Are you doing it right? It's very easy to mis-use the most straightforward of skincare products, and these super common mistakes are not as obvious as you'd think. Find out if you're a culprit...
1. Using your cream cleanser in the shower
It's an easy enough mistake: cleansing and rinsing. That double-duty daily ritual of rinsing off your face cleanser while you're in the shower is actually the most common mistake made with a daily skincare regime - but it is a no-no.
Cream-based cleansers contain oils and these oils tend to cling to the skin when they come into contact with water. Warm-to-hot compressing with a cloth is the ideal way to remove a cream cleanser. Not only does the steam soften the oils in the cleanser for easy removal, it also softens surface dead skin cells.
So, when you combine this with the physical action of gently wiping over the face with a warm compress cloth, the result is the removal of these surface dead skin cells. All the healthy skin is then left intact to do the job it was designed for. And, very importantly, it also means much calmer skin because you're avoiding the drying effects of harsh shower water on your face.
We know, washing your face in the shower is a hard habit to kick. But try it – you’ll be amazed by what one week of warm compress cleansing can do for the look and feel of your skin.
2. APPLYING MOISTURISER AT NIGHT
This one's a doozy because it's so incredibly common, thanks to a thriving market for night creams. But it's actually one of the biggest blunders you can make.
Think of your moisturiser as a jacket - protective against environmental aggressors, but only necessary when braving the elements throughout the day. Come night-time, your skin needs some downtime to allow restoration and recovery, not to mention a chance to breathe and re-balance.
Using a moisturiser at night can over-burden the skin and cause congestion, so swap your cream for a nourishing oil when you're about to hit the pillow. Oil will act as a treatment to replenish your skin and effectively deliver nutrients while your skin is resting.
3. Letting your face mask dry completely
Forget what you've seen in Hollywood movies – clay face masks are not for lounging around in until they set solid. Did you know that a clay mask dries in three phases?
First, there's the damp phase - when all the active minerals within the sundried clay absorb into the skin.
Next, there's the initial drying phase, where the clay mask helps to diffuse redness and even out your skin tone.
Last is the final drying phase - this is when moisture is drawn back from the surface of the skin. Keep an eye on this phase! It is crucial that you never let your clay mask dry completely, as it can cause dehydration and irritation. Instead, make sure you remove it with a hot steamy cloth just as the edges begin to dry.
4. Overdosing on moisturiser
Contrary to popular belief, less really is more when it comes to your moisturiser.
You'd be surprised by how far face cream can go - try using only half a pump. It will be just the right amount to distribute evenly over face and neck, and your skin will be sufficiently hydrated without suffocating. Use too much and your skin will be drowning. Try to think of moisturising in the same way as watering a delicate plant: too much can be as bad as not enough.
5. Shying away from oils when you have oily skin
This is such an easy mistake to make - why add oil to oil, right? Well the fact is, it's exactly what you should do in order to re-balance an oily skin type. What's more, it's all about the type of oil you use. Meet your skin's new best friend: Jojoba Oil.
Actually it's more of a unique liquid wax than an oil, and its molecular structure is very similar to the skin's own sebum. Oily skin types suffer from an overproduction of sebum, so by mimicking this naturally-occurring hydrator, Jojoba can trick the skin into thinking that it's producing a sufficient amount of sebum, thereby inhibiting excessive oiliness.
6. FORGETTING THAT BEAUTY ISN'T JUST SKIN-DEEP
Your skin is an organ and although treating it well on the outside is imperative, it's also going to be wasted effort if you're not nurturing it from the inside too. After all, a bright complexion is really an indicator of good health and organ function - and considering that it's one you wear on your face, it's worth paying attention to.
Start your day with a glass of warm water with the juice of half a lemon. This simple habit kicks your digestive system into action and helps to cleanse the liver.
This in turn will benefit your skin by promoting optimal liver clearance and thereby lessening the load on the skin as an organ of elimination. Also, by supporting digestive function you enhance the absorption of nutrients - vital for healthy skin, as well as general health.
7. Taking your make-up to bed
Ok, it's an oldie but it is a goodie - and it's so easy to slip up with this one. So here's some food for thought next time you're tempted to skip the cleansing cloth: not only are you sleeping in a face of makeup, you are also taking with it a face of grime, pollutants, dead skin cells, bacteria and, depending on which products you use, SPF too.
That's quite a cocktail of chemicals, not to mention a pretty hefty coating on the skin, which won't allow it to breathe and regenerate effectively. Hello blocked pores.
They don't call it beauty sleep for nothing - this is your skin's time to shine, so don't stifle it.
8. OVER-COMPLICATING THINGS
Your relationship status with your skincare regime should never read as 'it's complicated'. Think of all the products you use daily - can you count them on more than one hand? If so, it's time to streamline. Do away with high-maintenance and stop over-thinking things.
There are enough environmental stressors for your skin to deal with each day without burdening it with an overload of (expensive) chemicals and synthetic ingredients on top. Every product you use is adding to a cocktail of toxins and your liver will be overwhelmed by the various poisons it has to process.
All your skin needs is a few simple steps - it's how you do them that counts. Get your method right, and you'll cut out the need for a load of other things. Examples? Gently remove cleanser with a warm steamy cloth and you won't need to exfoliate. Use joboba oil to remove your eye makeup and you won't need an eye cream. Use a nourishing, rich moisturiser and you won't need a primer under your makeup.
Complicated does not equal effective. The fewer layers, the better.
9. Worshipping the almighty eye cream
May we be so bold as to dispel a very common skincare myth? You don't need that high-tech, very expensive, promise-filled eye cream.
An eye cream generally has very similar ingredients to a regular face moisturiser but with a greater percentage of water and possibly the addition of Aloe Vera gel to make it feel lighter.
The best eye make-up remover and eye treatment on this planet has been provided by nature - from the seed of a desert shrub, no less. It's Jojoba Oil.
It’s unique because it’s almost like the skin’s own sebum in structure, so you're not overloading the eye area's extremely delicate skin. Instead, you will be balancing sebum production while nourishing and hydrating. It’s super fine, non-clogging, non-irritating and the American Indians have been enjoying its many benefits for hundreds of years. MV’s Pure Jojoba is certified organic so this also guarantees no pesticide or chemical residue.
We wouldn't trust any other product more than Jojoba for safely using on the fragile eye area. Testament to that? It's pure and gentle enough to use on a newborn baby's skin. So if you have dry, itchy and irritated eyes then this product is your saviour.
10. BELIEVING IN MIRACLES
Anti-ageing. This term has long been bandied around the skincare industry and while it's a marketer's dream, in reality it's nothing more than an attractive ploy. Sure, we'd love to stop the ageing process in its tracks but what these so-called anti-ageing products are really doing is merely disguising the signs of ageing, by plumping the skin with humectants so that wrinkles look a little less pronounced.
So, how to best preserve a youthful visage? Stop using commercial skincare full of nasty chemicals and synthetics - it's poison to your body. Instead, switch to reputable organic skincare that uses the safe and effective potency of natural ingredients. Remember – any water-soluble ingredients you put on your skin will eventually find its way to your liver. Moreover, chemicals can harbour in the fat tissue just under the surface of our skin and this can interfere with normal cell function.