So you've splurged on a whole new skincare routine, but you're still not seeing results. Sound familiar? Newsflash: you could be making one of these common skincare mistakes, and throwing off your whole skincare routine. People think you can just get some moisturiser and eye cream and there your done but that's not the case. Here are some of the most common skincare mistakes you’re probably making, and how to fix them to get glowing skin.
Not taking your makeup off at night
One of the most common - and most harmful - skincare errors is not taking your makeup off at night time.
Nighttime is an essential part of your skin’s restorative process. This is when your skin has time to repair damaged cells and replenish moisture. One way in which the skin does this is by producing more of its own natural sebum. This oily secretion is full of nutrients and fatty acids to help the skin heal itself. Although this oil is good for the skin, when it's mixed with makeup, grime and dirt, it can clog pores and cause major break-outs.
Using face wipes
Say it with me: face wipes won’t clean your face. Sure, they’ll take off your makeup, but they’ll also strip essential oils from the surface layers of the skin, while leaving your pores full of gunk. While face wipes can be handy for travelling or a music festival, you shouldn’t be relying on them as part of your daily skincare routine.
Not double cleansing
While face wipes won’t clean your face, double cleansing definitely will. So what exactly is double cleansing? Basically, just washing your face twice - once to remove makeup, and a second time to actually cleanse the skin. While some people like to remove their makeup with face wipes before going in with a second cleanse, they can be overly drying and irritate your skin. So make sure you are washing your face right to protect against dry skin.
Try using gentle micellar water with a cotton round, or an oil cleanser - which has the added benefit of being less wasteful. Oil cleansers and balms are particularly good at breaking heavier oil-based makeup, which includes mascara, concealer and most foundations. If you have dry skin, follow up with a gentle water-based cleanser with hydrating factors like hyaluronic acid. Stick to cleansing milk and gelée formulas, which will cleanse without stripping your skin’s oils. If you have oily skin, try a gentle foaming cleanser with salicylic acid to clean out your pores without irritating your skin.
Using microbead scrubs
As well as being bad for the environment, microbeads are bad for your skin. They’re too abrasive and can cause more damage than good in the long run. ‘Natural’ scrubs aren’t necessarily better. Many natural scrubs use exfoliants like walnut shell, which can cause tiny micro-abrasions in the skin that lead to inflammation and infection.
Stick to either fruit-derived enzyme scrubs, which use naturally-derived alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) to eat away dead skin cells. If you’re someone who really likes the buffing effect of physical exfoliants, use a clean washcloth to lightly slough away dead skin cells. Just make sure it’s super clean - like fresh out of the laundry, and only use it 2-3 times before washing it again. Washcloths are havens for dirt and acne-causing bacteria, so you should have a couple in rotation to avoid re-contaminating your skin.
With the boom in popularity of cleansing brushes, chemical toners, retinoids and scrubs, we’re all exfoliating way too much. Over exfoliation can damage your skin’s moisture barrier, which in turn can result in a whole host of problems - like inflammation, acne, irritation and sensitivity.
If you’re already using a retinoid regularly, you don’t need to be using a chemical exfoliant on top. And if you’re using a physical exfoliant like a clarisonic brush, you don’t need to follow that up with a glycolic acid toner. Pick your favourite form of exfoliation, and do it a maximum of three times a week. If you have drier or more sensitive skin, once or twice a week is enough to see results without burning through your skin.
And while you should always be using SPF during the day, using a high SPF is particularly important if you’re also using chemical exfoliants and retinoids. This is because these products can increase your skin’s sun sensitivity and photodamage. Stick with a daily SPF of 50, and wear a hat to shield your face on sunny days.
You’re not layering your products right
PSA: If you’re putting your serum on after moisturiser, you may as well be pouring it down the drain. Serums contain targeted ingredients that need as much contact as possible with your skin to work their magic. Moisturiser, on the other hand, acts like a protective blanket over the skin - which prevents the active ingredients in your serum from penetrating through.
If ever in doubt, simply apply your products from thinnest to thickest formula. This should look something like toner-serum-moisturiser-oil. "But my moisturiser is thicker than my face oil!", I hear you cry. Well ask yourself - would you down a bottle of olive oil on a sunny day to quench your thirst? No, you wouldn't. So you shouldn't quench thirsty skin with a face oil. Moisturisers contain humectants to draw water into uppermost layers of the skin, but they can't do that if you put your face oil on first. Always pat in your face oil last, on top of your moisturiser.
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There’s a huge misconception in the skincare community that the last thing oily skin types need is moisturiser.
No matter what your skin type is, everyone needs moisturiser. In fact, using a moisturiser can actually help your skin regulate its own natural oil production - resulting in less spots overall. The trick is making sure you’ve got the right ingredients to help keep your skin hydrated, without triggering a break-out.
Gel-creme moisturisers are great for oily skin, as they’re usually oil-free. Alternatively, you can also use a moisturiser that contains plant oils which are rich in linoleic acid. Studies show that acne-prone skin tends to produce more oleic acid, which is thicker and stickier and can clog pores. By supplementing your skin’s natural oils with thinner linoleic acid, this can help to prevent breakouts.
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Linoleic-rich plant oils include rosehip oil, borage oil and evening primrose oil.
Not wearing SPF
Ask any dermatologist, esthetician, doctor or skincare expert - wearing daily SPF is a non-negotiable for skin health. It's the best protection from skin cancer, and one of the easiest and most effective anti-ageing products to use.
There you have it's the most common skincare mistakes that most people make. Skincare mistakes can stop your skin from reaching its full potential. With Poko you don't have to worry about any of them!