Your skin is more than just a beautiful wrapping for precious cargo. It is your largest organ and, as such, it handles a myriad of life-sustaining activities. Protecting and nurturing your dermal layers will not only keep you looking your best, but it will also enhance your overall health. And you are worth it.

As you embark on the quest for healthier skin, here are five foes you need to avoid.

1. Being an Amateur Dermatologist

Sure, that unsightly blemish may be staring at you in the mirror, tauntingly chanting, “Pop me. I dare you.” But, no matter how unattractive your white-headed friend may be, resist the temptation to squeeze, pick, or take any other action to extract it yourself. After all, you are not a trained dermatologist, and you do not want to create an even bigger problem.

In fact, dermatologist, Dr. Rachel Nazarian, tells Marie Claire that the more you press and manipulate a blemish, the more inflamed it becomes underneath, which can result in scars and discolorations–some if which can last forever. Yikes. It is far better to live with a temporary zit than a permanent disfigurement.

2. Worshiping the Sun

If you are aiming for skin like a geriatric crocodile, basking in the sun without sunscreen is the fastest way to achieve this look. If, however, you prefer your skin smooth and supple, always apply a broad spectrum sunscreen before heading outside. As “5 Worst Things for Your Skin” warns, the sun is the number one environmental cause of premature aging. And no one wants to prematurely age.

3. Forging the Wrong Expression Lines

Unless you are planning to undergo drastic plastic surgery, wrinkles will eventually find you. The more important question to ask yourself is “How will you wrinkle?”

If you spend a disproportionately large amount of your time donning a dour expression, you will, unfortunately, have to sport frown lines when you are older. And nothing is worse than wearing a permanently sour face. To better avoid acquiring a nasty set of frown lines, Good Housekeeping recommends staying away from scrunching the face or pouting as these can cause permanent wrinkles.

Maintaining a cheery expression, however, will lead to smile lines in your senior years. And a smile is beautiful.

4. Being a Guinea Pig

Your skin does not like being a test subject. If you are an early adopter of cosmetics and thrive on trying the newest products, try applying it to a test area on your arm instead of on your face.

Using too many products at the same time can also be problematic, resulting in irritation, dry patches, or unsightly blemishes. And guard against the overuse of peels, masks, and exfoliating products.

Bryan Barron, research and content director for, tells Elle that using products that are packaged in jars can also be problematic as the constant exposure to light and air breaks them down. Using a product that comes in a tube will prevent deterioration.

5. Becoming a “Sleeping Beauty.”

Going to bed without, first, removing your makeup is a big no-no. Not only will it leave crimson lip prints and mascara smears on your pristine bedding, but it can transform your perfect complexion into a colony of unsightly blackheads and visible-from-space pimples.

Dr. Neil Sadick, a New York City dermatologist, tells Health that environmental toxins such as dirt and pollution build up on your skin, invade your pores, and cause complexion problems. Using a good cleanser will not only improve your skin’s appearance but surely, you will also sleep better knowing that the filth of the day is no longer smeared across your face. (Insert retching noise).

You only have one face and it has to last you a lifetime. By taking good care of your skin and avoiding a few harmful bad habits, you can maintain your youthful glow and ensure that you always put your best face forward.

What’s your secret to a youthful and clear complexion?