Stop scrubbing ASAP!!
If you’ve ever looked back at pictures after a night out only to find that you can practically see the photographer’s reflection in your forehead, we've got you.
Whether your skin throws a tantrum every time you dare to try out a new serum or your T-zone seems completely immune to any and every setting powder out there, we've all got our skin bugbears. And unfortunately, it could be your bad beauty habits that are making them worse.
For all of you sensitive, oily or dry skin beauties out there, here’s a rundown of what to avoid and what to embrace based on your skin type.
1. AVOID: Switching things up. It can be frustrating when you start using a brand new beauty product only for your skin to a) get worse or b) show absolutely zero results. But hopping from one routine to the next can actually aggravate sensitive skin even more. "Switching your products too frequently also makes it very difficult to keep track of which products are actually helping, or which ingredients may be causing irritation," says consultant dermatologist Dr Sharon Wong.
Instead: Give it time. In general, it takes your skin around a month to adjust to a new product, so be patient. However, if your skin feels irritated from the get-go, sniff out the culprit and stop using, sharpish.
2. AVOID: Skipping sun cream. It might feel like a chore when you're in a rush to leave the house in the morning, but irritable skin usually has a heightened sensitivity to the sun.
Instead: Never go below SPF 30, and "look for physical sun creams that contain minerals such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide," advises Dr Wong. "These will irritate skin less than than chemical sunscreens, which some people can become sensitive to."
3. AVOID: Overly complicated, 100-step routines. It's common sense that the simpler your beauty routine is, the less chance of something aggravating your skin.
Instead: Keep it simple and your skin will thank you for it. Look out for phrases like 'fragrance-free' and consider brands like AVEENO, whose formulas contain naturally active ingredients and help to soothe dry, irritable skin. If you're not sure about a product, do a test patch behind your ear a few times over a week before going all in.
1. AVOID: Skipping moisturiser. It might feel like your face doesn’t need it, but cutting out moisturiser can cause your skin to dry out and overcompensate by producing even more oil. Argh.
Instead: Keep an eye out for oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturisers and get into a routine. Non-comedogenic basically means your pores won’t get blocked, which means less risk of a breakout. Aces.
2. AVOID: Over-scrubbing your face. As with ditching the moisturiser, washing your face with a harsh scrub to eliminate grease is actually doing you more harm than good. Over-exfoliating strips your skin of its natural oils and just like above, your skin will react by producing even more. Dr Wong adds that over-scrubbing "can also irritate blocked pores and cause a break out."
Instead: Choose a gentle, soap-free face wash like La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Cleansing Gel. Wash your face with lukewarm water in the morning and give it a double cleanse in the evening to banish make-up, pollution and all of the other nasties of the day.
3. AVOID: Going in on the powder. Powder might seem like your best friend if you have oily skin, but using it to soak up oil every five minutes is not the solution and could lead to blocked pores and breakouts.
Instead: Carry some blotting papers on you, as these will lift oil from your face instead of blocking it. Gently press them against the most oily parts of your face to banish those shiny bits. Dr Wong also advises adding "a topical retinoid based product such as adapelene into your skin care routine to help reduce sebum production."
1. AVOID: Hot water. It might feel glorious, but that steaming hot shower could be stripping away your skin's natural oils and drying out your skin even more.
Instead: Use lukewarm water where possible and limit your showers to 5-10 minutes max to avoid drying out your skin. "If you're having a longer soak in the bath, use bath oils designed for dry skin from brands like AVEENO, which moisturises therefore protects the skin from the drying effects of water," Dr Wong recommends.
2. AVOID: Delaying moisturizing. Lying in your towel for an hour as you scroll through Instagram might feel dreamy, but as the water evaporates off your skin and leaves it parched, it won’t thank you in the long run.
Instead: Moisturize as soon as you get out of the shower while your skin is still damp to trap moisture using an emollient like the AVEENO Daily Moisturizing Lotion, which helps prevent water loss and helps to restore the skin's natural barrier. "What creates dry skin is a defective skin barrier which causes loss of lipids and moisture from the skin surface," explains Dr Wong. "So supporting the barrier function of the skin and replacing the moisture levels throughout the day is a must."
3. AVOID: Reaching for the soap. If you recognize that horrible tight feeling after washing your face, you're probably using the wrong cleanser. "Any product that foams or lathers by nature contains a surfactant," says Dr Wong. "As when washing dishes, surfactants effectively have a de-greasing effect, which is exactly the opposite of what you want on dry skin."
Instead: Try cleansing with a gentle, soap-free product like Lush’s Ultrabland, which is made with almond oil, rose water, beeswax and honey and won't strip away your skin’s natural defenses.
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