We all know that adopting a healthy diet and skincare regimen is essential for youthful, glowing and a hydrated complexion, but practicing good habits on a daily basis, away from our diet and regimen is essential to keeping our skin breakout-free and youthful-looking. Highlighted below are some of the top leading daily causes of bad skin habits.

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Photo via HealthMix 

Talking on the Phone: All those minutes spent talking on the phone (and built up bacteria) attaches to your skin and can lead to breakouts on the chin and jawline. Make sure to keep antibacterial wipes with you and clean your phone frequently. Or better yet, use a hands-free ear piece when speaking on the phone.

Dehydration: Not drinking enough water (recommended 8 full glasses per day) can lead to build up within your body as your toxins have a harder time flushing out your lymph system. Dehydration also accentuates the wrinkles in your skin (think of a raisin), so make sure to stay hydrated to keep that youthful and glowing complexion.

Hot Showers: We know that this feels so good sometimes (especially in the colder months) but hot water actually strips away all the essential oils and much-needed skin hydration at the top layers of the skin which can lead to extreme dryness, flaky and cracked skin. Turn the temperature down and limit your shower use to avoid extreme dryness.

Sleep: Making sure that you get the recommended 8 hours of sleep not only helps to keep you looking fresh and vibrant (goodbye dark circles), but it also encourages proper replenishment and rehydration of the skin; it’s like one big machine moving things out and keeping nutrients in.

Too Much Salt: Consuming too much sodium in your diet can literally suck your skin dry of all the hydrating nutrients and much-needed oils not to mention it can lead to health problems. Cut back your sodium intake and make sure your using a hydrating moisturizer or oil to replenish all hydration back into your skin.

Exercise: Are you getting enough? Regular exercise (30 min per day), increases your bodies blood flow, encourages the flushing of toxins and prevents fat build up all leading to that youthful glow and positive mood-boosting results.

*Tip: try walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator or walking home from work instead of opting for a taxi.

Glasses: Oil and bacteria get built up on the rim of your glasses which can lead to clogged pores and blackheads on the brim of your nose. Make sure to keep a cleaning wipe with you and swipe your glasses daily to prevent breakouts.

Alcohol: We all love to celebrate from time to time, but drinking too much alcohol leads to glycation breakdown in your skins collagen – think sagging, wrinkled and dehydrated looking skin. Make sure to drink one glass of water for each alcoholic drink to outweigh the harmful sugar build up in your adult beverage.

Makeup: Try and avoid the daily heavy makeup as it leads to clogged pores and your skin can’t breath properly. It’s best to practice at least one day per week of makeup-free skin to allow for proper oxygen flow to your skin cells.

Cleansing/Exfoliation: Falling asleep at night without properly washing your skin is one of the leading causes of breakouts and dull, lackluster looking skin. Make sure to double cleanse and exfoliate regularly (2-3 times per week) to ensure that you are going to bed with a squeaky clean complexion.

cukesMost of the country is experiencing an arctic chill right now, which never helps with already dry winter skin. Covering your face if you have to go outdoors is a must, as skin can freeze within 5 minutes of exposure. But what about other ways to keep skin hydrated all thru the winter? This is an ongoing struggle for me because I tend to be naturally dry. This winter I have been very diligent about keeping my skin hydrated, here are a few tips that work for me.

Blow Cool Air

Sleeping with a humidifier on has been a big help. Cold temperatures, low humidity and indoor heat are killers when it comes to sucking skin dry. By using a humidifier you are adding water/cool steam/basically humidity back into the air. If you work from home or spend a lot of time at home, run it as much as possible. Bed Bath and Beyond has the best selection of humidifiers varying in sizes and prices.

Switch Up Your Skincare

As loyal as I am to certain brands (wink wink), I have to switch it up during the winter. Gone are the warm days of Vitamin C serums and retinoids-my skin cannot handle them during the winter months. This season I decided to alter the beginning of my regimen instead of the serum/moisturizer step for hydration. I added a creamy cleanser, kept my serum and moisturizer and added an oil for that extra glow. I’ve also been using a hydrating mask that I’ve noticed a difference from when I wake up in the morning.

Eat Your Water

Drinking more water is a new years resolution of mine. Drinking water and liquids will keep you hydrated internally. During the winter I never crave cold water so I have been drinking a lot of Red Tea (Rooibos) and eating veggies and juices with high water content. Cucumbers and celery are full of water as well as vitamins. Some of my other favorite water filled yummies are radishes, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and green peppers (which are 92% water)!!

The good news is these are easy steps to take and the better news is Spring is only a few months away!

Stay warm and hydrated!

Taking care of your skin with the right products and a rigorous regimen is just half the battle to obtaining a gorgeous complexion. Don’t be confused here: I am not implying to slack off on your skincare regimen; it’s as important to take care of your skin topically as it is internally. Here are my top three skin sins to throw away and get you on track for that healthy glow we all crave.

#1 Skipping Sunscreen 
Hey sun goddesses, listen up! The best, if not one of the most important steps, to keep your skin from getting wrinkles, dull, saggy, and dehydrated. To highlight the obvious that we all have been told, studies have proven that overexposure to harmful UVA/UVB rays leads to skin cancer. Recommended use when in direct sun is to reapply a SPF 30 sun screen spray every 30 minutes. Daily protection is recommended even when not in direct sunlight too – either in your moisturizer and/or foundation.
#2 Smoking 
You’ve heard it over and over again. Do you want deep lines, uneven/blotchy skin tone? Smoking attacks every cell in your body. In fact, every decade of smoking results in a perceived extra 2.5 years of age, according to research published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Don’t smoke. Period.
#3 Junk Food 
You are what you eat. Actually, there is truth to this old saying. Eating junk food causes your insulin levels to sky rocket which leads to an increase of oil production (breaking out!). When you replace junk food with good fats like avocado, nuts, and peanut butter, you are less likely to breakout. These healthy fats also provide healthy vitamins and nutrients to your body, hair and nails. Try it. Check out Total Beauties top 9 picks for the best and worst foods for your skin!