We think we are doing what’s best for our skin, right? Wrong. It’s amazing how some of us are doing our skin more harm than good with our well-intended but much misguided actions.  Here is what we could be doing wrong.

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#1 Extracting ‘the head’ of the pimple

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I have heard this one before. A zit pops up that’s all hard and angry looking. You go in like a warrior, seeking vengeance by trying to squeeze, prod or strangle it to get it to expel its ‘head’. Some pimples are merely inflammation of the skin, not all have that fountain of pus at the end of the rainbow that you seek. It is best to leave all pimples alone to minimize prolonged inflammation as well as potential scarring.

DO: apply cold compress to the area to reduce inflammation. If some is at hand, get a topical pimple lotion that does not dry the skin out or irritate it further. We swear by Clear Bliss for its ultra-fast action yet gentle effects on acne skin. If you want fast relief, opt for LED Red to soothe redness and I-Clear to reduce bacterial count.

DO NOT: extract, or irritate your skin further by using harsh ingredients. Like a critical hostage situation, the last thing you want to do at this point is to ‘engage’ when you have no backup plan. Don’t scrub or apply harsh peels that will leave you with another problem—irritated or flaky skin.

Read More: Why You Have to Become Someone You Hate When It Comes to Your Pores.

#2 Over-cleansing our skin

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It may sound a little contrarian especially since we have all been warned never to leave makeup on overnight, but there is serious truth to this statement. While we may wish to clean off all the gunk, dirt and makeup that has accumulated over the course of a day, we shouldn’t hurt our skin in the process. The first step is to use a cleansing oil—and yes, cleansing oils can actually dissolve oil based products better and no, it doesn’t clog your skin. Follow up with a micellar water like Reset to cleanse without using harsh SLS. If you would like your skin to look youthful even as you hit 50, then continue along this SLS-free path by following up with a SLS-free cream cleanser such as Warm vanilla. Its formulated to dissolve all barriers that stand between you and clear skin, without stripping your skin of essential ceramides.

DO: Clean your skin without gentle upward strokes. It may not seem like much but you will be cleaning your face over a thousand times a year, a few hundred thousand times over the span of a lifetime. Suffice to say, this small change in the way you clean your skin could be the difference in whether you look young or like an old hag in 10 years times.

DO: Follow up with a toner or facial mist. This helps to restore the skin’s pH and natural barrier. Also when skin is lightly damp, studies have shown that moisturisers tend to penetrate better and is less irritating for the skin.

DO NOT: use home made scrubs using harsh granules such as salt or sugar. Unless you are a toilet floor, there is no reason why you should be treating your face like one. Rserve these large particled scrubs that have jagged edges for your elbows or the soles of your feet.

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#3 Allowing Yourself to be “Body-Shamed”

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In these days of the #metoo movement, it seems that everyone has a say about, well, almost everything. From how we should raise our kids to how we should be grooming our bikini hair, someone always has an opinion. Body shaming surprisingly can go both ways. In the past, it was more women being body shamed for not doing enough, not exercising enough. Nowadays, a disturbing new trend has developed where women who take the time to groom themselves are being body-shamed as being ‘too vain’ or ‘doing too much’.

DO: Remember that your body belongs to you and you alone, it’s your temple to love and to protect. If you choose to treat it with respect and pamper it with beauty treatments, then that’s your prerogative. We have heard of a case of a lady who was ridiculed by her boyfriend for getting laser hair removal on her legs, our answer? If he doesn’t want to be dating a gorilla, then he better start getting used to this.

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#4 Focusing only on your face

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When we talk about anti-aging, everyone presumes we are referring to the face. Our body skin also ages over time, and having less oil glands, it may actually age at a faster rate than your face. It makes not sense that all the expensive serums and all the facials stop at the jawline especially since we don’t intend to live in a turtle-neck for the rest of our lives.

DO: Get skincare specially formulated for the neck area such as Gold retinol neck oil. Being an area with drier and thinner skin, the neck requires skincare that is richer and more anti-aging.

DO NOT: rub on essential oils onto the neck without first protecting it with moisturisers and sunscreen. Some essential oils (and other fragrances) may leave your skin photosensitive and result in pigmentation of these areas.

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