An effective skin care routine doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it’s probably best to make any skin care routine simple. This ensures that you’re more likely to stick to it, and that’s good news for your skin. Not only will a simple skincare routine help your skin look its best, but also it will keep you from making the three easiest skin care mistakes to avoid.
Mistake #1: Sleeping in Makeup
The first of these mistakes is not removing makeup before bed. Every woman knows that there are bound to be nights when even a simple skin care routine feels like too much. The scenario usually goes something like this: you arrive home later than anticipated after a long day of work, the gym and dinner with friends. After running errands there’s nothing you want more than to collapse into bed. You pause to look in the mirror and realize that you’re still wearing makeup. Unable to care about skin care when you’d so much rather be in bed you think, “How much harm can sleeping in makeup do?” You decide to turn in, knowing you can wash your face in the morning.
The next time you feel the impulse to skip your nighttime skin care routine consider what the negative effects really are. Truth be told, sleeping in your makeup for one night isn’t likely to cause much lasting damage. However, it pays to be aware that your skin picks up harmful free radicals throughout the day. When you avoid washing your face before bed you’re allowing those free radicals to attack your healthy collagen all night long. This means you’re developing fine lines while you sleep. Moreover, going to bed with makeup is a sure way to clog your pores which may lead to acne. Even if you just sleep in your makeup for one night you’re much more likely to experience eye irritation. Worse, the oil glands and hair follicles on your eyelids can become clogged, and that can mean inflammation which leads to unsightly bumps. Clearly, washing your face before hitting the hay is an indispensable part of healthy skin care.
If you don’t feel like going to the bathroom to do the full wash, then keep face cleansing wipes that don’t require water on your nightstand. A quick wipe isn’t quite the same as washing your face, but it will at least clean your face of dirt, oils and debris that have accumulated over the day. My favorite are Neutrogena Cleansing Towlettes.
Mistake #2: Not Getting Enough Sleep
Another extremely common skin care mistake is not getting enough sleep. On the surface, it’s not easy to understand how a lack of sleep can affect the health and appearance of your skin. However, when you don’t get quality sleep on a regular basis, your body starts to boost its production of stress hormones like cortisol. These hormones cause inflammation throughout the body, including on your skin. Conditions like psoriasis or acne can be exacerbated by poor sleep, and you’ll also be putting yourself at risk for increased allergic reactions and skin sensitivity. Damaging cortisol is also bad news for collagen as this stress hormone literally breaks down the substance that makes your skin elastic and smooth. Sleep also represents your body’s opportunity to do some necessary repair work. The better the quality of your sleep the more human growth hormone your body produces. This keeps skin adequately nourished and renewed to meet the challenges of modern life.
Mistake #3: Using the Wrong Skincare Products
Lastly, using the wrong products can get you in big trouble with your skin. Many women have experienced the horror of using a new product that causes an adverse reaction. The results can be unattractive at best and painful at worst. The same is true when you use skin care products that are not formulated for your skin. If you’re not certain what your skin type is, then take this easy test. Wash your face as you usually do, then wait 30 minutes. Try pressing a clean tissue to different parts of your face. If the tissue sticks, then you have oily skin. A tissue that doesn’t stick indicates dry skin while sticking in the T-zone but not in other places shows that you have combination skin. Armed with this knowledge, you’re prepared to devise a skin care routine that is designed to take the best possible care of your face.
Without knowing what type of skin you have you’re essentially choosing products blindly. That can cause major skin irritation that ranges from severe dryness to oiliness and breakouts. While it may seem easier to just pick something up from the drug or department store or try something that worked well for a friend, it’s really worth the time and energy to see a dermatologist like Dr. Steele to find out which products will work best for your unique skin type.
How to Establish an Effective Skin Care Routine
Now that we’ve identified the three easiest skin care mistakes to avoid it’s time to talk about establishing simple skincare practices. While it might initially be tempting to try dozens of new products and adopt an overly-complicated routine it’s best to avoid these temptations. Introducing too many new products to your skin at once can be harmful. Instead, consider introducing just one new product at a time. Use that product for a minimum of three months to test whether or not it is effective and healthy for your skin. If you experience an adverse reaction after introducing a new product, then it’s easy to identify the culprit and you can discontinue use at once.
Plan Your Mornings and Evenings
A simple skincare routine is one that can be followed in the morning and evening. It will likely only require a few moments of your time, but will have a lasting effect on the health and appearance of your skin. Most people only need a few products: cleanser, serum, moisturizer and an exfoliator to be used occasionally. Some may choose to add a toner or other optional product.
Know Your Skin Type
When it comes to choosing products it’s best to be guided by your skin type. For instance, products are formulated for people with a variety of different concerns in mind. Your simple skincare practices should be aimed at addressing these concerns. If you have more than one kind of skin care problem, then you might want to consider getting two different serums and using them on alternate days. Similarly, you might consider investing in two moisturizers. One should be designed for daytime and include sunscreen while the other can be a richer formula for nighttime.
When it comes to skin care it may be easy to make mistakes, but a simple skincare routine can help you avoid them so you can enjoy your healthiest skin ever.
Lastly, if you’re not sure then don’t guess. Make an appointment with Dr. Steele to figure out what type of regimen will work best for you to make the best of your skin today and for the years to come.