How to Repent for Your Biggest Skin Sins

THE SIN: I Drink A Glass (Or Two) Of Wine A Night 
Photo: Time Inc. Digital Studio

Sometimes nothing feels as good as being bad. Even though you know some of your habits aren't doing any favors for your overall health, you might have been surprised when you heard that where you live, popping pimples, and stress, are apparently doing a number on your skin. But, is that nightly glass of wine really that bad for your complexion? Here's the real deal on the worst offenders.

01 of 07

THE SIN: I used to tan with baby oil

THE SIN: I used to tan with baby oil 
Time Inc. Digital Studio (2)

HOW BAD IS IT?

Sun exposure is the biggest skin saboteur: By producing cell-destroying free radicals, rays can lead to dark spots, wrinkles, a leathery texture, and even cancer. The earlier you put down the oil, the better.

HOW TO FIX THE DAMAGE:

If evidence of your epic spring-break bake-off surfaces (such as "freckles" on your cheeks), slather on an anti-oxidant cream like SkinMedica's Total Defense + Repair SPF 34, which contains enzymes that repair DNA damage, says N.Y.C. dermatologist Joshua Zeichner. Daily SPF prevents future harm.

02 of 07

THE SIN: I'm a Social Smoker

THE SIN: I'm a Social Smoker
Time Inc. Digital Studio

HOW BAD IS IT?

The more you light up, the worse your circulation becomes, which means that less blood and oxygen and fewer nutrients get to your skin. The habit also damages skin-firming collagen and elastin, says Dr. Zeichner.

HOW TO FIX THE DAMAGE:

Other than pitching your pack of cigarettes, use a rich nightly moisturizer like Olay ProX Hydra Firming Cream, that's with antioxidants (like vitamin C and niacinamide) plus peptides to stimulate collagen production, suggests Dr. Zeichner.

03 of 07

THE SIN: I Live in a Super-Polluted City

THE SIN: I Live in a Super-Polluted City 
Time Inc. Digital Studio (2)

HOW BAD IS IT?

Smoke, exhaust, and toxins in the air like carbon monoxide can settle into skin and disturb the barrier, causing dehydration and inflammation, says L.A. dermatologist Annie Chiu. Pollution also generates free radicals, prompting collagen breakdown.

HOW TO FIX THE DAMAGE:

Shields up, people: Antioxidants stop free radicals from scavenging healthy skin cells, so apply an antioxidant serum every morning, then layer on a moisturizer that packs potent astaxanthin, green tea, or vitamin C, like Murad's City Skin Overnight Detox Moisturizer.

04 of 07

THE SIN: I Go To Bed With Makeup On

THE SIN: I Go To Bed With Makeup On
Time Inc. Digital Studio

HOW BAD IS IT?

If this is a once-in-a-while thing, don't lose sleep over it. If this is the norm, the cosmetics (plus daily dirt and pollution buildup) can result in irritation, clogged pores, and breakouts, says Dr. Chiu.

HOW TO FIX THE DAMAGE:

If you just can't drag yourself to the bathroom for a proper wash, stash cleansing wipes such as Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes in your nightstand. Even getting rid of surface debris helps unclog pores and minimize the bacteria that can lead to pimples.

05 of 07

THE SIN: I'm Stressed Out All The Time

THE SIN: I'm Stressed Out All The Time
Time Inc. Digital Studio (2)

HOW BAD IS IT?

Round-the-clock freak-outs trigger spikes in the hormone cortisol, which can prompt inflammation and increase sugar levels in your blood. This means an attack on skin-firming collagen and an uptick in oil production, says Dr. Chiu.

HOW TO FIX THE DAMAGE:

Have you used the Headspace app yet? Along with working in a few minutes of meditation, add a calming hydrator like Glossier Super Pure to your daily skin-care routine. Look for soothing ingredients like chamomile, licorice, and niacinamide.

06 of 07

THE SIN: I Have A Habit Of Popping Pimples

THE SIN: I Have A Habit Of Popping Pimples 
Time Inc. Digital Studio (2)

HOW BAD IS IT?

Jabbed at a few in your teens? No worries. Are you still picking at your face every few days? Then you're causing major inflammation that can create dark spots and scarring, says Dr. Chiu.

HOW TO FIX THE DAMAGE:

Use salicylic acid-fueled cleansers to keep pores clear. When breakouts happen, cover them two or three times a day with a drying lotion, or try the new Differin Gel, an adapalene acne medication previously available only by prescription.

07 of 07

THE SIN: I Drink A Glass (Or Two) Of Wine A Night

THE SIN: I Drink A Glass (Or Two) Of Wine A Night 
Time Inc. Digital Studio

HOW BAD IS IT?

First the good news: Red wine is rich in antioxidants. But knock back multiple glasses every night and you'll become dehydrated and splotchy. Options like beer contain a lot of sugar, and high glucose can lead to chronic inflammation.

HOW TO FIX THE DAMAGE:

On nights you know you'll be drinking, pace yourself with a glass of water for every cocktail. Then go to sleep in a mask soaked with hydrators like hyaluronic acid and glycerin like Lancôme Énergie de Vie Night Mask.

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