Are you making any of these common skincare mistakes? Our skin starts aging at 25 which means most of us need to do damage control now. Learn from my errors and be rewarded with bright, smooth, glowing skin without using any toxic (or too crunchy) products!
When I was 15 years old, I wanted to write a book called The Kitchen Beautician. Skincare has always been an interest of mine, and I would concoct recipes in our kitchen out of real food ingredients. Of particular memory: a two-step mask treatment made from eggs, yogurt and raw honey, body scrubs made from sugar, used coffee grounds and olive oil, and the “aspirin face mask” for acne (did anyone else do this!?)My poor mother would be left to clean up my trail of raw sugar, sticky honey and smelly egg whites. And I would walk into my job at Hollister (embarrassing admission) and be complimented on my “smooth and glowing skin”.
Fast forward to my twenties, an autoimmune and infertility diagnosis, stress of a master’s program, and under-eating/overexercising – my skin really took a hit. I was aging faster than I expected: crow’s feet at 25 years old, hyper-pigmentation, and frequent breakouts and rashes. Looking back now with what I’ve learned about skincare in the past few years, I made some pretty influential errors in caring for my skin. Keep reading to learn from the 4 Mistakes I Made With My Skin in the last 10 to 15 years and the changes I’ve made to reverse the damage.
1. Mixing and matching products or doing the bare minimum.
- Do you mix and match skincare products from different brands and lines? Do you skip washing and only use moisturizer or (even worse) wash your face but skip moisturizer?
- I did this for years once I got too busy for those homemade products! I used harsh acne cleansers (Clean & Clear ride-or-die) and didn’t add hydration back to my skin which started a vicious cycle of ‘dry breakouts’. I used harsh astringent toners like Noxzema pads, and the cheapest Aveeno moisturizer from the drugstore (thinking it was healthy because of the greenwashing on the packaging).
- A full routine means you have at least a 4-step process: cleanse, prep/tone, treat (serum) and protect (AM/PM moisturizer and eye cream). It may sound high maintenance, but it shouldn’t take you longer than a few minutes twice a day.
- Scientists design skincare lines to work together – so if you’re always mixing and matching or leaving out steps, you’re not receiving the full benefits of any one of your products.
- If you have additional skincare concerns your routine doesn’t cover, you’ll want to add in extra treatments. This may mean a face oil, an overnight peel, or a charcoal mask.
2. Going too crunchy.
- When I first adopted a healthier lifestyle and Paleo diet, I decided to attempt cleaning up my skincare.
- I started using coconut oil for everything – face cleanser, makeup remover, body lotion, homemade toothpaste. You name a problem – I thought coconut oil was the solution.
- My skin became sallow, fine lines started settling into my forehead, and my cheeks had a fine, rash-y texture with frequent painful breakouts on my forehead.
- Straight-up coconut oil isn’t ideal for skincare for multiple reasons: 1) It’s highly comedogenic – which means it will clog pores in most individuals, leading to breakouts. 2) It’s made up of drying, astringent-like fatty acids in the form of saturated fat that penetrate the skin barrier but don’t effectively moisturize. 3) It’s not high in the nutrients skin needs for repair and environmental protection.
- Once I started using real, science-backed skincare products, all those issues disappeared. I no longer have that dry, rash-y texture to my skin, breakouts are rare, my skin is brighter and I actually enjoy performing my skincare routine now.
3. Not wearing SPF daily.
- I grew up in Florida and spent the majority of my childhood and young adulthood outside in the high sun. Once I got old enough to not be pinned down by my parents and slathered in Coppertone, I stopped wearing sunscreen consistently. And I’m paying for it now!
- Whether you have light, medium or dark skin, wearing SPF on your face daily (or protecting your skin with a hat and glasses) is pertinent to avoiding rapid aging from UV exposure.
- Those quick 30-minute walks outside on your lunch break can add up to skin-damaging amounts over time. Wearing a daily SPF like the Dew Skin SPF20 Tinted Moisturizer or the Countersun SPF30 Mineral Sunscreen Stick can help prevent additional UV damage to skin.
- If you have hyperpigmentation in the form of dark spots, sun spots, freckles, melasma or scarring, you’ll especially want to wear daily SPF. If you’re looking for a product to help reverse hyperpigmentation, the 10% off Countertime Regimen and the Overnight Resurfacing Peel can help.
4. Skipping eye cream.
- Did you know the thin skin under and around your eyes is especially prone to loss of elasticity and damage? That’s why crow’s feet can show up in women in their twenties who spend a lot of time in the sun without protection.
- I wish I could go back and tell 22-year-old me to wear some dang sunglasses and apply a quick pat of nourishing eye cream twice a day.
- An ultra-nourishing eye cream can help with collagen synthesis to restore skin’s elasticity while also preventing deeper wrinkles from forming. I use the Countertime Ultra Renewal Eye Cream you can get for FREE through tomorrow.
5. Relying on genetics and falling victim to the dieting industry.
- My Middle Eastern family members all have amazing skin – even into their 80’s and 90’s. Most people are shocked when they find out one of my grandparents was born in the 1800’s and was still alive when I was born in the 1980’s! There’s a reason why the Mediterranean diet has been hyped up as good for your health.
- Unfortunately, I relied a little too heavily on my genetics and didn’t account for the increase in environmental toxin exposure that my ancestors did not have. Our daily exposure to air pollutants, pesticides, heavy metals, and water contaminants do a number on our internal and external health.
- What worked for our grandparents may not work for us today. The majority of women I know suffer from hormone balance caused by overworking, under-eating, excess alcohol consumption, using toxic products, eating conventional factory-produced food and just the overall stress of life in 2020.
- I fell victim to the less-is-best approach we have to eating and our scales. My skin really suffered from the low sex hormone production – progesterone is “the beauty hormone” after all. We’re basically mimicking early menopause when we don’t nourish our bodies sufficiently. Once I gained the weight necessary for health, my skin looked healthier, brighter and more plump.
If you’re looking for a safe anti-aging routine, make sure you check out this post!