5 Things Your Esthetician Wants You to Stop Doing
Apr 14, 2020 01:24PM
By Susan Gonzalez, BSN, LE
It’s a familiar story.
After getting set up with a perfect skincare plan and with great intentions, bad habits somehow sneak back in. Here are some simple reminders to get back on track and turn skincare goals into realities.
1. Stop over-exfoliating. Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells to encourage fresh skin cell growth; it can curb acne flare-ups and diminish fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. But scrubbing too much or too often can lead to the disruption of the protective layers of your skin and lead to more acne, rough, irritated skin and extreme dryness and flaking. Harsh mechanical scrubbing using crushed shells, whole seeds, brushes or even a washcloth can do this. Exfoliation should not be done more than two to three times a week. Women of color don’t lose dead skin cells as often and can benefit from exfoliating just once a week.
2. Stop skipping your nighttime cleanse. Being too tired is not an excuse to skip your nighttime skincare routine. While skipping the morning routine is usually ok—a swipe of toner will do—not cleansing at night can lead to clogged pores, dull appearance and acne flare-ups. During the day, skin is quietly dealing with oil production, dead skin cells, pollen and sticky, dirty pollution. Those particles work their way into your pores and if they are permitted to stay there, they can cause inflammation and irritation. The free radicals in pollution also go to work on your DNA causing premature aging, fine lines and wrinkles. Skin repairs during sleep, so after a good cleanse, make sure to apply your serums and moisturizers so they can do their best work.
3. Stop jumping from one product to another. It takes a lot more than three days to see an effect from a wrinkle-reducing cream. In fact, most eye creams and serums that brag about anti-aging effects can take up to 90 days to produce a visible difference. Give cleansers and toners at least two weeks—unless there is an obvious allergic reaction, of course. A good acne system might take up to four months to get clear. Take a “before” picture when you start a product so the results can easily be seen.
4. Stop skipping your SPF. It’s not just about skin cancer. Sunscreen is the best and most effective way to prevent damage that leads to premature aging, wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots and a loss of collagen that causes sagging skin. A properly formulated sunscreen containing zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide and formulated with a minimum of SPF 30 to 50 will block harmful UVA and UVB rays that cause unwanted effects. Makeup that has SPF in it is fine, but it must be applied throughout the day. Sunscreen should be applied last, over all other moisturizers and serums. Find one that agrees with your skin type and tone. Darker skin tones might find this a challenge and might require products that use Avobenzone, which doesn’t leave a white-ish sheen.
5. Stop picking. Picking at dry spots, acne or scabs leads to irritation, which leads to inflammation, which calls up melanin deep in the skin, which causes discoloration that can be very hard to manage. The longer a lesion remains, the more likely it will cause discoloration. This is especially true for darker skin tones that have more melanin to begin with.
The best solution is to find the proper skin regimen for your skin type to prevent the cause and deal with the effects. If there is ever a time to keep your hands off your face, it’s now!
If professional help is required, consult a licensed esthetician to help you successfully address your skincare concerns. Many are available remotely, offering virtual facials and consults so you don’t even have to leave home.
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