9 Beauty Blunders That Lead to Premature Aging

Aging may be unavoidable, but why speed up the process with bad habits? Avoid these common mistakes and keep your skin from revealing its true age.

Skipping the SPF

No matter what the weather, your skin needs protection from UV rays. These rays accelerate the aging process and lead to more wrinkles and discoloration. Be sure to layer on sunscreen or choose a moisturizer with at least SPF 15 and higher concentrations if you expect to be in the sun for longer than a few minutes.

Getting a "Base" Tan in a Sunbed

Using a tanning bed is equivalent to sunbathing, despite salon claims that it's a safer option. If you want a base tan try a spray-on or rub-on option.


You may love the tingling feeling of a scrubbed face followed by a strong astringent, but for most people this skincare routine will over-dry your skin. Unless a doctor has said otherwise for your specific skin type, you should only wash your face once a day at night. Use a gentle exfoliant once a week to help break up trapped dirt and dead skin cells.

Missing a Mole Check

A change in a mole can be an early sign of skin cancer. Use a mole map to keep track of how your moles evolve, and visit a dermatologist soon if you spot a negative change or notice an "ugly" mole. Negative changes can be tracked by the ABCD rule - if you notice a mole is asymmetrical, has an uneven border, the color has changed, or the diameter has increased, you should get it checked by a dermatologist.

Picking Your Pimples

No one likes a big whitehead on their face, but squeezing said pimple will only spread the bacteria and cause siblings to spring up around it. If you have a big day coming up or have an area that's prone to breakouts, talk to your dermatologist about your options. Constant picking will lead to scarring and discoloration that can become more prominent as you age.

Relying on Water Alone to Hydrate Your Skin

It's important for your skin and overall health to stay hydrated, but unless you're extremely lucky, water is not enough to give your skin the moisture it needs. Find a moisturizer that's targeted for your skin type - you may need to change it with the seasons since humidity and weather conditions will impact your skin's moisture balance.

Skipping a Dermatologist Visit

Annual dermatologist visits are essential for everyone, not just people with underlying skin issues. Dermatologists can spot early signs of problems as well as recommend ways to combat everything from frequent break-outs to varicose veins.

Hanging on to Old Products

You spent a lot of money on that cream so you want to make sure you're squeezing every last drop from the tube, right? Bad idea. Many products lose their effectiveness and SPF within months of being opened, and older products could even grow harmful bacteria. Be sure to toss any skincare and cosmetic products if you've had them for over a year.

Piling on the Products

Layering multiple cosmecutical products can lead to allergic reactions or skin irritation. Stick to a few essentials like a cleanser, moisturizer, and exfoliant. Steer clear of blasting your face with too many products that contain alpha hydroxy acids, retinoids, or other anti-aging agents that are designed for use in small doses.


American Academy of Dermatology site and mole map

World Health Organization

Women's Health.gov