Most of us don’t give much thought to our skin when we like what we are seeing as we gaze into that mirror. We tend only to worry about our complexion when skin problems arise from skin care mistakes. However, the reality is our skin is like a time bomb that could explode anytime from some surprising skin wreckers waiting for their chance to strike. Though I don’t want to scare you, but each of us needs to be aware of how vulnerable our faces and skin are from these hidden skin enemies.
Everyone agrees that going to bed with makeup on is a bad thing to do for your skin. You’ll clog your pores and stuff them with less than healthy ingredients. For example, silicones give products their velvety smoothness, but they can layer and accumulate due to their minuscule molecule size unless thoroughly removed. Furthermore, you need to follow up daily makeup removal to make sure those silicones and other imbedded chemicals are gone with weekly exfoliation.
Skin wreckers don’t stop there. How many of us keep makeup brushes sitting out on our vanity exposed to the air? However, there are a lot of lurking bacteria from any dust that may fall on them to a product buildup each time you reuse them for a fresh application and dip into your liquid or dry cosmetics.
Though you probably use synthetic-haired brushes for your liquids like foundation that have more solid, less penetrable bristles over natural-haired makeup brushes for your powder cosmetics, you’re also contaminating the foundation as well by bringing a growing colony of bacteria to help the formula break down sooner.
You may be washing your brushes only occasionally, but strive to change that habit if you value your complexion. Aim to clean them at least once a week or even every few days if time permits to keep skin healthy and free from those hidden skin wreckers that could cause an infection.
In between washing brushes, you could try safeguarding your complexion even further by making a simple disinfecting spray with about four drops of tea tree oil to about five tablespoons of distilled water. This makes just a small batch that I transfer to a tiny, clean spray bottle and keep out of direct sunlight. After using my makeup brushes, I simply wipe them down with a tissue and then give them a squirt. This extra step helps reduce that daily bacteria and minimize hidden skin wreckers.
If sponges, cosmetic wedges and beauty blenders are more your thing, then it’s just as important to keep them sterile as well since bacteria can accumulate to avoid such skin wreckers. Don’t think your skin isn’t going to suffer by using only one side of a used sponge. The reason this is a bad move is because bacteria from the previous application already passed through to dirty the clean side that can cause skin problems.
Instead of gambling with the future of your face, try microwaving your sponges over merely washing them with a gentle shampoo or dish detergent. Get a microwave safe dish and pour in some of that shampoo or detergent along with enough water to cover your sponge. Next, dunk your sponge thoroughly from all angles while squeezing before redoing the same procedure. Afterwards, push the sponge under that water and microwave for about a minute.
Once your microwave bells rings, the disinfecting of that sponge isn’t over yet. Grab a pot holder to take out that still hot dish with your sponge and released makeup and grime that liquified. After you empty the dirty water, all that is left is giving it a second washing in your sink. This is the best way to kill those hidden skin wreckers like microorganisms waiting to spoil your complexion. The only other sure bet to keep your skin healthy is never reusing a sponge, but who wants to do that?
Loofahs are also a worst threat to the health of our skin due to their complicated network of tiny crevices where old cells, grime, bacteria like E. coli could be waiting to greet you. Just remember, their colonies thrive in moisture so every time they are not totally dry, you are spreading more of their numbers over yourself. If you have to use them to feel clean, you can buy a washable flatter loofah that can fit like a glove or washcloth without a handle over the bulky roll of a traditional one that can be laundered. Occasionally, you can also microwave this variety like sponges only for about 20 seconds.
Other unspecting skin wreckers can be your own towels. You may feel clean after every shower or bath, but keep in mind when drying off that you are giving back to that towel with some of your own body oils, traces of lingering bacteria and shedding skin. If the thought of wrapping yourself in what is brewing in them doesn’t bother you, then launder them at least once a week. Another thought if you can’t abide adding to your laundry workload is to buy smaller size towels over those enormous, plush bath towels. You can dry off just as easily using a hand towel and throw it to the wash daily to keep your skin healthier from the risk of those hidden skin wreckers.
Other things you touch to bedding that can transfer bacteria to infect your skin once in contact also can make your life miserable. Wash bedding at least once a week and disinfect some of the common things you reach for every day like computer keyboards, phones, glasses, pens, wallets, keys, inside of our handbags, etc. before touching your face. Your own hands are also in this group. A habit of touching your face without realizing it is another of the skin saboteurs waiting to wreck your beauty. After all, you don’t wash your hands every minute.
Our hair is yet another of these skin wreckers since it tends to brush against our faces in spots from bangs, cheeks to our necks and shoulders. The more hair touches our skin, the more of its oily sebum that also gets delivered that can spell trouble, especially if you have acne to compound the problem. A simple solution is trying to keep your hair off of your face, if possible or washing it daily.
The truth is there are a surprising number of skin wreckers all around us. What I shared here are just a few of these hidden dangers that are out there to be aware of. Once you know where to look, keeping your skin beautiful is easier to accomplish.