Make up. It's a part of many women's daily routine. Some of us can't bear to leave the house without wearing any, where as for others it's a case of a little bit here and there while saving most products for a special occasion. Make up is wonderful, it allows us to conceal areas which make us feel self-conscious and unleash our inner creativity by creating new looks for special occasions. It's also handy at hiding a multitude of sins, from late nights to a lack of sleep. Whether you have tens of products in your beauty arsenal or just one or two it's important to make sure you pick the right make-up for your skin, and we're not just talking colour, brand and consistency. Make up can cause all sorts of problems for skin from raising your risk of breakouts and blemishes to irritating highly sensitive skin even further. We talk through four of the most common make up mistakes which can leave your skin looking less then lovely. 

1. Not Washing Your Brushes
Whether you use a brush to apply each beauty product, or only use one or two, it's important to make sure you properly cleanse them. Brush bristles don't just pick up pigments when you dip them into your favourite foundation or blushers, they also collect dirt, oil and bacteria. This is then transferred to you skin, which affects people with acne prone or sensitive skin the most. You should try to wash your brushes in warm, soapy water once a week. This will also keep bristles soft and flexible allowing for easier application.

2. Using Old Make Up
If you have a lot of make up that you like to switch around on rotation then it can be difficult to remember exactly when you bought each piece. Or perhaps you've splashed out on a gorgeous piece which you only save for special occasions and, even though you've had it for a while, you can bare to bin it. But expired cosmetics can cause skin irritation and eye infections. There's no use-by date on beauty products, but most of them will state how long you can use them for once they've been opened. You should bin your mascara after three months, foundation after a year and powder, eyeshadow and eyeliner every 18 months. If your make up has a funny smell or is starting to look a bit off then it's time to say goodbye!

3. Too Much Heavy Coverage
If you suffer from acne or other skin conditions, like rosacea, it can make you want to reach for the foundation with the heaviest possible coverage in order to achieve the flawless skin you feel everyone else has. Yet consistently wearing heavy make up, and not removing it properly, can irritate the skin. While cosmetics are generally not harmful to the skin and have gone through rigorous testing, certain make ups contains ingredients which are more likely to clog pores - bad news if you already suffer from breakouts. Instead you may want to try switching to non-comedogenic make up which allows your skin to breathe. You can even get make up which contain acne fighting ingredients such as salicylic acid, bentonite clay or aloe. If you have very sensitive skin try avoiding make up which contain perfumes, talcs or dyes.  

4. Sleeping In Your Make Up
Ever had one of those nights where you're so tired you feel you could fall asleep on your feet, or perhaps you've come home after a long evening of partying (and one too many drinks) and all you can think about is your bed? Whatever the reason, most of us have a had a night where we decide to skip the cleansing but this needs to stop. Not only are ruining your sheets by sleeping in foundation and mascara, you're also opening up a world of problems for your skin. Your skin at risk to more exposure from free radicals, which make up holds on to. Free radicals are highly unstable molecules which cause the breakdown of collagen, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles. Regular snoozes in your favourite foundation can also lead to pores become clogged and a higher chance of breakouts. The more often you do this the more likely it will lead to the formation of a microcomedone, the start of an acne lesion, which will attract more acne-causing bacteria. You're also making your skin miss out on the benefits of your usual skincare routine and the chance to renew itself. If you want to see the results of sleeping in your make up for thirty days straight, click here.