There are a ton of different kinds of skin products out there, which means everything needs to be applied a little differently. More often than not, there is a right way and a wrong way to do that. Sometimes we have such an extensive skincare routine that we skip over certain steps or do one of the steps incorrectly for the sake of quickness and convenience. Other times, we don’t even know how to use a certain product and take a wild guess on what seems right. You might be doing certain skin care procedures completely incorrectly (or not at all), but have no fear; here, we’ll take a look at 8 skin procedures you’re doing wrong – and how to do them right.
1. Not going completely natural with your products
Many people have reservations about using natural products, mainly because of the price. However, having a simpler skincare routine with only a couple of all-natural, albeit a little pricier, products is going to be better for your skin than having an extensive routine using products coming from “Big Cosmo.” “Big Cosmo” is an umbrella term for any skincare or beauty product made by a large company. Big Cosmo products contain chemicals and fragrances that have more drawbacks than benefits to your skin. While they might fix certain problems, they are sure to create new ones.
How to do it right: it’s better for you to go all-natural (for your skincare routine, that is). If you can’t afford to completely clear out everything you’ve already purchased for your routine and swap it all out for natural alternatives, that’s understandable. Facial wash and moisturizer should be the first two things you replace, since those products are typically part of an everyday routine that cover your whole face.
2. Dragging down your skin
If you’re wondering why your skin is showing early signs of aging, this might be one of the reasons. Applying skincare products in a downward motion can kickstart those wrinkles and fine lines; not to mention it can also irritate your skin in general, which encourages another onset of problems, such as dryness and itching.
How to do it right: For the majority of your face, skincare products should be applied in an upward motion. For the skin under your eyes, products should be gently dabbed or patted in, since that area is extra sensitive.
3. Not using sunscreen
It can be tempting to just skip sunscreen altogether for several reasons. You might be wearing a full face of makeup and won’t think sunscreen will be compatible with the other products on your face. Your makeup might contain SPF and you might decide to just rely on that. In any case, not putting actual sunscreen on your face has its risks. It exposes your skin, leaving it susceptible to sun damage, which comes with its own set of problems. If you do decide to go with sunscreen, there’s a right and a wrong way to do it when it has to share your face with makeup.
How to do it right: First and foremost, if you aren’t using actual sunscreen on your face, start doing that. If you’re already using sunscreen (not just foundation with SPF), make sure you’re adding that as the final layer of anything you put on your face. The sunscreen film is what protects your skin from sun damage, so any layers added on top of that is what messes with that film and keeps it from doing its job.
4. Exfoliating every day
No matter how old you are or what your skin type is, you might be tempted to exfoliate every single day. Those with dry skin might think that constantly exfoliating will get rid of the dead skin cells. Those with oily skin might think that exfoliating every day will control the oil on their faces. Either way, exfoliating every day will strip the oils from your face, so much so that it causes irritation, dryness, and it can upset other skin issues, like eczema or rosacea. Constant exfoliation also encourages acne and kickstarts aging, so it’s safe to say that exfoliating every single day isn’t a great idea.
How to do it right: Be gentle with your skin. In moderation, exfoliating will get rid of those dead skin cells and control an overly-oily face. Exfoliate with a gentle exfoliator once every week or once every couple of weeks.
5. Using a towel to exfoliate or scrub your face
Towels are great for drying off your hands, but they’re not so great as a part of a skin care procedure. Similar to dragging your skin down when applying skin care products, scrubbing your face with a towel by pushing it any which way can cause irritation and early aging. Whether you’re trying to exfoliate your face or wash off your makeup for the night, there’s no benefit to harshly scrub your delicate skin with a towel.
How to do it right: To start off, let it be known that towels are really only good for a simple face wash; leave makeup removal to makeup wipes and exfoliating to exfoliators. When using a towel, gently pat your skin with it to remove the face wash. You also have the option to just splash some water on your face and remove it with your hands, but it’s recommended to use that towel to gently take off face wash.
6. Sleeping in your makeup
We’re sure you’ve heard this one before, but in case you needed any more convincing: yes, sleeping in your makeup clogs your pores, leading to acne. Sleeping in your makeup also means that you’re not washing your face at night in general, meaning that all the dirt, sweat, and excess sebum your face has collected throughout the day isn’t getting washed off.
How to do it right: There’s no right way to sleep in your makeup; just don’t do it. Remove your makeup with a makeup removing wipe. Start at the forehead area and move down to the nose, cheeks, and chin. If you’ve applied any makeup to your neck, wipe this area as well.
7. Not applying moisturizer after using a facial wash
It might be tempting to not put anything else on your face after you’ve just washed it – why put any more product on a clean face? However, applying a moisturizer after using a facial wash actually helps you. It “traps” the moisture in your skin while your face is damp. Most of the skin care routine, after all, prepares the skin for the moisturizer; you wouldn’t apply a moisturizer after just removing makeup, right? Moisturizer is the last step in the skin care routine for a reason; it isn’t meant to be skipped over.
How to do it right: Don’t just apply moisturizer – do it quickly! It sounds silly, but there’s a little bit of time crunch between the time you finish washing your face and the time appropriate to apply the moisturizer. The ideal time is within 60 seconds of washing your face. Doing it while your skin is damp is what helps to “trap” the moisture in the first place. That said, moisturizer can technically be applied anytime you need it – it’s just best to do so within a minute of washing your face.
8. Not having any skin care routine
You might do everything else right with your body; let’s say you drink a gallon of water a day, always eat right, have a healthy exercise routine, and get plenty of sleep every night. Although all of these things are awesome, none of them can substitute having a skin care routine. While drinking water and getting enough sleep have noticeable benefits when it comes to your face, using facial wash, moisturizer, and sunscreen still do wonders when applied regularly as a skin care routine.
How to do it right: Start by figuring out your skin type. You could be oily, normal, dry, or combination. Your skin could be super sensitive; it also might not be. You may have eczema, rosacea, or a different skin ailment. You may be more prone to acne than others. Everyone is different, so don’t just follow random DIY trends, and don’t just grab random products because they seem okay enough. Once you know your skin and what problem areas you may need to treat, you can go ahead and look around for products. Everyone will need a facial wash and moisturizer for daily use, and everyone will need an exfoliator to use about once a week or once every two weeks. These three items are good to start with. After that, start thinking about what other products specific to your skin type and condition: is a toner necessary for you? Do you need an eye cream? Your skin routine doesn’t need to be extensive to be effective, it just needs to consist of products that are catered towards the condition of your skin.
Most of us did not grow up learning to perfect skin care routines, so don’t feel too bad if you’ve been doing one (or more) of these procedures incorrectly. Luckily, it doesn’t take too much to switch up certain parts of your routine; the trick is finding out what you need to fix and making fixing your routine a habit. The sooner you know what kinds of changes to make, the better your skin will be in the long run.