The worst skincare mistakes are the ones you didn’t even know you were making.
It’s one thing to if you’re not putting any effort into your skin at all, but there’s nothing more frustrating than being meticulous and vigilant with your skincare routine and garnering the opposite results! It’s like being the hard-working ant that toiled to store up food (unlike the carefree grasshopper who sang all summer) only to end up with an empty larder in the winter anyways.
Over the years I’ve learned a lot about beauty devices, products, and what works for me personally. No matter how far I’ve come from that girl who’s entire routine consisted of merely splashing water on her face, I still unearth information about skin care that completely blows my mind 🤯🤯🤯
The following skincare mistakes range from seemingly obvious easy fixes to earth-shattering revelations, but you will be that much closer to achieving a flawless complexion.
6 Skincare mistakes you didn’t know you were making
Skincare Mistake No. 1:
Leaving a sheet mask on too long
Want to hydrate your face until it’s soft and supple? Is your face puffy from oversleeping? Trying to attain that ‘mochi skin’? There is a sheet mask for every occasion! Along with a glass of wine and episodes of Temptation Island, these serum-soaked cloths are the ultimate way to unwind.
You may think that the longer the leave it on, the more time you’re giving your skin to drink up the enriching ingredients…BIG MISTAKE!
Leaving a sheet mask on for too long can end up having the reverse effect that you’re trying to achieve and end up causing damage. Once the mask dries, it starts to reabsorb the moisture, drawing it from your skin 🤯
Even leaving it on for longer than what is recommended on the package can be irritating to the skin along with dehydration.
Skincare Mistake No. 2:
Only wearing sunscreen to the beach
The most damaging skincare mistakes revolve around sunscreen — when to wear it and how to apply it. Unless you want to resemble a wrinkly (albeit cute AF) Shar-Pei puppy, you should be wearing sunscreen EVERY. DAY.
Whether you’re lying on a beach in Lagos or WFH, it’s crucial to incorporate SPF into your morning skincare routine. Unless you’re living in a sunless, electricity-free cave, sitting near a window or in front of a computer screen will expose you to potentially skin-damaging light.
Another common skincare mistake is thinking you don’t need sunscreen on rainy days but what did I say — EVERY. DAY. Clouds don’t block harmful UV rays.
My final advice about sunscreen? Do not, I repeat DO NOT apply sunscreen like Gwyneth Paltrow. Face, neck, shoulders — slather yourself anywhere you don’t want to end up looking like a weathered old boot.
Skincare Mistake No. 3:
Going to sleep without washing your face
Washing my face before zonking out is non-negotiable for me. I’ve had nights where I was so out of it that I wrapped my shoe in my scarf before shoving it into the sleeve of my jacket….and I still managed to cleanse my face before flopping into bed.
Snoozing with makeup on is a bacterial fiesta that is sure to cause breakouts, but the skin also absorbs chemicals in the products that can hinder cell turnover and regeneration.
Even if you don’t wear makeup, our skin produces natural oils and sweat that builds up throughout the course of a day. We’re also exposed to elements and environmental pollutants that clog our pores, requiring regular removal.
If you needed further convincing, residual makeup, oil and dirt on the skin makes sunscreen less effective and I’ve already explained the importance of SPF application 👆🏼
Skincare Mistake No. 4:
Over-cleansing, exfoliating and overdoing it in general
But when it comes to your skin, while it’s good to be attentive there’s such a thing as being TOO attentive.
In the pursuit of smooth skin, free of imperfections and blemishes, you might get over-zealous with exfoliating and use beauty devices on top of face scrubs AND chemicals. No bueno.
Our skin isn’t a hunk of wood that can be buffed and sanded into submission. Instead of a smooth appearance, over-exfoliation will strip natural oils and inflame the skin, increasing acne, worsening rosacea, and speeding up the ageing process.
Similarly, over-cleansing the face can damage the skin’s lipid barrier by stripping the natural oils. A good rule of thumb (face?) is if your skin feels tight, develops redness, dry patches or rashes, then the cleansing product is too harsh.
Skincare Mistake No. 5:
Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase
Cotton is absorbent AF…which is great when you spill a drink or if you’re tie dyeing sweatpants, but not so much if we’re talking about your face.
Cotton pillowcases absorb moisture as well as beauty products from your skin and hair, leaving you at Crypt Keeper-esque dryness levels.
Not only is your skin prevented from soaking up the regenerative goodness from your serums and night creams, but the moisture in the pillowcase attracts allergens and bacteria that irritate the skin along with product that is transferred from your hair. Ick.
Instead, opt to rest your head on a silk pillowcase to retain a hydrated visage. The lush fabric limits friction that in turn decreases skin creasing (a.k.a. wrinkles) and prevents breakage for luscious, (relatively) frizz-free locks.
Skincare Mistake No. 6:
Taking long, hot showers
Of all the skincare mistakes, this one will be the hardest for me to correct.
After a long day, who doesn’t like to luxuriate in a long, steamy shower? You feel your muscles relax and worries melt away under the hot water…unfortunately it’s also damaging your keratin cells on your outer epidermal layer.
You know how when you stay in a shower or bath for too long that your fingers get wrinkly? That’s actually a sign that your skin is dehydrated which is why it resembles a raisin (which is a dry grape). The scalding stream disrupts the skin’s natural moisture balance, stripping sebum, healthy fats, and oils that are essential to skin health.
It’s even worse for people with conditions defined by skin-barrier repair defects like eczema, rosacea, acne and psoriasis.
Pro Tip: Make sure you moisturize within five minutes of emerging from a (lukewarm) shower. Moisture starts to evaporate from your skin the moment you come into contact with air. It’s even better if you apply lotion while you’re still damp as it helps with absorption.
Be honest — are you guilty of any of these skincare mistakes? Did any of them shock you to your core? No? Fine, I guess you’re just the Wizard of Oz and just know everything. Well, they were shocking to me. The sheet mask revelation one in particular had me like 😱
If you want to further your skincare education, check out these beauty devices that will take you one step closer to your dream complexion.
Keep your stalking game strong and follow me @teriaki if you aren’t already!