Whether you have good intentions of starting up a skin care program, you employ a simple routine of daily washing and moisturizing or you have an advanced skin care regimen that targets all of your skin concerns, most of us are just trying to do our best when it comes to taking care of our skin. But there may be some skin care habits that you’ve picked up along the way that are working against you (think going to bed with makeup on). Afterall, it’s your simple daily habits that can make all the difference when it comes to achieving youthful and healthy skin.
We’ve compiled a short list of common skin care mistakes and the quick fixes that will change those bad habits into good ones. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
It’s been a long day and you’re tired. You go directly to bed without washing your face.
Treat yourself! Take the time to wash your face each night before bed to remove the dirt, bacteria and excess oil that accumulates on your skin’s surface throughout the day. You will reduce breakouts by unclogging your pores and help maximize the effect of other products you apply before bed, such as your night time moisturizer.
You grab for the nearest bar of soap to cleanse your face. It works well on your body, right?
Don’t do it! Grab a gentle cleansing lotion specifically formulated for your skin type. Bar soap isn’t even a good option for your body (choose a glycerin bar or gentle body wash instead) so it certainly isn’t good for your face! Soap strips the skin of its natural oils resulting in tight, dehydrated skin. Even oily skin needs a specifically formulated cleanser like Lexli Acne Cleanser to keep the skin’s delicate pH balance in check.
You rush out the door for the day without applying sunscreen to your face. Afterall, you’re not spending every day at the beach.
Don’t take one step outside without a daily application of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15. It is essential if you want to avoid skin damage caused by sun exposure - often referred to as photoaging. (Read “How to Prevent Photoaging, the Main Reason for Premature Skin Aging” to understand more about the effects and prevention of photoaging). For convenience, choose a moisturizer that includes SPF, such as Lexli Day Moisturizer with SPF 30. Most skin changes that occur as we age are accelerated by sun exposure that can happen on a daily basis even for brief stints in the sun or on overcast days. Sun damage is cumulative.
Exfoliation is not a consistent part of your skin care routine.
Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! Exfoliating with a glycolic acid exfoliator like AloeGlyC® is the key to optimal skin function and appearance. By removing the dead skin cells, exfoliation helps to speed up your skin’s process of regeneration and, with regular use, you will begin to notice improvement in the tone, texture and overall health of your skin. Read in greater detail the many benefits of exfoliation in, “How to Exfoliate: Types of exfoliation, benefits and tips.”
You have many skin care lotions, creams and serums sitting on your bathroom counter and you apply them based on the order in which you grab them. Does it even matter as long as it gets on your face?
Yes, there should be a method to the madness! If you are not applying your products in the proper order, you are likely minimizing the effectiveness of your skin care routine. The general rule of thumb is that leave-on products should be layered based on consistency, from lightest to heaviest. Read “In What Order Should You Apply Skin Care Products?” to learn more.
You see an unsightly blemish surface right in the middle of your face, give in to the urge and start picking. And now, it looks even worse!
Stop picking! Popping a pimple will only make it worse. Not only will it cause the pimple to become increasingly red, swollen and inflamed but it can also lead to infection and ultimately scarring and/or hyperpigmentation. There are times when it may be appropriate to pop a pimple but only with certain conditions and if done properly. Read more about blemish types and proper popping technique in, “How to Pop a Pimple and Understanding Pimple Types.”
You stay up late to binge watch the latest series on Netflix and do not get enough sleep—every night.
Get some ZZZs! Your skin rejuvenates and repairs while you sleep and not getting enough at night has consequences. Inadequate sleep can lead to slower healing of the body, dehydrated skin and impaired collagen growth, which speeds up the aging process and results in fine lines and wrinkles. A lack of sleep can also increase inflammation in the body causing outbreaks of acne, eczema and psoriasis. For more information about how to maximize your nighttime skin care routine, read “Optimize Your Skin Care Routine: Start with Sleep, Follow with Products.”
You decide not to use moisturizer because you have oily skin. In your mind, dryness isn’t an issue for you so moisturizer is optional.
Although it may seem counterintuitive to add a moisturizer to already oily skin, all skin needs hydration. And yes, oily skin can become dehydrated. By not giving your skin the hydration it needs, it will overcompensate by producing more oil. Hydrate your skin with a gel moisturizer for oily skin.
You crank up the temperature and relax in a long hot shower.
Chill out and cool down those showers! Using water that is too hot strips away your skin’s oil barrier which leads to moisture loss and dry skin. It can further cause eczema and rosacea flare-ups. Using lukewarm water is best.
You forget to treat your neck and chest when applying skin care products to your face.
Don’t forget your neck and chest when applying ANY of your skin care products, whether it be a cleanser, a serum, a toner, an exfoliant, or a cream. Your skin doesn’t stop after your face and your neck and chest are exposed just as much. They rarely receive the same level of attention but are just as susceptible to the elements as your face.