Common Skin Care Mistakes (You May Not Even Know You’re Making)

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[At Kiehl’s for a professional skin analysis]

My early 20s were kind of a disaster in terms of skin care — I didn’t always wash my face before bed, forgot sunscreen regularly and whenever I had a blemish, I’d attack it within minutes. Fast forward to my thirties and I’m seeing some of that carelessness catch up on me, especially the sun protection part. So, I’ve made a much more concerted effort and even started visiting a facialist. My skin looks more toned, glowing and smooth and most importantly, I now have a routine I stick to. Nonetheless, I wanted to know about the things I unwittingly did that damaged my skin. So, I asked Amparo Juradocastro, facialist at Kiehl’s Miami Beach, about the most common skincare mistakes and their fixes.

You’re a stomach or side sleeper.
The older you get, the less collagen you have. So if you’re in your mid 30s or over, you can start to see facial ‘sleep lines’ when you wake up especially if you sleep on your side or stomach. When you think about it, sleep is the only thing we really do consistently for hours a day. Smashing your face into a pillow for years can cause permanent wrinkling of your skin, aging yourself unnecessarily.
Fix: It’s a tough one, but I suggest at least starting your night on your back before inevitably ending up on your side or stomach. I also love satin pillowcases; the satin allows your face to slide on the pillow and won’t cause sleep lines, or at the least, very little ones. Plus, it’s also gentle on your hair and won’t cause bends or kinks. And who doesn’t want to wake up with their do still looking great and in place?

Exfoliating will ruin your tan.
Many people, including my own mom, believe that exfoliating will scour off your tan. However, the melanocytes that make melanin (the pigment that gives color to the skin) live deep under the epidermal. So it’s impossible to rub or scrub off your tan. It may take 2-3 weeks for teens to naturally shed their color. And as we get older, it can even take up to 12 weeks! Exfoliating actually increases circulation, supports lymph drainage and keeps your skin smooth, silky and glow-y. It also allows your moisturizers to be readily absorbed and increases their efficacy.
Fix: Exfoliate two to three times a week at home. In the shower, use scrub with a clean wash cloth or my personal favorites: body wash with a bath glove or bath lily.

You need to use a stimulating cleanser to wake your skin up.
This is such a misconception — your skin doesn’t know what time it is. However, it does know when you’re at rest and when you’re not. When you’re sleeping, blood flow in the skin is higher and your skin is repairing and renewing itself. This means ingredient absorption and penetration is also increased. For a morning cleanse, I suggest a gentle cleanser — nothing too stimulating or drying. Depending on your skin type, it may be a creamy cleanser, coconut oil, lactic or salicylic cleanser. Follow with your usual day beauty routine.
Fix: Before bed, cleanse your face with a gentle make-up remover (my favorite is Bioderma Sensibio H2O) and wash thoroughly with your facial cleanser. Follow with your night beauty routine. While sleeping your skin recovers and by morning it has more dead skin cells to wash off (gently).

Layering SPF equals extra protection.
This is a common mistake. Layering SPF products do not equal total SPF. If your moisturizer has an SPF 30 and your makeup has an SPF 20, your total coverage doesn’t equal 50. Actually, it’s the average of the two — in this case, SPF 25.
Fix: If you are layering, let the first SPF fully absorb into your skin before adding the second one. Also, make sure to apply your sunscreen about 30 minutes before going into the sun (this gives the ingredients time to attach to the skin) and re-apply every two hours. As long as you are using sunscreen daily and avoiding long periods in the sun, you’re ahead of the game.

The more products you use, the better.
There are many, many products out there. If they’re effective, that’s great. But there is no need to layer products that are essentially doing the same thing.
Fix: When layering skin care products, the general rule is to apply what is most important first and closest to the skin. Depending on how many products you use, this is the sequence for your morning & night skin care routine:

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I’m curious to know: what’s your beauty routine?

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