3 Skincare Mistakes Women Make and How to Avoid Them

What if the products you’re using on your skin – the mass produced commercial cleansers and moisturisers – were actually making your skin issues worse?

What if those products were drying out your skin and contributing to redness, irritation, acne and speeding up visible signs of aging?

It boggles the mind doesn’t it?
Here’s another one for you…

 

52% of women identify with having sensitive skin
~ Surveys in EU, UK & USA 

 

That’s a lot of us!

I have super sensitive skin myself and a 15 year history of eczema and adult acne.
Over the years, I’ve tried just about everything to calm my sensitive skin or clear acne breakouts …and I have a graveyard of barely used products in the bottom of my bathroom cupboard to show for it!

What I couldn’t fix, I would try and hide with make-up and headbands across the top of my forehead. Neither of which actually helped my skin to heal!

Even natural products can cause skin reactions for me.
Coconut oil, essential oils and beautiful cold pressed oils, like rosehip oil …they all leave my skin red and rashy.

So I know how painful, embarrassing and frustrating it can be finding skincare products that help to calm red, dry, itchy skin …so you can stop feeling self conscious and embarrassed about your skin.

For you, it could be acne along your jawline or clustered around your mouth and chin.
Perhaps you have eczema across your face or flaky dermatitis on your hands or through your hair.
Maybe you’re concerned about premature aging, fine lines, or crow’s feet around your eyes.
Or maybe you feel like your skin is as dry as the Great Australian desert… soaking up all moisture and demanding more, no matter how much moisturiser you use!

Even more commonly, your skin might be so sensitive that it turns red and irritated if you so much as think about trying a new skincare product.

Sometimes it seems like no matter what you do, your skin has a mind of its own. It can be a real struggle to find the secret to what might be causing your skin to breakout or flare up.

From my own experience
and from connecting with our Ecology Skincare customers,
I’ve seen the mistakes people most commonly make that can cause these skin issues or make them worse… and I’m going to share with you what you can do to avoid them

 

MISTAKE #1: Overdoing your Skincare Regime

When we over cleanse, over exfoliate and over pamper our skin, we can strip away our skin’s protective oils. As well as the lipids that sit in between the skin cells in the top layer of our skin. These oils, lipids and skin cells function as our skin’s protective barrier between us and the outside world.

Stripping away the protective oils and lipids creates a situation where moisture can escape from our skin and bacteria, irritants and allergens can penetrate our skin.
When this happens it can stimulate an inflammatory response from our immune system.

Skin then becomes sensitised and often looks and feels dry, red, flaky, and itchy.

This also leaves your skin more open to the processes that can speed up the visible signs of aging and can lead to the kind of “leaky skin” we observe with eczema and dermatitis.

“Stop stressing your skin out and overwhelming it by cleansing too often and using skincare products that can strip your skin of it’s natural oils”

SOLUTION #1: Simplify Your Skincare Regime

Very simply put: When we use less products with less ingredients, there is less potential for skin irritation and we are less likely to strip protective oils and lipids from our skin, so…

STOP

❌ Cleansing more than twice a day

❌ Using harsh products like anti-acne wipes and spot treatments or foaming cleansers

❌ Washing or cleansing with water that’s too hot

❌ Taking long, hot baths or showers

❌ Over exfoliating

❌ Caking on the make-up

 

START

✅ Only washing once or twice a day with lukewarm water

✅ Having shorter, warm (not hot) baths and showers

✅ Using gentle cleansers or Konjac Sponges to cleanse

✅ Gently patting skin dry after cleansing. Don’t rub or over-dry your skin

✅ Using a moisturizer straight after cleansing or after a bath or shower

✅ Using moisturising products that contain natural fats and oils which replenish and mimic skin’s own naturally produced oils, like our Ecology moisturisers

✅ Working out your bare minimum. Trial taking a break from various skincare products to give you skin a chance to rebalance

 

Ecology Konjac Facial Sponge
Ecology Konjac Facial Sponge

FIND OUT MORE

Ecology Moisturising Creams

FIND OUT MORE

 

MISTAKE #2: Using Chemical-laden Skincare Products

There are many artificial and synthetic chemicals in skincare products that we wouldn’t ever think about eating.

Yet, we wash, spray and rub these products onto the largest organ of our bodies every day – our skin.

 

“The average woman uses 12 products, containing 168 different ingredients daily” ~ The Environmental Working Group (EWG)

 

That’s a lot right!?!
And we don’t really know what the long term or cumulative effects of all this chemical exposure really is.
But we do know that the chemicals identified in David Suzuki’s ‘Dirty Dozen’ commonly contribute to skin irritation, redness and sensitisation.

Even more so if you already have sensitive skin or skin issues, this leaves you open to the potential that these chemicals will penetrate even deeper into your skin.

“Stop stressing your skin out by overwhelming it with the battery of processed and artificial chemicals in mass produced skincare products!”

Solution #2: Reduce Your Chemical Exposure

Start by scrutinising your current personal care products. Look at the list of ingredients on the products you have. The main ingredients to look out for are those listed below:

STOP

❌ Using skincare products that contain fragrances or parfum

❌ Using skincare products that contain harsh detergents like sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate

❌ Using skincare products that contain preservatives like parabens and the formaldehyde-releasing preservatives – quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, Diaziolidinyl urea (germall), Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate (suttocide)

❌ Using anti-aging skincare products that contain potentially irritating active ingredients

 

START

✅ Looking at skincare ingredients and the companies that produce your skincare products – start with the David Suzuki Dirty Dozen ingredients list

✅ Checking the labels and ingredients on your daily skincare products the way you would with food – go for products with a shorter ingredient list containing ingredients you mostly recognize

✅ Thinking about your acceptable level of chemical exposure and how quickly you want to “go natural”

✅ Do a bathroom blitz using the free Ecology Bathroom Detox Checklist

✅ Choosing simple, natural skincare products that work with your skin’s natural functionality. Check out our Ecology Skincare online shop for good cleansing and moisturising options.

MISTAKE #3: Obsessing About Your Skin

When your skin is red and irritated with breakouts or flare-ups or when it’s super dry and flakey – you tend to spend more time in front of the mirror, picking, cleansing, judging, assessing and generally obsessing about your skin.

All of this added attention does not help your skin one little bit.
If anything the added stress compounds problem skin and makes it worse.

The irony is that a lot of these little habits are caused or made worse by stress and anxiety.
It becomes a vicious cycle. The more stressed we are, the worse our skin becomes, which stresses us out even more!

“Stop stressing about your skin – this will only make it worse!”

Solution #3: Become More Mindful

If you follow the suggestions above you’ll naturally be simplifying your skincare regime, letting some things go and spending less time in front of the mirror worrying about your skin.
Here are some other things to consider…

STOP

❌ Rubbing and scratching itchy skin

❌ Looking at yourself critically in the mirror

❌ Getting stuck in your head and worrying about your skin and what other people think of your appearance

 

START

✅ Noticing when you’re rubbing or scratching

✅ Stop and tune into your thoughts, feelings and sensations in your body at these times

✅ Naming any thoughts, feelings or sensations you notice when you have the urge to scratch or touch your skin

✅ Taking mindful pauses, 5-10 deep breaths or a 3-minute breathing space when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Check out the helpful audios in the Self Care section of the Ecology Skincare online shop

✅ Asking yourself what you need right now. What can you give yourself instead of rubbing or scratching your skin?

TAKE HOME MESSAGE

“When we focus too much on our skin and try too hard to fix our problem skin, we can actually make our skin issues worse”

Simplifying your skincare regime by using less skincare products, exposing yourself to less chemicals and doing it all less often will really help reduce irritation to your skin.

The good news is that your skin totally renews itself every 28-35 days (it ranges because this renewal process does slow down a little as we age).

So if you have sensitive skin, you’re likely to see the results of any changes you make to your skincare routine quite quickly.

To find out if you’re making these 3 skincare mistakes,
take the handy QUIZ below and download your FREE cheatsheet with all the info from this blog post and a bonus first chapter of our ebook “Natural Skincare Secrets for Women with Sensitive Skin”



Wishing you silky smooth skin,

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