Picking your skin
Who among us hasn’t felt the urge to squeeze a pimple or blackhead, or even just pick a tiny blemish scab as it heals? We know it’s a terrible habit but sometimes it’s hard to resist. With the advent of Covid-19 and the medical advice not to touch your face, we’ve all come to realise just how often we do this very thing. Touching your face spreads bacteria, and when you add pimple popping into the mix, there’s even more chance for germs to multiply – from your finger to the pimple site and further on to the clearer areas of your face. Popping and picking also only delays your skin’s natural healing processes, so your breakout lasts longer and scarring is more likely.
Instead, use skincare products formulated for blemish-prone skin.
Not washing your face at night
After a long day at work, with kids or just out for an evening, there’s always the temptation to simply slide into bed without removing all our makeup. But leaving on a full face allows pores to clog overnight, leaving you with more chance of blemishes. When you avoid your nighttime routine, you’re also skipping the chance to give your skin some serious TLC. Nighttime is the ideal time to apply your vitamin A serums, which help skin repair overnight (it’s the most recommended anti-ageing ingredient and an essential for skin health). Make a warm cleanse or even double cleanse a non-negotiable part of your evening routine and you’ll reap the benefits.
It’s the easiest way to ward off premature ageing, but sometimes we’re not always vigilant about our daily SPF. Especially as we head into winter, it’s important to keep up a daily sunscreen habit. Any time we’re outdoors, in the car or even near windows indoors the sun’s damaging UVB and UVA rays are affecting our skin. The reason many women avoid sunscreen is that the texture is too heavy or greasy, making it unpleasant to wear, especially under makeup. The secret is simply to invest in a sunscreen with a sheer, easy-to-blend texture that’s a pleasure to wear – and ideally one that offers other benefits too, such a sheer tint or antioxidants. Don’t think of it as something for summer and the beach; think of it as a daily anti-aging non-negotiable. And choose your facial sunscreen from a premium skincare line, rather than the same brand as you’d use for a family day at the beach. Our favourites are Synergie UberZinc and Coola Mineral Face SPF 30 Matte Cucumber.
Ignoring neck, chest and hands
Anything you do to your face – be it cleansing or applying serum, sunscreen or moisturiser – should also be done to your neck, upper chest and hands. (Unless you want a visible marker at the neck of how effective your skincare is!) These areas tend to get a lot of sun exposure, whilst having thinner skin with less fad padding, so giving them some TLC always pays off. If you’re using a sheet mask, squeeze the excess from the sachet and dispense over these areas to get the most bang for your buck.
Not cleaning your makeup brushes, facecloth and phone
Hygiene has become a hot topic since Covid-19, as we’ve all been made hyper-aware of how germs spread. Items you use every day, such as your phone or makeup brushes, will harbour bacteria if not cleaned regularly and can then cause breakouts and blemishes on your face. A good tip is to take your makeup brushes into the shower when you’re washing your hair, and simply use a bit of gentle shampoo on them while you conditioner sinks in. Phones should be wiped down often and face clothes are best washed every couple of days (invest in a set of several as they’re inexpensive). If you use a cleansing sponge, be sure to allow it to dry out daily.
Too many dehydrating drinks – and not enough water
Coffee, tea, Diet Coke – all that good stuff we love doesn’t hydrate us at all but is in fact diuretic (it makes us dehydrated). Switch to herbal tea (uncaffeinated) when you can, invest in a water bottle you’ll love to use and perk up the experience by adding vitamin enrichment such as Pure Inventions Water Infusion Drops.