We all make mistakes; it’s just part of being human. But unlike the bangs you cut at the start of quarantine (hair grows back, after all), mistakes in the complexion care department can cause long-term damage that’s harder to rectify – not ideal for those of us living in pursuit of great skin.
But because accepting the past is the first step of starting any new journey (and we’re yet to figure out the whole time travel thing), it’s important to stop stressing about what’s done and focus on giving our faces the best possible future.
We spoke to Dr Naomi, Cosmetic Physician and founder of Sydney’s Manse Clinic to find out more about the skin mistakes we’ve been making and how to turn things around for the better…
Mistake #1: Not selecting the right ingredients
Sure, it’s tempting to choose your topicals solely based on pretty packaging or what you see on social media, but when it comes to efficacy, it’s all about what’s on the inside that counts; yep, it always comes down to ingredients.
Dr Naomi has a few favourites, too: “Definitely a sunscreen, vitamin A, vitamin C and antioxidant combination,” she says of her top tier must-haves, also naming two other standouts you’ll want to keep in your line-up for hydrating and plumping purposes.
“Definitely [incorporate] vitamin B [into your regimen], and you must replace your age-related [moisture] reduction [with] hyaluronic acid,” she explains.
Skinceuticals H.A. Intensifier contains a high concentration of hyaluronic acid and is a great option for those looking to boost plumpness.
Mistake #2: Not protecting skin against sun damage
Of course topicals can only do so much if you’re subjecting your skin to constant sun damage – nothing ages the face faster, so it’s vital to protect your complexion from those harmful rays.
“The number one [skin concern I see among patients] is pigmentation – my solution is [to use] sunscreen, hats, umbrellas and topical brighteners [such as the] SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic and Advanced Pigment Corrector,” says Dr Naomi.
Always opt for an SPF50 and reapply throughout the day, especially if you’re spending time outdoors. If you find most sunscreens feel ‘heavy’ on your skin, try SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial Defense SPF50; it provides a natural satin finish for more comfortable wear.
But even if you’re doing all the right things, checks are of course an absolute must. “After prevention and staying sun safe, please have regular skin checks, [as] you need to get cancers early,” she confirms.
Mistake #3: Not understanding what you need from a routine
Packing on a bunch of products without knowing their purpose isn’t the answer; it’s important to know exactly what each topical is there to do. “I love a complex ten-step routine, but in terms of classification, a great way to think about it is “protect, prevent and correct”,” explains Dr Naomi. “We need to protect the skin from environmental damage, we need to prevent skin flaws, and if they do occur, then we need to correct them – this is the path to flawless and youthful skin.”
Mistake #4: Not taking products down to your neck
Even the most flawless face of foundation will look iffy if it doesn’t match the neck, and the same goes for skin – it’s not enough to take your topicals (or your sun protection) just to your chin.
“Always look after your neck when you’re looking after your face,” confirms Dr Naomi, and we couldn’t agree more. Signs of ageing (think crepey skin, uneven tone and sagging) show up soonest on the areas you neglect applying sunscreen and skin care to, so take your topicals all the way down to the chest to avoid your neck becoming one of them.
Mistake #5: Not investing in your skin’s future
We know it can seem OTT to splash your cash on expensive skin care, but when you think about it, your complexion (and again, the neck, the chest, etc.) will stick with you a lot longer than that dress or handbag you have no problem splurging on, and you should invest accordingly.
“Splurge on everything!”, says Dr Naomi, verifying that our faces are certainly a worthy cause. If you do have to save in some areas to splurge in others, though, she has some recommendations: “If I had to choose, I’d say you could splurge on serums, [and] save on cleansers.”
Mistake #6: Not committing to an end-to-end approach
Skin care and sun protection may be two of the most valuable players when it comes to keeping your skin looking great, but flank them with regular treatments and skin-boosting supplements and your complexion will be able to live its very best life.
“Topical products are essential, [but] I would also recommend certain skin supplements [as a way to support their benefits from the inside out],” shares Dr Naomi, who also encourages us all to take a trip to a treatment clinic. “For in-clinic treatments, IPL, QSwitch laser and other energy-based devices [are always beneficial],” she says. You certainly don’t have to tell us twice…
Image credits: Getty Images