By Helene Ravlich
If you’re anything like me, then you do your research before shelling out for – or trialling – a new skincare product. It’s all about finding that Holy Grail moisturiser or eye crème, but if you’re applying it all wrong then you’ll only reap a percentage of the results.
With all that in mind, here’s some of the most common misconceptions skin experts have observed—and how to avoid them in the future.
Applying moisturiser directly to dry skin
I’m all about a mist or toner before adding anything extra, but apparently there’s a lot of us out there who go in dry. Think of your skin like a sponge— if it’s damp, products can better penetrate and absorb, and get to work doing what they were designed to do. The same goes for your skin. So make sure right before you slather on your moisturiser of choice that you first apply a toner, or even just splash your face with water. However you do it, just make sure your skin is damp as you apply a moisturiser, so it can really do its job. A great option for summer if you’re looking for an all-round essential to keep on hand is Avène’s Thermal Spring Water Spray, which refreshes, sets makeup like a dream and is the perfect pre-moisturiser step.
Avoiding facial oils if you have oily skin
Lots of people with congestion are terrified to use anything they think is going to make them break out, but it can be quite the opposite. It’s important to know that not all oils are created equal. There is an oil for every skin type and condition, and one I recommend to everyone is New Zealand hemp oil brand Hark & Zander’s Hemp-Tonic Face Oil, which harnesses the powerful properties of hemp and gives it a thoroughly modern twist. The botanically active blend combines hemp with all-natural oils like squalene, grapefruit peel and sea buckthorn to leave your skin fresh and bright, and yes – it smells and feel gorgeous on the skin. A great multitasker, it can be used as an antioxidant cleanser and moisturiser, and won’t mess up your natural skin barrier. If like me, you’re often battling sensitive, red, dry or blemish-prone skin, this little beauty will help nourish, repair and restore balance to your skin without clogging pores, making it an option for all skin types.
Using retinol incorrectly
Many people are aware this is a powerful anti-aging product, but not everyone understands just how hard it’s working—from rapidly turning over skin cells to rebuilding your collagen from within. Retinol is one of the all-time favourite skincare ingredients, as it treats everything from acne to fine lines. However, it can sometimes lead to irritation. Take a progressive approach, beginning with using retinol once per week, gradually increasing by one day every week or so, giving your skin time to gauge its response. Or, start with something gentle but effective like Kiehl’s new Retinol Skin-Renewing Daily Micro-Dose Serum. A breakthrough approach to retinol, it is formulated in a precise daily-dosage that delivers visible anti-ageing benefits, while minimising the uncomfortable side-effects associated with traditional retinol formulas.
Picking at your face
This is something we all know we shouldn’t do, but sometimes still love to do – and it’s still a bad idea for your skin overall. When a dermatologist drains a pimple they apply downward pressure, but when people try to do it themselves, they squeeze from the side which ends up backfiring because it causes infection to go down deeper into the pore. If you really can’t help yourself, wash your face with a clean washcloth and if the pimple is ready to pop, this is all the pressure needed. But remember that picking your skin can slow down the healing time of the breakout, spread bacteria and oil causing more acne to form, and lead to scarring.
You’re lazy about sunscreen
Finally we’re seeing a little sun of late, which for me is a reminder that summer is on its way and new sunscreen needs to go on the shopping list. Whenever I’ve asked beauty experts – be they dermatologists, makeup artists or cosmetic surgeons – for their pick when it comes to anti-ageing skincare, they all agree that the most important thing you can do to keep your skin looking good well into old age is wear a sunscreen. Daily. No arguments, no forgetting on a cloudy day, no saying, “my olive complexion is a sunblock in itself”! Most last twelve months max after being opened too, so if you’re still got some sitting around in your beach bag or glove box from this time last year then chuck it – ASAP!
A formula I love is beauty giant Shiseido’s Perfect UV Protector. Unsurprisingly for those that know the brand well, it is a sunscreen formula that has been perfectly executed. Providing powerful protection for your skin, the innovative protective veil actually becomes even more effective when it comes into contact with water or perspiration. It also includes skincare ingredients that prevent dryness, oxidation and damage to cells and DNA, is incredibly gentle on the skin and a breeze to apply.