Considering that skin is the body’s largest organ and you’ll be living in it for a while, it’s no news that looking after it is pretty important. And there’s a plethora of skincare products, tips and tricks that you can get your hands on to achieve glowing skin.
However, not everything is as good as it seems. Whether you’re a 10 step Korean skincare routine enthusiast or someone who’s learning the ropes, no one is exempt from making skincare blunders.
So, pay close attention to some of the no-no’s of skincare that you should avoid at all costs.
#1. Experimenting in the kitchen with DIY remedies
From sugar scrubs as exfoliants and lemon juice to brighten, you’ve probably made the mistake of opting over the (kitchen) counter remedies to treat skin dilemmas. And as organic as cinnamon and egg white mask sound, some of these ingredients can actually be bad for your skin.
For starters, if you’re used to opting lemon as your DIY remedy, drop it! This citrus fruit is a nightmare as the acidic formula can mess with your skin’s natural pH and strip away its protective barriers, making your skin more sensitive to the sun. The same goes for sugar scrubs and any other abrasive ingredient that can potentially scratch your skin rather than slough it.
Instead, you can opt for organic-based products that are clinically proven to help you achieve your skin goals safely. If you’re looking for a skin brightening product, go for Vitamin C infused oil or cream. Its antioxidant properties can help you repair damaged skin cells and even slow down the ageing process. As for exfoliants, consider a gentler alternative that is free from harsh ingredients, microbeads, synthetics and acidic ingredients.
While opting for home remedies is much more cost-efficient, some ingredients are just better left in your food.
#2. Using wipes to wash your face
We’ve all had lazy days where getting up to wash our face just seems like a lot of work. So, we go for face wipes or the acclaimed micellar water to clear up any gunk before calling it a night. While it is the most convenient option, face wipes can actually do more damage to our skin.
For starters, it doesn’t actually clean your face. Not only does it contain strong, drying chemicals that could leave your skin feeling dry and irritated, it also doesn’t do a thorough job as compared to a good ol’ facial cleanser. Face wipes are more likely to leave oil and grime residues that may result in clogged pores. You might even get breakouts and blackheads from the gunk that seep into your skin.
The only way is to wash your face no matter how lazy you are. Using a dedicated cleanser and water does wonders for your skin as opposed to smearing alcohol-laced tissue all over your face! If you’re concerned about getting all the residue out, opt for the double cleansing method instead of using wipes beforehand.
#3. Over-exfoliating your skin
Exfoliating is a good method to slough dead skin cells that are clogging the skin and reveal fresh new cells underneath. With such benefits, doesn’t it mean that exfoliating frequently will result in healthier-looking skin? Not quite.
Over-exfoliating can actually do more harm than good. When it’s done too frequently and vigorously, you might end up scratching the protective barriers of your skin, exposing it to environmental toxins and infections. Your complexion may eventually become dry, flaky and prone to breakouts.
According to dermatologists, the best way to avoid over-exfoliating is to limit them by using 1-2 times a week depending on your skin type. Besides, there are different types of exfoliants from chemical to mechanical, so it’s best to do your research or refer to a dermatologist for the right exfoliant as opposed to purchasing a random one off the shelf.
#4. Using products past the expiration date
Skincare products can be expensive; even so if your skin is accustomed to high-end, luxurious brands. And sometimes, saving money means digging up samples you’ve kept from the depths of your drawers and continuing to use products that have passed their due date.
While most skincare products can last up to one year, an expired one will not only be less effective but can also cause irritation and breakouts. It’s better to be safe than sorry, which means it’s time to toss them out! Like bread and butter, skincare products also have expiration dates you need to be mindful of. If you’re still unsure, put your senses to good use — discolouration and a foul smell is definitely a sign you need to part ways with it.
All good things will soon come to an end but there are ways to preserve your products shelf life. Avoid dipping your finger directly into your creams as the bacteria from your hands can contaminate it. Not to mention, heat and moisture can severely impact your products so it’s best to store them in a cool, dry place with a consistent temperature.
#5. Skipping sunscreen
Just because you can spend a full day outside without getting sunburned, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to wear a good SPF. Not to mention, living in a blistering climate that exposes you to harmful rays.
While skipping sunscreen for a day is not going to kill you, prolonged and unprotected exposure from the sun’s harmful UV rays can cause serious damage to your skin, no matter the colour and type. According to dermatologists, skipping sunscreen can compromise your skin with premature signs of ageing like wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots. And worst, you can even risk developing skin cancer such as melanoma that’s caused by harmful UV and UVB rays.
Consider wearing them every day if you don’t want to risk the health consequences! Experts suggest wearing SPF with levels higher than 15 or 30 and higher if you’re an outdoorsy person. The best time to apply them is 30 minutes before venturing outside to allow the sunscreen to seep into your skin, even when it’s cloudy!
#6. Trialling a billion products at once
The one thing that beats the satisfaction of trying out new skincare products is seeing a positive outcome, and sometimes that means experimenting with different products until one yields a result. Unfortunately, constantly switching your routine will only slow the progress down.
Often, products take longer to bring noticeable changes to your skin and depending on the product, it could take up to 8 weeks of consistent use for you to see results. Well, that is hardly going to happen if you regularly swap it out with other products after a couple tries. While some products may promise to ‘instantly’ work its wonders, it doesn’t happen overnight.
The best way for you to see if the skincare products are suitable for your skin is by performing a patch test. Apply a tiny dollop on your wrist and let it sit for 24 hours. If your skin starts to irritate, that’s a clear sign the product isn’t for you! Do your research beforehand to see which products are suitable for your skin type and introduce one product at a time. This way, you’ll know which culprit is responsible for your glowy skin or sudden breakouts.
#7. Following every skincare tip you see online
The internet can be an easy and cost-effective way to seek advice on all things skincare. After all, it’s brimming with beauty blogs, articles and forums. But not everything we read is proven by experts.
While not all skincare trends are bad, there’s no harm in being a little cautious with what you read online. It’s important to do your research beforehand as opposed to experimenting with products right away. You don’t want to risk compromising your complexion over a review from a beauty blogger. To boot, knowing your skin type and what it needs can save you a lot of trouble from carrying out trial and errors.
If you’re willing to splurge a little, seek a dermatologist. These experts can give you a more tailored and effective regime, as well as the different types of skin-food you need.
Finding the perfect routine takes time and patience so don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re still learning the ropes. While seeking advice from internet gurus sound ideal, know that different skin types yield different results. Always do your research and take caution with all the tips you come across. Good luck!