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True confessions: Which skin sins have you committed?

skincareFrom catching your favorite team at a ballgame to swimming in a pool, summertime brings no shortage of outdoor activities. All this time outside, though, can wreak havoc on your skin if you don’t follow a proper routine to rid your skin of the dirt, oil and residue it encounters throughout the day. While a daily cleanse may seem obvious, some people tend to forget the step — then wonder why they suffer from breakouts and other skin problems.

In a new online survey from CeraVe conducted by OnePoll, Americans confessed to committing common skincare sins, revealing habits that may be sabotaging their dreams of healthy and hydrated skin. With nearly half of respondents (47 percent) admitting to behaviors that are bad for their skin and more than one-third (35 percent) confessing to having poor skincare habits, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Marchbein is here to help clean up these common skin sins.

1. Skipping the daily cleanse

Among the 2,000 survey respondents, more than half (55 percent) admitted that they don’t cleanse their skin daily — an ultimate skin sin! Of those who do wash their face, 53 percent said that they only used water, which doesn’t actually cleanse the skin.

Dr. Marchbein recommends daily cleansing as an important step in a regular skincare routine. “Breakouts and other skin problems can be caused by the buildup of dirt, oil, residue and makeup left on the skin, especially overnight,” says Marchbein.

2. Misunderstanding the purpose of a cleanse

Cleansing can be confusing, from knowing what type of cleanser to use to how often you should be cleansing for healthy skin, but that’s no reason to skip it.

A common misconception is how skin should feel after cleansing. More than one-third (37 percent) said clean skin feels tight, while another 33 percent said dry. Dr. Marchbein warns that this tight sensation is a sign of moisture loss and thus improper cleansing. “When shopping for products, look for cleansers with gentle, moisturizing ingredients,” she says.

3. Using the wrong products

Despite being a skincare essential, nearly half of respondents (48 percent) said they have never used a facial cleanser to wash their face. Surprisingly, 47 percent of respondents said they have used shampoo or conditioner to wash their face, and 41 percent said that they have used hand soap instead of a facial cleanser.

“None of these are appropriate or effective substitutes for a face cleanser,” explains Marchbein. Instead, she recommends a gentle cleanser with hydrating ingredients like the dermatologist-developed CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser, which features three essential ceramides to help repair the skin barrier and lock in moisture, while sealing out irritants and impurities. The cleanser is non-irritating and non-drying and in addition to ceramides, it features hyaluronic acid, so it leaves skin feeling cleansed and soft without disrupting the skin barrier.

4. Not cleaning items used on your skin

Your skin isn’t the only thing that needs a regular cleanse though! Any products that come in regular contact with your skin should also be kept clean to protect from bacteria or other residue that could cause irritation or breakouts. Yet, 69 percent of survey respondents say they didn’t realize that not cleaning makeup brushes could harm their skin, with 26 percent admitting they have gone more than one month without washing them.

Further, among those who use washcloths for cleansing their face, 42 percent said that they have used the same washcloth up to four times without washing it, and 16 percent will even reuse one up to seven times without washing.

5. Unhealthy habits

Many daily habits people indulge in can have a harmful effect on their skin. Among those surveyed, over half (51 percent) said they did not realize not drinking enough water could have an impact on skin health, while eating greasy food (45 percent) and smoking (43 percent) also ranked among the top behaviors listed.

“While a skincare routine is essential, healthy habits beyond skincare, like eating nutritious food and getting enough rest, are also important for overall skin health,” says Marchbein.

To help turn your skin sins around and develop healthy habits, be sure to follow a regular skincare regimen. If you’re confused about what kind of cleanser and moisturizer would be best for your skin type, visit cerave.com to learn about products specially designed to address particular skin concerns.