This article isn’t designed to beat you up and make you feel bad. But there a lot of things people get wrong with skincare, and the mistakes are more common than you think. Curious? Then keep reading. Maybe one of your own skincare habits needs to change.
Treating spots too early
Everyone gets spots from time to time, but how do you get rid of them quickly? The temptation can be to hit them with a specialised spot treatment as soon as a red lump appears, but that’s the wrong strategy. It can actually harden the outer layer of skin, keeping the infection trapped underneath.
The best approach is to disguise the spot with makeup until it develops a white head. Only then, after cleaning and softening the area with a warmed facecloth, should you use an extractor tool to remove the pimple. Healing happens quickly once the whitehead is gone.
Washing your face with shower gel or soap
We’ve all done it. In the interests of speed, we use shower gel or soap as a facial cleanser. Your skin feels squeaky clean afterwards – but that’s not a good thing. The main problem is that soap and shower gels send your skin’s pH in the wrong direction.
The optimum pH for human skin is about 5.5, slightly on the acid side. Cleansing with soap or a shower gel shifts your skin’s pH level into alkaline. When this happens, your skin’s barrier function is disrupted and moisture is lost, which leads to irritation, inflammation and, eventually, premature wrinkles.
To avoid grabbing the first thing that comes to hand, keep Okana’s Apple Juice Foaming Cleanser in the shower cubicle. It’s 100% natural, fragrance-free, and it won’t upset your skin’s pH level.
Taking your best friend’s advice
Much as you love your best friend, they’re not necessarily the best person to give you skincare advice.
Everyone’s different, with different skincare needs. Some skins are naturally oilier, others tend to be sensitive or dry, and some break out in spots with the slightest provocation. When your best friend recommends a product to you, think about why they’re using it and whether it will be right for your skin type.
Unless your best bud recommends you try skincare that’s 100% natural to avoid problem ingredients like parabens and sodium lauryl sulphate – in that case, listen closely!
Using too much product
Most skincare products are highly concentrated, so it’s easy to use more than you really need. Take moisturiser, for example. If you use too much, you can clog your pores and cause breakouts. Too much moisturiser can also make it hard to apply foundation evenly.
As a guide, eye cream for one eye should be about the size of a single sunflower seed, while a dose of moisturiser for your whole face should be about the size of an almond. For cleansers, aim for a blob roughly the size of a blueberry.
Being too tough on your skin
It’s easy to go over the top with your skincare. When you over-cleanse, over-exfoliate, over-moisturise and over-feed, your skin can overreact and become sensitive, inflamed, oily, or spotty.
Treat your skin like it’s a delicate fabric that requires gentle, thoughtful care. Switching to organic natural skincare is a big step in the right direction. You can also use natural concealers for your skin type.
Thinking SPF is only for summer
Sun damage due to UV exposure is your skin’s greatest enemy. It breaks down collagen, leading to sagging and wrinkles, and also causes age spots.
At its worst, sun damage leads to skin cancer. So don’t leave home without your SPF, even in winter. Either add a layer of sunscreen on top of your moisturiser or use a BB cream or foundation with an SPF factor of 30+.
Feeding your cravings, not your skin
If you eat too many foods that don’t offer much when it comes to nutrition – white bread, sugary desserts, alcohol, deep-fried potato in all its many forms – you can’t expect to have beautiful skin.
Sugar will up-regulate your IGF-1 (Insulin Growth Factor 1), which is directly connected to acne. Salty and high glycaemic index foods can cause inflammation, which leads to puffiness and loss of skin elasticity. If you’re indulging too often, maybe it’s time to rethink your approach to food.
Forgetting about your neck and décolletage
A good skincare routine can’t finish at your chin. All the skin from your lowest neckline up to your hairline should feel the benefit of your facial skincare routine. If you’ve been neglecting your neck and décolletage, you run the risk of a face that doesn’t match the skin that’s immediately adjacent to it. A scraggy neck and freckly front can seriously detract from a beautifully clear and wrinkle-free face.