Whether it's just a basic wash or a 7-step glass skin program, we all have a skin care routine. We do so, knowing our skin, like other parts of the body, is vital and needs to be cared for!
Whatever our reasons are for our routine — whether we want to get rid of acne, keep aging skin at bay, or revive dull skin — we will surely benefit from having good skin habits and avoiding skin care mistakes.
And while we all have the best intentions at heart, when it comes to applying products to our skin, we sometimes do more harm than good — without even realizing it!
Read on for the 6 most common skin care mistakes you might be doing and how to fix them. So we can prevent unnecessary damage and premature aging.
1. Not Using Products Designed For Your Skin
We've all been in this situation. Day after day, you try your hardest to be as consistent as possible in applying your routine. Face wash. some serums, moisturizer and sunscreen.
Though you've been so dedicated for so long, it seems like no improvements can be seen on your skin. You try and wrack your brain, research until your eyes get tired, just to know what you may be doing wrong. And as we all know, this situation can get so frustrating.
One reason for this might be that the products you are using aren't designed for your skin's needs — which is a skin care mistake. Gather your products and contemplate whether they are genuinely made to address your skin type.
If your product says, "For all skin types," you should proceed with a little more caution. The phrase your mileage may vary ideally captures the attitude we need to have when it comes to products. Individually, we have such different needs when it comes to our skin. Categorizing skin into types, though not nearly enough to tackle all skin conditions, is the closest we have to address skin concerns universally.
Every skin type has its unique needs, and there is no such thing as a "one product fits all." For example, if you have oily skin, you should be looking for a foaming or gel cleanser and not a cream cleanser. If your skin tends to be dry, lotion-based moisturizers won't be the best for you.
The remedy is to know your skin type and then choose products that match the unique needs of your skin. To determine your skin type, you check this funny video I found for you.
In this video, a dermatologist explains how to do just that:
2. Relying On Makeup Remover Wipes
Some situations compel us to use makeup remover wipes. Say, for example, when sleeping over at a friend's house or needing to pack lightly for a trip. Remover wipes are quick and convenient to use for getting rid of our makeup. But relying entirely on wet wipes to remove your makeup is one of the skin care mistakes. These wipes are not enough to cleanse your skin correctly.
Wet wipes contain cleansing agents, known as surfactants, and substances that break down makeup. But besides makeup, you also need to remove the layer of bacteria that wipes leave behind. Surfactants were not made to stay long on the skin. When they do remain on our skin for quite some time, surfactants can cause irritation and damage to the skin. So it is a must that we properly cleanse.
If you aren't a big fan of store-bought cleansers, you can make your makeup remover. This makeup remover can be as simple as mixing equal parts of rose water and jojoba oil (or other base oil of your choice) in an amber glass bottle.
My eyes are very sensitive, so instead of a makeup remover, I use emulsifying cleansing balm. It takes mascara off effortlessly and rinses off completely.
3. Washing Your Face with Bar Soap
Choosing to use bar soap as a face washer, regardless of its price tag, is a skin care mistake because you immediately leave your skin feeling dry. You might think that the squeaky feeling bar soaps leave your skin is a positive thing. But in reality, this squeaky feeling means that your skin has been stripped of its natural oils — which leaves your face feeling dry. The dryness will then make you have to put a thick coat of moisturizer on quickly.
Though that might help alleviate the dryness, the skin still needs to replace the natural oils it has been stripped off, which can potentially lead your skin to overproduce oil. Also, using thicker coats of moisturizer will likely result in clogged pores and product wastage because your skin can only absorb so much.
Another undesirable thing bar soaps cause is dead skin cell build-up. You definitely don't want that. This build-up happens because of the binders that hold a bar of soap together. Binders make up about 20-50% of soap ingredients. These binders have a high pH balance, making it too drying for most skin types. Plus, the build-up of dead skin on our face can act as a hindrance to the products we want to enter and transform our skin.
So bar soaps are clearly a no-go. Instead, look for mild, sulfate-free cleansers. Or even better — make your own. How?If you want me to share my favorite DIY face wash recipe, leave a comment below! You can also check out my post on a recipe for a facial wash with essential oils.
4. Exfoliating Too Often and/or Too Harshly
Years of battling acne can leave our skin marked with scars — stubborn scars that won't seem to go away. Along with this, we can develop textured skin and can even have a few wrinkles cropping up here and there. A marketed solution to this is to exfoliate.
However, in pursuit of clear, even, and wrinkle-free skin, people can commit one of the skin care mistakes: exfoliating too often and/or too harshly.
Aggressive exfoliating treatments are injuring to the skin. Do this too often, and you are leading your skin to destruction. Even if you have a more gentle exfoliation routine, doing it too often will only lead to tears and frustration.
Over-exfoliation can cause flaking and dehydration, and possible inflammation to your skin. Not only that, but over-exfoliation can also compromise your epidermal skin barrier. And oh, boy! We do not want to damage this barrier because here are its responsibilities to our skin:
- maintaining water content and balance (keeping our skin naturally hydrated);
- preventing and responding to invasion by microbial organisms and antigens (fighting irritation makers and acne-causers);
- reducing effects of ultraviolet (UV) light exposure (protecting our skin from sun-related premature aging); and,
- weakening the effects of oxidative stresses (acting as our antioxidant barrier).
Would you really want to risk all those functions over going a little overboard with exfoliation?
Exfoliating is a useful tool for promoting faster skin cell turnover. So I believe it to be essential and that our skin does need a hand when it comes to shedding dead skin cells. On that note, I always recommend using good quality chemical exfoliators made with AHA and/or BHA acids. However, if used too often or too harshly, even chemical exfoliators can cause skin problems and destroy healthy cells. So be sure to only exfoliate a max of 2 times a week and just ones if you have dryer skin.
Also, exfoliation is related to the renewal process of the skin, which itself is vital for the lymph function. Another way to help your lymph system work better is a face massage, using tools like gua shas, rollers, or kansa wands.
5. Using Alcohol-based Toner
After cleansing, the next skin care routine step is using toners. Skin toners are thin, liquidy products that are available in different types. They can be ph balancing, pore-shrinking, cleansing, or hydrating.
Toners are not an essential step in a skin care routine. If you double cleanse, and also use a proper cleanser that cleanses without stripping the skin, your skin needs no toner.
However, you can find toners that do much more than wiping up the remains of debris and makeup from the face. Those toners with special purposes like hydrating, exfoliating, pore-minimizing, etc.
One skin care mistake you might be doing is using a toner that is loaded with alcohol. Ethyl alcohol, ethanol, or denatured alcohol is what we will often find in alcohol-loaded toners. A small amount of this alcohol is useful for preserving products and helping in skin absorption. However, toners that use alcohol usually have them in large quantities that can be damaging to the skin. Alcohol is a common culprit for irritating and dehydrating the skin.
What you should look for are alcohol-free toners. These toners will not dry your skin but rather help reach your goals.
An important detail is that you should apply your toner on damp skin. Doing so will result in the ingredients of your serum and moisturizer sinking deeper in the skin.
6. Not Wearing Sunscreen Daily
Among all the steps and products in a skin care routine, nothing can beat the anti-aging protection that sunscreen gives. The number one culprit for premature skin aging is the sun's harmful UV rays. So even if you are loading up your skin with the best serums in the world, those will all be meaningless to fend off wrinkles if you don't wear sunscreen!
That is why I wanted to finish this list of skin care mistakes with not wearing sunscreen — regardless of the weather and the season. Oh, it's cloudy! I guess I can skip sunscreen for today—wrong!
Even when it's cloudy and summer days are over, you have to protect your skin. A massive amount of the sun's harmful rays come from incidental exposure. Sometimes when driving the car, sitting in your home or office near windows, you might think you aren't getting the damaging rays — but you are!
So if you want to prevent wrinkles and generally keep your skin healthy, wearing sunscreen all year-round, inside or out, rain or shine is a must. You are simply doing your skin a disservice by not wearing sunscreen.
It's all about the right decisions.
We all make skin care mistakes, and that's normal. We're only human, after all. However, some errors could be worse than others when it comes to the health of your skin. We should do our best and not repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
Take the best decisions for your skin and overall health. Small changes can bring considerable benefits in the long run!
Are there other skin care mistakes that you've done or have seen other people do? Share in the comments down below! Let's help each other in achieving our skin goals.
Thank you very much for reading this post, and I hope it was helpful!
Stay tuned and take care