getting a session with an esthetician.

9 Skincare Mistakes to Avoid

We all want that radiant, Instagram-worthy skin, right? Well, it's time to talk about the common skincare mistakes we might be making without even realizing it. As a licensed esthetician, I'm here to guide you through the dos and don'ts of achieving that flawless complexion.

Skincare isn't just about looking good; it's about feeling good, too. Healthy skin is a reflection of a healthy lifestyle. 

Overlooking Sun Protection

squeezing sunscreen on to hands.
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Sunscreen is like armor for your skin, protecting it from the sun's harmful rays. I've made the mistake of using a low SPF, thinking I was invincible. Spoiler alert: I'm not. Choose an SPF based on your skin type and reapply every two hours for maximum protection.

Also, consider using a physical sunscreen versus a chemical sunscreen, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Physical sunscreens will have only zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the main ingredient. They are designed to sit on top of the skin and act as a physical barrier that reflects UV rays. Chemical sunscreens use a combination of avobenzone, octinoxate, and oxybenzone to absorb and transform UV rays into heat. 

Inadequate Cleansing

Woman preparing to wash her face.
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Cleansing is the unsung hero of skincare. Proper cleansing removes impurities, excess oil, and makeup, setting the stage for the rest of your routine. Pick a cleanser that suits your skin type – it makes a world of difference.

My friends repeat after me. I will never go to bed without washing makeup off my face first, ever again! Your future self will be eternally grateful if you just give it a clean slate at night so it has a chance to regenerate and restore itself.

Skipping Moisturization

Man checking his skin after applying moisturizer.
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Moisturizers lock in hydration, preventing your skin from turning into a Sahara desert. Find a moisturizer tailored to your skin's needs, and don't forget to apply it while your skin is still damp for that extra boost.

Your skin has a very delicate layer, including the moisture barrier that helps maintain hydration levels in your skin cells. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid and beta-glucan for more complete hydration.

Ignoring the Eye Area

Putting on eye cream.
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The skin around your eyes is delicate, like fine china – treat it as such. Investing in a good eye cream early on is like a skincare insurance policy. The main concerns with the eye area include puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles, and dark circles.

A study investigated the effectiveness of eye creams that include low molecular weight heparan sulfate. Improvements in the appearance of fine and coarse wrinkles were observed as early as week 2, with continuous improvement up to 12 weeks. Decreases in puffiness (73%) and dark circles (93%) were reported by subjects. The test product was highly rated by subjects on performance and attributes and was well tolerated by all the subjects in this study.

Excessive Exfoliation

woman exfoliating her skin.
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Exfoliation is fantastic, but too much of a good thing can be harmful. Choose a gentle exfoliator suitable for your skin type and use it sparingly to reveal that radiant glow.

Most over-the-counter exfoliants are physical exfoliants that slough off dead skin cells with manual manipulation. Chemical exfoliants work independently to dissolve the intercellular matrix holding each skin cell together. Skin cell turnover is the goal, but exfoliating more than two times a week is just overkill.

Using Harsh Products

woman using lots of different products.
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Not all heroes wear capes, and not all skincare products are suitable for everyone. I once tried a trendy product without checking the ingredients – a big mistake. Harsh chemicals can wreak havoc on your skin’s moisture barrier. 

Opt for products with gentle ingredients, and always do a patch test before committing to a new routine. When in doubt, always consult your esthetician and/or dermatologist to help you choose the best products for your skin.

Picking at the Skin

Woman checking her skin the mirror.
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We've all been there – a pesky blemish appears, and the temptation to pick is almost irresistible. But let me tell you, picking is the highway to scarring. Treat your skin with kindness, and use targeted treatments instead of picking.

Fingernails are reservoirs for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human papillomavirus. Every time you pick at blemishes, you are potentially introducing more bacteria to an area that is already trying to clear itself of excess dirt and bacteria.

Neglecting a Healthy Lifestyle

Woman drinking water.
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Skincare isn't just about what you put on your face; it's also about what you put inside your body. Drinking enough water is not only necessary for your kidneys, but it is also essential to hydrate your skin from the inside as well.

A lot of skincare products boast ingredients like vitamin C and vitamin A (retinol). You will achieve better results quicker if you can get those ingredients internally as well as topically. Reduce your intake of artificial sugar, drink more water, eat a sweet potato, and voila, beautiful skin!

Ignoring Professional Advice

visiting a professional dermatologist.
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I get it; we all love DIY solutions. But sometimes, you need the expertise of a professional. Consult an esthetician and dermatologist for personalized advice and regular check-ups. Skincare products and procedures can get pricey, but fixing a bad at-home chemical peel can cost you even more. Some procedures should really be left to the professionals.

Your face is beautiful and is what helps make you uniquely you. Care for it by following a healthy skincare routine curated by a skincare professional.

Skin No-Nos to Skin Glow

woman with really good skin.
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So there you have it, the lowdown on skincare mistakes to avoid. Remember, your skin is unique, and finding what works for you might take some trial and error. Take it from someone who's been there – a consistent and informed skincare routine is your ticket to that coveted healthy and glowing skin. Here's to making the right choices for your skin's radiance!

Simple Steps to Elevate Your Life This Year

Happy young people jump in tha air next to the ocean at sunset.
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Along with healthy happy skin, here are 8 insights, lessons, and personal experiences that you can apply to your life for a great year ahead.

Author: Kelly Goins Turner

Title: Wildlife biologist

Expertise: biology, Licensed esthetician, animal behavior