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5 Major Skincare Mistakes That Ruin Your Complexion, Dermatologist Says

Save your skin and avoid these blunders at all costs.

Pampering yourself should be a top priority each and every day. Carving out a solid chunk of time for a rejuvenating skincare routine that actually works can assure your complexion is glowing and healthy. Plus, your skin deserves it! There are many basic lifestyle choices you can implement into your daily regimen that are totally worth the time and effort, but there are also some major skincare mistakes that ruin your complexion. You should avoid them at all costs.

There are a few basic principles to stick with when it comes to maintaining healthy skin, which include not smoking, sustaining a healthy diet, and avoiding stress. Being mindful of these factors can avoid havoc when it comes to your complexion. There are also common skincare blunders that are bad for your skin, and you need to ditch them ASAP. We reached out to Dr. Leyda Bowes, board-certified dermatologist to find out the five daily skincare mistakes that ruin your complexion. Read on to discover what not to do. And next up, be sure to check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

Over-using your toner

Woman washing face

Toner can be your best friend—and your worst enemy. The purpose of a toner is to tenderly rejuvenate your skin, but it should not remove any moisture. It should also prep your skin to absorb any moisturizing products you use after cleansing your face, along with other skin therapies you may use. But beware and be mindful when it comes to using toner. According to Bowes, "Using toners too frequently after cleansing [is a major no-no]. This step may not even be necessary if the cleanser does a fine, deep cleansing job.  And it may actually be harmful, particularly for the more sensitive skin types or dry skin in general."

Related: How To Copy Hailey Bieber's "Glazed Donut" Skincare Routine

Being too rough when exfoliating

woman exfoliating her skin

It's so important to exfoliate. When you exfoliate, you are getting rid of dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin, which can clog up your pores and cause a dull look. The process will generate new cells and a healthy glow to your skin. However, it's important to be gentle when you exfoliate. Bowes advises, "Exfoliating with abrasive objects, as with the use of some brushes, could cause varying degrees of inflammation in our skin, which may lead to the worsening of melasma and dark patches (what is known as 'post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation')."

Forgetting to cleanse your face or remove makeup before bed

woman sleeping in makeup

This sounds like a no-brainer, but thoroughly cleaning makeup off of your face before you go to bed is so crucial. While you are sleeping, your skin actually goes through a renewing process. And when makeup remains on your face, your skin is unable to breathe.

It's a really important step to clean your face properly. As Bowes tells us, "Forgetting to cleanse [your] face and/or remove makeup in the evenings [is a bad habit to quit]. This leaves [the] pores plugged, there is [an] accumulation of oil, and acne flares ensue."

Related: The #1 Skincare Routine For Ageless Skin, Top Dermatologist Says

Neglecting to pamper your neck and chest

woman applying lotion to arm after shower

Your face is not the only part of your body to factor when caring for your complexion. It's important to consistently include your décolletage area when performing your skincare routine. According to Bowes, "These areas are often forgotten, and they need the most attention! Compared to facial skin, the skin of the neck and décolletage has less amount of collagen and fewer number of oil glands, which normally help maintain a healthy skin barrier." Because of this, Bowes adds, "It needs moisturizing with restorative balms that include peptides and antioxidants to support collagen production and fight skin aging."

Not wearing sunscreen


Want to maintain youthful-looking skin and avoid various skin problems? One major taboo is forgetting to put sunscreen on each morning. Bowes warns, "This is probably one of the most critical mistakes, as cumulative sun exposure through the years can lead to uneven pigmentation and skin blemishes, as well as wrinkles and skin cancer. Whether you live in a sunny climate or not, and through all seasons of the year, sunscreen application should always be the final step of your skincare routine."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa