Your skin experiences the harsh elements of pollution, sunrays, and debris on the daily, so, of course, you want to keep your skin as healthy and glowing as possible. But with so many sources for skin care do’s and don’ts, it can be hard to know what’s actually helping or hurting.

That’s why we asked dermatologists to share the top skin care mistakes you’re probably making.

Not applying enough sunscreen
We know to apply sunscreen every day, but the actual amount of sunscreen you apply before stepping out matters too. “Sun protection is key for both skin health and anti-aging as the sun is the number one cause of preventable skin aging,” says Emilia Javorsky, the co-founder and chief scientific officer of Sundaily. “When applying sunscreen, make sure to apply generously. It’s recommended to use a shot glass full to cover your whole body.”

Splurging on pricey skin care basics
Price doesn’t always equal quality in the skin care realm. Oftentimes, those hefty price tags are going towards packaging and marketing – not effectiveness. Dermatologist Erum Ilyas recommends a simple, inexpensive skin care routine using drugstore products. “Start with the drugstore. Look at your basic products for cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen, and even anti-aging products,” she says. “[If that doesn’t work], talk to your dermatologist about what products [work for you] so that you don’t waste your money.”

Not washing your face at bedtime
If you know that you tend to stumble into bed after a long day, then train yourself to wash your face before your head hits the pillow.  “Taking the time to wash your face before bed will help remove the dirt, oils, and debris from air pollution and makeup,” says dermatologist Tsippora Shainhouse. “It can also help prevent free radical damage to the collagen due to debris and the secondary inflammation that it triggers, both of which breakdown collagen and make you look older faster (think wrinkles, clogged pores, skin discoloration).”

Picking at blemishes and touching your face
It can be hard to resist picking at that pesky pimple that popped up in the middle of your forehead, but, “touching your face with hands that are dirty is a big no. It spreads bacteria that is living on your hands all over your face,” says Roberta Perry, founder of ScrubzBody.

Overusing products with retinol
Retinoids are adored by skin care aficionados for its ability to enhance collagen production, smooth skin, and even pigmentation. However, too much of a good thing can make it into a bad thing. “Retinol is too overpowering for those with sensitive skin in most cases and should be used sparingly if at all,” says Dr. Elizabeth Callahan of SkinSmart Dermatology.

Using matte makeup
“Matte makeup, whether concealer, powder, or tinted sunscreen, tends to pick up every pore and wrinkle in the skin, magnifying the appearance of every tiny imperfection,” says Inessa Fishman of Aviva Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics. Instead of matte formulas, try makeup with a bit of shimmer and light diffusion. This will highlight your features and give you a glowy, luminous appearance.

Not drinking enough water
We all know how important it is to drink enough water every day. “Dehydration causes sallow and lifeless skin. Drinking about half your weight in ounces in water will help your body and your skin in particular,” says Perry.

xx, The FabFitFun Team

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