Exfoliation, while helpful in clearing breakouts, smoothing the skin, and fading discoloration, can harm the skin when done in excess. Your skin's protective barrier may become damaged when too many acids, scrubs, peels, and sonic brushes are used. The potential result is dryness, irritation, and increased breakouts. For most types of skin I suggest using a gentle exfoliating serum (with glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acid) three nights on and three nights off. On the off nights, you can nourish the new cells with a hydrating and soothing serum to try and balance the skin. An exfoliating scrub or a sonic facial brush, both of which are considered physical exfoliants, should really only be used three times a week, but even that might be too much for some people. If your skin is red, tight, or dry, you may consider exfoliating less.
When a blemish appears, if your first instinct is to pick at it or apply an acne treatment to dry it up, you're committing a skin sin. While many of us have gotten into this habit, it is not what is best for the blemish. The infection found in blemishes (read: the white stuff) wants to come out of the surface of the skin. If you pick at it when it’s not ready to come out, you’ll only scar the skin and leave a discolored mark. And, if you dry it out immediately with a spot treatment, the resulting dry skin cells will only make it harder for the infection to surface, resulting in a possibly bigger blemish that lingers longer.
The key is to leave the pimple alone and avoid touching the skin until the infection has organically reached the surface — usually one to three days after the blemish first appears. Then, you can carefully and gently try to squeeze the blemish. My rule is this: Three strikes, and you’re out! If it doesn’t come out after three attempts, leave it alone, and try again the next day. Once you work out the infection, now's the time you should be applying a spot-drying treatment. Cysts, unfortunately, function a little differently: Your body will reabsorb a cystic infection on its own, but it won't come to the surface. Using a spot treatment specifically made for cysts is my recommendation.
Related: The Best Moisturizer For Brighter, Glowing Skin
Only Wearing Sunscreen When Outdoors
Your skin absorbs damaging UV rays when you’re not outside. The number-one cause of premature aging is exposure to sunlight, daylight, and UV rays. And, 78% of those rays come from incidental exposure, which includes driving in the car or even sitting in a home or office near windows. UVA rays, the ones that cause wrinkles, are the ones that penetrate those windows, which is why it's imperative to wear sunscreen every single day.
We all get lured by fancy ads, products that celebs are pitching, or things our friends tells us they love, but this is not always the best way to go. I’m continually amazed when I first meet clients and often learn how inappropriate their skin-care routine is. Using a luxurious, heavy moisturizer formulated for dry, sun-damaged skin when you’re 24 years old and prone to breakouts? Washing with a high-foaming and drying cleanser when your skin is already dry and sensitive? I know it can be hard for people to sort through all of the market claims and try to make sense of it all, but when you’re using the right combination of products that addresses your skin type's needs, that's when you'll see good results. Consult with a trusted skin-care professional to help customize a home-care routine that’s truly a fit.
Getting Your Nose Pierced
Many younger people love this trend, but at some point, you may get tired of your nose ring or be required to take it out for some reason, and then you'll be left with an extra-large pore that’s difficult to close. Since most of us have large pores anyway, it's probably not the wisest move to intentionally create even bigger pores that even plastic surgeons can't fix. While I agree with self-expression and respect cultures that view face piercings as tradition, I'd still advise you to think before you pierce. I've heard one too many clients say they wished they would have heard my advice years ago.
Next: Are Those Handy Cleansing Wipes Ok For Your Skin?
When it comes to our faces, we don’t rely on just anyone to tell us what our skin needs to get that ever-elusive glow. Instead, we turn to skin-care veteran (and celebrity fave!) Renée Rouleau, who knows it takes more than the right products to get radiant. Each week, she’ll be serving up her expert tips to keep your complexion in tip-top shape.