6 common skin care mistakes and how to solve them

In the world of skin care, there is often an abundance of advice coming from every direction. Between recommendations for buzzy new products from online influencers to suggestions from family and friends, there is a long list of what needs to be done to achieve flawless skin. But what about skin care mistakes we should avoid?

From only applying sunscreen when under the sun to avoiding anti-aging products until it is too late, there are common mistakes people make that have simple solutions that can turn your whole routine around.

To help you take care of your skin, dermatologist Dr. Kim Nichols stopped by the 3rd hour of TODAY to discuss six mistakes she often sees clients make, plus product solutions for each example.

So, if you need advice on how to take care of oily skin, or are curious about what product to use when washing your face, keep reading because we have answers.

Mistake: avoiding moisturizer if you have oily skin

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Mattifying Moisturizer

A common mistake people with oily skin make, Nichols said, is avoiding moisturizers. A good moisturizer for oily skin is a lightweight, fast-absorbing, oil-free serum. Ingredients to look out for are ceramides or hyaluronic acid.

This mattifying option from La Roche-Posay is developed specifically for oily skin as it targets excess oil and refines pores. The formula has micro-exfoliating lip-hydroxy acid to help achieve a moisturized matte look.

Other recommendations Nichols has are SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel, CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum and Eucerin Active Light Hydrating Cream.

Mistake: waiting until you are older to use anti-aging products

Kiehl’s Micro-Dose Anti-Aging Retinol Serum with Ceramides and Peptide

If your skin has yet to show signs of aging, you might scoff at the idea of incorporating anti-aging products into your routine. Waiting until you are older to use anti-aging products and retinols, however, is actually a big mistake, Nichols says. While everyone has a unique aging timeline, retinols are a great way to slowly start and help your skin develop a tolerance.

“You can also get a personally compounded and prescribed retinol with your specific skin in mind if you see a board-certified dermatologist,” Nichols said.

A great product to start with is this retinol serum that aims to reduce wrinkles, firm skin and even skin tone. The formula is also paraben and fragrance free. Other options Nichols suggests is La Roche-Posay Redermic R Anti-Wrinkle Retinol Treatment, SkinCeuticals Custom D.O.S.E and Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum.

Mistake: only concentrating on the face

RoC Multi Correxion 5 in 1 Chest, Neck, and Face Moisturizer Cream with SPF 30

One of the most common mistakes, Nichols says, is only concentrating on your face while doing your skin care routine, especially when it comes to anti-aging products.

“I always tell my patients that the skincare regimen for their face should be matched on their neck daily as well,” Nichols said.

This lightweight day cream is formulated to be used on the delicate chest and neck areas, which are often prone to showing signs of aging. The creams works to hydrate, improve elasticity and reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

Other products Nichols suggests to use on the neck area are SkinCeuticals Tripeptide-R Neck Repair, CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream and Clarins Extra-Firming Neck & Décolleté.

Mistake: not applying sunscreen indoors or when the sun isn’t out

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50

When you think of sunscreen, you might imagine lathering up on a hot, sunny summer day. If the sun isn’t out, however, applying SPF might not be included in your skin care routine, but it should be.

Even while indoors, sitting in front of a computer screen, your skin can be impacted by blue light, UVA and UVB rays. Throughout the year, even when indoors during the winter, Nichols says it is important to continue applying SPF, and to not just rely on makeup with SPF included in the formula.

A key ingredient to look for when shopping for SPF products is zinc oxide, which is a key ingredient in this Neutrogena option. This sunscreen is formulated to be water resistant and dries without a greasy finish. Free of fragrance, parabens, phthalates, dyes and irritating chemicals, this sunscreen is a great sheer, lightweight option.

Nichols also recommends EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46, CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 and SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50.

Mistake: over-exfoliating and/or over-cleansing your face

CeraVe Micellar Water

When it comes to taking care of your skin, gentle is always the way to go. For cleansers, it might be tempting to use harsh exfoliants to scrub away dirt and dead skin, however Nichols says, “there should be no fragrances or scrubs, ever.”

Instead, Nichols recommends a double cleanse using a gentle face wash to kick off your morning and nighttime skin care routine.

This micellar cleansing water is a no-rinse facial cleanser that can gently remove foundation makeup, mascara and excess oils. This product is formulated to not only cleanse but also leave skin feeling refreshed and hydrated. Made with three essential ceramides, which help restore the skin’s natural barrier; glycerin to help hydrate; and niacinamide to soothe skin, this product also has a Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association.

Other gentle cleansers Nichols recommends are Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, SkinCeuticals Simply Clean Cleanser and Neutrogena Daily Cleanser, Ultra Gentle.

Mistake: popping pimples at home

Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Original

If you find yourself tempted to pick at your face and pop a few pimples, don’t worry, we have all been there. While tempting, it is important to avoid touching and popping, as it can often make the problem worse with the spread of bacteria and possible scarring.

“I find that my patients are less likely to pick at or attempt to pop a breakout when it is physically covered by something,” Nichols said. “It isn’t necessarily about what is in the patch or mask itself, but the act of covering a pimple itself helps minimize the temptation to pick and spread bacteria overall.”

These hydrocolloid stickers are designed to improve the look of pimples overnight. The patches work to absorb gunk in six to eight hours and help reduce redness and irritation. The translucent matte finish is made to be comfortable and can even be worn under makeup.

L’Oreal Pure Clay Face Mask with Charcoal, Bye Bye Blemish, SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Masque and ZitSticka are other masks and patches Nichols recommends trying.

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About Dian Sastro

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