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9 Bad Habits You Should Break In The Name Of Skincare

bad skin habits

Even if you don’t obsess over skincare, you probably take steps to keep your skin looking nice! Whether that includes washing your face each morning and/or night, removing your makeup, or applying a serum, most of us make some type of effort to take good care of our skin.

Unfortunately, it’s surprisingly easy to undo all of that good work, and you might not even be aware that you’re doing it! Since nobody wants their skincare efforts to go to waste, today I’ll be sharing 9 common habits that are bad for your skin, and may be undermining your positive skincare habits!

Related:  9 Free & Frugal Ways To Take Better Care Of Your Skin

9 Surprising Habits That Are Bad For Your Skin

bad skin habits

1. Sleeping With Makeup On

If you hop into bed at night without removing your makeup first, you’re asking for a world of skin-related trouble! The makeup and bacteria you leave behind on your pillowcase can easily clog your pores and lead to breakouts.

If you have a hard time remembering to wash your face at night (or struggle to motivate yourself to do so), try bundling it with another bedtime routine, like brushing your teeth. Creating a nightly routine around it makes removing your makeup much harder to forget!

bad skin habits

2. Using Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets can be a convenient option for preventing static and keeping your clothes soft, but they can wreak havoc on sensitive skin. The chemical ingredients in dryer sheets can cause allergic dermatitis in certain individuals, and even aggravate allergies and asthma.

If you’re looking for an alternative to dryer sheets, there are several good options to choose from! Check out this post to learn about 5 of my favorite homemade versions of fabric softeners and dryer sheets.

bad skin habits

3. Washing Your Face With Hard Water

Tap water, even in areas with hard water, is usually fine to drink, but washing your face with it can be hard on your skin. Tap water with a high mineral content can leave behind residues that may lead to dry, dull, or blemished skin.

If you normally wash your face in the shower, consider investing in a shower filter like this one. Simply install it between the water source and your shower head, and it will filter out all the minerals and chemicals that can aggravate your skin!

Another option is to skip the tap water, and cleanse your face with micellar water instead. Micellar water effectively removes makeup, dirt, and impurities, yet is gentle enough for sensitive skin too. Check out this post to learn more.

bad skin habits

4. Not Cleaning Your Phone

We touch our phones constantly, and have no qualms about setting them down on any surface. They’re constantly exposed to bacteria, and yet most don’t clean them nearly as often as we should!

When you make calls on an unclean phone, that bacteria and grime can transfer to your face, leading to acne breakouts or worse! Make sure to keep your phone clean by wiping it down with a cleaning wipe once a day.

bad skin habits

5. Getting Hair Products On Your Face

If you start your morning routine by pampering your skin and applying skin-friendly makeup, it doesn’t make senes to follow that by spraying hair products around with abandon! Those products can easily clog your pores and lead to breakouts, so it’s important to apply them carefully to reduce the amount that gets onto your skin.

Use a clean towel as a barrier to guard your skin while applying hair products. And when you’re in the shower, wash your face after you’ve washed your hair so you can wash away any lingering hair product residue.

bad skin habits

6. Squinting Your Eyes

Squinting too much, whether from being out in the sun without sunglasses or not wearing glasses when you ought to, can lead to premature lines around your eyes. To avoid them, make sure to wear UV-blocking sunglasses when you’re outside, and visit your eye doctor for an exam annually.

bad skin habits

7. Trying Too Many Products

As someone who has spent a lot of time researching beauty and skincare topics online, I know how real FOMO (or “fear of missing out”) can be when it comes to skincare products!

But the problem with trying out every new skincare product is that you aren’t giving your skin enough time to acclimate to them. You won’t see the true effects or benefits of a product if you don’t use it consistently for at least a couple of weeks!

bad skin habits

8. Sleeping On A Dirty Pillowcase

Cleaning your bedding (especially your pillowcases) regularly isn’t just good hygiene, it’s also good for your skin! Your bedding absorbs body oil and dirt over time, and pressing your face against those all night can contribute to breakouts, wrinkles, and more!

Wash your bedding at least once a week, and consider keeping additional clean pillowcases on hand so you can change yours out more often. (Using a silk pillowcase can be even more beneficial, and you can read all about that in this post!)

bad skin habits

9. Taking Hot Showers

While taking a long, hot shower can feel relaxing, it may be doing your skin more harm than good. Hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry, flaky, or even irritated.

To keep your skin more moisturized, shower in lukewarm-to-warm water rather than hot.

What’s your best tip for taking good care of your skin?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Beauty Tips

  • I wash my face and apply serums, moisturizers, etc. early in the evening before going to bed so my skin has a chance to absorb everything. I do change our pillowcases mid week so we are sleeping on clean surfaces. I have a silk pillowcase that I wash in a garment bag that I like very much.

  • Propylene glycol is a very toxic chemical, regardless of how little is used in a product, not to mention all the “sugars” in this product. It’s sad to see you recommending a product with these kinds of ingredients.

    • I stopped buying commercial mouthwashes after noting that this is one of the main ingredients. But where does Jillee recommend a product containing it here?

  • Tap water is never SAFE to drink and our eyes NEED sunshine just like our skin so don’t keep your eyes covered every time you get in the sun. I agree with harsh water and harsh skin care products as well as trying out too many poor quality makeup items. You completely missed the most important of all and that is to stay hydrated with filtered water and eat healthy for glowing skin. Medications, stress and poor diet causes more harm than all the rest put together.

    • Join the discussion. Wow…I guess I was not aware that our eyes NEED more direct sun that what it gets from just going in and out or from behind sunglasses. I know that our skin needs the sun for vitamin D. I have always been told by my eye docs to always wear protection on my eyes…always. I am from the generation of sun-worshippers with baby oil/iodine mix and people can actually cause burn damage to retinas without eye protection. I guess everyone should check with their own med doc and eye doc just to be safe?

  • Ages ago I heard Candice Bergen say that her grandmother taught her to use cheap washcloths (they are rougher) and to use a fresh one every night. That made a lot of sense to me, to avoid bacterial build-up from re-using the wash cloth, so I have a huge stack of white washcloths that get used one per day.

  • I have another tip for you. Never use your forefingers to rub your face. I learned this a long time ago from a Mary Kay lady and have always followed this advice. When you put anything on your face use your weakest fingers to rub it in and take it off.

      • Join the discussion…I know what you are saying, as I actually used to BE one of Mary Kay’s ladies! However, today, and due to many changes in what we are exposed to and how women care for their skin, there are different facial muscle massage techniques to be used on your face that SEEM rather aggressive but are very good for your face. They help to tighten muscles to help correct wrinkles and are wonderful for circulation! Just something to note. (sorry for the previous attempt to “join the discussion” without joining. I guess I needed a bit of a running start today!)

  • When my sisters and I started wearing makeup the first thing our mom said was we were to take it off every night because the mascara can flake into our eyes and she also didn’t want to wash bedding with makeup all over it. She also said if she catches us not removing it she will take it away and we will no longer be allowed to wear it until we buy it ourselves. I told my daughters the same thing.

  • The main no-no I’m guilty of here is taking hot showers, even in the summertime as the contrast between indoor and outdoor humidity makes the house feel chilly. I’ve read that hot showers are drying to the skin but except for the odd occasion when I’ve just finished a workout or come inside from doing yard work, I don’t know how to get around this. I use moisturizing soaps and don’t do most of the other things listed here so hopefully these help to make up for my one indulgence.

    Another suggestion I would offer is to drink lots of water. I drink far more water than any other beverage, and even though now in my mid-40s I should start wearing makeup more often (if only to avoid that “tired” look) I’ve received compliments on my skin. I’ve always felt that the best skin care comes from within, with hydration and good nutrition.

  • I agree about the dryer sheets. I don’t use them much anymore. I have to use the unscented and also the detergents because of my sensitive skin. I hadn’t heard about not using tap water on my face . I do use the micullar water on a cloth just to remove my makeup. If I were to use it with my regular face wash it would be expensive.

  • I couldn’t possibly apply hairspray blind (as in from behind a towel) I’d have it all over the place and struggle to hold the towel in the first place! I bought a transparent hand held guard same as the hairdresser uses. Cheap and effective.

  • Yeah – I have Sjogren’s Syndrome, and learned the hard way that long hot showers are extremely drying even if you don’t have another condition.. Great advice here Jillee. Thanks

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