The 6 Most Common Skincare Mistakes Holding You Back From An Effective Routine

Perfecting your skincare routine is hard work. The end goal is youthful skin that looks soft, plump, and gorgeous; to get there, we apply and repeat. But sometimes, the label promises seem thousands of miles away, and saying goodbye to your wrinkles and fine lines feels impossible. It's easy to get disheartened and give up on your skincare goals altogether when this happens. But what if we told you that it's not always the products, it's you?


You might have all the right products, but with the wrong technique, you're not getting anywhere. But it's okay, to err is human, and to look divine, all you have to do is follow the right skincare routine. So, here are six common skincare mistakes we all make and how you can correct them to achieve the perfect skincare routine.

The wrong products in the wrong quantities in the wrong order using the wrong methods of application could be aging your skin and holding you back from perfect skin. So, if you're unsure of what you're doing when it comes to your skincare, we're here to help you out.

Incorrect product application order

The order in which you apply your products makes all the difference when it comes to your skin. It's a precise system, and applying them on a whim takes away their efficacy. So, if you're starting with your sunscreen or you're applying your serums without cleansing your face, it's time you adopt the correct order.


The first step of your skincare routine should include a cleanser and an exfoliator. A gentle cleanser removes dirt, oil, and makeup. You can use a gentle cleanser as a pre-cleanser and finish off the cleansing process with a deep cleansing formula. After cleansing, add exfoliation to the sequence. Exfoliating will get rid of dead skin cells, allowing the other products to absorb onto your skin easily.

After exfoliating, you can apply your optional mask, an add-on to some skincare routines. Then comes the toner, which helps even out your skin's porosity. Serums with active ingredients come next and should be layered on before your facial creams. Thinner serums with more active ingredients should primarily be absorbed into the skin. If your routine includes an eye cream, apply it after your serums but before your moisturizer since the eye area consists of thin, delicate skin. Finally, apply your moisturizer, and, last but not least, lather on your sunscreen for effective results.


Too much exfoliation

Too much of anything is never a good thing, and that includes exfoliation. If you've made exfoliation an everyday habit, it's probably what's keeping you from having the skin of your dreams. We know that getting rid of the dead skin cells and other dirt you collect on your face seems like something you should do every day, but doing so can lead to skin irritations.


All the skin cells on your face require show time; if you scrub them dead as soon as they arrive on the scene, you'll be left with reddened skin that's sensitive to irritations. You'll also damage your skin barrier, making your skin sensitive to harmful environmental stressors. Furthermore, you'll deprive your skin of its natural oils, leaving you with dry, patchy, flaky skin. And, with over-exfoliation, you won't have a layer of baby cells ready to replace the old ones. So, by over-exfoliating, you're doing more harm than good. Therefore, it's recommended to exfoliate only once or twice a week with a gentle exfoliator.

Avoiding sunscreen

Hell or high water, whether sunshine or rain, you should never forget your sunscreen. Some of us make the mistake of forgoing sunscreen whenever it's cloudy or when we plan to stay indoors. But here's why it's important to wear your sunscreen at all times: Sun damage creates a lot of skin problems that include premature aging, fine lines, dark spots, and wrinkles. Sunscreen is a preventive measure to avoid all of these, so it balances out the work that's left for your anti-aging creams and moisturizers to do. Plus, sun damage can set your skincare progress back; therefore, skipping sunscreen really is a dealbreaker, so, for these reasons, you should make sure to apply it every day.


Even if you plan to stay indoors, lather on your sunscreen, as UV radiation can seep through windows. When choosing the best sunscreen for your skin, go for SPF 30 or higher, broad-spectrum, water-resistant ones. Make sure to cover your neck and the back of your hands, and do your best to apply it all over your body every 2-3 hours.

Skipping some days

Inconsistency with your skincare routine will hold you back. If you're not committed to your skincare regime or your products, you won't see your desired results anytime soon.

Giving up on your products after a couple of days and running off to buy new ones is bound to become a never-ending cycle. It could take up to a minimum of 4-8 weeks of proper application for your products to show noticeable changes. So, be patient with your products, and give them a chance to work their magic. Consistency plays a huge role in skincare, and not prioritizing our skincare routines is a common mistake many of us make.


Consistency doesn't mean going overboard. Buying the entire skincare section is not what we mean. In fact, getting carried away and buying thousands of products can affect your skin negatively by damaging its barrier. So, make sure you stick to a simple routine that targets your specific skin issues.

Sleeping incorrectly

That's right — the way you sleep and your sleep environment can affect the efficacy of your skincare routine. Going to bed while still wearing your makeup, using dirty pillowcases, sleeping on your side, and sleeping in a room set to the wrong temperature can all drive away the positives of your skincare routine.


Not removing your makeup before bed is the No. 1 amateur move. We've been told before how it blocks our pores, creates havoc on our acne, and prevents our skin from entering into its evening repair cycle. So, avoid doing it at all costs. Then comes the case of dirty pillowcases: If you're prone to sleeping on your side, having clean pillowcases is a must. Hours of contact between your face and a dirty surface are bound to give you ongoing breakouts. And, if you want to go the extra mile, replace your cotton pillowcases with anti-acne pillowcases or silk pillowcases. Silk won't create as much friction as your cotton pillowcase and will protect your skin throughout the night.

Another habit to adopt if you sleep on your side is to do your skincare routine 20-30 minutes before you actually go to bed. This will give your skin plenty of time to absorb the products. And, because the temperature of your bedroom can affect your skin's well-being, be mindful to adjust it according to the weather; during the winter, use a humidifier to avoid dry skin.


Dirty phones and brushes

The phones we have with us at all times are pure germ magnets. The dirt from our palms, fingertips, pockets, and every other surface we keep our phones on adheres to that little screen, and from that screen, it's transferred to our faces which causes breakouts and irritations. Making sure the back of your phone, along with your screen, is clean is an easy preventive step that goes a long way when it comes to skincare. Carry a pack of alcohol swabs and clean your phone screen whenever possible throughout the day.


Last but not least, make sure your makeup brushes are clean. They come into direct contact with your face, so cleaning them is a must. Using dirty brushes with oil and makeup buildup will yet again set you back. Clean your brushes with hot water using a gentle cleanser regularly.

Everyone is guilty of at least a few of these mistakes, but it's never too late to change your skincare game by correcting yourself.