When it comes to skin care products, skin care reviews tend to promise the sun, moon and everything in between if you just use their product. The more you use, the more you buy, and the more problems that you have, the more you need, right? Despite the reviews, the misuse of skin care products can wreak havoc on the skin, causing more problems than you had when you began.
The overuse of skin care products and other mistakes can cause acne, fine lines, drying, premature sagging and other unsightly alterations in our otherwise beautiful skin. The good news is that all of this is may be avoidable. Here are some of the most popular skin care products and how to use them (correctly).
1. Facial Toner
One mistake that people often make with toner is confusing “facial toner” and “astringent”. The two skin care products are often thought of as one because they are both essentially used for the same thing, removing grime from the face and closing pores. The biggest difference between the two is the ingredient list. Facial toners are often made up of gentler, more natural ingredients, while astringents are often alcohol-based.
Let’s start with the alcohol-based astringent. Some experts believe that alcohol-astringents are too harsh on the skin and should never be used. This is because the alcohol-based astringents often contain harmful ingredients such as glycerin, sulfates, and other chemicals that can cause excessive drying. Because of this, you should use this product sparingly and only if you do not have naturally dry or sensitive skin. For those with naturally oily skin, an alcohol-based astringent can help control acne but use sparingly or you may cause your face to produce more excess oil.
The gentler cousin to the alcohol-based astringent is facial toner. Facial toner helps to clear the grime away and repair cells. The ingredients in facial toners are often more natural and may include rosemary, aloe vera, and coconut water. A gentle toner can be used after you wash your face and before you apply moisturizer.
The two most frequent mistakes that people make with moisturizers are not applying it enough and not applying it at the right time.
“We are all guilty of waiting until our skin looks or feels dry to apply a little relief, but by this time the damage is done and you are in a never-ending war with reoccurring flakes and rough skin,” says Dr. Lauren Snitzer of U.S. Dermatology Partners Sugar Land.
Surprisingly, the absolute best time to apply moisturizer is right after a shower when your skin is still damp. The dampness of the skin allows the moisturizer to be absorbed quickly. Make sure to remember your elbows and knees, as these joints take a lot of wear and the skin is prone to dry and sag over time.
In some cases, using the wrong moisturizer or using moisturizer too much can cause issues. If you are experiencing frequent breakouts or other skin irritation, you may need a different moisturizer or to simply use less. Check your favorite brand for fragrance, as fragrance can irritate sensitive skin.
Most of us don’t put much thought into the washcloth that we use or how we use it, but this every-day skin care product is often misused to the point of causing skin damage.
When using a washcloth on the face, it is important to remember not to scrub as this irritates the skin and can cause breakouts. For proper exfoliation, consider your skin type and the products that you use.
Sensitive skin should use a washcloth minimally and for no more than 30 seconds in warm water with short, light strokes. Watch your skin for negative reactions and make sure to apply moisturizer immediately afterward while the skin is still damp.
4. Painful Facemasks or Strips
“Beauty is pain.” At least this is what most of us tell ourselves when it comes to our skincare regime. If it hurts it must be working, and nothing hurts like those black, sticky masks and pore-cleansing strips, but are they really helping?
Experts like Melissa Piliang, MD remind us that, “When the mask is removed, it pulls off the outermost layer of skin and associated oils which serve as a barrier to protect the skin from the environment.” This barrier protects your skin from damage and pollutants that would otherwise cause harm.
If you are going to use the painful facemasks and strips, it is better to use them only in your t-zone where there is more oil that serves to protect from irritation. You can also exfoliate your skin and remove hair before using the mask or strips which will ease the pain by providing less to rip off.
Make sure to follow the mask with a gentle moisturizer and/or toner to soothe and repair any damage. The mask may be removing unwanted dirt in the pores, but it is also tearing at the skin which can break blood vessels, weaken the skin and cause premature sagging.
With sunscreen comes many misconceptions about its use and effectiveness. One of the largest misconceptions is that skin cancer only affects the elderly, justifying the lack of SPF protection on children and young adults. Skin cancer actually occurs frequently in people 20-30 years old, and much of this damage happens at a younger age. It’s important for young adults and children to use sunscreen during all seasons, on any skin that is exposed to the sun in order to prevent an increased risk of skin cancer.
When it comes to application, we can learn a lot from the Cub Scouts. Remember that sunscreen rubs off easily and that vigorously rubbing only aids in thinning the protective layer. Put sunscreen on gently and use a lot. It’s ok to see the sunscreen on the skin after application. Unlike in our other skin care product reviews, you cannot really use too much sunscreen.
Looking to Visit a Dermatologist
If you have followed this advice and are still having frequent issues with your skin such as excessive drying or moisture, acne, or sensitivity, make an appointment with your dermatologist. A dermatologist can evaluate your skin type and give you skin care product suggestions that suit your individual needs. We have multiple locations throughout the country, so fill out our simple online form to get in touch with us. One of our local team members will reach out to you shortly to answer your questions or schedule an appointment for you to visit us soon.
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