Whether you’ve mastered a double-cleansing routine or are someone who rarely removes her make-up before bed (hey, we’ve all been there!), be wary of these common skincare mistakes that can wreak havoc on your skin.
Skincare Mistake: Skimping on moisturizer
Skin type: Oily
“People with oily skin often believe that they don’t need to moisturize often or that doing so will make their skin more oily,” says dermatologist Dr. Howard Murad. “However, your body produces more oils when it’s trying to compensate for lack of hydration.”
Look for a moisturizer with humectants to help the skin absorb and retain moisture. And moisturizing isn’t only about keeping your skin looking hydrated. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid also reduce fine lines and plump the skin.
Try: Murad Oil-Control Mattifer SPF 15 PA ++, $48, muradcanada.com
Skincare Mistake: Getting way too comfortable with extractions
Skin type: Acne Prone
“People often believe that popping a blemish will make it heal faster,” says Murad, “In actuality, self-extractions cause inflammation and further spread bacteria to the skin, and can lead to acne scars.” Murad instead recommends incorporating an effective acne treatment into your skincare routine to battle breakouts. Then leave them alone.
Try: Kate Somerville EradiKate, $31, sephora.com
Skincare Mistake: Using harsh physical exfoliators
Skin type: Dry
“Exfoliating dead skin cells is extremely important,” says Dr. Dennis Gross, an NYC-based dermatologist and founder of Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare. “Not only do dead cells make a complexion dull, but they can also clog pores and lead to breakouts. Exfoliating on a daily basis has anti-aging benefits as it helps to reduce and fade dark spots and firms the skin.” But Gross cautions against over-exfoliating and recommends chemical exfoliators (like an acid peel) over harsh scrubs. The grains in physical exfoliators can be too rough for most skin types, causing micro-tears in the skin.
Try: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Peel, $20 for 5, sephora.com
Skincare Mistake: Cleansing too often
Skin type: All
If you’re after that squeaky-clean feeling, you may be doing your skin more harm than good. “If you cleanse at night and apply serums and a moisturizer, your skin should be balanced and clean the next morning,” says Drunk Elephant founder Tiffany Masterson, meaning there’s no need to clean it again. “[Your natural acids] are the first line of defense your skin has and the more we allow them to thrive and function without disruption, the healthier our skin will be.” Instead of sudsing up in the a.m., try rinsing with lukewarm water, and save the lather for post-workout and bedtime.
Try: Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, $112, sephora.com
Skincare Mistake: Wearing the wrong SPF
Skin type: All
Our best defense against aging is protection. “One of the biggest mistakes people make is not using the right sunscreen,” says Dr. Marko Lens, a London-based plastic surgeon and expert on skin aging and skin cancer. And if you think you’re getting enough protection by using a foundation with an SPF, think again. In reality you should be using a teaspoon-sized dollap of a stand-alone sunscreen product daily on your face and neck. “It’s also important to know that it only provides efficacy for a maximum of two hours, so it must be reapplied,” says Lens.
Try: Zelens’ Daily Defence Sunscreen SPF 30, $86, beautybay.com
Skincare Mistake: Neglecting the neck and décolleté area
Skin type: All
There’s a reason that the neck often reveals our age sooner than our face: we neglect it. “It should be treated with just as much care,” says Omorovicza’s senior therapist and trainer, Valerie Solymosi. “The skin on the neck and décolleté is extremely thin and contains less sebaceous glands than elsewhere on the body. As a result, skin [in that area] is dry and less supple and as we age, collagen and elastin naturally breaks down, leaving the skin to crease. This delicate area is also constantly exposed to sun and stress.”
Try: Omorovicza Firming Neck Cream, $206, nordstrom.com