Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and protecting and caring for it is about more than just looking wrinkle free, blemish free and pore-less — it’s about being healthy.
Sure, we’re out there always finding the latest and greatest face masks and serums, but it’s not always about the products you’re using, it’s also how you’re using them, along with the habits surrounding how you care for your skin.
Here are a few skincare mistakes most people make without realizing it (including myself!)
Skincare Mistake #1 – You’re Not Cleansing Properly
This one might seem a little obvious, but it’s important to properly cleanse your skin. And these days, with the stay-all-day foundations, crease proof eyeshadows, and smudge proof eyeliners, you’re going to need a little more than your basic cleanser to cut it.
With the types of makeup we use, added to airborne bacteria and pollution that gets layered on the skin throughout the day, a deep cleanse is has never been more essential. And that’s reason the idea of the 2-step cleanse has become so popular these days.
The 2-step cleanse method hinges on the science-backed principle that the oil-based cleanser will remove excess oil and oil-based product residue and break down any makeup, and the water-based cleanser will get rid of any pore-clogging dirt that remains, to get your face as clean as possible, all without irritating your skin.
I’ve been loving the Dermalogica Precleanse and Special Cleansing Gel 2-step cleanse. The Precleanse is a deep-cleansing vegan oil that just melts away my makeup and impurities from skin. The light texture of the oil doesn’t overwhelm my skin and cleanly rinses off leaving my skin feeling soft and nourished with Vitamin E.
Plus with the pre-cleanse you’re gently breaking down your makeup without scrubbing your skin or using any mechanical means to remove the makeup as you would with a makeup wipe, so it’s much more gentle.
Step 2 is the the Special Cleansing Gel, which is a soap free gel cleanser and works into a refreshing lather to thoroughly removes any remaining impurities leaving my skin fresh and clean without over drying it. The result of the double cleanse is clean happy skin that feels balanced, without having to scrub or use any harsh makeup removers.
Skincare Mistake #2 – Neglecting Your Neck and Decolette
If you’ve gone for a facial, you’ll usually undress and put on a little wrap, and when they do the treatment they work on everything from your face down to your decollete. Well when you apply your skincare you should really be doing to the same thing for your skin every day!
For years, I applied my skincare just to my face, and not thinking much of my decollete, and only occasionally applying skincare to my neck. But at my recent Dermalogica Pro-Skin 60 treatment, my aesthetician pointed that all you skincare should come cover your face, neck and decollete, and with good reason!
Your neck and decollete and nearly just as exposed as your face so you should be caring for it just the same way. On top of that, first signs of aging typically show on the neck and decollete, yet skin-wise. As it turns out, they’re one of the most neglected areas on our bodies.
The skin on your neck and decolette are quite delicate with a thin dermis, so there isn’t as much collagen as in the face to keep it from wrinkling. There are also fewer sebaceous glands in that area, which means less oil to keep the skin well-moisturized and luminous, meaning it’s more likely to become dry due to a lack of natural hydration resulting in the formation wrinkles over time, and we certiaily don’t want that!
In addition, we often forget to put sunscreen on this area, and if we wear shirts with V-necks or that have a few buttons undone, well, skin damage can occur. So going forward, make sure your skincare comes covers your face, neck and decolette.
Skincare Mistake #3 – Incorrectly Exfoliating
Exfoliating is an essential part of a good skincare routine. It helps to remove dead skin cells, revealing fresh new ones, and it boosts circulation to the area, resulting in a healthy glow.
Exfoliation also evens the complexion and allows other products – such as serums and moisturizer – to be more easily absorbed.
A common mistake is over-exfoliating, which can cause redness, dryness, irritation and even breakouts. On the other hand, rarely exfoliating can lead to dry flaky patches, congestion and a dull complexion.
Scrubbing too hard is one of the biggest skincare mistakes when it comes to exfoliation, especially when the product contains harsh ingredients like crushed nuts, apricot kernels, sugar or salt.
The rough, jagged edges of these ingredients can cause micro tears in the skin, resulting in sensitivity and irritation. Try to avoid these ingredients when shopping for your next exfoliator.
Microbeads are another ingredient to avoid. These tiny plastic particles, hidden under various names including Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP) and Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), are not only potentially toxic to our bodies, but are extremely harmful to the environment. Microbeads are washed down our drains before polluting the sea, where marine animals often mistake them for food.
Instead, use a natural product made with gentle exfoliating agents like finely ground rice or jojoba beads (made from jojoba oil, not to be confused with microbeads). Exfoliate no more than once or twice a week, after cleansing, and follow with a good moisturizer.
I’ve been loving the Dermalogica Microfoliant, it’s a rice based powder that combines a mechanical exfoliation with chemical exfoliation. When the Microfoliant comes as a dry ground powder, and when it comes in contact with water, it releases Salicylic Acid and Rice Enzymes to gently polish the skin.
It also has a skin brightening complex of Phytic Acid from Rice Bran, White Tea and Licorice that helps balance uneven skin tone. It’s gentle enough to use daily and does an amazing job at both exfoliating and brightening the skin.
Skincare Mistake #4 – Not Layering Your Skincare Properly
With all the skincare products that are out there these days, it’s tempting to want to use as many as you can, ie the 10-step Korean skincare routine. But understanding how to layer the properly will allow them work effectively and the more importantly, allow active ingredients to be absorbed into your skin.
The general rule to follow is: apply the most lightweight formulas first so they’re not blocked by the heavier creams. You should also wait a couple of minutes between applying each product to give it the opportunity to sink in.
This will also prevent your products from pilling, you know those tiny little balls form on the surface of your skin when you’ve layered too many products.
The general formula goes like this:
- Cleanse (or double cleanse)
- Toner or Essense
- Spot cream
- Eye cream
Skincare Mistake #5 – Not Using Sun Protection Year-Round
You may take great care to protect your face from the sun in the summer, but do you continue to use SPF all year round? Although the sun’s rays are usually not strong enough to burn us during the colder months, they can still penetrate our skin, contributing to premature ageing.
I feel like we all know this, but I’ll say it again, you need to wear sunscreen year round, on sunny days and cloudy days, everyday.
The truth is, even as a bonafide skincare junkie I used to hate sunscreen. It never felt good on my skin, never looked good on my skin, and never worked well with my makeup, and so I was guilty of never wearing it. But sunscreen has come a long way from that goopy white streaky stuff that we all grew up with.
I’ve been using the Dermalogica Prisma Protect Sunscreen and I have have to admit that I actually makes my look good while also protecting my skin. And additional bonus is, it protects skin from pollution and other free radicals as well, since city life isn’t the friendliest to the skin. But most of all, I love how it looks and feels on my skin. It has light reflecting particles that make my skin glow.