Top 5 Skincare Mistakes You Could Be Making
I’m sure all of us want to do what’s best for our skin, whether it be product application or maintenance treatments. However, there are a few common mistakes that a lot of us can unconsciously make, like the following:
Exfoliating helps to remove the dead skin cells on your skin, and honestly, who DOESN’T want to slough off dead skin cells and reveal brighter, smoother skin? If not done mindfully, though, it could lead to damaging the skin barrier and discomfort. Harsh mechanical exfoliating scrubs can be irritating for sensitive skin and cause microtears, while overusing chemical exfoliants can cause redness, “burning” and itchiness, amongst other symptoms. The American Academy of Dermatology Association has an article outlining how to exfoliate safely here that is worth a read.
2. Not applying enough sunscreen
There’s been this trend (among many) on social media where individuals only apply sunscreen to their cheekbones, tip of the nose, chin, and around the eye. To put it bluntly, PLEASE do NOT do this. Obviously we are not saying to completely avoid the sun - as Dr. Ngai has said in a previous post, it’s not feasible nor is it advised - but this trend leaves the rest of your skin vulnerable to UV exposure, which could leave it at risk for increased chances of skin cancer and photoaging. Not to mention you should be reapplying your sunscreen roughly every two hours even if you’re just out and about in the car. If you start noticing irregularly shaped or coloured lesions on your skin, or if the size or colour of your pigments are changing, definitely head to your primary care provider as soon as possible to have that checked.
3. Forgetting your neck
The skin on your neck is… well, skin after all, and needs TLC just like the rest of your body. It’s also exposed to the environment just like your face and susceptible to things such as photoaging, especially since the skin on your neck is thin. All of that, plus natural aging, leads to sagging, pigmentation, and fine lines. Remember to always apply SFP to your neck as you would your face, and reapply every 2 hours. Additionally, the skincare regime you use should be routinely applied to your neck as well. We personally have seen quite a bit of improvement in patients who have used our new Sofwave machine - at times in as little as 2-3 days.
4. Applying too much Retinoid
The benefits of retinoids are well known by now in this day and age, particularly for anti-aging purposes, but as the old saying goes, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Make sure you are using only a pea sized (and not a crazy broad bean) amount on your whole face - just dot it all over and massage it in. Really, you don’t need more than that; in fact, too much can lead to skin irritation, peeling and “burning” - make sure to start small and gradually increase usage if you’ve never used it before. If you have any concerns that you may have been using too much retinoid and the irritation is persisting, definitely contact your nearest primary care provider for a consultation.
5. Touching your face too much
To put it simply, this spreads bacteria and germs, and as a medical facility we’re even more likely to advise against this during the age of COVID. Regular hand washing is important, and that applies in a similar fashion to your face: cleanse regularly twice a day using an actual cleanser (none of that makeup wipe nonsense) - once in the morning and once at night (making sure that all makeup is removed). If you MUST touch your face, ensure that you have cleaned your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Lastly, make sure not to pick at any pimples or blackheads to minimize the chances of infection and scarring.
And as said before, if you’re seeing changes in your skin that are outside of what you usually notice, it is best to err on the side of caution and book an appointment with your GP to have it assessed. This blog post is not meant to be medical advice, and if you are having concerns, it is always safest to consult with a trusted physician.