We all try to do what's best for our skin, but sometimes it's the things we do unintentionally that cause harm. Are You Making These Skin Mistakes?
#1 Using Hot Water to Cleanse Your Skin
This is a common mistake that has passed down through generations. We believe that using hot water helps cleanse more thoroughly, and sitting in hot bath or showers is good for us to relax muscles. While the latter may be true, your skin does not benefit at all from using hot water on it. Lukewarm to warm is the temperature that you wanna stick with. Anything in the hot to the very hot range will strip skin of precious natural oils that it produces to keep skin moisturized and supple. If you have very dry skin, and usually take hot showers, that could be the reason why. Turn the temperature down and see how your skin reacts. You could be pleasantly surprised. Another note: your pores are not made to stand up to extreme temperatures (even very cold water can shock pores into an adverse reaction, causing breakouts and other issues). If water is extremely hot, you can potentially scald skin and cause pigment issues.
2. #2 Exfoliating Too Often
If you have ever exfoliated, you know that your skin feels freakin’ AWSOME right after a good scrub and rinse! And while it is easy to get addicted to this smooth-as-a-baby’s butt feeling, exfoliating too much can have a very damaging effect on the skin. As a rule, most people should only exfoliate (both face and body) no more than twice per week. Once per week if you have very sensitive skin, and with very gentle exfoliants if you suffer from eczema and other skin concerns that could be irritated by harsher scrubs. Think of it like this. If you are trying to get a piece of beautiful wood smooth, you use sandpaper to smooth it out and make it look beautiful. But what if after the surface is cleared, and it’s smooth, you continued scrubbing away? It would do the reverse, and scratch that poor wood until it looked rough again. Furthermore, you’d scrub a bunch of good wood surface off that didn’t need to be lifted in the first place! Same thing goes for your skin, you start off fine, removing dead skin cells, and revealing beautiful new cells underneath. But if you keep scrubbing away, day after day, you end up tearing up skin cells that are not needing to be removed, and damaging your skin’s beautiful surface! Put the scrub away for a few days, and look forward to the next exfoliating experience later!
3. #3 Touching Your Face
This is one we are all guilty of. We don’t even realize we’re doing it until it comes up in an article like this. Touching your face can be a huge issue for skin. Especially if you already have acne-prone or sensitive skin. Your hands carry hundreds, if not thousands or germs and bacteria on them daily from just the normal things we touch. Factor in the number of doorknobs, water faucets, trash can lids, and light switches we touch just between home and office and you can imagine everything we pick up along the way. While we may believe that basic handwashing will cut through the disgusting film of germiness we have acquired, the truth is, most hand washes are not antibacterial, and if they are they are, most commercial washes are only 97% effective (and yes, that 3% left over is a MAJOR factor). Skin is very sensitive to bacteria because pores are meant to absorb what is placed on top of them, so placing your hands (and that 3%) of bacteria on your face several times a day can result in the absorption of a lot of gross stuff that can cause breakouts, or rashes.
4. #4 Putting Moisturizers on Dehydrated Skin
If you have dry skin all the time despite applying moisturizers repeatedly throughout the day, chances are it’s because you first applied it on dry skin. Now, I know this may seem confusing because aren’t moisturizer made for dry skin? Well, yes, but moisturizers are made to help seal in moisture, meaning your skin needed moisture in or on it, to begin with, to help it lock it all in. The best moisturizer to lock in (or should I say hydration) is water. Right after jumping out of the shower, pat dry (or if you’re bold enough, don’t dry off at all and just air dry a bit for 2 or 3 minutes) but make sure you leave some water on your skin. You should be nice and damp. Then, rub all the butter, lotion and oil your little heart can desire right on top of that still damp skin. Voila! I bet you a R$ch Butter All-Over Wash that your skin stays moisturized all day, if not much longer than it ever has before. Try it, and let me know. You know I’m waiting to hear all about it!
5. #5 Using Too Many Products
We all have been guilty of being a beauty junkie and one time or another. New products and experimenting with mixing our concoctions is so tempting!!! Take it from a mixologist turned Organic Mad Scientist, I LOVE to experiment with everything new I see in Glamour and Essence beauty articles. New mask? I tried it at least once! New Lotion? Um, let me mix that with some Melan-In. But the truth of the matter is, switching up and using too many products can confuse skin. And confused skin REACTS! And usually it does not react well. Remember, when we purchase new products, we want a result, not a reaction. While some reaction to any new product is normal. Sudden breakout that subsides within a week or so, slight oiliness or dryness that balances out and other mild reactions that clear up on their own with continued use is considered normal. What is not a normal reaction? Burning, extreme redness that looks inflamed or like a rash, skin peeling, skin that cracks or bleeds, breakouts that do not subside within 2 weeks, skin that is dry and tight to the point that it is uncomfortable, or any other reaction that you feel like is just not okay for your skin. Please try to limit your regimen to our 3 basics: Cleanser, toner, moisturizer. And add serums for added benefits (if you really need them) and save topical agents and exfoliants for when you really need them. Everything in the beauty industry is in a pretty package (that’s why it’s the BEAUTY industry) but don’t get sucked into putting every pretty thing on your face just because it looks, well, pretty.
There are more things that we should be avoiding in our skin journeys, but these 5 are at the top of my list. Try slowly taking note of your habits when it comes to these 5, and see how it changes your skin story! Make sure you're also following us on Instagram so that you can catch all of our daily skin care tips and product recommendations.