skincare mistakes

Skincare Sins: 5 Things You’re Doing WRONG as Told by an Expert! 

Friday 17th May 2024 |

A dangerous obsession with intensive anti-ageing formulas is becoming a problem among children as young as 10.

Many are concerned about the impact of products that are way too strong for young people on their skin and mental health. 

But look a generation up and Gen Zers are being told they are ageing extremely quickly, with some arguing millennials are retaining their youthful appearance for far longer. Popular TikToker Jordan Howlett (@jordan_the_stallion8) received over 3.8 million likes on his video discussing the fact no-one believes he is Gen Z, with many guessing he’s far older. 

Jordan cites stress as the reason for his generation looking older, but others believe it could be the bad habits of Gen Z that are prematurely ageing their skin. Those in their early twenties tend to be exposed to blue light for longer periods, while many in this age range also vape and get unnecessary fillers and Botox from a young age. 

We speak to Faeye McAuley, Global Head of Spa at collagen skincare specialist Carol Joy London, to discover the five skincare sins that could be prematurely ageing and harming our skin. 

  1. Wiping away your makeup 

“One of the worst things you can do for your skin is to take off your makeup with wipes,” Faeye says. “Often, wipes contain skin-sensitising chemicals that can cause reactions. The rubbing action can also be abrasive, causing damage to your skin barrier that results in inflammation.” 

There’s also the environmental impact to consider. “Many face wipes can take hundreds of years to break down in landfill and their plastic content poses danger to wildlife both when they remain intact and as they begin to slowly decompose.” 

An estimated 11 million wet wipes are being thrown away every single year, clogging up our waterways and leaching plastic into precious animal habitats. This shocking statistic has caused the UK government to ban the sale of wet wipes containing plastic by 2026. So, ditch the disposable makeup wipes and try using micellar water with reusable cotton pads, or a face cloth with an oil or balm cleanser, followed by your regular cleansing regime. 

  1. Forgetting your SPF 

“Sun damage is truly dangerous for you and your skin,” Faeye reveals. “Not only is it the biggest factor contributing to prematurely aged skin, it is also a leading known cause of multiple types of skin cancer.” Research from Cancer Research UK shows that overexposure to UV rays, from either the sun or from sun beds, is the cause of nearly nine out of 10 cases of skin cancer. 

With over 17,500 people diagnosed with skin cancer every single year in the UK alone, it’s clear that proper sun protection is an essential step in our skincare routines. 

Faeye comments, “Although the sun provides us with vital vitamin D, it’s also essential to protect own skin from its harmful UV rays. Studies have shown that the majority of us can maintain our vitamin D levels while wearing SPF, but if your levels are low, you can always consider taking a vitamin D supplement. 

“The sun can accelerate skin ageing by contributing to free radical damage, inflammation and pigmentation. You should apply SPF to your face every single morning, regardless of whether it’s sunny or not. If you know you’re going to be in direct sunlight, take your SPF with you and top it up throughout the day, covering other areas of exposed skin while you’re at it.” 

  1. Leaving your anti-ageing until later 

The majority of us start using anti-ageing skincare when we notice fine lines, wrinkles or sagging skin. But, according to Faeye, we should be using these products in a preventative way from an earlier age – just not as early as some TikTokers might make you believe. 

“Anti-ageing skincare is something to be mindful of once you reach your mid-twenties. Of course, we don’t want to overburden the skin with products that are too rich, as this can contribute to breakouts. Anyone with very young skin, such as tweens and teens, should not be using anti-ageing products. 

“But if you want to ensure you maintain a youthful radiance, start using anti-ageing products rich in antioxidants, peptides and collagen as you enter your mid-twenties. You can also consider implementing a gentle retinol at this stage. These products will help to boost your skin’s natural production of collagen, keeping your skin smooth and plump for longer.” 

  1. Sleeping in your makeup! 

A skincare sin most of us have been guilty of at least once is forgetting to take our makeup off before falling asleep. Faeye explains, “Leaving your makeup on overnight stops your skin from being able to breathe and replenish while you sleep. 

“A build-up of makeup traps impurities from the day, contributing to free radical damage and clogged pores. This can cause breakouts and worsen some skin conditions, such as acne. It’s vital to thoroughly cleanse your skin every day, both morning and night. Cleansing not only removes your makeup but also any dirt, pollution or sebum on your skin. 

“You may want to try double cleansing in the evening for a truly thorough clean. The first cleanse, often using an oil or balm cleanser or micellar water, removes your makeup and any impurities, while the second, using a more traditional water-based cleanser, works to purify your skin on a deeper level. After cleansing, layer your chosen serum with your moisturiser to support a healthy skin barrier – a vital step on the journey to achieving glowing, radiant skin.” 

  1. Neglecting your self-care 

“Assuming that the skin only needs to be treated topically is another huge skincare mistake I see so many people making,” Faeye says. “The skin is not only affected by the products you choose to put on it – it’s also affected by stress, inflammation, nutrition and more. 

“In order to achieve the skin of your dreams, you’ll need to take a holistic approach, caring for your whole body and your mind rather than just focusing on your face. Wellbeing and self-care nights are just as important as a regular, targeted skincare regime and a balanced diet. You should also remember to exfoliate and moisturise the rest of your body as well as your face.” 

Are you guilty of any of these skincare sins? If so, you’re likely contributing to the build-up of impurities on your skin and causing breakouts or irritation. Shake up your routine and follow Faeye’s expert advice instead to find yourself well on the way to smooth, radiant, healthy skin. 

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