10 Common Skincare Mistakes You Need to Avoid for Glowing Skin

Are you unintentionally making common skincare mistakes that are sabotaging your skin health? Dig into my guide as I unveil the top 10 skincare mistakes to avoid.

From skipping sunscreen to ignoring ingredient lists, these mistakes can harm your skin. Let’s tackle these mistakes head-on and achieve your skincare goals.

10 Skincare Mistakes You Need to Avoid

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#1 Skipping Sunscreen

woman applying sunscreen by the pool
Neglecting to apply sunscreen is a common skincare mistake to avoid.

Have you ever thought, “It’s just a quick trip outside, I don’t need sunscreen”? 

I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been guilty of this skincare mistake.  It’s really easy to underestimate the power of that time under the sun. 

But what you may not realize is that even brief exposure can add up over time. 

Why Skipping Sunscreen is a Mistake

By skipping sunscreen, you’re leaving your skin vulnerable to the sun’s harmful rays.  

And that sets the stage for a whole host of skin problems down the road.

Most of us are aware that UV rays can result in sunburn. However, it’s important to understand that UV rays also contribute to other problems. 

UV rays cause premature aging, wrinkles, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation. Prolonged exposure also significantly heightens the risk of developing skin cancer.

Tips to Avoid The Mistake

Beautycounter sunscreen and Daily Defense sunscreen on counter
Beautycounter sunscreen is my recommended clean sunscreen!
  1. Using broad-spectrum sunscreen is key to preserving your youthful appearance.
  2. Apply sunscreen daily, even on cloudy days, and reapply every 2 hours when outdoors.
  3. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

#2 Not Removing Makeup Before Bed

Woman going to bed without washing her face.
Going to bed without washing your face is another skincare mistake.

Does this sound familiar?  You come home after a long day, exhausted and ready to collapse into bed. 

The last thing on your mind is removing your makeup—it’s just one night, right

Most people know that leaving makeup on overnight is a skincare mistake to avoid. Yet we still sometimes do it anyway.  

To keep myself from making this skincare blunder, I like to think about it like this:

Not washing your face at night is like giving all the dirt, oil, and pollution from the day a free pass to hang out on your face while you sleep. 

Pretty gross, don’t ya think?

Why This is a Mistake

Not washing your face at night is a recipe for clogged pores and acne breakouts. 

Additionally, it can lead to dull skin in the morning. And who wants to deal with the loss of skin radiance and vitality?  

Repeatedly neglecting to wash your face increases your risk of inflammation, irritation, and skin infections.

How to Avoid This Skincare Mistake

Beautycounter makeup removers on counter
These are some of my favorite makeup removers.

Don’t let laziness sabotage your skin care routine! 

It takes just a few minutes to cleanse your face.  And it’s so important! It allows your skin to breathe and rejuvenate all night while you catch those Z’s.

So make a habit of washing your face and removing all makeup before bedtime! And then take 30 seconds to moisturize with a nighttime cream.

Top Makeup Remover and Nighttime Moisturizer Recommendations:

#3 Overwashing Your Face

woman washing her face at bathroom sink
Image by jcomp on Freepik

Have you ever had that “cleaner is better” mentality when it comes to skincare? 

You’re not alone. Many of us have fallen into this skincare mistake.  It happens when we start thinking that washing our face multiple times a day will keep it squeaky clean and blemish-free. 

But the truth is that overwashing does more harm than good.  It’s like trying to water a plant by drowning it!  It’s counterproductive and damaging. 

What Makes This a Skincare Blunder

It disrupts the skin’s natural barrier function.  Overwashing strips your skin’s natural oils, leaving it dry, tight, and irritated.

And overwashing makes your skin more prone to breakouts.  Who knew?

How to Avoid This Mistake

Beautycounter cleansers on counter
Gentle cleansers like these will keep your skin clean and glowing.

Take a step back to avoid this common skincare mistake.  Dial down the overwashing, and let your skin find its balance.

Limit face washing to twice a day. Always use a cleanser that is suitable for your skin type.

Stick to a gentle cleansing routine, and avoid harsh scrubbing.

#4 Not Protecting Your Skin from Blue Light Emitted by Screens

Woman working on laptop and cellphone
Not protecting your skin from blue light is a common skincare mistake.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever spent hours glued to your laptop or scrolling endlessly on your phone. Do you see me over here behind my laptop, raising my hand high? 

In today’s digital age, we’re constantly bombarded by blue light from screens.  

But what many of us don’t realize is the toll it takes on our skin. 

Why Blue Light is a Problem for Our Skin

Our screens emit blue light that penetrates the skin.  This leads to premature aging and dark spots.  

It also disrupts your sleep patterns, which disrupts your skin’s natural repair processes.  

All this, thanks to harmful blue light!

How to Avoid This Mistake

Beautycounter products to help combat effects of blue light and blue-light-blocking galsses on counter
Some of my recommendations to combat the effects of blue light.

  • Use skincare products formulated to protect against blue light exposure, especially if you spend significant time in front of screens.
  • Consider reducing screen time or using blue light filtering applications on electronic devices.
  • Most electronic devices offer settings to adjust the color temperature of the screen. Try lowering the blue light emission by adjusting these settings, especially during the evening hours.
  • Keep your skin hydrated with moisturizers or mists throughout the day, as blue light exposure can contribute to skin dehydration.
  • Invest in blue-light-blocking glasses, which can reduce the amount of blue light that reaches your eyes and skin.

So, next time you’re catching up on emails or scrolling social media, be sure you’ve protected your skin.

The lightweight and non-greasy formula is perfect for daily wear.  So you can defend your skin against digital glare and look fantastic! 

#5 Using Expired Products

Period After Opening (PAO) icons
Ignoring the expiration date of products is a skincare mistake!

Ever dug through your skincare stash and found a forgotten bottle or tube hidden away? 

It’s tempting to dust it off and give it another go.  But don’t do it.  

The Risks of this Common Skincare Mistake

Using expired products can spell disaster for your skin.  First, an expired product is past its prime and won’t yield the same benefits. 

Even worse, it can harbor harmful bacteria.  And that can lead to irritation, allergic reactions, and compromised skin health and appearance.

So, before slathering on that ancient product, consider the potential consequences for your skin.

Avoiding This Skincare Slip-Up

avoid skincare mistakes 5
Here are some places you may find the PAO icons.

By following these guidelines, you can avoid common skincare mistakes and ensure that your products remain effective and safe to use.

  • Check expiration dates on skincare products regularly and discard expired items.
  • Store products properly to prolong their shelf life.  Keep them away from light, heat, and humidity.  Seal the caps tightly.
  • Look for the Period After Opening (PAO) icon on the box or container. This icon indicates the product’s life expectancy once it’s been opened.
  • Write the date you opened the bottle on the bottom and discard it after the time specified by the PAO icon.
  • Note that skincare products with SPF will have an actual expiration date stamped on them. It’s often on the crimp at the top of the tube.

#6 Using Too Much Force on Your Face

Woman with facial mask and sponge making the skincare mistake of using too much force on her face
Using too much force on your face is a big skincare no-no.

We’ve all faced a stubborn pimple or lingering makeup residue before. Let’s be honest, sometimes we resort to vigorous scrubbing or rubbing to get rid of it.

But treating your face like a stubborn stain on a shirt won’t make the problem disappear!  It will only make matters worse. 

I sometimes make this skincare mistake when I use a washcloth or towel. I’m not sure why.

My biggest game changer has been being aware that this IS a mistake. Now I try to be more mindful when washing or drying my face.

Why This Is a Skincare Mistake You Need to Avoid

Applying too much force to your delicate skin can lead to wrinkles, redness, and irritation.  It can even cause microscopic tears, which can pave the way for even more skin trouble. 

So, next time you feel tempted to unleash your inner Hulk on your face, take a deep breath and opt for a gentler approach.

Treat your skin gently.  Use light, upward motions during application.  Avoid harsh rubbing or pulling, especially around delicate areas like the eyes.

Suggestions for Avoiding This Skincare Mistake

To prevent the negative effects of using too much force on your face, consider the following tips:

  • Mindfulness while washing (and drying) your face will help you avoid this skincare mistake.
  • Choose skincare products formulated for your skin type.  
  • Apply skincare products with gentle, circular motions using your fingertips.
  • Avoid using harsh brushes or tools that may cause friction and irritation on the skin.

Top Cleanser Recommendations:

#7 Overusing Exfoliants or Using Harsh Exfoliants

unhappy woman overusing mask products
Overdoing exfoliation is a skincare mistake to avoid.

As we strive for glowing, youthful skin, it’s easy to get carried away with exfoliation. After all, who doesn’t love that satisfying feeling of scrubbing away dead skin cells? 

But here’s the catch: too much of a good thing can be detrimental to your skin’s health. 

Why To Avoid This Skincare Mistake

Exfoliation is essential for removing dead skin cells and promoting cell turnover. However, overdoing it or using harsh exfoliants can strip the skin of its natural oils. And that can lead to dryness, sensitivity, irritation, and even micro-tears.

So, before reaching for that scrub or peel, remember that less can be more when it comes to exfoliation.

Tips for Avoiding This Pitfall

Beautycounter exfoliating products on counter
My favorite exfoliating products!

Here are some practical guidelines to help you steer clear of this skincare pitfall and maintain healthier skin.

  • Exfoliate 2-3 times per week for smoother, brighter skin.
  • Be mindful of your skin’s response to exfoliation.  Adjust frequency or intensity accordingly to prevent irritation.
  • Always follow the recommended usage guidelines for each product.

Tried-and-Tested Exfoliation Recommendations

#8 Neglecting Your Décolletage

You diligently cleanse, moisturize, and pamper your face.  But what about your neck and chest (and the rest of your body, for that matter)? 

The Downside of Ignoring Your Décolletage

Often overlooked, your chest and neck are just as susceptible to aging and sun damage as your face is.

Neglecting your neck and chest can lead to premature aging, sagging, and wrinkles.  

And overlooking the rest of your body can leave you with sagging, crepey alligator skin.  

These areas definitely deserve a spot in your skincare lineup.

Tips to Avoid this Skincare Mistake

Beautycounter recommended products on counter
Some amazing skincare for décolletage (and the rest of your body).

A comprehensive skincare routine involves extending care beyond your face.  These tips will help you effectively address the needs of your neck and chest. These same tips can apply to the rest of your body, too. Especially areas that will be exposed.

  • Moisturize regularly.
  • Exfoliate weekly.
  • Don’t forget UV and blue-light protection.  In addition to sunscreen, you could consider wearing protective clothing to protect your skin.  Or sit under an umbrella (why is my favorite choice).
  • Always apply products in an upward motion on your face and décolletage to promote circulation and firmness.

Top-Rated Body Product Recommendations

#9 Picking at Your Skin

Woman making the skincare mistake of picking her face
Picking at your face is a common skincare mistake to avoid.

We’ve all been guilty of it—standing in front of the mirror, fixating on that pesky blemish or blackhead.  Amiright?  And then maybe even succumbing to the irresistible urge to pick, squeeze, and prod.

But here’s the truth: picking at your skin is like playing a dangerous game of Whac-A-Mole.  It may provide temporary satisfaction, but it often leads to more harm than good. 

Why This is a Skincare Mistake You Need to Avoid

Picking at blemishes or acne can introduce bacteria into the skin.  This can lead to infection, inflammation, redness, and potential scarring.  

The consequences of picking at your skin can linger long after the initial urge fades.  So, next time you feel the urge to pick, resist the temptation and reach for a spot treatment instead.

Strategies to Resist Picking and Promote Skin Healing

Recommended Beautycounter products for acne treatment and prevention on counter
My recommended products for acne treatment and prevention.

When it comes to skin, resisting the urge to pick at your skin is crucial for maintaining its health and appearance. 

Here are some helpful suggestions to help you break this habit and care for your skin effectively.

  • Keep your hands away from your face.
  • Use spot treatments to address blemishes without exacerbating inflammation or causing scarring.  
  • Wash your cell phone often.  This will remove dirt and bacteria that can transfer to your skin and cause breakouts.
  • Create a distraction whenever you feel the urge to pick at your skin.
  • Incorporate a charcoal mask or AHA mask into your routine.  This can deep clean your pores and help draw out impurities. 

My Favorite Acne Treatment and Prevention Recommendations

  1. Countercontrol SOS Acne Spot Treatment
  2. Counter+ Charcoal Facial Mask
  3. Reflect Effect AHA Smoothing Facial Mask

#10 Ignoring Ingredients Lists

Image of hand pointing to ingredient list on a shampoo bottle with the text above "Quite a few harmful ingredients in this list..."
This is arguably THE MOST IMPORTANT skincare mistake to stop making.

Ever found yourself standing in the skincare aisle, lost in the rows of products? Or been overwhelmed by the sea of ingredients listed on each label? 

It’s easy to get lost in the jargon and buzzwords.  I know, because I found myself there at one time, too.  

Why Ignoring Ingredient Lists is a Skincare Mistake You Need to Avoid

Knowing what’s in your products is vital to make wise choices about your skin’s health. 

Ignoring ingredient lists is like playing Russian roulette with your skin and health.  I’m not even joking about that.  

You just never know what you’ll end up with. 

This is arguably THE MOST IMPORTANT skincare mistake to stop making.

Tips to Avoid this Skincare Mistake

Empower yourself with knowledge by understanding the ingredients in your skincare products. Here are some practical suggestions to help you make informed decisions and avoid this mistake.

  • Carefully read labels and choose products formulated with clean, non-toxic ingredients. 
  • Before you slather on those trendy new serums or moisturizers, take a moment to decode the ingredients.  Be sure they align with your skin’s needs, health goals, and values.
  • Familiarize yourself with common skincare ingredients so you can make informed decisions.  Read more in my post 15 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in Skincare Products.
  • Choose clean beauty brands that prioritize transparency and use high-quality, safer ingredients in their formulations.  

My Favorite Clean Beauty Brand


Nurture and protect your skin by avoiding these common skincare mistakes and incorporating some of the recommended clean beauty products into your routine.  

These small but powerful changes can lead to healthier, more radiant skin.  

Now I’d love to hear from you! Share your favorite skincare mistake to avoid from this post.  Or share any other skincare advice you swear by in the comments below.

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Hi, I'm Tina!

A precancer diagnosis, the resulting surgery, and autoimmune diseases sparked my journey to a toxin-free life.

Through countless hours of research and trial and error, I learned about toxins, clean beauty, and the power of small consistent choices.

Now, I’m here to guide you on your path to wellness and clean beauty.

LET’S REWRITE YOUR STORY TOGETHER! LET’S CHAT and see how we can work together to move you forward.

20 Responses

  1. Excellent, resourceful post and recommendations especially the point concerning the décolletage. That area can be easily overlooked when it comes to skincare. I really like the ultra-rich consistency of Superquench Body Butter! It truly makes a difference!

    1. Oh yes, I love how rich and nourishing the Superquench Body Butter is–and without feeling greasy. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment.

  2. I’m all for this! Uncovering common skincare blunders I might be making without even realizing it. I appreciate you sharing this guide.

  3. I had no idea blue light can affect the skin! Oh yikes! I am so glad I saw your post. Thank you for the great information

    1. I’m with you! I made that mistake for so long before I even realized it was a mistake. But now that we know better, we can make better choices. I’m glad you found it helpful.

  4. These tips can help you avoid common mistakes and keep your skin healthy and glowing. It’s important to take good care of your skin for overall wellness 😊

  5. Love these tips! It took me a while before I finally stopped picking at my skin until I realized that it usually does a lot more damage than you would think at first….
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. It’s so true! Some of these common skincare mistakes seem so innocent that we don’t always realize the damage they’re doing. Glad you were able to overcome that one! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  6. This blog post is a real eye-opener for anyone looking to up their skincare game! Thanks for sharing these insights and helping us all achieve healthier, happier skin!

  7. I know I need to use sunscreen but I’m so bad about it! Always terrified it’ll break my skin out. I need to be better!

    1. I can understand that! I have used some over the years that have clogged my pores. The two I recommend in the post don’t clog my pores at all. The Daily Defense is light enough to wear daily under makeup and blocks UVA, UVB, and HEV blue light rays. Reach out if I can help! 🙂

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