Everyone seems to have their own routine or set of steps that they think works for them when it comes to skincare. But Prof. Dr. Sabina Bhattarai, senior consultant dermatologist at Kathmandu Medical College, says that most of us tend to do unnecessary things to our skin and that way do it more damage than good. Here, she talks about the skincare steps that people often get wrong and shows us what a standard skincare routine (that works for most people) looks like.
Not washing your face two times
A lot of people wash their faces only once every day. But that isn’t enough to keep your skin clean. Wash your face twice every single day – first as soon as you wake up and the second time can be right before you go to bed. Choose a mild face wash that suits your skin type and don’t skip washing your face at any cost. If you do this daily, you don’t have to get expensive cleansing treatments at beauty salons.
Skipping the sunscreen routine
You must wear sunscreen every day. Just because the sky is cloudy or because you won’t have to walk around in the sun a lot doesn’t mean you get to skip on sunscreen. Clouds only block up to 20% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Even our mobile phones and laptops emit radiation that harms our skin just as much as the sun. So, wear a sunscreen everyday and that’s true even on days when you don’t have to step out of your house.
Not picking the correct sunscreen
A lot of my patients seem to think that the SPF of a sunscreen signifies the age of the wearer. That isn’t the case. Everyone should use sunscreen with higher SPF as it protects your skin more intensely than one with a low SPF. Also, use sunscreen according to your skin type. If you have oily skin, pick a gel-based sunscreen. If you have dry skin, pick a cream based sunscreen.
Applying oil when you have dandruff
I’ve met a lot of patients who think they get dandruff because their scalp is dry and apply a lot of oil to their scalp in an effort to treat this. In reality, the fungi that causes dandruff feeds on your hair’s natural oil. If you apply more oil to your hair, the fungi will thrive on your scalp because it has too much oil to feed on. Don’t apply oil if you already have dandruff. Just wash your hair with an anti-dandruff shampoo two times a week and the dandruff will start to lessen and eventually disappear over time.
Getting steams and facials to better your skin
People generally believe that getting steams and facials at parlors and beauty salons will heal their skin. But in reality, there isn’t any concrete evidence that suggest that steams and facials do anything for your skin at all. What’s more is that if you have any kind of skin problem, these procedures will actually cause infections and irritate the skin even more. Rather than spending your money on these unnecessary rituals, form a basic skincare routine that works for you and do that regularly.
Avoiding oily food and using herbal products
Unlike popular belief, there isn’t a correlation between eating oily food and getting breakouts. You can eat healthy to improve your overall health but doing that wouldn’t directly make your skin clear. On a related note, one thing you must do to get healthy skin is to drink a lot of water, especially during summer.
People tend to trust anything that is labeled herbal or organic without batting an eye. A lot of times even these products that claim to be herbal and organic have steroids in them. Because of this, your skin problem may heal quickly after you start using such products but it will damage your skin in the long run. Understand what you are applying to your skin and consult a dermatologist before using medicated creams.
The standard skincare routine
Wash your face with a mild face wash when you wake up. Apply a moisturizer after drying your face. Choose the moisturizer according to your skin type and the season. Wear lighter moisturizer during summer and a heavier one during winter. Apply sunscreen all over the exposed parts of your body before you head out for the day. You have to keep reapplying the sunscreen every three to four hours for it to work. I would also advise everyone to avoid being in direct sunlight as much as possible. A lot of skin infections and ageing can be controlled if you can avoid direct sunlight. When you get back home in the evening, wash your face with the same face wash you used in the morning. Then, apply moisturizer on your skin. If you have any other special treatment for skin like an anti-aging cream or a serum of sorts, you could apply that too.