Your skin has to last you a lifetime, so it's important to treat it nicely. Your go-to beauty routine could be doing more harm than good, however. Check out these common not-so-nice beauty regimens and cross them off your list for healthier skin.

  1. Very hot water. A really hot shower might help you feel relaxed and feel like your skin is thoroughly clean and disinfected, but extreme temperatures aren't your skin's friends. Hot water can dry your skin out, causing it to turn red and itch. 
  2. Overdoing it with exfoliation. It's a good thing to gently exfoliate your skin with a clean washcloth to remove excess oil and dead skin, but scrubbing with gritty products or washes that contain beads can push you over the line of healthy skin and into the land of irritation. 
  3. Neglecting to moisturize. It's tempting to skip out on the moisturizer during your daily skin care routine, especially if your skin is oily and prone to breakouts. Omitting moisturizer can cause your skin to ramp up on oil production in an effort to keep your skin hydrated and cause you more problems in the long run. Choose an unfragranced, unmedicated moisturizer if you have sensitive skin.
  4. Toning with alcohol-containing products. If you want to use toner after cleansing to make sure your face is extra clean and remove impurities left on your skin from minerals in your water, that's okay. But make sure to choose one without alcohol. Many dermatologists recommend alcohol-free witch hazel as a budget- and skin-friendly alternative.
  5. Using face wipes to cleanse. Pre-moistened face wipes may seem like a convenient way to wash away the day's makeup and grime before slipping into bed, but they usually only remove some of the yucky stuff. Rubbing too hard with wipes can also irritate your skin. It's always best to wash your face with a gentle cleanser and moisturize before hitting the sack.
  6. Going into product overload. Most people don't need a complicated skin care routine that contains half a dozen products. Cleansing and moisturizing are the most important steps, though you can add in acne medication or other topical treatments your dermatologist recommends. And don't forget the sunscreen! Always apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 before going outside to prevent sun damage -- yes, even in the winter and on cloudy days.

Despite your best efforts, you may still struggle with skin issues, such as acne, eczema or sun damage. See your dermatologist regularly to address specific skin concerns.

To learn more, contact a dermatologist like Henry E. Wiley, III, M.D.