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!

View Our Other Blog Articles:

Don’t Believe the Hype About PDO Thread Lifts

While searching for the latest and greatest in skin-rejuvenating treatment options or simply scrolling social media, you may have come across the PDO Thread Lift. This treatment has become popular on Instagram and TikTok videos with many influencers touting it as a...

Heading Into 2023 with Confidence

While you’ll find plenty of advice for choosing and keeping New Year’s Resolutions online, a couple that always seem to make the list are losing weight and getting in shape. In fact, earlier this year, 41% of U.S. adults characterized themselves as...

How to Head into the Holidays Looking and Feeling Your Best

The season for giving is upon us, and we have a feeling you will be giving a lot – of yourself. During these months of extra cooking, shopping, and hopefully plenty of celebrating, it’s more important than ever to carve out dedicated time for self-care. At Greenwich...

Tips for Transitioning Your Skincare from Summer to Fall

Pumpkin is everywhere, which can only mean one thing – the fall season has arrived. As you start packing away your summer wardrobe (sadly) and looking forward to autumn’s bright foliage, don’t forget to make some changes to your skincare routine too. Less sunlight,...

Top Summer Skincare Travel Tips from an Aesthetician

There is no question that as the seasons change, our skincare routine needs to adjust too. While winter months may have you reaching for more moisturizer, summer can leave you asking what the heck you can do to combat high temperatures, sweat, sun damage and other...

Top Aesthetic Treatments for Making Self-Care a Priority

Wife, mother, entrepreneur, friend, daughter – you take on many roles. In fact, there are probably times you have been so busy, the first thing that falls off your to do list is your own care. But taking care of yourself should be at the top of your list because it is...

Guys, Are You Losing Sleep Over Hair Loss?

There are plenty of things to worry about today, but a receding hairline or thinning hair shouldn’t be one of them. Yet many men, or more accurately most men, will eventually suffer noticeable hair loss. In fact, according to the American Hair Loss Association, about 66% of men will join this club by age 35, and by age 50, that goes up to 85%. Not that it helps to be in the […]

Ask an Expert: Does EMSCULPT NEO really work?

Family Nurse Practitioner Caitlin Ceccarelli says the most important aspect of patient care is to develop a trusting relationship and listen to each patient’s individual concerns. When patients come to her with questions about unwanted fat, loss of muscle tone, inability to […]

Get to Know How CoolSculpting Technology Works 

Who would have thought that without surgery or downtime, you could freeze away fat just where you want to? This is the incredible prospect offered by CoolSculpting Elite — a possibility that almost sounds too good to be true. But amazingly, it is true. CoolSculpting...

New Year, New You with CoolSculpting Elite

If you’re looking for ways to truly turn the page on the past couple of years and shed what no longer works, why not start by shedding some unwanted fat? Whether you gained it recently due to more working from home and less working out, or it has crept on during the...