5 Skin Care Mistakes You Can Fix Right Now

In my experience, there is no quick-fix or miracle solution when it comes to skin (although, some may argue that point). However, there are little, easy fixes that can have a huge impact on your skin's health and appearance. The following are the top 5 skin care faux pas that I see in my skin care practice that can easily be changed right this second...really!

Here's to your happy, healthy skin!!!

1. Keep it simple

One of the most common mistakes I have seen over the years is product overload. People will say "I'm using all of these products and my skin looks terrible!" It is easy to feel that the more products you use, the better your skin will be. For most people, what happens is that skin will become sensitized from being bombarded by too many ingredients and either react with rashes or irritation, become overly dry or oily, or just become plain upset and confused as to what is supposed to be doing. This applies to even natural products, but infinitely so for more chemical-laden products that include added fragrances, dyes or preservatives.

Streamline to a three part daily skin care routine that you use both in the morning and at night: Cleanse, tone, moisturize/protect (this last step also includes eye cream and sunscreen as needed).

Once a week, you can add in an exfoliant, such as a scrub or enzymatic exfoliant, and a facial mask suited to your skin type. These steps can be incorporated into a luxurious, weekly at-home facial (more info to come soon!).

There are other targeted products you can use for specific skin care concerns, such as spot treatments, night treatments or serums. If you choose to use these, do so only a few times a week, or for brief periods of time so that your skin does not get overwhelmed.

2. Scrub yer mug at night

"I forget to wash my face at night" is the number one confession I receive from clients and one that I can totally relate to. At the end of the day, I just want to beeline to dreamland and skip all that stuff, but my skin would be a wreck if I did. While not everyone needs to cleanse their skin in the morning, everyone should do it at night. It removes stale makeup, environmental pollutants, dirt, oils and general funk that has accumulated on skin during the day. Not removing this stuff can lead to blackheads, breakouts, inflammation and can even contribute to aging. Plus, your skin is not able to complete the natural rejuvenation process that happens when we sleep. Spending just 5 minutes at night to quickly wash your face makes a huge difference.

3. Kindly step away from the exfoliant

Exfoliating skin periodically, whether with a scrub or other type of exfoliant (enzymes, glycolic, etc.) - great. It helps to remove surface debris and dead skin, keeps pores clean and stimulates collagen production. Scrubbing skin daily like a bathroom sink - not great. It leads to redness and irritation, leaves skin super vulnerable to the elements and can actually lead to the breakdown of collagen (which leads to wrinkles - eek!). Treat your skin as if it were a fairy wing. Exfoliate gently only once or twice a week.

4. The Old Switcheroo

Skin changes over the course of the seasons and your products should, too. It is a good rule of thumb to switch your products with every seasonal shift, rather than using the same stuff throughout the year. Products better suited to summertime can be too drying and stripping during the winter months and those suited to winter can be too heavy and pore-clogging in summer. Seasons aside, skin also "gets used" to products over time. A product or regimen that worked great for you at first may not work as well months down the road. Switch to other products for a time to refresh and revive your skin.

5. Chug-a-Lug

Water intake makes such a huge difference in the health and appearance of skin, so ensure that you are getting enough. Drinking enough pure water and keeping the body hydrated assists the skin in eliminating toxins. If the body is not eliminating these toxins properly, they can begin to be purged through the skin, which can cause or contribute to conditions such as acne or eczema. Water also carries nutrients to support healthy skin cells.

When the body is properly hydrated, it can help your skin to stay hydrated (along with a proper skin care regime). Drinking adequate amounts of water can also help to alleviate dark circles under the eyes, which are frequently caused by the body being dehydrated. Keep a pitcher full of water or herbal tea in the fridge and drink it throughout the day.

For more healthy skin care tips, check out my previous blog post The Top 10 Things You Can Do To Keep Your Skin Healthy.

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