The Skincare Mistake You’re Making That’s Damaging Your Skin

You know how your doctor reminds you to get your flu shot at the beginning of every year? Same goes for your skincare routine. 

You might think you’ve got it down pat, but it’s easy to slip into bad habits and make mistakes that could damage your skin. 

That’s why we asked New York City dermatologist Debra Jaliman, M.D., author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top Dermatologist, for her top 10 skincare mistakes and how to avoid them:

Always patch test new skincare products before incorporating them into your routine.
Avoid harsh physical exfoliation that can damage the skin’s moisture barrier.
Overusing products with strong active ingredients can lead to skin irritation and sensitivity.
Protect your skin from the sun by applying sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection daily.
Seek professional advice from dermatologists or skincare experts for personalized guidance.
Develop a consistent skincare routine tailored to your skin type and concerns.
Be gentle when cleansing your face to avoid stripping the natural oils.
Hydrate your skin by using moisturizers suited to your skin’s needs.
Ensure you remove makeup thoroughly before going to bed.
Watch out for skincare products that contain potentially irritating or harmful ingredients.


It’s a common misconception that exfoliation is bad for your skin. Actually, it’s crucial to a healthy complexion. The problem arises when you over-exfoliate, which can lead to inflammation and irritation.

Exfoliating helps remove dead cells from the top layer of skin, revealing fresh new ones underneath. It also sloughs away surface debris like dirt, oil, makeup and bacteria that can clog pores and cause acne breakouts. 

Your dermatologist will usually recommend exfoliating twice per week with an abrasive scrub or cloth; however not everyone needs to do this often (see below).

There are many forms of exfoliation: physical (scrubs), chemical (peels), mechanical (microdermabrasion) and manual/chemical hybrids that combine two or more methods at once (eg chemical peels followed by microdermabrasion). 

Generally speaking I prefer physical scrubs because they’re gentler than other types of exfoliation but again this depends on the individual’s skin type and condition as well as their tolerance for different textures on their face!

If you want even deeper results without overdoing it then consider purchasing some high quality manual brushes such as Clarisonic or Foreo Luna 2 — these will gently buff away dead surface cells without damaging underlying tissues thanks to their soft bristles made from silicone instead of plastic fibers found in traditional face brushes.”

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Using Harsh Cleansers

Harsh cleansers can strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry and irritated. This can cause redness, dryness, and irritation a surefire way to look older than you are!

Harsh cleansers have also been known to cause acne breakouts by stripping the skin of its protective barrier. 

So if you’re trying to clear up your complexion, steer clear of anything with a high concentration of sulfates or alcohols and opt for something gentler instead.

Using Harsh Cleansers
Harsh cleansers can lead to dryness, irritation, and premature aging of the skin.
Stripping natural oils from the skin can cause redness and discomfort.
Opt for gentle cleanser options from trusted skincare brands to maintain skin health.
Look for cleansers that preserve the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
Using harsh cleansers can make you appear older due to increased dryness and irritation.

Not Being Consistent With Your Routine

Because we’re all so busy in our lives, it’s easy to let skincare fall by the wayside. That’s a huge mistake. We know that consistency is key when it comes to skincare, but what exactly does “consistency” mean?

The first thing you should do is establish a routine for yourself a schedule of how often you’ll be cleansing and moisturizing your skin on a daily basis, as well as weekly or monthly routines for exfoliating or using masks. 

You should also consider whether or not any of your products will require an extra step (like toning) before applying them. 

The best way to get started with this is by asking yourself what kind of routine works best for you: If you have time in the morning and evening but not much on weekends, focus on those times; otherwise work around your schedule instead!

Once you’ve determined when it works best for you personally, try putting together a basic skincare regimen that meets all those needs we’ve got tons of tips and tricks here at Skincare Addicts HQ! 

And remember: Consistency in application can have even more benefits than simply keeping your skin healthy through prevention by getting into good habits early on (and sticking with them!), there’s even less chance that bad habits will form later down the road

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Choosing Toners That Are Too Astringent

Though toners are designed to be used after cleansing and before moisturizing, they can do more harm than good if they’re too astringent. 

If a product is too drying, it will leave your skin irritated and inflamed, which may result in breakouts. 

Toner should also not be used as the only step in your skincare routine. Instead, look for products that work well with other products you’re using or ones that have ingredients like aloe vera or hyaluronic acid (the latter helps plump up skin cells).

Slacking On SPF

You’ve been putting off sunscreen. You know it’s important, but you just can’t bring yourself to actually use it. I get it; sunscreen isn’t exactly a thrilling product. It leaves an unsightly white cast on your face and body and smells like a wet dog got into a fight with some coconut oil in the bathtub (which sounds totally delectable, but is not). 

But if you’re going to be taking care of your skin, then wearing SPF daily is crucial for maintaining healthy skin cells and keeping signs of aging at baymand using enough SPF is even more important than that! Here’s what you need to know about getting covered up:

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Missing Spots When You’re Applying Sunscreen

Applying sunscreen correctly is an essential step in protecting your skin from UV damage. Here’s how to make sure you’re doing it right, whether you’re a newbie or have been slathering on the SPF for years:

  • Apply sunscreen generously and evenly before going outdoors, as well as at least 15 minutes before stepping outside.
  • Reapply every two hours (especially if swimming), after towel drying and after sweating a lot.
  • Make sure you get some coverage around the sensitive areas like ears, nose bridge and neck so that these spots do not get burned easily when exposed to sunlight for long periods of time throughout the day!
  • If wearing make up: apply sunscreen before putting on makeup in order to avoid clogged pores/breakouts caused by mixing products together over time

Not Moisturizing Correctly

You already know that moisturizers are essential for maintaining healthy, youthful skin. But are you applying your moisturizer correctly? If not, then you’re doing more harm than good.

When it comes to moisturizing, it’s important to know that there’s no one-size-fits-all formula. It all depends on what type of skin you have and how much time you spend in the sun or wind each daymthese factors will determine the type of lotion or cream that works best for your needs. 

For example:

  • If your face tends toward dryness but your body remains oily all over, consider using a body butter instead of a traditional body lotion (and vice versa). This way, there will be less of a chance that extra oil is produced by using two products!
  • If weather conditions are especially harsh where you live (i.e., extremely cold winters), then heavy creams may not be enough protection against frostbite in certain areas like fingertips or toes.”

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Not Avoiding Irritants

While you may not realize it, your skincare routine is probably rife with irritants that are damaging your skin. Common irritants to look out for include:

  • Alcohol-based toners
  • Exfoliating gels and creams containing alcohol or menthol
  • Spicy foods (delicious, but not the best for your skin)

Not Changing Up Your Skincare Products As Your Skin Changes

You may have heard that skin changes as we age, and this is true. But so does the environment we live in and our stress levels. So it stands to reason that your skincare products would need to change as well.

A good skincare routine should always be tailored towards your specific needs and goals. If you’re trying a new product but see no results, go back to the drawing board and try something else!

Not Changing Up Your Skincare Products As Your Skin Changes
Your skin’s needs evolve over time, requiring adjustments to your skincare routine.
Products that worked previously may not be suitable for your skin’s current condition.
Consider using brand-specific skincare lines designed to address specific skin concerns.
Regularly assess your skin’s needs and adapt your product choices accordingly.
Consult with beauty experts or dermatologists to find the right products for your changing skin.

Skipping Treatments For Hyperpigmentation Or Acne Marks

For hyperpigmentation, you’ll need a combination of two things: exfoliation and a prescription (or over-the-counter) retinoid. The latter is a form of vitamin A that stimulates cell turnover, so it can help fade dark spots by prompting the skin to replace pigment-producing cells with colorless ones.

For acne marks, you’ll want to try an alpha hydroxy acid like lactic acid or glycolic acid. These acids help exfoliate the top layer of skin and reduce redness in inflamed areas—which means they’re also great for acne scars!

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Waiting Too Long To See A Dermatologist About A Serious Problem

If you have a serious problem, don’t wait to see a dermatologist. You should visit one if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Blisters or sores on your skin that won’t heal or go away
  • A sore throat or fever accompanied by swollen lymph nodes (glands) in your neck, armpits, or groin area
  • A rash that spreads significantly over 24 hours when you’re taking Accutane.

Assuming Your Skin Is Healthy Just Because It’s Clear And Glowing

You might think that your skin is still healthy, even if it’s clear and glowing. After all, how can you tell the difference between good skin and bad? But experts agree that your skin can tell you when something is wrong.

The problem with this belief is that it assumes that “good” means “clear and glowing.” That’s not necessarily truemand it could be dangerous to ignore what might be an underlying issue in favor of maintaining a perceived image of perfection. 

For example, does your clear complexion remind you of a time when your acne was at its worst (perhaps during puberty)? If so, then maybe it’s time to revisit some old habits like washing or moisturizing less often than beforemor perhaps switching up what products are best for your individual needs!


These mistakes are so common and easy to make, but they can lead to serious skin problems down the road. 

That’s why it’s important to know what you’re doing wrong with your skincare routine before it gets out of control and leaves you with some embarrassing scars or even worse—something life-threatening like melanoma.

Assuming Your Skin Is Healthy Just Because It’s Clear And Glowing
Experts agree that clear and glowing skin doesn’t necessarily indicate perfect health.
Skin conditions such as dehydration, sensitivity, or underlying issues might not be visible.
Different factors, including lifestyle, genetics, and age, can affect skin health.
Regular monitoring of your skin’s moisture levels and overall balance is essential.
Don’t overlook the importance of a comprehensive skincare routine tailored to your skin’s needs.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources on skincare mistakes that you may find useful:

11 Skincare Mistakes: Explore this blog post to learn about 11 common skincare mistakes and how to avoid them. Enhance your skincare routine with these valuable insights.

6 Most Common Skincare Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Skin: Discover the six most common skincare mistakes that can harm your skin. Read this article for helpful tips on how to rectify and prevent these mistakes for healthier skin.

10 Skincare Mistakes You Need to Avoid: Dive into this blog post to understand ten skincare mistakes that you should steer clear of. Learn from these insights to improve your skincare routine and achieve better results.


Here are some frequently asked questions related to skincare mistakes and their respective answers:

Q: Why are skincare mistakes detrimental to skin health?

A: Skincare mistakes can disrupt the skin’s balance, lead to irritation, breakouts, premature aging, and other undesirable effects. Proper skincare practices are essential for maintaining healthy skin.

Q: What are some common skincare mistakes that people make?

A: Some common skincare mistakes include over-exfoliating, not wearing SPF, using harsh products, sleeping with makeup on, and neglecting to moisturize regularly.

Q: How can I avoid skincare mistakes?

A: To avoid skincare mistakes, it’s crucial to educate yourself about proper skincare practices, use suitable products for your skin type, follow a consistent routine, and seek advice from skincare professionals if needed.

Q: What are the potential consequences of over-exfoliating the skin?

A: Over-exfoliating can cause skin dryness, irritation, inflammation, and a compromised skin barrier. It can disrupt the natural shedding process, leading to skin sensitivity and increased vulnerability to environmental factors.

Q: Why is it important to remove makeup before sleeping?

A: Sleeping with makeup on can clog pores, trap dirt and pollution, and prevent the skin from going through its natural renewal process. It can lead to breakouts, dullness, and contribute to premature aging. Removing makeup before sleeping allows the skin to breathe and regenerate overnight.

Please note that these FAQ questions and answers are based on the semantic understanding of the provided title and are not specific to the URLs mentioned in the “Further Reading” section.