5 skincare mistakes that are damaging your skin
When it comes to taking care of your skin, there are some things you probably already know – like don’t pick at your face, apply sunscreen religiously, and always remove your makeup before bed. But what about the habits you’ve implemented for years (with the best of intentions of course) that you don’t think twice about? These seemingly harmless rituals might be causing skin flare-ups and can even lead to premature ageing and pigmentation. Here are our top 5 skincare dont's to keep in mind for a happier, healthier complexion.
RELATED: The right order to apply skincare
The quest for velvety smooth skin has never been more possible with the help of exfoliation. But, as dermatologists will remind you, over exfoliating is a big no-no. What happens to skin when you get a bit too scrub-happy? Expect increased sensitivity, redness and peeling skin. This is especially true in the case of acne-prone skin – those with cystic acne already have inflammation and should avoid exfoliating altogether. Even if you have relatively clear skin, over exfoliating can cause breakouts, too.
Physical exfoliators, such as grain-based scrubs, have a bad rep for being harsh on the skin. While such scrubs do work for some skin types, they need to be used carefully. Large exfoliants such as nut shells and fruit pits can cause micro-tears and broken blood vessels. You might find chemical exfoliants, which contain AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHAs (beta hydroxy acids), a better choice for smoothing and brightening as there are all sorts of strengths out there catering for all skin types. Hooray! To avoid dehydration and premature ageing stick to a gentle exfoliator once or twice a week, depending on your sensitivity.
If your skin is known to be as dry as the Sahara desert, you would never dream of forgetting to moisturise, but for the oily and combo-skin gals out there, it can be all too tempting to skip this step when your complexion is producing oil like nobody’s business. Even oily skin types need moisture, remember – when you don’t keep skin well hydrated the sebaceous glands will produce excess oil to make up for the lack of moisture. Our top tip is to opt for an oil-free moisturiser to avoid looking like a grease machine.
bh loves: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat, $31.99
Forgetting to reapply sunscreen
You give yourself a pat of the back for actually remembering to apply sunscreen in the morning, but without reapplying, that SPF won’t be any use a few hours. Throughout the day, your face will drink up the active ingredient responsible for protecting skin from the sun. Swimming and sweating – that includes your lunchtime workout – will cause sunscreen to vanish even sooner. Besides sunburn, you can look forward to premature ageing, dehydration, spider veins and broken blood vessels if you don’t stay properly protected.
Sunscreens have come a long way in recent times – and thankfully this means we have more options for getting our daily dose of broad spectrum protection. Perfect for applying on top of makeup and as an after gym top-up, try a brush-on or loose powder with SPF. If all else fails, try this amazing hack for reapplying sunscreen over foundation.
Washing with soap
Harsh cleansers containing soap will strip natural oils from the skin, leaving you with inflamed, red skin. Such stripping washes will mess with the pH balance of your skin and are best avoided. If you are prone to sensitivity, bypass foaming cleansers and use a more creamy formula for acne-prone and oily skin - sans soap. Your skin will thank you for it!
Cleansing with hot water
We all know the adage: wash your face with hot water to open the pores, and then cold to close them. However what you really should be doing is using lukewarm water. Why? Very hot water will strip the skin of moisture and leave it feeling uncomfortably tight - leading to aggravation, redness, and you guessed it - blood vessel ruptures. It's not just at the sink where you need to be wary, but in the shower, where hot water will dry and irritate the skin, plus cause eczema to flare up.
Are you making any of these skincare mistakes?