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Unknown Ways You're Wrecking Your Skin

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A few fleeting days of the year, your skin is dewy, youthful and the envy of all your girlfriends. However, the majority of days your skin is an uncooperative, problematic nightmare that you want to hide under layers of makeup and clothing. Unbeknownst to you, many of the most common skin issues – from acne and dry patches to under eye circles – are preventable, and often caused by your health and lifestyle choices. Here are a few of the most unknown ways you're sabotaging your skin:

Put Down the Salt Shaker

The risks of being too liberal with the salt shaker to your general health are well-documented – including high blood pressure, stroke and a variety of cancers. However, you might not realize that consuming foods with too much sodium can have a negative effect on your appearance, as well.

According to dermatologist Dr. Neal Schultz – a contributor to Shape magazine – consuming too much sodium causes you to retain water, which won't just make it hard to fit into your skinny jeans. The excess fluids also cause the delicate skin under your eyes to swell, making it look like you haven't slept well for a few weeks.

In addition to putting down the salt shaker, it's also important to steer clear of processed foods, which are packed with sodium.

You're Being Too Rough

In an effort to maintain your skin's youthful glow, you take a few extra minutes several times per week to exfoliate. While this seemingly-benign ritual is an effective way to eliminate dead skin cells, getting a little too overzealous can actually do more damage than good, according to Better Homes and Gardens.

Instead of skipping this helpful step in your beauty regimen, learn how to exfoliate your skin gently and correctly based on your skin type. Here are a few tips to help ensure you remove dead skin cells without causing damage:

  • Normal Skin – If your skin is normal, there are a number of ways to gently exfoliate your skin without causing damage, according to Women's Health Magazine. For example, go ahead and use an exfoliating tool, but make sure the product you use is gentle and intended for use on your face.

  • Sensitive Skin – For sensitive skin, Women's Health Magazine recommends steering clear of products containing glycolic acid, which is far too harsh. Instead, choose a product formulated for use on sensitive skin and work it into your face using a light touch.

  • Don't Forget the Moisturizer – No matter what your skin type, don't forget to apply a thin layer of moisturizer after exfoliating your face or body to prevent dry, cracked skin.

In addition to being too rough, exfoliating your skin daily can also cause significant damage. Instead, gently use your favorite product no more than two to three times per week.

Toss Out Your Face Cream

In an effort to combat their own unique skin problems, many men and women spend a small fortune on expensive facial moisturizers each year. Using the products sparingly will save you a few bucks, but your thrifty nature might also be damaging your skin.

The bacteria that accumulate from months of dipping your fingers into your moisturizer will eventually make its way to your face, clogging your pores and leading to acne. According to Cosmopolitan, it is best to toss out any cream you apply to the face, including those fancy serums developed to combat under eye wrinkles – after one year.

With a few minor tweaks to your diet and beauty routine, it's possible to stop causing unnecessary and noticeable damage to your skin! If you're still having problems, visit a company like Dermatude to get help.