20 Skincare Mistakes that will Probably Damage Your Skin

by Alexandra Kilpatrick


Bustle recently shared 20 common bad skincare habits most of us are guilty of.


“You’re actually removing the protective barrier that your skin has,” Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare founder Dr. Ben Johnson explained to Bustle. “Once removed, your skin is exposed to environmental toxins and sun damage, causing aging.”

You should exfoliate two to three times per week at the most. Perhaps an overdue microdermabrasion or skin peel is in order?

Exfoliating away oily skin

“People think that if they exfoliate with different scrubs, they’ll eliminate issues like oily skin, but when your skin is over-scrubbed, the oil production actually speeds up because skin’s natural repair mechanism is put into overdrive,” Florida-based aesthetician Crystal McElroy told Bustle.

Going to bed with your makeup on

“Not removing your makeup for the night clogs your pore and oil glands,” Dennis Gross, M.D., revealed to Bustle. “When makeup becomes impacted in pores, it makes them appear larger. Once your collagen levels decline, the pore won’t snap back as easily once it has been enlarged.”

Picking at your face

“Anytime you pick or pull at your skin, you are causing damage and creating irritation, scars and wrinkles,” Johnson told Bustle.

Not cleansing properly

“Look for a cleanser that contains the right ingredients,” Gross recommended to Bustle. “Things like antioxidants for protection, salicylic acid to help clear your pores and witch hazel, which acts as a natural astringent.”

Using dirty makeup brushes

“Invest in a brush cleaner, especially for your foundation brush,” McElroy advised in Bustle. “Keeping your brushes clean every day will ensure no dirt and old makeup buildup is going to affect your skin.”

Applying products in the wrong order

“One of the keys to maximizing the benefits of the products in your regimen is to apply products with a thinner consistency before the thicker, creamier ones – no matter what their active ingredients are,” Gross told Bustle. “Products with heavier consistencies can block lighter weight ones from penetrating the skin and doing their job.”

Over-using all of your products

“It isn’t necessary to cleanse in the morning and the evening,” aesthetician Andrea DeSimone told Bustle. “The evening cleanse is crucial to removing dirt, oil and makeup, but during sleep, the oils that your skin produces are hydrating and balancing, so they shouldn’t be washed away in the morning.”

Rather than cleansing again in the morning, DeSimone recommends buffing skin with a wet cotton washcloth.

Popping pimples

“When a dermatologist drains a pimple, they apply downward pressure,” Dr. Gross explained to Bustle, “but when people try to do it themselves, they squeeze from the side which ends up backfiring because it causes infection to go down deeper into the pore.”

Gross suggests simply washing your face with a clean washcloth, which will allow the pimple to drain if it’s ready.

Sleeping with your hair out at night

“Many people have perimeter and forehead breakouts due to the oil and hair care products that they use – especially those with long hair and bangs,” DeSimone noted to Bustle. “Pull all of your hair off your face and clip your bangs back before bed.”

Not washing your sheets and pillow cases

“Pillow cases accumulate a buildup of residue from things like conditioner and scalp oil that can clog your pores on your face over time,” Gross told Bustle. “You should change your pillow case at least once a week or more if you are acne-prone. Wash in hot water to kill off dust mites that can cause allergies.”

Sleeping on a cotton pillow case

“Satin or silk minimizes permanent creases and complexion issues. Persistently pressing your face into a pillow case causes trauma to the skin. Over time, this trauma aggravated by the friction of cotton can cause permanent creases as our collagen breaks down.”

Foregoing sunscreen

“Wear it every day and look for one that has an SPF of 30 or higher,” Florida-based dermatologist Marisa Potter told “It should also be broad spectrum, which means it helps to shield you from UVA rays (as well as UVB) which are known to cause photo-aging of the skin.”

Getting too little sleep

“Getting a good night’s sleep helps your skin to look its best,” Gross explained to Bustle. “When our skin is getting less than optimum rest, it becomes dull and pale with under-eye circles. A lack of sleep can be so stressful that it can cause our bodies – including our skin – to generate free radicals.”

Drying out your skin

“We all break out,” California-based dermatologist Howard Murad told Bustle. “People with acne or the occasional pimple think they need to dry out their skin, so [they] choose products that are too harsh – which can cause further irritation than the breakout itself.”

Murad recommends finding a treatment that soothes while targeting the skin concern and ending your routine with a hydrating moisturizer.

Eating a bad diet

“I recommend the tri-color salad approach,” Gross advised in Bustle. “Make sure they are a bunch of colors – red cabbage, green lettuce, etc. Eat veggies that have a lot of color. Nature color codes them for us. The more colors you eat, the better.”

Not moisturizing oily skin

“It’s a common misconception that those with an oily skin should avoid moisturizers,” Dr. Murad explained to Bustle. “In fact, it’s vital that even oily skin gets moisture because without it, skin will overcompensate for the loss of hydration [with more oil], leading to breakouts and an uneven skin texture.”

Loading your skin up with products at night

“After a normal cleansing routine, applying two or three different serums for a variety of concerns isn’t effective at all,” McElroy explained to Bustle. “All topical products are effective up to 0.3 percent absorption into skin, so the more you add the less effective each of them is.”

Taking hot showers

“Hot showers can strip your skin of essential moisture and healthy oils,” Murad told Bustle. “I recommend taking warm, not hot showers.”

Not knowing what you’re putting on your skin

“Read up on ingredients and learn about what you are applying on yourself,” McElroy told Bustle. “Remember – price doesn’t always determine quality.”

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about skincare, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!

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