We all make mistakes, that’s part of life but there are some very common beauty slip-ups that we’ve all made at some point or another, and some that we are still making.
Here’s a list of the most common beauty mistakes you might be making, why they are mistakes and what to do!
- Not washing your pillowcase often enough
This is actually a very common beauty mistake. I’ve heard many people talk about breakouts and how some cosmetic all of the sudden gave them spots etc, but the reality most of the time (not always) is that the underlying issue is something else. A very common beauty mistake or oversight perhaps, is not washing our pillowcases (and makeup sponges/brushes etc) often enough. Even if they look clean they are not, there will be lots of dead cells, perhaps even bacterial and cosmetics that transferred from your face! Like for example, a bit of your night cream!
Change your pillowcase once a week (or more often if you drool or use a lot of cosmetics before going to bed) and wash your makeup sponges and brushes after every use, and a bit more thoroughly once weekly.
And don’t forget to use clean fingers when applying cosmetics, not only to not contaminate yourself, but also to not contaminate your cosmetics.
- Not washing your face well enough
There are many cleansers out there, some cheap some expensive, and although most of them will clean, not all of them will clean well enough. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a cleanser and it doesn’t need to contain fancy ingredients. All a cleanser needs to do is clean. But it needs to clean well and a lot of cleansers don’t.
If you are not sure if your cleanser cleans well, or perhaps whether your cleaning technique is good enough, go over your face with a makeup wipe after cleansing and see how much makeup or dirt is still left behind. Don’t forget those nose corners and hairlines!
If you really like your cleanser but is somehow not removing all your makeup in one go, consider going over 2-3 times.
- Going to bed with makeup on
Ah, the classic! Let’s be honest, we’ve all done this and will do this a couple more times in our lifetime. Sometimes life happens and you are too tired to clean your face or you just fall asleep! I feel you, I’ve been there more times that I’d like to admit. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t do that but here’s some tips to minimise the damage.
Store makeup wipes in your nightstand to give yourself a quick-fix solution if you can still master the act of cleaning your face. If you still managed to go to bed with makeup on, make sure to do some deep cleaning the day after, including using nose strips and other methods that can clean inside your pores, such as BHAs. Also don’t forget to change your pillow case the day after!
- Using the same cosmetics for too long
Now here’s an interesting and unexpected problem. A lot of cosmetics contain a lot more product than you should use. For example, there’s a lot of mascaras that contain a lot more mascara that you could use in 2-3 months, even if you use the same one every day. This becomes a problem because mascaras (and most cosmetics) are often water based (or contain some water) which means that they are absolute heavens for bacterial growth. Our skin naturally contains bacteria so every time you use your cosmetics you contaminate them a little. With time the bacteria can grow and the cosmetic can become very unsanitary and the very reason why you might be getting breakouts, or why the cosmetic is not behaving as it should. This is the reason why I tend to prefer travel size mascaras instead of the full size ones, as they can be quite a waste!
I know it’s not great to throw away expensive cosmetics but take this point seriously. Especially for cosmetics that go near points of entry to our body, like for example lips and eyes. You can cause yourself serious infections!
It goes without saying that you should also not use cosmetics past their due date which is labelled as a “numberM”. This number, for example 6M, means that you should not use this cosmetic past 6 months of opening. It is worth keeping a track record! There is actually a nice study that looked into the bacteria presence in cosmetics, for all the info check out: Should we be using expired make up? What are the guidelines for the correct use of cosmetics?
- Storing cosmetics in the bathroom
Ah, we’ve all done that! Storing some cosmetics in the bathroom is convenient, especially when close to the mirror or in the shower, but the moist and warm environment of this room makes it a heaven for bacteria growth. Store only the absolute must in the bathroom and if you can, put them away in a cupboard or a box after you used them.
- Using wrong skincare for your skin type
We all know that we should be using the correct skincare for our skin type and there is actually a very good reason for this. Creams for dry skin contain more emollients and moisturisers, whereas the ones for the oily type have different texture etc. These ingredients and correct formulation will help balance your skin and reduce (as much as possible) the extreme situation of dry or oilyness.
However, dry skin doesn’t just need moisturisers and oily skin needs nutrition too. Although it might sound very straightforward, this is a very basic mistake that I’ve seen many people do. A lot of dry skin suffers think that they should use only extreme dry skin products that offer deep moisturisation and forget to nourish their skin. Oily skin sufferers think that they do not need to moisturise at all or as often, and skip this step all together.
And this brings me nicely to the biggest mistake of them all.
- Incorrect assumption of your skin type
The biggest mistake of them all, is the assumption of your skin type. A lot of dry skin might be dry because the outer skin barrier is damaged, perhaps due to lack of nourishment. A possible reason for this is that a lot of dry skin creams focus a lot on moisturisers and forget about all the other ingredients that your skin needs to be healthy. For more relevant information check out: What is sensitive skin? What are the causes and what can we do?
On the other hand, a lot of oily skin might only be oily because of lack of moisturisation. Oily skin tends to overcompensate by producing a lot of oil to keep itself moisturised, which in turn makes you think that it is amply moisturised! It’s a never-ending cycle but know this. Oily skin needs as much moisturisation and care as dry skin.
Here’s my personal example. For a large part of my life I thought that my skin was so oily you could fry eggs on it. Honestly, it was that bad. For a long time, the idea of putting creams and serums on it made me cringe. Then in my middle to late twenties I started taking proper care of it, using nourishing and moisturising creams and serums and my skin became a lot less oily. Almost not oily at all. Every now and again when I run out of my skincare or take a break and not use anything for a day or two, my skin goes back to being super oily again. I’d still say that I am an oily skin type or perhaps combination skin type, so I wouldn’t change the type of products I use BUT a lot of my “fry eggs with it” oil was self-inflicted from not taking proper care of my skin and allowing it to overcompensate.
8.Using emotional skincare
We’ve all been there. That nice golden jar, the heavy feeling tub, the beautiful tube. The cream that smelled like coconut and the one that made your skin feel so soft. We’ve all fallen victims of cosmetics that give us emotional responses but actually don’t do much or enough for our skin. While makeup can be used to feel pretty, remember that skincare is not about being pretty, smelling nice or feeling soft. It’s about taking care of your skin and none of those senses are a measure of how good a skincare product is.
Look out for the ingredients contained, that is all that matters. For in-depth reviews and ingredient analyses check out: Beauty In-depth Reviews & Ingredient Analysis (all articles here)
- Expecting visible results from skincare
If you haven’t had a very solid skincare regime then you might, even immediately, notice skincare results after introducing good products to your skin. However, getting visible results or the lack of, doesn’t mean that the product is good or bad. It just means that there was something in it that your skin was currently desperately missing.
I’m not saying that visible results are bad. What I’m saying is that they are not a measure of a good skincare product. Skincare is meant to work on a molecular level and not all molecular changes are visible. In fact, very few are.
For the best skincare results, choose nourishing and moisturising products, and be consistent. Skincare products, even the ones that work, most often need 2-3 months to have considerable effects. For example, there is a study that shows that not using vitamin C for just 3 days is enough for it to be lowered, be consistent and don’t skip your skincare.
- Focusing on face skincare and ignoring bodycare
A lot of us go into such lengths to take care of our face and forget that the rest of our body is skin too. This is mainly due to marketing and product availability, how many body moisturisers have you seen being marketed as much as the face ones but sadly, the quality of them is also low. Our motivation for skincare is also a big part of the problem, as most of us do it for all the wrong reasons, to avoid or slow down wrinkles.
Skincare should be primarily about keeping a healthy skin, our biggest organ in the body, and the rest of it will come as a nice by-product. However, even if ageing was your sole motivator, would you really want saggy and dry body skin? Plus, did you know that cellulite looks a lot worse when your skin is not moisturised? For all the info check out: Do cellulite treatments work?
- Not using SPF everywhere
This sounds like a no brainer but think about it, do you really cover your entire face and body with SPF? A recent study showed that missing out even a small part of your skin, can lead to skin cancer. For example, do you put SPF on your eyelids? Your ears? Well there’s actually plenty of places that we neglect when we use SPF which is a real risk as skin cancer can form even if you just missed a spot.
If you don’t know why you should use SPF to begin with or even what it means check out: Everything you need to know about sunscreens and SPF
- Not using enough SPF
When it comes to skincare application we often talk about pea-sized amounts and although that might be enough for serums, it certainly isn’t enough for SPF.
To find out how much you should use and why check out: Everything you need to know about sunscreens and SPF
I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.
Beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. Have you ever tried these products? Did they work for you? Let me know your experiences below!
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