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10 Ways Your Beauty Routine May Be Irritating Your Skin

We try to take care of our skin by cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, and sun-protecting. That’s all important, of course – but are we taking these steps correctly? The wrong skin routine can do more harm than good. Your skin care should be working with your skin and not against it. Find out what you could be doing to actually harm your skin, instead of help it. [Source: BeautyHigh.com]

Any skin products that contain added fragrance, parabens and fillers can be very irritating to sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin and are skeptical about using certain products, look for mostly natural products, or those with a lot of natural plant extracts and no added dyes, perfumes, and parabens, says Pamela Faller, a makeup artist for Mehron. Toners that have witch hazel win them are great for minimizing pores and keeping the skin tight, and using this after washing the face and then moisturizing will keep it clean and hydrated. Coconut oil is a great, natural moisturizer that has so many uses. A little goes a long way, but using it as a moisturizer at night has many benefits and gives you a nice, healthy glow in the morning!

Don’t over exfoliate! A gentle cleanser used daily with a washcloth, and light scrubbing is a great way to thoroughly cleanse skin. If you see your skin breaking out, getting red and irritated, or becoming overly dry, this is a good indicator that you’ve crossed over into excessive exfoliation. No worries though, here’s a cheat sheet from makeup artist Achelle Dunaway, creative director for e.l.f. cosmetics: If you like using scrubbing beads opt for about three to four times a week. Always rehydrate the skin after cleansing with a moisturizer to lock in hydration for a healthy, glowing complexion.

Very hot or very cold water is irritating to your facial skin. Don’t be too zealous in your cleansing and rinsing routine with very hot or cold water, says Kathy Heshelow, founder of Sublime Beauty.

When applying serums and creams, use light strokes that move upward and outward. So many times we see women rubbing too hard or using strokes that pull down on the skin, says Heshelow. Think more like a feather and less like a rock when dealing with your skin!

If your skin is red, angry, dry and patchy, you are doing something wrong. It could be that you are using the wrong products that are too aggressive, or too much of the right products, or that you are treating your skin too abrasively, says Wendy Lewis of BeautyintheBag. For example, if you are a retinol user, do not scrub your face daily in the shower. Skip a day or switch to a gentle exfoliant with tiny beads that won’t harm your skin.

If you use acids on your skin. Some examples are glycolic, lactic or beta hydroxy; use only one type of acid at the same time. Don’t pile up on your acids – like glycolic cleanser, lactic acid based moisturizer, etc. on the same face at the same time, says Lewis.

If the toner you’re using contains alcohol, you may get the “clean” and “tight” feeling associated with using alcohol-based toners on the skin, but this ingredient will strip the skin of water, which results in dead cell build up and dull looking skin, says celebrity esthetician Renee Rouleau. Trying to dry up oily skin can backfire as stripped cell buildup traps oil and leads to break outs and more oil production. Toners without alcohol, on the other hand, are very important for removing the drying chlorines and minerals found in tap water. Make sure to use an alcohol-free toner both morning and night after cleansing.

If you’re using a cleanser that contains sulfates, it can dry your skin out. Sulfates are detergents commonly used in foaming and gel cleansers that companies feel is effective in cleaning the skin. But Ammonium or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate are just too drying to the skin, says Rouleau. If your skin feels tight after washing, it is a sign that the skin has been stripped of all its water, therefore causing surface dead skin cell build up. Then you have to rush and put your moisturizer on to put back the moisture that you just took out—which makes absolutely no sense! Cleansers that bubble up and lather a lot like a shampoo usually contain sulfates and will leave your skin feeling tight. Look for gentle, sulfate-free cleansers.

Skimping on the sun protection. UV exposure can also turn your skin into a more irritated state, so never leave home without an SPF30 or higher to protect skin from DNA damage. If your skin is truly sensitive, which is more rare than you think, use a physical sunscreen (like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) to avoid any reactions, says Lewis.

Skin responds to what you put on it as well as to how it is handled. If you touch your face too often, you can breed infection. Over cleansing will dry out your skin and leaving it red and tight. Be gentle – skin needs some TLC!

Male patient receiving an Emsculpt NEO treatment to the abdominal area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can EMSCULPT NEO do for me?

EMSCULPT NEO is an amazing noninvasive body sculpting treatment. It’s perfect for patients who are looking to get summer body ready! With this state-of-the-art, two-in-one technology, you build muscle and burn fat at the same time! This treatment provides a 30% reduction in subcutaneous fat and 25% growth in muscle on the treated area after a recommended number of treatments.

How does EMSCULPT NEO work?

While you lie down and relax, EMSCULPT NEO sends high-intensity energies deep below your skin, making your muscles contract in a big way that is like doing thousands of crunches or squats in a few minutes. While your muscles are contracting, the energy from the applicator simultaneously sends warmth to your fat cells, heating them up to the point of destruction. So you build real muscle from the contractions while destroying fat cells that are later naturally eliminated by your body.

How many EMCULPT NEO treatments will I need?

The recommended treatment plan is 4-6 treatments, one week apart. Depending on the patient, you may see improvement in your muscle tone, core strength and posture within a few weeks. And you’ll see fat reduction continue for about 12 weeks after your last treatment.

Are there any patients for whom you do not recommend EMSCULPT NEO?

EMSCULPT NEO is great because it has been shown to be safe and approved for all body and skin types. Contraindications include hernia, recent surgery, and pregnancy, so if a patient has any of these conditions, they should wait until they don’t to get EMSCULPT NEO.

What is the difference between CoolSculpting and EMSCULPT NEO?

CoolSculpting is a well-known treatment that is excellent for reducing unwanted fat in targeted areas. EMSCULPT NEO also reduces fat, but it has the benefit of building muscle, which is what its predecessor EMSCULPT was made to do.

Which treatment you choose depends on what your body needs and your personal goals. If you have great muscle tone and only need to get rid of some extra fat in a specific area like your abdomen or below your chin, CoolSculpting is an excellent option. But if you have loss of muscle tone and need more of a lift or tightening to a certain area like your abs or butt, EMSCULPT NEO is your two-in-one solution.

What is your favorite thing about EMSCULPT NEO?

Not only is this treatment super convenient with one treatment lasting only 30 minutes, but there is also no downtime! Patients can go about their day as they normally would immediately after their visit.

Greenwich Med Spa