Pop Quiz: Stop Sabotaging Your Skin

Looking your best is an important consideration for most people, and the options for skincare and beauty products are endless. However, you may be sabotaging your own efforts to look and feel your best by committing common skincare and beauty mistakes. Take our pop quiz on the most common beauty and skin missteps to make sure you’re always putting your best face forward.

1.) Which of the following should you be doing to help keep your smile white and your teeth protected?

  1. Don’t brush your teeth for at least an hour after drinking coffee. Brush before drinking coffee.
  2. Drink a sip of water after taking a drink of wine to protect your teeth from the drying effects of alcohol.
  3. See your dentist regularly for cleaning and checkups. 
  4. All of the above


2.) True or false? A broad-spectrum 30 SPF sunscreen to fight the damaging effects of Ultraviolet (UV) rays — which include both premature aging and skin cancers—is needed on sunny days only, but not days that are cloudy or cold.


3.) In which of the following ways does smoking affect your skin?

  1. It reduces blood flow to your skin, reducing oxygen and nutrients.
  2. It damages the collagen and elastin proteins that give your skin structure.
  3. It makes skin thin, dull, more wrinkled and less able to heal.
  4. All of the above


4.) Which types of foods are good for your skin?

  1. Foods high in sugar, like candy and desserts
  2. Foods high in refined carbs, like bread and pasta
  3. Vegetables, fruits and whole grains
  4. Proteins


5.) True or false? Rather than treat blemishes with a product containing 2.5% benzoyl peroxide or 2% salicylic acid, the best course of action is to attempt to pop zits and pimples.


6.) Which of the following ingredients should you NOT avoid in your skincare products?

  1. Alcohol
  2. Moisturizers
  3. Abrasive ingredients
  4. Perfumes and fragrances
  5. None of the above


7.) Which of the following is the best way to deal with dry, flakey skin?

  1. Exfoliating to slough away loose patches of skin
  2. Hydrating skin with fragrance-free lotions and creams containing moisturizers like glycerin, dimethicone, petrolatum, and butters like cocoa and shea
  3. Applying a product with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid
  4. None of the above


8.) What should your bedtime skincare look like?

  1. There is no need to do anything with your skin before going to bed.
  2. Clean the dirt, oil and pollution buildup that leads to inflammation and breakouts with a gentle cleanser with moisturizers like glycerin or botanical oils.
  3. Scrub with an exfoliant.
  4. Use many different types of astringents, cleansers, toners, serums and other skincare products.


9.) True or false? Dermatologists say the only skin essentials needed are a gentle cleanser, a moisturizer, and a broad-spectrum sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher; and that serums are pricey with unproven benefits, toners may lead to dry and irritated skin, and products with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can irritate skin.


10.) Which of the following is the best resource for concerns about your skin?

  1. A dermatologist
  2. Friends and family
  3. Skincare product websites
  4. Online advice


compiled by ERIKA ALDRICH / Information provided by WebMD



  1. D. All of the above. Coffee erodes the enamel of your teeth, which can be made worse by brushing immediately, and wine reduces saliva, which is needed to protect enamel. Seeing your dentist regularly is the best way to spot and stop problems.
  2. False. UV rays are still present on cloudy or cold days, so a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 is always needed.
  3. D. All of the above. Smoking has so many negative effects on your skin that the best option is to quit!
  4. C. Vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Simple carbs found in sugar and refined carbs like bread and pasta can speed up aging. Fruits and vegetables have antioxidants that slow aging.
  5. False. Popping blemishes leads to scarring and infection. Treat blemishes with a product containing 2.5% benzoyl peroxide or 2% salicylic acid.
  6. B. Moisturizers. All of the others should be avoided because they can dry out and irritate your skin.
  7. B. Hydrating skin. Exfoliating disrupts the barrier that balances moisture in the skin, and like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, can dry out and irritate your skin.
  8. B. Clean. You should clean your face with a gentle cleanser and apply a moisturizer before going to bed.
  9. True.
  10.  A. A dermatologist.

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