6 Common Skincare Mistakes: Are You Making Them?

There are endless tips and tricks on the internet regarding how to “perfect” your skincare routine. And there is no doubt that by now you have established your daily habits and favorite products! But did you know that by making simple changes in your day-to-day schedule you could significantly improve your skin? Each and every one of us have made a few errors along the way. Such as falling asleep without taking our makeup off, skipping one of our washes or not cleaning makeup brushes and ball caps often enough. No worries though! These, as well as some of the other mistakes you may not even know you’re making, have easy fixes.

1.) You’re Cleansing Wrong

Let’s say it one more time for those in the back: double cleanse! Especially in the evening or after a workout. Let me explain what I mean by this. Make sure you are using a mild pre-cleanser or water-based cleanser to thoroughly remove all of the excess dirt, sweat, and makeup (if applicable) before you wash your face with your “real” cleanser (the one with the active ingredients for your acne). This first step should take less than 60 seconds – there’s no need to pat your skin dry before moving on to your second cleanser. This will provide your “real” cleanser the exposure it needs to deliver those active ingredients to your pores.

While we’re on this topic, let your second cleanser “sit” on your face for 60-90 seconds to do its work. And don’t dilute it with too much water while you’re applying it. While the cleanser is doing its work, you can be brushing your teeth, checking your texts, etc. I know this sounds tedious but trust me, the results will be worth it.

2.) Relying Heavily on Face Wipes

I get it: you’re exhausted, it’s late, and those face wipes purchased at the drugstore seem like the obvious shortcut to getting in bed as quickly as possible. Face wipes have definitely improved over the years and I will never deny their convenience; however, we find too many of our clients rely on them as their only cleanser and/or makeup remover. The reality is that most face wipes sold in drugstores are not appropriate for acne-prone skin, as they contain all kinds of irritating ingredients and artificial fragrance. So, our advice is to ditch the wipes and follow the double-cleansing routine. If your schedule requires an on-the-go solution (example: for your gym bag), soak some cotton rounds in your favorite high-quality toner and store them in a sealed container. 

Now, there are some face wipes that are specifically formulated to deliver an active treatment ingredient and to exfoliate your skin (by way of the pad). We at Clinically Clear often recommend these for certain acne conditions. These are for use after you wash your face (not as a substitute). Using these products on dirty skin is a waste of your time and money! Do your best to ensure each of your products can benefit your skin to the fullest by dedicating the time and effort necessary at each step on the way.

3.) Caring for Blemishes

We have all been there before – a couple spots on your chin, forehead or nose, oh my! No one wants them, but we all have them. The urge to pick at and pop your acne spots can be irresistible. Please don’t succumb to that urge! Ninety-nine percent of the time, this will delay healing, bruise your skin, cause surrounding inflammation, and create a scar or discoloration. 

At Clinically Clear, we are so concerned about this that we invite our clients to “pop” in (pun intended) for complimentary Emergency Extractions. Our estheticians have years of experience knowing how to safely treat these pesky bumps to minimize risk of excess inflammation, scarring and infection…and you can trust their judgement if a blemish can be safely extracted. 

Related: we often find our clients over-treat their blemishes by applying too much of their spot treatment. More isn’t better. By contrast, applying a thin layer of product to the blemish (with clean fingertips of course), multiple times per day, is a better approach. 

4.) Using an Alcohol-Based Toner or None at All

Toner should be a staple in your daily skincare routine, for the most part – confirm this with one of our acne specialists here in Atlanta. A crucial component in this though, just like with the cleanser and any other product you’re using on your skin, is that it needs to be the right one for you. A common mistake when it comes to toners is using an alcohol-based toner or not using one at all, maybe due to a bad experience with one previously. An alcohol-based toner (such as an astringent) will dehydrate your skin and leave your face feeling dry – a huge turn-off. Whereas an alcohol-free toner opens your skin up to receive moisture and ultimately encourages your skin to be more receptive to your daily serum, should you use one, and moisturizer.

5.) Over Exfoliating

Regular exfoliation is an imperative for acne-prone skin. Nevertheless, there is such a thing as over-exfoliating, and I have news for you. When this occurs you are ultimately damaging your skin’s moisture barrier. What is your moisture barrier? A man of many talents, you may have also heard this labeled as acid mantle, protective barrier, hydro-lipid film, etc. But most importantly, this is your skin’s outermost layer. It is what protects you from the things you come in contact within your everyday life, such as bacteria or pollutants. And even though the skin is strong, it can easily be thrown off its delicate balance. Over-exfoliating, emphasis on that “over” part, can strip you down and essentially leave your skin wide open for that bacteria to thrive. Please follow your acne therapist’s guidance on frequency for these very powerful skincare products!

6.) Not Washing Regularly

In this case, I am talking about the items that come in direct contact with your face. Some things to think about are makeup brushes, helmets, ball caps, your cell phone and especially your pillowcase. Caring for your pillowcase regularly is one we tend to forget; yet this fabric soaks up all the bad stuff and your face comes into contact with it for hours each night! The dirty pillowcase can actually undo all that good work you’ve just put into your nighttime skincare routine! Please wash it at least once per week. Throw those ball caps in with your regular laundry after you’ve worn them. Wipe down cell phones, hockey and lacrosse masks with alcohol or basic soap and water. If you wear makeup often, clean your brushes at least every-other-week.

So there you have it! Clinically Clear Acne Treatment Solution’s “6 Most Common Mistakes” you could be making with your skin. If you fall into one or multiple categories on this list, don’t worry! There is a reason they are labeled as “common”. Just take this knowledge and actively make the decision to take that extra step in caring for your skin. Teenage and adult acne can be a pain – let our acne specialists provide you with the information and tools you need to clear it up.

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