1. Exfoliating too much
Getting rid of dead skin cells helps brighten and soften skin, but sloughing too often or using abrasive scrubs can lead to redness and irritation. Exfoliate just once or twice a week. And choose a chemical exfoliator such as glycolic acid or gentle cleansing beads. Avoid using scrub mitts and exfoliators with an uneven texture, such as walnut shells. Skip the exfoliator if you are using retinoid or AHA products, because these products already have skin sloughing effects themselves.
2. Sleeping with your makeup on
If you come in from a particularly late evening, the last thing you want to do is to wash your face. However, leaving all that dirt, oil and makeup on your face the entire night can set the stage for acne and clogged pores. To make taking it all off simpler, invest in no-rinse face wipes and keep them on your nightstand.
3. Not using sunscreen
Exposure to sun's rays is the primary culprit behind skin aging. You may not notice the effects when you are in your twenties, but as your skin matures, fine lines and dark sports can start to creep in. Even if you're holed up in the office from 9 to 5, you're still susceptible to UV rays because they can penetrate glass windows. To best way to guard against this: Use a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 that's labeled "broad-spectrum", meaning it guards against both UVA and UVB rays.
4. Washing with hot water
Washing your face with hot water strips skin of its natural oils, causing dryness and irritation. The ideal temp is lukewarm. Don't want to give up hot showers? Wash your face first with room-temperature water before you take your steamy bath.
5. Using expired beauty products
Do you keep track of the use-by dates of your makeup and skincare products? Most women haven't a clue. Which spells bad news, because these are things you apply directly on your face. Products past their shelf life can become ineffective or worse, harbor bacteria that can potentially trigger an infection or breakout. Mascaras, for example, should be discarded 6 months after opening. Retinoids and AHAs are effective for 3 months to a year, while antioxidant skincare with vitamin C lasts 6 months. If you are using preservative-free products, you should be extra vigilant as these have a much shorter shelf life.
6. Neglecting your neck
Most of us won't hesitate splurging on the best skincare for our face, but we tend to forget about lavishing the same TLC on our neck. Skin around the neck area is just as delicate as our face's and requires equal attention. When you're applying moisturizer and sunscreen, don't forget to slather it on your neck and decolletage, too.