In this blog, I am going to teach you the top 10 skincare mistakes we commonly make that make our acne worse.
What are those mistakes?
1. Cleansing your skin too often
Your nightly cleansing routine is your holy grail. Don’t miss it, and don’t skimp. But when you wake up, you may just need to splash your face with some cool water or swipe a gentle toner over your face. That’s it – it is already clean! Cleansing your face too often will damage the skin’s moisture barrier, pH and microbiome.
2. Using a harsh, foaming cleanser.
If your cleanser foams up and has the ingredient SLS (sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate) in it – ditch it immediately. Harsh surfactants damage the skin’s barrier and makes the skin tight, dry, red and more prone to break-outs.
3. Over-exfoliating your skin.
Most of the time when I see acne patients with red, irritated or dry skin – they have been either over-cleansing or over-exfoliating. I am talking about peels, retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids, beta hyroxy acids, microdermabrasion, etc. We have a tendency to want to remove our skin from our face. Although exfoliation can be helpful, ONLY exfoliate if your skin is not red, dry an irritated and then only exfoliate as much as you can tolerate.
4. Using too many acne actives.
If your cleanser contains salicylic acid, your toner has benzoyl peroxide in it, you use an exfoliating serum AND a retinoid (or some version of this) – STOP. You are damaging your skin.
Imagine if you fell off your bike and had a cut, some scrapes, some inflammation and bruising. Would you put harsh, drying treatments all over the damaged skin? No – you would gently cleanse, put a healing salve over the area and leave it alone to heal. The skin is intelligent – it knows what to do, especially if you balance the body from the inside out.
5. Choosing products for oily skin.
Your skin is actually sensitive. Skin that is clogged, inflamed, cystic and painful is incredibly sensitive. Drying out sensitive skin is only going to make it worse.
6. Not hydrating your skin.
Drying out your skin to get rid of acne is only going to perpetuate a vicious cycle. Oily skin is often dehydrated. Using hyaluronic acid, aloe vera gel and a moisturizer for sensitive skin is essential. At least twice a day.
7. Trying to do too much at once.
I know how traumatizing acne can be. But healing acne properly takes time – and it is not even reasonable to think that you can heal your acne, hyper-pigmentation and scars at the same time. Each action requires a different strategy – and often they don’t complement each other. First focus on healing your acne, then start healing your hyper-pigmentation and scarring!
8. Using skincare with too many ingredients.
When I see too many ingredients, I automatically forgo using that product. Chances are the active ingredient will be so diluted that it won’t be effective anyways. If I am going to use a product with hyaluronic acid – I want it to right at the top of a very small ingredient list. Also, the more ingredients, the greater the chance something is going to aggravate my skin.
If you have active acne, don’t do it. Every single blemish contains an overgrowth of bacteria. Imagine puncturing your blemishes and spreading that bacteria all over your face. And when you use a derma-roller, you actually deposit that bacteria right into the deeper layers of your epidermis and dermis. This can lead to the worst break-out of your life. Take my word for it – and wait until your acne has cleared to use the derma-roller.
10. Using oils on your skin if you are prone to fungal acne.
Fungal acne is caused by an overgrowth of a yeast called malassezia, which feeds off of most oils. If you suspect fungal acne (small, flesh-coloured bumps that get worse with heat and humidity), stay far away from oils!