Have you made any of these common skincare mistakes?
We are constantly bombarded with skincare advice from television adverts, department store displays, celebrities, social media, friends and family members and the list goes on so how do you know what product is right for you when?
In this blog, I discuss commons skincare mistakes and how you can avoid them.
Mistake 1: Not cleaning the skin
Our skin is our largest organ and has many functions one of which is thermoregulation which means we sweat to cool down when we are hot. The skin sheds dead skin cells off the surface all the time. We have a fine balance of oils and water on the skin surface to maintain a defense system against the environment. What this means is that there is sweat, debris, oil, pollution particles, remnants of skincare, sunscreen and makeup on the skin. This has to be cleaned while maintaining the health of the skin. The product used as a cleanser must be the right choice so that it does not strip the skin of its natural moisture and oil content.
If the skin is not sufficiently cleansed, you are essentially adding more products to the already dirty canvas. Conversely, if you over clean the skin you disrupt the balance forcing the skin to produce extra oil. Using the wrong cleanser or not cleansing your skin twice daily is one of the commonest skincare mistakes.
Mistake 2: Using too many active skincare products at once
The term ‘active’ skincare refers to skincare ingredients that are able to make a significant change to the structure and function of the skin. However, these may be ‘irritant’ on the skin on first use as they have potent effects. If too many products are used without guidance it may cause the skin to become overwhelmed and react.
Occasionally the result of using too many skincare products leads to ‘sensitised’ skin which then reacts every time a new product is applied. This is because the skin barrier naturally has a good balance of the necessary components to make it function as a barrier. If too many products are introduced at the same time or products are switched too frequently the barrier function becomes disrupted. The skin immune system gets triggered and results in inflammation, soreness and redness.
For some skin concerns, prescription skincare is necessary which does contain a combination of active ingredients but this must always be used under the guidance of a doctor.
To avoid these skincare mistakes, consult a skin specialist who will tailor your products, adjust products depending on circumstances while monitoring your progress.
Mistake 3: Not giving skincare products enough time to work
Our skin cycle is a minimum of 6 weeks. That is the time taken for a new skin cell being produced in the deeper epidermis to the reach the surface and remain on the surface before being sloughed off. As we get older this cycle slows down and the dead cells remain longer on the surface giving a dull appearance.
For a skincare product to have an effect you must give it enough time form new cells being produced to reach the surface. So, any new product must be tried for at least 6 weeks. Ideally best results are seen after 3 months so be patient.
Mistake 4: Not protecting the skin
The number one cause of skin ageing is sun damage and this is via invisible UVA radiation present throughout the day. One of the commonest skincare mistakes is not applying a suitable daily sunscreen. Left unprotected, the skin is prone to damage caused by the harmful UVA rays which can penetrate deep into the skin. Unfortunately, the damage can take several years to manifest as visible changes on the skin. This includes the earlier manifestation of age spots, rapid formation of fine lines and wrinkles and generally looking ‘older for your age’.
The best way to protect the skin is to get into the habit of wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen on a daily basis to defend and protect our skin even when you are indoors. Now sunscreen is just a filter so it does not block all UV rays. So on warmer days, avoid the midday sun, try to stay in the shade, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
But how do you chose the best sunscreen? Generally speaking, there are two types. Chemical filters and physical filters. These are chemicals present in the sunscreen to offer protection. Chemical filters absorb the UV radiation and convert it to heat so the filters are used up within 2hours. Physical filters deflect the radiation and are slower to break down. Some sunscreens use both types of filters.
The labeling on sunscreens can be confusing. The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) refers to the sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB from damaging the skin. When you apply SPF 30 exactly as directed you get the equivalent of spending 1 minute of UVB rays for each 30minutes you spend in the sun. So, in 1 hour in the sun wearing SPF 30 is the same as spending 2 minutes totally unprotected. Put another way with SPF 30 it would take you 30 times longer to burn than if you were not wearing sunscreen.
SPF 30 allows about 3% UVB to hit your skin and an SPF 50 allows 2% and SPF 100 allows 1% UVB to hit your skin. Most experts agree that SPF 30 is sufficient as higher SPF is not providing a proportional increase in protection.
Ageing is predominantly caused by UVA radiation which penetrates the skin deeper and SPF measures protection against UVB. To purchase a sunscreen that offers protection again UVA you should look for ‘broad spectrum’ protection.
A common skincare mistake is not applying enough sunscreen and not reapplying it often enough to maintain the protection. It is also possible to miss some areas such as the eye area, ears, exposed scalp, neck and décolletage. According to the British Association of Dermatologists, you should be using 2mg/cm squared of skin which equates to 1/4 teaspoon amount for the face or 1/2 teaspoon for face and neck irrespective of your skin colour. Most of us do not apply enough.
What about sunscreen in makeup you may ask? As we already don’t apply sufficient amount of sunscreen, relying on the sunscreen contained within makeup is insufficient to offer any protection and we don’t usually reapply makeup to maintain that protection.
Using a good quality sunscreen daily is you taking a conscious decision to protect your skin today for healthier-looking skin in the future!
We learn from our mistakes and skincare is no different. By having bespoke consultation and skin analysis you can find the right products for you and avoid these common skincare mistakes.
For further information or to book an appointment contact me via phone, email or the website.
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☎️ 01277 549 006
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