We’re all taught that washing and moisturising our faces is key to keeping our skin healthy and slowing down the ageing process, but the truth is that many of us have picked up some bad habits that could be having the opposite effect. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the most common face-washing mistakes that you should avoid if you want to look your best.
Using alcohol-based products
You’re free to drink as much wine as you want, but you should avoid putting alcohol on your face. Many skincare solutions include alcohols like benzyl and ethanol methanol, but these can irritate the skin and cause damage, leading to premature ageing signs like wrinkling and sagging. Indeed, alcohol breaks down the lipids in your skin, can clog pores, stopping your skin from breathing, and dry the skin out, damaging and killing your skin cells. Another downside to alcohol is that it can strip your pores of its natural oils, which causes your glands to go into overdrive to produce more, thus stressing the skin and making it look older and tired. Sure, alcohol-based solutions offer that cooling sensation that makes you feel like it’s working its magic, but you should look for natural alternatives that go easier on your skin.
Not washing your face enough
We get it: after an evening catching up with friends and one too many glasses of fizz, the last thing you want to do is apply your usual skincare products before you hit the hay. But face-washing is important! Sleeping with makeup and dirt on your face means that you’re clogging your cores and making it harder for your skin to breathe, which can cause damage to your collagen and elastin, and thus accelerate the ageing process. Realistically, the odd night without taking off your makeup isn’t going to add ten years to your face, but you should develop a good habit to cleanse your face every morning and evening before you start the day or head to bed. If you don’t, you’ll likely develop more fine lines and wrinkles than your friends of a similar age.
Washing with hot water
After a long, cold day, there’s nothing quite as refreshing as a hot shower. But face-washing in hot water could be causing you to develop wrinkles. Indeed, dermatologists say that hot showers can strip your skin of its natural fats and oils, dehydrating your face in the process. It’s even more important to avoid hot showers if you suffer from skin conditions such as eczema or acne, which are known to be exacerbated by hot showers. The protective lipid layer of your skin is damaged when you spend too much time in hot water, making it harder to retain moisture and keep bacteria and other irritants out. Instead, you should turn down the heat and consider cutting your shower time to five minutes. One expert says that if the bathroom mirror is getting steamy, the chances are you need to lower the temperature.
Failing to use makeup remover
According to a recent study, the majority of Americans are washing their faces incorrectly – or not at all. One of the most common mistakes in relation to skincare and ageing is not using a makeup remover to take off the bulk of your makeup before you cleanse your face. It’s easy to assume that because you’re going to be using a hot flannel on your face anyway, you don’t need to bother with makeup remover. However, most face washes aren’t designed to remove makeup – especially waterproof mascara – so using a remover before cleansing will allow you to unclog your pores and ensure that bacteria cannot be trapped in your skin. If you’re avoiding makeup removers because of their harsh chemicals, consider making your own natural product using ingredients like almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and witch hazel.
Overdoing it with a face cloth
Face cloths are a great way to exfoliate the skin and get into the nooks and crannies around the nose and mouth, but if you’re too rough, you could over-exfoliate your skin, which can cause premature ageing and inflammation. Instead, switch to face cloths that are softer such as those made from muslin, and only use them when you want to give your face a deep cleanse. For everyday cleansing, use your hands and some warm water. Sure, it’s messier than using a face cloth, but it’s more gentle on the skin and won’t encourage harsh rubbing.
Overwashing your face
Finally, avoid overwashing your face. Although it’s so important to remove dirt, debris and makeup from your face on an evening, that should not come at the expense of scrubbing your face of its natural moisture and oils. Using harsh anti-ageing creams and chemicals will dry out your skin and lead to irritation, so choose ingredients that are natural and gentle on the skin, and avoid washing your face more than twice per day. Changing your cleansing regime could help, here: if you’re going to the gym, avoid washing your face beforehand and instead shower and cleanse post-workout. If you’re planning a night out with your friends and want to take a shower before getting ready, avoid face-washing in the morning.
These simple face-washing changes can have a drastic effect on your skin’s health, reducing redness and allowing you to hold onto your youthful appearance for many years to come. The key takeaway here is: the more gentle you are, the less likely you are to cause damage.
If you’re looking for a way to turn back the clock without going under the knife, consider adding the Oralift anti-ageing device to your skincare regime. Our mouthguard-like device activates your face’s forgotten muscles and helps to rejuvenate your appearance, with impressive results.