All too often, I witness clients meticulously poring over everything to do with their skin; their treatment plan and their skincare regime extending through to their lifestyle choices. While obsessing over precisely what to do, we are unknowingly sabotaging our best efforts...which I have been more than guilty of in my time.
Education is key when it comes to skincare, and my notes below are a lesson in precisely what not to do. Important above all else, maintain a well-rounded approach to the health of your skin. A well-rounded approach being one that considers all lifestyle factors and is explicitly tailored to your individual complexion.
Incorrect Topical Care
Common mistakes I have observed with skin care regimes include using products that aren’t the right fit for one’s skin type and concerns, exclusively using one skincare brand (it is best to cherry pick our products and treatments), over-complicating a skincare regime with too many actives or steps (which can lead to sensitisation, dryness and compliance failure), not wearing an SPF50+ daily and layering products in the incorrect order (as an example, the molecular structure of a facial oil is larger than that of a corrective serum, meaning if a serum is layered over an oil, penetration of the product will be inhibited).
Overcomplicating Your Regime
You can certainly use too many products! The best skin care regimes are not complex and expensive, rather than consist of a thought out regime with a handful of good quality, considered and hard-working products.Keep it simple; everything should have a purpose. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to skincare and as such, it’s hard to define an optimal amount as this depends entirely on the individual.
It’s important to remain conscious of the types of product you are using, along with the order in which you apply them. Applying too many actives can have dire implications for skin – it is entirely possible to give yourself the equivalent of a chemical peel daily (!), while incorrect application methods can hinder the efficacy of certain products.
Cumulative Sun Damage
In my experience, most of us are aware of the dangers of excessive and visible sun exposure – i.e. intense sunburn – but most do not realise just how damaging innocuous day-to-day sun exposure can be. Accumulated sun damage – from instances seemingly as innocent as the drive to work, a brisk lunchtime walk or reading in the park – is cause for many of the most commonly complained about skin concerns such as pigmentation, fine lines and textural irregularities…not to mention, skin cancer.
Enjoying the shower a little too much…
This can compromise our skin as the hot water and pressure of the droplets may lead to visible redness and broken capillaries. Instead, lower the temperature of the water and cup your hands under the shower, gently splashing water onto your skin instead.
Technology can have a profoundly negative impact on our skin; from the blue light that radiates through our computer screens (contributing to pigmentation, photo-ageing and generalised free radical damage) or the amount of time we spend glaring down at our phones (leading to neck creasing and wrinkles) or on them (holding our phone against our face directly transmits bacteria which can result in general congestion and blemishes). Pay careful attention to these elements as they have the potential to wreak havoc on your complexion.
Prolonged exposure to excessive stress directly contributes to our skin functionality and will certainly rear its ugly head over time, by way of a dull and devitalised complexion.
Working Out With Make-Up
A sure-fire way to clog pores and subsequently promote congestion, blemishes and imperfections.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Aim to drink at least two litres of water per day. Hydration levels – externally and internally – are of the utmost importance to skin health. When you are dehydrated it is so apparent via the skin as the complexion becomes compromised, devitalised and lacklustre overall.
Focusing On Skincare Trends
We’ve been spoilt for choice in recent years with innovative products and treatments, however it’s important to do your research as many are purely trend based. Seek professional guidance to ensure that you choose products that are substantiated, clinically proven and serve a purpose.