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Five surprising ways you're ruining your skin

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ust when us gals in the beauty department get all cocky and think we have our skin-beautifying routines all figured out (sunscreen every day, the right products for our skin type, eating plenty of antioxidant-rich foods, etc.), some smartypants dermatologist comes along and dishes out a bunch of new info to consider. We recently chatted with Dr. Dennis Gross (who is a constant stream of amazing skincare advice, BTW), and he opened my eyes to these five practices that could negatively affect your skin.

1. Outdated glasses/contact lens prescription: Anything that makes you squint — like reading or working in a poorly lit room, or not updating your contact lens prescription — leads to more fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area. Get thee to an eye doctor, stat!

2. Steam rooms: We all love a good detoxifying sesh in a steam room or sauna, but Dr. Gross says to limit your exposure to these extreme-heat bad boys because they decompose skin's elastin and collagen. Eeeeek!

3. Running (or any high-impact exercise): "While such exercise may benefit our hearts, it can cause the fat pads to slide south, and collagen and elastin to break down. If you enjoy running, try walking," explains Dr. Gross. OMG — remember on Ally McBeal when Jane Krakowski's character invented the face bra for jogging? It was for this!

4. Not sleeping: Okay, it's not news that pulling an all-nighter makes your skin look like crud the next day, but did you know that chronic sleep deprivation leads to long-term skin probs? "Lack of sleep can be so stressful that it actually causes our bodies, including our skin, to generate free radicals," says Dr. Gross. More free radicals mean you look older, faster.

5. Tap water: Chlorine in tap water can strip the natural oils from skin and cause dryness and irritation, especially in the winter when there is less humidity in the air to balance it out. I can vouch for that — I bought a new showerhead with a built-in water filter and have noticed fewer dry patches on my legs.

Obviously, if running is your passion then no one is suggesting you give it up. But maybe a trip to the eye doctor is in order, and get your sleep issues under control, why dontcha?

By Marie Claire




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