4 Skincare Mistakes You're Making (And How To Fix Them!) – The Speak Collective

4 Skincare Mistakes You're Making (And How To Fix Them!)

By Team Speak
October 26, 2022

There are some mistakes worth making in life (bangs, anyone?), but slip ups in your skincare routine isn't one of them.

Bad habits could be holding you back from achieving that glow you deserve. We're here to share some common mistakes to avoid, along with what to do instead.

Mistake #1: Over-exfoliating With Harsh Scrubs And Strong Chemical Exfoliants

Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin cells, which can build up and make the skin look dull. It also helps to unclog pores and prevent breakouts. But doing it too often is a big no-no for your skin.

Harsh scrubs and exfoliants can damage the skin, causing irritation and redness. In addition, over-exfoliation can strip away the natural oils that keep the skin healthy and hydrated. This can lead to dryness, flakiness, and even more irritation.

Fix It: If you're concerned about dead skin cells, try a gentler exfoliating cleanser or start with a lower concentration chemical exfoliant like lactic acid. Reduce the frequency to once a week or once in two weeks if your skin is very sensitive. And be sure to moisturize afterwards to help replace the natural oils that you may have removed.

Mistake #2: Skipping Sunscreen On Cloudy Days

Many people think that they only need to worry about sunscreen in the summer, but the truth is that UV rays can damage the skin year-round. Even during the winter months, UV rays can reflect off of snow and ice and cause sunburns. UV rays can also go through windows and cloud covers.

High exposure to the sun can result in a nasty sunburn in the short term. But in the long term, UV rays causes premature aging as it speeds up oxidative stress. This photoaging happens in the dermis - the deepest layer of the skin - and can appear as wrinkles, pigmentation changes like liver spots and loss of skin elasticity in later years.

Fix It: It's important to use sunscreen every day, even if you don't think you'll be spending much time outside. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is ideal and reapply after sweating or swimming.

Mistake #3: Layering On Too Many Active Ingredients

Active ingredients are those that work to treat specific skincare concerns, such as wrinkles, acne, or dryness. When it comes to skincare, less is more.

In fact, layering too many active ingredients like AHAs, BHAs and retinol can actually do more harm than good. It may be tempting to combine active ingredients in the hopes of quickly solving your skincare concern. But doing so can lead to irritation, redness, and other skin problems.

Fix It: Be honest and realistic about your skin goals and start introducing actives to your routine one at a time at low concentrations until your skin builds tolerance towards it. For example, start with a 5% glycolic acid toner and pair it with hydrating products to balance out your skin's hydration levels. You could also try 'skin cycling' where you give your skin a break from actives a few days a week.

Mistake #4: Not Using The Right Products For Your Skin Type

This one might seem obvious but a lot of people are taking the wrong approach for their skin.

If you have oily skin, you may be making the mistake of using harsh cleansers that strip away natural oils. This can actually make oily skin worse. Instead, look for a gentle, hydrating cleanser that will cleanse your skin without stripping away its natural moisture.

If you have sensitive skin, you may be using products that are too harsh for your skin type. Synthetic fragrances and colorants can irritate sensitive skin, so it's important to use products that are catered for sensitive skin. Sensitive skin is delicate and can also react to natural, plant-based products.

Fix It: Turning to the Internet to solve our skincare woes is not the answer because it's easy to fall for glossy social media ads and hyped testimonials. Consult a doctor to help customize a suitable skincare routine for you. Learn to read skincare labels and be sure to do a patch test before using a new product. If any redness or irritation occurs, stop using it and make note of the product's ingredients. 

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