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7 little habits that are wrecking your skin

True or false: the more the moisturizer, the better

Moisturizer: you can’t get too much of a good thing — or can you?

Everybody knows how important it is to moisturize your face twice a day. But used wrongly, moisturizer can damage and weaken your skin, causing — rather than curing — breakouts.

So it’s time to learn a little more about what you need to do if you want to get the best (not the worst) out of your moisturizer.

Keep dryness in check

There’s always a temptation to slather on big blobs of moisturizer if your skin is feels dry. But if you’re an acne sufferer, that excess cream isn’t just unnecessary, it’s actually going to cause you problems.

Why? Well, your skin can only absorb so much moisturizer at the cellular level. The leftover cream doesn’t get absorbed. It just sits there, clogging up your pores, stopping bad stuff from getting out, and good stuff from getting in. Often, you end up with drier skin than you started out with, as well as clogged-up pores.

Good guides to live by

Over-moisturizing is bad, but not using moisturizer at all isn’t an option either. Your skin cells need moisture to maintain and improve its strength, to better prevent breakouts.

So, what’s the secret to effective skin moisture? First of all, pay close attention to product guidelines. They’re developed by skincare experts, so if the packaging tells you to use a pea-sized amount and you use a golf ball-sized glob, you’re going to end up causing problems for yourself.

Go with your gut

That said, no two skin types are exactly alike. Trust instinct and listen to your skin. (Sensible) trial and error will help you get great results.

If you think you’re not quite getting enough moisturizer, up the dose by a drop or two — and if you’re feeling slight irritation, use a tiny bit less.

Another option is to consider a facial hydration mist that you can spritz on throughout the day — even over your makeup — if your skin is feeling a little parched. A mist is light and won’t clog your pores the way a thick cream will.