More common skincare mistakes



Make 2022 the year you banish bad habits, and educate yourself about the most common skincare mistakes – and how to correct them.

Getting your skincare regime right isn’t always easy. There’s a bewildering range of products to choose from, and heaps of information about what to do – or not to do. Often the result is confused consumers, and disappointing results. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Knowledge is power. So if you can identify what you’re actually doing wrong, it’s much easier to correct it! Here are five common skincare mistakes to be aware of, and subsequently avoid.

Overusing exfoliators

Exfoliating acids such as AHAs and BHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids) can play a valuable role in terms of resurfacing your skin, to leave it looking clearer and brighter. They work by breaking down the bonds between the surface skin cells, so they are shed more easily. Physical exfoliants, such as scrubs, achieve the same result, but use friction to remove dead cells instead.

Most of us love the smooth feeling that regular exfoliation achieves. But as is so often the case where skincare is concerned, a little is good – but a lot is not. So don’t overdo it. Exfoliating too much and/or too often can damage the skin, causing redness, peeling, dryness, increased sensitivity, and serious barrier disruption. It can even exacerbate acne breakouts. So while regular exfoliation definitely plays a valuable role within most skincare routines, restraint is important. Bear in mind that you only have so many dead skin cells to exfoliate at any given point. Overdo it, and you’ll be damaging the living layers underneath instead. We recommend Medik8’s Press & Glow. This advanced toner incorporates PHA (Polyhydroxy Acids) to offer gentle exfoliation to visibly brighten skin without irritation.

Because so many skincare products contain exfoliating agents these days, it’s perfectly possible to over-exfoliate by accident, simply because you’re not aware of how many exfoliators you’re using on your skin. So do check your product labels, or better still, speak to a skincare professional to discuss your routine. We offer free 1-to-1 virtual consultations – click here for more information and to book.

Not using enough products

In the past we’ve pointed out the pitfalls of using too many skincare products. But using too few is far from ideal too. We’re not suggesting everyone converts to a seven-step routine twice a day, but a quick morning scrub and a slick of moisturiser is unlikely to be enough either – especially for more mature skin.

Everyone’s skin concerns, goals and lifestyles are different, but there are certain basic elements that most routines should include: think cleanser, (exfoliating) toner, moisturiser/hydrator and sun protection. Start with these basics, and then expand as necessary. Depending on your age and specific skin concerns, other key products to consider include serums, eye creams, night creams, masks and specialist anti-ageing options.

Not storing products correctly

How you store your products can affect their efficacy. There’s been a lot of buzz about “skincare fridges” lately. The idea, of course, is that they keep your skincare chilled, which in turn enhances their performance and extends their shelf life. It’s true that certain products, such as an eye gel or a facial mist, might feel extra soothing when chilled. But a regular kitchen fridge should be more than up to the job – no specialist skincare fridge is really required.

However, certain ingredients, such as Vitamin C, are sensitive to light and temperature changes. So storing them in a cool, dry place – out of any direct sunlight – does make sense. If your bathroom gets excessively hot and steamy, it might be worth swapping your skincare to the bedroom instead. Mould and bacteria can grow surprisingly quickly in a warm, humid bathroom. In fact, cool, dark places, away from direct sunlight, work best as storage spaces for skincare, makeup and fragrance. And don’t leave tubes, jars or bottles uncapped. Always replace lids tightly – and pay attention to expiry dates.

One of our favourite vitamin-enriched serums in Skinceuticals’ CE Ferulic. This powerful antioxidant formulation combines Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid to help improve the appearance of photo-ageing, and protect against environmental damage.

Not reviewing/adjusting skincare routines

Our skin is a living organ and is constantly changing with our lifestyles and the seasons. Just as we update our wardrobe to match the weather, we should look to regularly review our skincare. A routine that works well during the height of summer won’t necessarily achieve the best results during the depths of winter. Some things, such as gentle but thorough cleansing and sun protection are, of course a constant. We recommend Vitage’s Essential Cleansing Balm and anything from specialist suncare brand Heliocare.

But don’t be afraid to switch up your favourite formulations and frequencies as the seasons/your circumstances change, and as your skin matures. Being prepared to experiment with new ingredients or combinations can really pay visible dividends for your face.


Not moisturising oily skin

Oily skin occurs when excess sebum is produced and builds up. Therefore, some people mistakenly believe that oily skin doesn’t need moisturising. While we understand the logic, this really isn’t the case. Oily skin still needs enough moisture to help strengthen its protective barrier, and keep skin feeling smooth and comfortable. Strip it with harsh, abrasive cleansers, and it will simply dry out and rebound with even more oil production to compensate. Avoid this vicious circle by choosing a lightweight, non-greasy moisturiser that won’t block your pores. Emma Hardie’s Protect & Prime SPF 30 is a great multitasking formulation that even incorporates a flattering, light-diffusing veil.

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