5 Common Skin Care Fails To Avoid In 2020

Written by Katelyn Woolridge, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist on December 27, 2019 2 Comments

common skin care fails

The latest #fail videos on YouTube are hilarious. IRL skin care fails… not so much. These are the 5 most common skin care fails we hear about from our patients:

Fail: Neglecting the Neck, Décolletage, and Hands

The neck, décolletage, and hands are all highly visible areas that show signs of aging. However, many people solely focus their anti-aging regimens on the face. At minimum, these areas should always be protected from the sun’s harmful rays with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. For more anti-aging effect, consider application of a topical retinol or retinoid.

Fail: Over Exfoliating

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells and other unwanted debris that cling to the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin). The process can immediately improve the look and feel of the skin, while also improving cellular turnover (which can help slow the occurrence of visible aging symptoms).

Like most good things, exfoliating too often or with too much intensity can actually be harmful to the skin. Over exfoliation can lead to skin irritation and inflammation, and severe exfoliation may ultimately degrade the integrity of the skin. Most patients benefit from lightly exfoliating their skin 1-2 times per week with a mild chemical exfoliant. Examples include products with alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) such as lactic or glycolic acid or beta hydroxy acids (BHA) such as salicylic acid.

Fail: Not Moisturizing Oily Skin

One of the most repeated (and utterly false) skin care myth is that people with oily skin should avoid moisturizing or adding any form of excess hydration. On the surface this fail kind of makes sense. After all, why would anyone who has a problem with oily skin want to add even more moisture?

Ironically excessive oiliness can be caused by the skin overcompensating for a lack of hydration. Oily skin types should still moisturize daily using an oil-free moisturizer with a lightweight formula.

Fail: Not Washing Your Face Before Bed Time

Going to sleep with a full face of makeup is a cardinal skin care sin. Leaving makeup on overnight can cause a host of skin issues including dullness, dryness, irritation, and often an uptick in acne breakouts. But did you know that the face should be properly cleansed before bed even if you don’t wear makeup?

Your face is exposed to a ton of pollutants each day. Leaving this grim on your skin overnight clog pores leading to acne and also cause irritation which over time can exacerbate and even accelerate signs of aging. They also disturb the skin’s natural overnight cell turnover process, preventing the skin from rejuvenating and healing itself.

Fail: Old Pillowcases

Do you change your pillowcase often enough? Chances are your pillow is one of the last things you think about when it comes to your skin. Sleeping on a clean pillowcase can be essential as pressing your skin against a dirty, grimy pillowcase for 8 hours straight just can’t be good. Make sure to change out your pillowcase with a freshly washed one every weekly at minimum.


Katelyn Woolridge, MD

Katelyn Fusilier Woolridge, M.D. is a board certified dermatologist specializing in medical, pediatric, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology. She graduated summa cum laude from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge in 2010 and obtained a doctorate of medicine from Louisiana State University in New Orleans in 2015. Dr. Woolridge is a member of various medical organizations, including the American Academy of Dermatology, Texas Dermatological Society, Texas Medical Association, and Houston Dermatological Society.

2 Responses to “5 Common Skin Care Fails To Avoid In 2020”

  1. Barbara says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us………Very nice and informative post…..!!!!!!!!

  2. Kellie says:

    Definitely guilty of #4 🙁

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