An Esthetician Shares Skincare Faux Pas You Could Be Making

An Esthetician Shares Skincare Faux Pas You Could Be Making

This post is in partnership with European Wax Center®

Whether you’re a skincare novice or someone who indulges in a rigorous nine-step Korean skincare routine, I think we can all agree that daily skincare is an irreplaceable part of self-care. Cleansing, moisturizer, and SPF are some non-negotiables when it comes to keeping our skin in tip-top shape. But believe it or not, there are some skincare faux pas you could be making on a daily basis without even realizing it. Regardless of where you are on your skincare journey, it’s never a bad time to assess those easily overlooked areas of improvement. And since your skin can’t talk back, why not take the initiative to give it some extra TLC in the form of nourishment, hydration, and protection?

Winter Carson, a Connecticut-based esthetician specializing in melanated skin tones, originally got her start as a makeup artist. Through her clients, she’s discovered that even the most devoted skincare aficionados can make missteps with their skincare routine that can leave their skin looking dull and delay the results they are aiming for.

We spoke to Carson about some common skincare faux pas you could be making (especially when you add waxing to the equation), and how to be more deliberate about your specific skincare needs as they change over time.

You’re Not Giving Your Skin Enough Moisture

You may think that your daily moisturizer is doing the trick, but it might be time to go the extra mile to ensure your skin gets a little extra love post-cleanse. After all, moisture is essential to protecting your skin barrier. “One thing I’m commonly seeing with my clients right now is dehydration in the skin,” Carson explains. “During the cold winter months, a lot of us just weren't pouring enough moisture into our skin as we should've been.” If your skin is particularly parched, incorporate products like hydrating serums and essences before applying your moisturizer to make sure your skin is properly nourished. You should also consider treatments, like overnight masks, that tackle dryness in your sleep.

You’re Not Wearing The Right Underwear Post-Wax

There’s nothing more satisfying than that baby-smooth skin after a fresh wax. However, if you’re not instituting the proper post-wax care, you’re leaving the skin down there at risk. “Post-wax care is extremely important,” says Carson. “You’ll want to do everything you can to reduce inflammation within the skin and minimize the recurrence of ingrown hairs. Try not to apply a lot of friction to that area. Wearing cotton underwear is also supportive of making sure that you get the best results out of your wax. I think European Wax Center does a really great job of cleansing the skin before the wax and making sure that they offer you product options to help with the best results post wax as well.” If you’re an avid waxer, make sure you invest in post-wax care products like an ingrown hair serum and gentle exfoliator that will nourish and hydrate the skin properly in-between waxes.

You’re Not Exfoliating Enough

Not only is exfoliation an important part of the skin care process — it also affects how well the other products in your routine are working. Carson says that exfoliating one to two times per week can help clear congestion in the skin, prevent ingrown hairs after waxing, also help your serums and moisturizers penetrate the skin. “It’s all about making sure that we're focusing on taking that extra step of exfoliating the body in ways that can support a cleanser doing its job,” says Carson. “[But going back to point number one]. If you're going to exfoliate, you want to give your skin equal parts moisture. Try to keep that balance going and even to give them references. I like to call it Treatment Tuesdays and Treatment Thursdays, TT for short, just so you remember to use more nourishing products on the days you’re not exfoliating.” Carson also advises you to look out for dry patches, inflammation, and redness, as these are huge skincare red flags that can indicate over-exfoliation.

You’re Not Using Enough SPF

If you don’t already know, SPF is key no matter your skin tone or type. If sunscreen is already a staple in your routine, great! Just make sure you’re wearing enough. Carson says as a rule of thumb, the two-finger method (where you squeeze the product in two separate lines on your pointer and middle finger) is an easy way for you to measure how much sunscreen to apply to your face. For your body, one ounce (or enough to fill a shot glass) is a great amount to aim for. “I really emphasize the importance of sunscreen to my clients. If you’re using ingredients like vitamin C, glycolic, and salicylic acid on your skin to clear up hyperpigmentation and texture, you’ll need to protect that investment with sunscreen. It's very important, no matter your color.”

You Only Care About The Skin On Your Face

Making sure you apply the same level of detail to all of your skin, and not just the skin on your face, is key. “I love dry brushing and recommend it to my clients,” Carson says. “I love really stimulating the skin cells to be clear and moisturizing the skin. I've noticed lots of new products coming out encouraging us to mimic the routines on our bodies that we do on our faces. I think it's important we tend to our bodies the same way.” Winter also suggests finding an effective body cleanser to creates a proper foundation before applying body butters, body serums, and any other products you’re using to keep the skin glowy and hydrated.

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