9 Habits to Break Now if You Want Amazing Skin

bad skin habits

Today, we're here to divulge some of our skin tips that might just help you achieve your best skin ever. It's not so much a to-do list, but more of a “what not to do” list.

Chances are, you're probably already doing some beneficial things for your skin, like using natural skin care or eating an organic diet. But you might also be committing skin sabotage in some ways you didn't realize.

Most of us have been guilty of some of things at least once in our lives. We made a list of the top 9 things you might be doing to make your skin less-than-radiant.

1. Eating Excess Sugar (When you know you shouldn’t!)

A 2013 study looked at the connection between blood sugar and aging. Participants who tested with higher blood sugar levels were also rated as looking older. Crazy, right?

Looking older shouldn’t be the only reason you avoid eating sugar, but it is one effect that this addictive substance seems to have. Constantly spiking our blood sugar levels and then later crashing down is an unhealthy cycle that many of us subject our bodies to, and our skin shows it.

Sugar induced aging

Our blog post on sugar induced aging will tell you more about this.

We recommend making informed choices about which kind of sweetener you use and paying attention to how much sugar is in the prepared foods that you buy. For those of us who maybe haven’t perfected the art of making “meals” (ahem, guilty), simply eliminating peanut butter cups from your breakfast menu might be an easy place to start.

detoxifying lemon infused water

2. Not Hydrating

We’ve all heard that statistic that says we’re pretty much just a bunch of water that look like humans walking around the planet. Yet we still find reasons not to hydrate: “Water is boring…” “Having to pee all the time is inconvenient…” “I hate washing cups…”

We know that we need water to do all the things our body needs to do. One is transporting nutrients to the places they need to go. Another is flushing out the impurities we don’t wanting hanging around. So do yourself a favor and drink up!

3. Sleeping on Pillow Cases Washed with Toxic Laundry Detergent

Bet you didn’t see this one coming!

We've talked about chemicals found in laundry detergents that you might be using, some of which are linked to cancer, lung damage, and hormone disruption. Given that your clothes are on your body all day and you sleep on your pillows all night, you might want to think twice about what you use to launder them.

the problem with chemical detergents

Is using chemical detergents to wash your pillow cases causing your acne or wrinkles? Probably not. But it’s definitely not helping, and some people are more sensitive to chemical irritation than others. Either way, having those substances near your face (for ⅓ of your life!) does not a happy complexion (or body) make.

You might try making your own detergent if DIY is your style. Here’s one of our favorite recipes from Wellness Mama!

4. Using Skin Care Products That Contain Alcohol

Why is there alcohol in your skin care products? They’re used to help ingredients mix together to form a finished product, act as preservatives, and temporarily shrink your pores.

Why don’t you want them there? Some alcohols used in skin care are drying, irritating, and damaging to your skin, and many contain petroleum-derived additives that you definitely don’t want on your face. You can read more about it in our blog post here.

what can you use instead?

Even the types of alcohols that are pretty much harmless aren't doing anything good for your skin, but if you replaced the alcohol with aloe juice, your skin would be singing joyful noises (or dancing or painting or doing whatever your skin does when it wants to express itself).

All we’re saying is, be choosy when it comes to the ingredients in your skin care. There are so many plant-based ingredients out there that your skin loves, so there's no need to settle for skin-drying alcohols.

5. Skin Addictions

Skin gets used to what you put on it. If you’re feeding it well, awesome! If you’re not, then there can be problems.

A common ingredient that skin gets addicted to is benzoyl peroxide. Usually prescribed for acne, it clears up the skin by killing bacteria and reducing oil production. In the long term, it is extremely drying for most skin types, essentially working like a bleach. Ouch!

the skin detox process

Alkaline benzoyl peroxide disturbs your skin’s acid mantle, which should be at a pH of between 4.5-5.5. Once you stop using it, your skin starts to re-balance itself to its natural pH. During what it essentially a detox process, many people find that they break out.

Have patience! These skin detox-induced breakouts should subside after a few weeks. And there are lots of natural remedies for oily skin and other skin types.

Ditch your skin-diction! Read more about skin detox here.

how to determine your skin tone

6. Using Unnatural Makeup

So we talked about your skin at night (resting on a pillow case), but what about during the day? Many of us wear makeup, either occasionally or for everyday coverage. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best, but putting on foundation, blush, concealer, etc. every day could be making your skin less healthy.

the problem with chemical makeup

Many makeup brands, I’m going to say most, use ingredients that can cause you harm. Unnatural makeup products can clog your pores, irritate your skin, and create a barrier that keeps your skin from breathing. What ends up happening? Your skin gets worse over time as you use them.

We favor natural mineral makeups without added preservatives and fragrances, like our Minerals Multi-Purpose Foundation. They're a healthy way to even out your skin tone and cover imperfections. You can also use our Sun Love lotion for a hint of color (not to mention luxurious avocado oil and beautifying hyaluronic acid).

minerals makeup


7. Leaving Your Makeup on Overnight

You’re tired. Your eyelids are closing against your will. You’re almost considering sleeping in your jeans. Stop! Wait! It’s time to wash off your makeup.

Naked skin is happy skin. Especially if you’re wearing chemical makeup brands, you want to give your skin a break over night.

In the same vein, make sure to wash your makeup off before working out. When you break a sweat and your pores open up, dirt, oil and, yep, makeup will get in there.

Also, unless you want to wash your pillow cases every day, you should do your best to keep them clean in between washes. Another reason that washing your face before bed is a must!

8. Eating From a Box

You can’t talk about good skin without talking about health. Your skin is an indicator of what’s happening inside.

We can’t tell you whether being gluten-free, vegan, raw, vegetarian or what will work for you. There a lot of theories and diet plans out there, and we don’t have the bandwidth to sift through them all.

stick with whole foods

However, eating whole foods is something pretty un-debatably healthy. It can be challenging to prepare foods from scratch and avoid the urge to succumb to a prepacked frozen entree, but preparing fresh foods is a great way to stay healthy. At the very least, you’ll know what’s on your plate.

Try to have a salad or smoothie every day to up your intake of raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Try to eat the rainbow! Different colored produce provides different benefits, so make things fun and multicolored on your plate in order to cover your nutritional bases.

DIY body scrub recipes

9. Not Exfoliating

We’ll end with a simple one: exfoliation. As you get older, your need for regular exfoliation increases. Plus, when you’re using potent anti-aging products, you want to make sure they are being well absorbed.

Of course, there is such a thing as too much exfoliation, so you need to find a balance. For most people, a couple times a week does the trick. As you age, this may be closer to 3 or 4 times a week.

If you have oily skin or otherwise sensitive skin, be careful not to exfoliate too vigorously. A gentle scrub like our Ayurvedic Facial Scrub may be better suited for you.

Ayurvedic facial scrub

You can achieve the skin you want! By ditching some of your bad habits and adopting some good ones, you could find yourself waking up to younger, more radiant looking skin!

What skin habits do you want to break? Have you broken any of these already? Tell us in the comments below!

comments (40 and counting)


Reader Interactions


  1. Laura Driskell says

    Hi! I just received my sample for combo skin, to balance it out. I had 2 samples from a friend that i am trying out so i can see which things are the best for my skin.

    I have a question about the new sample packaging. The samples I have (from before) are in tiny glass vials, which I know are recyclable. The new packs are from Xela Pack. I haven’t heard of them. Are they recyclable, compostable, bio-degrading? I know you chose them for a good reason.

  2. Holly Jean Graham says

    Am really excited about your products. I bought the anti aging sample kit and love the aloe vera cleaner. However, the final serum caused some itching.

    I have allergies to plants so am very careful. My question: what if I spent the money for a large bottle of one of your products and find out that there is something in it that I am allergic to?

    Thank you, Holly

  3. Linda says

    The only one of these that I do is not exfoliate enough.
    I will be changing this bad habit!

    I am already a happy customer of yours!

  4. maria tsaousi says

    I’m 16 years old and my skin has some break outs and i like to squeeze my blackheads and my pimples i don’t know how to exfoliate my very oily and sensitive skin

    • Annmarie Skin Care says

      Hi there!

      Squeezing your pimples could certainly be contributing to your breakouts. We don’t suggest exfoliating on active breakouts with whiteheads because it can spread bacteria and also make it worse.
      Try our Citrus Mint Cleanser and Herbal Facial Oil for Oily skin daily with the Purifying Mud Mask weekly to help balance out that extra sebum production! Once your breakouts subside, you’ll be able to exfoliate with something like the Dead Sea Scrub. 🙂

  5. Cathy says

    I have known for quite a while that drinking water is beneficial for your skin. I wanted to share that I recently learned how drinking from a straw may contribute to the fine lines around the lip area; similar to smokers’ lip lines. I think I’ll stick with the clunky cup.

  6. Susan Caldwell says

    Can’t wait to try the homemade laundry soap. Maybe that will cure my itchy skin! Thank you for the link!

  7. Elizabeth Sosa says

    MENDOMINERALS have excellent natural makeup and the founder Dr. Berrettini had acne prone skin. That is why she created her own healthy line of cosmetics.

  8. Diane says

    Hi, just want to say I’ve used so many of your products and love them. I’m 51 and lucky enough to have very young-looking skin, but would like to start using some anti-aging products. Not sure which you’d recommend to start – the anti-aging oil, or the anti-aging serum? What’s the difference? Thanks so much!

  9. Mary Anne says


    I am only 37 and I have had a major increase in thinning (aging skin), especially around and under the eyes, (therefore) increasing pits and dark circles, as well as fine lines under the eyes. I also have stretch marks on my upper cheeks and laugh lines…. I used to be naturally attractive, but now….. I fear my looks. What will NATURALLY help decrease my dark circles, stretch marks (facial), and plump (permanently increase natural collagen) under my eyes on my cheeks and neck?

    I have been using natural products to help moisturize my skin; I also exfoliate gently….. But due to lots of stress and digestive disturbances, I have been aging rapidly.

    Thank you very much!

  10. Anne says

    Hi, I am so excited to try these products I am 43 and am worried about aging. I also am concerned because in the last couple of months or so, my skin has been breaking out. Would you be able to recommend which products would be best for me and also recommend a natural make up line? Thanks so much

    • admin says

      Hi Anne! Thanks for commenting. 🙂 One product I think you’ll LOVE is our Anti-Aging Serum . It has hyaluronic acid in it, which helps the skin retain water, keeping it plump and young-looking. It also has healing aloe and calming rose distillate, so it’s great for break outs and inflammation. You can use it before your moisturizer. Since it’s aloe-based, it absorbs right into your skin!

      You could probably use either the http://shop.annmariegianni.com/Citrus-Mint-Facial-Cleanser-50ml_p_66.html or the Aloe-Herb Cleanser . If your skin is on the dry side, I’d recommend the Aloe-Herb cleanser. It has coconut oil in it, so it moisturizes while it cleanses. If your skin gets oily, I’d recommend you use the Citrus Mint Cleanser, which is more geared towards preventing breakouts, with amazing herbs like neem.

      The Dead Sea Scrub is another great product that works as an anti-aging and as preventing break outs. Use this scrub to clean deep into your pores, while stimulating cell turnover (which slows down as we age).

      One more! If you’re looking for a moisturizer, I’d recommend you use Our Herbal Facial Oil for Normal and Combination Skin. It’s deeply moisturizing without being pore clogging (plus it has herbs like Gotu Kola, which help heal and repair your skin).

      As for makeup, we recommend using a natural mineral powder. We don’t have any brands that we recommend, but look out for something from us in the very near future. 😉

      I hope this helps!

  11. Darla says

    Hi! GlassDharma makes some beautiful glass straws with a guarantee if they break. Great for smoothies and kids love them! I know you can’t tell us about your new product yet, but I have to let you know that I can’t wait and I bet it’s going to be great!

  12. Angie says

    I am 52 years old and have noticed an increase in wrinkles on my face this past year, particularly around my mouth and on my cheeks (I did lose 20 lbs this year which is a significant amount for my build). I drink water, but probably not enough and a lot of freshly made juices and hot teas. I use Bare Minerals (are these good) make-up and predominately your skin care products for cleansing and moisturizing. I will order one of your exfoliating products. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for your time,

    • admin says

      Hi Angie!

      Our Dead Sea Scrub is the ultimate exfoliator! It has dead sea clay, which remineralizes your skin while drawing out impurities.

      I love following this scrub with our Coconut Honey Mask. The honey helps bind the moisture of the coconut to your skin, leaving you with a healthy, dewy glow. LOVE!

      I hope this helps!

  13. Cheryl says

    Good tips! However, I would caution against drinking out of a straw whenever possible. It can give you wrinkles around your mouth just like smoking and chewing gum. I was told this by a plastic surgeon and it makes a lot of sense.

      • VIcky says

        An even better reason to avoid straws: most are single-use plastic. Or paper. We shouldn’t be using either, for the sake of our environment.

        Perhaps the annoyance comes from seeing people constantly fixated on either their mouths or their smartphones–it used to be that people simply didn’t eat or drink while walking around, but now it is a ubiquitous habit. What ever happened to sitting down for a proper meal and exhibiting modest restraint in between? Stop for a drink if you need one, but most adults I see on the street here in Manhattan remind me of infants needing to suck a bottle. I’m not annoyed by it, but it seems curious to me.

        • admin says

          Hi Vicky! That’s a good point. The giant cup that I was describing is reusable, but I imagine that waste produced from plastic straws is far greater than it needs to be.

  14. katie m. berggren says

    thank you for ALL that you do!! You guys are amazing and I LOVE your products, happy new year!
    Love, Katie m. Berggren

  15. fleta mathews says

    I am now 80 yrs old….. though most people say I look (naturally) 20 or more years younger…Always had porcelain like complexion and no problems or need to wear much makeup…Now…some Dermo say I have sun damage (true), and have a red head complexion I always denied though had 2 red haired grandmothers) : ) rosacea, maybe eczema or maybe.psorosis ,and keratoses..or all of the above (sp?) …I am dubious in allowing the treatments recommended by our Dermatologist ….Have been into everything natural in all areas of my life…and it has worked very well.. I also have little white pimple like eruptions around my jaw line that come and go…SO frustrating as I never had to do much except clean and moisturize my skin…which has always been dry as well a my wavy fine hair…HELP1


    • admin says

      Hi Fleta!

      Lucky you to look 20 years younger, naturally!! It sounds like you have beautiful skin. Break outs around the jaw line can be a result of hormonal fluctuations. Your naturopath or a health practitioner that you trust may be able to recommend some natural herbs to help with that.

      Do you have a regular skin care routine? If you let me know the products you are using, I might be able to help. 🙂

    • Ellen says

      For the white pimples I wonder if it is caused by using fluoridated toothpaste? A friend of mine had that and her dermatologist said it was that (she has porcelain skin and is Irish, although not a redhead)!

  16. Molly says

    Really appreciate these suggestions! I’m someone with acne prone skin and although I love your products and stand by them, I still suffer from aggressive breakouts. I have a few theories but one has to do with makeup. I work an office job and need to look presentable, business casual every day, which means make up, all day. I’m assuming this clogs my pours and suffocates my skin to some degree and I’m wondering if there are make up lines that you recommend, which could minimize the issues I’m having?



    • admin says

      Hi Molly! I agree with you that your makeup might be what’s causing you problems. We recommend using a natural mineral powder as makeup. We can’t spill the beans just yet, but we might have something on the horizon. 😉

      Without knowing which products you’re using, I can’t give that specific of recommendations, but as someone with combination skin that is breakout prone, things like washing my pillow cases more frequently (and with a natural laundry detergent), drinking more water, and remembering to moisturize has really helped me ward off breakouts. A lot of people with break out prone skin think that they don’t need to moisturize, but it’s not the case!

      • Debido says

        Same here – when I cut out dairy, the acne went away! Amazing. Once slice of cheesecake – and I have a breakout! Wish I would have known that about 30 years ago!

    • Laurie says

      Molly if you eat dairy , milk , yogurt , cheese
      Try cutting them out 100% for a few months. When I stopped eating dairy my face started breaking out because it was cleaning out. Even scars peeled off. Pretty amazing. Learned it from JJ Virgin.com
      My skin is so smooth n clear now. Plus lost weight.

    • Robin says

      As nice as Annmarie’s products are, the peppermint oil in the Citrus Mint cleanser could be irritating your acne. I was having really bad flares when I started using her products because I had stopped Proactiv. Once the benzoyl peroxide detox was over, I saw no improvement, just more and more irritation. Once I stopped these products and switched to a really gentle cleanser (cerave) and moisturizer (arbonne calm) the burning itching and swelling began to subside. I’m still breaking out, but it’s not nearly as painful, and I’m investigating what products will actually be effective for preventing my breakouts.
      For more on peppermint oil: http://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/acne/_/acne-myths-1
      That said, Sun Love is a great product! I’ll be buying more of that.

    • Derek Henry says

      The state of your skin has as much to do with what you put inside your body as what you put on the outside. It is true that make-up and other toxic, pore clogging products can cause skin problems, but it is also true that certain foods that are not properly digested or create hormonal imbalances, will create break outs as well. There are many offenders, but the biggest culprits are gluten, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, pork, and excessive sugar. Combine a few of these things, like dairy and sugar, and the break out can get real aggressive. Keep in mind that stress levels are also a big factor in the condition of your skin.

    • Saskia says

      Hey Molly,
      I’m a Beauty Therapist so I may have some advice that can help.
      Usually when your breaking out less is more with your skin so try not to do too much to it as it will aggravate your skin more.

      When my skin went through an acne stage I literally just used coconut oil for everything to remove make up to cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize. just for a while anyway to give it a break. then I slowly went back to using professional products.

      also as for a make up brand that is good, mineral and full coverage you should give Jane Iredale a try.

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