If you could go back in time and tell your younger self not to do one thing to your skin, what would it be?
A lot of us have skin care mistakes that we’ve grown and learned from but what I’ve learned from, some are still none the wiser about and are still doing them to this day. So in order to inform people, I made a list of things you should NEVER do to your skin, in the form of things I have experienced.
Most people these days know very well about the obvious things, so I’m going to cover the more obscure ones that could really help you.
Here are 7 things you should NEVER do to your skin!
1. Over exfoliate.
Exfoliating can be done in a variety of methods: scrubs, masks, cleansing brushes, peel pads, etc.
Over exfoliating is easy to do as a lot of us are told and believe that if we exfoliate that we will unclog our pores and our skin would a lot cleaner.
When I was suffering from acne, I would buy daily scrubs for my face and would be ever so aggressive at times, probably taking out the frustrations of having acne and wanting it just to be gone.
For some, the effects of over-exfoliating may not be immediate and so they continue to do it but in the long run, over exfoliating and exfoliating acne results in, scarring, uneven skin tone and more break outs.
How do you repair over exfoliated skin? Stop exfoliation. Just stop it. There may be plenty of products out there that you want to try and you may think exfoliating is great for your skin and it can be, but for a time, you will need to give your skin a break and let it heal itself.
These days, I never use scrubs or any kind of exfoliating product. I only use an at-home peel every few weeks and my skin remains soft and grateful for the rest.
2. Sun Exposure.
I used to expose my acne skin to the sun because I heard it would do me good, like it did for a friend of mine. I actually believed that.
The sun does not heal your acne. Sometimes it may seem like it does temporarily but there are actually a few things you need to know about sun exposure to acne and contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t help acne at all.
When you leave your skin unprotected from the dun it only leaves it open to being burnt.
There is contrasting research on if the subject on if the sun helps acne or makes it worse.
But the side that says the sun makes acne worse says that the sun tans the skin making the spots appear less apparent but they are still there! It also dries out the skin making the skin have to compensate by producing more oil.
The side that says the sun helps your skin says some wavelengths of the sun have anti-inflammatory effects on the skin* but when it’s “some” wavelengths and when you are much more likely to be sunburnt on top of your acne, why even take the risk with something like that.
Even if you don’t have acne, “90% of the signs of aging and skin cancers come from unprotected exposure to ultraviolet light.” – Rebecca Tung, M.D. Dermatologist.
3. Popping spots
It is quite well-known that one should not pop their spots as it can develop acne scars that take an extremely long time to go away but there are actually worse effects of popping spots that can put you off doing it forever.
The Independent refers to the area of your nose and above the lip as the “danger triangle”. This is an area where it is most dangerous to pop spots if you have them.
Blood vessels in this area drain to the back of your head and are a direct line to your brain – this means that any infections that develop in this area could go directly to the nerve centre.
– The Independent**
This means popping spots in this area, if they get infected, could effect your vision, cause other problems in your body and can even lead to death. Of course this is very rare but should be avoided. The most common result in popping spots is scarring that stays for years unless some sometimes very expensive measures are taken to fade them away later down the road. Something else that can happen, even if popping outside the “danger triangle” is an infection so bad it can lead to facial disfigurement.
Luckily, nothing bad has happened to me, although when I do regret that I popped a lot when was younger as advised by my own mother and regretfully was left with a lot of scarring which since has faded a great deal, thank goodness for that! It would have been a lot better if I just didn’t pop in the first place though.
4. Over-plucking eyebrows
I used to pluck my eyebrows when I was in high school even though I had nice full eyebrows that I should have just left alone.
Luckily, I never went too far and plucked my eyebrows right off and they’ve grown in okay now but I still have to go to lengths to fill them in and make them look youthful.
Here’s the thing about eyebrows; thicker eyebrows make you look younger, while thinner eyebrows make you look much older, so to keep a youthful look, don’t over pluck them and keep them thicker.
Over-plucking can not only give you thin eyebrows that won’t grow back but will also cause damage to your skin. Always wash tweezers before using them and after plucking, sooth your skin with this 100% natural aloe vera gel.
A lot of women regret over-plucking their eyebrows when they were younger, so this is a lesson to younger readers especially, leave them brows be!
5. Putting toothpaste on spots
Another thing I regret, as it only caused me problems. I was actually advised to do this by my auntie when I had acne as a young teen. And so I did put toothpaste on my spots. And they burned (big warning sign!) but after rinsing off, I actually did see the spot go down for a while. And then this method stopped working and my skin remained horrible.
But here’s why you should never ever do this, even temporarily.
I learnt a few years later that putting toothpaste on spots is something you should absolutely never do. Toothpaste on a spot, only irritates the skin, making more spots appear later, dries out the skin raises the pH more than the 5.5 it should be, creates a scar that would look a lot worse and last a lot longer than the spot that was originally there before. And that’s exactly what happened to me.
Basically, it’s a big no-no.
6. Using alcohol as a facial cleanser.
Now this is not something that I have done but I know some people do this or have done this and regretted it so I thought I would include it in the list.
Like bad bacteria and good bacteria, there are bad alcohols and fatty alcohols like cetyl and stearyl alcohol.
I would never recommend using straight rubbing alcohol to cleanse your skin. It might seem like it’s working at first just like my using toothpaste, but after some time, it will only make your skin much worse than it was before.
It irritates the skin, dries it out causing it to produce more oil.
In skin care products, the bad alcohols are there to break down the skin’s barrier so that the good stuff like vitamins and retinol-A can get it. This breaking down of the skin’s protective barrier of course is not good, leaving not only the good but the bad to get in as well. This makes your skin much worse in the long run.
If you have tried this, I would say stop and start working on your skin’s repair by treating it much more gently with products like this cleansing oil.
7. Use acne treatments when I have acne.
This might sound crazy but trust me when I say: practically all products that are marketed to get rid of acne don’t get rid of acne. Don’t use them. Now that may be quite a wild statement but I’m pretty sure that many people who have suffered with acne for years and years and tried everything out there will agree.
Our skin absorbs these chemicals, hormones, parabens, petroleum that are often packed in these acne treatment products. They don’t do any good for our health and only create problems internally for our body that shows on our skin.
This is really valuable information right here:
When you have acne, you should be as natural with your skin as possible.
I believe there are great skin care products out there that are awesome for people who do not have acne-prone skin (I know, I use them and so do many other people) but may have other problems they want to overcome like dry, oily skin, ageing, etc.
When you have acne, you should strip back as much as possible in what you apply to your face. Stay away from acne-products, medication, and all the lot, then your skin wouldn’t have to fight back so much and would calm down.
So there’s my 7 skin regrets or more like 7 things never to do to your skin, because I find it’s good to learn from other people’s mistakes.
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Did you agree with any of these?
What are some of your biggest skin care regrets?
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