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Your skin-care routine is a multi-step, twice-a-day ritual filled with cleansers, toners, serums, exfoliators, oils and moisturizers. (Say that five times fast.) But while you’re spending all that time and energy trying to prevent wrinkles and chasing after a natural glow, you may not realize that a few of your daily habits are making those efforts null and void. Ack. Ahead, five things that are secretly affecting your skin and how to break the cycle.

Your Commute

That Air Pollution is Aging You

girl riding bicycle Unsplash 

Whether you drive a car, ride a bike or walk to work, the increase in air pollution could be affecting your skin more than you’d think, especially if you live in a major city. What kind of air pollution are we talking about? Think ultraviolet radiation, cigarette smoke and exhaust. These things cause damage to skin by inducing oxidative stress, which plays a huge role in the aging process. We don’t know about you, but we definitely don’t want to experience premature aging. That’s why it’s super important to use skin-care products that work to combat these effects, like Neutrogena’s all-new Hydro Boost City Shield line. Thanks to hyaluronic acid and antioxidants, these products will nourish, protect and revive skin against daily stressors. 

Products That Help to Protect Your Skin:

Neutrogena

Water Gel SPF 25

Suitable for all skin types, this ultra-hydrating gel not only protects from the sun but also has purified hyaluronic acid to fight against dryness to boot.

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Neutrogena

Eye Serum

This formula helps to hydrate the delicate eye area offering you a brighter, wide-awake look (because we all could use that).

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Neutrogena

Facial Gel Mist

What we love about this mist is that it can be used to prep your skin for makeup or as a hydrating pick-me-up throughout the day.

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Your Daily PSL

Or Any Sugar Bomb Beverage for That Matter

home brewed coffee Twenty20 

We all know that consuming too much sugar is no good (it can actually lead to a process called glycation, if you want to get scientific). Well, turns out, the proteins in your skin are the most prone to this glycation process, which shows up on your skin as fine lines, sagging and loss of radiance. While it’s unrealistic to swear off sweets for good (and we’d never tell you to anyway), making the switch back to your drip coffee for the rest of the month could help.

Items That’ll Lend a Helping Hand:

swell travel coffee mug
Amazon

Reusable Mug

This chic travel mug from S’well might help encourage you to bring coffee from home. Not to mention, it’ll keep your Chemex pour piping hot for hours and help to save the environment.

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vital proteins beauty collagen
Sephora

Beauty Collagen

Recovering from a sugar binge? Plump your skin back to life with a scoop of fruit-infused collagen peptides in your morning glass of water (you know, the one you drink before your coffee).

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goop oral hygiene travel kit
Goop

To-Go Toothbrush

Coffee breath? No thank you. Stash this adorable travel kit in your tote to keep stains at bay. It includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouth rinse and—our favorite—Cocofloss.

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Your Pillowcase

Go Home and Swap It Out Tonight

minimalistic bed Twenty20 

Did you know your skin cells turn over at night while you’re sleeping? And where do you think those dead cells end up? You guessed it: your pillowcase. To reduce the chances of exposing your face to bacteria, change your pillowcase at least once a week. We think it’s helpful to have a few on hand so you don’t have to wash the same one over and over again.

Shop Cases Designed for Your Skin:

deja pillowcase
Déjà

Déjà

Rest easy with this case that features “pages” (or layers) of 100 percent cotton sateen that you simply flip over each night to reveal an unused sheet.

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slip silk pillowcase white
Sephora

Slip

By now, we all know the wonders a silk pillowcase can do for premature wrinkles and bedhead. But it’s also great because it doesn’t absorb oils like a cotton case can.

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skin laundry sleepcycle pillowcase
Sephora

Skin Laundry

This pillowcase is treated with charged silver ion technology, which helps reduce the presence of acne-causing bacteria. Scientific? Maybe. Worth it? Definitely.

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Your Keyboard

When’s the Last Time You Cleaned This Guy?

woman using computer Unsplash 

How often do you clean your keyboard? And how often do you touch your face throughout the course of a day? Yeah, you do the math. Well, actually, researchers already have. A recent study shows that your keyboard is 20,000 dirtier than a toilet seat and harbors bacteria known as gram-positive cocci, which is a common cause of skin infections. Um, may we suggest you pick up a Clorox wipe, stat?

How to Ward Off Germs:

keyboard cleaner pen
Amazon

Clean Your Keyboard

We like this nifty electronic cleaning brush because it gets into all the nooks and crannies and is small enough to stow away in our desk drawer. While you’re at it, it won’t hurt to give your cell phone a wipe down too.

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jao hand refresher1
Madewell

Sanitize Your Hands

If you use a shared computer, it’s best practice to clean your hands before and after use, especially during cold and flu season. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on your desk for quick and convenient application. Opt for one that kills germs, smells great and doesn’t dry out your hands. We like this one for its blend of antiseptic essential oils (lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus) and the natural moisturizing properties of chamomile and calendula.

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Your Cell Phone Screen

We're Talking About That Blue Light

woman on her phone Twenty20 

While research is still being done to find out exactly how much damage the blue light from your cell phone, laptop and TV screen causes, there is one clear way it’s sabotaging your skin: Too much screen time can mess with your natural circadian rhythm (less sleep = haggard skin). What’s more, bright screens cause you to squint, and repeated facial movements can cause wrinkles over time. No thanks. An easy fix? Lower the brightness and, um, put down your phone. 

Ban the Blue Light:

felix gray blue light eyeglasses
Felix Gray

Protect Your Eyes

These eyeglasses filter harmful blue light (and provide UV protection too!) without compromising your usual vision. Not to mention, their stylish design will get you all the compliments.

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amber light lamp
Amazon

Promote Healthy Sleep

The amber-colored bulb emits fewer blue light waves that hinder melatonin production. Turn on the light about 90 minutes before going to sleep to give your body the sign it’s time to wind down.

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