Who among us doesn’t want to look youthful? Having all the wisdom and life stability that comes with age while also looking fresh and energized is a goal we all dream of, and pursuing that goal usually means using anti-aging skin care products and strategies. But what if you’re making missteps in your anti-aging endeavors that are actually working against you?
No shame here – most of us are making anti-aging mistakes without realizing it. To help you set your routine straight and make sure your anti-aging efforts are truly doing good, I’m laying out some of the most common mistakes and how you can fix them.
If you’ve dipped your toe into the anti-aging pool, you’ve probably heard of retinol – the head honcho of facial youth. As the ultimate go-to skin care ingredient for a younger look, retinol speeds up your cell turnover so your body can replace damaged surface cells with brighter, younger skin cells.
Retinol is commonly misused and misunderstood, though. It isn’t a product that works with a “more is better” philosophy because overusing retinol can dry or irritate your skin. That’s the case whether you’re using retinol too frequently or using too high of a concentration.
Then there’s the opposite problem: some people use retinol too little because they’re worried about the potential for inflammation. This won’t actually harm your skin but it does harm your wallet because you’re not getting your money’s worth from the products you’re buying.
Another frequent retinol misstep is using retinol in the morning. As effective as retinol can be for revitalization, it also makes your skin more sensitive to the sun. It’s best to use it only at night and to make sure you’re applying sunscreen each morning as an added precaution.
So how do you make sure you’re not overdoing or underdoing your retinol products? Start slow. Begin with a low-concentration retinol product and use the product once a week, increasing it gradually until you’re using it according to the instructions on the packaging. Don’t use the product more than the instructions direct.
Exfoliation is another essential part of an anti-aging skin care routine. It buffs away dead skin cells that are sloughing off the surface of your skin. This reduces blemishes and inflammation while giving your skin a brighter complexion.
Of course, too much of a good thing eventually becomes a bad thing. Some people assume that if they exfoliate more often, they’ll buff away damaged surface skin in a way that gives them an even more youthful look. Unfortunately, that isn’t true.
An at-home exfoliator can only get rid of skin cells that are already dead and sloughing off. It doesn’t increase the cell turnover rate. If you’ve cleared off the dead skin cells and you’re still exfoliating, you’re just irritating your skin, and that inflammation can make wrinkles look more pronounced. You can also damage your skin’s moisture barrier by doing this.
The golden rule is to exfoliate twice a week – three times per week at the most. If you’re noticing more skin redness, make it even less frequent.
Jumping from Craze to Craze
There’s always a new trend in anti-aging – a product that’s supposed to be a miracle worker or a routine that banishes wrinkles for good. And yes, it’s tempting to want to try them all out, whether the results just sound too good to pass up or you’re just incurably curious. Resist the urge, though.
Switching up your skin care routine too often can lead to irritation and inflammation, especially if your skin is sensitive. Furthermore, most of these trends are quite frankly a load of bull. In many cases, they start with a kernel of truth but they have to be done in a very precise way to be effective and to avoid potential problems, and you don’t get the training to do that in a Tik Tok.
Correcting Your Anti-Aging Skin Care Mistakes
The worst skin care mistakes are usually made with the best of intentions, but your skin is a living organ and a finicky one at that. Don’t beat yourself up – just thank yourself for learning the right way and for doing better in the future. The path toward younger-looking skin can begin today!