When you are in your teens and early twenties, makeup was about the only thing you ever put on your face. Whether it was covering up a pimple with foundation, or creating the perfect smokey eye for a night out. You probably thought more about jet black eyeliner than moisturizer — let alone developing a long-term skin routine. If your makeup looked good, you looked good. Period. These days, however, you have to be all about keeping your skin looking younger and healthier. As it turns out, there are some things many of us do every day that could actually be sabotaging our faces.
Here are several common skin care mistakes that make you look older:
Going to bed with makeup on
Whether you are a religious make up wearer or not, washing your face twice daily is imperative for healthy skin,” licensed esthetician Michaela Bailey let us know that sweat, makeup, pollutants in the air, and bacteria from our hands are all sitting on our skin and need to be cleansed off daily.
Joy Chen, CEO of H20 Beauty, says that even if we don’t wear makeup, we’re constantly exposed to pollutants that can damage our skin. “Air pollution is widespread — it’s not just confined to urban areas. Plus, pollution particles are 20 times smaller than pores, which means our skin easily absorbs these toxins”. Though you may not notice it immediately, leaving your skin unprotected and exposed to pollution takes an even greater toll over time — it’s one of the main factors contributing to inflammation and visible signs of ageing.
Skipping out on moisturizer
For many women with oily skin, the thought of lathering up on moisturizer seems counter-intuitive. Adding more moisture to already oily skin will only make things worse, won’t it? Well, not according to Bailey.
“Everyone needs a moisturizer whether you are a dry skin type or extremely oily,” she noted. “This keeps the skin hydrated throughout the day and will help keep wrinkles and fine lines at bay. Heavier moisturizers can be used at night and lighter moisturizers with SPF 15 or higher can be used during the day.”
Wearing SPF only during the summer
It’s easy to remember to apply SPF when we’re headed to the beach, but the truth is, we should really be applying it every day before stepping outside. “Sun protection is key to keeping your skin and body healthy,” Dr. Ben Johnson. “The sun is the most powerful energy source, why would you want it beating against the only thing protecting your body?” He added, “Anytime your skin is overexposed to the sun it has to work overtime to try to protect itself which can cause it to weaken and therefore, create sun spots, aging skin, and wrinkles.”
Hillary Kline, a makeup artist and beauty blogger, is also a huge proponent of sunscreen. “Being exposed to UVA rays will make your skin age quicker,” she told me. Kline also suggests using a sunscreen or moisturizer with SPF 40 daily. “Not only does it help guard against sun damage, it will also assist in keeping the skin looking younger and more youthful.”
Not drinking enough water
Wearing moisturizer is only one part of keeping our skin hydrated. Another super important practice we often forget about? H20.
“Water helps keep our systems running smoothly. This, in turn, keeps the skin properly functioning, as well,” said Roberta Perry, founder and president of ScrubzBody Natural Skin Care. “Whatever your weight, you should be drinking half that amount in ounces of water, daily. It helps flush the body and the skin, and keeps it dewy.”
Not a huge fan of water? Perry suggests trying decaffeinated tea with lemon.
Washing your face is one thing. Exfoliating is a whole other ball game — and, it can make a world of difference when it comes your skin. “Exfoliation is a very important factor for maintaining healthy skin,” said Rebecca George, a skin care specialist. “Many people don’t realize they are not exfoliating their skin correctly.”
Some people use the excuse that their skin is too sensitive for exfoliating. I suggest that clients don’t skip on exfoliating once a week and use a higher-end product for this step. Some scrubs have an uneven texture and can irritate the skin, so be careful. When you get rid of the dead skin cells on your face, you are also working magic in other places — you are softening wrinkles and also brightening the skin.
Thinking all skin products work the same for everyone
Each one of us is different, so why should we all be using the same exact stuff on our skin? Instead of selecting a skin care product based on cute packaging, attractive price point — or even because your bestie swears by it — make sure you choose products that will work best for your particular skin type. “Dry skin requires lots of moisturizer, serums, exfoliating products to buff off dry patches, and a liquid or cream type of foundation.
Oily or combination types can rely on more matte, oil-absorbing products to help combat shine and keep an even texture to the skin. This skin type does well with an oil-free moisturizer and powder or water-based foundation.
skipping out on sleep
Poor sleeping habits can lead to numerous health issues, including increased belly fat and high blood pressure. And that’s not all. Poor sleep is also to blame for premature ageing, dermatitis, eczema, acne, lost collagen production, and unbalanced hormones. Ageing mistakes can be reversible when we pay attention to proper nutrients that build a healthy gut microbiome, immunity, and balanced hormones.
Neglecting a healthy diet
Speaking of a healthy gut, it turns out what we eat makes a major impact on how youthful and radiant our skin looks. “Lifestyle and nutrition are one of the biggest aging factors with the skin,” Nancy Reagan noted. A diet high in sugar and white carbs causes the skin to appear sallow, with elasticity sagging, and pores appearing larger.
Celebrity makeup artist Christina Flach, says nutrition is key when it comes to great skin. “Drinking alcohol, diet drinks, and sugar can severely reduce the quality of your appearance no matter what makeup you’re wearing,” she said. If you treat your body well, you will be rewarded with beautiful, healthy skin that will make a great canvas for makeup. Remember that the goal with makeup is to enhance your beauty, not to cover it up.