Fed up with skin that doesn’t seem to do what you want? While splashing the cash on expensive products to fit in your Illuminated Mirrors bathroom cabinet might seem like the easiest way to tackle a confused complexion, sometimes it’s the smallest changes that can make the biggest difference.
We explore five of the biggest skincare mistakes we all make, and how to address them. Which ones are you most guilty of?
1) You’re not wearing sun cream (yes, everyday!)
It’s Monday morning, it’s the UK, it’s raining… while slapping on the coconut-enriched goodness of your factor 30 might be the last thing on your mind, a daily helping of sun cream is most dermatologists’ numero uno tip when it comes to maintaining a perfect complexion in the long term.
Not only does the white stuff protect against nasty diseases like skin cancer, it also helps prevent against key signs of ageing. Alongside genetics, the sun is actually the biggest accelerator in our skin forming fine lines, pigmentation and generally losing its glow. And, while you might feel it most in 40 degree heat, the intensity of UV rays is the same the whole year round meaning SPF should always be the first thing you reach for, even on the gloomiest of days.
2) You’re not drinking enough water
Do the fluids that enter your body run a rather monotonous sequence of coffee – coffee – wine (repeat)? One of the biggest mistakes the vast majority of us make is not drinking enough H2O.
Fine lines, acne, clogged pores and dullness can all be linked back to a lack of water. Upping your intake to six glasses a day (more if you’re sweating through exercise or heat) can not only prevent signs of wear and tear, but also get rid of existing problems. Conditions like acne and even fine lines are often aggravated by dehydration (wrinkles you think are deep set can be superficial marks of your body needing more fluids). Try keeping a bottle of water by your side and see if it makes a difference to your skin.
3) You don’t take your makeup off at night
It’s late. You’re tired. Your pillowcase is dark coloured. Surely one night without cleansing won’t do too much harm? We all do it…and our skin hates us for it!
For a start, make up can hold on to nasty free-radicals which are key drivers in producing wrinkles and signs of ageing as well as principal leaders in breaking down your skin’s natural production of collagen (that nifty protein that keeps it looking youthful). What’s more, not washing off foundation leads (perhaps unsurprisingly) to clogged pores – this in turn prevents the skin from breathing and renewing itself, opening the door to dullness and spots (eurgh).
4) You’re not paying attention to what you eat and drink.
While you might believe yourself to be healthy, sometimes your food and drink choices can be directly linked back to skin problems. Dairy, for example, is a common aggravator when it comes to conditions like acne and rosacea. If you believe your skincare regime to be otherwise fairly competent, it can sometimes be worth assessing your diet and seeing whether there’s anything you’re having too much or, likewise, too little of.
Even if you’re somewhat happy with your skin, upping your intake of oily fish and olive oil is a nifty dermatological tip to prevent future signs of ageing both inside and out.
5) You don’t exfoliate regularly
Clogged pores and generally lacklustre skin? When was the last time you exfoliated? Most skin specialists would advise against doing it every day (those with acne or sensitive skin will find it aggravates their issues more) but using a deep cleanser once or twice a week is vital for healthy-looking, glowing skin
Exfoliation not only helps remove the nasties that clog our pores and leave the skin looking dull, but is also crucial in allowing the other products we use to enter our skin. There’s no point in spending a fortune on the best products if they can’t get through congestion elsewhere.