Five sneaky skincare mistakes you could be making

Skincare mistakes coming at you today, and these are not product-specific, but general tips for us all.

Having good skin will literally never go out of style, because your skin is the first thing people see, and it’s your biggest organ too. And even though makeup can do wonders, it feels really good to have clear, radiant and healthy skin that doesn’t need a lot of coverage — and you have to be intentional to achieve it.

This post is not about the products you should use (although you know I recommend Beautycounter for all your skincare needs). But this post is about the things in your routine that could potentially be doing your skin a disservice. Let’s get to it …

Five sneaky skincare mistakes you could be making

Five sneaky skincare mistakes you could be making by A Lady Goes West

1. Not cleaning your makeup brushes or sponges often enough.

I’m so guilty of this one. I know for a fact that I don’t clean my makeup brushes enough, and I need to get better about it. As far as how often you should clean them, you’ll hear all sorts of advice. For foundation brushes, you should probably try for at least a couple times a month, and maybe once a month for eyeshadow brushes. And don’t forget to wash your makeup sponges too. Basically, you want to do it more often than you’re probably doing it now, and every little bit helps. Even though it seems like your brushes should be fine because they are only used on your face, the bristles actually collect bacteria, and that can accumulate over time causing breakouts and infections.

How do you wash makeup brushes?

  • With a facial cleanser or gentle shampoo (I like to use this one).
  • Use room temperature water to rinse the bristles first.
  • Gently add a little soap to remove the product build-up.
  • Rinse the soap out with room temperature water.
  • Pat the bristles with a cloth.
  • Form them back into the proper shape.
  • Let them air dry hanging off the side of your bathroom counter on their sides.

It’s actually really easy. And it’s a step that you should likely add to your routine.

2. Not washing your pillowcases often enough. (And using rough pillowcases.)

This is a big one! So if you sleep on your pillow every single night, and your hair touches your pillow, and your face touches your pillow, and your hands touch your pillow — there’s a lot going on there — in addition to the fact that you spend many hours in your bed. I wash my pillowcases at least once a week, and I flip them a lot too. But I think it could be even better to wash your pillowcases twice a week to eliminate build-up that could cause breakouts, redness or irritation on your face.

And here’s an additional tip: Try using a silk pillowcase to treat your skin even kinder. Silk pillowcases cause way less friction at night, which can prevent wrinkles on your face over time as you sleep. Silk pillowcases can also help your skin to stay hydrated better (the silk absorbs less moisture from your skincare products than rough cotton), and they’re even said to cause less split ends in your hair — a win-win. Grab some silk pillowcases and wash them regularly. This is the silk pillowcase that I use.

3. Rubbing your face too harshly with makeup wipes, towels or your hands.

Your skin is fragile! I don’t know about you, but I tend to be rough with things, and I have to consciously tell myself not to man-handle my face when I’m washing it or moisturizing it. Anyone else? This isn’t good, because we have to be extra careful with how we touch our face, especially around the eyes. Too much tugging can cause wrinkles and redness.

And when it comes to makeup wipes, they shouldn’t be your daily face-wash option. Makeup wipes should really just be an every-once-in-a-while thing that you do when traveling or if you’re so tired you’ll go to bed without washing your face at all if you don’t use a wipe. Wipes can be rough on the skin and cause redness and irritation, so use a facial cleanser with water instead. It’s not that much more effort. This is my favorite way to wash my face at night, because it gets my face squeaky clean without much effort.

Skincare mistakes by A Lady Goes West

4. Overwhelming your skin with too many active products.

If your skin is super dry, red or broken out, it could be that you’re trying a little too hard with your product line-up and using too many things. Too many active ingredients across the products that you use on a daily basis can do more harm than good. That’s why I stick to my safe Beautycounter Countertime regimen morning and night, only adding in a Beautycounter facial oil, peel, mask or vitamin C serum every other day or so. The beauty of Beautycounter is that everything is designed to work together and the ingredients are safe for skin.

It’s important to take a look at everything you’re using to assess whether it’s just too much. For instance, a dermatologist-prescribed cream, a retinol, a vitamin C serum, an exfoliator and an acne cream all at once is not a great idea for your skin. It’s way too much.

If you think your skin is currently overwhelmed with everything you are using, I always recommend going back to the basics for a while. Try using just a clean cleanser and moisturizer for a couple weeks to reset. Once you’ve settled your skin, you can try adding in a booster once or twice a week moving forward, targeted to your skin’s major need.

Basically, keep it simple, and use only what you know you need to achieve the skin you want.

5. Not paying attention to how your skin reacts to the foods you eat.

What we eat shows up on our faces. I know for a fact that I get a little redness on my cheeks if I eat a lot of cheese. I still eat pizza once a week, but I’m aware of this. The point is: What you eat matters when it comes to your skin. There are strong links between gluten intake and eczema. There are strong links between dairy and acne. Of course, you want to make sure that you don’t have any real food allergies for your overall health, but sometimes you can check a small intolerance based on your skin. If you start to notice more serious skin issues, there’s always a chance it can be traced back to what you’re eating, so remember that. 

By the way, I would highly recommend seeing a doctor or registered dietitian if you think you have any food allergies, or if you start to have serious problems with your skin.

Skincare mistakes you may be making by A Lady Goes West

(Here’s my sweatshirt and my watch strap from these photos.)

Other mistakes you may be making with your skin …

  • Only wearing SPF when you’re planning to be in the sun. Real sun damage takes place when you’re walking your dog, checking the mail, playing with your kids behind the house and doing all the things in life that have you out and about for short amounts of time. Sun damage is a big cause of wrinkles and aging, so you have to have a plan on how to protect yourself. I wear this daily tinted SPF most days as my foundation, and I wear this daily sunscreen if I know I’m heading to the park or will be outside for a long time.
  • Not drinking enough water. I can totally tell on my face when I’m dehydrated, and I bet you can tell on your face too. Water is everything. It truly feeds your cells, so hydrate up!
  • Not eating enough fruits and vegetables. Produce is not only full of water to help with your hydration, but it’s also full of micronutrients, vitamins and minerals and these all can support beautiful and radiant skin. Aim to eat the rainbow most meals of the day with several servings of a variety of produce.
  • Not applying your skincare products to your neck and chest. Your neck and chest show signs of aging easily, and they need love too. Don’t forget to continue your skincare routine past your jawbone.

That’ll do it! Thanks for reading about sneaky skincare mistakes. Go forth and have great skin! And if you would like any help with your skin, please reach out to me, and I’d love to get you set up with Beautycounter’s safe and effective products. You can also sign up for my clean beauty email list here.

Other posts you may like …

Questions of the day

Are you guilty of any of these skincare mistakes? I am!

How’s your skin looking these days?

What’s your biggest skin concern?

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