Do you ever wonder, why your skin isn’t clearing up, despite all the money, time and effort you’ve spent on it?
Are you guilty of these 11 skin care crimes without even knowing?
The appearance of your skin can be influenced many factors. Figuring out exactly what is causing your skin problems can be difficult if you dont know what to look for. Here’s a few of our “favourite” skincare crimes that we *may* have been guilty of committing ourselves, and tricks on how to avoid them. Do you recognise any of these?
1. Not giving your skin the moisturiser it needs.
A good moisturiser is essential for your skin, no matter your skintype.
You might have convinced yourself that if your skin is already oily, it definitely doesn’t need any EXTRA creams. This is definitely not correct – Oily skin and hydrated skin are two completely different things!
Oily skin is usually an imbalance caused by using too harsh products and the wrong (or no) moisturiser to follow up with.
Think of it as washing your hair too often: your hair tends to get dry, but it also takes less and less time for your hair to get oily in-between washes.
The same goes for your skin; when you use harsh soaps or cleansers to strip your skin from its natural protective oil. Without afterwards giving it the moisture and treatment it needs, your skin goes into overdrive trying to recreate the oils. That’s how you end up with the greasy, shiny look.
2. Using the wrong products for your skin type.
If you’re suffering from acne or breakouts, that might be all you focus on when shopping skincare.
As mentioned in the first point, even problem skin needs moisturiser. It can be tempting to get the product that claims it’s for “SUPER OILY AND EXTREMELY GREASY SKIN”, in the hopes that we can dry out those annoying pimples.
But the idea of drying out acne is somewhat old school and it doesn’t always provide us with the best results.
Dry skin tends to be more fragile, flaky and is easier agitated and turning red-ish, whereas a balanced moisturised skin is more flexible and faster at healing and recovering after open breakouts.
3. Swapping products too often
If you’re a bargain hunter (like us) – those ‘dollar store’ creams might be doing more harm than good.
There is no silver bullet when it comes to clearing your skin. Products don’t work over night.
Every time you change your skin care products, your skin has to get used to the components in the new products. Breakouts, irritation and sensitivity are often caused by the imbalance between the old and new products.
Having a good skincare routine is like trying to eat healthier or starting to work out. Trying a new crash diet or sporadically going to the gym once or twice will not make a change in the long run.
Consistency is key when it comes to a good skincare routine.
It’s a good idea to give your skin a few weeks to get used to the product. Otherwise, you won’t see the true effect it has on your skin.
4. Not cleaning your makeup tools often enough
Your brushes, sponges and beauty blenders are must haves when it comes to a great makeup application. However, they tend to absorb quite a bit of product.
Unfortunately product isn’t all that gets into those tools.
General bacteria and oils from your face and cross contamination with other products ends up in the tools too. Your skincare routine might be great, but re-applying old bacteria to your face every time you put on make up can definitely cause unintended breakouts.
But how often is often enough you might ask? The answer might shock you!
According to dermatologists you should be cleaning the tools used on your face, such as foundation and concealer brushes and sponges, at LEAST once a week!
The tools used around your eyes should be cleaned at least twice a month, and everything else will do with just one wash a month.
This might sound like a lot of work, but applying makeup with a dirty brush ends in a spottier and not well blended result too.
So on top of minimising the breakouts it is definitely worth it for the flawless finish.
5. Touching your face without even realising
How many times a day do you touch your face? If you’re not sure, that’s very understandable. Is it even possible to count something that you don’t notice doing?
It can be just the little things such as leaning your chin in your palm while you’re working or studying. Or a quick scratch here or there, maybe just wiping a bit of sweat off your forehead, or removing a little misplaced makeup.
Unfortunately our hands come into contact with a lot of things during the course of a day.
By touching your face you are transferring bacteria from the subway, public door knobs, money or whatelse you’ve been touching onto your face throughout the day.
Research from the university of Colorado at Boulder shows, that we on average carry 3,200 bacteria from 150 different species on our hands, including Staphylococcus epidermis and many, many more.
Touching your face can easily smudge your makeup. But even worse is that transferring dirt and bacteria from our hands to our faces where it doesn’t belong will inevitably lead to dirty, clogged pores which later leads to breakouts.
But how do you stop doing something that you don’t even notice doing? Experts say, that the first step is becoming aware of the action.
Since face touching can be a sign of a mild form of OCD, the best thing to do, is trying to replace the face touching with another behaviour instead, like brushing your teeth, flossing your teeth, or doing a yoga pose.
I’m sure a stress ball or something similar might be able to help as well.
At least I hope that this point helped you become aware of your face touching and hopefully it will help avoid many unwanted breakouts in the future.
PS. For a last terrifying point before we move on – Researchers have found that a cell phone on average carries more than 7,000 different types of bacteria, most commonly the Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, and Corynebacterium families, but sometimes even E.coli.
And scientists at the University of Arizona have found that cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats!
So keep that phone away from your face and plug in your headphones or AirPods next time you’re on a call.
6. Picking your spots and breakouts
We have all heard this one, not once or twice, but a trillion times. So why do we keep doing it? And why does it feels so good right until the point where we stop and realise the damage we have done to our faces?
The instant gratification of popping a pimple is definitely not worth the following instant regret that comes after. Having a face full of red, agitated open sores, that takes way longer to heal absolutely sucks.
As we already established in the previous point, our hands carry a lot of bacteria. Every time we start picking our skin, we spread the bacteria and infection hiding inside the breakout. We also transfer several thousands of other bacteria from our hands that have no business being in our faces, causing even more breakouts!
When we start digging around in our skin we actually disrupt the barrier of the skin. That allows the bacteria that’s usually found on the surface to penetrate into deeper levels of the skin and cause new problems.
On top of that we are now dealing with an open wound that is much more sensitive to outside bacteria and additional infection, takes longer to heal and might even turn into a permanent scar.
So I think we can all agree that picking is a bad idea. Instead use a spot treatment or an acne patch to help get rid of the pimples and blemishes that you would otherwise have picked.
If you are an enthusiastic picker it might be difficult to stop the habit. But you can try to snap a picture of your face before and after picking – maybe seeing all the redness you leave behind will help remind you why you shouldn’t be picking.
We love a good exfoliation as much as the next person, but not all exfoliation products are created equal.
As tempting as it is to give your skin a good, proper scrub, you might want to reconsider how often you do it and what kind of products you use.
Because the truth is, that the skin in our faces are much thinner and more sensitive than the rest of our bodies. And as nice and natural as a walnut shell or ground coffee scrub sounds, it’s not all that when it comes to your face.
When you scrub your skin with abrasive scrubs, they leave micro-tears in the upper skin layers. Not only does it make your skin appear older, thinner and more fragile – the skin becomes more susceptible to sun damage, environmental damage and pollution, that can (you guessed it) cause further breakouts.
Instead, consider using more gentle products for exfoliating your face, such as chemical exfoliants, sugar based scrubs, or our personal favourite; the natural konjac sponge.
8. Not drinking enough water
Yet another classic that comes as no surprise. But how much water should you be drinking and how does it actually benefit your skin?
Let’s start at the beginning.
Health authorities recommend about 2 litres a day, but that amount can vary if you’re in a hotter climate or have been very physically active (see: sweaty).
And as much as we would like it to be, coffee is not the same as water.
But why is the water so important to your skin and its appearance?
There are tons of benefits to staying hydrated, such as reducing fine lines and wrinkles, improving the skins complexion, reduced puffiness, faster healing, clearing acne, slowing ageing, smaller pores and reduced itchiness. And if that’s not enough, drinking more water helps you thinking more clearly and reduces the tendencies to sugar cravings.
A few tips to stay on top of your water intake can be always carrying a bottle with you (get an insulated one if you prefer your water cold), drinking water as the first thing you do when you wake up and the last thing you do before going to bed, or set alarms on your phones to remind yourself to drink water throughout the day.
Another trick to drink more water is to download a water drinking App. There are many options to stay on top of the exact amount you should be drinking based on your personal info (such as My Water Balance or Aqualert), or even having fun with it by making a game out of it (like Plant Nanny or Water Time). The possibilities are endless and a quick Google search will show you the best ones.
9. Going to bed without cleaning your face
As tempting as it can be after a long day, it’s really not worth it. Not only is it a bad idea not to remove your makeup, but after a full day, your skin now has a mixture of old products, excess oils, makeup, bacteria and pollution all over it.
And we have already established the importance of moisturiser. But you can’t just add that as another layer on top of everything else, because a) the product wont be able to make it down through the skin and actually benefit you. And b) all the buildup of products, sebum and bacteria will easily clog up your pores, making them appear larger and dirtier, and eventually cause new breakouts and pimples.
Additionally you will have to change your pillow case much more often if you don’t clean your face. Bacteria and everything else from your skin ends up there, and is still able to cause new breakouts the days where you actually did clean your face.
There’s no “trick” to this one, you just got to spend the extra minutes it takes to clean your face before going to bed, and your skin definitely deserves a rest after being on the front line all day.
10. Using cheap dollar store products without checking the contents
Shopping cheap skincare can be a lot of fun, and sometimes you end up with great findings that remain a part of your routine for years to come.
And if only that was always the case. But it isn’t, and the wrong product can have longterm consequences on your skin, if your skin is already sensitive and prone to irritation.
The thing with cheap skincare is, that the quality of the ingredients often suffer in order to be able to sell at such a low price point. It can be difficult to decode the ingredients list on the back of some products, and that gets taken advantage of at times.
What you want to keep an eye out for, is the type of ingredients that are called “fillers”. Fillers in skincare products are usually cheaper chemical compounds that doesn’t actually benefit your skin in any way. They’re only there to “beef up” the product or redirect you from focusing on what else is in the product (“it smells so good!”).
Common filler ingredients to keep an eye on are fragrance, parabens, dyes/colorants, Ethanolamine Compounds (DEA, TEA, generally used as an emulsifier), PEGs (generally used as emollients, thickeners, solvents) and phthalates.
If you already have sensitive skin, these fillers can provoke irritation and breakouts. And then certain products might smell super nice, but is it really worth it if your skin is paying the price?
Our suggestion is prioritising your budget to go quality over quantity and just getting a few good essentials. It might a little more expensive and a little less adventurous, but you and your skin deserve it.
11. Fighting against your skin when trying to get rid of acne
Skin is the human body’s largest organ, and it’s been tasked with the important role of protecting everything on our insides from the outside.
But that can be forgotten at the times when your skin is acting up and starts doing exactly the opposite of what you want it to.
It can be quite tempting to throw everything you have in the cabinets on your face to “take that acne out” once and for all, but unfortunately that’s not quite how it works. Acne, breakouts and pimples appear when our skin is unbalanced and our bodies are trying to dump toxins. I’m sure we would all prefer if this was done differently, but that’s just how it works and there’s not much to do about it.
You probably have good intentions (or just a lot of frustration) when you’re trying to rid your skin from acne and breakouts, but it isn’t always the thought that counts. The harsh products might be meant for the pimples, but they can easily turn the rest of your skin dry, flaky and sensitive.
Instead go for products that will boost and support your skin. Treating acne is not done in one day. Choose skincare that will nourish your skin, so you can establish a healthy dermis and help your skin become more balanced and flexible.
After all, your skin will always be with you, so you might as well team up and fight the breakouts together.
We hope you enjoyed the article! Let us know what you think in the comments, and feel free to like and share.
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