Time for a different kind of beauty post! I’m sharing 6 embarrassing skincare mistakes I made in my 20s. I’ve finally found a day/night routine and products that suit my skin type, lifestyle and budget, but it’s been a long (and pricey) journey. I try not to look back on this decade of cringe. Hopefully, though, revealing these mistakes will help you identify the best ways to take care of your skin!
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6 Embarrassing Skincare Mistakes I Made in My 20s
6. Partying Until the First Train
Oh, to be in my 20s again! Where I could work an 8 hour shift at Shibuya 109, go clubbing (and get drinks FOR FREE) all night long ‘til the first train, head home to shower and sleep, only to be back in Shibuya in time for my 12:30 shift.
There’s nothing wrong with having fun now and then, but that kind of lifestyle isn’t just hard on the body, it’s hard on the skin, too.
For starters, alcohol is one of the leading causes of aging skin— it’s right up there with sun damage! Our bodies process alcohol much differently than it processes water, leaving us dehydrated, with dry skin that’s prone to breakouts. Let’s not forget bloating, puffy eyes, and redness, which are also related to the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
Another way alcohol affects the skin is by releasing free radicals as it metabolizes. Free radicals chip away at collagen, the support structure underneath the skin, resulting in fine lines, and loss in skin elasticity.
By the way, I have a three part series on aging skin and “anti-aging” skincare products. Check out the first installment here: Starting An Anti-Aging Skincare Routine With DHC Super Collagen Supreme Sheet Mask
5. Relying on Makeup to Cover My Skincare Woes
This entry is directly related to my crazy days and hard nights in Shibuya. Let me just start by saying that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wearing makeup, whether it’s a glamorous contoured look or a soft natural style.
In my case, working at Shibuya 109, I had to always be “on,” from my head to my toes, literally. There was no room for any fashion faux pas in a fast-paced environment where there was hardly any time to take lunch breaks on the weekends and holidays.
I always need to have by “best” face on (literally!) and it was absolutely imperative that I fake flawless skin by covering up dark circles and blemishes. However, by solely relying on makeup to cover up my skincare woes, I wasn’t giving myself an opportunity to learn about my skin and how to address my skincare concerns.
These days, especially in the time of COVID-19, I’m all about wearing less makeup* and letting my skin shine!
(*For me, “makeup” means foundation and setting powder. I regularly use eyeshadow, mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, and of course, sunscreen!)
Plus, now that I’ve been exposed to the wonderfully soothing K-beauty ingredient, cica, I know just what to do when I’m faced with maskne and hormonal breakouts! Find out more about VT Cosmetics and Dr. Jart, and other K-beauty finds with my post 5 K-Beauty Brands I Tried in 2020.
4. Avoiding Oil-Based Products
It seems counterproductive to use oil-based products on oily skin. I actively avoided oil cleansers, oil serums and night creams. But, the truth is, all skin types need hydration and moisture. In fact, our skin can overproduce oil to compensate for dryness.
Now, there are certain ingredients that those of us with oily skin should avoid, like ingredients that clog the pores, like mineral oil, petroleum, paraffin, and lanolin, to name a few. Likewise, alcohol-based toners really get rid of that icky oily feeling. But, they dry out the skin, prompting it to produce oil to compensate for what was lost.
For a super simple k-beauty routine for oily skin, check out my post:Winter Skincare Routine For Oily Skin With Keep Cool
3. Thinking That “Natural” Products are Superior to “Chemical” Products
This is a common beauty misconception, and I’m just sharing my own perspective.
With that said, literally everything in existence on this Earth is a chemical. If it’s made up of the elements on the periodic table, it’s a chemical compound. End of story.
Likewise, what is “natural”?
Lead? Also natural…and deadly. Mind you, both arsenic and lead-based whitening cosmetics were cult products for centuries! This just shows you that just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
Let’s just make one thing clear: Synthetic ingredients as well as “natural” ingredients can cause skin allergies and reactions. Always do your research and remember to do what’s right for your skin and your lifestyle.
One final thing I’d like to add is that my daughter has extreme atopic dermatitis. Like, a medical textbook worthy case. Thankfully it’s all under control, thanks to multiple monthly visits to the pediatrician and serious rounds of oral and topical steroids. Natural, organic, holistic products did absolutely nothing for my child.
So, please keep that in mind as you contemplate the addition of new skincare products to your shelf. You might have to go to a dermatologist to find clinical strength “non-natural” “chemical laden” products to treat your skin condition and get the results you desire.
2. Sleeping While Wearing a Sheet Mask
I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Y’all, Love Yourself. Please don’t do this. All of these mistakes are heinous. But, as someone who swears by sheet masks and gets a lot of traffic through my Lululun Precious Sheet Masks review, I am truly embarrassed to admit that I used to sleep while wearing a face mask.
It wasn’t that I fell asleep accidentally wearing a mask. No…I legitimately thought I was doing something good for my skin by leaving the masks on all night long!
Face masks, sheet masks, whatever you want to call them, should be left on your face for a maximum of 10-15, or as directed on the package. Leaving it on longer than intended leaves the sheet mask exposed, and it will dry out. And leaving this absorbent cloth on your moisturized face means that the cloth will reabsorb all that essence, and dry out your skin!
If you want to give your skin some much needed overnight moisture, please use a night mask. Lululun Precious Cream is my go to product!
1. Relying Solely on Makeup Remover Wipes
I saved the best for last! This is the skincare mistake that inspired this blog post!
As I mentioned in embarrassing skincare mistake #4, I actively avoided oil-based products, including cleansing oils.
During my Shibuya life, I would use makeup remover wipes to get rid of mascara, eye liner, and eyeshadow, then use a creamy face wash to remove foundation. Of course, that wasn’t enough, so I had to follow up with makeup remover wipes. How time consuming, not to mention wasteful!
It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to write about a few MUJI skincare products and learn about cleansing oils and how to incorporate them into my skincare routine
Let me tell you: Double cleaning is real and it will save your skin!
If you’re new to double cleansing you’re probably wondering if it’s really necessary to wash your face twice.
Basically, double cleansing involves two rounds of cleansing.
First, you use an oil or gel cleanser to remove makeup, sunscreen, along with dirt and pollutants that build up on your face over the course of a day. Then, you follow up with a facial wash to remove dead skin cells and other impurities.
Even on days that I don’t wear makeup, I still wear sunscreen, so I pretty much double cleanse every day. After double cleansing, I follow up with Meishoku Detclear Facial Peeling Jelly twice a week as a gentle exfoliant.
Do you have any embarrassing beauty mistakes that you’d like to share? Drop me a line — I’d love to feature them (anonymously) in an upcoming post!