You know the drill: Wash off your makeup and apply moisturizer daily. But despite those healthy habits, you're probably making some pretty common mistakes that might do more harm than good.
1. Tugging at your eyes while applying liner.
We know you want the perfect cat eye, but that doesn't mean you should bang up the delicate skin around your eyes to get it. Aggressive pulling can lead to puffiness, broken blood vessels, and wrinkles. "Use an eyeliner that glides rather than tugs," recommends Dr. Julia Tzu of Wall Street Dermatology in New York City.
2. Thinking a perfect combo of anti-aging products exists.
Many skin care fanatics use a makeup remover, face wash, toner, serum, moisturizer, face oil, eye cream, eye gel, sunscreen, and wrinkle filler — each and every day, all in pursuit of perfect skin. Sadly, it doesn't quite work like that.
"The biggest skin care mistake is not realizing that less is more," explains Dr. Mona Gohara, associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine. "They throw all these different products on themselves, which can irritate your skin and cause inflammation," potentially exacerbating the signs of aging. A better bet? Using tried-and-true products that actually work. Gohara recommends ones that features retinols, antioxidants, and SPF.
3. Skipping SPF in your car.
Just because you're inside of a vehicle doesn't mean you're protected: In the United States, left-sided skin cancers and wrinkling are more common because that's where the sun hits you as you're driving. Always wear sunscreen, especially if you're a frequent driver.
4. Assuming "organic" is inherently better.
Sure, organic can be better for your body when it comes to food, but that's not necessarily true for your skin. Don't assume something is going to reduce your wrinkles and the signs of aging simply because it says "organic" — otherwise, you could wind up ignoring inflammatory ingredients. "After all," Gohara says, "poison ivy is natural and organic, but it's obviously not good for your skin."
5. Aggressively removing your eye makeup.
Taking off your makeup at night is important, but you should do it gently. The last thing you want to do is rub, tug, or scrap the skin around your eyes to get that last little bit of mascara off. "You can cause broken blood vessels and puffiness," warns Gohara.
6. Sleeping on your stomach or side.
"Sleeping on your back is the best way to prevent sleep-induced wrinkles," explains Tzu. Love lying on your stomach? Gohara recommends using a satin pillowcase — they're less abrasive than the cotton kind.
7. Cleaning too thoroughly.
After a long day, you want to get all the dirt, grease, and grime out of your pores by any means necessary, but this is a mistake that could cost your skin its youthful suppleness and glow. "When people use harsh soap in order to get a squeaky clean feel, they strip their skin of its natural oils and accentuate fine lines," says Gohara. Stick to a gentle cleanser and don't scrub — your skin will thank you later.
8. Giving up on products too soon.
Have you ever tried a new product, but saw only minimal (if any) results after a few weeks and decided to toss it or give it away? Unfortunately, you could be shorting yourself of that product's benefits, says Dr. Janet Prystowsky, a New York City dermatologist.
"The thing is, those creams take months to make any difference," explains Prystowsky, "so unless a product is damaging your skin, it's better to use it up before buying a new one." A tip that benefits our skin and our wallets? Yes, please.
9. Relying on a single "miracle product" to stop the signs of aging.
Achieving great skin doesn't require one product or one simple trick — it's a lifestyle. From your eating and sleeping habits to your exercise regimen and sun exposure, there isn't one simple cream or serum that will fix all your skincare woes.
10. Sitting too close to the computer screen.
Constantly squinting your eyes andstraining to see the screen causes fine wrinkles around the eyes, explains Tzu, who recommends sitting about 1 1/2 to 2 feet — whichever is comfortable for your vision. Keep your neck straight to maintain good posture and decrease horizontal neck lines. Prystowsky also suggests taking a break two or three times an hour in order to readjust your posture and stretch. You could use a little rest every now and then throughout the day, anyway.
11. Skipping your annual eye exam.
If you don't feel like your prescription has changed all that much, you may feel tempted to not make an appointment with your eye doctor. However, furrow lines along your brow can occur if your vision is not properly corrected, so it's better to ensure that your prescription is absolutely up to date.
12. Smoking cigarettes.
By now, everyone knows that smoking is bad for your body and looks, yet an are currently cigarette smokers, leading to over 480,000 deaths each year. Skip the cigarettes — your body, skin, and loved ones will thank you lady.
13. Not wearing sunscreen.
Most people know how important SPF is to long-term skincare, but there are still those who skip sunscreen because they think a little tan here and there won't hurt. "The vast majority of aging signs come from unprotected skin exposure," says Gohara, "so by not wearing sunscreen, you're actually accelerating the process."