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Is your anti-ageing regime making you age even faster?

April 19th 2015 / Ayesha Muttucumaru Google+ Ayesha Muttucumaru

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We asked an expert about the 10 most common mistakes we’re making when it comes our skincare routines

When it comes to beauty, we’re in the midst of a pretty amazing time. With the industry bursting at the seams with new launches, innovations and scientific developments, the range of possible solutions created for a whole host of anti-ageing issues seems to be rapidly increasing by the day with no signs of slowing down.

Arguably a blessing and a curse, the wealth of information at our fingertips can be at times as confusing as it can be useful. Yes, we have all of these incredible new beauty products more widely available than ever before, but how do we get the most out of them?

We asked Cosmetic Dermatologist and Medical Director of the PHI Clinic, Dr Tapan Patel for his dos and don’ts when comes to injecting our skincare regimes with a dose of sense. From dispelling anti-ageing myths to making informed and intelligent product choices when it comes to tackling wrinkles and other skin problems, here are the 10 most common mistakes we’re making when it comes to turning back the clock...

1. Using sun protection only on holidays or in the summer

Think you need sun protection only when you’re on annual leave? Think again. The ageing effects of the sun are wreaking havoc all year long. “The sun emits ultra violet radiation in the form of both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays can pass through glass and are responsible for some of the skin ageing process,” explains Dr Patel. “You should get in the habit of using a good SPF all year round to protect against UV mediated skin damage.”

Get The Gloss loves: Ultrasun Face SPF30 Anti-Ageing Sun Protection for Very Sensitive Skin, £18.50 for its fast-absorbing texture and no white marks formulation.

2. Relying on the SPF in makeup

We love a multitasker here at Get The Gloss, provided no one quality is compromised. Having SPF already in our makeup can be a great thing, provided it is used with caution. “Many makeup products have an SPF rating and users often falsely believe this is sufficient protection,” warns Dr Patel. “It is better to use specific sun protection and then makeup on top.”

Get The Gloss loves: The wonderfully silky La Roche-Posay Anthelios Face Ultra-Light Fluid SPF50+, £16.50.

3. Failing to wash your face at night

After a big (rather hazy) night out, removing your makeup can be as unappealing a prospect as taking an hour long night bus home. But try, you must as that extra 5 minutes could make all the difference between a clear and congested morning-after-the-night-before complexion. ”During the day we accumulate oil, atmospheric pollution and if used, makeup, on the face. This can clog the skin pores and lead to breakouts of acne,” cautions Dr Patel. “It is important to use a gentle cleanser as part of a nightly routine.”

Get The Gloss loves: The lather-free and non-comedogenic Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, £8.99. Trust us, after a month or two of use, your complexion will be positively glowing. It really is quite remarkable...

MORE GLOSS: How to cleanse your skin like a pro with Dr Sam Bunting

4. Over-washing the skin

It might be counterintuitive, but adopting a less abrasive approach to cleansing could hold the key to a calmer and smoother complexion long-term. “Many patients who have problem skin tend to over wash in a belief that the underlying problem is some form of infection or dirty skin,” explains Dr Patel. “Over-washing removes some of the natural oil of the skin making it dry and sensitive and can exacerbate conditions.”

Get The Gloss loves: The nourishing and hydrating Trilogy Cream Cleanser, £16.50 that leaves skin re-balanced and squeaky clean, moisturised and not at all tight after use.

5. Assuming expensive products will be the most effective

In a news flash that’s beneficial for both our bathroom shelves and bank balances, a more expensive pricetag doesn’t always mean more impressive results. “Many highly priced ranges available from department stores are often just fancy packaging and branding,” comments Dr Patel. “It is better to look for good, active ingredients such as AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids), Retinoids (a form of Vitamin A), antioxidants and peptides."

He further explains, “I like to think of skincare as a sandwich with a cleanser at one end and a good quality sun protection at the other. What goes in between will vary from person to person, but may include an AHA cream such as glycolic acid, a retinol cream and an antioxidant such as a Vitamin C serum. Some patients will also need a moisturiser.”

If you're looking for ranges that provide a selection of these types of add-ons, Skinceuticals and Indeed Labs are two that are particularly noteworthy in our opinion.

6. Impatience

When should you start expecting to see results from the newest recruit to your skincare regime? “A skin cycle is typically 6-8 weeks and it can take 2-3 months to see the benefits of a new range of products. Many people give up after 2-3 weeks and change to something new without ever giving a range the chance to have an effect,” explains Dr Patel. When it comes to quick fixes, unfortunately they don’t exist.

7. Using too much product

The sight of a wrinkle or fine line can quite easily send us into panic mode, inciting much cack-handed slathering of our favourite pot of face cream on our faces with the vigour and verve of a Duracell bunny. However, a less is more approach could prove to be a much more effective (and less greasy) alternative. “Some products such as retinol or AHA should only be used at the recommended quantity. If you use too much, in the erroneous belief that more is better, it can overstimulate the skin leading to dryness and irritation,” recommends Dr Patel.

8. Incorrect combinations

“Get advice from a specialist on how to combine products. Certain ingredients like AHA and retinol do not work well when applied at the same time and should be used at different times of the day,” cautions Dr Patel. With a breadth of intelligent and hard-working ingredients at our disposal nowadays, there’s little point in investing your money into buying them without knowing how to tailor them to your specific needs. If in doubt, seek the help of a dermatologist in order to give your skincare regime an expert helping hand. Check out our pick of the best in our Get The Gloss Little Book Of Experts.

9. Reliance on products

Million pound advertisement campaigns, celebrity endorsements and outrageous claims can understandably lead many of us to believe that a miracle cream holds all the answers for our particular skin problems. However quite often, the solution lies in taking a multi-faceted approach encompassing diet, nutrition, skincare and healthier habits in order to achieve more lasting results. “Don’t forget that while good skincare can boost the skin, it does not replace the need for hydration, good nutrition and adequate sleep,” points out Dr Patel.

MORE GLOSS: 15 ways to get a better night’s sleep

10. Not changing your regime to your skin needs

Finally, if you’re thinking about changing up your regime, ensure you shop equipped with a thorough understanding of your skin. How does it change through the seasons? What actually is your skin type when you examine it really closely? How has it changed over the last year, two years, five years even? Does your diet affect it? Armed with an awareness of what your skin really needs and how it behaves at different parts of the year will ensure you make wise and cost-effective choices when you’re out scanning the beauty halls for products that truly deliver the goods for your particular concerns.

Follow us @getthegloss and Ayesha @ayesha_muttu.

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