Skincare Mistakes Wrecking Your Quest for Flawless Skin

In Skincare Advice & Articles by Dr Bollmann's 0 comments

Skincare Mistakes Wrecking Your Quest for Flawless Skin

We all want gorgeous, healthy skin. But unfortunately, some common practices can sabotage our best efforts. Here's a deep dive into the biggest skincare mistakes to avoid if you dream of a perfectly radiant complexion.

1. The Sun is Not Your Friend: Skipping Sunscreen

  • Skipping Sunscreen: UV rays are the #1 cause of premature aging and skin damage. Make a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher a non-negotiable part of your daily routine, even on cloudy days.

 Consider this your skincare commandment: thou shalt apply sunscreen. UV rays are responsible for a vast majority of premature aging signs, from wrinkles and pigment problems to skin cancer. And to make thing worse, even if we don't get skin  cancer, as we age pre-cancerous, actinic keratosis are very common results of sun damage, requiring frequent visits to the dermatologist to get anti-cancer creams and procedures to eliminate them.

Make a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher a part of your everyday routine. Apply generously to your face, neck, and ears before heading outdoors, even if it seems cloudy. Reapplication every few hours is vital, especially if you're sweating or swimming.

In addition, another frequent mistake is not reapplying sunscreen every two hours when exposed. Sunscreens at best last two hours, and it is important to remember to reapply them at frequent intervals.

  • Not Removing Makeup Before Bed: Makeup, dirt, and oil build up during the day. Sleeping with these on clogs pores and leads to breakouts, dullness, and irritation.

It's tempting to crash into bed after a long day, but your skin will hate you in the morning. Makeup, mixed with the day's oil and dirt, clogs pores like nothing else. Breakouts, dullness, and irritation are the prices you'll pay. Use a gentle cleanser every single night before bed to give your skin a fresh start.

  • Over-Exfoliating: Exfoliation is great for removing dead skin cells, but too much strips your skin's natural barrier, leading to redness and sensitivity. Exfoliate 1-2 times a week, using gentle chemical exfoliants over harsh scrubs.

Exfoliation is fabulous for sloughing off dead skin cells and revealing a brighter complexion. However, too much of a good thing quickly turns bad.  Over-exfoliation damages the skin's protective barrier, leading to redness, sensitivity, and even breakouts. Stick to gentle chemical exfoliants (think AHAs and BHAs) a couple of times a week, ditching harsh physical scrubs. Listen to your skin—if it feels raw or irritated, take a break.

However, if you ever feel you need more extensive exfoliation consider getting a salicylic acid peel. I found these work very well with no downtime, which occurs with some of the more extensive chemical peeling procedures.

  • Using The Wrong Products For Your Skin Type: A moisturizer designed for oily skin can clog pores if you have dry skin. Always choose products that match whether your skin is oily, dry, sensitive, combination, or acne-prone. Choose chiral skincare products for increased safety. These products specifically identify the correct side of the molecule of the ingredient, making them more effective and safer - fyi, molecules have a preferent side, just as you are left or right-handed, so are they.

Skincare isn't one-size-fits-all. Using products formulated for the wrong skin type can throw everything out of whack. Know whether you have dry, oily, combination, sensitive, or acne-prone skin and choose your cleanser, moisturizer, and treatments accordingly.

Other Common Slip-Ups

  • Using Hot Water: Hot water strips your skin of essential oils, causing dryness and irritation. Always use lukewarm water for cleansing. And do not shower excessively.

Hot showers might feel heavenly, but they're anything but kind to your skin. Hot water strips natural oils, leaving you dry and uncomfortable. Opt for lukewarm water when washing your face and body for happy, hydrated skin.

  • Harsh Ingredients: Fragrances, sulfates, and alcohol can be super irritating. Look for gentle, fragrance-free products, especially if you have sensitive skin.

These ingredients can be major irritants, especially for those with sensitive skin. When choosing skincare, look for fragrance-free and gentle. Your skin will thank you.

  • Rubbing and Tugging Your Face: Especially the delicate eye area. Apply products gently with patting motions to avoid loss of elasticity.

The delicate skin on your face, especially around your eyes, deserves a gentle touch. Aggressive rubbing and tugging stretch the skin, contributing to loss of elasticity and premature wrinkles. When applying products, use soft patting motions.

  • Over-Washing: Cleansing more than twice a day can make your skin work overtime to produce oil, leading to a vicious cycle of breakouts and dryness.

Cleansing twice a day—morning and night—is essential. But more than that risks throwing off your skin's natural oil balance. Overproduction of oil can lead to breakouts, and a compromised barrier makes skin dry and vulnerable.

  • Dirty Makeup Brushes: These breed bacteria and can cause breakouts. Clean those brushes regularly! And clean your cell phone also. It has bacteria.
  • Dirty Makeup Brush

Brushes and sponges collect a delightful assortment of makeup, dead skin cells, and bacteria. Not cleaning them regularly is like spreading those bacteria back onto your face. Wash brushes and sponges weekly with a gentle cleanser or brush soap to keep breakouts at bay.

  • Not Moisturizing: Every skin type needs a moisturizer to maintain hydration and a healthy barrier. Even oily skin benefits from a lightweight, oil-free option. But over-moisturizing is just as bad. In my med spa, I found the most frequent cause of sensitive skin was moisturizer abuse, which is defined as a daily use of moisturizers. This was the cause of 99% of people complaining of sensitive skin. if you want to moisturize your skin, drink more water; hydration is better from the inside. (The above applies to the skin of the face, which is not as thick as the body skin  - moisturize the body as you feel necessary - but still, not excessively).
  • Even if you have oily skin, moisturizer is your friend. It hydrates, strengthens your skin barrier, and actually helps with oil control. Choose a lightweight, oil-free formula if you're acne-prone, but never skip this vital step.
  • Not Drinking Enough Water: Dehydration shows on your skin. Aim for 8 glasses a day to keep it plump and glowing.

Dry, dull skin isn't just about topical products; what you put in your body matters. Aim to drink 8 glasses of water a day for a plump, glowing complexion from the inside out. An even better way to detect your hydration is to listen to your body. It will tell you when you need more water. Remember, it is better to overhydrate than the opposite.

  • Picking at Blemishes: Increases inflammation, scarring, and the spread of bacteria. Hands off!

For teenagers, this is one of the most common causes of scarring due to acne. If you have problems with acne, don't pick, and if you need further treatment, see a dermatologist. It will be worth if when you get older.


  • What should I do if I forget to apply sunscreen?
    If you forget to apply sunscreen, seek shade and wear protective clothing to minimize sun exposure. Consider using a broad-brimmed hat or sunglasses for added protection. Or if possible, seek out a source of sunscreen; go back to your house, or go to a store that sells it.
  • Can I use body wash on my face?
    No, body washes are formulated for the skin on your body, which is thicker and less delicate than facial skin. Using body wash on your face can strip away natural oils and lead to irritation.
  • How often should I exfoliate?
    Exfoliation frequency depends on your skin type and the type of exfoliant you're using. Generally, 1-3 times a week is sufficient for most skin types. However, listen to your skin's response and adjust accordingly.
  • Is it okay to skip moisturizer in the summer?
    No, moisturizer is essential year-round, even in the summer. Exposure to the sun and air conditioning can dry out your skin, making moisturizer necessary for maintaining hydration and skin health.
  • How can I tell if a product is suitable for my skin type?
    Look for products labeled specifically for your skin type, such as "dry skin," "oily skin," or "sensitive skin." Additionally, consider doing a patch test before applying a new product to your face to check for any adverse reactions. The skin of the undersurface of your forearm is the best place for this test; it is the area least exposed to the sun.









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