I'm a Dermal Therapist and These Are the 5 Skincare Mistakes I Wish You'd Stop Making

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I may be all about praying at the altar of the skincare gods now, but trust me, this wasn’t always the case.

In fact, in my early 20s when my skin was pristine, I never thought about how I could maintain my 20-year-old skin forever. Not once.

Fast forward a decade later, and now working as a Dermal Therapist, “where can I find the fountain of youth” is something I Google at least once a day. (For myself, and basically all of my clients.)

Sadly, ‘the fountain of youth’ is a myth (and one I cry myself to sleep every night over), but talking about skin care is now as fundamental to my life as eating. And working with clients in clinic, I see people making the same skincare mistakes… over and over again.

Hence, we need to chat about the many common skin mistakes I see in my work, that I really wish you'd stop making.

1. Not Wearing Sunscreen Every Day.

Using a broad spectrum SPF daily is the best thing you can do for your skin. Period.

Plus, nobody has time for excuses – especially your face. This is the one part of your skincare routine you can’t be lazy about.

UVA and UVB rays are responsible for the breakdown of collagen and elastin. They’re also responsible for DNA damage which can lead to skin cancer.

It’s my number one anti-ageing product. So please, just wear it.

If you're after a good sunscreen recommendation, mesoestetic mesoprotech melan 130 pigment control is one of my favourites, especially for anyone managing pigmentation like me.

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2. Not Cleansing Properly.

I have to say, removing your makeup at the end of the day is almost as important as doing your taxes.

Cleansing your skin properly will ensure any other actives or products you use following can do their job, too.

I like a gentle cleanse in the AM and a double cleanse at night - The Ordinary Supersize Squalane Cleanser is a great, affordable cleanser.

The first cleanse removes any traces of makeup and sunscreen, and the second actually cleans your skin. Ideally, I also think each cleanse should go for at least one minute.

3. You Don't Know Your Skin Type (and Are Probably Using the Wrong Products Because of It).

Seeing a professional to properly assess your skin type is important. Otherwise, you may be using an entirely incorrect routine.

A lot of people think their skin is dry when really they’ve just stripped their barrier and are severely dehydrated. Or they think they’re sensitive when they’re just overusing active ingredients.

I also find people tend to overuse products made for acne-prone skin on their whole face, when really, a simple spot treatment product like the Alpha-H Clear Skin Blemish Control Gel on problem areas would be more effective.

Skincare shouldn’t be a guessing game and booking yourself in for a proper skin analysis with a dermal therapist or dermatologist will teach you a lot.

Find out which The Ordinary products are right for your skin type in this YouTube video below!

4. Using Too Many Products. 

I get it, we’re living in the skincare era.

There are new products thrown our way every day, but trust me, you don’t need to add them all to cart.

Simplifying your skincare routine will definitely do more good for skin in the long run. Over-exfoliating or using too many active ingredients - they’re all skin sins. And it's often counterproductive, too, because chances are, you'll impair your skin barrier.

Pro tip: If you do overdo it with actives, strip your routine right back. I use La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Soothing Repairing Balm as a moisturiser when I've gone too hard with acids or retinol. It’s super rich, nourishing and perfect for irritated skin. A hyaluronic acid serum like Aspect Hydrating Serum will also help lock in moisture. 

5. Forgetting Your Neck and Décolletage... and Even Your Hands.

Every time I do my skincare routine, I have this special mantra I chant and it goes… “take it to the tits”.

Because yes, your skin care should go from your face, neck/décolletage and down to your boobs.

Why? Because these are areas we often neglect, so I like to force people to think about them early. Plus, your neck and dec are just as susceptible to ageing as your face, perhaps even more so because they don’t get enough attention.

And your hands? I’m all about driving gloves. I also have a dedicated SPF I keep in my handbag to pop on the backs of my hands whenever I’m in the car. If you find you’re forgetful, you can try that too!

That brings us to the end of this tough love seminar that might just bring you that tiny bit closer to eternal youth.

Or, at least you won’t have to spend big to bathe in hella expensive serum when you’re older in an attempt to undo avoidable skin damage.

Lecture over.

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