Even though the topics around skin health and anti-ageing prevention are continuously growing, and we’re lucky to have so many great experts sharing their knowledge on platforms such as Instagram, there’s still a lot of misinformation around skincare best practices, and this can potentially wreak havoc on the skin barrier or trigger premature ageing.
I wanted to highlight some of the most common errors that I see in my daily practice so you can dodge these pitfalls and start putting your efforts into habits that really move the needle.
The seven most common mistakes I see
Prioritising anti-ageing treatments over skincare
Skincare always comes first. If a patient only has the budget for one – either skincare or injectables, I will recommend skincare almost every time. Having a good quality skincare programme in place will help preserve your skin quality for a lot longer. While injectables can help with creating symmetry, adding volume and quietening fine lines and wrinkles, they won’t help minimise sun damage, texture issues, or breakouts.
At the most basic level, I believe every regime should include an antioxidant, an exfoliator, a retinol and a sunscreen. You can go crazy and have very complicated 10 step regimes, but it’s essential to have something you will stick to. Prevention is better than cure, and collagen levels starts to decline from about the age of 25 – so start early, and you will keep the collagen bank topped up from a young age.
Going overboard with the actives
When our skin isn’t looking its best, it can be tempting to slather on active ingredients in the hope that breakouts will reduce and our complexion will look brighter overall, but, in actual fact, this can do more harm than good.
Overusing ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or retinol can dry out your skin, causing irritation and flaking. When this happens, the skin may also become red, inflamed, dry, and even break out in its reactive state.
Avoid using ingredients like AHAs and retinol together. Apply these ingredients on alternate nights and build up your usage slowly to allow your skin to adapt. Moisturiser is important too. If you have oily skin, opt for a lightweight serum such as hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture and prevent your skin from drying out due to the active ingredients.
Following social media trends
Miracle cures don’t exist, and some of the skincare ‘hacks’ that we see online are entirely untrue and sometimes even dangerous. If it were that simple to get clear, smooth and radiant skin, professionals wouldn’t exist. What works for one person may not work for another, and some of the influencers promoting products or ‘hacks’ may not be entirely truthful about what else they’re using on their skin, such as injectable treatments or expensive facials.
Not seeking expert advice
One of the best things you can do for your skin is to invest in a comprehensive consultation with an expert practitioner to help you gain a deeper understanding of your skin and get a bespoke skincare regime for your individual requirements and goals. By skipping this vital step, the products you choose will be down to guesswork, and while your skin may enjoy a pampering, it can be difficult to see accurate results.
Ignoring your neck
The neck is one of the first places to show signs of ageing on the body, so you should be giving that as much attention as your face when it comes to skincare. The skin on the neck and chest has a thin dermis layer, meaning it has less collagen and elastin and fewer oil glands to keep the skin supple. This makes it more prone to wrinkles, sagging and hyperpigmentation. The most important thing you can do for your neck and decolletage is to apply sunscreen daily. UV radiation leads to wrinkles and laxity over time, as well as uneven skin tone. Clothing often exposes the neck and chest to the sun, making these areas especially vulnerable. Keeping it protected all year round is the single best step you can take to keep this area of your skin looking smooth and youthful for years to come.
I’m a big believer in dedicated products. It’s important to remember that the skin on the neck and decolletage is different from facial skin, so it can react differently if you apply your facial products to this area. When it comes to products, look for those formulated specifically for the neck with restorative properties. I currently love the Revision Nectifirm Advanced – a breakthrough formula that includes five peptides, plant extracts and antioxidants that work cohesively to create a smoother, more youthful-looking neck, jawline and decolletage.
This is an obvious one, but it’s incredibly important. Up to 90% of what we think of as ‘signs of skin ageing’ – all the wrinkles, lines, age spots, and crepey texture – are all due to exposure to UV light. Exposure to the sun causes direct cell injury and DNA damage, destroying collagen within the skin and damaging its support structure, causing it to sag and wrinkles to form.
Over time, exposure to the sun will also cause skin issues such as pigmentation and age spots, making a person look a lot older than they really are. So, make sure that you protect your complexion with broad-spectrum sunscreen every single day. Your skin will thank you for it later.
Not sure where to start with your skincare regime? A comprehensive skin consultation will help you understand what’s going on with your skin and the ingredients to focus on to get the most out of your skincare. Click here to book.