So you have this whole skin care thing down to a science, huh? But there is more to skin care than just slathering your face with products. There are minor elements to healthy skin that are just as important, and if you neglect them, they can have dire consequences. Below, the most common skin care mistakes you're probably making:
Not paying attention to ingredients
Sure the box might have retinol and hyaluronic acid plastered all over the front, but if you actually want an honest idea of what's in the product, you have to look at the back of the box, specifically the ingredients label. These days most people know that parabens and silicones are bad and ceramides and hyaluronic acid are great, but checking the ingredients label is more than just scanning for good/bad ingredients. You also want to take note of the order of ingredients. Most drugstore products are overloaded with fillers, so if you need a serum rich in a particular ingredient, the percentage might be too low to offer the benefits you're looking for.
Instead, look for products that are rich in antioxidants, natural oils, "good" alcohol and vitamins. And make sure these good vitamins are near the top of the ingredients list and not buried at the bottom. Remember, fillers are a lot like empty vitamins. It's best to look for products that have carefully chosen ingredients that each make a difference in your skin.
Not washing your makeup brushes
There's an old wives' tale of a lady who never washed her makeup brushes, caught a bacterial infection and died. Fortunately, no one has ever died from an unclean makeup brush, although it did leave one woman paralyzed, but there are plenty of reasons to keep your makeup brushes clean without resorting to scare tactics. For one, by leaving a makeup brush unclean, you're subjecting your skin to bacteria, dirt and other irritants that can cause acne, rosacea and even eczema. Be smart and wash your makeup brush once a week with a gentle sulfate-free cleanser.
Mistyping your skin type
Surely no one knows your face better than you, right? But face mistyping is actually quite common. And if you don't know your skin type, there's no way you can select the right products for your skin. For example, those with sensitive skin should stay away from toners, while women with oily skin must remember to exfoliate. If you're a person with dry skin, you could be doing your skin real damage by using products not tailored to your skin type. To find out your skin type, here are some quick tips.
Not sticking to a regimen
When searching for the perfect skin care regimen, there will be trial and error. There will be the products that work, products that cause breakouts and products that worked but then stopped working. It might take awhile before you find the perfect combination of products, but once you find something that works, stick with it. Constantly changing products in and out can irritate the skin, causing it to act out negatively even against "good" products. Also, most products take at least a month or longer for results to appear, so try a little patience and stick with the products you have.
Washing face in hot water
Sure it feels great, but hot water is harsh and drying on the skin and can leave it feeling and looking dull. Instead of washing your face in the shower, try washing it in the sink with lukewarm water. In fact, supermodel Naomi Campbell and musician/producer Pharrell both cite washing their face in cold water as their anti-aging secret.
Forgetting diet and exercise
What you put in your body is just as important as what's on it. If you notice your expensive serums and moisturizers are not working, the problem is probably as simple as cutting back on sugar and drinking more water. There are also tons of superfoods you can eat that are packed with vitamins and antioxidants to improve your skin from the inside out.