Breakouts, dull complexion and sagging skin… these bad habits that are damaging your skin could be the culprit…

Your skin is actually more of a giveaway of your lifestyle than you might like to admit, and your everyday actions might actually be bad habits that are damaging your skin.

Since we know you want clear, bright, shining skin just as much as we do, we thought we’d help you nail these bad habits sooner, rather than later…

1. Sleeping with your make-up on

You knew this had to be the top of our list, right? And for good reason! When we sleep, our body goes into ‘repair mode’, and a face full of make-up is not going to be doing any good. You’ll be left with clogged pores, bacterial infections and dry skin – all of which lead to breakouts, blackheads and acne. And these days, with the range of fabulous make-up removing wipes on the market, there really is no excuse to sleep with the stuff on!

Read more: 4 things that happen to your skin when you sleep with make-up on

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2. Squeezing those pimples

We know… few things are harder to resist or more horrifying to look at than a giant zit on your face, but squeezing it will do way more damage than good. You actually just push more dirt and bacteria into the pore which ultimately results in more breakouts, and let’s not forget the possibility of leaving a nasty scar and the skin inflammation that this causes. We know it’s hard to resist popping it, but rather look for a cream with high doses of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid to treat the pesky pimple, or opt for a more natural solution, like tea tree oil.

3. Talking on your phone

Yes, you’re a social butterfly and your phone may never stop ringing, but think of where that phone of yours has been (yip, from the bottom of your bag to the bathroom counter – or floor, if you drop yours as often as we drop ours!) and all the hands that have touched it when you’re showing a photo of your sweet little darling, and then think about all of that being transferred to your face.

If you’ve noticed breakouts or rashes on your cheeks and jawline, this is the most likely culprit. We’re not saying you should never talk on your phone, but keep those anti-bacterial wipes on hand to give your phone a good, regular wipe down. Better yet, use earphones when making calls.

4. Overdoing it on the exfoliator

Yes, you need to use a good exfoliator to get rid of dead skin cells and dry, flakey skin, but sometimes we see dry patches of skin, and continuously go at them with the exfoliator, wondering why they aren’t disappearing. You’re probably irritating your skin and only adding to the problem – especially since many of us use exfoliators that are too harsh. Try a chemical exfoliator. Use an exfoliator recommended by a skin therapist, and then treat those dry areas with soothing creams, moisturising them rather than drying them out.

5. Overdoing it on the sugar, caffeine and alcohol

Don’t get us wrong, we love a good piece of cake, cup of coffee and bottle – we mean, glass – of wine, so we’re not saying you have to get rid of these vices, but you need to balance your diet with plenty of water and nutritious food, otherwise it will show in your skin. Dull complexion, saggy skin and breakouts are just a few telling signs that your diet needs your attention.

Read more: The best supplements for great skin, hair and nails