5 Skincare Mistakes I Made in the Past

by Gio
5 worst skincare mistakes I made

What are the worst skincare mistakes you’ve ever made?

Me, I could write a book about them. Like, all those years I went without sunscreen because no one bothered to tell me the sun gives you wrinkles. Or the times when I went to bed without makeup because I was too lazy to take it off. Ugh.

I cringe when I think about it now but… you don’t know what you don’t know. And I want you to know before it’s too late.

That’s why I’m sharing my worst skincare mistakes with you today – so you won’t have to learn the hard way like I did!

dr dennis gross dark spot sun defense sunscreen spf 50 review

Skincare Mistakes #1: Not Using Sunscreen Daily

Not using sunscreen every single day since I was a little girl is the biggest skincare mistake I’ve ever made – by far.

I didn’t know it back then, but UV rays are to blame for up to 90% of premature aging. Those wrinkles you blame on genetics? Nah. Playing with your friends outdoors without sunscreen in the summer gave you those.

My mum always warned to wear a hat but she never mentioned sunscreen once. Back then, it was something you only wore at the beach. For many Italians, it’s still like that. *sighs*

FYI, don’t think sunscreen is only a summer thing. Those pesky UV rays can penetrate through clouds and windows and even be reflected on snow. Rain or shine, until the sun comes down, your skin’s not safe.

The Fix

Wear sunscreen EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. You’ll save yourself a lot of wrinkles and dark spots (and reduce your risk of skin cancer, too).

Related: Are You Applying Sunscreen The Right Way?

Shop My Fave Sunscreens

Skincare Mistakes #2: Not Knowing My Skin Type

Like most teens, my skin used be on oil overdrive and covered in pimples. Ugh.

I blamed it on hormones. But it was all my fault. Little did I know back then that slathering a rich cream like Nivea all over my oily face was a sure recipe for pimples.

My skin type needed lightweight gels but… I had no idea. Heck, I didn’t even know what my skin type was! Once I’ve figured that out, the breakouts disappeared.

The Fix

Figure out what your skin type is and use products that suit it. If you don’t know how, take the test here.

Related: How To Figure Out Your Skin Type (+ Free Test!)

Skincare Mistakes #3: Not Choosing Skincare Products Wisely

This is closely related to mistake #2, obviously. If I had no idea what my skin type was, so my oily criteria to buy skincare products was the price. The cheaper, the better (hey, I was a broke teenager back then).

No wonder most of the stuff I used didn’t work – or made things worse. It’s not that they were bad products (ok, a few were), they just weren’t the right products for me.

These days, I know better. When I’m shopping for new skincare products, I look for textures and ingredients my combo skin can’t leave without.

The Fix

Step 1: Figure out what ingredients can fix your skincare woes:

Step 2: Look for skincare products rich in the ingredients your skin type needs.

Step 3: Use them.

the ordinary squalane cleanser

Skincare Mistakes #4: Not Removing Makeup Before Going To Bed

I know, I know. I should have known better.

But, when you come home at 4am after a night out clubbing with your friends, all you want is your bed. Even the thought of staying up for 5 more minutes to take off my makeup was too much.

Of course, I paid the price. Often, a pimple or two would pop on my chin or nose a few days later.

I count myself like. Sleeping with your makeup on can also cause irritations, and, in some rare cases, even infections. Ouch!

The Fix

Take off your makeup every night. Don’t even think of using wipes. All that rubbing irritates your skin and, in the long run, gives you wrinkles. Instead, opt for oil-based cleansers that melt away even the most stubborn makeup in a minute.

Related: Do You Really Need To Double Cleanse?

Shop My Fave Makeup Removers

Skincare Mistakes #5: Not Caring For The Rest Of My Body

You’d think moisturising after a shower is a given but… I didn’t do it back then. I didn’t exfoliate either. It’s like the rest of my body didn’t exist. *sighs*

The worst was my hands. I never bothered with hand cream until, in winter, they got so dry and cracked, they started to bleed. Stupid, I know.

These days, I moisturise all over.

The Fix

Take care of your body like you take care of your face. If not, your face may look younger, but everything else will give away your real age!

What skincare mistakes did you make when you were younger? Share them in the comments below.



Connie May 10, 2010 - 6:02 pm

guilty of all the mentioned skin care mistakes! I really didn’t know any better back then. my skin was so wonked up as a teenager because I kept using those “for teens” anti acne and super drying products when I had dry eczema skin.
I didn’t discover cleansing oil and the importance of wearing sunscreen until I was… 19? or 20?
At least now I’m finally starting to take care of my body. but still not avidly! *sighs*
.-= Connie´s last blog ..Review: Kji & Co Emergency Lash RX =-.

beautifulwithbrains May 10, 2010 - 8:43 pm

Connie, I guess these are very common mistakes when you are very young. There weren’t so many great blogs when we were teenagers (I do feel old now lol!) and we had to learn the hard way. It was vey easy to fall for marketing hype and claims and use products that would cause havoc on our skin and I’m sorry that happened to you too. At least we know better know. 🙂

Simone May 10, 2010 - 10:41 pm

I’m still guilty of #5 although I’m slowly getting better. I think it helps a lot to find body lotions which you enjoy using. I like nicely-scented ones because I feel like I’m putting on perfume, which is more interesting than just moisturising. But of course they have to work as moisturisers as well.

I’m also guilty of #1. Living in Northern England where we have complete cloud cover more than 50% of the time, sunscreen doesn’t cross my mind until the few weeks of sunshine that we might get every year. Maybe I should get some sunscreen?
.-= Simone´s last blog ..Back on the ‘Pill =-.

prettybeautiful May 11, 2010 - 2:23 am

i am still guilty of #5! I do wear body lotions but not sunscreen for body…. oopps!
.-= prettybeautiful´s last blog ..My Wedding Giveaway 2: WIN! 3-piece of YUAN soap gift set! =-.

beautifulwithbrains May 11, 2010 - 11:12 am

Simone, I agree with you. I find that having to apply a body lotion regularly can be a chore sometimes, so finding a nice lotion that smell great and makes the experience more pleasant surely helps. 🙂

And you should use sunscreen every day! I know it may seem unneccessary when the weather’s bad but the sun rays can penetrate through clouds and reflect on snow, so they can still cause damage to the skin.

beautifulwithbrains May 11, 2010 - 11:16 am

Prettybeautiful, you should use sunscreen on your body or you skin will look older and damaged overtime! I know it can be a hassle but it’s important 🙂

Rachel May 13, 2010 - 10:52 am

Thank you for this post! I am guilty of #1. I’m acne prone and I have oily skin. It’s tricky to find the right sunscreen for my skin type. What sunscreen do you use, Giorgia? 🙂

beautifulwithbrains May 13, 2010 - 12:01 pm

Rachel, I’m sorry it’s so hard for you to find a good sunscreen. At the monent I’m liking Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock Lotion SPF 30, for Face and Clinique Sun SPF 50 Face Cream. Hope this helps.

Tavia May 13, 2010 - 12:06 pm

I’m guilty of the first mistake also. I usually hate to use sun screen because my skin type is oily and even a cream with SPF adds extra shine to my face. :((
.-= Tavia´s last blog ..Chanel Makeup Collection for Fall 2010 – Preview, Promo Photos and Information =-.

beautifulwithbrains May 13, 2010 - 1:49 pm

Tavia, that’s too bad. Unfortunately it’s very difficult to find a sunscreen for oily skin but it’s important that you keep experimenting. All those anti-ageing and antioxidants creams can only do so much if you don’t prevent sun damage too. Maybe you could try using only sunscreen and skip the moisturizer since sunscreens usually contain moisturizing ingredients as well?

Carina August 3, 2010 - 9:35 pm

Hmm… does it count as sun-damage if you did not apply sunscreen in early childhood?(6++)
I’m only 15(haha,prob. your youngest reader:-D) and starting to gradually add sunscreen to my everyday routine.. but do you think I have moderate-severe sun-damage.. ?
Aaand.. how much amount do you have to use?(I’m using the physical ones)

beautifulwithbrains August 4, 2010 - 11:44 am

Carina, ys not using sunscreen as a child will have caused some kind of skin damage, but how severe depends on how much unprotected exposure to the sun you got. If you often went to the beach without using sunscreen the damage will be more severe than if you instead stayed out of the sun and indoors a lot. But you’re still young so if you start using a broad-spectrum sunscreen everyday and, in a couple of years’ time good skincare products with antioxidants, you will be able to protect your skin from further damage and keep it in great condition. Of course, if you wanna use antioxidants products now, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it either, they won’t harm you.

As for the proper amount to use, it is recommended that you use a teaspoon of sunscreen on your face. If you decide to go to the seaside and need to apply it all over your body, then you should apply a glass (which corresponds to a about an ounce) of sunscreen. I know it seems a lot but unfortunately that’s the amount we need to get the SPF claimed on the bottle. Hope this helps.

Prettykitty April 5, 2011 - 1:09 am

I only do mistake one, but thanks for the info. I love your website i go on pretty much everyday! I am you youngest ever reader. Im 11!

beautifulwithbrains April 5, 2011 - 7:22 am

Prettykitty, aww thank you! I’m glad you enjoy my posts and visit my blog often. 🙂
How wise of you not to make most of these mistakes. 🙂 It’s never too early to use sunscreen though. 🙂

Prettykitty April 5, 2011 - 1:13 am

I meant your sorry!

beautifulwithbrains April 5, 2011 - 7:22 am

Prettykitty, that’s ok, no worries. 🙂

Courtney Belyea May 31, 2011 - 7:28 pm

I made some pretty stupid ones… me at 12 or 13 putting on WAY more acne medication than needed, blobs of it, on a camping trip in scotching summer. And I wondered why the sun exposure was leaving welts on my face. I’ve done a lot of stupid things… I used to use so much shampoo it took an hour to rinse or just wouldn’t. Horrific make-up mistakes in grade 8, had NO idea how to put in on, WAY too much eyeliner and general make-up and it looked horrible. I wish I had had your blog than *regretfulness* I think my OCD makes me THINK I need way too much product or scrub too hard… so I need to watch my thoughts closely. OCD is really terrible all of you be glad your mind doesn’t torture you.

beautifulwithbrains May 31, 2011 - 8:12 pm

Courtney, I’m really sorry to hear you have OCD, it’s such a sad and awful disorder. I think we all made mistakes when really young, especially when you consider that up to a few years ago, we didn’t really have blogs and youtube and so you didn’t have access to so much information and useful tips and tricks. Young people today are luckier in this regard.

Courtney Belyea May 31, 2011 - 7:34 pm

Omg I just remembered I also tried pushing back my cuticles after soaking an hour in the tub, they completely cracked. It was extremely painful and horrible. I tend to learn lessons the hard way! I am so embarrassed of the dumb things I did in the past.

beautifulwithbrains May 31, 2011 - 8:14 pm

Courtney, that sounds really painful! Ouch! but don’t be embarassed because of your mistakes, we all make them. The important thing is that we learn from them. 🙂

Prettykitty July 26, 2011 - 2:14 am

Im starting to wear sunscreen alot more often! you mostly need it on sunny or a bit sunny days!

beautifulwithbrains July 26, 2011 - 6:37 am

Prettykitty, that’s great you’re wearing sunscreen a lot more. It will avoid so many problems with your skin when you’re older. 🙂

choco-coco October 6, 2011 - 8:14 pm

Great article! I too made all of the mentioned mistakes :/ I’ve started to care a bit more over the last two years, so thanks for pointing it out even more, now that I read this from someone who can directly speak of the consequences, things like that seem more important.

One very useful thing I learned a while ago is that if you don’t have nicely shaped nails, they can look better after a while if you just file the nails a little bit on the sides and let them grow, then file a bit again and after a while they will kind of recover from whatever happened to them before.

And I unfortunately learned it late that it’s not okay to pluck eyebrows too much at the beginning of the eye brows because they WILL grow stray after that…

P.S. (everyone) Whenever you can EAT BETTER, DRINK WATER because it’s the only true cleanser for the body, and dont be lazy, EAT SOME FRUITS AND VEGGIES since they’re a direct source of vitamins which can only do good!!

beautifulwithbrains October 7, 2011 - 6:55 pm

Choco-coco, I think these are very common mistakes we all make and regret but if they help other people avoid them, then I’m glad to share my experience.

And thank you for the useful tips! Although I’m sorry you had to learn the eyebrow thingie the hard way, doesn’t sound nice at all..

And I agree. There is also so much good skincare habits and products can do if you don’t eat a healthy diet. Thanks for the remainder.


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