The 5 Most Common Skincare Mistakes You’re Making

Yep, you're definitely doing a few of these...

With SO many skincare products out there (not to mention a million techniques to help you ‘get the glow’), it can be seriously confusing to know what’s best for your skin.

To scrub or not to scrub? Moisturiser or serum? Oily or combination? There are a lot of questions, and a lot of products promising to give you the answers.

So it’s no surprise that sometimes we get it wrong. And according to dermatologist Dr. Justine Hextall, on behalf of The Harley Medical Group, these are five of the biggest skincare sins we’re making.

See: Best Facial Serums

  1. Over-complicating your skincare routine
    “50% of people I see in my clinic have too complicated a regime that is actually damaging the skin barrier and unbalancing the natural acidic pH”, Justine says. “The offering of skincare today is bigger than it’s ever been before and people have become a lot more experimental, particularly now with access to social media accounts focused on skin care and beauty advice. I advise caution as sometimes I see problem skin among girls in their 20s and 30s purely as a consequence of constantly switching up products and over-zealous skin care regimes. My advice is find what works and try to stick to it for longer than a week! Products can take at least six weeks to start making a difference and also keep in mind that continued use is necessary to maintain the results, you have to remain committed to achieve the results you want.
  2. Not tailoring your skincare to your age
    “Your skin will change as it ages”, Justine says. “The skincare regime you used in your 20s will not necessarily continue to be right for your 40s if you’re looking to maintain that youthful glow. In our 20s we often still suffer from so-called teenage skin with oiliness and occasional breakouts. However it’s also often the decade that most people feel is the peak of skin health – robust skin that is relatively hardy, has that youthful glow and for most the end of acne. By our 30s we usually start to notice those early subtle signs of ageing skin eg. skin becoming a little less hydrated, so you may need to moisturise more to reduce wrinkles. By our 40s, we start to notice increased dryness as the skin barrier becomes less efficient. Loss of skin firmness and age spots and visible thread veins are a common complaint. Therefore it’s time to invest in good skincare products. I regularly use an anti-oxidant serum and focus my diet on anti-oxidant foods. Again a high factor sun block is very important and I would advise most individuals would benefit from more active treatments.”
  3. Ignoring the effect your lifestyle has on your skin
    “Your skincare alone will not automatically fix your skin concerns”, Justine advises. “In my view, the gold standard of good skin is a healthy lifestyle, a respectable diet and a skincare regime that’s tailored to you. My top 4 lifestyle factors that do the skin the most damage are UV exposure, smoking and excessive alcohol, city living with increased exposure to pollution and chronic stress, especially if combined with a lack of sleep. These will all contribute to skin ageing. No matter how hydrating your chosen moisturiser is, it will not reverse the dehydrating effects of smoking. If you want good skin, you have to look to address these lifestyles factors as well.”
  4. Not treating yourself to facials
    “Skin treatments can be very beneficial for keeping a youthful glow”, Justine says. “A regular facial to remove dead skin cells and hydrate skin works wonders. Micro-needling treatments such as The Harley Medical Group’s Derma FNS (£145 per treatment, available nationwide), especially when combined with hydrating agents such as hyaluronic acid and anti-oxidants, can really boost skin glow. The key is to meet with a skin care specialist and plan a treatment programme, that includes the best possible skincare regime for your skin.”
  5. BOTOX
    If you’re looking to address lines and skin tone with Botox and fillers, I believe this can have a significant impact on slowing the effects of skin ageing. However I also feel that treatments in isolation such as lip augmentation, can make the face look unbalanced. I believe it’s really important to consult a certified practitioner to get their opinion and discuss the different treatments options available, in order to achieve the results you want. Safety is the key here and as I always advocate less is more. Injecting small amounts of a safe filler, such as Juvederm, and adding more after 2 weeks if required is always the best approach in my view.