People have varying degrees of knowledge of how to care for their skin.  The expectation should not be that you are an expert but here are a few pretty common mistakes people make that can easily be supplemented with something else.

Using food as treatments 

Applying mashed up foods topically such as egg white, bananas, blueberries, papaya, pineapple, etc. are not necessarily going to hurt you but they [likely] will not help you.  For example, pineapple contains the enzyme Bromelain in it; however, when you apply it to your face in its raw form you are receiving very little benefits from that enzyme because typically there are much high concentrations of Bromelain in a topical formula.  Your food does not supply the same actives for your skin as it would for your body when ingested. This is why many [of the better] skincare products are created in a lab, based on science, with ACTUAL chemists creating the formulas. Don’t try to be a scientist today, you’re wasting your time.

Facial hair removal with a razor

Unless you are a man shaving his mustache or beard, you SHOULD NOT be using a razor on your face.  First and foremost, it is likely unsanitary because who knows what else you have shaved on your body and there are different bacteria on different parts of our bodies.  Mixing bacteria can cause breakouts, inflammation, rashes, etc. Secondly (and this plays off the first point) a clogged pore is essentially a clogged hair follicle.  It is hard to see which direction the hair is growing since it is likely peach fuzz. Shaving in the wrong direction can cause ingrown hairs which can then cause breakouts and inflammation.  A better solution would be dermaplaning.  

Not washing your face before bed

Many people are huge offenders of this, especially after a late Friday or Saturday night.  We collect dirt, oil, makeup, etc. on our skin and are exposed to free radicals from the environment throughout the entire day; these free radicals can breakdown healthy collagen and cause wrinkles and fine lines.  In addition, this “gunk” left on your face clogs pores and causes breakouts and inflammation.   


When we over-exfoliate, we strip our complexion of it’s natural balance. It can leave your skin sore, bruised, red, inflamed, and irritated.  It can also appear like you are breaking out in cystic acne but really the top layer of your skin may have been stripped causing your complexion to be exposed to bacteria.  Your skin’s pH can get completely out of balance from over exfoliating; for example, your skin may dry out and then, in order to compensate, over produce sebum theb causing a breakout… it’s a domino effect.  In general, stick to exfoliating a few times a week to every other day unless directed by an esthetician or dermatologist. 

Skipping Sunscreen

If you are a person who is against sunscreen on account of toxic ingredients, there is hope now!  There are plenty of clean sunscreens that protect your skin and also keep you healthy.  If you don’t apply sunscreen everyday because you are lazy or no one ever told you to do so (which i find hard to believe), you need to start applying right away.  One of the biggest factors in aging, and worse skin cancer or melanoma, is the sun. We need to be wearing sunscreen and a hat when exposed as much as humanly possible. 

Using products with comedogenic oils

First and foremost, oil is your friend- do not be afraid of it.  Comedogenic oil such as coconut or sometimes poorly processed non-comedogenic oils can cause breakouts on your skin.  Be sure you inspect your ingredients list, and if you see something on that is comedogenic, take it out of your cart. In addition, products that have a minimal reputation or sold at the drugstore may contain lower grades of their ingredients which can then cause reactions on your skin.  Be sure to check reviews (even if it is through word of mouth) and do your research!

Not washing your pillowcase

This one is a bit self explanatory.  Your pillowcase collects dead skin and dirt and can cause breakouts within 2-3 days of not washing. Don’t let it go past a week without changing. 

Changing your product rotation to often

Swapping out multiple products at once is troublesome. In order to achieve any benefits from your skin-care products, you have to use them for at least several weeks. This is most prominent with topical retinoids, hydroxy acids and antioxidants because it takes time to change the biology of the skin and you won’t see immediate results. While it may be tempting to try something new, it’s best to wait long enough through repeated use to see whether or not your current skin care is having any effect before moving on. In addition, if you seem to be having a reaction or breakout but you have changed multiple products at once, it can be hard to pin down what product is causing a reaction. 

Written by Allyson Welch

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