Most of us have a skincare ritual we stick to religiously — if it's not broke, why fix it? But if you find your skin is flaring up and you don't know why, it could be your skincare routine (or a few guilty habits!) that's the root of the problem. Here are 11 common skincare mistakes we've all been guilty of...
Suffer with dry, sensitive or acne-prone skin? You could be making one of these common mistakes with your skincare regime.
From using too many products to not cleaning your phone, here are the common culprits that could be causing your skin flare-ups, and how to fix them.
1. You’re cleansing too often
Are you cleansing too much? It’s a common mistake to over-cleanse your skin, particularly if you’re suffering with blemishes or acne. Constant cleansing can actually strip the top layer of oil on the skin and trigger the release of more oil. This can clog your pores, causing whiteheads and blackheads to erupt. If you wash your face too much, you could end up with more blemishes than you started with. To avoid further flare-ups, cleanse once in the morning and once in the evening using a cleanser that’s right for your skin type.
We asked Maizie, our beauty expert, which cleansers she recommends to keep your skin type in check:
For dry/sensitive skin use Cetaphil Exfoliating Cleanser
For oily/acne prone skin use Jojoba Citrus Gel Cleanser
For combination skin use Avène Cleansing Gel
For men who suffer with dry/sensitive skin use 26 Deep Men's Face Wash
2. You don’t wear sunscreen every day
Sunscreen is not just for the beach! Protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is the best way to stop your skin from ageing prematurely and reduce your risk of skin cancer. Look for one that has SPF 30 or higher and wear it on a daily basis to stop the sun from damaging your skin. Our pick? Avène Face & Body Sunscreen.
If sunscreen irritates your skin, try a light moisturiser with SPF instead. You can apply this before wearing your make-up. Remember that SPF wears off in two hours or less, depending on the SPF number, so be sure to re-apply regularly to avoid your skin from burning.
Here are Maizie's top picks:
Jojoba Multi Defence Moisturiser SPF15 — a great cream for dry skin that’s lacking a bit of radiance.
LRP Anthelios Facial Sunscreen SPF50 — this light lotion is perfect for oily/acne prone skin.
QV Face Cream SPF30 — an everyday cream for those with combination skin.
Natio For Men SPF30 — a grooming essential for combo skin.
3. You’re using the wrong skincare products
While it’s tempting to experiment with every skincare product under the sun, it’s better to stick to the products that are designed to give your skin type what it needs. If you have dry skin, opt for hydrating products that give your skin extra moisture. If you're prone to breakouts, scan your product labels for ingredients that prevent acne, such as salicylic acid.
Here are Maizie's top picks:
Dry skin essentials...
Avène Soothing Cleansing Lotion
Ere Perez Green Booster Serum
Avène Hydrance Rich Cream
Bayeco Eye Cream
Acne-prone salicylic saviours...
LRP Anti Acne Moisturiser
Milla Face Botanist Face Scrub
Swisse Charcoal Face Wash for Men
Bioderma Micellar Water
Neostrata Restore Face Cream
The texture of your product is also important — they vary based on your skin type. A foaming face wash is much better for oiler complexions, while gentle, creamy cleansers are best for sensitive skin types. If you suffer with sensitive skin, you should also avoid any fragranced products that contain harsh irritants.
4. You’re applying too much product
Although it might feel incredibly indulgent to slather your face with luxury products, less is definitely more when it comes to using skincare products.You only need to apply a pea-sized amount of moisturiser to cover your entire face. Just dab it evenly on the four quadrants —the forehead, each cheek, and the chin area, then spread it out evenly.
5. You’re overdoing it with your skincare routine
The secret to flawless skin? Adopting a routine that incorporates the right amount of cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturising. But like everything, it can be easy to overdo it. Simplifying your skincare routine will be much better for your complexion in the long run. Over-exfoliating or using too many active ingredients will actually harm and irritate your skin. It's often counterproductive, too — the chances are, you'll start to break down your skin’s protective barrier, causing dry skin, as well as potential breakouts.
Our advice? Cleanse your skin twice a day, but don’t overdo it with exfoliation. Exfoliate two-to-three times a week, max. If your skin is feeling dry and sensitive, try moisturising with a light face oil, or use a hydrating face mask to replenish any lost moisture.
Here are Maizie's fave oils:
Jojoba and Rosehip Oil
And nourishing face masks:
Avène Hydrating Sleeping Mask
6. You’re leaving your make-up on overnight
We’ve all been guilty of this now and again — it’s usually the result of one too many Chardonnays after a boozy dinner with the girls! But asides from the annoyance of waking up with crusty mascara all over your face, falling asleep with your make-up on actually blocks your pores and oil glands, which can lead to irritation, inflammation and breakouts.
Sleeping with your eye make-up can also cause conjunctivitis and eyelid dermatitis — the skin around your eyelid is extremely thin, and therefore sensitive to inflammation. To avoid any irritation or infection, use a gentle eye-make-up remover like:
7. You don’t clean your make-up brushes
Whilst this might feel like a bit of a chore, keeping your make-up brushes sparkling clean will do wonders for your skin. Using a dirty make-up brush can really wreak havoc with your complexion. Make-up and oils build up on brushes and sponges, making them a breeding ground for bacteria. This bacteria build-up can cause breakouts and skin infections, like styes.
Make sure you clean your brushes at least twice a week using a gentle baby shampoo — especially your foundation brush. Cetaphil Baby Gentle Shampoo is super gentle, making it perfect for real or synthetic brushes.
8. Your showers are too hot!
A steaming shower after an intense workout is a godsend for tired muscles, but can prove problematic for your skin. Having a hot shower can strip your skin of essential moisture and healthy oils, so try turning the temperature dial down a notch to ensure your skin stays fully hydrated.
9. You pop your pimples
We know how hard it can be to avoid squeezing that giant whitehead right in the middle of your forehead! Whilst satisfying, popping a pimple is actually really bad for your skin. When people try to squeeze spots, they generally squeeze from the side — this actually causes the infection to go down deeper into the pore so you’re more likely to get other spots in the same area. Next time, instead of squeezing, wash your face with a clean, warm cloth. If the pimple is ready to pop, this is all the pressure it needs to drain it.
10. You sleep with your hair down
Hair care products like oils, hairspray and heat-protecting mists can often cause irritation and breakouts on your skin. If you sleep with your hair down, make sure you wash the product out before you go to bed, or sleep with your hair up so the product doesn’t transfer onto your face.
11. You never clean your phone
Did you know that your mobile phone is 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat! If that doesn’t inspire you to clean your phone, we don’t know what will. You take your phone everywhere, so naturally it’s going to pick up some unwanted, nasty germs along the way. When you answer a phone call, chances are those germs will transfer onto your face and case breakouts on your skin. Make sure you wipe it down with an antibacterial wipe before you use it to avoid any irritation.
Loved our advice on common skincare mistakes? We've got plenty more women's health and beauty advice on our Health & Wellness Edit, guaranteed to give your body a well-deserved boost. Suffer with dry skin? Here's how to give your skin a hit of hydration, plus a deep cleansing skincare routine to prep your skin ready for summer. Is your lady V giving you grief? Here's how to keep your vagina healthy and happy.