While our skincare regimens aim to achieve and maintain a healthy and youthful complexion, an improper routine or the use of the wrong skincare products might cause more harm to your skin than good. Skincare mistakes can pave the way to various skin issues, including premature signs of aging, such as fine lines, age spots, and wrinkles.
The key to making sure your skincare regimen and skincare products are helping you attain your skincare goals instead of leading to skincare problems is to avoid common mistakes that might lead to premature aging. Here are a few things to keep in mind and skincare mistakes to avoid in order to enjoy radiant skin in the long run.
- Not Wearing Sunscreen - Protecting the skin from the harmful radiations of the sun, free radicals, and numerous other toxic agents in the environment is one of the most basic and crucial steps in any skincare routine. Oxidative damage caused by UV rays and free radicals is among the top and most common reasons behind premature aging, inflammation, and hyperpigmentation. According to Dr. Kiran Sethi, a celebrity dermatologist, “About 70% of the signs of ageing are from the sun…”¹ Therefore, never skip sun protection and amply slather a broad-spectrum sunscreen, preferably with SPF 30 and above, on the skin. Besides applying sunscreen in the morning, it’s important to reapply it throughout the day.
- Not Removing Makeup - Other than protecting the skin against outside elements or toxins, cleansing is the most restated and fundamental step in a skincare routine. Our skin comes in contact with countless chemicals, dirt, grime, bacteria, and other pollutants accumulating in the pores. Also, if you are wearing makeup during the day, it can build up in the pores. Cleansing your skin every night before going to bed helps to draw out impurities and makeup residue from the skin, which can otherwise lay the ground for certain skin problems, including acne, blackheads, discoloration, wrinkles, and inflammation.
- Right Skincare Products - Have you invested in expensive skincare products endorsed by your friends, beauty bloggers, celebrities, and skincare specialists but still not seen the promised results? Well, no matter how good a skincare product is, it may not be suitable for your skin and its unique needs. Consider your skin type, condition, and requirements to reap the most benefits from your skincare products. So, don’t forget to scan the labels while buying a cleanser, moisturizer, serum, facial mask, or any other skincare product to ensure that they work for your skin. If you’re not able to figure out which products to go for, talk to your dermatologist or skincare expert instead of guessing. Once you find the right skincare products for your skin, you will see a difference.
- Wrong Order of Skincare Products - Another factor that can take your skincare game to the next level is applying your skincare products in the proper order. The correct order of skincare products can help you reap the optimal benefits of each product. Only certain ingredients and formulations can penetrate the skin, even if a product is perfectly formulated and applied. Hence, following the correct order can yield the best outcome from your skincare products. The general rule of thumb is to apply your skincare products from thinner to a thicker consistency. Also, give each product time to absorb into the skin and then apply the following product.
- Forgetting about the Neck - One common skincare mistake is not paying enough attention to the neck and décolletage. The fact is that your neck is as visible as your face, and the skin on this area is thin and delicate, which makes it highly susceptible to sagginess, fine lines, and wrinkles. In addition, the neck is probably one of the first areas of your body to show noticeable signs of aging, making it an early marker of aging. Therefore, it’s quintessential to show equal love and care for your neck when following your skincare routine. Don’t neglect your neck and décolletage when applying your cleanser, serum, moisturizer, sunscreen, and other skincare products.
- Not Getting Enough Sleep - We have all been told to get ample sleep to look fresh and radiant in the morning. Well, beauty sleep is real! If you’re missing out on your sleep, it may reflect on your face. Since sleep helps to stimulate the body’s natural repair and renewal process, it’s vital for restoring the damaged and saggy skin to its healthier, plumper form. Also, lack of sleep can lead to dehydration, dullness, and inflammation. All these factors can make you appear older. Getting enough sleep can be beneficial in faster cell regeneration, restoring the skin's hydration level, and reducing inflammation. So, monitor your sleep and get the zzzs your body needs.
- Improper Diet - Maintaining a radiant and supple complexion doesn’t only depend on the topical skincare products you use and following your regular skincare routine. Feeding your body with the right sort of foods and avoiding certain types of foods is as crucial as slathering on the right skincare products. Intaking excessive sugar is one of the worst habits that can lead to cell damage, leading to premature signs of aging. Sugar is known to trigger glycation in the body, which involves the attachment of sugar molecules to the proteins and lipids in the body.² It leads to the breakdown of elastin and collagen, increasing the likelihood of wrinkles and fine lines. Try to limit your sugar intake to 30 grams or less per day.
- Over-Exfoliating the Skin - We all know that sloughing off dead, dull skin cells from the skin's outer surface is necessary for revealing smoother, softer, and even-toned skin underneath. Without regular exfoliation, dead skin can build up in the pores, leading to blackheads, acne, inflammation, and premature signs of aging. Nevertheless, it’s also highly imperative to note that over-exfoliating the skin can cause skin damage. Too often, using an exfoliator can aggravate and over-dry the skin, causing dehydration, irritation, redness, discoloration, and wrinkles. Hence, based on your skin type and concerns, avoid overdoing this significant step of your skincare routine and only exfoliate once or twice every week. Moreover, don’t opt for harsh exfoliating products containing abrasive ingredients to avoid damaging the skin.
- Skipping Your Moisturizer - Keeping the skin hydrated and moisturized is recommended for everyone to help them sustain the skin’s moisture and hydration level. A well-hydrated and moisturized complexion also protects and strengthens the skin’s outer lipid barrier, making the skin more resilient against external damaging elements. It may seem counterintuitive to apply a moisturizer to oily or acne-prone skin. However, the reality is that oily skin also needs constant moisture and hydration to stay healthy. You can choose from a range of moisturizing lotions, gels, and creams according to your skin type.
- Touching Your Skin - Our hands constantly touch various surfaces filled with bacteria, dirt, and other toxins during the day. These impurities can transfer to our skin as we touch our faces. This can wreak havoc on the skin, especially if you have inflamed or acne-prone skin. The problems can be even worse if your hands carry germs, making your skin infected and irritated. Avoid touching your face with unclean hands, no matter how hard it may seem.
- Exposure to Extreme Temperatures - If you’re someone who is fond of saunas, hot showers, and hot tubs, your love for heat may be damaging your skin. Too much heat can lead to solar elastosis and damage the skin, contributing to the appearance of early signs of aging.³ While really hot water dilates your blood vessels, really cold water can cause constriction as well. As a result, your skin may suffer from broken capillaries. It’s recommended to avoid extreme temperatures and wash your face and body with tepid water instead of using hot or cold water.
Countless times, it has been reiterated that a consistent and appropriate skincare routine that involves using the right skincare products is essential to keep the skin looking and feeling its best. Sometimes, small mistakes can be the reason behind your skin problems, especially premature aging. When it comes to enjoying healthy, happy skin, paying attention to details is the key. Unfortunately, we often overlook some skincare mistakes that can lead to premature aging and other skin issues.
Avoid the above-mentioned skincare mistakes to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy longer. We hope these tips will aid you on your journey to the skin of your dreams. Happy skin is on the way.
- Sachdev, Geetika. (2020). ‘These 5 skincare mistakes are making you look much older than you are’, Healthshots, Accessed April 4, 2022. Available at: https://www.healthshots.com/beauty/skin-care/5-skincare-mistakes-responsible-for-premature-aging/
- Long, April. (2012). ‘Sugar And Aging: How To Fight Glycation’, Elle, Accessed April 7, 2022. Available at: https://www.elle.com/beauty/makeup-skin-care/tips/a2471/sugar-aging-how-to-fight-glycation-614621/
- Thomas, Liji, MD. (2022). ‘Solar Elastosis/Actinic Elastosis’, News-medical.net. Accessed April 7, 2022. Available at: https://www.news-medical.net/health/Solar-Elastosis-Actinic-Elastosis.aspx