We all want to look our
best, age gracefully, and have flawless skin: and we strive towards that with
our skin care regimes. But did you know that in your very quest for perfection,
you may be sabotaging yourself? We gather up the 6 biggest sins you may be
doing, which skin doctors will beg
you not to do.
1) Over- Exfoliating
Exfoliation is a useful
step in your skincare to remove the buildup of dead skin which can cause
clogging and dullness. It is especially useful for people with
acne-prone,clogged skin – where it can reduce the buildup of comedones.
However, we want to remove
excess, dead skin – not healthy ones. Too much exfoliation and
you risk doing the latter: the skin barrier is damaged, and our bodies react by
mounting an inflammatory response. Your skin starts to feel dry, irritated and
sensitive, turning red easily, especially after applying skin products.
How much is too much?
“Exfoliation should be done once, at most twice a week. If you feel that your
skin is starting to feel tight, dry, and become red easily, you may be
exfoliating too much, and it is time to cut back”, says Dr Toby Hui, Medical
Consultant at The Sloane Clinic.
Over scrubbing your face can lead to dryness and increased sensitivity
2) Touching Your Face
We do it subconsciously,
and some of us do it more than others. Touching our faces can be a nervous tic,
or simply a matter of habit. Whatever the case is, touching our faces
excessively always causes problems.
We spread bacterial and
viruses through our hands. The flu viruses are examples of germs which we may
be unwitting introducing into our bodies when we touch a surface such as the
table, then rub our noses.
“Rubbing our eyes often
causes damage to the delicate undereye skin: premature ageing occurs, and dark
eye circles worsen”, says DrHui. “A big problem I experience in my practice is
the picking of pimples. This invariably leads to excoriations, scarring, and
the spreading of bacteria, causing even more pimples to pop up!”, adds Dr Hui.
face picking or rubbing can be a deeply-rooted psychological problem which
needs professional help. Psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, or even medications can
help alleviate the problem.
3) Overusing Skin Products
Too much of a good thing
is never good. Slathering on too much of even the best skin care may cause
problems for your skin. Many anti-acne products, such as retinoids and
salicylic acid, can cause skin dryness and irritation when used in excess. Skin
whitening products, such as glycolic acids and hydroquinone will cause problems
when used in excess as well.
4) Using Products NOT Meant For The Face For The Face
You will be surprised at
how common this is. It may be misinformation, or plain silliness: many are
quick to experiment with potentially harmful products on the face.
The most common example of
this is using hair bleach to lighten skin. “I have seen too many cases of Asian
women who come into the clinic with chemical burns as a result. When the burns
heal, the skin over those areas darken- ironically giving the exact opposite
effect of that they wished to achieve in the first place”.
Jolen is a popular bleach containing hydrogen peroxide, which, for
some reason, many have used to lighten skin. The product is highly caustic, and
causes skin burns.
5) Going For The Cheapest
While the most expensive
is not always the best, your alarm bells should be ringing if a deal comes
along that seems too good to be true – especially
if it is a skin treatment. Many choose to go overseas to get their filler and
Botox injections done, often at a non-certified practice such as a beauty
salon, in a bad to save money – only to end up with more problems. “There are
many counterfeit brands of Botulinium toxins and fillers out there accompanying
the boom in facial aesthetic industry. These products are highly dangerous, and
can result in no effects if you are lucky, or asymmetry, infections, and
permanent scarring if you are not. The original Botox and reputable filler
brands such as Restylane and Juvederm are expensive to purchase – hence, if your
injector is offering them at a very cheap price, your alarm bells should start
ringing”, explains Dr Hui.
6) Staring Into The Mirror Too Much
Being critical of yourself
is good, but being too critical, and you may run into problems.
“The fact is that we are
all born with imperfections. It could be a slightly deeper wrinkle on the left
eye, or a tiny bit more of sagging on the right side of the face. If we keep
zooming in to these small problems, we lose the big picture, and end up obsessing
over small issues on the face while missing out of the larger ones. The goal of
anti-aging medicine is to allow us to look better, not chase every little line.
Patients can end up coming
to the clinic asking for injections every week! For these group, we have to
reassure them, try our best to draw them away from the imperfection, and in
severe cases, even refer them to a psychiatrist for counseling”
Quit staring into the
mirror to much, experts say