It might sound simple but looking after your face is a beauty minefield. We may all know that sleeping in our make-up is a huge no no, but what about the perils of overusing products or accidentally choosing toxin-filled ingredients?

To right our skincare wrongs, we talked to some beauty experts about how to adapt the perfect regime for us, from when to use what to literally learning to read our face (and what it needs).

Morning Cleaning

“People either clean their faces too often, too harshly or with the wrong kinds of products,” Veera, founder of online skincare course TwistBe tells us. “We see this being the root cause of a big part of skin problems people have such as dryness and spots.

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“If you wash your face incorrectly, you destabilize the functions of the outer layer of the skin which we call ‘the brick wall’. This wall is formed from dead skin cells (bricks) and an emulsion your skin produces (mortar) that holds the ‘bricks’ together.

The most important thing is to be gentler, only wash your face with a cleansing product at night (rather than in the morning) and use a correct kind of cleanser

“The purpose of this brick wall is to prevent moisture from evaporating from the skin as well as have the good bacteria on your skin to fight the bad stuff. If you destabilize the functions of the wall, you will cause moisture to escape from the skin leaving the skin too dry, as well as being more prone to impurities/zits, as there is no good bacteria to fight off the bad ones.

“We go through this cleansing routine a lot in our ‘My Skincare Coach’ online course because people’s usual habits need a lot of correcting.

My advice? Leave out gels and foaming cleansers which are less good for the skin.

“The most important thing is to be gentler, only wash your face with a cleansing product at night (rather than in the morning) and use the correct kind of cleanser like milks, oils or balms.

“My advice? Leave out gels and foaming cleansers which are less good for the skin.”

Over-Application

Make-up artist Nat Van Zee says we really need to map our face and only use skincare where we need it.

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“Do you have an oily T-zone? Instead of using a moisturizer all over the face, use it everywhere apart from the T-zone. And, then you could use a mattifying primer or serum instead for the oilier areas of your face.”

Using Disposable Face Wipes

“Yes they’re cheap and easy to use, but they’re full of nasty chemicals and alcohol that strips skin of its natural oils, leaving skin dry and parched,” COO of BY SARAH LONDON Lauren tells us.

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“We use a Green Clay Cleansing Balm which is 84% organic, 100% natural and certified cruelty-free. The organic virgin coconut oil, organic apricot, french green clay and organic beeswax work together to remove make-up and daily impurities while nourishing your skin with vitamins and antioxidants.

“Make the switch and you’ll notice the difference: bye bye dry, starved skin; hello healthy, glowing skin.”

Over Exfoliation

“The top layer of our skin is there to protect us. If you exfoliate too often – ie daily – this protection is removed which can lead to skin irritation or age spots. Only exfoliate if your skin is looking dull or flaky,” Nat Van Zee tells us.

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Oskia Micro Exfoliating Balm is my favorite. And, the best daily skincare routine is to cleanse with a bamboo muslin cloth or konjac sponge which will very gently exfoliate the skin without damaging it.”

DIY

Acne blogger Amy Saunders warns us off too much DIY: “In the digital age, the internet is our main source for beauty tips and tricks and natural DIY beauty recipes are becoming increasingly popular.

Natural ingredients can actually burn, blister, and even scar your skin if used incorrectly.

“Most women are under the assumption that because it’s natural and can be found in your kitchen cupboards, it’s perfectly safe to use on the skin.

“Unfortunately, this is not the case and these natural ingredients can actually burn, blister, and even scar your skin if used incorrectly.

“Healthy skin is balanced skin, and what many DIY beauty recipes don’t take into consideration is the pH of the ingredients used.

Other common DIY culprits that can do more harm than good are exfoliating particles such as sugar, salt or coffee

“Some of the biggest offenders are apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda which are often used as acne, scarring and hyper pigmentation treatments.

“Healthy skin has a natural pH of about 4.5-5 while many popular DIY ingredients are either extremely acidic or alkaline – both of which can destroy our skin barrier.

“A strong skin barrier is essential for keeping bacteria out, retaining moisture and keeping the skin firm and smooth, while a damaged or weakened skin barrier can lead to dry, inflamed and irritated skin.

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“Other common DIY culprits that can do more harm than good are exfoliating particles such as sugar, salt or coffee which are too rough for the delicate skin on our face and can cause tiny tears which damage and age the skin.”

Not Investing In Plant-Based Oils

CEO & Founder of BY SARAH LONDON Sarah, says “If you’ve suffered from sensitive skin but haven’t found anything that can help soothe dryness or reduce inflammation, then it’s time to try plant-based oils.

Look for organic, plant-based oils to soothe and feed your skin

“Many mainstream moisturizers are typically a mixture of oil and water with lots of artificial and synthetic emulsifiers, stabilizers and preservatives used to create that mayonnaise-like consistency. It’s common for some fragrance and essential oils to be added which, though some may be naturally-derived, can cause skin irritation.

“Our award-winning Organic Facial Oil is 99% organic and contains only the highest quality, cold-pressed plant-based oils, including apricot oil, almond oil and pumpkin seed oil, which mirror the skin’s molecular structure, meaning they absorb easily and feed your skin with vitamins, minerals and omegas to keep it nourished and rejuvenated.

“These organic ingredients are grown in nutrient-rich soils, free from synthetic pesticides, artificial chemical fertilizers and herbicides which means even higher nutrients for your skin than ‘natural’ ingredients. So, look for organic, plant-based oils to soothe and feed your skin.”

Inadequate Sun Protection

“SPF in skincare and make-up gives a false sense of protection which may lead to premature ageing. Common chemical UV filters delay their protection from 30 minutes after application and need to be re-applied every two hours to be effective,” says Nat Van Zee.

The best defence is to wear a hat or use an organic sunscreen that uses minerals like titanium and zinc oxide and are free from nano particles

“A sunscreen can accelerate premature ageing if it doesn’t contain UVA protection, so broad spectrum UVA & UVB protection is vital. The chemical Oxybenzone is a common choice for this but it has also been linked to hormone disruption, skin irritation and global destruction of the coral reefs.

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“The best defence is to wear a hat or use an organic sunscreen that uses minerals like titanium and zinc oxide and is free from nano particles. But, in truth we actually need some short bursts of daily unprotected sun exposure for our body to produce vitamin D, which is essential for our body and wellbeing, so balance it right.”

Using Processed Skincare

“Your skin absorbs what you put on it so learn which ingredients are in your skincare,” Nat VanZee advises.

“Many conventional products are made with ingredients in a lab that coat the skin rather than feed it – and these may disable skin function, accelerate ageing and disrupt your hormone balance.

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“Switch to certified organic skincare that is filled with antioxidants, vitamins and omegas to nourish your skin and benefit your health.”

Using Products With Fragrance

“If you suffer from sensitive skin, make sure you avoid any product that has ‘perfume’ or ‘fragrance’ as this can mask numerous allergens that do not need to be disclosed by the manufacture,” Nat Van Zee reveals.

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“The EU has listed 26 allergens that are common skin triggers and need to be disclosed. But you may not know what you are allergic to, so to be safe avoid any type of fragrance also in laundry, home and cleaning products. Essential oils can cause irritation too, so do a patch test.”