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[This article was originally published in May 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.]
So you want to start a skincare routine, but you have some questions. Which products are right for your skin? Which common skincare mistakes have you made?
I’ve learned so much in the past few years about taking care of my sensitive skin. And I’ve also learned what NOT to do – especially when it comes to my skin.
Everyone’s skin is different and so many people do their best to perfect their skincare routine. With so many skin care products you use every day, you might be doing wrong with your skincare routine. This routine still keeps your skin from reaching its potential.
I’m definitely guilty of most of these common skincare mistakes, but ever since I cleaned up my act, my skin has improved so much – no acne for months. The best part is, that these mistakes are easy to fix!
Something as simple as taking your makeup off at the end of the day or having a night moisturizer vs. a day moisturizer can really make all the difference! So read on to truly try to perfect your regimen.
Not washing the makeup off
Sometimes you’re so tired and too lazy to wash off your makeup before applying skincare. I can relate. But that one would be very bad for your skin. The very first step in your skincare routine should be cleansing. Ideally, you need to wash your face twice. The first step is for washing off the makeup, the second step is to make sure your pores aren’t clogged.
Applying your products in the wrong order
Correct order for applying your skincare products is crucial if you want to get the most out of all your products. A general rule of thumb is the lightest products and those with the most beneficial ingredients go on first, then your creams, and you always end with your SPF.
Using the wrong cleanser
The normal pH of our skin is around 5.5. That’s why cleansers with a higher pH can cause acne, by provoking our sebaceous glands to produce more sebum than we naturally need.
Not applying toners after cleansing
Toner doesn’t seem like a necessary step in your skincare routine, but it is. This is one of the common skincare mistakes that I encounter years ago. I used to ignore (forget) using Toner after washing my face, but not anymore. I have read that toners help ensure that your face is completely clean before using a moisturizer. Toners will prepare your skin for a moisturizer and remove chlorines and minerals found in tap water. Don’t forget to make sure you are using an alcohol-free one.
Not giving your products enough time to sink in
Well, this is could be my old bad habit. Remember don’t rush through your skincare routine, after you cleanse, tone, and spot treat, wait around 3-5 mins for your skin to really take in all the product. If you don’t give your products enough time to sink in, they won’t work as well as they intended to.
Using too many exfoliating products
How many times do you exfoliate your skin? Removing dead skin cells is very important, but physical exfoliants can damage your skin. First, you need to know your skin type: dry, combination/oily, or normal skin. Then you can figure out an exfoliating regimen that works best for you.
- Normal Skin: 2-3 times a week
- Combination/Oily Skin: 2-3 times a week (I regularly exfoliate 2 times a week)
- Dry Skin: 1-2 times a week
You don’t apply your skincare upwards, and your makeup downwards
When applying your skincare, you should always rub the products into your skin in an upward motion. This is to allow all the products to really seep into your skin and get absorbed really well.
On the other hand, when you apply your makeup, you want to do it in a downward motion so your makeup stays on your skin and doesn’t get absorbed by your skin too much.
I used to like to touch my pimples and my mother really hates it. It’s really bad to squeeze pimples because this way you’ll only spread the infection further on your face. Instead, use special acne treatments such as salicylic acid directly on spots. We have this kind of oil at home that I apply on my pimple so the pimple won’t become inflamed and it can also remove acne scars slowly.
Avoid using oils
Even if your skin is more on the oily side (like mine), you should definitely use oils to moisturize your skin. Lack of hydration leads to even more active work of our sebaceous glands, and we don’t need that.
Not using SPF products
Using day cream for the night or the same cream for day and night is common skincare mistakes that most people do. But is your daily moisturizer too much for the daytime? Too little moisture for overnight? Sometimes moisturizers have SPF built-in, which is great for the day, but not so great for the overnight.
A lot of times, you see products that say “night time” – those products should be used at night because sometimes the products have ingredients that can cause your skin to be sensitive when exposed to the sun.
Skin that is unprotected from the sun tends to get more wrinkles and pigmentation. You should definitely use sunscreen every day and not only when you go out.
Not having a towel just for your face
I read about not using the same towel for your face and your body years ago. Then I told my mom about it so we bought a designated towel for our faces.
Your face and your hands have nothing in common, so why should they have a common towel? You don’t want the germs that build up on your towel to go on your face – which is way more sensitive than your hands.
Have a towel just for your face and make sure no one else is using it. You don’t want someone else’s skin problems on yours, right? You already have enough to deal with as it is.
Not changing pillowcases regularly
It’s not a secret anymore that our pillowcases actually collect a lot of bacteria from our bodies and external sources. During our sleep, these bacteria can transfer to our faces and cause acne. To avoid this do not forget to change your pillowcases at least once a week.
Not drinking enough water
I get distracted very easily, so I didn’t drink enough water every day. But, since I bought my Tumblr 3 years ago, I fixed my bad habit. I make a conscious effort to drink enough water, especially during long days at work! I’m also trying to get in the habit of drinking water before bed and after waking up in the morning.
So are you guys guilty of some of these common skincare mistakes too? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to keep an eye out for my next post!