7 Skincare Rules You Need to Start Following Before 2021

Here's a guide to all the products you need to ditch, and what to use instead!

Did you know that your skincare products come with an expiration date? Oh yes, they certainly do.

However, irrespective of whether or not your beauty essentials have crossed their 'best before', it may be time to toss them anyhoo! From your favourite jar packaged serum to your grandma's sworn-by DIY concoction, it's time you think twice before applying these products on your skin.

To guide you through the way, skincare expert Paula Begoun tells you exactly how to go about clearing out your beauty bag.

If you suffer from acne, stop using products that dry out your skin.

Contrary to popular belief, drying out your skin does not get rid of acne—in fact, it makes your acne worse and impacts the skin’s ability to heal. Besides, it also causes acne scars and blemishes to last a lot longer! According to Paula, the best way to treat breakouts is to use a gentle leave-on exfoliant that contains 2% BHA (salicylic acid) and a product with 10% azelaic acid concentration. In addition, benzoyl peroxide with clindamycin is also worth a shot.

Don't follow procedures that require you to tug or pull at your skin.

"Don’t give into any procedure that involves unnecessarily pulling or tugging at the skin. This includes facial massages, jade rollers, or wiping makeup off in a way that pushes and pulls too hard. Such harsh movement on your skin breaks down elastin which makes the skin sag quicker, and makes you look a lot older," says Paula.

Stop using products that irritate the skin, PRONTO!

Remember, any beauty product that causes irritation is damaging your skin. "You must never make use of harsh scrubs or cleansing brushes, soaps or drying cleansers, products that contain essential oils or fragrances of any kind, alcohol, witch hazel, or citrus ingredients. Even if the irritation isn't noticeable to the naked eye on the surface of your skin, research indicates that these type of products and ingredients inflict damage deep below the surface," she adds. Instead, make use of skincare products that are gentle on sensitive skin and are accustomed to your skin type.

Avoid buying products that come packaged in jars.

The best products for your skin don’t stay stable when exposed to air. "When you take the lid off of a jar, it allows air to enter, which consequently begins degrading the important ingredients present in the product. It is crucial that beauty products are packaged in air-tight containers that keep the air out," advocates Paula. Use a pump bottle or a squeeze tube instead!

Don't fall for DIY concoctions.

The (worst) assortment of DIY skincare recipes can include anything from honey to turmeric, yogurt, oatmeal, avocados, vinegar, lemon, grapefruit, tea, baking soda, mayonnaise, eggs etc. And, all the above fall under the realm of 'Don’t Do It' skincare. "There is absolutely no scientific basis that highlights the benefits of using any of these ingredients on your face (at least not the versions you have in your kitchen). In fact, research suggests that some of these ingredients are actually bad for the skin, or do nothing at all," she adds. Some of the trustworthy kitchen staples include non-fragrant plant oils such as jojoba seed, safflower, canola, apricot kernel, argan, or borage seed. These work well when applied over dry areas of the skin.

Pick according to your skin type.

"If you have oily skin, stop using products that are creamy and thick. Instead, opt for products with lighter consistencies such as a gel or with a light lotion-like texture. Similarly, if you have combination skin, products with a light lotion or serum-like texture work great. However, if you have dry skin, opt for creamier, more emollient textures," advises Paula.

Buy a moisturiser that also offers sun protection.

If your daytime moisturiser fails to offer sun protection of SPF 30 or greater, there's no point in using it! "Every single day of the year, rain or shine, application of a sunscreen is essential to protect your skin from harmful UV rays and sun damage," says Paula. So why not have a two-in-one? Besides, it’s even better if your moisturiser is loaded with antioxidants, hydrating ingredients, and anti-ageing properties such as peptides.

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