When it comes to our extensive beauty routines, you would think cleansing your face would be one that you never think about. After all it's such a simple and straight forward task how could anyone mess it up? By now you probably think you have your cleansing regime sorted and that you know which products you should be using for your skin type, where they should be used and when. But actually cleansing is a lot more complicating than just picking a selection of products which appear to work with your skin type, and hoping for the best. Ever wondered why despite picking what seem like the ideal products for your skin type - and skin problems - they seem to do nothing or even make the problem worse than it was to begin with? The answer probably lies in how you are washing your face. If you're making any these common mistakes then you're probably wiping out all your best intentions.
1. You’re Not Cleansing At All
What? This surely cannot be true! While we find it hard that anyone completely misses cleanses their skin every evening, we do understand that many of us get lazy when it comes to our skincare routine. Whether it’s a late night in the office, coming home after a few too many drinks or simply feeling exhausted, there’s many times where we simply don’t feel like traipsing to the bathroom to cleanse our face. Well apart from ruining your bedding with smeared make-up, you’re also ruining your skin. Make-up forms a barrier over the skin, trapping in pollutants and irritants and locking out moisture. This can even cause collagen to breakdown, the protein in our skin responsible for keeping it smooth and firm. If we still haven’t convinced you to cleanse each evening read the story of this woman. She slept in her make-up for a month and her skin aged ten years!
2. You’re Over Cleansing
Right on the other side of the spectrum is those who are constantly cleansing their skin. This tends to be common with people who oily or blemish prone skin. Either they are trying to dry up the excess oil with cleanser or they think their spots will heal faster if they continually cleanse, neither of which work. Oily skin is actually dehydrated skin, so if you keep stripping your skin of oil it will only respond by producing more oil to compensate for the dehydration. Also don’t think because you have spots you have dirty skin that requires more cleansing, spots are usually a result of an overproduction of sebum which clogs pores. You only really need to cleanse in the morning and evening to remove make-up, pollutants and dirt from your face, which can irritate the skin. You should also cleanse after exercise, as sweat can clog pores and attract dead skin cells leading to more blemishes.
3. Your Products Are Too Harsh
Again this is another common issue with people who have oily skin, as they tend to choose astringent products which strip the skin of all its natural oils. If you do this you will end up in a vicious cycle with your skin produced more oil to compensate for the dryness, and you using harsher and harsher products to clear the oil and the blemishes that come with it.
4. You Keep Changing Your Products
It’s fun to try new skincare products now and then, but changing your routine too often is actually counterproductive. It takes time for products to address the problems they were designed to address, if your anti-acne face wash hasn’t given you clear skin in a week don’t despair and bin it – power through. You need to give your products time to work, the only time you should bin something off immediately is if it causes a bad reaction. Once you have your line-up of products sorted don’t forget to leave a little bit of time between applying each one to allow the active ingredients to penetrate your skin. We don’t mean you have to leave half an hour between each product, just a couple of minutes. If you’re applying cleanser, toner, serum and moisturiser within five minutes the ingredients become muddled and won’t sink into your skin as well.
5. You’re Scrubbing Too Hard
Exfoliating is key to healthy glowing skin, but if you’ve become addicted to your face scrub then it could be causing a problem. Over exfoliation triggers to the skin’s inflammatory responses and damages the lipid barrier, the protective barrier which is responsible for keeping moisture in and keeping irritants out. This can lead to dehydrated skin, patchy areas of dryness, redness, irritation, increased sensitivity and inflammatory acne. If you’re showing any of these signs then it’s time to take action now. Swap your grainy or particle-based exfoliator for a gentle one, and reduce exfoliation to once a week.