Written by Gabrielle Okray
We can all relate to the feeling of waking up in the morning wishing that our skin was better – clearer, smoother, “prettier” – you name it, people have struggled with it. But with so many products lining the shelves of every store we walk into and so much advice from every corner of the internet being shared and re-shared, it’s hard to know what exactly you’re doing that your own skin doesn’t agree with.
I personally have struggled with my skin for years and can remember the overwhelm that would hit me every time I walked down a drugstore skincare aisle. I was completely unsure of what I needed but so desperate for clearer skin that I was willing to try any product that looked like it might be helpful.
On top of using the wrong products, I was also committing skincare “sins” that kept me from achieving the healthy skin I so desired. In this post, I’ll be sharing three things that you’re most likely doing that are sabotaging your skin, and how you can change them for the better.
1. You’re not washing your face before bed
This is the one that people are most likely to know about as a “skincare sin”, and are most likely to continue doing anyway. We’ve all been there, right?
You’re crawling into bed after an exhausting day, and just as you’re relaxing and wondering how your mattress can possibly feel this comfortable, you remember. “I didn’t wash my face”. This is a huge skin saboteur for people for two main reasons.
First, because when you don’t wash your face before bed you’re sleeping in more than just your makeup. You’re sleeping in all the almost-invisible dirt, grime, and sweat that you’ve accumulated just by walking around all day long.
The free radicals from the pollution in our atmosphere are breaking down the cells in your skin and causing premature aging. And second, as if that’s not bad enough, bacteria can multiply by the millions in just a matter of hours.
That’s right, millions in hours. So even if you go to bed with clear skin and don’t wash, one microscopic bacteria inside one tiny pore can mean you’ll be waking up to a nasty breakout.
2. You’re skipping your moisturizer
This is something I hear all the time. “I don’t need moisturizer because my skin is so oily”. In fact, skipping your moisturizer because you’re oily is one of the largest contributing factors to your skins excess oil production.
Think about it this way: your skin creates it’s own oil (sebum) down in your dermis (below the epidermal layer that you can see with the naked eye). When you wash your face, you’re altering the pH balance of your skin and, in turn, stripping it of its natural sebum.
If you don’t put back the moisture that you’ve removed when you washed, your skin will recognize that lack of balanced hydration and moisture and will rush to produce more on its own.
Which will lead to you washing your face again when you notice how oily you feel, which further strips the skin, and causes it to want to produce even more oil to try to regain that natural balance.
This vicious cycle can be interrupted by simply making sure to moisturize after every cleanse. That way your skin won’t feel the need to continually attempt to rehydrate itself with sebum production, and you’ll start to regain that naturally balanced hydrolipid layer we all strive for.
3. You’re not wearing SPF
This is, by far and without a doubt, the one thing that every skincare professional in the world will recommend to every single client, regardless of their skin type.
The rays from the sun penetrate down into our dermal layer and literally destroy collagen, causing 85% of premature aging. Protecting your skin from harmful UV rays (bonus tip: your skin considers ALL UV rays harmful) is the only surefire way to slow down premature aging and keep your skin healthier every single day. Here are some super helpful answers to common SPF questions I get from clients:
- Yes, you should be wearing SPF every day
- Yes, even just to walk to the mailbox
- Yes, even on days when its cloudy outside
- No, coconut oil is not a sufficient form of UV protection
- No, the SPF in your makeup is not enough
- Yes, I’m serious
None of us are ever going to be perfect when it comes to taking care of our skin. We’re human, and part of being human is making mistakes, especially when we’re stressed or rushed or just plain exhausted. But as long as you keep these three tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to a clearer complexion and healthier, happier skin.
About Gabrielle Okray:
Gabrielle is a licensed esthetician and the owner of LUXE Skin in Phoenix, Arizona. She is passionate about educating clients on their specific skin type and promoting healthy skin for all bodies.