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Slip-up #1: Getting a “base suntan” before going to a sunny destination to prevent sunburns.
“A lot of people are under the false impression that getting a "pre-tan" before their sunny holidays can make them immune to sunburns,” says Toronto-based dermatologist Jensen Yeung. “A sun tan offers a SPF of 4 at best, which is way below the protection that is offered by sunscreens.” Not to mention way below the SPF 30 most dermatologists recommend wearing daily.
Skin solution: Avoid tanning beds (always) and make room in your luggage for several sunscreens.
ElleCanada.com’s product picks: RoC Soleil Protexion Velvet Moisture Spray SPF 30; Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Water-Light Daily Face Sunscreen SPF 45.
Slip-up #2: Using a body moisturizer on your face.
“Product formulations are specific for hands, body, face and eyes. The concentrations and ingredient choices such as sunscreen, fragrance, emulsifiers are very different,” says Sandy Skotnicki-Grant. “For the average person this may not pose a problem, but if you are acne-, eczema- or rosacea-prone this can make your condition worse,” says the Toronto-based dermatologist.
Skin solution: Invest in a facial lotion and slather on the body lotion where it’s meant to be used.
ElleCanada.com’s product picks: Aveeno Positively Ageless Day Cream; Yes to Cucumbers Daily Calming Moisturizer.
Slip-up #3: Skipping using lotions and other skincare options when you have oily skin.
“I often meet patients who have oily skin who don’t use anything. They think because of the nature of their skin they don’t need any products,” says Andres Gantous, a facial plastic surgeon in Toronto.
Skin solution: Those of us with oily skin still need to give our skin some TLC. “All skin types [including oily] will benefit from a chemical peel, even sensitive skin types as long as it is used properly,” says Gantous. “A chemical peel promotes cell turnover, collagen production, it brings newer cells to the surface resulting in a more refined texture, and improved clarity of the skin.”
ElleCanada.com’s product picks: Olay Total Effects Moisturizer Plus Cooling Hydration; Garnier Moisture Rescue Lightweight SPF 15 Lotion.
3 more of the biggest skin mistakes we make on the next page ... Slip-up #4: Applying skin products incorrectly.
From putting on sunscreen at the wrong time to applying acne meds in the wrong amount, Skotnicki-Grant has met numerous patients using their skincare in the wrong way.
Skin solution: Sunscreen should be applied before you apply your makeup, she says, and 30 minutes before you head outside in the sun. As for acne medication, you need to apply it to more than just your pimples. “It should go on the entire acne-prone area,” says Skotnicki-Grant. “My rule is pea-sized amount on area to treat what you have and what is coming.” But don’t be tempted to apply more thinking it will work better or faster. “Large amounts of acne cream will just cause irritation; more of it will not work faster,” she says. Gantous, as a precautionary measure, recommends to his patients to only use their Retin A, AHA and retinol products only in the evenings. “If they’re neglecting to put on sunscreen during the day, these products can make their skin particularly sensitized and prone to sun damage, so I recommend they use their Retin A products at bedtime,” he says.
Slip-up #5: Squeezing out blackheads so your pores don’t get bigger.
“Patients often mistake larger pores on the nose and cheek area next to the nose as blackheads. Most people have larger pores in this area,” says Skotnicki-Grant. And what do we do? Squeeze at these pores. But, she warns, squeezing out the black oxidized keratin in these pores will just damage the pores and make them bigger and they will just fill up again with keratin.
Skin solution: Skotnicki-Grant recommends regular use of Retin A or a glycolic acid to help keep these pores clear of black keratin; doing this will also tighten the pores over time.
Slip-up #6: Over-exfoliating.
“With people doing chemical peels at home, I find that many people are exfoliating their skin way too often,” says Gantous. “But this is leading to the skin breaking down and not hydrating properly,” he says. The skin starts to look dry and flaky instead of glowing.
Skin solution: Use a chemical peel at home only once or twice a month at most. When using a scrub, use it two to three times a week (not daily).
ElleCanada.com's product pick: Stri-Vectin-SD Instant Retexturizing Scrub.
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