Trust me, I’m a girl. Nothing pains my heart more than knowing that even after working so hard to get soft, smooth skin, I am still frenemies with pimples, dryness and of course, body hair. Seriously? Is it too much to ask for clear skin that does not break out every time I blink or does not look like a dense forest if I don’t shave for two days?

Who am I kidding? Once again, I’ve taken upon myself the task of skin-care. And here is a list of 10 things to stop doing right now if you are in the same league as I am.

1. Taking long, hot water showers.

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Yes, nothing is more relaxing than taking a long, hot shower after a bad day, but it is your skin that actually pays the price for it. Contrary to popular belief, water that’s too hot can make your skin flaky and dry. Bathe instead with lukewarm water.

2. Using cotton-pillowcases.

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One of the cardinal rules of taking care of your skin is getting ample sleep (yep, I’m looking at all you midnight owls), but equally important is using the right pillowcase. Cotton pillows cause a lot more friction than silk or satin ones and thus can cause permanent creases. Furthermore, if your skin keeps breaking out despite a rigorous skincare routine, you have the residue on your pillowcase to not thank for that.

3. ‘Forgetting’ to remove your makeup before you go to sleep.

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Come on, we all feel a little lazy when it comes to removing makeup after a long night. Your skin has ways to get back at us, though, mainly through acne that pop up at just the most inconvenient times. You see, skin cleans itself when you sleep, but the layer of makeup on it clogs oil glands and eventually seeps into your pores, making them appear larger. The result: you wake up looking like the Walking Dead than a dewy-eyed baby.

4. Using the wrong products on your skin, or just burying it under the weight of too many of them.

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Ever wondered why, despite using top of the line products, your skin isn’t looking as good as you want it to? In that case, it may be the products you’re using. Every skin type is different and thus has different needs to keep it healthy and supple. Clay masks, for example, are better suited to combination skin as opposed to peel masks, which work best on dry skins. Know your skin type before you work on perfecting a routine.

5. Using products in the wrong order.

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The way to get the most of your beauty products is to start with a cleanse and then apply them from thin to a thick consistency. Start with a toner, followed by a serum and then a cream. Since each product needs time and surface area to work, lighter ones work best the closer they are to your skin. Applying them after heavy products blocks their way down to your face and causes unnecessary build-up.

6. Not knowing how to or using your Clarisonic device the wrong way.

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Okay, so Clarisonic devices, or cleansing brushes as we know them, are a godsend, but only when you know how to use them. Most of us think that the harsher the scrub we, the more effective the cleaning will be. Eh, not so much. Since the brush is already a great exfoliator, make sure to use a gentle brush to get the best results. Using a harsh scrub can have the opposite effect of what you want and strip your skin of essential oils.

7. Thinking that the more expensive a product is, the better it will be.

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Just because your pocket becomes a lot lighter every time you buy a particular cream doesn’t mean your skin will get brighter every time you use it. Believe it or not, for many people, the best results are sometimes achieved with over-the-counter anti-acne treatments and lotions. Just make sure to test a product against your skin before you buy it.

8. Leaving everything to your skin-care products.

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A healthy skin is a balance between the right products and the right diet. While I offer my regards with a side of jealousy to all those who have perfected it, we all lack something more often than most. Make sure that your diet is rich in biotins, antioxidants and foods teeming with omega-3. And you may not like it, but try cutting down on dairy products, carbs, and sugar.

9. Touching, picking, feeling, really doing too much of anything to your skin.

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Dude, leave your skin alone. No matter how much you wash your hands every day, they accumulate enough dirt to inflame your skin and actually accelerate the process of the formation of acne. Yes, you may love the feel of your skin in the morning, but touching it too much can very easily transfer dirt onto the surface and render all your skincare efforts useless.

10. Shaving the wrong way.

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Gurl, you do not want to make a mistake with this one. Disregarding your shaving ritual can not only make your skin rough and dry but also cause problems like ingrown hair and rashes, not to mention all the cuts. *Shudders*. Do the wise thing: #JustVeetIt. Not only will it give you smooth skin as quickly as ever, but your legs won’t look like a fountain ready to squirt blood. (Graphic, wasn’t it?)

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