Woman popping pimple in bathroom

Skincare – the emphasis is on ‘care.’ Actually, make that Skin TLCare, because when you care for your skin, your skin takes care of itself. When you don’t take care of your skin, your skin gives up; it starts wearing sweat pants and baseball caps and not wanting to go out for dinner as often. Well, maybe not quite, but it does lose its glow and its elasticity, to name just a few.

Has your skincare turned from TLCare to I Couldn’t Care Less? We sure hope not. Here are some signs that you’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’ for your dermis and what you can do to get it back.

Pimple Popping

Everyone tells you not to pop your pimples, everyone with clear skin that is. Easy for them to say- they’ve never woken up with a hideous zit just under their right nostril.

If it helps to control your urge, think of it this way. When you have a zit, you have a contained blob of pus, when you burst the container, you just have pus. Pus leaks into other pores and clogs them, causing more zits. On top of that, whenever you cause a disruption in your skin, the chance for redness, scarring, and inflammation increases. We say, don’t pop zits, pop music.

Getting A Tattoo with White Ink

Ever thought of getting a tattoo that says,” Never get a tattoo with white ink?” That will surely serve as a reminder when your liquid courage is spilling over and the tattoo shop is around the corner. If you must drink, before you ink, keep this in mind. According to Dr. Todd Minars, ink eraser extraordinaire, “White ink is impossible to laser off. Sometimes, white ink will even turn black when lasered off.” Flesh-colored, yellow and green are also poor choices. Doctors orders are stick with dark blue or black.

Using Expired Cosmetic Products

If only frosted eye shadow had come with an expiration date. Even the most old-school glam-mothers would think twice before putting past due makeup on their faces. Although there are no expiration dates that can signal you as to when you make up goes out of style, there are expiration dates that can tell you when it goes bad.

When makeup expires, it means active ingredients have begun to degrade or may not be active at all anymore. You may not detect any change in the product when you first apply it but using it can result in irritation of the skin.  Check the date. If it already seems to have been sitting on the shelf for a while, it’s probably close retirement already. If it still seems to have some life in it, set a calendar reminder to make sure your products stay up-to-date.

Picking at Your Skin

It’s all the same with you picky types. When something pops up on your skin, you can’t help but explore it, destroy it, scratch it, squeeze it, or in other words, make it worse. Repetitive scratching and picking of acne, bug bites, blackheads, and other skin lesions can end up causing more acne, scarring and even permanent changes in pigment. Once it gets to that point, you’ll end up wishing you’d been a lot less picky.

Using Too Much Soap

Woman holding soap at the sink

Remember the commercials that always advertised their products as being the “smallest soap in the house?” According to dermatologists, that’s the last thing we want our soaps to be. Maryland skin professional Robynne Chutkan says that using soap every day can prevent your body from recognizing good bacteria that keep us “acne and eczema free.”

Forgetting to Apply or Reapply Sunscreen

Sometimes, it’s more about what you didn’t do than what you did do. Sometimes, it’s a bit of both. If what you didn’t do is put on your sunscreen, then what you did do is leave your skin open for a lot of damage and even skin disease. Either way, it needs to be addressed.

Exposing skin to the sun breaks down the skin’s collagen, which increases chances for wrinkles, and sunspots. Look for a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 as well as makeup products with built-in sunscreens for multitasking.

Avoiding All Secret Ingredients

Believe us, if there were any secret products on the market that really helped our skin, they wouldn’t be secrets anymore. If you’re putting it on your skin, you want to know what it is, where it came from and how many doctors recommended it. When a product touts secret ingredients, drop it like its hot. If they don’t tell you what’s in it, you probably don’t want to find out. When it doubt, consult your dermatologist. He or she will be able to give you more trusted recommendations for your particular problem.

DIY-ing A High-Level Treatment

Shopping on Amazon, you can do it from your home. Buying a high-level cosmetic treatment on Amazon, you can also do from your home. Applying that treatment to yourself is probably the last thing you want to do from your home. Think of it like giving yourself a Botox injection. What could go wrong with that? They may save you money and be more convenient, but a DIY High-Level Treatment can pose a significant risk if not done properly. If a major tune-up is what you’re looking for, leave it the hands of a professional.

Squeezing Deep Cysts

Cease and de(cyst). A little corny, maybe so. But if you’re squeezing deep cysts caused by cystic acne, it may be good advice. Cystic acne happens when the bacteria from your acne goes deep into your skin, causing a red and tender bump. If it sounds like it hurts it does. Bursting it may seem like a good way to stop the pain, but it can cause an inflammatory reaction that will require drainage and oral medication to heal.  The best advice is to see a doctor, who may be able to help with a cortisone injection.

Ignoring a New and Changing Mole

Ignore them and they will go away. It seems like sound advice.  But when you ignore them and they don’t go away, that’s a sure sign you need to stop ignoring them.

Pointing at mole on neck

Got a pimple, a mole or another skin blemish that doesn’t want to heal? Check for the ABCDE’s (asymmetry, border, color, diameter, and evolution) immediately and schedule an appointment with your dermatologist if you notice something unusual. He can recommend a biopsy if he thinks it’s appropriate.

Using Lime and Lemon In the Sun

When life hands you lemons and limes, don’t squeeze them in your beer, that is, if you’re on the beach. A twist in the wrong direction can cause a phototoxic reaction resulting in anything from a small-scale blister to large scale pigmentation that can last for months. No joke, the most common scenario for this to occur is when someone drinking a beer with lime on gets it on his or her hand. Sounds like a really good reason to start drinking Bud Light Lime to us.

Getting A Base Tan

Stick your hand in the fire and you’re going to get burned. Nowhere in that adage does it specify how long it takes to get that burn or how light or dark that burn has to be. Any burn is a burn, and if there is a difference, someone ought to tell your skin about it. To your skin, all UV rays are created equally.

According to Ashley McGovern, MD., “Your skin sees every tan and burn as damage to the cellular network which signals your skin cells to repair the damage. Repeating this over and over can ultimately lead to skin cancer. That’s why it’s important to always protect your skin with sunscreen.”

Sticking A Sharp Object in Your Face

When you start sticking sharp objects in your face, you can pretty much say the love affair with your skin is on its outs. That might explain why so many frustrated acne sufferers try to stick needles in their pimples. Trust your instincts on this one, sticking sharp objects in your face is not the solution. Although it may work for body piercers, it will only cause damage if used improperly. If you want to drain zits, a better idea is to book an appointment with a dermatologist for professional extraction.

Not Sleeping Enough

Your nighttime serum is penetrating your pores, your humidifier is at that sweet spot setting and your head is resting on 100% silk pillows. The only thing that can go wrong now is not giving your skin enough time to reap the full benefits. No matter what you do to keep your skin in top shape, it’s hard to get the skin of your dreams if you don’t sleep enough. And it’s not just circles under your eyes that you have to worry about. Night is when the skin does the bulk of its repair work, shedding old cells, and replacing them with new ones. Try to get at least seven hours to slough off the old and bring in the new.

Not Changing Up Your Skin Products

They say that doing the same thing every time and expecting different results is a sign of insanity. By that definition, you’d be crazy not to change up your skin products regularly. Excuse the hyperbole.  Using the same products-year-round in no way indicates that you’ve completely lost it.  However, it may mean that you’re not doing all that you can for your skin.

Woman shopping and selecting cosmetic product

As the seasons change your skin’s needs change with them. Winter means dry skin, which requires more moisture, and summer calls for lightweight products that don’t sit heavily on the skin. You’ll also want to incorporate sunscreen, but you do that year-round anyway, right?  And if there are some products that you simply can’t bear to part with, don’t think of it as “Good-bye,”;  think of it more like, “That was fun. Let’s do it again next year.”

Not Eating Right

There’s no need to sugarcoat this one. If you really want to do your worst on your skin, try eating loads of Twinkies, plenty of ice cream, and some of those bacon topped donuts with extra maple syrup. Sugar is part of the recipe for acne. Eating too much sugar causes redness and inflammation.

Dairy is also a big culprit when it comes to causing blemishes, especially cystic acne. If you’re getting painful pimples under the skin that linger for months, it may be a sign that you’re taking in too much dairy. The skin acts as an execratory system to rid of ingredients your body doesn’t tolerate well. When consuming an excess of dairy products your pores might not be able to handle it. Kind of makes you want to skip that trip to Dairy Queen.

Taking Super Hot Showers

Who doesn’t like to take a luxuriously steamy hot shower on a brutally cold day? The answer is your skin. While the hot shower lulls your mind into sweet oblivion, the hot water works to soften the oil on your skin much like butter heats when melted. Add soap to into the mix and the oil the barrier on the skin is stripped away before you even finish belting out that song that works so well with the bathroom acoustics. The body odor disappears, but unfortunately, your skin’s oils disappear with it, leading to dry and itchy skin. And the longer the shower, the worse the damage.  Try to keep shower time down to 10 minutes and the temperature to no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You can cuddle in a blanket afterward for a similar effect.