What to Read Next

Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Your Skin

May 17, 2012

It's our body's largest organ yet there is still so much we don't know about our skin! From preventing wrinkles to the benefits of facial massage, we went to anti-aging expert Dr. Aaron Tabor to get the scoop on 10 things you don't know about your skin-but should!

"Your skin reflects your overall health," Dr. Tabor says, "so the best thing to remember is to eat a healthy diet and avoid junk food, do not smoke, exercise regularly, and drink plenty of water. It is also important to read the ingredients on all skincare products and avoid any that contain "Glycols" or "PEGS," as they contain harmful chemicals."

Since May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, it's the perfect time to start thinking about preventing future damage to your outer layer. Read on for more of Dr. Tabor's tips!

1. Decode botanicals: Botanicals, or a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal or therapeutic properties, flavor, and/or scents, can be very useful in skincare products.

Decode botanicals
Decode botanicals

"Botanicals that contain beta-carotene can actually improve skin quality," Dr. Tabor says. "Keep in mind that products that contain botanicals should have a color or hue to them, as botanicals have a natural color. If the product you're using claims to have botanicals in it and it is white in color, you should ditch it. The only way skincare products can be white in color is through chemicals."

RELATED: Top Beauty Secrets from the People Who Know Best

Get a facial massage
Get a facial massage

2. Rub away the years: Massage is beneficial for more than just our backs. "A facial massage helps stimulate fibroblasts (or cells) in the skin to release collagen and restore elasticity that's lost as we age." Many facials offer massage techniques as part of the treatment.

You're never too young for anti-aging products.
You're never too young for anti-aging products.

3. You're never too young: Did you know that your skin is already aging by your early 20s? "Do not wait until you're over 40 years old to use advanced, super-strength products-start right now," Dr. Tabor says. "A 20 year old loses collagen in her face at the same rate as a 40 year old. By using full-strength products right away, you can help delay collagen loss and other signs of aging."

Hands first, face second!
Hands first, face second!

4. Hands first, face second: Think your makeup brush gets dirty? Our hands are carrying around billions of bacteria at any given time-that inevitably gets transferred onto our faces.

"Never put on makeup, use skincare products, or even touch your face until you have thoroughly washed your hands," Dr. Tabor says. "Bacteria are the number one culprit in skin breakouts and, despite what people think, most of the germs that reach your face do not come from the air-they come from your own two hands."

RELATED: 8 Bizarre Hollywood Beauty Secrets

Open your pores before you put on your products.
Open your pores before you put on your products.

5. Open pores are preferred: Closed pores means less absorption of product. "For maximum benefit, preface your nighttime skincare regimen by opening your pores. The best way to do this is to take a wash cloth or hand towel, soak it in hot water, and then let it rest on your face for a few moments," Dr. Tabor says. Then, apply your nighttime serums and moisturizers .

For more surprising skin tips, click here!

More on SHAPE:
7 Health Dangers Hiding in Your Closet
Must-Try Hair Trends for 2012
Stylish Workout Clothes that Make You Look Slimmer

Federal Stimulus: Mortage Payments Are Cut in Half

Don't make your next mortgage payment until you read this! If you're over 45 years old, you could save $4,000 a year. (It's not what you think!)

Military Mortgage Rates In 2016

Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Buying Medicare Supplement Plan F? Read This First

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

Kid sleep troubles email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track to learn how to handle kids who won’t go to sleep or won’t stay in bed.

An Overlooked Method To Pay Off Your Credit Card

If you're paying credit card interest, you could save hundreds or thousands of dollars by transferring your balance to this no-fee card.

Drivers With No Tickets In 3 Years Must Read This

United States drivers are surprised that they never knew this. If you drive less than 50 mi/day, you better read this...

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

Hurry, Don't Be Late For This Very Important Deal!

Get 4 Disney Movies For $1 With Membership. See Details. Exclusive Titles, Merchandise, Offers & Discounts. Plus, Free Shipping On Your Initial Order!

Compare rates. Save big.

We'll compare rates so you have more time for important things… like cats.

Do NOT pay your insurance until you try this.

If you drive less than 55 miles/day OR have no DUI's you can get auto insurance for as low as $29/ Month! See if you qualify.

Men: Tighter Looking Skin In One Easy Step

How older men tighten their skin and reduce the look of wrinkles without cosmetic procedures.