Top 16 Skincare Mistakes To Avoid

Top 16 Skincare Mistakes To Avoid

By Lifestyles | The Trent on December 26, 2013
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Michelle Obama

by Taryn Davies |

Taking care of our skin should be something we should all be conscious of, and whilst some women do, are we still making mistakes?

Jill Zander, founder of the Jill Zander Skin Rejuvenation Clinic, tells us where our skin care regime could be going wrong. Before you are guilty (yet again!) of sleeping in your make up or forgetting your SPF, let’s stop those bad skin habits in their tracks for good. Ladies take note.

1. Too Much Moisturiser

If a moisturiser is correctly suited to your skin type, it should feel comfortable on the skin and not leave skin feeling greasy or oily. If you select the incorrect moisturiser for your skin type, your skin can become too dry or too greasy. A day moisturiser should always contain an SPF. Night creams should only be used at night as they tend to be richer and don’t contain any sun protection. Never put moisturiser around your eyes as the thinner skin can easily become overloaded with product and cause blockages that appear as little white spots.

2. Over Exfoliating

Go easy on exfoliation. Over-exfoliating can lead to redness and irritation and constantly stripping your skin can actually make the skin greasy as it over compensates for lack of oil. Physical exfoliating scrubs that have sharp, uneven grains can tear or damage the skin. Non-abrasive exfoliators that use AHA, BHA and fruit acids, rather than a physical scrub, can help prevent sensitive skin from being over exfoliated. Normal to oily skin only needs exfoliating twice a week. IMAGE Skin Care’s Ageless Total Facial Cleanser (£25) helps remove all traces of dirt whilst gently exfoliating the skin.

Janet Jackson The Trent

3. Rushing Serum Application

We need to carefully layer our skincare products like we layer our clothes. When using a serum on the skin, it’s important to let it sink in and dry before applying your moisturiser. Otherwise the concentrated serum gets diluted by the moisturiser meaning your skin doesn’t reap all the benefits.

4. Anti-Ageing Creams Before You’re Skin’s Ready

A huge no-no is to use anti-ageing skincare before your skin shows signs of ageing. If you use potent anti-ageing ingredients before your skin needs them, they will either have no effect or a detrimental one. For example retinols are superb for anti-ageing the skin, however if used before they are needed, or in too high a concentration, the skin will literally peel off. Similarly with skin peels – if you use them too early, too frequently or too potent a peel, skin can become very fragile and thin.

5. Using Retinol Without Acclimatising Skin 

Retinol has been proven to improve skin clarity and texture, promote anti-pigmentation and treat acne. When starting to use a retinol product, skin needs to gradually acclimatise as vitamin A (retinol) can irritate skin. To build up skin tolerance, allow 3 day intervals between applications for two weeks. Only apply retinol in the evening to minimize light sensitivity. Also ensure you have not been given a product where the concentration is too high if you are younger. A great one to try is Medik8 Retinol 3 TR (£31) as this is less irritating due to the time release technology which gradually releases the active ingredients.

6. The Wrong Face Mask

As with moisturisers, select your face mask according to your skin type. For example clay-based masks, or those with ingredients for oily, spotty skin, such as salicylic acid will cause normal-dry skin to flake off. If your skin is in need of moisture, select one for dry skin with skin nourishing and replenishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid or vitamin E. A nice clay-based mark to try is Medik8 ClayMask (£27). Or for oily or spot-prone skin, try IMAGE Skin Care’s Clear Cell Medicated Acne Masque (£31.95).

7. Forgetting SPF

Come rain or shine, we should all wear SPF during the day as the sun is the biggest cause of wrinkles. The trick is to find a sunscreen that slips elegantly under foundation and moisturiser and becomes a seamless part of your morning routine. Better still, wear a daily moisturiser or moisturising tint that contains an SPF. Then, you don’t have to even think about your SPF application! One I like is IMAGE Skincare’s new PREVENTION + Daily Hydrating Moisturizer SPF 30 (£39.95) as this lightweight, ultra-sheer UVA/UVB broad spectrum moisturiser provides ultimate protection against the ageing effects of the sun and environmental exposure. This long-lasting intensely hydrating moisturiser contains potent antioxidant Thiothaine, as well as other essential vitamins to prevent free radical damage.

Queen Lateefah The Trent

8. Using Face Wipes

Some face wipes contain harsh chemicals and high levels of alcohol that can dry the skin out. When rubbed vigorously on the skin, particularly around the delicate eye area, they can cause irritation and even stinging or redness. Stripping the skin using harsh ingredients like alcohol can actually not only dry, but cause the skin to become greasy.

9. Sleeping in Make Up

Sleeping with dirt, oil and makeup on can cause acne and enlarged pores. This is not the route to being a sleeping beauty! As we sleep at night, our skin repairs itself, so it’s a key time to feed your skin with nourishing skincare products, but only once the canvas is clean! Think of make up removal as washing away the day’s grime!

10. Slapping on Creams

People tend to slap on creams, rubbing vigorously, mainly on the cheeks! The pressure, direction and movement should be as below and spread creams evenly.

Eyes – apply a small amount using your index finger in a circle around the eye area. Use gentle pressure for this area as the skin is fine and delicate.

Face – apply from the neck up, using semi-firm upward movements, working against gravity! Never drag skin downwards.

Décolletage – People forget the décolletage – use cream here too. 

Gabrille Union The Trent 2

11. Squeezing Spots

Squeezing spots is one of the biggest beauty crimes! Not only can the spot become infected, but you can actually make it bigger and even leave a scar. It can also spread bacteria leading to more spots. Instead use a spot gel that contains niacinamide (which soothes the skin) and resist picking at it, and it’ll fade on its own. Over-treating the blemish will just irritate your skin, and picking it will cause the oil to spread, and leave you with a nasty scab that’s a lot harder to conceal than a tiny little pimple.

12. Frequently Changing Products

A very common mistake is changing products too often. It’s really important to try a new product for at least 3 months to see the true effect it has on the skin. If a product doesn’t agree with your skin, stop using it immediately. Also incorporate new products slowly – one about every 6 weeks. But do look at your skincare every 6 months – autumn and spring to fit the weather.

13. Mucky Make Up Brushes

If using make up brushes, washing them should be a regular part of your beauty routine. When you use your brushes, bits of makeup, oil, dirt, and even bacteria can get trapped in the bristles. So while it might seem basic, skipping this step can lead to clogged pores and pesky breakouts. Clean brushes weekly.

14. Using the Wrong Products for Your Skin Type

The quickest way to find out your skin type is to wash your face, pat it dry, leave it for 20 minutes, then take this skin test:

  • Press a piece of tissue on different spots on your face
  • The paper will stick if you have oily skin
  • If the tissue doesn’t stick you have dry skin
  • If it sticks in your T-zone area (forehead, nose and chin), you have combination skin

For a more advanced assessment, multi-spectral computerised analysis can help determine sun damage and areas of potential future pigmentation.

15. Skimping on Sleep

Skin repairs itself at night. If you are regularly sleep deprived, your complexion will show it. It’s not called beauty sleep for nothing!

16. Forgetting Eye Cream!

Eye cream is an essential part of your skincare routine as the skin around the eyes is thinner and more delicate. This means that it ages faster than the rest of your face. Start using an eye cream twice daily from your 20’s onwards.


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