Seven Skincare Do’s to Correct Common Don’ts

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Everyone knows the basic skincare don’ts (never go to bed with a faceful of makeup, never leave the house without sunscreen, etc) – and yet everyone is guilty at times of breaking those skincare commandments.

It could be due to a time crunch in the morning or exhaustion in the evening, but skin doesn’t care. When it is ignored or treated incorrectly, skin has a way of showing its displeasure. To help turn the tide, here are a few common skincare don’ts and some tips to turning them into a do.

Don’t: Go to Bed with an Unwashed Face

Do: Have a plan – They say a good offense is the best defense and here’s one trick to be on the face washing offensive. Start your bedtime rituals a few hours earlier than your bedtime. Before you sit down for some primetime tv watching or late night computer time, wash your face and put on your comfy pajamas. When bedtime rolls around, you can crawl into bed with a clean face. This simple flip-flop of nightly rituals can have a very rewarding pay off!

White towels

Do: Have a back up plan
Sometimes even the best laid plans fail. For those nights that a thorough face wash is just not happening, keep a supply of face towelettes next to the bed. These little moist towels do a great job of removing makeup, dirt and impurities and are available in formulas for every skin type.

Don’t: Over Wash or Over Product Skin

Cotton balls with glass full of liquid

Do: Go easy in the morning – While one should always wash up before they hit the hay, most people do not need to rewash in the morning. You’re just sleeping, how dirty can you get? And in fact, overwashing skin can cause dry, red, tight and/or flaky skin that fights the glowing complexion promised by the soap.

Instead, just rinse your face with warm water in the morning. If you feel you could use a bit of cleansing, swipe a cotton ball of toner across the T-zone. Stef picked this tip up from an LA dermatologist and swears her oily skin has never been happier!

Do: Use products sparingly Modern skin care is potent, so use sparingly. Here’s a case where more is not merrier and too much can cause irritation. Spot treat problem areas instead of slathering product all over. Limit exfoliation, peels and the like to once or twice a week.

Don’t: Skip the Daily SPF

Moisturizer swatch

Do: Multi-task – Almost every type of make up on the market now has a version with SPF, so stock up on these multi-taskers. From tinted moisturizers to face powders down to lipstick and gloss – there’s no reason to skip this wrinkle reducing and skin cancer fighting step.

Do: Make it easy – Keep your SPF moisturizer out in the open and in a place you will notice in the morning. Make it part of your daily routine. For instance, for those that take a morning shower, keep your SPF in the bathroom and use it after you apply deodorant. Let it sink in while you dry your hair. Tadah – your face is ready for a touch of makeup and you’re out the door ready to face the sun.

Don’t: Ignore the Skin Below the Chin

Sunscreen swatch

Do: Use that SPF on all exposed skin – It’s easy to slap some SPF on your face and go, but don’t neglect the rest of your body. The hands, chest, arms and neck are often the first areas to show signs of aging. Slow the cycle of time by making sure any and all exposed skin from head to toe is moisturized and SPF protected.

we heartsters – what are your most important skin care do’s and don’ts?


  • tyna

    Tyna is a former editor of we heart this that worries about becoming a crazy cat lady, reads at least a book a week, checks in at a Flyers fan forum every morning and is forever organizing her closets and drawers. skin tone: NW 20/25 skin type: combination favorite beauty product: eye shadows and lip balms

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  1. Great tips Tyna! I agree with everything. My latest “don’t” is”: over moisturize my skin, including under my eyes. I have combination skin and although in the cold months my cheeks get dry, I thought I should re-apply creams. Like you said, it’s another example of too much of a good thing. My sister, who is a nurse & esthetician, told me that my skin is dehydrated, so it needs water, not oils. Lesson learned. And a major “Do” is sunscreen. But I confess I don’t wear it on my hands and arms in the summer. I should. Thanks for the post!

    1. Glad these tips are helpful @AndreaC! And thanks for some more great tips – I used to be guilty of overdoing eye and face creams. And then wondered why my eyes would get all itchy and watery later in the day. When I toned down on the creams – the eye issues went away.

      And your sister is a smart cookie – increasing your water consumption can definitely improve your skins moisture levels – just another reason to drink water over sodas (as I reach for another Diet Coke – heh – but I make myself drink a glass or two of water before every can)

  2. Great tips indeed, @tyna!
    I am so guilty of not washing before bed.
    At least I swim a lot in the evening so I feel my face is usually pretty clean. Even still there are days when I’m bad!
    Thanks for the important skincare advise! I know that I should do myself a huge favor and really make the effort to do so!
    I have dry skin too. Thankfully, I drink over a gallon of herbal tea and water everyday and that helps me too..

  3. Excellent types @tyna!

    I have another tip, but it’s a “Don’t” but “Don’t get stuck on the same products” — Sometimes, us girls, our skin chemistry changes as we age, get pregnant, get to menopause, etc. Sometimes you have to give up your favorite product to find something that will work better!

    1. I so agree @kate2004rock ! I am a firm believer in switching things up. Skincare is like exercise–the same thing is not going to work for all seasons, year after year. Change is good!

    2. Another great tip @kate2004rock – I reached for oily/acne formulas for years – I needed them in my early 20’s and just never stopped buying them, even though my skin was no longer oily. It’s always good to take a hard look at your skin and its behavior every couple of months to make sure you are using the right products.

    3. You are SO right. I find that my skin is constantly changing. Some things work and then stop, then I try new things and they work better, then not at all. I keep track of products that give really great results and am constantly rotating. My skin changes by the season and weather and age and time of month. It’s exhausting :P lol

  4. Great tips, Tyna! I love the simplest idea of just washing that face a couple/few hours earlier…I’m going to try it, since I’ve been too exhausted lately to do it right before falling into bed.

    1. Hope it helps you @melinda! It has made such a difference for me. I am guilty of watching my shows on the sofa at night and falling asleep during the middle of them. When I wake up, it’s just impossible for me to go and wash my face and I crawl directly into bed. Washing my face and putting on my pj’s before I sit down in front of the tv just made sense. I have to say, it was one of my better ideas – cheers for being lazy!

  5. Good tips! And Costco sells two different kinds of makeup wipes in bulk, including one of my favorites–Neutrogena’s makeup cleansing wipes. So when they’re inexpensive and you only have to stock up every few months, it’s easier to keep your skin clean :)

  6. Great tips! @Tyna! I need be better at not touching my face…my magnifying mirror and I have been known to wreak havoc!

  7. Great tips Tyna! I’m so glad to hear to just rinse in the morning, because that’s what I do, but thought I might be just lazy! (I have to try that toner tip too). I also will try washing early because I am so guilty of being too tired and just crashing into bed. Plus, I end up wiping half of all the wonderful products I use off on my pillow, when I do manage to wash at night!

  8. Thank you for the tips! The exact summary I needed! Thank you.

  9. I read recently that the time it actually should take to properly wash your face is a full minute. I mean really?! A full minute?! That’s twice as long as you’re supposed to wash your hands! I tried, I really did, but I couldn’t make myself last the full time.
    Good tip about not washing in the AM- I never feel quite clean enough unless I wash my face in the morning, but it can get drying. I’ll try the toner trick!

    1. @mandaleem You’re actually supposed to wash your hands for a minute too (the length of singing the alphabet or “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” twice.) If you think about it, it isn’t that long because you brush your teeth for two minutes which is the alphabet song (or Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) four times!

      Washing your face should be a pleasure, so if you like it short, keep it short! I like to gently massage my face, especially the area around my nose and temples (where I hold tension from the day), so I tend to go over a minute! I’m very, very gentle so I make sure to go a little longer to make sure I remove everything!

  10. Great tips, @Tyna !

    Here’s a big one though!

    Don’t: Forget about Sunscreen!
    Do: Keep sunscreen at hand throughout the day.
    Sunscreen does eventually fade and lose its power, so it’s absolutely important to reapply your sunscreen throughout the day, whether you’re inside our outside. Keeping a bottle of your favorite sunscreen near you and keeping a ritual of applying it every two to four hours will help you keep the skin cancer at bay, especially if you have a high risk factor for any form of skin cancer.

    Do: Apply sunscreen on your ears, behind your ears, feet, hands, scalp, neck, back and shoulders.

    Believe it or not, these are the areas where skin cancer is most prevalent and it’s because we forget to apply sunscreen to these areas. Get someone to help you apply sunscreen to your back if you can’t reach!

    Do: Send sunscreen to the VA for care packages for the military.

    Did you know that most new cases of melanoma skin cancer are those of former or active military officers ( approx. 60,000 new cases per year?) It’s because they’re deployed to areas where the sun beats down and they aren’t supplied with sunscreen! Melanoma is the second form of cancer that kills the men and women of the Armed Forces (breast cancer takes women; prostate, men.) Donate broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen with SPF 45 or 50 with no retinyl (Vitamin A) to your local Veteran Affairs to keep our soldiers healthy when they’re deployed! It doesn’t mean you’re in support of the war, it just means you care about someone’s son, daughter, mother, father, best friend….you get the idea. So many people don’t know about this, but my dad, a retired Army Major, has the 15 mole scars to prove how deadly the Middle Eastern sun can be.

  11. Great tips @Tyna! I agree and follow almost all of these! Especially the first. Nothing’s better than relaxing the rest of the night with a clean face and the only thing left to do before bed is brushing your teeth! I also have this mentality that if you really aren’t doing anything once you settle in, get the make up off! That’s several hours of no makeup time for your skin which is so beneficial.

    and I’ve been there – where I’m so so exhausted I don’t want to do a routine before bed but lately I’ve exercised this urge to fight the sleepies…and it works! I snap out of it, wake up for the course of washing my face and I get it all done! I’ve been really proud of this as I haven’t fallen asleep in my makeup in a long long time :)

  12. Don’ts are commonly neglected by most women. I also happen to forget sometimes, washing up the face before going to sleep. I had an alibi though, those times were so tiring.
    I have seen at a video about rollers that helps clean the skin pores more effectively but it does cost much. Exfoliating is one of the best night routine I am doing.
    I am glad to know some pointers you have given here as well. It reminds me that these ones are an important part of taking the skin. I would surely follow the tips given.

    All the best!

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