By Brigid Anderson
What are some of the common skin care mistakes that adults commit during the prime of their life and how do these mistakes hinder their skin from healing?
There’s not only one, not even two or three, but a lot of common skin care mistakes we as adults commit that get in our skin’s way of healing … admit it or not. We layer so many skin care products on our face one after the other, unaware of the damage it causes.
There are quite a few things I wish I could travel back in time to tell my younger self: don't date that guy, take that trip to Buenos Aires, don't take that 7th shot of tequila, and take better care of your skin. As I near my mid-thirties it has become painfully obvious that the havoc I wreaked on my skin has contributed greatly to the battles I now fight daily. Think of your skin like karma – what you do to your skin now will come back to bite you in your crow’s feet. I wish I had paid more attention to the advice bestowed upon me by magazines, GeoCities websites, and my grandmother. Sit back, get comfy, and get ready to learn from my mistakes.
Here are some common skin care mistakes
Don't worry, just breathe. It'll all be okay. I promise. Here's the thing – in an age where it's become the norm to go to class looking like you just came from a photo-shoot, it can be difficult to ascertain just how necessary a full face of makeup actually is. Of course, we all want to look on point, but let's keep the days we go full blown Kardashian to a minimum. Let your skin breathe and embrace your natural beauty! Trust me, your skin will thank you later.
Most women are usually guilty of this … we apply heavy makeup just to conceal or those pesky acne pimples. Even some celebrities during their photo shoots and tapings. But did you know that doing so can only damage your skin even more than helping it?
I don’t know if some or most of you have this habit, most especially when you’ve got small eyes (and have little to no eyelids) . I’m telling you now, quit the habit of pulling on your eyelids or it may just damage your eye areas even more.
Also,skip the anti-aging creams for now as they may contain ingredients that will leave your skin more susceptible to environmental damage. Instead, invest in a gentle eye cream. Use it nightly by tapping it into your skin with your ring finger. Keep clay masks and other drying masks that tighten up as they dry away from your under-eye areas at all costs.
We spend a lot of time and money on taking care of our facial skin, yet we neglect the rest of our bodies.
Choose lotions with skin firming ingredients like CoQ-10, caffeine, guarana, and Vitamin C to promote circulation. If you're pressed for time use a wet skin body moisturizer before exiting the shower. Choose body washes that are free of sulfates and other stripping ingredients. As good as it may smell, they'll leave your skin literally itching for moisture. Don't forget to keep hydrated from within either - keeping your body healthy on the inside will keep it looking stellar on the outside.
My grandmother knew what she was talking about when it came to two things: how to cook a Thanksgiving turkey...and skin care. As a model in advertising in the 1950's and as someone who was constantly mistaken for Elizabeth Taylor, I reallyshould have listened to her when she taught me one cardinal rule of skin care, “Whatever you do to your face, do to your neck”. This is a little nugget of wisdom you should remember from this point forward. “You can always tell how old someone is by their neck”, my grandmother said, “that's why it's important to take as much care of your neck as you do your face.”
Unfortunately, this is something I didn't take to heart until my late 20's when deep set lines started to rear their ugly head. It may not be as bad as itcould be, but I know if I had taken better care of my neck sooner it would be a better state of affairs.
We especially neglect to care for the neck, décolletage (the chest), and the backs of our hands.
Whether we realize it or not, our neck, chest, and hands get a lot of sun exposure. These areas also show some of the first visible signs of aging. If we want to preserve our youthful appearance, then we need to pay special attention to them.
These delicate, exposed areas of our skin need the same tender love and care that we give to our face. Neglecting these areas can result in the same signs of premature aging we see on our faces.
When you cleanse and moisturize your neck, work your products gently in an upward motion. You never want to pull the skin downward. Like your under eye area, keep tightening, drying masksaway from areas below the chin (I don't care what YouTube says). Use a moisturizing cream mask (an old-fashioned cold cream works too) from your collarbone up to your jowl and jawline (don't forget the sides!). Do this twice a week to prevent your neck from ending up looking like my grandmother's delicious Thanksgiving turkey.
When we exfoliate our skin with abrasive materials we are scrubbing away a layer of the skin that helps protect itself from the environment. In turn, this exposes our skin to elements like dirt, dust, and UVA/UVB rays that cause more problems in the long run. When we over exfoliate we inadvertently give aging a head start. So...put down the Mia, your Apricot Scrub, and back away slowly.
Some people say that the harder you scrub, the more it looks clean then the better your skin is. I don’t actually think so.You could be putting holes or microscopic scrapes on your face. It could cause irritation and dryness; it could cause other skin problems that you could come up with. So just because it’s super scrubby doesn’t mean it’s right for your skin and just because you’re scrubbing for 15 minutes doesn’t mean your exfoliating.
You could be exfoliating the dead skin but you could be exfoliating the live skin cells as well and those skin cells are not ready to come off and that could cause a lot more problems than you think you are already having.
Keep exfoliation limited to 2 times per week. Choose the gentlest exfoliant that gets the job done. You may find you don'tneed hardcore exfoliants in the long run. Try a product without abrasive ingredients such as those formulated with strawberry, lemon, honey, or oatmeal. If using an abrasive scrub, limit exfoliation to 5-8 seconds per area to avoid over exfoliating and causing more flaky patches once your skin has healed.
As mentioned above, this is one of the biggest skin care mistakes we often commit (as women).
You knew this was coming. Don't worry, we've all been there. Out at a club, shutting it down, cocktails coursing through our veins. All you want to do when you get home is eat leftovers before passing out... face first...half undressed. The last thing you're thinking about is taking off that blinding highlight and glitter shadow. I feel you. I really do. Not only do we wake up looking a hot mess because our mascara and eyeliner have become one entity smeared halfway down our faces, our skin is dry, our pores are clogged, and we may even notice the beginnings of a breakout.
It's true that makeup + sleep is awful for your skin, and face wipes don't constitute a cleansing. However, there are two little miracle workers that exist today that Iwish I had at those points in my life: The first, is the micellar solution. The second is microfiber “magic” makeup remover towels. If you can get to a bottle of micellar solution to remove your makeup before passing out,do it. If you can grab your magic makeup towel to take off your makeup quick-style, even better. If you're just sleeping in your makeup because you feel like it...I don't even know what to say to you other than STOP! You will regret it when your skin rebels and starts what I call “The Cycle of Destruction”. We break out, we cover it, we make it worse, and it scars. The more we do this to our skin the more damage is left behind.
I guess this is already common sense especially when you go out to swim by the beach or at the pool – don’t forget to use or apply SPF.
I don't care if your makeup has SPF, get in the habit of applying an SPF before you do your makeup. Get in the habit of doing it now because you're going to do it for the rest of your life. Don't worry about “flashback” in your Instagram photos, and limit going sans SPF to nights out. Nothing is more damaging than the sun.Nothing.
When we don’t protect our skin from the sun, we're letting UV rays damage our skin unrestrained.
This damage can result in things like:
Another one of the biggest skin care mistakes that people make is not protecting their lips with an SPF. Many of us neglect the delicate skin on the lips, which is thinner and more susceptible to damage. Wrinkling, sunspots, and cancer can all occur on the lips, so it’s especially important to protect them.
Skin care mistakes do not only stop with these few that are mentioned. There are more skin care mistakes we commit but are not aware of.
Using Only Face Wipes – Yes, using face wipes may be convenient especially when you’re outside or away from home, but they are not enough as they don’t thoroughly clean your face as facial cleansers and water do and they often leave behind grime and oil which may only worsen your acne or lead to clogged pores. This is one of the common skin care mistakes we are unaware of.
Not using the right water temperature – Washing your face with hot water may only end up opening your pores and stripping your skin of its natural and protective barrier as well as drying it. Instead of taking a hot scalding shower or washing your face with hot water, try steaming it with warm water. Washing your face with extremely hot water may end up burning your skin.
Washing your face too fast – It’s now too easy to wash your face quickly when you’re in such a hurry, but washing your face too fast can only result in residue build ups such as clogged pores or dry skin. The jawline, hairline and nose are common spots to get missed during rinsing.
Failing to check the ingredients (both makeup and skin care products) – We get it; you’re in a hurry to buy those products you’ve been dying to have and keep. But checking their ingredients first before purchasing (regardless if they are skin care or makeup) is important as you might not know what’s in there. Parabens would be one of the ingredients to avoid when buying skin care or makeup products. Parabens are chemicals (methylparabens, propylparabens, butyl parabens, and ethyl parabens) used as preservatives in almost all your skin care products; shampoo, makeup, cleansers, lotions, the list goes on. Parabens have been linked to breast cancer and act as hormone disruptors.
Picking your skin – Another habit that we can’t get rid of …. Picking our skin. This is also another common skin care mistake we always commit. They are annoying but so is getting our skin infected and prone to more breakouts.
Picking your skin results in moderate scarring.
So, how do we prevent or address these common skin care mistakes?
When you cleanse and moisturize your neck, work your products gently in an upward motion.
There are a lot of tips to address common skin care mistakes … but let me end with these other tips in mind:
Which of the common skin care mistakes mentioned above do you most often commit? And how are you going to address them?