Am I damaging my skin with everyday activities?

Friday, 5 September 2014

Hi Doctor. I’ve recently read a lot of articles that focus on everyday things we do that damage our skin, such as talking on our cellphones (which spreads bacteria to our cheeks) and not washing one’s pillowcase regularly enough. I’ve even heard that certain muscular action such as regular sipping through a straw can encourage wrinkles! What is your take on this? What are some of the things we do everyday, that damage our skin, and are there other ways of going about them?


Dr Maureen Allem from Skin, Body & Health Renewal responds:

“Thank you so much for this question. Sadly, what you have read is absolutely true. Our cellphones do harbour bacteria, which can be transferred to the cheeks, so being sure to give your phone a bit of a wipe to just once or twice a day is a very good idea. Sleeping on linen that is regularly washed is also very important, and in fact, sleeping on satin pillowcases rather than cotton or polyester is also preferable as satin pillowcases prevent the skin from folding and making sleep lines on the face.

Wearing sunglasses every day is also a very good idea as it protects the eyes from the sun, and also discourages frowning or pursing the eyes due to sharp light, which also discourages wrinkle formation. Actions that encourage the “purse-string” muscles of the face (namely the mouth and the eyes) to regularly tighten up and form dynamic lines, will eventually cause wrinkle formation, so taking steps to prevent this are a very good idea. Simple things like avoiding touching and picking on the skin with unwashed hands is also a common mistake people make. So simply being more aware of what we do on a daily basis and avoiding actions that you know are going to cause problems in the long run are definitely a good idea.”

Do you have a skin-related question for Dr Maureen? Ask her here.

Other articles you may be interested in:
Your skin and environmental damage
How can I revive tired, blemished, ageing skin?
Blackheads and large pores: Winning the battle
Silky serums
Is cleansing, toning and moisturising enough?

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  1. Liesl Nel

    I try to sleep on my back to avoid pillow wrinkles *giggles*

    4 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    I use antibacterial wipes on my phone once a week, I suppose it’s time to increase the frequency of that. I have been sleeping on satin pillowcases that I change once a week and I must say that I cannot remember when was the last time I got a pimple.

    4 years ago •

  1. Lady-T

    Tjoo my cellphone! I will buy hands-free, great article thank you.

    4 years ago •

  1. Stacey

    Wow, I never knew these things. I will definitely take it into consideration.

    4 years ago •

  1. Hess

    Nice question, the satin pillowcase is also good for the hair.

    4 years ago •

  1. Farai Judith Chigwida

    Thank you for the information, I did not know all these things play a role in causing skin problems. I will follow everything to keep my skin in good condition.

    4 years ago •

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