Skincare mistakes you need to avoid : what I have learned

skincare mistakes you should avoid - what i have learnt

It took me around 6 years
to snap out of my mistakes

I used to struggle a lot with self-confidence especially when it comes to my skin. Throughout the years I have tried a lot of products, different methods, and gathered some bad habits along the way.

I know exactly how desperate it can be to want to have clear skin. However, sometimes we’re just doing more damage than care. Here are my skincare mistakes that I hope you won’t have to walk through it!

1.

Buying into anything and what everyone says

Skincare routine videos on Youtube are my absolute favourite thing to watch. I find it satisfying to watch a routine and sometimes I can learn great skincare tips from them too!

 Why is it bad? 

At the beginning of my skincare journey, I got so used to buying into every single recommendation. I never bothered checking whether their skin types and concerns match mine.

I just thought if their skin is clear, they MUST be doing something right. I found out that this was bad through the hard way when my skin got so clogged after using a moisturiser too rich for my oily skin. I even decided to stick through it because it worked on their skin.

Better approach?

Yes, while reviews are a great source of giving an idea of whether you’ll like a product or not, just make sure to check if they match your skin type and concerns and do fact check from multiple sources too. They serve as a good guide, but everyone’s skin is different. Therefore, I include my skin type and concerns at my about me page!

 

2.

Following trends

If you’re quick to want to try the latest skincare product, ask yourself again whether your skin really needs that or not.

Why is it bad?

You will end up spending a lot of money buying loads of products and there’s only so much your skin can take. Most products also have a period after opening of 6 to 12 months, vitamin C serums usually have an even shorter lifespan. At one point I had to dispose of more than 10 products in one go as there were all expired!

Better approach?

  1. Research more into the product before buying
  2. Buy only after you empty a product of the same category
  3. Don’t get it if you know you won’t use it

Sometimes it can be as simple as packaging issue. Personally, I found out that I tend to reach out for products that come from a pump, and part of the list of skincare products that expired was mostly from tubs. So now I try to avoid buying products in tubs as much as possible unless it’s worth it.

3.

Expecting miracle

They always promise that you’ll get clear skin in xxx days

Why is it bad?

Because it’s not true. Especially when companies claimed to help clear acne scars/ hyperpigmentation within days. Being an acne sufferer for over 7 years, I can assure you no product works magic like that, not even retinol. If you happen to find one, please let me know. Arguably dehydration can be solved instantly as your skin soaks up all the hydrations, giving your skin an instant plump.

Better approach?

Focus more on looking for ingredients that are known to help with your skin concerns and be patient. For example, a study pointed out that increased epidermal thickness and increased collagen expression were recorded after 4 weeks of retinoic acid and retinol treatments. Whereas, it took 12 weeks of consistent retinol application to have a noticeable reduction in facial wrinkles.

4.

Using everything all at once

Skincare is only complicated when you choose to make it complicated.

Why is it bad?

At one point I was using 10 steps skincare routine everyday single day. When I realised my skin started to be more clogged, desperate me was to figure out what MORE can I apply to help with my clogged pores. Sometimes less is more.

Better approach?

Take time to observe your skin and sometimes this means going back to basics. Right now, I’m quite comfortable just using cleanser + sunscreen during the day and cleanser + serum + moisturizer at night. You don’t need to exfoliate every day and you don’t need to mask every day.

5.

Thinking that expensive means it must be better

Are you really paying for the research and formulation or just into fancy marketing?

Why is it bad?

You’ll just end up spending a lot more than you really should. There are many companies with products that intentionally hike up prices to target “higher end” customers. Ingredients like hyaluronic acids are pretty cheap but in the market, you can find products that range from RM 36 from Inkey List and RM168 from Skin INC.

Better approach?

There’s no shortcut but to do your research. Check what they claim to work, what technology, and at the end of it, if you do feel that it’s worth your money then go ahead. At the end of the day, it is your hard-earned money!

6.

Not recognizing what’s my skin type

I used to refuse to accept that I have acne-prone skin as I always associate being oily = bad.

Why is it bad?

Using products with ingredients that don’t match well with your skin type can worsen your skin conditions. I always thought I have dry skin until I used Labmuffin’s method to stop all skincare products except for a cleanser and moisturizer for a week. I realised I have oily skin and all these while I have been using products that were high in occlusive ingredients which explained why I constantly have clogged pores.

Better approach?

If you were like me, using a lot of products makes it hard to determine skin types. I recommend using Labmuffin’s suggestion of just using a cleanser and moisturizer for a week and observe your skin after that. After knowing your skin type, you’ll then have a better idea of what product works better for you!

7.

Constantly using new products

At one point I was buying new products every single week. I was constantly looking for a miracle product that will give me clear skin.

Why is it bad?

You won’t be able to tell what works for yourself. Also, introducing multiple products at the same time will make it harder to determine which product was the main cause of irritation. You might end up needing to press the reset button and halting all your progress.

Better approach?

Be aware of how some products take time to affect. For example, retinol takes about 3 months of consistent usage before you’ll see noticeable results. (1)

The only time I would suggest stopping a product immediately is when you get any irritation (burning sensation / uncomfortable feeling) and even rashes which could be a sign of sensitivity.

8.

Picking on my blemishes - whiteheads, blackheads, acnes

You hear many people talking about how bad it is BUT it’s also one of the hardest to stop.

Why is it bad?

When it’s not done properly, it will leave scarring or even make it more inflamed. And believe me when I say the biggest problem about having acne is not the acne itself but dealing with the aftermath – hyperpigmentation and scarring.  

Better approach?

Gently exfoliate and cover the acne with a pimple patch. Pimple patches are great especially for people like me with itch hands. Applying them over popped pimple also helps with increasing the speed of healing! If it’s severe, do seek professional’s help ie. dermatologist or a trusted aesthetician.

9.

Staring at the mirror

You hear many people talking about how bad it is BUT it’s also one of the hardest to stop.

Why is it bad?

When it’s not done properly, it will leave scarring or even make it more inflamed. And believe me when I say the biggest problem about having acne is not the acne itself but dealing with the aftermath – hyperpigmentation and scarring.  

Better approach?

Gently exfoliate and cover the acne with a pimple patch. Pimple patches are great especially for people like me with itch hands. Applying them over popped pimple also helps with increasing the speed of healing! If it’s severe, do seek professional’s help ie. dermatologist or a trusted aesthetician.

These are the top 9 tips I would give to my 17-year-old self to have better care for the skin. I am still paying for the damages that I have done ie. Enlarged pores and hyperpigmentation. I hope you find this helpful and I hope you noticed some skincare mistakes that you’re making!

While my skin has gotten a lot better throughout the years, I know there’s still plenty for me to learn about my skin.

From a chemist that loves skincare.

Reference 

1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26578346/

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