The Skincare Mistakes That Could Be Sabotaging Your Skin

Listen up, these beauty blunders will cost you big time—spot them and stop, pronto.

Let's get real: skincare slip-ups, for some of us, happen one-to-many times and are ruining our skin to a great extent. While all of us slack once in a while, there's no shying away from the fact that screwing up often could wreak absolute havoc on the skin, giving way to rashes, zits, allergies, pigmentation, uneven texture, and so on. 

From snoozing with makeup on to skipping sunscreen ever so often, we reached out to a few of India's leading skin experts to elucidate the many skin sins we commit—knowingly and unknowingly—and how they could be severely damaging the skin's epidermis.

The Pimple Popping Habit

Zit popping could lead to the spread of bacteria, which, in turn, can aggravate breakouts. "By doing so, you're transferring the dirt and bacteria from your hands to your face, which can foster inflammation. Plus, you end up forcing the grime and oil deeper into your skin by squeezing it, further causing scarring and blemishes. This way, you are interfering with your skin's natural healing process," explains Dr Geetika Mittal, a Mumbai-based Celebrity Dermatologist. 

Playing Mixologist Without Adequate Information

Assuming the role of a skin care expert—if you're not actually one—can never end well. Mixing skincare ingredients that don't necessarily complement each other can exacerbate skin conditions. "A few ingredient combinations counteract one another; they may be effective on their own, but together, they act against your skin. Hence, ingredients that are not stable in a formula shouldn’t be layered as they significantly increase the risk of irritation," she adds. 

Exposing the Skin to Very Hot Water

"Using extremely hot water for your skin can open up the pores—thereby, stick to using lukewarm water. In case you already possess large, noticeable pores, icing the skin twice a week can do wonders. Wrap ice cubes in a mulmul cloth with rose water for a soothing experience," says Namrata Soni, Founder, Simply Nam.

Aggressively Exfoliating Your Skin 

While exfoliation is important—roughly twice a week—to get rid of dead cells, any more than that could have the opposite effect on your skin. "Physical exfoliators contain hard granules that can leave micro-tears on your skin, increasing its sensitivity. Instead, opt for products containing glycolic acid or salicylic acid, which will allow for the regeneration of new skin along with de-clogging your pores," suggests Dr Shibani Bhatia, Consulting Dermatologist, Kaya Ltd.

Buying Into Baseless Skin Myths

Have you ever heard, "If you possess oily skin, starve it off moisturiser?" Perhaps, you have. Well, this is just one of the many skincare myths people are quick to believe. "By doing so, your skin can end up overproducing oil to compensate for the lack of hydration—a feedback mechanism, of sorts. Choose a lightweight niacinamide-based moisturiser and stick to using a foamy cleanser," recommends Dr Shibani. Plus, if you're using a serum on oily skin, make sure that you lock it in with a suitable moisturiser.

Postponing Anti-Ageing Skincare

Believe it or not, many push against anti-ageing skin rituals because they think they’re too young or too old to start—and you may be one of them. "It's important to incorporate the right products in your skincare routine from the get-go. You may not be aware that most people begin to show signs of premature ageing by their late 20s and early 30s! The skin is exposed to a myriad of external stressors, which is exactly why one must adopt a regime early on," says Dr Taruna Yadav, a spokesperson for Forest Essentials.

Unhygienic Makeup Habits

Borrowing and sharing makeup tools and products can lead to the spread of dirt and bacteria from one person to another and from one product to another as well. "Makeup sponges and brushes accumulate dead skin cells, dirt, oil, and bacteria. When this grime builds up on the skin or the product, it could spur acne or aggravate other skin conditions such as rashes, redness, and allergies," informs Dr Geetika. "Removing your makeup and cleansing your skin at the end of the day is an absolute must. Doing so helps your skin rejuvenate overnight and reduces the probability of developing blemishes," adds Dr Taruna. 

Skipping Sunscreen

"One of the biggest skin mistakes is to not include sunscreen in your daily regime. Even when indoors, make sure that you're wearing an SPF-laden moisturiser. Did you know that the lights in your home have the potential to damage your skin as well? Another fun fact: 80 per cent of the UV rays can penetrate through the clouds on rainy days, causing significant skin damage! If you possess oily skin, opt for an oil-free sunscreen. Whereas, for excessive dryness, apply a moisturising sunscreen to shield your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays," adds Namrata Soni. "Wearing sunscreen can also shield your skin against premature skin ageing, pigmentation, and skin cancer. An SPF every day, all year round, is a necessity. Apply a generous layer on your face, neck, ears, hands, arms, and other exposed areas," explains Dr Taruna. 

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