You’re diligent with the SPF, you wash morning and night, you never forget eye cream, and you consistently use products specifically for your skin type. In other words, your skincare routine is squeaky clean. Or so you thought. In reality, you’re probably committing a number of skin sins without even knowing it.
Scroll through to see how much repentance you’re in store for!
Yes, letting water stream down on you may be one of the most relaxing feelings ever, but it’s also very damaging to your skin. The water pressure of your showerhead is too strong for your delicate skin—every drop is like a microscopic scratch. When washing your face in the shower, let the water pool in your hands (just as you would at the sink), and then splash it on your face. You’ll avoid any unnecessary irritation.
By now you know the virtues of double-cleansing, but you could be undoing all of the squeaky-cleanness if you start with a cleansing device. Even if you think you’ve removed every stitch of makeup, you haven’t. Your first cleanse will take off the last of it, but if you power up the Clarisonic, you’re actually pushing the remaining traces of makeup deeper into your pores. Use a gentle cleanser and your hands first. Save your cleansing device for round two.
Your skincare routine is multifaceted, but if you rush through your toner, serum, retinol, moisturizer, and SPF, all of the active ingredients blend together. In order to reap the benefits of your products, allow time for each layer to absorb. When you apply three or four products within two minutes, you’re not giving the ingredients time to sink into your skin. Allow two to three minutes after each light layer, like toner, serum, and treatment gels. For heavier layers, like retinol and moisturizer, including the last layer, allow five to 10 minutes, If it’s night cream, put it on ten minutes before your head hits the pillow, otherwise you’re really just moisturizing your pillowcase.
If you’re going ten minutes between applying skincare products, you’re probably also playing with your phone, rummaging through your closet, and touching things that you shouldn’t mid-skincare routine. You may not even realize how many surfaces you come into contact with, until you actively try not to use your hands. Unless you’re extremely talented at using your elbows, wash your hands before you apply a new product to avoid transferring germs to your newly cleansed face.
Exfoliation is a very important part of your skincare routine, but don’t forget that over-exfoliation is also a possibility. Too much action from scrubs, peels, acids, and tools can damage your skin’s protective barrier, creating dryness and irritation. And you can’t exfoliate away a zit. In fact, if you have active breakouts, it’s best to stay away from exfoliation because you could tear the skin, which will spread the issue, rather than resolving it.
You may not think the order of your in-shower beauty routine matters, but it does—especially for your skin. You should always wash your face last. If you’re cleansing before you wash your hair, you’re exposing your skin to runoff from shampoo and conditioner. Hair care products contain isopropyl mystristate, a synthetic oil that clogs pores. Avoid it by sticking to the hair first rule.
In the most basic terms, acne is inflammation. It’s only natural to want to pile on the salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and sulfur. It’s harder to scale back on the drying ingredients, and reach for moisturizing ones. But calming, healing ingredients, like aloe vera, vitamin C, and oatmeal, have a place in the fight against acne too. Work an antioxidant-packed hydrating mask into your rotation to ensure you’re taking time to calm the inflammation and giving your skin a chance to heal. It may sound counterintuitive, but your breakouts will actually clear up faster when you ease up on strictly acne-fighting ingredients.
How many of these skin sins are you guilty of? Tell us in the comments!