If you’re over 20 and struggle with zits and blemishes, you may be making common Skincare Mistakes that contribute to acne. But if your skin is less than perfect, fear not. It’s easy to achieve a beautiful complexion by making a few simple changes to your life.
Cut out these five skincare don’ts and you’ll be on your way to clear, healthy skin in a flash.
1. You Don’t Have a Smart Skincare Routine
Ancient Egyptians were known for elaborate beauty rituals. By the 1960s, the skincare company Clinique pioneered easier care with their now-famous three-step regimen.
Today, thousands of skincare products exist. Walking into a drugstore, department store or Sephora can be intimidating. And many of the products on the market are ridiculous. With so much stuff out there, it’s hard to get the basics right.
“Cleanse, protect, and treat are the trinity of skincare,” says Rachel Duran, a beauty editor at Arithmetic, a skincare startup focused on helping adults with acne.
Most people wash their face when they take a shower. But they often fail to protect their skin.
“A simple moisturizer with SPF goes a long way to protecting the skin from aging UV rays and environmental pollution,” she said. “It also helps to rebalance the skin’s oil protection, which is critical for anyone with blemish prone skin.”
If you’re over 20, avoid pimple products that blast the skin with harsh chemicals. “Our Acne Control Complex is powerful yet optimized for the thinner, dryer skin of adults,” said Duran.
If you wear makeup, apply it after cleansing, protecting, and treating. Then be sure to wash it off before you go to bed.
2. You Panic and Over Do It
When you struggle with a breakout, do you scrub your skin like mad, turn the water extra hot, and apply extra-strength products all at once? If so, you may be flirting with disaster.
Instead of treating your skin like it’s been exposed to radioactive waste, try being good to it. Nurture your complexion with gentle cleansers and soothing hydration. Avoid scrubs with physical grit. And treat yourself to high-quality natural skincare products when your budget allows.
If you end up with a big jumble of skincare products in your medicine cabinet, do yourself a favor and write down a simple, step-by-step routine for both morning and evening.
Then, take everything that’s not a part of your routine out of your bathroom. Completely. Do it. Get it out of there! And do it now. The reduced clutter will help keep you focused on what’s important: getting the basics right.
But don’t give up on the best products too easily. Know that many acne products can take several months to show full results.
3. You Get Lazy
Even the best intentions are easily foiled. If you’re struggling with problem skin, set an intention to be consistent with your skincare routine. Consider the trinity holy: cleanse, protect, and treat. Make sure you do each at least once a day.
Remember the written list mentioned in Step 2? If you struggle to comply with your skincare routine, go back to making a list. It may sound crazy, but try. Writing things down helps you set an intention, which is the new age way of saying that you’ve set a goal.
Remember, even the best skincare products in the world can’t work if you don’t use them as directed.
4. You’re Stressed
Stress releases hormones with may contribute to blemishes. The same goes for a lack of sleep. Plus, when you’re sleepy and tired, you’re more likely to eat sweets… and too much in general. Bad eating habits can also trigger your body to release hormones that can cause skin problems.
But hormones aren’t all bad. The bliss you get from running, enjoying quality time with a friend, a good yoga class, and yes, even sex, may have benefits for your complexion.
Instead of trying to “reduce stress” or “get more sleep,” why not focus on adding good endocrine activity to your body? In other words, call a friend, go for a run or… get some nookie.
When you do that, chances are the stress and sleepless nights will melt away.
5. Nasty Stuff Touches Your Face
From your own oily fingers touching your face to dirty pillowcases and grubby cell phones to yoga mats and straps on sporting equipment bike helmets, acne-causing microbes are everywhere.
Do you skin a favor and give some though to everything that touches your skin. Keep your clothes, pillowcases, cell phone, and helmet straps clean and tidy.
How hard is that? Actually, we’re creatures of habit. All lifestyle changes can be a challenge.
While you may not be able to make all of these changes at once, try in incorporate one or two this week. You’d be surprised what you can accomplish—and even a few modest changes can set you on the path toward clear, healthy skin.