Skincare experts reveal the common mistakes you’re probably making

Skincare can be confusing (Picture: Getty)

No one can deny the importance of skincare. 

It’s vital to keeping our skin looking fresh and healthy and is a wondrous form of self-care. 

However, unless you are educated in the subject, it can be a minefield. 

From cleansers to toners to peels, it’s sometimes hard to get a handle on it and often we just wing it. 

Unfortunately, this can cause havoc with our skin and do more harm than good. It’s easy to use incorrect products for the issue at hand or use them in the wrong way. 

Are we over or under exfoliating? Are we using too much serum?

To combat these issues and skin missteps we asked skincare experts some simple skin questions that will bring us back to basics. 

How many steps should we have in a skincare routine? 

Award winning beauty therapist Kristina Shepherd says not to over complicate your routine and to keep it clean and simple.

‘A basic skincare routine should consist of a cleanser, serum, SPF, and a night cream,’ she urges. ‘This is what everyone should be on.

‘Other products such as eye creams can be added once a person has got into a really solid routine.’ 

She adds that exfoliation is something we shouldn’t ignore. 

‘Exfoliation is key to skin health,’ she explains. ‘It removes the top layers of dead skin from the surface of the epidermis and allows new fresh skin cells to develop. 

‘This allows serums and moisturisers to penetrate deeper for better results. 

‘The top two to three layers of the skin in the epidermis are dead skin cells, so applying products to the skin surface when you don’t exfoliate is never going to get you the results you want.’

Meanwhile, Dr Ross Perry of Cosmedics says if you are afraid or apprehensive, start small. 

‘Skincare should be a simple routine that is something you will find you are able to do consistently,’ he notes. ‘Apply a simple moisturiser after washing and having allowed the skin to dry is a simplistic way of maintaining the skin’s natural defence mechanisms.’

How long should you spend on each skincare step?

In a recent TikTok video, skin expert Mattie Lacey-Davidson told her followers they should be cleansing their face for at least 60 seconds before washing off to give the product enough time to work. Kristina says that while this is not an industry standard, it is a good number to follow.

‘In my professional opinion 60 seconds is perfect for spending on cleansing skin,’ she advises. ‘It allows enough time for all of the ingredients to penetrate through the layers of the epidermis and to get the full benefit out of the product.’ 

She continues: ‘A toner is only used to restore the pH of the skin; this is the only reason why a toner is used and only takes seconds. Serums and eye creams need around 10 seconds each to apply. 

‘They are not particularly time-consuming but they are important in a routine, especially at night as your skin heals, repairs and restores itself while you sleep.’

What common mistakes do people keep making when it comes to skincare?

Kristina says product choice is skincare trap we continue to fall into.

‘Buying cheap products is the biggest mistake I see,’ she says. ‘All products are very different but cheaper products are usually lower quality skin care. 

‘A lot of my clients when they first come to the salon say that they buy high street products and nothing is working. You need to upgrade your skincare to cosmeceutical products and seek expert advice before embarking on a new routine. This ensures you are using the right products for your skin type.’ 

Dr. Perry says over cleansing is becoming more prominent . 

‘It causes irritation, especially if you are using abrasive loofahs or cloths to descale or buff the skin,’ he says. ‘Keep it simple when cleaning the face.’ 

However, he wants people to know that finding the right routine for you only comes from trial and error. So if mistakes are being made, don’t worry too much about it. 

‘It’s advisable for a bit of trial and error when it comes to skin care,’ he advises.

‘You need to find what works well for your particular skin type. There is no one routine or one product that fits everyone.’

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