It’s said that one of the first things people notice is our smile. So you’ve taken the steps to remake your smile and it now reflects the confidence you feel inside. Now you’re wondering, what gets noticed next?
Perhaps it’s the skin that frames your smile. Your facial skin is a soft outer covering that not only protects your face, it also accentuates your smile. So taking a few minutes out of each day to properly care for your skin can prevent years’ worth of brown spots, wrinkles, and more.
Are you guilty of short-changing your skin? If you’re not sure, check out these six major skin care mistakes you may be making daily.
1 – Over-cleansing
It’s one of the more common skin care mistakes—over-cleansing. Often with problem skin, it’s tempting to cleanse too much or too often thinking it will help clear up the skin. What you may not realize is over-cleansing can strip the skin of its natural protective oils.
If your skin gets red and irritated after cleansing, try using a gentler cleanser or face wipe. And minimize the number of times you wash your face each day—morning and evening should be plenty on most days.
2 – Applying products in the wrong order
Does sunscreen come before the moisturizer? Do you apply your eye cream first or last? Does the order even matter? Well New York City dermatologist Jennifer MacGregor, M.D. says it does.
After cleansing, the first product should be your serum, according to MacGregor, “For these liquids, gels, and milky treatments to be fully absorbed, they must be applied to clean, dry skin.” Next she suggests you apply your sunscreen, then moisturizer, and then end with your eye cream.
3 – Sleeping on a dirty pillowcase
According to Julie Karen, MD, a dermatologist in NYC, “Sleeping on a dirty pillowcase can trigger acne or rosacea, especially in people who are prone to those conditions.” The solution? After two nights, flip your pillowcase over so you lay on the clean side. Then toss it in the laundry two nights after that.
And if you want to minimize permanent creases in your face or complexion issues, opt for a silk pillowcase over cotton. Over time, the friction of cotton on your face can cause permanent creases as the collagen in the skin breaks down. Silk or satin will minimize this effect.
4 – Using eye cream only on your eyes
Yes, eye cream is beneficial for the skin around your eyes, but there’s another little-known use for this thick and emollient cream. Matt Leavitt, D.O., of Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in Florida suggests to “always apply eye cream to your upper lip.”
Eye creams are known for having very nutrient-rich ingredients that treat wrinkles, collagen production and elastin. This is because your eyes are typically the hardest area on your face to treat. And since the skin on your lips ages faster than the rest of your face, they can use the extra help eye cream provides.
5 – Waiting too long after cleansing to apply products
When it comes to your skin, time is of the essence. So don’t mosey around when it comes time to product-up. Within minutes of cleansing, apply the products you use (toner, serum, sunscreen, moisturizer and eye cream) while your skin is still damp and the pores are open. This will allow the products to absorb faster and better.
6 – Skipping sunscreen in the winter
Exposure to UVA rays is one of the contributors to aging skin. And it happens all year long—not just when it’s sunny outside. These ray can penetrate glass, so you’re vulnerable even indoors, says Fredric Brandt, MD, a New York- and Miami-based dermatologist.
Your best option for avoiding this skin care mistake and protecting your skin from sun damage is to apply a sunscreen or moisturizer with SPF 30 that’s labeled broad-spectrum. And use it every day all year long.
Dr. Coleman is a leading cosmetic dentist in the United States, as well as an international lecturer in dental techniques and technology. With a great sense of humor and a sense of compassion for others, Dr. Coleman takes pride in improving the lives and smiles of his patients.