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7 Skin Care Mistakes You’re Probably Making (And Why You Need to Stop)

Hi everyone! I’m Melanie White, a master/medical esthetician and skin care expert with The Skincare Boutique. My mission is to make sure all my clients have and maintain beautiful, glowing skin! Many people experience the same issues over and over again: dryness, redness, oiliness, acne, flakiness etc. These can be due to simple skin care mistakes.

I’m going to share these mistakes and what you can do to fix them. Many of the following mistakes are ubiquitous; there’s no need to be ashamed if one — or more — of these apply to you. We’ve all been there!

What’s important is recognizing what you’re doing wrong and working to fix correct the issues. Don’t beat yourself about past mistakes and don’t settle for pesky skin issues. Read the following mistakes and see if anything sounds familiar. If it does, I have simple steps to rectify the situation. Everyone deserves skin they can have confidence in. The right skin care routine and the right skin care products can make that happen! 

1. Over Exfoliating

Sometimes people think that a product has to sting or burn to work effectively. Feeling discomfort is not an indicator of whether the product is good or not! In fact, many women use products that are too harsh or use exfoliating treatments too often, which results in damaging their skin.

Over exfoliating takes off too much of your top skin layer. While exfoliating is absolutely necessary to clear dead skin cells and promote healthy skin growth, over exfoliating can remove the protective barrier between your skin and the elements, which makes you more vulnerable to sun burns and clogged pores. You may notice dehydration, redness, inflammation, and flaking. Over exfoliating can even lead to hyperpigmentation and the destruction of health skin cells.   

Chemical exfoliants like acid serums and physical exfoliants like facial scrubs can both cause over exfoliation if you are not careful. When using any type of exfoliant, follow the directions and gradually increase your usage. If you notice adverse effects, immediately reduce the number of times you exfoliate a week.

In general, always be careful when applying an exfoliant. Never rub too vigorously. I recommend using a chemical exfoliant like the Micropeel Resurfacing Pads. They gently exfoliate, improving the look of your skin without roughness. Try using two to three times a week, and increase if your skin can tolerate it.

2. Skipping the Toner

Many times I see clients that skip toner because they think toners are too drying or not necessary with their other skin care products. This is one of the most common skin care mistakes! If you’ve previously used toners that are alcohol-based, you probably stopped because they dried your skin out and left you dehydrated. I do not suggest using toners with alcohol!

However, if you aren’t using a toner daily after cleansing, you are missing the opportunity to ensure your skin is properly moisturized and for your other skin care products to work more effectively. Using Refresh Multi-Action Toner after you wash your face is easy, efficient, and preps your skin for serum and moisturizer. HD Refresh is alcohol-free, removes minerals and chlorines from tap water that dry out your skin, and helps carry nourishing ingredients deep into your skin.

3. Letting Your Skin Dry After Cleansing

Since damp skin is more permeable than dry skin, it’s important to plan your skin care routine for maximum effectiveness. Wasting product is one of the worst skin care mistakes! That’s why it’s crucial to use alcohol-free toner, serum, and moisturizer directly after washing your face.  

As soon as you cleanse your face, it starts to dry out. Apply toner to damp skin right away to avoid that dry and tight feeling (because feeling discomfort does not mean your products are effective!). Once you’ve applied toner, apply serum and moisturizer quickly. There is no time to waste in your skin care routine; it’s critical to apply moisturizer while skin is still damp to lock in hydration.

4. Not Using Enough Sunscreen

Everyone knows that sunscreen is critical. But do you only lather it on when you go to the beach or lay by the pool? That’s not enough! You need to apply sunscreen every time you are exposed to the sun, even if it’s cloudy. Remember, even inside an office, you’ll get sunlight from the windows.

This advice seems extreme, I know. However, the best defense against signs of aging is sunscreen. The longer your skin is exposed to sun rays, the more likely you are to have hyperpigmentation, fine lines, dryness, and wrinkles. And it’s not just your face.

Do you always remember to wear sunscreen (maybe it’s included in your moisturizer or makeup) but forget to put it in other exposed areas? Signs of aging can occur anywhere, and are commonly seen on the back of hands, neck, and in the chest area. Be sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen like Defend SPF 30 that protects against UVA and UVB rays.

5. Stop Washing Your Face with Soap

You’re in the shower, and you’re out of your facial cleanser. You rub bar soap across your face, and figure it’s all the same. Or maybe you’re on vacation and forgot to pack your face wash. Or you think facial cleanser is to expensive. Whatever the reason, washing your face with body soap is likely doing more harm than good.

When you use bar soap, it immediately dehydrates your skin, leaving you with that tight and dry feeling. Stripping your skin of its water creates dead skin cell buildup. Bar soap is held together with binders (unlike liquid facial cleanser), that have a high pH balance. The binders make bar soap extremely drying and block the positive effects of exfoliants.

I can’t recommend this strongly enough: put down the bar soap! It is too drying for your face, and probably too drying for your body as well. If you’re still washing with bar soap and have body acne, flaky skin, skin buildup, and other issues, you’ve fallen trap to one of the most common skin care mistakes.

Ditch the bar soap and invest in a face and body wash that cleans pores, removes dead skin cell build up, and doesn’t dry out your skin. Clear & Bright Cleanser is a micro-exfoliating cleanser that is suitable for your face and body. It’s ideal for those body breakouts and improving the texture of skin. With extra virgin coconut oil,  it also moisturizes your complexion to ensure your complexion doesn’t get dehydrated.

6. You’re Applying Your Skin Care in the Wrong Order

This is one of the skin care mistakes that people might not realize. If you use several different skin care products, you need to be careful to apply them in the right order. Otherwise, you could be wasting expensive product. Layering them incorrectly can make them ineffective or less effective.

As a rule of thumb, apply lighter products before thicker, heavier ones. This means after cleansing, first apply toner, then any serums, then eye cream, then moisturizer. In the daytime, end with sunscreen. This order helps you layer the lightest products to the densest so they can each have the maximum effect. For example, applying eye cream before moisturizer so your eye cream doesn’t have to fight through a dense moisturizer to work.

Once you get the right routine down, it cuts down on skin care mistakes!

7. You’re Not Changing Your Pillowcase Enough

How is your pillowcase part of your skin care routine? Well, you sleep on your pillow every night. That’s hours of contact between your skin and the pillowcase. Your pillowcase carries a lot more germs than you think. Your pillowcase has buildup of sweat, skin cells, hair products, makeup, oil, and bacteria. All of this can clog your pores and lead to acne.

Many people only change their pillowcase once a week, or less frequently! I recommend changing your pillowcase every few days or even more often. This will stop the buildup and provide a cleaner surface for skin.

That’s it, ladies! These are the most common skin care mistakes and my recommendations on how to fix them. These are all common issues that every one of us may face from time to time. All you have to do is follow these easy fixes!