Through most of my teens and early adulthood I struggled with acne. It wasn’t severe, but just enough to be downright annoying. All through high school I never saw a dermatologist. It wasn’t until I was a Freshman in college I finally mucked up the courage to make an appointment. My problems didn’t end there, but it wasn’t until years later I realized I was self-sabotaging my face. Please avoid these skincare mistakes I made in my early 20’s.
Then & Now (2 years apart)
Disclaimer** I am not a skincare specialist, but this information is based on things I learned from dermatologists, specialists, and estheticians. I don’t claim to know more than they do. If you are having severe skin problems make an appointment with a dermatologist.
Not seeing a dermatologist
First and foremost if you have acne or severe skin problems make an appointment with a dermatologist. Dermatologists are the most qualified to give you skincare recommendations. While I never liked my skin in high school it wasn’t until college that I went to a dermatologist for the first time. It took years to find the right medicine that helped reduce my acne, so getting an appointment early on is helpful. My dermatologist has been so helpful in my skincare journey.
Over-washing your face
Washing your face too much can actually cause your skin to produce more oil which can lead to further breakouts. Only wash your face once in the morning and once at night.
Using peel masks
All masks that peel off your face are infused with glue and can ripe your skin and cause severe damage. While they might feel good after they can cause long term damage to you skin. Opt for masks that are less harsh on your skin. Only use face masks you can wash off.
Squeezing cystic acne
It is so tempting to squeeze those nasty red bumps, but give it time. Don’t squeeze anything before it becomes a white head and without first placing warm water over it.
Using harsh products
Using harsh products because you think it will cure acne will end up just causing more acne you are trying to get rid of. Use exfoliating serums sparingly and your skin will thank you. I use The Ordinary‘s peeling solution only once a week.
Not using moisturizer or sunscreen every day
Since I have had acne and oily skin I never moisturized my skin….ever. In the long run I think this was more harmful to my skin. Skin cancer runs in my family, but even knowing that I never considered wearing sunscreen if I wasn’t at the beach.
Forgetting to do a nightly skincare routine
Applying moisturizer, creams, and oils at night will help heal and rejuvenate your skin for the next day.
Taking vitamins gives your body the nutrients you may be lacking from food alone. Vitamins can help with the appearance of aging skin, cure acne, and help damaged skin heal. Filling in the gap of nutrition deficiencies can improve your overall health and appearance of skin.
Not looking at ingredients
For years the only place I ever bought skincare ingredients was a drugstore. Prior to purchasing them I never did any research on the ingredients or how it could effect my skin. Research the products before you buy. Ask professionals in the skincare field which products are best for you. Personally I use products from The Ordinary, CeraVe, and Paula’s Choice. Another thing I always look for is making sure none of the products I use have fragrance. If you want me to make another blog post about why these products are better for your skin, according to skincare specialists, let me know in the comments below.
Going to tanning beds and using tanning oil
In high school I desperately wanted to be tan and started going to the tanning bed. While I usually only went around prom season or before a dance, it still is highly damaging to my skin. When I went to the beach I didn’t use a lot of sunscreen in hopes of tanning better. Even though I am paler now, my skin looks so much better. Also self-tanners are an easy solution to get a gorgeous glow without the skin damage or orange tint.
DIY Face Masks
DIY skincare . These masks can offer cause a burning sensation and can ultimately cause long-term damage. While ‘all natural’ might seem healthy for your skin they can be even more harmful. Lemon for example has a high acidity level, which for eating is fine but not for putting on your skin. Don’t be fooled by at home DIY masks.
Not using anti-aging and retinol products
You might think anti-aging and retinol are only for those with wrinkles, but it is never too early. Taking preventative care of your skin can help with long term affects. Start taking care of your skin while you are young to have less problems in the future.
Using too many products
At the height of my skincare mistakes I might use multiple face masks in one night. Basically just striping my skin of any moister. Don’t overdue it. Keep your skincare routine simple.
Not sticking with a routine
My dermatologist prescribed me a sulfate cleanser, so that was the only thing I put on my face. No moisturizer, serum, or toner. Having a skincare routine is important for making sure you taking extra care of your face.
Using expired makeup and products
Makeup has a shelf life. I didn’t know that after a few months eyeshadow expires. Some of the eyeshadow in my makeup bag was from the first time I ever bought makeup in the seventh grade. Most of my makeup was around 3-7 years old. I threw all of it out and replaced it.
Overall, be gentle with your skin, Use good products, and make skincare a priority. I promise you will see a major difference in your skin if you do.