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When it comes to skincare, there are so many areas where you can go wrong. All it takes is one simple, reoccurring mistake like applying too much product to throw your skin off-balance, despite having an otherwise perfect routine. So, to make sure you’re making the most of your skincare routine, we’re highlighting 15 simple skincare mistakes that could make a big difference to your skin.

Make sure you’re not making any of these skincare mistakes:

1. Using the Wrong Formula for Your Skin Type

Figuring out your skin type is one of THE most important lessons you can learn as it allows you to create a skincare routine that caters to your skin’s specific needs. If you don’t use the right products for your skin, you could use formulas that are too harsh or not potent enough for your skin. Check out our skin type guide here.

2. Not Doing a Patch Test

Patch testing is one of those things that most of us never bother to do but it can save you so much hassle (and your skin) in the long run. Instead, try the product on a small patch on your jaw, behind your ear or the inside of your arm.

3. Applying Your Products in the Wrong Order

If you’re applying your skincare products in the wrong order, you could be reducing the efficiency of the formula. For example, if you apply an essence after night cream, all of those amazing (and expensive) skincare actives won’t be able to penetrate the skin and will be wasted.

It’s also important to tone after you’ve cleansed as toners often have an alkaline base to rebalance the skin’s pH levels. Remember, skincare is science, so stick to the rules!

4. Applying Too Much Product

a guide to formula sizing

Using more product than necessary sadly won’t have any extra benefits for your skin, and could actually do more harm than good – not to mention you’ll be going through your products faster. Stick to the sizing guide above and your skin will thank you.

5. Not Allowing Time For Your Products to Absorb

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If you speed through your skincare routine, you may save time but you’ll also increase the likelihood of pilling, which is when the formula gathers into tiny balls and therefore isn’t absorbed. Be patient and wait approximately 30 seconds to allow the formula to penetrate your skin and work its magic.

6. Not Listening to Your Skin

Your skin is constantly changing; it may be a result of hormones, the weather, your diet or lifestyle changes, or simply because of aging. So pay attention, listen to your skin, and adapt your routine accordingly. It may be as minor as a small dry patch or your entire skin type may change – don’t assume that because you had oily skin as a teen, you have oily skin for life.

7. Pulling the Skin

Never pull or tug at your skin. Period. Consistently pulling your skin downwards is only more likely to cause sagging. Instead, work against the (evil) gravitational pull and gently apply your skincare products in an upwards direction, and always apply your skincare products with clean hands. Another essential piece of advice? Be gentle with your skin, especially around the delicate eye area.

8. Not Using Sunscreen Every. Single. Day

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Whenever we interview a dermatologist, they never fail to mention the importance of wearing sunscreen daily. And while products that contain SPF can offer adequate protection during the winter months, we recommend using a stand-alone SPF product with a high SPF (30 or above) and a 5-star UVA rating to protect your skin from UVA rays. Find our fave sunscreens here.

9. Washing Your Face too Much

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Washing your face more often than morning and night will not improve your skin, in fact, it could disrupt the skin’s water lipid-protein balance, weakening the defensive layer of your skin, which means bacteria is able to penetrate, thereby increasing the likelihood of a breakout. It could also strip your skin of its natural oils, and potentially dehydrate your skin.

10. Washing Your Face with Hot Water

Another common mistake people make is washing their face with very hot water when it should be rinsed with luke-warm or even cold water. If the water is too hot, it can strip your skin of its natural oils, disrupt and even weaken the skin’s outer layer.

11. Using Too Many Potent Ingredients

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There’s such a thing as doing too much to your skin! Your skin’s microbiome is super sensitive, and if you overload your skin with potent ingredients, you can throw your skin off balance, which could lead to purging or inflammation. To avoid this, review your skincare regimen and list all of the potent ingredients like AHAs, BHAs, or retinol. Then make a skincare schedule to avoid using harsh, exfoliating ingredients in succession. For example, the day you exfoliate, trade-in your retinol serum for a more hydrating formula.

12. Attacking a Breakout

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While we totally understand the temptation of popping a pimple, it’s never a good idea. By squeezing a pimple, you’ll merely aggravate and inflame the skin, and if it does eventually pop, the bacteria is likely to spread and could cause more pimples in the surrounding skin.

13. Not Moisturizing Oily Skin

Moisturizing is a beauty cornerstone that can help improve a myriad of skin concerns. This applies to all skin types, even oily skin. In fact, if you don’t moisturize oily skin, it can make your skin even oilier, as when your skin is dehydrated it actually produces more sebum (the skin’s natural oil) to compensate for the lack of moisture. Oily skin types should look for lightweight, gel formulas that hydrate without being too heavy for your skin. Find our fave drugstore moisturizers for oily skin here.

14. Not Applying to the Neck and Décolletage

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Your neck and décolletage are just as susceptible to wrinkles and sagging-skin as your face, so you need to apply your creams and serums all the way down to your collarbone. And remember, don’t pull your skin!

15. Not Keeping on Top of Your Beauty Hygiene

It’s crazy how much bacteria your beauty products can harbor, and it’s not just your tools, your pillowcase and hand towel could also be festering bacteria, which you can then transfer back to your skin (ew!!). This is why it’s super important to wash your brushes, pillowcases, and face towels preferably at least once a week. Let’s not forget our phones too – buy an alcohol spray and give your phone a spritz regularly! Check out our beauty hygiene guide here to make sure you’re not making any of these mistakes.

For more skincare tips, check out 21 skincare tips you need to know.