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5 Common skincare mistakes you should be avoiding

BY Alice Gawthrop

15th Sep 2023 Lifestyle

3 min read

5 Common skincare mistakes you should be avoiding
Do you recognise these common skincare mistakes? Here are five ways you might be inadvertently sabotaging your skin!
There’s a lot of information out there about what you should be doing for your skin, but what about the things you shouldn’t be doing? There are a few skincare sins that we’re probably all guilty of committing every now and then—here are five common ones that should be on your radar!


One of the most important things for your skincare is consistency. No so-called “miracle” skincare product will take effect after one use. In fact, it typically takes between one and three months of consistent use before you start to see changes in your skin. This is because it takes around 30 days for the top layer of your skin (the epidermis) to turn over. 
"No so-called “miracle” skincare product will take effect after one use"
Inconsistency is the worst thing you can do for your skin. Keep a consistent regime that is like a well-rounded diet for the skin,” says Shelly Woods, aesthetics practitioner and founder of Skin Techniques. "When something works well for you, stick with it. It's like working out to see results; you can't just take one exercise class and get six-pack abs. It's a routine. You need to do it regularly for it to work.”

Using too much 

There are loads of “10 step makeup routines” floating around out there on social media, and it can be easy to think that the key to perfect skin is more, more, more. But actually, this isn’t the case. You can build a perfectly effective skincare routine out of just a handful of products, the key being a good cleanser, moisturiser and SPF.
Skincare products
What’s more, don’t go crazy with the amounts you’re applying.  “Don’t apply too much product—although tempting, this will not benefit your skin,” says Woods. “A pea sized amount is enough to cover your face. Beyond that you’re wasting your money.”

Storing products incorrectly

This is an easy one to overlook, but storing your skincare products properly is vital for ensuring they are as effective as possible for as long as possible. A key consideration is keeping them out of direct sunlight, as this can degrade many skincare ingredients. In particular, vitamin C and SPF products should be kept out of the sun.
"Storing your skincare products properly ensures they are as effective as possible for as long as possible"
Cool temperatures are also important, as this can slow down the oxidation process and allow your products to last longer. You should keep your products tightly sealed to prevent oxidation, too. 
Of course, you don’t need to go out and buy a skincare mini fridge just to keep your products cold. You can if you want, but they’re pretty expensive! Keeping your products in a cupboard out of direct sunlight will do the trick for free. 

Touching your face constantly

You probably do it all the time without even thinking about it, but touching your face constantly could be hurting your skin. It can spread dirt, oil and bacteria to your face, and lead to clogged pores and acne. Worse than just touching your face is picking at or popping spots—anti-aging skincare specialist Michelle Skelly calls this “the quickest way to spread bacteria and cause scarring.”
Woman touching her own face
Obviously sometimes you have to touch your face, like when you’re applying skincare products in the first place. Make sure your hands are clean, and try to minimise unnecessary touching. To kick the habit, experts at L’Oreal recommend keeping your hands busy, and when you do notice yourself about to touch your face, replace it with a substitute behaviour such as clicking your fingers. 

Sleeping with makeup on

This one may seem obvious, but who among us hasn’t come home late and thought, ugh, I’ll just take my makeup off in the morning? Be honest! Sometimes it just feels like too much faff. But trust me, it’s worth it!
"No matter how tired you are, it’s always worth sparing a few minutes to take your makeup off"
According to dermatologist Dr Sue Ann Wee, "During deep sleep, there is a boost in healing hormones such as growth hormone and melatonin, resulting in more rapid rates of cellular regeneration and repair, and sleeping with makeup on may hinder these processes in many ways.”
Sleeping with makeup on can lead to clogged pores, breakouts and dry or irritated skin. No matter how tired you are after a long day (or night!), it’s always worth sparing a few minutes to take your makeup off. You’ll thank yourself in the morning!
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