Years of experience and using various cosmetic products make each of us a true skincare expert. Over time, we learn what our skin likes and dislikes and know best which products to choose and how to use them. So, while it may be difficult to give general advice on skin care, beauticians and dermatologists warn that many still repeat several typical skincare mistakes.
We’re sometimes aware of these mistakes but still make them, like using expired products or not removing makeup before bed. Other times, we’re making them without even realizing it. In this article, we’ll talk about the latter so that you can start paying attention and eliminate them to improve the health and appearance of your skin.
So, here’s a rundown of the most common mistakes to avoid and skincare tips to follow instead:
## Over-Cleansing or Not Cleansing Enough
Using harsh face cleansers and frequently cleansing your skin can strip it of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. This is because the skin has a protective barrier that helps to keep it moisturized and healthy. When you over-cleanse your skin, you can disrupt this barrier, leading to dryness, flakiness, and sensitivity. Over-cleansing can also lead to an overproduction of oils, resulting in clogged pores, blackheads, and acne.
Just like over-cleansing your skin is bad, not cleansing it well enough can also lead to a wide array of skin woes. It can lead to a build-up of impurities, oils, and bacteria, again causing clogged pores and breakouts.
So, it’s essential to cleanse your skin properly, but not to overdo it. It’s generally recommended to cleanse your skin twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Use a gentle, non-irritating cleanser that is appropriate for your skin type, and avoid using hot water, as this can also damage your skin’s natural moisture barrier. After cleansing, make sure to follow up with a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and healthy.
## Using Too Many Products at Once
Layering a large number of products at once is another common skincare mistake we make in our desire to achieve specific skincare goals as soon as possible. However, burying your face with layers and layers of products can be too much for your skin to handle.
The problem gets worse if several products you apply at once contain active ingredients like AHAs, retinoids, and the like. This is because some of these actives don’t play well together, potentially causing dryness, flakiness, irritation, or other adverse reactions.
So, it would be best to start with a basic skincare routine and gradually add in new products as needed. This will allow your skin to adjust to the new products and give you a better idea of how it reacts to them. Also, remember that it’s not always necessary to have a 10-step skincare routine but to determine the ideal routine for your specific needs.
This skincare mistake goes hand in hand with the first two. Exfoliating has a great many benefits – it removes dead skin cells and unclogs pores, which can improve the skin’s texture and tone as well as prevent breakouts and blackheads. Exfoliating can also help to enhance the effectiveness of other skincare products by allowing them to penetrate the skin better.
But, overdoing it by using strong exfoliating products containing a high percentage of AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids), using harsh physical scrubs, as well as exfoliating too frequently can be counterproductive.
Over-exfoliating the skin can cause irritation, redness, and dryness, leading to a weakened skin barrier and increased sensitivity. So, try to exfoliate your skin only once or twice a week, and use a gentle, non-abrasive exfoliator.
## Skipping Sunscreen
Many people make the mistake of not using sunscreen daily, which can lead to sun damage, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. And when we say ‘daily,’ we mean every day throughout the year, even in winter and cloudy days.
Why? Well, the damaging sun rays, especially UVA rays, are present year-round, no matter the weather. These rays won’t cause instant, visible skin damage, like sunburn, but will have an accumulative effect, causing severe damage later down the road.
Therefore, make sure to use broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day, summer or winter, and reapply it every two hours. And don’t forget to apply it to your ears, neck, back of your hands, or any other body part that’s usually exposed to sunlight.
## Doing a Nighttime Routine Right Before Going to Bed
When we sleep, our skin works full force, repairing and regenerating itself. The blood flow to the skin increases, and the body produces more collagen, a protein that helps to keep the skin looking plump and youthful.
During sleep, the skin is also able to absorb skincare products more efficiently, making it an excellent time to apply moisturizers and other treatments. However, applying your nighttime skincare routine isn’t without a catch, and there is such a thing as the wrong time to apply it.
Many have the wrong idea about the ideal time when the evening routine is applied, i.e., they do it right before going to bed. If the products are applied just before going to bed, there won’t be enough time for your skin to absorb them. And, so, instead of them working their magic overnight in your skin, they end up on your pillowcase and bed sheets.
This way, not only their skincare effects will be disturbed. The products rubbed into the bedding will favor the development of bacteria, leading to skin irritation and acne.
It may sound like too much, but ideally, the nighttime routine should be done an hour (or 45 minutes) before going to bed so that the products can really work into the skin.
It may seem complicated, but a proper skincare routine is pretty straightforward. Because, as we can see, most skincare mistakes consist of excessive or incorrect application of products. If you spend a lot of time on skincare and want to try every possible product out there, you’re likely making at least one of these mistakes.
But you can easily avoid these mistakes by following our tips and being patient with your skin. Remember that good things always take time and that no product can do miracles overnight.