When it comes to skincare, we all know that trial and error is the only way to find out what works for you. Let’s face it, curating the perfect routine is hard especially when there is a new buzzy ingredient or smart device launching–what feels like–every three seconds. Just because there are so many products to choose from–each with its own benefits and claims–doesn’t mean you need to use any and everything.
Of course, you can try whatever you like but there is a fine line between doing your skincare routine and overdoing it. If you’re suddenly breaking out or not seeing any differences despite being diligent with your regime, maybe you’re doing too much. Seriously, there is something like ‘too much of a good thing,’ especially when it comes to beauty habits. For some intel on the mistakes, you could be making, let’s start with five products dermatologists don’t want you overusing.
You can and absolutely should wash your face at least once every single day, in the evening, to remove all the dirt and grime that may have accumulated on your skin. Even with something as basic as cleansing, we often tend to make mistakes. Are you washing your face for 60 seconds? Is your cleanser gentle enough? Does it make your skin feel comfortable or squeaky clean?
What to do: Cleansers make the foundation of your beauty routine but it is important to pick the right ones. They should leave your skin feeling hydrated, not tight and dry. For oily skin, use nourishing milky and gel textures and for normal or dry skin, look for oil-based or creamier options.
There is something super satisfying about slapping on a pore strip and peeling it off but don’t make a habit of it. Using nose strips often can damage sensitive, thin skin and cause redness and irritation, thanks to the adhesive on the band.
What to do: Stick to using these strips to remove blackheads or whiteheads once a week. On alternate nights, use a salicylic acid-based toner to keep your pores clean a light moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated. Avoid drying out your skin as that can drive your sebaceous glands in overdrive, leading to more oiliness and clogged pores.
Cleansing brushes have been around for a while now and for good reason. They feel great on the skin and exfoliate it–no additional product (other than your cleanser) required. But, the dangers of over-exfoliating your skin are real: It can cause dryness and mess with your skin texture and tone.
What to do: Start by using your cleansing brush once a week and then take it up to twice. If you have sensitive skin, you may benefit from sticking to using it once a week or once in two weeks.
We all are guilty of using these but honestly, using them once in a while won’t upend all your skin efforts. Just don’t make a habit of it! Make-up wipes do not remove all the product from your face and the traces left behind are a breeding ground for bacteria. Enter: Breakouts. Additionally, using them daily can cause microtears on the surface of sensitive skin and excessive dryness, thanks to the alcohol used to keep mold at bay.
What to do: If you do end up using wipes, try to wash your face right after. If not, keep some micellar water at your bedside table and swipe it on before you hit the sack.
The golden rule of applying retinol? Less is more. If you start off with a higher per cent of this skincare ingredient or use it too often, prepare yourself for a compromised skin barrier. Think flaky, dry, red skin.
What to do: Start by using the lowest strength of retinol–under the supervision of your dermatologist. For beginners, we highly recommend sandwiching the product. Apply a moisturiser first and then use a pea-sized amount of retinol. Finish up with another coat of moisturiser to prevent any irritation and dryness.