Your bathroom cabinet is bursting with all the latest products. You exfoliate on the regular. Slap on a bunch of serums every day. Never forget to moisturise. You’ve got it all down-pat, right?
Maybe not, friend.
And that’s okay! Cause skincare can be confusing as hell. With so much information floating around, the skincare market is more overwhelming than ever before.
That’s why skincare expert and founder of Skin Virtue Nina Gajic, has shared some common skincare mistakes and the top things she wishes people would stop doing.
Get ready to take some notes!
Are you going to hard on the cleansing front? Well, you might want to pull it back a bit – because over-washing your skin is a real thing & one of the common skincare mistakes. It can seriously mess with your skin barrier.
No matter what your skin type, Gajic said excess cleansing and the use of harsh cleansers can strip your skin’s barrier, leaving it more susceptible to irritants and the like.
“Over-washing oily skin actually makes your skin produce more oil, as the sebaceous glands go into overdrive to replenish lost sebum,” she explains. “Over-washing drier skin removes vital natural lipids.”
Constantly stripping the skin of its natural oils and barrier protection causes nasty things like irritation, sensitivity and inflammation. It can even cause things like rosacea and acne to flare up.
“Instead, wash your face with a gentle cleanser (one that is free from foaming) in the evening, and simply rinse with lukewarm water in the morning. Feel free to use a toner in both the AM and PM,” suggests Gajic.
Sunscreen. We all know we should wear it (yes, even when it’s cloudy and rainy and doesn’t look like ‘sunscreen’ weather), but do you actually put it on every single morning? C’mon, don’t lie to us!
According to skin experts, skipping UV protection, not applying enough and not applying it daily is one of the biggest skincare mistakes you can make.
Y’see, sunscreen is the number one anti-ageing product, so you’re doing yourself a serious disservice if you’re skimping on application.
“Skipping out on your SPF can lead to premature skin ageing and all of its undesirable repercussions – such as wrinkles, discolouration, elastin breakdown, cell damage and skin cancer,” said Gajic.
Think we’re exaggerating?
“Take a look at the inner side of your arm and compare it to the top of your arm. You will most likely see a visible difference in the texture, tone and look of the skin between these two regions. The appearance of the upper arm is thanks to the damage of UV exposure.”
If you do already apply sunscreen but feel like you might not be applying enough - you're probably not. Cause remember: when it comes to sun protection, more is more. So, slap it on. Everywhere.
“To prevent further UV damage, apply an SPF daily to all exposed areas - don’t forget your hairline, hands, arms, neck and décolleté, and re-apply frequently,” said Gajic.
Squeezing pimples might feel extremely satisfying, but constantly picking your skin and squeezing at your face can lead to scarring. Not only that, but your hands are covered in germs – so it can also lead to even more breakouts.
“Stop this skincare mistake! If you feel the need for an extraction, book in a facial that incorporates either a manual or mechanical extraction (galvanic desincrustation or at home ultrasonic skin scrubber),” suggests Gajic.
“I find that skin redness calms down faster with mechanical extractions, as the skin hasn’t been traumatised by squeezing. Also, manual extractions can induce inflammation if not performed correctly.”
So, mitts off!
“Picking at your skin at home can lead to infections, sores, scars and can even interfere with your social life and mental well-being. Please see a professional to treat your breakouts and acne.”
If you have oily skin or are prone to acne flare-ups, a good rule of thumb is to choose products that are labelled ‘non-comedogenic’ or ‘non-acnegenic’. That means the product won't block your pores or cause breakouts.
“Pay attention to your makeup formulation,” said Gajic. “Read and familiarise yourself with your makeup ingredients in the same way you approach your skincare. A perfectly good skincare regime can be compromised by makeup that is not suitable for your skin type.”
Yep. You can undo all of your hard skincare work by choosing the wrong kind of makeup for your skin. Eek!
“Don’t pick a foundation based on whether you want dewy or matte,” said Gajic. “Rather, read the ingredients and test what works for your skin. If you are prone to breakouts always look for non-comedogenic formulations.”
Don’t… do this skincare mistake.
Using expired skincare products is a BIG no – and it can seriously wreak havoc on your skin. We’re talking weird reactions, rashes, irritation, inflammation and the likes.
So, how do you actually know when your products have reached their expiration?
“Pay attention to PAO symbols (period after opening) - they tell you how long you can use a product after you have opened it. This is to avoid contamination and bacteria growth,” said Gajic.
If you’re having trouble finding it, the symbol usually looks like a small tub or jar with a number inside it. It’s usually on the underside or back of the product. Found it?
“These days PAO is usually less than 12 months, so if you have makeup or skincare that has been sitting on your shelf for a year, it has most likely expired and should be thrown away.”
Don’t expect results overnight, you guys. While some ingredients work quicker than others, good results will only come with consistent application. While the timeline differs between products, 28 days is a good rule of thumb.
So, don’t leap frog from one product to the next before you give it adequate time to work. You’re only wasting time and money, and probably doing your skin more harm than good in the process.
“You will not get results from a product if you don’t apply it to your skin on a consistent basis. Having a bathroom cabinet full of products will not help unless you are applying it according to instructions,” said Gajic.
Which brings us to…
The skincare market can be overwhelming. There’s so many brands, so many products and so many fancy claims - it can be really confusing to know what you actually need.
But here’s the thing – it doesn’t need to be so complicated. And your bathroom cabinet doesn’t need to be filled with 6573 serums that you use on-and-off.
“When you layer too many products you can irritate your skin, especially if you are layering various brands. You really shouldn’t need more than four to five steps in your daily regime,” said Gajic.
So, yeah. Throw that 10-step skincare routine out the window, friend.
“Exfoliate one to two times a week and use a face mask once a week (on face, neck, décolleté and hands),” she said. “You can pick as many targets treatments as you like to suit your concerns and alternate them.
Okay, cool. Any recommendations?
“I alternate between Skin Virtue’s Future Advanced Brightening for discoloration and Future Advanced Vitality Cream for when I need a lifting effect,” said Gajic. “I also use the Future Advanced Wrinkle Line Filler for smoothing and plumping.
“I love our Future Advanced Firming Mask as a leave-on hand and décolleté treatment every other day. It really hydrates and helps smooth crepey-looking skin and those pesky creases on my décolleté.”
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By Gary Williams, Bio