While you may brush off skincare as an indulgence, it could just be what’s missing from your wellness routine. An InStyle survey shows that 76% of participants feel good when their skin looks good. Conversely, Dr. Heather Woolery-Lloyd notes that poor skin can disrupt your daily life and self-esteem.
This goes to show that the state of your skin is just as important to your mental health, and thus, overall well-being. So, to help you get clearer skin and to boost your confidence in the process, here are some skincare mistakes that you should stop making:
The skin naturally sheds dead skin cells — but not always completely. When this happens, you can get dry, flaky patches and clogged pores. Exfoliating prevents this by removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin.
Unfortunately, there’s such a thing as over-exfoliating, which can end up destroying the skin barrier that prevents moisture from escaping. Too many natural oils and skin cells might be wiped away, giving your skin a waxy look. This can cause problems such as redness, dryness, and irritation.
How often you should exfoliate boils down to how often your skin can tolerate being exfoliated. For instance, chemical exfoliators are typically less intense, so some people can use them everyday. Meanwhile, physical exfoliators can be used two or three times a week.
Forgetting sun protection
Applying sunscreen is a type of preventative skincare that shouldn’t be done all year round — UV rays can still penetrate clouds and windows. So no matter what the weather is or if you’re mostly staying indoors, you should still protect your skin from sun damage. If you don’t, it can cause premature aging, sun spots, and even skin cancer.
Every effective skincare routine needs good sun protection, which starts with the right sunscreen. Experts recommend getting products with at least SPF 30 for an effective layer of sun protection. Don’t forget to retouch and accompany it with hydrating skin products, such as a body cream, especially after long hours of exposure to the sun. Finally, complete your sun protection kit with a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sleeves or pants.
Applying products in the wrong order
If you don’t layer skincare products properly it can either render them ineffective or irritate your skin. To prevent either of these from happening, Cosmopolitan notes that the right way to layer products is to start with a cleanser to ensure your skin is able to absorb the ingredients properly by making sure it’s dirt free.
Of course, this is only a general guide, and you don’t need an eight-step routine. You can keep it simple with just a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen, and adjust based on your specific needs. For example, you can add face oil or hydrating serum if you have dry skin.
Using scented products
Applying aromatic extracts on your skin may feel like a part of the experience, but they can actually cause health problems such as skin irritation and breathing problems. Fragrances are sensitizers, which are chemicals that can cause allergic reactions. They’re made of synthetic ingredients as well, meaning it can contain chemicals that are possibly harmful.
However, all products, even those labeled “fragrance-free” still have some sort of fragrance, possibly from essential oils or other natural scents used to mask the odor of the ingredients. If you’re not exhibiting any reactions from your products, you can continue using them. But if you have sensitive skin or skin problems like psoriasis, it’s best to look for a product that’s as fragrance-free as much as possible.
Skipping these skincare habits might seem like a small step, but not at the expense of your skin condition and mental health. At the end of the day, just remember that if you look good, you usually feel good!
About the Author: Teresa Stark is a freelance writer currently based in California. She became interested in skincare a few years ago when she did some research on how to keep her skin from drying in the winter. Her other interests include photography and urban gardening.