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15 Skin Care Fails to Avoid for Flawless Skin

Your skin is the largest and most visible organ on the body. This fleshy covering does more than protect us internally; it also ensures we look good, which is why it is important to take the necessary precautions to achieve flawless skin for a lifetime. Follow these tips, tricks and product suggestions from industry professionals for a glowing complexion and flawless skin this summer.

Skin Snafu #1: Forgetting Sunscreen

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Protecting your skin from harsh UV rays is one of the most important things you can do for your complexion. Dr. Kavita Mariwalla, director of Mariwalla Dermatology in New York, suggests using sunscreen or a sunscreen-based product every day. Don't forget to apply a layer to your face, neck and chest areas to prevent premature aging and discoloring.

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Skin Snafu #2: Not Enough Exercise

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According to a recent survey by SimpleĀ® Skincare, one in two women in the top 40 U.S. cities are unaware that exercise can influence their skin's health. "There is an important link between your physical well-being and skin health. Exercise increases blood flow and helps flush toxins out of our system," says Simple Advisory Board member and fitness expert Kacy Duke.

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Skin Snafu #3: Allergy Face

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For any allergy sufferers out there, a major skin dilemma is the side effects: watery eyes, red nose, puffy face and dry skin. Zyrtec celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg offers beauty tips to combat the look of death by pollen. Contour to combat puffiness, use argan balm or coconut oil to tone down redness, apply white eyeliner to bottom water rim and draw attention to the lips with a pop of color, Greenberg suggests.

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Skin Snafu #4: Using Toner

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While every beauty brand in existence has a toner, there is an anti-toner movement occurring with many skin care professionals. Using a toner causes skin to produce more oil or become dried out. Eliminate toner to improve the quality of your skin.

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Skin Snafu #5: Exfoliating Too Often

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Exfoliating skin too often can have negative side effects. Don't exfoliate more than one time per week. Dr. Mariwalla proposes using St. Ives for Sensitive Skin exfoliant.

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Skin Snafu #6: Too Much Stress

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Just as getting enough sleep and eating right are important, stress management is necessary for healthy skin. Simple Skincare suggests lighting a lavender-scented candle to help unwind. The scent lowers blood pressure and slows heart rate.

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Skin Snafu #7: Applying Makeup with a Dirty Brush

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Applying makeup day after day, week after week with the same makeup brush causes dirt and bacteria to build, making skin prone to breakouts. Clean makeup brushes once a week with mild soap or shampoo to remove buildup.

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Skin Snafu #8: Skimping on Sleep

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Just as your body needs eight hours of sleep to reboot, so does your skin. While you are sleeping your skin is hard at work repairing and regenerating new skin cells. Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule will keep skin healthy and well-rested.

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Skin Snafu #9: Smoking

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Smoking causes many negative side effects for the body, including being detrimental to your skin. California Board Certified dermatologist Dr. Susan Stuart cautions that nicotine and smoke prematurely age the skin, causing early lines, wrinkles, and age spots.

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Skin Snafu #10: Waiting to Moisturize

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Immediately after washing or showering, apply moisturizer before the skin begins to cool and pores close. Sebamed, a medicinal skin care company, states that "most creams and lotions have key ingredients that create a protective barrier on the surface of the skin to lock in moisture to maintain a healthy pH balance of 5.5." Safeguard flawless skin by moisturizing before skin has a chance to dry out.

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Skin Snafu #11: Lacking a Skincare Regime

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According to Dr. Mariwalla, the most important thing you can do for your skin is to find a skin care regime and stick to it. She suggests washing your face twice a day, moisturizing, applying sunscreen and using retinol products in the evenings. Maintaining a strict routine will ensure radiant skin every day.

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Skin Snafu #12: Lacking Vitamin-Rich Foods in Diet

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Three in four women in the top 40 U.S. cities are aware that what they eat impacts their skin's health, yet one in two cannot describe their current diet as balanced, according to a recent survey by Simple Skincare. Swap sugary snacks for walnuts, leafy vegetables or fruits high in antioxidants for flawless skin.

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Skin Snafu #13: Neglecting the Under-Eye Area

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While moisturizer is a common step in skin care regimes, many individuals neglect the under-eye area. The skin under the eye is very delicate. Remember to apply moisturizer and sunscreen there to prevent damage.

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Skin Snafu #14: Too Much Alcohol and Caffeine

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Another way to keep skin healthy and glowing is to limit the intake of alcohol and caffeine. Caffeine and alcohol cause dehydration and with time will dry out the skin, Dr. Stuart says.

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Skin Snafu #15: Failing to Use Retinols

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Retinol contains Vitamin A, which unclogs pores, boosts collagen to reduce fine lines and speeds cell turnover. Dr. Mariwalla recommends finding a nighttime moisturizer, a thicker version of the day cream in a serum formula, with retinoids.

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