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Skin care routine fix: Soap up less
“We are too clean in North America—we use too much soap,” says Sandy Skotnicki, owner and medical director of the Bay Dermatology Centre in Toronto. “Unless you are rolling around in dirt, or work in a job like construction or mining, you do not need to soap your whole body,” she says. In fact, she adds that as we age, our over-soaping habits may lead to winter itch and even eczema in our harsh winter climate. Her recommended soaping-up strategy? Use a fragrance-free bars and only soap up the folds of your body and your feet.
Skin care routine fix: Consider your skin care product’s ingredients list when deciding how much to use
Look at the formulation of your product and have a good read of the ingredients list, suggests Holly Sherrard, the education manager at the International Dermal Institute in Toronto. “Check the key ingredients, the ones listed first will be in higher concentration than the ones at the end of the ingredients list,” she says, so you may only need to use a little of one that’s got more of the essential beneficial components. As a general rule of thumb, you may find that products from a professional skin care line may have more concentrated formulations compared to one from a mass-retail type of brand.
Skin care routine fix: Don’t pile on your anti aging treatments
If your regimen include an anti aging moisturizer that contains retinol or glycolic acids, loading on tons of it won’t erase more years off your appearance. In fact, you may be drying out and irritating your skin, says Dr. Skotnicki. “Use a dim or pea-sized amount on the entire face,” she says, adding that if you feel you need more moisturizer, then apply another product. Bonus: Using less of your retinol product will mean your bottle (which comes with a heftier price tag than a regular moisturizer) will last you many months.
More ways to simplify your skin care routine are on the next page ... Skin care routine fix: Wash your hands before cleansing your face
If you’re not taking the time to wash your hands before you cleanse your face, the cleanser you’re using may be less effective. How’s that? Sherrard says that when you’re applying it to cleanse your face using your unwashed hands, it’ll already start working on breaking down the dirt and oil that’s on your hands.
Skin care routine fix: Use your exfoliant as it’s meant to be used (and use it regularly)
If your exfoliant is designed to both cleanse and exfoliate, you’re fine—but if you’re using your exfoliant one that’s meant simply for exfoliating) as your cleanser, you have to use (aka waste) more product as you’re using it to first get rid of dirt and oil on your skin and then remove dead skin cells. If this is you, you’d be better off adding a cleanser to your routine and then using your scrub for a more effective routine.
If you’re not exfoliating whatsoever, get with the program. You’re likely wasting that moisturizer you splurged on—because when you’re skin is scrubbed, your skin will absorb your moisturizer better. If you have rough patches or uneven texture, you may be tempted to apply more lotion, says Sherrard. The solution: use a gentle exfoliant regularly as part of your skin care regimen.
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