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5 Skincare Mistakes You Need to Avoid

What you need to know.

This is a photo of me with no makeup on whatsoever. This photo is also 100% unedited. I am proud of my clear skin because it takes a lot of hard work to keep it healthy. As a makeup artist, I work with skin all the time. Everyone’s skin is different so I need to be able to communicate with my clients and assess their skin in order to know what products will and will not work for them. Contrary to popular belief, a makeup artist does not wave a magic wand and suddenly the skin is perfect. Unfortunately, that’s the job of the retoucher as makeup will not and will never erase your skin problems. It will always show in certain lighting. That is why skincare is so important as it is the only way to smooth out those bumps. It takes a long time and a lot of effort but trust me when I say all of the effort is worth it in the end. If you have never had smooth skin, don’t lose hope. It IS possible. I wanted to avoid making this post too long so I decided to start with mistakes in skincare. Skincare steps will follow in another post. For now, make sure you are avoiding these mistakes as the first step to your perfect skin!


Mistake: Falling into bed with face on fleek!

When it comes to skincare there are a lot of mistakes that we have all made. I am sure we have all had those nights where we’re just too lazy to take our makeup off and so we fall into bed with dirty faces. It’s an easy mistake. However, it is one of the worst mistakes. And no, there is no amazing fix like “if you go to bed with moisturizer over it, it works!” You are damaging your skin. You will break out. When you sleep, your body is rejuvenating itself. That includes your skin. While sleeping your skin absorbs whatever oils, dirt or nutrients it has on it. Someone once told me it’s like all the skin cells go to a big feast and what’s on the table is what’s on top of your skin. Seeing as all of that is absorbed into the skin you’d better make sure that you’re feeding your skin good things and not left-behind makeup. It is important to take care of your skin morning and night. I would say at the very least do a night routine and apply sunscreen in the morning but work your way towards a full skincare routine.


Mistake: 2-Step Routine.

There are a lot of steps in a skincare routine. It can be a little bit overwhelming at first, especially if you are the kind of person that only cleanses and moisturizes. I’ll go into more detail in a later skincare post. But trust me, each step is important and plays a different, very important role in your skincare. One of the most skipped steps in skincare (especially that I have seen in Cape Town) is toner. Ladies and gentleman, incorporating a good toner into your skincare routine if you have not been using one will already make a huge difference in the health, look and feel of your skin. I cannot tell you how many times I recited this to customers when I was working at Inglot but a toner is unbelievably important to balance the pH level of the skin. The skin is supposed to be slightly acidic at 5.5 in order to kill bacteria on the surface. The skin can become very oily or very dry if the pH is wrong. An unbalanced pH can also allow bacteria to THRIVE on the skin. So if you are suffering from breakouts and you are not using a toner, just start using a toner. Rose water is an affordable, natural toner and I often tout it as the holy grail of skincare because of what it has done for my skin.


Mistake: Putting things on your skin that are harmful to the skin!

This is probably the easiest skincare mistake to make. Even if you think your skincare routine is 100% perfect you might still be damaging your skin by putting things on it that are harmful to the skin. There are many ingredients that cause skin irritation and can result in rashes, breakouts, inflamed skin etc. But these ingredients are commonly used in skincare products! I invite you to revisit the ingredients list on your skincare products and start throwing out what is probably doing more harm than good. The first ingredient that will almost always cause irritation is fragrance. I have found myself perusing skincare ingredients labels only to find myself endlessly enraged by the unbelievably unnecessary use of fragrance in skincare. I will more often than not also find myself writing angry emails to the companies including fragrance in their products. But they don’t care because customers will often buy a product because of its smell. I was guilty of this in the past but no longer! I don’t care too much about fragrance in body products but I don’t need my face to smell amazing especially if it is causing skin problems. My hate mail always includes a line stating that if I wanted to smell good I would use the expensive perfumes that are constantly marketed to me every time I walk into a Woolworths (and often the same perfume by a different seller every second step!) and I would certainly not spray said perfume on my face. So get rid of your fragranced skincare today and go buy yourself Issey Miyake – people will smell you from a mile away and you won’t have to put it on your face. There is an endless list of ingredients that you can find all over the internet with the exact reasons why you should not use certain ingredients on your skin – it would be too lengthy to name them all with their reasons here.


Mistake: Using a foaming wash.

This mistake ties in with the previous one because it involves the avoidance of a skin irritant called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate which is what causes your favourite foaming wash to foam. I felt it necessary to dedicate a whole point to this because everyone I have known has used a foaming wash for cleansing at some point in time. It is such a common mistake, you need to know to start avoiding it NOW. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate can irritate and dry out the skin as well as cause damage to the eyes and disrupt the natural oil balance of the skin. Contrary to popular belief oils are HIGHLY important for your skin. If the oils are unbalanced you can become very oily or very dry making life unnecessarily hard for you. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is also said to be a major contributor to acne! So why do companies keep making foaming washes for you to happily cleanse away your healthy skin? Because people buy it. Don’t fall into this trap! My best recommendation is a 2-step cleanse. First go in with an oil-cleanser. I can highly recommend Clarins Pure Melt. Once you’ve rinsed that off, use a micellar water on a cotton pad to finish off your cleansing step. Make sure that cotton pad comes away clean otherwise your face is not clean and you’ll have to go in with another cotton pad. We don’t want to go to bed with any dirt on our faces, as previously discussed.


Mistake: Not using what is right for your skin.

The road to beautiful skin is hard. But it will become a lot easier if you know your skin type and evaluate what skincare problems you actually want to solve. This can be getting rid of bacterial or fungal acne. Or you could want to minimize the look of your pores, or you have dry skin and you want to progress to a point where your skin is more normal. One fundamental thing that people get wrong is thinking that your skin type can’t change. In winter I had the most beautifully clear skin but it was as dry as Cape Town’s dams are at the moment. Now that summer is fully upon us and wrecking its havoc, my skin is combination with an extremely oily T-zone. Knowing your skin type will allow you first of all to choose skincare products that are right for you and won’t aggravate your dryness / oiliness. Knowing what problems you want to treat will further allow you to investigate which ingredients will help with those specific problems so you can search for them in your skincare. Everyone’s skin is different and you cannot always use the same products that your favourite youtuber uses. Find what works for you and keep re-evaluating your skin and your skincare products.


In conclusion, there is a lot more advice to give and a lot more advice freely available on the internet. If you start avoiding these 5 mistakes you will have already made some progress towards your skincare goals. Do your research and find out exactly what your skin needs, what’s in your skincare and what it is doing for your skin. You don’t have to use the most expensive skincare, just make sure what you are using is not going to be harmful to your skin or aggravate any problems that you are having. Dermatologists are often paid to advertise certain products so make sure you are also researching products recommended by them as well.


Good luck on your skincare journey!


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