lot of us love to unwind with a glass of wine. This is a great way to relax, as long as you don’t let 1 glass a couple of times a week turn into 2 or 3 glasses every night. Considering the past year, it’s easy to see how resorting to alcohol as a coping mechanism could become a problem.

Regularly overindulging in alcohol can cause skin problems. It can leave your skin dehydrated, which leads to premature aging. It can dilate your pores, leading to black heads. And it can cause skin redness. If you find yourself reaching for the bottle a little too often, think of your skin and try swapping for a bubbly calorie-free La Croix, instead.

5. Using Questionable Makeup Supplies

Your makeup may not have an expiration date, but that doesn’t mean it stays good forever. Makeup can grow bacteria, which then gets transferred to your face. That can lead to nasty breakouts. Mascara only has a shelf life of a couple months once it’s opened. Make sure to buy new makeup after a few months, and don’t use a friend’s makeup, either.


The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends washing your makeup brushes every 7-10 days. Let’s be real: most of us are guilty of going much longer than that between brush cleanings. Instead of only remembering to wash yours when they get really gunky, make it part of your weekly self-care routine. Apply a mask or a fresh coat of toenail polish, then wash your brushes while you wait!