Even if you think you have mastered the art of taking care of your skin, I would recommend you to read this through because there is a high chance your are making some of these common skin care mistakes.
We learned how to take care of our skin from our parents, our friends, advertising, a salon, etch. More often than not, we mashed all that advice together and came up with our own daily skin care routine. Unfortunately, in between all that advice there was sure to be some miss-advice, which means costly mistakes that over time will damage our skin. The skin in our face is being constantly exposed to the elements which makes it age much quicker than other parts of the body, learning to take care of it the right way is very important. Here is a list of the most common skin care mistakes we do.
Common skin care mistakes – Face washing
Wash your face with lukewarm water. If the water is too hot it may upset your skin’s natural balance causing a sebum overproduction and breakouts. It could also cause dryness. If the water is too cold it may not be able to properly lift the dirt and oil.
Don’t use soap. Soap has harsh ingredients that disrupt the moisture barrier of the skin. Choose a face wash with natural ingredients that will balance the PH in your skin. Avoid cleansers with fragrance, parabens and colorants. A good cleanser should be able to remove dirt, makeup and oils without stripping the natural cell barrier.
Rinse well. Leaving product residue on your skin can dry the skin and block the pores causing breakouts.
Don’t over wash. Twice daily: morning and night is perfect. Over washing can cause an overproduction of oil. If you feel your skin oily during the day, it is best to clean the excess oil with a tissue.
Don’t over exfoliate. Exfoliating the skin is great to remove dead cell build up, however it should be done only once or twice a week. You should also choose a product that is gentle. Some exfoliating products contain particles of apricot pits that can be sharp and bruise the skin. Some have micro-beads that are damaging to marine life. Choose one with rice beads or AHAs that will be gentle on the skin and won’t harm the environment.
Wash your face using your fingers. Don’t use wash clothes or mittens as this tends to be too harsh for the face, puling and stretching the skin.
Pat dry with a clean towel, don’t rub.
Common skin care mistakes – Products
Many common skin care mistakes are caused by using the wrong products. The skin is permeable to certain extent and any chemicals we put on the skin are absorbed to the deep layers where may damage the collagen matrix. Choosing the right products is paramount.
Don’t use toners containing alcohol. Alcohol strips the skin of its natural barrier, drying the skin and upsetting its natural balance. A good toner should balance your PH and help hydrate your skin.
Use a good quality moisturiser with high levels of vitamin A. Vitamin A is indispensable for the skin because it can repair damaged DNA leading to healthy collagen creation. The sun depletes our skin of vitamin A and it takes up to 7 days to replenish it through food while applied to the skin it only takes 3 hours. Beware of moisturisers that seal your skin in order to maintain hydration. These kind of moisturisers are good to use occasionally during winter or when your skin feels really dehydrated. However, with long term use your skin will loose its natural ability to produce its own moisture leading to dry skin.
Applying chemical makeup on a daily basis can lead to premature aging. Chemicals are easily absorbed by the skin damaging the collagen and elastin. It is best to use mineral makeup.
Use the right sun protection. Broad spectrum sunscreens with zinc or titanium dioxide are best because they offer a very good protection without the added chemicals. Choose one in which the particles are micronised so it won’t leave a white layer. SPF 30+ is enough, SPF50 or greater only adds 1%-2% protection. Most chemicals in sunscreens tend to release free radicals when they are hit by the UV rays. These free radicals damage cells and collagen, so it’s not worth to get more wrinkles just for 1%- 2% added protection.
You can use oils on your skin. Used to be thought that using oil would cause breakouts and clog pores, but this is not so. Your skin won’t be more oily if you apply the right oils. Oil is also good to remove makeup and oil and dirt build up because oil dissolves oil. Natural oils used in small quantities can deliver the right nutrients to the skin in a faster way.
Skin peels. The right skin peel can remove dead skin cells and hydrate your skin. Strong chemical peels, however, damage the protective barrier of the cells and cause long term damage to your skin. Choose a cool, gentle peel instead.
Common skin care mistakes – Lifestyle
Other common skin care mistakes are made because of our lifestyles. These are probably the most difficult to avoid because they usually involve changing an ingrained habit or a belief that has been with us since childhood or our teenage years.
A tanned skin is a healthy skin: WRONG! The sun is the major culprit when it comes to premature aging. You need to wear sunscreen everyday, even if it’s cloudy.
Don’t smoke and keep away from smokers. The harmful chemicals in cigarette will cause wrinkles, specially around the mouth. Secondary smoke will also harm your skin.
Sleeping on your side can cause wrinkles on your face and decolletage. I personally struggle with this one because if I sleep on my back I snore and tend to choke on my sleep. I try to sleep on my side but at an angle in a way in which my face doesn’t touch the pillow. This works half the time.
Drinking alcohol. Avoid alcohol, it dehydrates the skin making it dry and flaky.
Sleeping too little. Everybody needs 7-8 hours sleep. Less than that can cause havoc not only with your skin, but your whole body.
Fast food. Fried foods and unhealthy snacks also affect our skin. To achieve long lasting beauty you need to have a balanced diet.
Eating sugar. Sugar consumption leads to glycation. Sugar in the bloodstream attaches to protein molecules destroying collagen and causing premature aging. Cut sugar intake by using natural substitutes like Stevia or Xylitol. Keep away from artificial sweeteners such as Splenda, Equal, NutraSweet, saccharin, aspartame.
Hot baths. Hot baths can feel wonderful but staying too long in the bath or using water too hot can cause your skin to dry, crack and peel. Always use lukewarm water instead.
How to get rid of Facial Hair
If you are a woman, this is a concern that will most probably affect you a some time in your life. Facial hair can be very difficult to eliminate permanently because most facial hair in a woman is due to hormonal imbalances.
Laser and IPL will work to certain extent thinning and refining terminal hairs in a way that they will look like vellum hair. Results vary from person to person, usually achieving a 70-80% hair reduction after 12 treatments. In most cases, however because of the hormonal nature of the hair, it is necessary to have maintenance treatments every 3-6 months.
Other alternatives are shaving which usually shows the black dots which may not be a desired look. Waxing is OK, but you need to wait till the hair is 6mm long to wax, which means that for at least 1 week out the month, you will have a moustache or beard which is not very desirable. Sugaring is probably a better option because it allows the pulling off shorter hairs and leads to hair reduction in the long term. Threading and Tweezing are also OK, though a bit more painful.