7 Skincare Experts Share the One Skin Mistake They Regret Most
We haven't always been perfect followers of beauty best practices. We preach how important it is to NOT sleep in your makeup, but alas, before we knew about the insane amount of damage it does to our skin, some nights our heads hit the pillow faster than we could reach for the cleanser. But through the years, we've gotten much better about sticking to good practices.
And as it turns out, after speaking with a number of skincare experts, they also haven't always practiced what they now preach. Whether it was picking at their skin or not putting on SPF, we all had to start somewhere, right? Today, as certified skincare aficionados, they've left their bad habits behind them but have mustered up the humility to reveal their past mistakes with us here today.
Keep scrolling to read their responses!
Cremorlab Essence Tonic ($40)
"I used to try to air-dry my face so that I didn't rub my face too hard with a towel. In theory, that's okay, but at times, I let it dry too much so that my skin would be way too dried out. Literally, moisture was evaporating off my skin—and some transepidermal water loss was probably happening—that by the time I was toning my face, my skin was left dry and brittle.
"Basically, skin should be slightly damp when applying toner. So even when towel-drying, you should pat dry, but not completely dry. And if air-drying, just make sure skin isn't left totally dried out. Whichever method of drying, a good rule of thumb that's emphasized in Korean skincare techniques is to apply toner or a toning essence within 30 seconds of washing the face so that all that water isn't evaporating off or out of the skin."
"I wish I had known since an early age how important it is to cleanse one's face thoroughly every day. The Eve Lom Cleanser didn't exist at the time, so either I didn't wash my face at all, or I was washing my face with a bar of soap or cold cream! It's hard to believe thinking about that now, knowing that washing one's face daily with the proper product is essential to maintain great skin condition and radiance.
"I also wish I had known which products to apply on my face during my teenage years. My skin would have suffered less from hormonal changes and acne due to unadapted products which made my skin too dry or too oily."
Joanna Vargas Rejuvenating Serum ($100)
"Personally, my biggest regret would be not protecting my face properly during one summer I spent vacationing in Spain. I have spent so much time trying to reverse the pigmentation I got on my face, and I would have never had an issue if I had worn proper sunscreen and a better hat."
Renée Rouleau Post-Breakout Fading Gel ($31)
"My biggest skin regret is picking at my skin. I went into this profession so I could do what I love—picking! (Kidding, but not really!) But I justified my own problem by saying, 'My hands are licensed. I know what I’m doing,' which, of course, is a terrible justification. In fact, I was actually doing more harm than good because picking at blemishes results in dark, red scars that linger much longer than the actual blemish, so my skin didn’t look its best during those years.
"I made a New Year's resolution in 2001 to give up picking at my skin for good, and I've been able to stick to it. Instead, I treat my blemishes with various spot treatments that will allow it go to away quickly on its own without me interfering with the natural healing process. But I also feel lucky to have had those experiences because skin-picking is very problematic for many people; I can really help my clients get out of this bad habit and get clearer and more beautiful skin."
VMV Hypoallergenics Spring Cleaning Purifying Facial Wash for Oily Skin ($22)
"My biggest skincare regret was back in my teens. I had pretty prominent acne all over my face, and I used every over-the-counter harsh drying product possible. I picked and I poked and left scars. If only I had known to see a knowledgeable esthetician and had used professional-grade products, I would have been able to avoid the pain and long-term scarring.
"However, the acne did prompt me to learn all that I could about skincare and pushed me to go to school to become an esthetician. Over the past 17 years in the industry, I have tried every treatment possible but have found that using clean and hypoallergenic products make the biggest difference."
What's your biggest skincare regret? Tell us below!