Marie Claire is supported by the audience. When you make purchases through links on our site, we may earn a commission on some of the items you choose to purchase.
A successful skincare routine can take time to get right. First, you have to determine your skin type, then you have to figure out what ingredients you should be using, and finally, you have to find the right products that suit your skin’s needs (as well as your budget).
When you get to that point, you think you’ve done it all. But sometimes your skin has other plans and refuses to play ball. We recently spoke to two of London’s top dermatologists and they revealed the skincare mistakes people keep making. Keep scrolling as you may find the ones that suit you. And you never know, fixing a few bad habits here and there will improve your skin today and beyond.
Common skin care mistakes
1. Not cleaning your face before going to bed
While going to bed with a full face of makeup may be considered sacrilegious to some, others don’t think so. Dr Stephanie Williamscosmetic dermatologist and founder of EUDELO Dermatology & Skin Wellbeing Clinic, still gets people who don’t consider cleansing one of the golden rules of skin care.
“I can’t stress enough how important proper cleansing is to our daily skincare routine,” she says. “Even more so in the evening, because cleansing not only removes dirt, old make-up, excess oil and dead skin cells, but also removes residual pollution from the skin. Urban pollution is known to generate free radicals, cause inflammation and reduce antioxidant protection in the skin.
Not cleansing also increases the chance of blemishes, so if you’re prone to breakouts, it’s even more important to cleanse your skin at night.
Balance Me Pre and Probiotic Cleansing Milk, £20 | It looks fantastic
This cleansing milk is suitable for all skin types and removes make-up, SPF and impurities. It also strengthens the skin’s microbiome, soothes irritation and leaves the skin feeling hydrated.
Delo Rx Hybrid Cleanser, £85
“This deep pore-cleansing facial cleanser contains blemish-fighting, soothing and anti-aging ingredients that are powerful yet gentle enough for more sensitive skin,” explains Dr. Williams. Delo Rx Hybrid Cleanser contains the highest concentration of active ingredients of any cleanser on the market at 31.5% active ingredients (plus gentle wash-off actives) and QuinCleanse™, a symbiotic blend of ingredients with beta hydroxy acid, antioxidants and soothing ingredients.
“As an acne sufferer, I know how hard it is to leave your skin alone when you have acne,” she admits. Dr. Anjali Mahtoconsultant dermatologist and author The skin care bible. However, she cautions against worrying about your blemishes, as this increases the risk of scarring and infection. “I often advise patients to distract themselves if they feel like they are going to pick at their skin. Applying a topical ointment can also help – look for ones that contain salicylic and azelaic acid.
Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster, £8
The £8 version of this booster gives you a small travel-sized tube, but for spot-on spot applications, that’s all you really need. High in azelaic acid (which has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties) reduces the size, redness and anger of any blemishes.
Origins Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel, £17 | It looks fantastic
If you have one of those annoying red spots under your skin, apply a couple of pieces and overnight all the residue will come to the surface. It’s actually quite magical. Keep applying and the salicylic acid inside will help calm it down and slowly reduce the size.
3. Excessive use of silicone derivatives in skin care
You’ve probably heard some beauty experts talk about silicones and how we should avoid them at all costs. However, this can be quite difficult to do if you don’t know what to look for. “There is a trend in skin care to overload skin care products with silicone derivatives such as dimethicone and cyclomethicone,” explains Dr. Williams. The reason is that silicones create a pleasant, non-sticky, silky feel to the product. “In my professional opinion, this is a really bad idea. The silicone forms a thin film on your skin and ‘fills’ the pores (a bit like Polyfilla for a hole in the wall) to minimize the appearance of pores. And while it may make your skin feel good, it clogs pores and promotes congestion and breakouts.
Look at the Product Key List (the list of ingredients on the back of the package) and look for the following words: dimethicone, cyclomethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, and cyclohexasiloxane.
4. Avoidance or re-use of SPF
We’re torn about this one, because on the one hand we’re totally amazed that it’s still a common skincare mistake people make, but we’re also not surprised. A recent survey by Olay revealed that one in 10 adults think they are too young to wear SPF every day, a fifth of Brits think UV rays can actually help them look younger and a further fifth admit they only wear SPF when , when it is. sunny
“Many people think that SPF is only needed in extremely hot weather,” says Dr. Williams. And we have to protect ourselves from burns. But if you want to slow skin aging, daily SPF is vital. Up to 80% of visible skin aging is caused by UV rays. Sun damage is a cumulative process. From childhood, our skin monitors all hours of sun exposure. The skin is not forgotten.
In short, UVA rays cause aging because they can penetrate deeper into the skin. UVB rays cause burns and can even penetrate through windows and clouds. But both are linked to skin cancer, so you need good protection against both on a daily basis.
Another mistake many of us make is not applying sunscreen throughout the day. “People tend to think that if they put on a factor of 50 first thing in the morning, that’s enough to cover them for a long time,” adds Dr. Mahto. ‘This is not the case. Especially on holiday or on particularly hot and sunny days here in the UK. Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2-3 hours, especially after getting out of the pool/sea. I’m afraid there’s no magic answer to getting people to do it more often. Dr. Mahto suggests setting a timer on your phone, or check out our guide on how to determine the best SPF to wear over your makeup.
Olay Regenerist Collagen Peptide24 Day Cream SPF30, £38 | Shoes
Promising visibly firmer and more radiant skin in 14 days, this gorgeous day cream is the ideal way to add SPF to your routine without any extra steps. This is a really good SPF moisturizer that has both protective and anti-aging benefits.
5. Trying too many new products at once
We are all guilty of it. After quite a bit of shopping at Space NK, you can’t wait to get home and try on all your purchases at once. “With so many skin care products and the rise of influencer culture where people can see endless products in a day/night, many of my patients have experienced FOMO,” explains Dr. Mahto. “They also start incorporating too many products into their routine, which can lead to overuse and skin problems.”
Recently, Dr. Mahto had a patient who was using too many harsh substances on her skin while watching skin care treatments on TikTok. The result? A person has developed perioral dermatitis, which appears as a red, scaly, dry rash around the mouth. The patient’s skin barrier was compromised and needed serious microbiome-friendly skin care. “My advice is to keep your skincare routine streamlined and simple,” she says. “Most skin types will benefit from a good basic cleanser, moisturizer and vitamin A product.