In the past, I have never been a skincare junkie nor beauty product freak. But in the last few years (as I have grown to the ripe old age of almost-twenty-seven) I have become much more concious of my beauty routine and skincare in general.
Thus, I’ve been through a lot (A LOT) of trial and error (my twenties have brought on terrible bouts of acne that I never experienced in my teens) and an unforseen side-effect being a blogger is that I’ve been exposed to a ton of new and interesting (some incredible, some terrible) beauty products, tips, and facts that would have otherwise never crossed my path.
Here are 9 of the most important skincare tips that have surprised me the most–are you making any of these mistakes?
1. Not removing makeup before washing your face
For years, I never thought about removing my makeup before washing my face. Why bother with two steps, doesn’t makeup come off with face wash?
Think about it this way, would you mix your foundation with your face wash and then scrub it all over your face? That’s essentially what’s happening when you don’t remove your makeup first. Your (day old) makeup mixes with your face wash and then seeps into your pores.
Common sense, yet mind blowing, right?
Instead, give your face a once-over with makeup removing wipes (I use Yes to Cucumbers hypoallergenic wipes!) then follow with your cleanser.
2. Using makeup wipes as your only form of cleansing
On the contrary, maybe you love makeup wipes a little too much? (I agree, I think they’re lovely!) But they really don’t replace washing your face completely. You need warm water and a good cleanser to really unclog those pores. Are makeup wipes alone better than not removing makeup at all? Of course! Just don’t get used to it, is all I’m sayin’.
3. Working out with a face full of makeup
CRAP I totally used to do this (when I worked out on a regular basis, that is. Oops). Why is this a big deal? Well, I used to think it’s because when you sweat, your pores open, leaving plenty of opportunity for makeup to seep in and clog them. Yikes! But actually, as Esthetician, Daniela, of Daniela’s Facial Studio and Adult Acne Center says, “The problem with working out with makeup is not the open pores letting in clogging materials. Pores actually don’t open and close (believe it or not! ) The problem is if the makeup is clogging, it gets pushed into pores as sweat is wiped away by hands and fingers. Even if makeup is non-clogging, it still can be quite irritating when mixing with sweat, which is salty, creating those pesky ‘under grounders'” She also stresses that a post-workout routine of washing with cleanser, followed by toner, will keep breakouts at bay.
But let’s be honest, we don’t always have time for a full face washing pre and post workout. So remember those makeup wipes? Those are perfect to keep in your bag to wipe off makeup pre-workout, if you don’t have time to wash your face completely. (Something is better than nothing!)
If you absolutely need to wear makeup (I totally understand, I rarely go in public without at least foundation) try wearing powder (less apt to clog pores). Is it good? Definitely not, but it’s better than a regular face full of makeup. Some mascara though, is totally fine. (Your eyelids don’t have pores!)
4. Exfoliating too much, or too little
I probably err on the side of exfoliating too much. (I might be a soft, smooth skin addict and for some reason I feel that I can exfoliate away my breakouts. I 100% know this is irrational.) But I usually find there are two people: those who NEVER exfoliate and those who are crazy exfoliation addicts. Somewhere in the middle is a happy place where nobody goes, but you should.
The easiest way to make sure you’ve found your exfoliation sweet spot is with a Clarisonic. It’s gentle enough to use daily, and ensures you won’t scrub your face raw. Use it with a gentle cleanser (see below). Whatever you do, make sure you don’t pair it with a scrub!
5. Washing your face too much
If you’re going through a bad round of breakouts, it’s easy to think that washing your face more often is going to clear your skin faster. That’s actually incorrect–washing too much leads to drying of the skin, which leads it to produce more oil. Uh oh.
If you don’t have oily skin to begin with, you might not even need to be washing in the morning at all (GASP!) I didn’t believe this piece of advice the first time I happened across it either, but then I read several articles, like this one, that changed my mind.
6. Using a mega harsh cleanser
If you’ve read any of my beauty posts before, you know I’ve struggled with my skin throughout my life. One big problem I discovered when I went to my dermatologist a few years back, was that I was using the same face wash and products that I had been using since I was a teenager. Those “acne fighting cleansers,” like Clearasil, are great to use in high school and college, but as your skin matures, it’s time to move on and use something created for adult skin. Instead, try products like CeraVe, Cetaphil, Bliss Cleansing Milk, La Roche, or the old standby, Neutrogena.
7. Skipping proper hydration
It’s easy to think that piling on the lotion will cause breakouts, or will cause breakouts to heal more slowly, but the opposite is true. The dryer your face, the more oil it will produce. Make sure you’re using a gentle moisturizer! I like CeraVe because it’s enough moisture for my skin (which tends to get dry) but is about as gentle as they come! When you need extra hydration, I love (LOVE LOVE) the Glossier Moon Mask.
8. Forgetting about those pillows
You guys, I just found this article on Huffington Post and it blew my mind. I knew that an unwashed pillow case could potentially lead to breakouts, but I didn’t know the extent of it. If you’re prone to breakouts, your pillow case could be the culprit. Here’s a snapshot:
- Your pillowcase should be changed every two to three days. (Guess I need to be stocking up on my pillowcases!)
- If you go to bed with any product in your hair, whether it’s wet, or dry, even what you applied 10 hours ago can still seep into your pillowcase and result in breakouts on the sides of your face.
- Avoid scented laundry detergent, and even worse, never use dryer sheets or fabric softener, which leave behind a waxy, oily residue that is highly pore clogging. Any softening agents are bad news for acne-prone skin. Who knew!?
9. Disregarding supplements
If you would have asked me two years ago if I would shove a horse sized pill full of cod’s liver down my throat to achieve beautiful skin, I would have told you that you were high. But after reading enough beauty articles and posts about it, I became aware that supplements can be the answer to beautiful skin.
So, yes. I started taking cod liver oil a couple months back and I can absolutely confirm that truthfully, 100%, it does have a positive impact on my skin. It makes it more even, and minimizes my breakouts. I use Calson’s lightly lemon capsules. Originally, I was very distraught over the recommended dose (which would be about FIVE giant horse pills) which is an impossible feat for a girl who can barely get down one Advil. So, I started with just one per day, and I can tell a difference. I would honestly tell you to take as many as you can get down comfortably (within reason, obviously), because the benefits are freaking magical.
Do you have any skincare tips? Leave them for me below!