1. Not applying sunscreen properly.
By now you know to apply sunscreen every morning, winter and summer, rain or shine. But are you really applying enough to get that SPF number written on the label? Most people just skim coat their faces and think they are being protected. Really, it’s more about how much you apply than the SPF number written on the bottle. Try applying a peanut size amount to your face (more for your neck and décolleté) on a clean skin. Work it into your skin. Get dressed. Then, come back and apply a second coat. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours when in a sun situation.
2. Not using a toner.
Using a non-alcoholic toner is vital every time water touches your face. Tap water contains sodium, chlorine, fluoride and bacteria, which will dry out and dull your complexion. This leaves a film that blocks the pores, preventing those precious anti-aging ingredients in your serums and treatment products from penetrating deep into the skin where they are needed to do their magic.
3. Forgetting about your hands.
Nothing so obviously shows your age more than your hands. Though we fastidiously care for our faces, hands often get overlooked. For beautiful hands, make sure to use 30 SPF daily, exfoliate regularly, use an AHA serum weekly and an emollient hand cream at before you go to bed at night.
4. Going to bed wearing makeup.
I know you’re tired, but when you skip that nightly routine you don’t just clog the pores, you’re loosing a valuable opportunity to repair and rejuvenate your skin. At night (during REM sleep) is when skin goes into repair mode, undoing environmental damage and building collagen. This is when anti-aging actives, like retinol and peptides, do their best work.
5. Not exfoliating enough.
Your skin is dry. You keep trying new moisturizers. You buy richer and richer formulas, but you can’t find one that works. Time to switch your focus to exfoliation. Since you can’t revive those dead dry cells, get rid of them. Try alternating an exfoliating scrub with Retinol or an AHA Serum. Then watch how easily your moisturizer penetrates, softens, hydrates and smooths your skin.
6. Exfoliating too much.
Are you guilty of doing too much of a good thing? Exfoliation is important. It stimulates new cells to make skin look younger and smoother. But, if you’re choosing aggressive exfoliants like synthetic electric brushes, jagged exfoliating particles or AHA’s with a super low pH, you may be causing inflammation. Inflammation is a huge factor in accelerating the aging process of the skin.
7. Getting addicted to the sweet stuff.
Aside from adding excess pounds, sweets can add years to your face. Sugar molecules attach to collagen fibers in the skin. This damaging process, known as glycation, creates inflexible collagen fibers which tug on the skin, leading to a loss of tone and an increased number of fine lines and wrinkles. Try protein based snacks like walnuts or almonds instead. To satisfy your sweet tooth eat low glycemic fresh fruits, especially berries which are packed with anti-aging antioxidants.
8. You don’t use eye cream.
Even a no-fuss skincare routine needs an eye cream to keep wrinkles at bay. The skin around the eyes is thinner and shows age faster. A peptide based eye cream will moisturize, diminish circles and reduce puffiness. Try gently patting on the bone around your eye with your ring finger, moving out above the eye and in under the eye. This will help reduce puffiness.
9. You sleep with your face in the pillow.
Sleeping on your stomach or on your side with your face smashed into the pillow creates wrinkles as the pillow irons them into your skin. These eventually become permanent. If that’s not bad enough, sleeping on your stomach or your side can cause a build up of lymph that contributes to eye puffiness. The ideal position to reduce wrinkle formation is on your back with your head slightly elevated.
10. You cut out all fat from your diet.
Fat is necessary for maintaining youthful skin. Healthy omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish (think salmon and mackerel) and certain nuts (walnuts, almonds and flax seeds) keep skin supple and plump, thereby preventing wrinkles. They also help reduce aging free radicals caused by inflammation. Try to include fish in your meals at least twice a week. Supplement with an emollient facial oil that also contains collagen building retinol.