How long have you been following your current skin care routine? How do you feel about it?
If you’re happy with how your skin looks, you’re probably feeling pretty good. But if you’re not happy, it could be that you’re making some mistakes that you’re not even aware of.
Below are seven of the most common skin-care mistakes people make when trying to create their best appearance.
1. You start out by cleansing incorrectly.
Cleansing is typically the first step in your skin care routine, and if you don’t get it right, it will be hard for your skin to recover. The most common mistake is using a cleanser that is too rough or too drying. If your skin feels tight or dry after cleansing, this could be your problem.
Take a look at your cleansing product. If it contains ingredients like sodium lauryl (or laureth) sulfate, alcohols, preservatives, and fragrances, look for a gentler version that includes some natural oils (like shea oil or castor oil for normal to dry skin, or a small amount of tea tree oil for oily skin), and coconut-derived surfactants.
2. You don’t always wash before bed.
Though cleansing is important in the morning, it’s even more important before bed. If you don’t cleanse off all the dirt, debris, microorganisms, makeup, and other elements that have accumulated on your face before retiring, they will seep into your pores overnight, leading to more problems the next day.
If you have oily skin and you’re fighting acne breakouts, you can cleanse up to three times per day, as long as your cleanser isn’t drying.
3. You don’t listen to your skin.
Everyone’s skin is different, and what works for your friends may not work for you. It’s about skin type, but it’s also about lifestyle, diet, and environment. Pay more attention to how your skin feels before, during, and after your skin care routine. Is it red, inflamed, and irritated? Tight and dry? Dull with clogged pores? If you look closely and allow yourself to really feel what’s going on, you can get the information you need to choose the best products for you.
Bottom line: If your skin doesn’t look it’s best, something is wrong with your routine. Put on your detective hat and start experimenting until you find out what it is and how to fix it.
4. You use too many products.
It’s easy to make this mistake these days, as there are so many different types of skin care products out there. It can be confusing to figure out what your skin needs and what it doesn’t. Do you need an anti-aging serum and an anti-wrinkle product? Should you cleanse and tone? Should you have one or more night creams?
Again, your skin will tell you if you’re overdoing it. Acne breakouts are a big clue that you may be using too many products. If you’re skin acts like it has constant mood swings, changing condition from day to day, that could be a sign of an overloaded skin care routine, too.
The basics are cleansing, toning, and moisturizing, so start there. Then add in an anti-aging serum (before your moisturizer) at night to help control the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If you want to add a retinol product, try alternating between that and the serum every other night.
If you want to try a new version of a product you already have, replace it instead of adding on. Two moisturizers are not necessarily better than one. Then watch your skin to see how it reacts.
5. You’re too aggressive.
If you have hyperpigmentation or acne breakouts, they may compel you to get aggressive in your skin care routine. You may be using harsh acne or exfoliating products that may aggravate rather than heal your skin.
Remember to always be gentle. You want your skin to enjoy optimal health, which requires a nice balance of exfoliation, cleansing, and moisturizing. If your routine isn’t working, particularly if you’re noticing inflammation and redness, back off a little bit. Exfoliate less frequently, use a gentler product (avoid harsh scrubs), and switch from traditional acne products to those with natural oils that will help balance the oils on your skin.
6. You don’t exfoliate enough.
As we age, skin cell turnover slows down. That can contribute to a dull, lackluster appearance, as well as clogged pores and lack of radiance. If you notice these problems, it could be that you’re not exfoliating often enough, or that your exfoliating product isn’t doing the job.
Exfoliation unclogs pores, brightens appearance, increases smoothness, makes fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable, and helps fade hyperpigmentation. Look for a product with clay in it, sugar, or natural fruit acids that will help encourage cell turnover and give your skin a more radiant look.
7. You don’t pay attention to your diet.
Remember that the skin is an organ, and it is nourished by what you eat just like the rest of your organs are. If you’re chowing down on sweets and fast food, it’s likely to show up on your face. Choose instead water-rich fruits and veggies, healthy proteins, and fiber. Think of your diet as being a part of your skin care routine, as it really is!
What mistakes are you making in your skin care routine?