The Seven Deadly Sins of Skincare

1. Cleansing inadequately
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Cleansing is one of the most important things you can do for your skin - done right. Whether it's blemishes you want to tackle, skin texture or dryness, it all starts with effective cleansing. The perfect formula for a lot of people seems to be a pH balanced SLS-free cleanser or even just warm water to gently cleanse the skin in the morning and for the evening, a double cleanse with an oil-based cleanser and then your A.M cleanser. There shouldn't be any need to remove excess cleanser or makeup remnants with a toner as the skin should be spotlessly clean without feeling tight.

2. Forgoing sunscreen
By now I think we are past the 'sunbeds are bad for your skin' chat. However, I'm not too sure if we're all as clued up about the sun's effect on the skin because it is in fact responsible for 80% of visible facial ageing. So if you do take an interest in your skin then it's definitely time to find a suitable high SPF daily facial sunscreen to incorporate into your morning routine all year round. Forget skincare with 'SPF' it simply doesn't cut it! My own favourites that work well under makeup consist of Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen SPF 30 and The Body Shop Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence SPF 50.

3. Skin picking
Habit or urge, skin picking is bad news! Whether it's a blemish you want to get rid of or you've taken a magnified mirror to your pores/blackheads (something I highly recommend you don't do), damaging the skin in this way not only inflames the skin but can cause permanent scarring in the form of pigmentation, permanent marks and stretched pores. It's simply not worth it! For blackheads I recommend a good cleansing routine along with a charcoal based face mask (the L'Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask is surprisingly good!) twice a week and for blemishes you really can't beat Kate Somervile EradiKate Acne Treatment to zap spots big and small overnight.

4. Washing your face in the shower
While washing your face in the shower may seem like a time-saving thing to do it is in fact a big no-no when it comes to cleansing. The reason? The temperate of your shower water is likely to be way too hot for your face, stripping it of its natural oils and potentially drying it out. Instead, only cleanse/wash your face in the sink where you can gauge the correct temperature - just warm.

5. Over-exfoliating
In the past year or so exfoliation as we know it has changed dramatically, going from physical scrubs lining drugstore shelves to being all about chemical exfoliants. And while this is amazing as this type of exfoliation comes with a lot of benefits I think quite a few of us may be overdoing it without realising it. Yes, chemical exfoliating makes the skin feel and look amazing but if you are combining physical and chemical exfoliators into your daily routine or feeling like your skin is looking shiny or dry then it could be a sign you need to cut back your usage. Over-exfoliating can lead to redness, sensitivity, bumps on the skin and can even strip the skin of its natural oils.

6. Being too rough
When it comes to eye cream we all know to tap and massage the under the eye with our ring finger due to how delicate the skin is in that area. But can we say the same for removing eye makeup? No. We rub and we tug with our fingers, cotton pads and flannels to remove every last scrap of mascara and all delicacy goes out of the window. But all it takes is the same care and effort as when we apply eye cream and even stubborn makeup can be removed. Before cleansing I like to remove all eye makeup with a nourishing balm to oil cleanser or oil based eye makeup remover gently loosening and breaking down mascara and eyeliner using only my ring finger - it works a treat! The same goes for how we dry our face, often rubbing it just as roughly as we would our bodies. Simply patting the face dry or leaving the face to air dry is the way to go if you truly want to respect your skin and avoid premature fine lines.

7. Overloading on skincare
With more skincare brands popping up every day it's easy to feel like an extensive routine is the key to perfect skin. But in fact, a more simplistic approach can do just as good a job while lessening the risk of overloading the skin and possible reactions. Focusing on maintaining a simple skincare routine right for your skin type that you can keep up is sure to deliver results and save you both time and money!

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