6 Things You’re Probably Not Doing to Care For Your Skin

Skin care might not be your top priority, but it should be on the list. It’s easy to care for your skin, but there are important tips you should follow to have that healthy skin you strive for. Here are six things you’re probably not doing (but should be) to care for your skin.

Young woman in towel after shower using body cream

You could be doing more for your skin. | FotoDuets/Getty Images

1. You’re not washing your face every single night

Even if you’ve done almost nothing that day, bacteria and oils still build up on your skin. You may have just sat around the house and not put any makeup on, but that doesn’t matter. Every time you touch your face (which you do far more often than you realize), bacteria gets all over it. Bacteria can clog your pores and cause breakouts, and when you go to sleep without washing out that bacteria, it ends up on your pillow case. Always wash before bed to remove all of that dirt and grime you’ve accumulated throughout the day. It will leave your face feeling fresh with fewer breakouts.

2. You’re not using products tailored to your skin type

All skin is not created equal. Some people have dry skin, while others have oily skin. Some have sensitive skin and some do not. The bottom line is your skin care products should always reflect the type of skin you have. Never buy a generic product to use on any kind of face — always tailor your skin products to your type of skin. This also doesn’t mean you need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on skin products. Simply ask any drug store employee — most of them are pretty educated on what a product does. Or, some stores will actually test your skin for oils or dryness (The Body Shop does this), and then recommend products for you based on what those tests show.

3. You’re not sticking to just a few products — but more is not always better

It’s important that you use the right skin care products, but you don’t need to use one million of them. Using too many products can be counterproductive. According to shape.com, many skin care products have different active ingredients, and using too many separate active ingredients can actually backfire to cause redness and irritation. Also, applying too much of a few products can overload your skin. You only need a small amount for the products to work, and stick to just a few different products.

4. You’re not moisturizing it twice daily

Dry skin is the enemy. Not only does it look funky when you have extremely dry skin (especially on the face), but it also is the perfect recipe for wrinkles. What you probably didn’t know, though, is that you should be washing your face every day — actually, twice a day. According to Medical Daily, the skin should be moisturized once in the morning and once before bed. You can use a daily moisturizer in the morning to keep skin hydrated throughout the day, and use a night cream before bed. The night cream will “correct” the skin, working almost as a hydrating medicine to keep your skin in top shape.

5. You’re not exfoliating enough — or you’re exfoliating too often

Exfoliating is important, but it’s difficult to find the perfect balance between exfoliating too little and too much. Exfoliating only once a week might not be enough to rid your face of the dead skin cells, but this can depend on both your face and the season. However, you should never be exfoliating your face more than three times per week. According to Allure, if you exfoliate more than this, you’ll create cracks in your skin barrier that can lead to dehydration and inflammation. Aim for between one and three times per week, and if you have sensitive skin, use a gentle exfoliator such as a sugar-based product.

6. You’re not using sunscreen

It doesn’t matter how dark your skin is or how you “never burn.” It’s imperative to use sunscreen if you’re going to be outside for an extended period of time. Those with fair skin shouldn’t go more than 10 minutes in the summer without sunblock. The sun’s UVA and UVB rays can cause serious harm to the skin (skin cancer) and can also cause early wrinkles. Always apply your sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going outside to allow your skin to absorb it. Reapply every two hours, especially if you’re sweating or have gone in the water.

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