These Things Will Ruin Skin: Six Skin Sins To Avoid!

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You already know that most of the items I’m going to mention in this article are bad for your health. But what you might not think about – and what often isn’t stressed – is how damaging they can be for your skin, too. Looking good is not just a nice bonus; it’s often essential for positive mental and emotional well-being. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of what can damage your skin, so you know how to protect it. Let’s take a closer look at some cardinal skin sins. Drumroll, please:

1. Why Sugar Is Bad For Your Skin

Pile of sugar cubes.

Sugar can harm skin.

You’re rolling your eyes right now and thinking, “Duuuuh” but honestly, when people speak out against sugar (and they tend to do that a lot), it’s generally about how it causes you to put on weight and can lead to all kinds of diseases, inflammation and tooth decay (all true and very important to keep in mind).

But it’s not as common you’ll hear someone say, “Stay away from processed sugar – it’s bad for your skin!” Which is why even if you’re not especially health-conscious, you should think about your sugar intake – after all, we all want beautiful skin.

You’ve probably heard that sugar causes your blood glucose levels to spike. A spike in blood glucose levels causes inflammation – and inflammation is bad news for your skin, as it breaks down essential proteins that keep your skin healthy and firm – namely, elastin and collagen, since sugar attaches itself to collagen, making your skin rigid (this process is referred to as “glycation”). And that leads to sagging skin and wrinkles – not to mention, over time, it can lead to insulin resistance. But insulin resistance doesn’t only equal diabetes; it can also mean unwanted hair and dark patches on your skin.

If you already have a skin condition, such as acne or rosacea, you definitely want to be watching your sugar levels, as processed sugar can cause these conditions to worsen.  So keep those sugar levels down, and start thinking of ways to incorporate healthier sugars in your diet for energy and that oft-needed sugar rush.

2. Why Cell Phones Are Bad For Your Skin

Woman smiling while talking on cellphone.

Cellphones are unsafe for skin.

These days, people seem to consider cell phones absolutely necessary for survival, after oxygen and water. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be using your cell phone, but accumulated makeup, sweat and dead skin from long conversations lead to a party for bacteria on your cell phone.

Bacteria spreading from your phone to your face means acne breakouts, so make sure to wipe down your phone with an anti-bacterial wipe every so often to protect your skin.

In addition, using your phone late at night can also make it harder for you to fall asleep, and when you sleep less, you get those less-than-lovely undereye circles when you wake up in the morning. Try not to use your phone for an hour before bedtime, and use anti-ageing under-eye cream or face cream to further hydrate your skin and avoid one of our skin sins.

3. Why Alcohol Is Bad For Your Skin

Woman poking her cheek while looking in mirror.

Alcohol can dry out your skin

Another baddie to add to our list of skin sins is alcohol. While a glass a day is not going to harm your skin, over-drinking can cause your skin to become dehydrated, which shows itself with enlarged pores and more obvious fine lines and wrinkles.

Alcohol also causes your blood vessels to dilate – you’ll recognize this as that flush you get after a few drinks too many. But when the blood vessels are constantly opening, they can burst, causing spidery veins in the face that can even be permanent.

Furthermore, alcohol is not friends with Vitamin A, and reduces your body’s levels of this powerful antioxidant, whose job it is to fight off free radicals from your skin and maintain a healthy glow. Like with most things, moderation is the key: it’s okay to have a glass a night, and occasionally another, but if you’re a chronic drinker, you’re not doing your health or your skin any favors.

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4. Why Sunglasses Are Bad For Your Skin

It’s incredibly important to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Therefore, a good pair of sunnies is a must! However, like your phone, your sunglasses can become a breeding ground for bacteria as bits of dead skin, sweat and makeup stick to them, which can cause breakouts when sitting on your face. Make sure to keep some antibacterial wipes handy, and give your sunnies a good wipe before you put them on.

5. Why Dirty Pillowcases Are Bad For Your Skin

Woman sleeping on bed.

Pillowcases can harm your skin.

If you’re prone to acne, this tip might just be the answer. When you sleep, your pillow case is soaking up oils from your skin and hair, and if your face is touching the pillow, these oils get transferred right back to where they came from, causing clogged pores and breakouts. The answer? Change and wash your pillowcase regularly, and make sure to wash your face every night to remove bacteria.

6. Why Chlorine Is Bad For Your Skin

There’s nothing like a refreshing dip in a cold pool in the summer, or in a warm, heated pool on a cold winter’s day. Chlorine is necessary in order to get rid of bacteria that you do not want to be hanging out with, but it’s also not the greatest thing for your skin. Chlorine can kill off friendly bacteria that your skin needs, and encourages free radicals to wage war with your skin. It can also cause your skin to dry out, since it washes off your natural oils.

It’s certainly healthy to swim, but be smart. Take care to really scrub yourself over with lots of soap and warm water after you swim, to remove all the chlorine and prevent it from negatively impacting your skin to avoid the last of our skin sins.


If you want better skin, you need to think about how your diet and lifestyle habits might be affecting it. It’s not necessary – or advised! – to cut all the things I mentioned out of your life altogether, but in moderation and with proper care, your skin can thrive and keep you looking and feeling healthier, younger and happier.

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