Knowledge is power, and skincare knowledge is the best of them all. Luckily, we've done the hard work for you and researched the most important do’s and don'ts when it comes to your face, so you can spend your time doing better things (like going to brunch, cuddling your dog, or taking a nap. Or all of the above).
The internet is riddled with skincare tips, tricks and myths – and it’s no wonder we get confused or make the odd mistake here and there, most of the time without even realising it! Let’s clean up our act together, starting now.
Not Knowing Your Skin Type
DON’T: While seemingly obvious, you’d be surprised how many people don’t know their own skin type and are in turn, buying the wrong products and eliminating the possibility of getting to the root cause of any skin issues they’re having altogether. Oh, and your bank account won’t be crying in the corner either when you figure this one out.
DO: Know your skin before you begin! But wait... you’re pretty sure you know your skin type but are now second guessing yourself? Try this trick to know for sure: it’s called The Bare-Faced Method and is super simple to do.
Start by washing your face with a gentle cleanser and pat dry with a towel. Now, the key is to wait 30 minutes to an hour to observe how your skin naturally behaves, without any products on it. After the time is up, take a look at your complexion. Is it flaking anywhere or feels tight? If so, your skin is likely dry. Or, are you shiny around your t-zone? In this case, you’d be classified as oily and are likely no stranger to the odd breakout (or 10). If you’re finding a mix of both oily and dry areas, you likely have combination skin.
Layering Your Products In The Wrong Order
DON’T: Dermatologists and beauty therapists near and far will tell you that the order of your products does (definitely!) matter, including Melbourne Dermal Therapist James Vivian. “Applying eye cream over moisturiser? Don’t let your potent and potentially expensive eye cream have to fight its way through your moisturiser.” We take this advice seriously, James is known in the industry as ‘the face whisperer’ after all. And why should your products be pitted up against each other rather than made to work together?
DO: When you buy a new product (and please do the same with your existing ones too), take the extra time to read about its ingredients, consistency, thickness and purpose to understand what position it’s going to take in your routine.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to start with your thinnest products and end with your thickest. Try this for a top tier order to follow: Cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream, spot treatment, moisturiser, face oil and last but not least your SPF. Write it down! Put it on your fridge! Set a reminder on your phone! Whatever it takes to make this order stick.
Mixing Incompatible Ingredients
DON’T: So you’re buying the right products for your skin and layering them in the right order, but did you know that not all products are made to work together? Without getting too scienc-ey on you, think of it this way: you can’t force a friendship, and some friends are just better off apart.
Not all your skincare products will be best buds and that’s just a fact of life - learning how to harness the optimum results from the products you spend your hard earned paychecks on will not only save you money and time, but actually ensure you’re seeing the results you’re striving for.
Our biggest pairing faux pas? Don’t mix retinol (which repairs the skin overnight) with Vitamin C (which repairs the skin during the day), and it's best to keep your oil-based products and water-based ones in separate routines.
DO: Take the time to learn what ingredients are in your products and how these work to complement your skin. Some of our favourite product pairings? Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid is a combo that truly works harmoniously together, especially if you’re new to retinol.
Thanks to the hydrating and gentleness of hyaluronic acid (the name deceives!), it will help to minimise the irritation of highly reactive ingredients like retinol, without interfering with the process. Hyaluronic acid also pairs nicely with AHAS and BHAS for similar reasons! Importantly, SPF can be layered over any skincare ingredient, so if you’re going to use one skincare product in your whole routine, make it SPF.
Using Face Wipes Instead of a Reusable Cloth
DON’T: We need to have a chat. A heart to heart. You’re seeing someone who’s not good for you. We hate to say it, but it's for the best for everyone involved. You need to break up with your makeup wipes, for good this time. Makeup wipes, albeit convenient, do not dig deep enough to properly remove makeup, but rather wipe it around your skin. In fact, their uselessness is in their name - makeup wipes - and their below par job of cleaning shows it.
Not to mention how damaging they are to the environment when disposed. While they may seem like a great idea at the time (queue; lazy, DGAF, hungover and just want to go to bed NOW moods), makeup wipes really are better left on the shelf.
DO: Once you’ve formally dumped your previous lover (A.K.A goodbye wipes forever), it’s time to meet your new boo. Oh yes, you two are going to get along just fine, we can feel it. A product such as a reusable pad will be your eco-friendly alternative for makeup removal that reaches deep into the pores to thoroughly remove product and dirt thanks to its microfibres, and can easily be washed up to 200 times for repeat use. This will replace hundreds of single-use makeup wipes from entering landfill and waterways, meaning you’re reducing your environmental footprint whilst saving money. Great for your face, and the earth! Of course depending on your skin type, there are other great options for makeup removal such as an oil cleanser, gel cleanser or micellar water.