Why your skin is still breaking you out? Skincare mistakes and how to avoid them

Sunday 10 June 2018

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You use the best product, usually not the cheapest one and your skin still tries to misbehave? I'm sure that the first thing you did was searching for some reasons why but usually the problem is so tiny that we forgot to even notice it. Usually, the problem might be related to our skin or even shopping habits. That's why this time I want to share with you some shopping and skincare tips related to minimalizing the breakouts and tell you more about how to read INCI while shopping.

Know your skin

Do you know your skin type? Usually, you will respond to this question saying that your skin is sensitive, normal, dry, combo or oily. But life isn't that simple, lots of websites and experts are telling us that there are more skin types since nothing is binary - there can't be 0 or 1, skincare is not IT (although IT can make skincare easier). For example, Baumann Skin Types is a classification system with 16 different skin types and personally, I think this system is such a great idea because your skin can be Sensitive and Oily at the same time or maybe your skin is OPSW - oily, pigmented, sensitive, and wrinkled? So the first thing to know would be skin type. It's also good to remember about any skin sensitivity - if you have any allergy or skin disease, knowing your medical condition can be a key to success. 

Checking your skin with Wayskin

IT in technology can be really helpful, it might happen that your skin is Oily but it gets dry and that's when IT can be helpful. I use Wayskin BIA analyzer, I made a post about Wayskin in January if you want to know and I treat it as a skincare diary and my wearable tool which I keep on my desk. It's useful especially if you're not sure if your skincare is working or not, it gives you lots of useful tips and if you check your skin regularly you might find a way how to maintain your skin moisture.

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Does cleanser pH really matter?

If you follow me on Instagram then you might notice how often I've changed my cleanser lately. I usually check the pH on my own and then sometimes I'm disappointed because brands do not care about notifying the consumers about product pH, obviously, it's not that easy since depends on water in your area pH might be slightly different but usually, you can see very similar values. Your skin is slightly acidic, the pH of the skin is around 4.5 to 5.5 and maintaining such values is important too us. It is also known that skin pH above 6-7 is the best condition for acne bacteria, it's like a pizza for acne. The pH of the cleansers can be really different, there are some products which I can recommend you like COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser, Heimish pH 5.5 All Clean Green Foam, La Roche-Posay Effaclar Gel. 

Show me your shopping habits and I'll tell everything about your skin

Out shopping habits are important too! How do you pick your skincare? Do you look at ingredients, packaging or do you buy the product because of the brand or popularity? Or maybe it was recommended by someone? The biggest mistake is to buy a product recommended by someone because if it worked for them it might work for you. Every skin type is different and learning about your skin is the best thing you can do. Instead of buying a random product do a research first! Check the ingredients - there are lots of websites such as CosDNA or Skincarisma which will tell you about possible acne reaction or skin sensitivity, you can also set an alarm to see the information about the possible allergic reaction when you check the product - at least Skincarisma gives you such option. Instead of feeling an urge to try a new product, check if the product is suitable for your skin or is it worth it. 

How to add a new product to your routine?

Skin cycle takes around 28 days - just like period, usually the first results after a use of a product you'll spot after 28 days and normally I would say - add new product every 28 days but sometimes it's impossible - for example, lately I've changed my cleanser 3 times since 2 cleansers I've used had too high pH and I had no pH test to check but I knew what's wrong so I added one new product which is a sleeping mask to my routine. So instead of that, I would say - don't try a product during period when the skin is usually freaking out, at this time just use acne treatments which you normally use or which you know that will work - I always use acne patches which in other parts of the month I do not really need. If you want to add more than one product in a month, it's still good to leave at least 7 days between adding two products to your routine. 

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The biggest routine mistakes you can make

There are some common mistakes which some of us still do. The first one is wrong skincare routine based on a product for different skin type and I'm not talking about anti-aging because anti-aging ingredients can be helpful since preventing is easier than treating. The second mistake is using one towel to clean your entire body or not changing your face towel after every use - I always say that face towel is necessary - just gently tap the rest of the water after skincare, it's additional moisture! The third mistake - sleeping with makeup one, like do you think this makeup is going to survive the whole week? I guess it's going to be even harder to remove. The fourth mistake - the wrong diet, I might actually make a post about acne diet since I've learned some interesting things lately about acne & diet but what's going on with this point? Lack of vitamin or eating lots of fast food might make acne even worse. I'm allergic to gluten and last time I eat Kit Kat I thought that my first reaction is going to end up in the toilet, I was wrong - it's my 2nd week with eczema on my legs, I regret nothing but if you look at my education I'm probably the worst dietitian ever. The fifth mistake - not knowing your health condition, sometimes skin problems are related to your medical condition like hormones or for example hypervitaminosis A - a side effect of using isotretinoin in a long period of time. Mistake number 6 - lack of sleep which I think I do not have to mention why. 

When should you throw the product out?

Do you like to keep the product for ages and do you check the expiry date? I know that some people think that expiry date means nothing but there's one thing which is more important to us such as... shelf life. Have you ever check the back of the product? I think you did, and there was a small graphic jar with some number and "m" in it but you didn't know what's going on? This small image with a number in it is a shelf life expiry date, even if product has an expiry date for example 20.04.2025, you might see that the number is 3M which means 3 months after opening -  you should use the whole product in such time, it would be the best to use it in such time and then throw it away but you can also hear people saying that if the scent and texture aren't changed then you can still use it. It's your choice but remember that if you see any change in the product - even if it's like a middle of the time when it expires after the opening then do not use it since product might expiry because of the light or storage condition. Especially with Vitamin C and fully natural cosmetics you can see this problem. 

Only natural or only chemical? How to choose a product wisely?

Some time ago I was all about natural extracts and to this day there are some chemical ingredients which I do not accept in products like BHT but I'm not going to freak out. Natural extracts are also a part of chemistry and usually, natural extracts are more likely to sensitize so the best thing would be a balanced - focus on active substances and choose formula without harsh chemicals or comedogenic substances. It's a very own thing, and you can decide what you prefer but I do not always believe in cosmetic databases since I've tried couple apps and some apps are telling that everything is harmful - including aloe and some websites are writing you that an ingredient is okay but then you can see a research that it might be a potential cancerogenic ingredient - I'm not going to tell you what website is that but you should be aware that sometimes apps focused on checking the ingredients are more about money than being true. And this is going to sound like a commercial but that's why I like to check Skincarisma because they are based not on one database but two, still, it's up to you what do you want to try and as I said I would focus more on removing from products ingredients such as Geraniol or some harsh chemicals like SLS. 

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Skincare stats for skincare nerds

Believe me or not but I've got a spreadsheet with over 10 pages related to skincare and ingredients - I might be too obsessed with it but in this way I can control my stash, my spendings and skin condition while testing products for you - you can find lots of stashes made by other beauty lovers on Reddit, it might be a huge inspiration for you. I like to put wishlist in spreadsheet too and control the prices, this way I got Huxley Oil Essence for $9 instead of $45. 

What ingredients do I avoid while shopping? What ingredients do I usually search for in products?

Every skin is different so while I do shopping I avoid ingredients such as soy oil because I know how my skin reacts to it but what's interesting I'm all about natto gum in cosmetics since it's fermented soy shouldn't be sensitizing even if you're allergic to soy (yes, there are some researchers that clearly says we can eat fermented soy but still I avoid it in food, in cosmetics it's ok). Three things which we for sure want to avoid is alcohol in a high place (sometimes alcohol in cosmetic can be good but we prefer to see it not so high but lower in the ingredients since the highest position are usually the biggest amounts of ingredients in a product), fragrance ingredients (geraniol, limonene, etc) and colourants. Rest depends on your skin condition - if you've got oily skin then you might want to remove coconut oil, palm oil, shea butter and ingredients such as Myristic Acid, Stearic Acid, Octinoxate, Palmitic Acid, Algae, Wheat Germ Glyceride, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Laureth-23, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Isostearyl Isostearate, Lauric Acid, Laureth-4, Oleth-3 and Isopropyl Myristate. With sensitive skin, we want to avoid irritating ingredients like Lavender Oil, Lemon Oil or any Lemon or Orange related ingredient, Citric Acid and in general we prefer delicate ingredients than natural oils since they might be sensitizing. Dry skin won't be a fan of drying formulas so we would look up to ingredients such as Coconut Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Glycerine, Dimethicone, Shea Butter, Butylene Glycol, Arbutin, Calendula, Panthenol, Allantoin and Algae. Sensitive skin will like Panthenol and Allantoin as well, Aloe or Chamomile ingredients might be helpful too. What's common for all skin types, you'll want to use Green Tea Extract, Oat - related ingredients, Squalane, Beta-Glucan or Madecassoside. Oily skin will also like Tea Tree, Witch Hazel and Licorice. There are some tips what to search or avoid in cosmetics but I'm going to say that again - every skin might have it's own preferences no matter what's your skin type is. 

Diet is important too!

No surprises - diet and out lifestyle can be a source of skin problems too. If you eat lots of processed foods and in general you are living on a junk food diet, you're under lots of pressure at work or school, you skip the meals or your meals has not enough vitamins and minerals - it all can be a source of skin problems. In one of the future posts, I'll cover this topic since lately I've been focusing on a healthy diet for the skin. Sometimes I got messages on Instagram asking how as a European person I've got a healthy glow on my skin - the answer is food and propolis ampoule. I eat lots of fish - a food full of omega fatty acids, especially omega-3 such as salmon, mackerel and herring, that's like a base of my diet since my stomach and blood type aren't fans of meat. You can also help your skin problem through diet and supplementation but as I said we'll focus on that soon. 

Lack of sleep

There are researchers that lack of sleep can make your skin look worse and if you're on diet I've got a bad news too - lack of sleep can be related to the problems with gaining weight. It is told that we all should sleep for 8 hours every day but it's really hard, my problem with this point is that I'm usually very sleepy during the day - I even work out with my eyes closed but when the night comes - my brain starts to work and changing my sleep habits isn't that easy - it's not a piece of cake. But if you're able to take your time and give your skin a break by taking an 8-hour long sleep.

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How often do you change the cushion or the towel?

I guess it's not every day or after every skin wash/sleep. But that's true - cushion, towel, your smartphone can be a source of skin problems too. It's hard to change these things every day so at least focus on changing the cushion, instead of a towel just simply pat the rest of the water after washing your skin to give it more hydration and use headphones or a speaker while having a conversation through your phone - just keep the screen away from your face.

Drinking lots of water won't help but it's still a good thing

Even if drinking water is a good thing - as long as you don't drink enormous amounts of water since it might lead to hyperhydration and that's not a good thing - just google it, what too much water consumed in short amount of time can do to you. Drinking lots of water won't make your skin moister but for sure drinking water is good for your body and health. 

Check your hormones, vitamins, allergies and more

Your skin condition is bad? Check hormones, vitamins, minerals, allergies or even go to other specialists like a gynaecologist, dermatologist, allergologist, endocrinologist or even dietitian or psychiatrist since skin problems can be related to serious health problems or it can take your confidence away from you which also might be dangerous. For me, finding out that I've got a coeliac disease and several food allergies helped me with my skin condition as well as with period in some small way. It's a small part of the skincare but it can help you not only take care of your skin but sometimes even figure out what's wrong with your body since skin problems can be connected to PCOS or Hashimoto's disease.

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I hope you found this post helpful and interesting. Tell me more about your shopping habits, do you check products before you buy them or you just get a product because you saw a new product in a shop?

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