Sunlight exposure, particularly prolonged and unprotected, can do a number on your skin. Apart from increasing your risk of skin cancer, it is also the biggest culprit in premature skin aging, contributing to the development or worsening of age spots, wrinkles, and skin laxity. 

Skin Damage-The Not-So-Common Culprits

UV exposure from the sun, however, is not the only thing that can damage your skin. Some seemingly harmless habits can also sneak up on you and cause multiple sorts of skin damage. Continue reading as we list these sneaky causes and what you can do to prevent them or protect your skin.

1. Over exfoliation

Exfoliation does help in removing dead skin cells and brightening your skin. The problem, of course, comes with overdoing it or using harsh exfoliators. Heavy and frequent exfoliation can compromise the skin barrier, dehydrate your skin, and cause the capillaries (small blood vessels below the skin) to burst or become damaged. 

What you can do: Exfoliate no more than two to three times per week depending on your skin type. If you, for instance, have sensitive skin, only do so once a week and start slow. You should also avoid using harsh scrubs, lots of exfoliating ingredients in your routine, and applying or rubbing the skin with too much pressure.

If you’re in the market for an exfoliant without abrasives, Dr. Sylvia’s AHA Resurfacing Serum is a good choice. It gently exfoliates the surface of the skin to fade dark spots and improve skin texture, as well as reduce the visible signs of aging. And as exfoliation makes the skin sensitive, be sure to wear broad-spectrum sunscreen after.

2. Popping or squeezing pimples

While popping or squeezing pimples can be satisfying, it can only make your blemishes worse. Apart from delaying the healing process, doing so also introduces new bacteria to your face, especially if you do it with unclean hands. Popping, furthermore, causes skin trauma that can lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and scarring.

The sad part about acne marks and scars is that they are difficult to treat. Dark spots or PIH can take several months to fade, while scarring does not fade or go away on its own. Depressed acne scars can even become more visible or prominent with age due to declined levels of collagen. 

What you can do: Resist that urge to pop or squeeze. If you have a habit of touching or face or running your fingers over blemishes, using hydrocolloid patches can help. Using a spot treatment to treat blemishes early on is also ideal or seeing a skin doctor for severe acne that doesn’t seem to improve with over-the-counter products. 

3. Blue light 

The sun is the main source of blue light our skin is exposed to. Electronic devices only emit a fraction of that amount of radiation, but the issue is we spend so much time using these gadgets and even hold them close to our eyes and faces. This can then put us at a higher risk of blue light exposure every day.

Long-term exposure to concentrated sources of blue light, studies suggest, can damage the skin and contribute to the formation of wrinkles. It can also induce hyperpigmentation or dark spots and worsen skin laxity. There is also the issue of compromised sleep, eye strain, and “tech neck” with device overuse. 

What you can do: It is best to limit your screen time to less than two to three hours a day, unless you need it for work. You can also use a blue light filter or put your phone on the night shift mode. You might also want to use a serum or other skin care products with antioxidants and don’t forget to use SPF daily. 

4. Pollution 

Another biggest contributor to skin aging and dullness that we rarely think about is pollution. It can take a toll on your skin by generating free radicals or unstable molecules that cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a process that triggers cell damage and speeds up the aging of the skin.

Some of the problems associated with pollution include: 

  • Skin sensitivity, inflammation, and redness
  • Enlarged pores
  • Dull skin 
  • Premature skin aging
  • Hyperpigmentation or dark spots

What you can do: Make sure to wash your face at night to remove dirt, makeup, pollutants, and other impurities. The use of skincare with antioxidants is also beneficial to offer further skin protection and fight oxidative stress. Dr. Sylvia’s 20% Vitamin C, B, E, And Ferulic Acid has ingredients that work together to provide a comprehensive anti-aging and skin-brightening treatment. 

Take better care of your skin by minding these things and habits. And if you’re dealing with some sort of skin damage or any other skin trouble, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore and schedule a consultation with our aesthetic doctor to find out which treatments can treat or improve what you’re dealing with.