So you’re a skincare enthusiast? Or a skincare newbie trying to get the hang of things? Or someone who doesn’t even remember the last time they used a cleanser, not soap, to wash their face? Today’s list is for everyone who might have or are still committing some grave skincare skins. Take these skincare mistakes as a guide to make sure you treat your skin in the best way possible. Because these mistakes might be the reason that’s keeping you away from achieving the flawless skin you always dreamt of!
1. Not Cleaning Your Face Twice A Day
We all know over-cleansing your face might irritate your skin and dry it out. But that doesn’t mean you just stop cleansing it. It is mandatory to wash your face twice a day – morning and night.
Nighttime Cleansing Routine: Double cleanse to take off all the dirt, oil and makeup. Firstly cleanse with a makeup remover/ cleansing oil/ micellar water and then final cleanse with a gentle cleanser like Sebamed Cleansing Foam or By Wishtrend Acid-Duo Cleanser.
Morning Cleansing Routine: You might think you don’t need to cleanse your face in the morning since you were inside… sleeping. But what about dead skin cells? Oils? Residual of the skincare products you used at night? You can either use micellar water or a gentle cleanser to cleanse your face and go on with the rest of your skincare and most importantly, a sunscreen.
2. Not Wearing Sunscreen
So you’re a simple person who doesn’t pay much attention to their skin and never wear sunscreen? What if I say that this habit can increase the risk of skin cancer? Not applying sunscreen is one of the most harmful skincare mistakes that could ruin your skin’s health. Sunscreen is the most important step in a skincare routine, irrespective of your gender, age or skin colour. 80-90% cases of premature skin ageing and skin cancer are caused due to the unprotected exposure of UV rays. It is necessary to apply sunscreen on all the exposed body parts before you step out in the sun. A lot of skin problems like hyperpigmentation, acne, fine lines and wrinkles can be reduced by regular use of SPF. How much to use? What to look for while buying a sunscreen? This post is where I break down everything you should know about sunscreens.
3. Physical Exfoliator (Scrubs!!)
Physical exfoliators aren’t an absolute No-No but be careful with what you’re using. Cleansing brush like Clarisonic, a muslin washcloth or even finely ground oats are some good physical exfoliants. But harsh scrubs, like the infamous St. Ives Apricot scrub, that have gritty particles can cause micro-tears on your skin. These tears would in turn increase skin problems like acne and fine lines. So steer clear of such scrubs. Switch to chemical exfoliation with products like The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid if you have sensitive skin, it’s gentler and more effective. Or you could opt for The Ordinary Salicylic Acid if you’re struggling with acne and blackheads.
4. Having a High Sugar Diet
Ah, I’m using the best skincare products in the world but no matter what I do I’m still not able to get that flawless skin! Does this ring a bell? Is this something you can relate to? Then you need to check what you’re eating. Sugar affects the production of the proteins and amino acids that build up collagen and elasticity. It also creates more testosterone that makes skin oilier and your pores larger. So cut down on processed sugar, excess caffeine and toxic habits like smoking and alcohol for your skin and body’s health. As the genius, Dr. Brandt said that giving up sugar could make you look younger by ten years.
Unhealthy diet and lifestyle are the biggest skincare mistakes we’re committing intentionally.
5. Not Washing the Pillowcase Frequently
Even if you’re a clean person who takes a regular shower, washes their hair and cleanses face before going to sleep, you will not notice a major difference if you use the same pillow cover for weeks. It’s advisable to wash the pillowcase every 4-5 days to get rid of oils, dust and dead skin cells. If you have acne-prone skin, it becomes even more important for you to change your pillow cover.
6. Not Separating Body and Face Towel
One of the best skincare practises that I included in my routine last year was having a separate towel for both body and face. I use a small hand towel for my face as it’s easier for me to wash it frequently. Just like the pillow cover, the towel touches your face frequently and it’s important to keep them clean from bacteria and dirt. Since I use a very small towel for my face, I wash it every 2 days and it’s not even a lot of work. Bringing basic changes like cleaning your towel or pillow covers can really help in improving acne-prone skin.
7. Using Hot Water
While a hot shower feels relaxing after a hectic day at work, it is not very good for your skin. Hot water strips your skin of all natural oils and makes it dry. Instead, go for lukewarm or cool water the next time you wash your face. This would ensure that your face gets cleaned without disturbing skin’s natural hydrating oils.
8. Blindly Following the Trend
Buying every latest product released in the market might not just harm your pocket but also your skin. Before buying something, ask yourself if your skin NEEDS it! Before following the 10-step K-Beauty Routine on your oily skin while living in a humid place, ask whether your skin can take it? Or would you be fine with a basic skincare regimen that targets your problem areas? Don’t overwhelm your skin with too many products.
9. Blindly Following Skincare DIYs
One of the most common skincare mistakes we all make – DIYs! While DIYs or Do-It-Yourself recipes are a great way to save some money on skincare products, don’t trust them blindly. The first thing to know about your skin is its ideal pH which is 5.5 and it can range from 4.5 to 6 in different cases. A lot of internet DIYs suggest you use ingredients like lemon whose pH is 2!! You will be doing more harm to your skin if you continue to follow such DIYs.
Here’s a small DIY e-book I created that has a solution to all major skin issues. I checked the pH of those ingredients just to make sure I don’t suggest something that might cause damage. They’re all tried and tested by me and I can vouch on their efficacy. Please note, DIYs can only solve minor skin problems and are a great way to maintain healthy skin.
10. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Out of the 2-3 skincare mistakes I commit, I am super guilty of this one! Often times I sleep very late and wake up with skin full of small bumps, eye bags and dark circles. No undereye serum would remove your dark circles if you sleep at 3 am. No miraculous cream would make your skin flawless if you don’t follow a basic healthy lifestyle. You can use all the salicylic acid you want to but it won’t be able to take care of those bumps that you get because of sleeping for 3 hours. (The last note was for me) Sleep in time and you’ll be a step closer to non-disastrous skin.
11. Using Too Much or Too Less
Quantity is important. Period. Don’t use a pea-sized amount when it comes to sunscreen because you need to apply it as generously as you can to protect your skin. But overexfoliating might disrupt your acid mantle. And no please don’t layer acid toners, that’s a bit too much. Yes, the new launches everyday can overwhelm you but you don’t need them all. And you surely don’t need to use them all AT ONCE! Good thing you want to focus on your skin and buying retinol, Vitamin C and AHAs seemed to be a nice idea, especially when they were on sale. But don’t use them in the same routine. Your skin doesn’t need that and you’ll end up doing more harm than good.
12. Over-Exfoliating Your Skin
Congratulations on finally getting on board with exfoliation and deciding that your face needs to get rid of dead skin cells. But is that all? How much is too much? If you exfoliate too frequently, you risk damaging the skin barrier which helps protect your skin from harsh elements and holds in moisture, preventing your skin from drying out. This is one of the lesser-known skincare mistakes because people don’t realise what went wrong. All they see are the results like excessive dryness, irritation, redness, bumps and sensitivity. So you’re better off with exfoliating twice to thrice a week and that includes both physical as well as chemical exfoliation.
13. Rubbing the Products Harshly Into the Skin
I see people going way too rough on their skin by rubbing it while cleansing or even applying moisturiser thinking they’re some self-certified masseuse. This damages your skin! The best way to go about it is to maintain negligible pressure while using the products and focus on spreading instead of “massaging” them in.
14. Constantly Touching Your Face
If you do all the things right, your skin will be baby soft and gorgeous. You would want to keep touching it to feel the smoothness. But should you? Your hands harbour bacteria and constantly touching your face transfer those to your face which can trigger acne and worsen them. So leave your face alone and only bring your clean, just washed hands closer to them while doing your skincare.
15. Layering Your Skincare the Wrong Way
In order to make sure, you get the maximum benefits out of your elaborate or not-so-elaborate skincare routine, it’s important to layer them in the right order. Imagine applying your face oil and then go with a toner or a moisturiser first followed by toner? Some products in your skincare like moisturisers or oils form a barrier on the skin which won’t allow the active ingredients from an eye cream or a chemical exfoliant to penetrate. That way you won’t be able to enjoy the full potential of those products.
Then how to layer them? The basic rule is to go from thinnest to thickest consistency. Start with cleansing, then mask or exfoliate. Then go with a toner, essence, serum, eye cream and lastly moisturiser. If you use a face oil then use it in the last step and if it’s day time your sunscreen should be the last step.
If you’ve come this far, you deserve a reward. So here’s a bonus skincare tip for you:
Whenever you buy new skincare products, introduce one product in your routine at a time. In case, your skin is allergic to any ingredient, it’d be easier for you to determine the culprit and keep that away.
AND drink water for heaven’s sake!
How many skincare mistakes are you guilty of? Let me know in the comments below! I’m guilty of around three right now but I’ve probably committed around 10-12 in the past. Well, we’re all sinners.