Your skin is your biggest organ, and it protects you from the nasty toxins, UV rays, and pollutants that are everywhere in our environment — as well as encasing all the organs that keep you going 24/7.
What would you do without it? You wouldn’t last long, let’s put it that way.
Taking care of this precious commodity is reason enough to commit to a solid, natural skin care routine. But that can be easier said than done.
A lot of us fall into bad habits and screw up their otherwise awesome skin by making some super common skin care mistakes.
To help you avoid veering off your skin care course, let’s talk about how your skin works, the 5 worst skin care mistakes, and how you can get on track for a flawless face.
How Your Skin Works 101
Knowledge is power, so here’s a rundown of your skin’s basic biology: The epidermis sits on top, and it’s also the thinnest layer of your skin. It’s waterproof and contains melanin, which dictates your skin’s color.
Next up is your dermis, which has hair follicles, sweat glands, nerve endings, oil glands, and blood vessels. This is where pores come into play. Because each pore is a tiny hole in the skin, those holes also absorb everything from skin care products to toxins in the atmosphere.
Once materials are absorbed through the dermis and pores, they can move into the bloodstream or lymphatic system. If they’re toxic, they can potentially cause health issues — which is why it’s so important to stick with healthy, naturally-derived ingredients.
Plus, keeping your pores clean and protected is key to healthy, hydrated, and youthful looking skin! Many of the worst skin care mistakes directly affect your pores, which can lead to long-term issues and a less-than-radiant appearance.
Fun fact: your skin has approximately five million pores, with around 20,000 on your face alone!
The Worst Skin Care Mistakes You Can Make
Now that you understand the basics of how your skin works, let’s talk about those all-too-common mistakes. (But no guilt trips; we’ve all been there! The key is opting for better choices moving forward!)
1. Using low quality product
As we mentioned, what you put on your skin can be directly absorbed into your pores. So when you use skin care products that are loaded with cheap chemical ingredients, those materials dive deep and can even make their way into your bloodstream.
Do you want formaldehyde, parabens, or fragrances (common ingredients in some products) in your bloodstream? No way!
Keep in mind that high quality doesn’t necessarily mean high price. Fleur & Bee’s products are all under $30. And, some super expensive products actually use a lot of not-so-good-for-you chemicals.
Instead of focusing solely on price, check out the ingredients and make sure they’re things you’d actually want in and on your body! Natural, botanically-sourced ingredients are best, and they’ll help keep your skin youthful and healthy long-term.
2. Picking at your skin
When you had chicken pox, your mom probably told you a bazillion times not to scratch that itch. Why? ‘Cause it’d leave a scar! And you didn’t want pox scars all over your cute little face.
That same advice applies to your skin in general! Itching or picking at any spots or blemishes on your skin can leave long-term damage. It’s so not worth it.
Picking can also make your skin problems worse or cause an infection. Often when you’re trying to pop a blemish, instead of making it go away, you’re actually pushing dirt and oil back down into the skin. Ick.
(It’s also worth noting that if some people who pick at their skin may actually suffer from a skin picking disorder. If you have trouble stopping yourself, consult your doctor!)
3. Overdoing it with products including cleansing too often
While we’re all for setting up a positive skin care routine using great, high quality products — it’s possible to take it too far. Ever had a friend whose bathroom shelf was stuffed with 50 different skin care products? Too much of a good thing is still too much!
Instead, limit yourself to key products that are beneficial in the long term. Stick to washing your face a maximum of twice per day with lukewarm water. Overwashing can cause dryness and irritation, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
Over-exfoliating is another trap many people fall into. Instead of using harsh skin-scrubbers, stick with a toner, cleanser and vitamin C serum, all of which offer gentle, long-term exfoliation for your skin.
4. Sleeping with makeup on
Ok we’re all guilty of this one every once in awhile. But going to sleep without washing your face is a major no-no. Even if you don’t wear makeup, pollutants, bacteria, dirt and dead skin cells builds up on the surface of your skin throughout the day. It’s crucial to wash it off with a gentle, natural cleanser.
Also, not washing means your skin care products will be less effective, You need a clean, surface so your toner, serum and moisturizer can properly penetrate. Washing your skin regularly also helps keep it hydrated.
If you’re super tired or staying up way too late, it can be tempting to skip your nighttime skin care routine. But don’t! It takes 10 minutes, tops, and long-term it sets the stage for healthy, beautiful, luminous skin.
5. Not drinking enough water
The skin is 64% water, which is a LOT. So if you’re not hydrating on the regular (or opting for diet soda and coffee instead of H2O), your skin may be suffering. Of all the important skin care tips, drinking more water is one of the most important.
Experts suggest drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, or about a half gallon. It’s called the “8x8” rule, which makes it super easy to remember!
Buy a 32 ounce reusable water bottle; that way, you know you only have to drink two full bottles in any given day. Bonus points if you drink even more
How to Build Better Habits
The key to forming new habits is to just START. Studies suggest it takes between 18 days to 254 days to form a new habit.
Habits are all about repetition, so the sooner you get started, the sooner the habit starts to become automatic. When it comes to your skin, just jump into a daily routine. Applying Fleur & Bee’s entire product lineup only takes 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night.
And now that you know which habits are better left in your rear view, here are a few tips to help you stick to your routine and build better patterns for your day-to-day.
- Set reminders. Use your iPhone for more than Instagram. Set reminders in the morning and at night to do your full skin care routine, as well as reminders to drink water throughout the day.
- In addition to reminders, you can also set your phone to give you encouragement! Set notes to tell you how awesome you are for sticking with your new routine, washing your face before bed, engaging in self care, etc.
- If you have trouble with skin picking, consider an app that helps you break bad habits, like HabitBull or Quit That!
Now you’re armed with the knowledge to quit those skin care mistakes and get on track to gorgeous, envy-inducing skin! Commit to a daily routine and your future self will be super grateful; no filter needed.
Frequently Asked Question About Common Skin Care Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
What are the most common skin care mistakes?
The top skin care mistake is using low-quality products full of awful chemicals like parabens, artificial fragrances, and even formaldehyde. Another is passing out with our make-up still on and not washing your face before bed. The last major mistake is picking at your skin as it can lead to infection or permanent scarring.