5 Ways You’re Secretly Sabotaging Your Skincare Routine

The word sabotage brings to mind evil villains, whispered plans, and perhaps a sneaky high school mean girl. It does not, however, bring to mind your skincare routine. After all, you cleanse, exfoliate, tone, and moisturize each night, feeling proud of your dedication to your skin’s longtime goals. Well, bad news: You’re probably sabotaging your skin without even realizing it. According to Dr Low Chai Ling, there are certain things almost every woman does that could be messing with her skin and keeping the good things—say, using retinol, masking once a week—from doing their job. Shock and appalled we could be betraying our skin without knowing it, we asked him to share the five most common skin villains immediately. Keep scrolling to see what she said—and start treating your skin right!

(+) 1. Exfoliating Too Much
The debate about exactly how much you exfoliate is a common source of dissent among dermatologists, but Dr Low says to play it safe and exfoliate just once or twice a week. “Over-exfoliating can lead to skin inflammation, leaving your red and irritated rather than smooth and radiant,” she says. If you have sensitive skin, make sure to use a super-fine, gentle exfoliator, like Sloane Inc's Pineapple Enzyme Scrub. An effective exfoliating, retexturizing, refining, and nourishing treatment scrub, harnessing the magical dual combination of Bromelain enzyme (which is obtained from pineapple) and supple Jojoba beads. Bromelain enzyme helps to effectively remove excess surface cells to uncover brighter, clearer skin, while micro spherical jojoba beads dissolve to release nourishing jojoba oil into the skin. This synergy boosts skin texture and leaves the skin with a refined, luminous glow.

If your skin is more on the rough or oily side, resist the temptation to scrub—instead, use soft, circular motions to buff away dead skin cells.

(+2) Copying Your Friends 
Your best friend raved to you about the new cleanser she got, so you went and bought it immediately—wrong move. “Do not just use what your best friend likes,” Dr Low warns. “Choose the right cleanser for you.” Especially if you have dry, sensitive skin, you’ll need to go a gentler route—powder cleansers, alpha- and beta-hydroxy acid cleansers, scrubs, and even some foaming cleansers may be too harsh. Instead, opt for a cream, milk, or oil cleanser like Sloane Inc's Vanilla Silk Cleanser.

This light cream cleanser lifts away dirt, make up, and other impurities without striping the essential lipids the skin needs to stay healthy and hydrated. Helps to keep the skin clear and smooth textured thanks to a potent blend of French sea waters, botanical extracts, and gentle seaweed and sugar based exfoliants.

(+) 3. Going Overboard

If you use an anti-aging serum once and wake up with glowing skin, you may take that as a cue to use the serum as much as possible. However, Dr Low says that daily use of topical retinoids or glycolic acid may overly irritate the skin—which might explain why your skin has been so sensitive lately. “Use only a pea-sized amount, and hold off a day or two if your skin becomes red, burning, peeling, or stinging,” she says. Always start using less and slowly increasing, rather than the other way around (trust).

Retinol is the most abundant form of Vitamin A in the skin. In order for your skin to be healthy, you need to keep supplying it with that essential vitamin. It can literally repair your skin on a DNA level. Hence, it’s powerful stuff. If you want to combat those signs and prevent them from showing up and getting worse, retinol is the key. It helps even out your skin tone and smoothes fine lines and wrinkles. So, you know, to keep that youthful glow, protect it now…along with sunscreen and drinking water, of course. If you’re prone to dryness, you may want to start out with an over-the-counter retinoid, which will give give you anti-aging and skin-improving results in a much more gentle way.

You may also wish to build your skin's tolerance to retinol by using it every alternate day and slowly increasing the usage as your skin becomes stronger.

There’s no quibble that retinoic acid (a prescription vitamin A) is crème de la crème of both the anti-acne and anti-ageing circles. To up the ante, the award-winning Sloane Inc. Age Defy combines clinical-strength vitamin A and skin-plumping collagen in an advanced formula to trump the bump, fade pimple marks and pigment spots, and sideline the age-exposing crinkles.

(+) 4. Not Wearing Sunscreen Every Day
It’s not just for the beach: The best protection against skin aging is a good sunscreen defense. “Wear it everyday, and look for one that has an SPF of 30 or higher,” says Dr Low Chai Ling. “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 photoaging of the skin.” She also advises applying sunblock to your chest and the top of your hands daily as well.

Antioxidants along with SPF are your lifelong BFFs as they help to stave off premature skin ageing due to UV damage and pollution. Formulated with the most sensitive-skinned city-dwellers in mind, this chemical-free and fragrance-free sunscreen, Sloane Inc SPF 70 S7.1 shields you from environmental nasties with its mineral UV-reflectors, free radical-fighting antioxidants, and sweat- and pollution-repelling base. Airborne disaster averted, a candlelit semi-matte finish ensues.

(+) 5. Poor Diet & Lifestyle
In Dr. Low’s words, what is good for the heart is good for the skin. “I recommend the tri-color salad approach,” he says. “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.”


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The Skin Radar is an online avenue which documents my tumbling thoughts, ideas and musings from my daily life, mainly based on skincare and beauty. It is designed to take the clutter out of beauty journalism to provide trustworthy and objective insights, new finds and sneak peaks- all in a beautiful and clean platform.

I test all products & treatments with age and skin colour in mind, break down the latest health fads, and source for expert opinions from international skincare leaders. All in all, my goal is to make sure that I am on top of every beauty innovation and skincare trend the world has to offer.