5 Ways You’re Ruining Your Skin (And You Don’t Even Know It)

5 Ways You’re Ruining Your Skin (And You Don’t Even Know It)

Let me start by telling you a fact that you are already aware of. We all want healthy, glowing, youthful looking skin and we’re even prepared to spend a fortune to get it. Yet, although a robust skincare regimen is an important weapon in your arsenal if you’re waging a war on bad skin… It’s far from being enough to win the battle single-handedly. The gorgeous skin comes not only from without but from within and whether we’re aware of it or not, most of us do a whole lot in the course of a day to undermine our skin. From exacerbating fine lines and wrinkles to aggravating acne, our lifestyle can play a huge part in preventing us from getting the skin that we deserve.

If you’re serious about doing right by your skin, it’s not simply enough to indiscriminately spend more on beauty products. Instead of throwing money at the problem you need to carry out a thorough audit of your lifestyle and quit the bad habits that could be ruining your skin.

Such as…

Buying the wrong products for your skin type

Do you know your skin type? Most of us have a hunch that maybe our skin might be dry or feel that sometimes it gets a little oily, but few of us have actually tested our skin to find out exactly what skin type you have? If not, you could be endangering your skin’s health (not to mention wasting a small fortune) by buying the wrong skincare products for your skin type. Testing your skin is relatively easy and you can do it yourself without spending any money. All you need is a little bit of blotting paper. Or simply wash your face with a mild cleanser, pat dry and wait for half an hour. Return to the mirror and look for shine on your nose and forehead. If you see these your skin may be oily while if it starts to feel tight, it’s probably dry. Indeed you may have a combination of oily or dry skin in different areas.

It’s important to take this short test and buy your products accordingly. Remember that just because a product markets itself as suitable for all skin types doesn’t mean that it’s effective for all skin types.

ruining skin

Not knowing what to look for in a skincare product

What motivates you to buy a new skincare product? Is it the claims made by the TV and social media advertising campaign? Is it the beautiful packaging? Is it the endorsement by a celebrity or YouTube influencer whom you admire? It’s a fair question, a lot of our purchases are made this way. The trouble is that while bold claims and celebrity endorsements may make for effective advertising campaigns they can also see you spending good money on products that either won’t do your skin any favours or could even exacerbate existing skin ailments.


The trouble with the impressive sounding claims made by a lot of brands is that they’re based in pseudoscience and depend on the ignorance of the consumer. Often they’ll rely on the “pulling power” of impressive sounding ingredients that do little to justify the hefty price tag. Steer clear of anything that contains;


  • Stem cells– Sounds impressive but they have to be alive to do your skin any good which they can’t be if they’ve been made into a cream. The very best you’ll get is some mild antioxidant benefits. Save money, and eat some blueberries.
  • Collagen- This protein is undoubtedly important for plump, youthful looking skin but it can’t be absorbed into the skin. You have to eat the foods that will allow your body to make its own.
  • Elastin- As above. This is important for allowing your skin elasticity to prevent wrinkles and sagging, but it cannot be applied topically. It needs to be produced by the body.


It’s important to know your skin’s needs and buy products with the active ingredients that will help it. Acne treatments are available in their drives, for instance, but to get a really effective one you need to look for the right ingredients. Look for a potent antibiotic like Clindamycin and an antibacterial agent like benzoyl peroxide which will also clear the pores of blockages created by excess sebum. Hyaluronic acid is also useful in preventing bumps and fine lines.


Too much stress

Stress not only causes us a loss of sleep (which can lead to puffy, inflamed skin and accelerated ageing) and making us crease up our skin with frowns, scowls and grimaces, it also affects our skin and the rest of our bodies on a cellular level. Stress inhibits your body’s ability to replace old skin cells with new ones which is what gives us that grey and ashen complexion when we’ve had a stressful week.


Of course, avoiding stress is easier said than done, since we all lead such busy lifestyles. Nonetheless, even visiting the gym or going to a yoga class or any other stress-relieving activity (that doesn’t involve alcohol) can help to reverse this damage.


Eating too much of this…

ruining your skin


We all have busy lifestyles. We work hard for long hours and have a whole lot of responsibilities waiting for us at home, whether this means taking care of the kids or just chipping in to keep the place clean and tidy. Nonetheless, we can’t let our lifestyles push us towards the allure of the fast food outlet around the corner or the vending machine at work. These are chock full of foods which can actually accelerate our skin’s ageing process including (but not limited to)…


  • White sugar- Sugar molecules can bond with proteins, triggering a process that can break down the collagen in your skin, robbing it of its youthful fullness.
  • Processed meat– Not only are foods like ham, bacon and pepperoni cancer inducing type 1 carcinogens, they also aid water retention giving our skin that unflattering puffy look.
  • Trans fats- These synthetic fats found in foods like margarine can not only lead to bloated looking skin they can also make it more vulnerable to UV damage from the sun.


And too little of this…


Eating the right foods, on the other hand, can give our bodies everything we need to give our skin the essential nourishment and hydration it needs. Make sure you get a daily dose of…


  • Tomatoes- These contain the powerful antioxidant lycopene which can reverse damage caused by free radicals.
  • Citrus fruits- All that vitamin C is essential for producing new collagen.
  • Nuts and seeds- Rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are essential for helping your skin retain its moisture
  • Green leafy veggies- These are nutritional powerhouses but also filled with chlorophyll for healthy circulation of oxygen and nutrients to the skin.

Now that you know what you are doing to ruin your skin you can use the tips shared here to help reshape your skincare routine and paying close attention to what you consume.


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Do you know your skin type? Most of us have a hunch that maybe our skin might be dry or feel that sometimes it gets a little oily, but few of us have actually tested our skin to find out exactly what skin type you have?



  1. May 11, 2018 / 9:40 pm

    I’m sooo guilty of not using the right products! I have sensitive rosacea prone skin, but it’s also so dry, and also I want to fight aging, and also my pores are so enlarged! It’s all just so overwhelming to know what brands to trust and which are worth the splurge

    • prettywoo
      May 11, 2018 / 10:09 pm

      Hi Chelsea, I understand it can be difficult to keep up with products, especially that there are so many products out there. for your sensitive skin type stay away from products with fragrance, paraben. use noncomedogenic products for your pores. lastly sun protection.

  2. Gladys Parker
    May 11, 2018 / 10:16 pm

    Such great information. I always fall for the collagen and elastin trip. I didn’t know they had to be one ingested and the other produced by the body. While actually healthy foods will help the most.

    • prettywoo
      May 11, 2018 / 10:40 pm

      Yes, healthy foods are the best but it can be so difficult eating healthy every day, especially when you are so busy. I always like researching on ingredients before jumping on the bandwagon.

  3. May 12, 2018 / 2:45 am

    This is very helpful information. I have trouble picking the right product among all of the thousands that are available on the market. It’s nice to know what are unnecessary ingredients to look for, thanks!

    • prettywoo
      May 12, 2018 / 7:49 am

      Hi Nicole

      Yes sometimes we are just fascinated with new words so we like trying products with fancy ingredients and most times these products don’t even work.

  4. May 12, 2018 / 9:33 am

    I thought collagen mask will do the trick, didnt know that proten is actually needed to be eaten from the foods and allow our body to make its own. Noted with this and will eat more protein sources food such as eggs, chicken breast and tofu.

  5. May 12, 2018 / 12:48 pm

    Ah yes, sleep, and the lack of it can really wreak havoc on your skin.

  6. May 12, 2018 / 1:56 pm

    Thanks for the tip and never realize how bad I am damaging my skin

  7. Jennifer Prince
    May 12, 2018 / 7:13 pm

    This is convicting! I love cheese and cookies and butter. I do need to remember that food helps or hurts my skin. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

  8. May 13, 2018 / 1:23 am

    To have beautiful skin, we have to take care of it by eating right and by avoiding using products that are harmful.

  9. May 13, 2018 / 4:01 am

    great tips, summer is always hard on my skin one thing to always remember is to drink plenty of water

  10. May 13, 2018 / 7:01 am

    Yes, that is so true we put so many things on our skin that are so not right for us. I agree processed food are a culprit too.

  11. Elizabeth O
    May 13, 2018 / 8:25 am

    This was such an informative post, I gained some really great advice on how to look after my skin better and what not to do!

  12. May 13, 2018 / 4:29 pm

    I am guilty of eating too much junk food. Some nights I just really cannot stay away from it!

  13. May 13, 2018 / 10:49 pm

    I think this makes a great guide for people who are struggling with skin issues. It’s definitely important to know what products your skin needs.

  14. Esme Sy
    May 14, 2018 / 1:16 am

    Is it bad that I’m usually a victim of those “power words” coming from most products? The minute I see “X ingredient”, it automatically spells a buy for me. I usually have dry skin and it pains me that most of those all-around products don’t exactly work for me. Thank you for writing this article, it’s about time I go for more natural and cheaper options that are more effective.

  15. May 14, 2018 / 3:32 am

    I’m guilty of a lot of those things! I always have to remind myself not to pick at my skin.

  16. May 14, 2018 / 4:19 am

    You are right it is not only about the right product for the right skin but also the food we eat and our stress levels that affect our health including our wrinkles.

  17. Megan
    May 14, 2018 / 12:40 pm

    Mmmmmmm I am not the best with my skin and I really need to start taking better care of it. Posts like these are definitely a wake up call. Eek. Thank you!

  18. Jen
    May 14, 2018 / 3:50 pm

    I learned this the hard way. I’ve got scars. Now the problem is how to remove those scars.

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