We often talk about what you should be doing to maintain healthy skin and a radiant complexion. Let’s look at a few practices that are counterproductive at best and harmful at worst:
1. Over-washing your face
It’s important to remove makeup, sweat, and environmental debris that can clog your pores and cause breakouts and dullness. Unfortunately, some people overdo their cleansing routine and strip the oils and lipids from the skin surface. Skin surface lipid film is a combination of sebum, produced by your sebaceous glands, and membrane lipids (fats) that make up the skin cell membrane. This lipid film protects your skin against ultraviolet rays, microbial organisms that cause infection, and signs of aging, like wrinkling and dryness. The best way to avoid stripping your skin of the lipid layer is to use a gentle cleanser with a low lather to maintain a healthy skin barrier.
2. Not cleansing is also a big mistake!
Don’t be lazy about washing your face, however, since it’s important to remove makeup and debris in the morning and the evening. This allows your pores to breathe and it also prevents buildup that dulls your complexion.
3. Using a cleansing brush can be a problem for sensitive skin
There are a lot of cleansing brushes in the cosmetic or skin care aisle of every store, but they aren’t a good idea for people with sensitive skin. If you have thick skin with a lot of oil, they can be helpful, but most people should avoid them as they can cause irritation. Although it is a good idea to exfoliate, use of a cleaning brush is not the best method for people with delicate complexions.
4. Exfoliating without moisturizing
Exfoliation is important – you can use a chemical peel or a scrub once or twice a week, but after exfoliating, it’s critical to seal your skin with a moisturizer that will also help it heal on a microscopic level. Using a moisturizer after exfoliation will also improve the results you see, since hydrated skin appears more radiant, supple, and youthful.
5. Picking at pimples
This is one of the worst mistakes you can make when you notice a blemish. Picking or squeezing a pimple opens the skin barrier to bacteria that can make the initial problem much worse. It also results in inflammation and redness, compounding the initial problem. You may even end up with a scar. Better ideas include placing ice on the pimple to reduce redness and swelling. Pimples are the result of clogged sebaceous glands, so you can apply fresh lemon juice to help dry up the oil. Steam can open your pores to clear oil and dirt.
6. Too much product
Many women sample a wide variety of cosmetic and skin care products without consideration that these products have active ingredients that may not be compatible. It’s a good idea to consult an expert before purchasing a skin care product to determine if it’s a good addition to your skin care regimen. You may get better results if you follow a skin care regimen that has been tested and found effective, which may require sticking to one brand. Consider paring down your skin care routine: cleanse, use an antioxidant moisturizer in the morning and a retinoid at night.
If you have questions about skin care, call today for a consultation with a cosmetic dermatologist or with a trained and licensed aesthetician at one of our convenient clinic locations.