18 Skincare Tips to Fix the Mistakes You're MakingChristine Mikesell
As great as I am with my skincare routine, there are always things to improve upon. There are so many skincare mistakes a lot of us make without even realizing it. If you follow these skincare tips and tricks, it might help make your skin healthier, and healthy skin is glowy skin. I like glowy skin!
Skincare Tips 1 of 19
Here are some great skincare tips to help your skin stay healthy! Some of these are probably things you didn't even realize you're doing wrong.
Mistake: You don’t wear sunscreen every day 2 of 19
You might think that you're protecting your skin when you apply sunscreen during your trips to the beach or a football game, but that isn't enough. Since UVA rays are able to penetrate glass, you're being exposed to the sun in your car, through the windows of your home, and at work. Recently, researchers in Australia found that those who wore sunscreen daily had less aging than those that applied sporadically.
Mistake: You pick at your pimples 3 of 19
This may actually be the hardest skincare advice to follow. Backing away from the magnifying mirror might be a bit easier when you realize that squeezing your pimple can not only spread infection (not everything comes out; some might go sideways under your skin due to the increased pressure of the squeeze), but irritation afterwards can also cause more redness, and there can be hyperpigmentation that you won't be able to fade except with time. I didn't even mention that a picked-at area is often much harder to hide with makeup than a blemish you've left alone.
Mistake: You’re not using a retinoid 4 of 19
There are a lot of great anti-aging products out there, many with active ingredients such as peptides, anti-oxidants, and super moisturizers like hyaluronic acid. Unfortunately, studies have shown that those over-the-counter anti-aging products can only help to prevent or minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Only retinoids have been found to actually reverse their appearance. Adding in a second nighttime product, while still using your nightly anti-aging cream, allows you to get the best of both worlds. You'll still get the preventative benefits of your cream, but can use the retinoid as tolerated.
Mistake: You’re not protecting against the full UV spectrum 5 of 19
Even with the FDA's recent change in sunscreen labeling guidelines, you cannot rely on a product's claim of broad spectrum coverage. As the guideline is written, a sunscreen can protect against UVB and UVA I waves, but not UVA II waves, and still be labeled as broad spectrum. It is best to read the ingredient labels yourself and choose a sunscreen that protects against all three wavelengths.
Mistake: You only apply sunscreen once 6 of 19
If you're out in the sun all day, you need to reapply your sunscreen to help it last. Chemical sunscreens are slowly inactivated by the sun (it is part of how they protect your skin, not a flaw in the design), and physical sunscreens are more apt to melt in the sun, leaving behind patchy areas of protection. It is recommended that you reapply every 2 hours while in the sun, or immediately after water exposure. Here's how I reapply sunscreen while wearing makeup.
Mistake: You keep forgetting to exfoliate 7 of 19
Simply washing your face twice a day isn't enough. You should also be exfoliating your skin once a week, or doing very gentle exfoliation daily. Proper exfoliation will help to remove dead skin cells and stimulate the skin to turnover.
You can try chemical exfoliation with a AHA or BHA product if it is gentle and your skin is able to tolerate the product. Physical exfoliation is a great alternative. Look for a scrub with small, round, and evenly shaped grit. Using a Clarisonic to wash your face will also gently exfoliate skin, as will a rough wash cloth.
Mistake: You overtreat everything 8 of 19
Often a spot treatment is all you need, whether for a blemish or areas of hyperpigmentation. You can irritate the rest of your (healthy) skin by exposing it to harsh treatments that it doesn't need! Concentrate treatments just in the area that you're actually treating, and back off if you're causing any irritation.
Mistake: You’re not using an actual SPF lotion 9 of 19
Relying on your makeup for sun protection sounds like a good idea, until you realize just how much of that product you'll need to apply to get the advertised SPF. Sunscreen is tested at 2 mg/cm2 of skin surface, which means you'll need a very large amount of foundation or powder to reach that level of protection! For a powder, you would need about 1.2 grams of the product, which is usually most of a container. In addition, you probably don't apply foundation to your entire face, neck, and ears.
It's best to rely on a light SPF lotion or a separate sunscreen product for your daily UV protection. For the average face, you'll need about a teaspoon to get appropriate protection.
Mistake: You sleep in your makeup 10 of 19
I'm sure by now we've all heard the one about the woman who didn't wash her face for 30 days? In a month's time, her dermatologist estimated she'd aged by about 10 years. Cleaning off your makeup before bed removes products that can clog pores, removes dirt and pollutants from your skin (some of which are damaging), and then allows you to have a clean slate to apply your nightly skincare.
Mistake: You don’t have a separate eye cream 11 of 19
If you're skipping a separate eye cream, you're missing out on a perfect opportunity to really treat the individual needs of your skin. Dr. Cynthia Bailey, a dermatologist in Sebastapol, California, says, "The eye area is one of the first places on the face to show the signs of aging. Plus, eye area skin is very thin and so will absorb more of the active ingredients in skin care products." Dr. Bailey's favorite eye cream ingredients include sodium hyaluronate, glycerin, anti-oxidants, caffeine, vitamin K, arnica, and dimethicone.
Mistake: You’re being too slow with moisturizer 12 of 19
After you step out of the shower or wash your face, a clock is ticking. Your skin is losing the moisture that you've just infused while washing. Most dermatologists recommend applying your moisturizer within 3 minutes to help seal in that extra hydration, whether that means on your face or your body.
Mistake: Your showers are way too hot 13 of 19
Chances are, your shower is much too hot. Turning down the heat on your water heater will decrease transepidermal water loss, which is a fancy way of saying that too hot means you're losing hydration. Cooler and faster showers and face washing will help keep your skin hydrated.
Mistake: You wash your face before your hair 14 of 19
Not everyone feels the need to wash their face in the morning, though you should! Overnight, your face does collect sebum, dust, and other pollutants that are better off not on your skin. When you wash your face in the morning, make sure that it is after you wash your hair. Shampoo and conditioner are formulated for your hair, not your skin. This means that they might be leaving behind product that can irritate your skin or clog pores.
Mistake: You don’t give products enough time to work 15 of 19
Most new skincare routines take 4-6 weeks before you'll really start to see the effect of the products, instead of your skin reacting to a change. It is best to simply write down when you started and then change out a different product every 4-6 weeks, allowing your skin to adjust to the new routine.
Mistake: You apply skincare in the wrong order 16 of 19
As strange as it sounds, there really is a correct order to apply your skincare. Typically, you should start with lightweight products, working your way toward heavier and more occlusive products.
Mistake: You splash water on your face to remove cleanser 17 of 19
We've all done it, but we shouldn't be following the example of commercials when we go to rinse our faces. A splash of water is not enough to clean off any cleanser or other residue on your skin. You should be using something with more friction, such as a washcloth, to ensure you have completely rinsed your face.
Mistake: You’re overdoing it with your skincare 18 of 19
"No Pain, No Gain" may have been Jane Fonda's mantra, but that should not be your goal when it comes to your skincare. Perhaps the most common example of this is using products that are too harsh, too frequently. A retinoid cream should not sting your skin, and you shouldn't turn red and flaky from your skincare. All of that irritation and inflammation is actually undoing any good you may have done with the products — it's actually aging you.
If your skincare is irritating your skin, it's time to switch to something a bit gentler or back off on frequency. You can still get the benefits of a retinoid by using it every other night or even every third night.
Mistake: You don’t get enough sleep 19 of 19
The old wives' tale about a good night of sleep isn't so crazy it turns out! Your skin does renew itself primarily at night while you're asleep. Spend some time with less sleep, and you'll notice that your complexion suffers!