Getting skincare right can feel a lot like being back in high school chemistry class. There are always a number of separate but related factors that contribute to how your skin looks and feels. If you’re making an effort to keep your skin in tip top shape but not seeing results, you might be making these common beauty mistakes. You may be:
Using too many actives at once
When it comes to skincare, more is definitely not more. If you’re using many different skincare products at once with the hope of getting fast results, taking a step back may actually help you reach your goals much quicker. Using too many products which are made with active ingredients (such as Vitamin A/Retinol, Vitamin C, AHAs or BHAs) regularly is likely to do more harm than good. Using these exfoliating actives at the same time will compromise your skin’s natural moisture barrier and leave you with a dehydrated, angry and inflamed face – not quite the look you’re going for! Skin which has a healthy moisture barrier will be able to function and repair itself much faster and in turn will be calmer and more even-toned. As a general rule of thumb, you should build up the use of actives into your routine slowly starting from once or twice a week, depending on how sensitive your skin is. Avoid using any two actives in one daily routine and try to pare back to no more than one active a day. Prioritise your results and go from there – for example, if your objective is clear skin then starting out with a BHA only will help reduce your active clogs and breakouts. After you have your breakouts under control, you can consider replacing the BHA with an AHA or Vitamin C once or twice a week to work on fading those breakout scars.
Not keeping things clean
You wash your face morning and night and you try not to touch or pick at your skin. So why are you still getting breakouts? Unfortunately, there are still a number of ways that harmful bacteria may be finding their way to your skin. The most common culprits are your make-up brushes and sponges, such as Beauty Blenders, which tend to remain damp and particularly inviting to bacteria. This bacteria transfers to your skin every time you apply your make-up, so make sure you keep your beauty tools clean and allow them to dry in between uses. This same principle applies to your pillowcase. If you are particularly blemish-prone, you may even consider changing your pillowcase every 3 days to reduce the amount of bacteria that transfers onto your skin while you sleep. Finally, just remember that your phone touches absolutely everything, and every time you answer the phone, your skin is exposed to all that bacteria. Terrifying. While you can’t eliminate the spread of this bacteria entirely, regularly cleaning your phone with disinfectant wipes will help reduce the risk.
Not wearing enough sunscreen
It’s great that you’re wearing sunscreen every day, but the work is not yet done (sorry). Now the question is, are you wearing enough? Nothing sabotages your skin more than over-exposure to UV rays, and that sabotage doesn’t just mean that your skin will show signs of ageing later in life. At any age, sun exposure will have an immediate negative impact on your skin, including dehydration and pigmentation. If you have any blemishes from acne breakouts, sun exposure will only darken these and make them harder to fade. So, if you wear sunscreen that’s formulated into your moisturiser or foundation, you’re at risk as it may not be enough. The easiest way to make sure you’re safe is to find a high-factor, lightweight sunscreen you love and can commit to wearing daily, and use this in conjunction with the SPF in your foundation or complexion products.