So your daily cleanse, tone, treat routine isn’t doing it for you? Blaming genetics will only get you so far. The reality is you have more control over your skin than you think, and we have a couple ideas about why you’re still waiting on a flawless, glowing complexion. Keep reading to find out why you don’t have the skin you want.
Drying products have a place in your skincare routine. But when you have a breakout that needs treating, it’s just the breakout that needs treating—not your entire face. Applying harsh drying products all over throws off your skin’s natural balance and causes your skin to overproduce oil (the very thing you’re trying to avoid) to compensate. It’s important to remember that at its most basic level, acne is inflammation, so your real aim should be to calm the inflammation.
You may be diligent about washing your face every night, but chances are your makeup removal is not up to par. If you’ve ever dried off your face and left little black mascara remnants on the towel, we’re talking to you, because whatever you’re using, you’re not using enough of it. When you first start to remove your makeup, press the towelette or cotton pad into your skin for a few moments to loosen up everything. Then, use back and forth motions all over, from hairline to neck. Once you run out of clean space on that side of the wipe, flip it over and keep going. Only when you wipe clean on the second side of your towelette should you move on to washing your face. Double-cleansing is really what finishes off the day’s makeup for good. Even though you may not see it, makeup can leave behind deposits that end up clogging your pores and inhibiting the absorption of active ingredients later.
It’s called a skincare routine for a reason. There are steps—layers, really—involved, but if you’re layering every skin-benefiting ingredient you can get your hands on, you may be doing more harm than good. The active ingredients in some products just don’t play nicely together. When you layer the wrong combinations, you wind up neutralizing the active ingredients and irritating your skin.
When it comes to exfoliation, most people fall into one of two camps: the exfoliation junkies who scrub down almost every day, and the I’ll-do-it-tomorrow people who have good intentions but poor follow-through. The over-exfoliators are wearing down their skin’s protective barrier, which serves the ever-important function of locking in hydration. Those who rarely get around to exfoliating are letting dead skin cells build up, which can lead to a dull complexion and impact the effectiveness of products. You should be exfoliating between one and three times a week (depending on your skin type). If keeping track of the number of times you break out the buffing beads is throwing you off, try using a konjac sponge to get gentle exfoliation in on a regular basis.
The link between what you eat and the condition of your skin is a strong one. If fried food, sweet treats, and processed snacks are all staples of your diet, you can stop wondering why you don’t have flawless skin now. Eating clean is always going to be your quickest route to better skin. While most people cite increased energy as the number-one boon they get from going vegan, the fringe benefits for your skin are undeniable. But ditching animal products isn’t the only way to improve your complexion. Acne-prone? Try removing dairy from your diet. The hormones in dairy cows can over-stimulate your system and cause an increase in oil production. And everyone can benefit from cutting back on sugar. Sugar breaks down the collagen and elastin fibers that bind the deepest layers of skin. Yep, your sweet tooth could be aging you faster than your skin creams can fight back.
Don’t have the hair you want either? It could be because you’re making this one major mistake.