6 Bad Skincare Habits You Need To Break By 30

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If our second decade of life had a theme, it would probably be titled “Trial and Error.” In addition to dating wildly inappropriate people, making highly questionable fashion choices and consuming exorbitant amounts of alcohol, we can all agree our skincare routines were inconsistent at best. In our wild and carefree state, we failed to believe at some point we’d be hit with the consequences of our actions (e.g., irresponsible sun frolicking, lack of rest and sleeping with our makeup on). Well, we have some wise words to impart on those who have yet to cross the threshold to 30, and they involve your face. Here, the mistakes you need to knock off once and for all.

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Skincare SOS

We get that the whole vacay-in-St.-Tropez tan is appealing—but do you know what's not? Skin cancer, premature wrinkles and sun spots. No, this is not a lecture, it's tough love and the truth. If a solid SPF of at least 30 isn't a part of your routine by now, it needs to be. Period.

A few careless nights of dropping into bed with a full face of makeup may seem like no big deal. But, believe us, those instances add up and can result in breakouts, irritation and dull skin. For those extra-late/lazy evenings when going through a full-blown nighttime routine feels daunting, keep some cleansing wipes by your bed to give your face a quick cleanup before hitting the hay.

While the area above the chin gets the most face time (get it?), attention must be paid to the less-obvious regions. Fun fact: The neck and décolleté areas actually have thinner, more sensitive skin that's prone to damage and premature aging. Make sure you're giving the same TLC to your chest as you do your face—that means cleansing, exfoliating and applying serums below the chin. Bonus points for adding a chest-specific cream to your regimen to keep that region in check.

While heavy foundations, concealers and powders all have appropriate times and places, they shouldn't be regular players in your day-to-day life. A flawless, radiant face can still be achieved with a few tried-and true products, like a solid lipstick, versatile shadow palette and tinted moisturizer. We suggest getting your daily routine down to three or four products max, if possible, to allow your skin to breathe.

Ever wonder why the moisturizer you've been using since high school isn't working its magic like it once did? Probably because your skin either has become immune to its effects or needs different levels of moisture and nourishment as you age. Just like you do your wardrobe, you should be tweaking your skincare lineup every four months or so to work with the changing climate and keep the skin reactive to and stimulated by ingredients. Now, these changes don't need to be major—it could be a matter of swapping in a slightly thicker moisturizer for winter or a mattifying BB cream in the summer.

We are well aware of the allure of the all-night dance party, but let us assure you, your skin will pay the price. Beauty sleep is not just a term, it's a reality. Lack of rest can lead to imbalanced skin, which can result in skin dehydration, redness and breakouts (oy!). While eight solid hours of zzz's is ideal, if you're a night owl, try to get in at least six.