In our search for beauty and younger-looking skin, some people will try almost anything and everything to get that youthful glow.
But could what you’ve incorporated into your skincare routine to make that happen actually be damaging your skin?
According to dermatologists Dr. Lisa Kellett and Dr. Sandy Skotnicki, there are several habits people commonly have that are doing more harm than good — and they need to stop.
And while everyone’s skin can be different in some ways, there are basics that apply to everyone that should be followed if you want healthy skin.
If you see a pimple, black head or white head on your face or body, do not pick it, Kellett says.
“People pick at their acne and it can get infected and the infection spreads,” Kellett explains. “At that point it’s possible then that they’ll be put onto antibiotics.”
Some devices offered in-store or online might claim to help you clear up your skin or help with breakouts, like the Clarisonic. But it’s best if you avoid using them, Kellett says.
“They can be too aggressive for certain skin types,” she says. “They can actually end up inflaming the skin on the face and their acne as well.”
And sometimes, she adds, some people may have an infection called folliculitis (a common skin condition where the hair follicles become inflamed, according to Mayo Clinic) and machines like these can actually help spread the infection elsewhere.
No matter what season it is, make sure to put on sunscreen — even if you’re at the office, Skotnicki says.
“If you’re sitting by a window, you’re still getting UV rays,” she says.
So make sure to apply some every day, and remember to re-apply as instructed on the product.
“When people go for facials, it’s very old-school now to do extractions because we know doing extractions can result in cysts and scarring,” Kellett says.
It can leave the skin looking far worse and the skin can once again become inflamed 36 hours following the procedure.
There is such a thing as being too clean, Skotnicki says. And while it is important to wash your hands to prevent the spread of germs and disease, there is no need to wash your whole body every day.
This, she says, breaks down the skin’s barrier because soaps and detergents are harsh on our skin.
“Water can decrease the lipids in our skin — more so hot water — and the soaps and detergents can remove the essential natural oils from your skin,” she explains. “It’s very important not to over-wash the skin because if you disrupt that barrier, you’re actually leaving your skin open for dry skin and potentially allergies.”
Also, Skotnicki says that if you’ve washed your face the night before, there’s no need to wash it again the next morning.
More doesn’t always mean better when it comes to skincare products, Skotnicki says, so try to limit how much product you put on your face.
Doing this can cause rosacea, an inflammatory skin condition that leaves your skin red, the Canadian Dermatology Association explains.
“Don’t think of a product as a single entity,” she warns. “Each product has 10 or 20 ingredients, so if you use 10 products [on your skin] that’s potentially 100 ingredients, and all that stuff on your skin can cause problems.”
If you want to get rid of pigmented lesions (also known as aging spots or brown spots), don’t go to anybody else but a dermatologist, Kellett warns.
This is because these spots are often mistaken for harmless, when there is a chance they could actually signal skin cancer, and only a medical skincare professional can provide a proper diagnosis.
Just because a product carries either of these labels, it also doesn’t mean it’s good for your skin, Skotnicki says.
“Whether it’s natural or synthetic, it’s still a chemical,” she explains. “Your immune system still has to deal with it. There’s this thought process that just because it’s natural, it’s safe. But being plant-based is not necessarily less irritating.”
From Global News