Friday, January 20th, 2012

By Renee Rouleau, Skincare Expert and Esthetician

Renée Rouleau has been helping men, women and teens attain healthy, glowing, beautiful skin for more than twenty years.

Her philosophy is simple: With the proper tools, effective products and a disciplined approach, anyone can have great skin.

She provides regular skincare advice and tips on her blog, too!

Six Skin Habits You Should Unlearn for 2012

As a skin care expert and celebrity esthetician with 25 years of hands-on experience, I have observed and heard many bad skin habits through the years. Here’s six of the most common habits I hear, and ones that should be broken to ensure your skin is healthy, balanced and glowing.

1) Tugging at the delicate eye area.

The eye area is the thinnest skin of any area on the face, and it’s the first to show the signs of aging, so when people pull on the skin when they put in their contacts, apply eyeliner, or rub aggressively on the area when removing stubborn eye makeup, this can unnecessarily create wear and tear on the collagen and elasticity fibers within the skin. These habits may cause visible lines and wrinkles prematurely, so be sure to treat this delicate area with care.

2) Misting, not wiping, your skin when using toner.

While I understand a lot of people have gotten in the habit of misting toner on the skin because of the convenience, it is really important to use a wiping action while using toner. The reason is because toners are designed to remove cleanser residue and (most importantly) salts, chlorines, and chemicals from tap water that may dehydrate the skin. So when you mist the toner, you are simply diluting these chemicals, not removing them. Always use an alcohol-free toner, wipe it over the skin with our Toning Cloths, and if you so choose, mist afterwards.

3) Over-using your Clarisonic brush.

In a previous Temptalia post called Skin Care Expert, Renée Rouleau Reviews the Clarisonic, I share my thoughts on how many people may be over-using the Clarisonic brush and being more harmful than helpful to the skin. The company suggests you use it twice a day, every day but I personally feel this is way too much for most types of skin to handle, especially if you’re using other exfoliating products such as acids, scrubs and enzymes. Just like you shouldn’t use a facial scrub twice a day, you also shouldn’t use the Clarisonic twice a day. It should be reserved to 2-3 times a week.

4) Not washing your skin in the morning.

Many people have gotten in the habit of not washing the skin in the morning, because the skin is already clean from washing the night before and no makeup was worn. The reason it is important to wash your face in the morning is because while you are sleeping, the skin is in repair mode and will secrete toxins and sebum, which can prevent your daytime products from working effectively. When you wash your skin in the morning, you are removing not only the toxins and sebum, but your nighttime products as well – this allows your daytime products (particularly our Daily Protection SPF 30) to absorb into the skin better since they will have a clean slate. Be sure to wash with a mild, sulfate-free cleansing gel in the morning.(And of course, washing your skin every night is a must!)

5) Using the same products year-round.

Without a doubt, your skin has different needs in summer and winter, but even in fall and spring. In summer, the focus should be on protecting your skin from the sun with sunscreen and antioxidants, which have powerful protective qualities. Products should be lighter-weight in the summer, since there is more humidity in air. A summer skin care routine should have less exfoliation since more time is spent outdoors. During the fall, you can increase your exfoliation to repair the skin from the summer sun. With the dry air in winter, it is about increasing moisturization with more hydrating products. In spring, it is time to do a spring cleaning with deep pore cleansing products. So getting in the habit of using the same products year-round is an absolute no-no.

6) Picking at your skin.

Many are guilty of this one, but they are in the habit of automatically picking at a blemish the minute it appears. Whether it is out of nerves or simply trying to make a blemish go away faster, you really do end up making it worse. The truth of the matter is, a blemish only lasts 5-7 days, but the redder, dark scar can linger for months. Did your blemish leave you with a dark or red scar? Use Post-Breakout Fading Gel. To keep your hands busy and off of your face, try our No Picking! Twisty Toy.

So if you are stuck in any of these habits, follow these skin care tips to break free and be well on your way to healthy, glowing and beautiful skin in 2012.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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42 thoughts on “Six Skin Habits You Should Unlearn for 2012

  1. These were all sort of no brainers (not criticizing!) except for the Clarisonic one, it makes sense though. I was going to pick one up soon too, thanks!

  2. I strongly agree with your statement about the Clarisonic. It played havoc with my sensitive skin, damaged a friend’s kin to the point that she looked like she had a severe sunburn, and was responsible for another friend’s staph infection (the bristles created micro-tears in her skin, which left it open to infection from the brush head not being cleaned properly).

    • valerie

      When using the Clarisonic, it is so important to use as directed. It sounds like your friend/s and yourself may have been using it incorrectly and it resulted in skin being damaged.

      I have been using it once daily for years and have never had any issues with my skin.

      To blame the problems you and your friends have had with the Clarisonic is not really fair, IMO. :)

      • Boone

        I had the same experience as Maggie, and I only used it twice a week. I even shelled out extra $$ for the super-duper-sensitive brush, and held it very lightly, barely touching the surface of my skin. Nevertheless, every time I used it, it stung like the dickens and the next morning I awoke with terrible flaking and redness.

        Everyone’s skin is different, and what works for some may not work for others. It has nothing to do with user error!

  3. nice post…useful and to-the point…

  4. Heather

    Another great post by Renee! I am so happy you brought up the Clairsonic again! I can’t believe how many people use it and love it… but they don’t really know what they are doing to their skin!

  5. Luka

    Renee – Thanks for the insightful post. I have a question for you about the Clarisonic. I asked my dermatologist about it because I’m skin/beauty obsessed and he asked me if I would use a rotating brush on my car door to clean it. I said, no of course I wouldn’t and he said why would you want to do that to your face. Basically, he felt it was too harsh for most people. What are your thoughts in general, aside from the overuse comment above? I personally have psoriasis so I am curious yet reticent. I do, though, respond well to mild peels and since using them have seen the psoriasis drop off dramatically (most times you would never know thanks to this addition to my skin care). Thanks for your insight.

  6. I’m totally guilty of #5! But then again I live in LA so it’s not like there are huge fluctuations in weather :X

  7. Katie

    Question! I’m not rough around my eye area, but I do wear contacts. I don’t see a way of putting in contacts without pulling on the skin under my eyes…any suggestions?

  8. Ana

    I’ll keep that in mind!

  9. dovile

    Agree on every point, but the Clarisonic one. I thought I had extremely dry skin before I started using my Mia. Now after half a year of using it, I’m coming to the conclusion that I have combination skin after all. No more dry patches for me and my skin finally produces some sebum. It did something to my skin that no aesthetician, exfoliator or cream could do. Also, my milia (which I’ve had for years and years) is finally going away. And finally, I’m almost free of those darn spots and pimples.

    Of course, two times per day does sound a but excessive, but once a day feels wonderful for my skin. If I skip one or two days, I immediately get a blemish on my forehead.

    So yeah. That’s my two cents.

    • Alison

      I respectfully disagree with Renee about the Clarisonic – personally, I found using the Clarisonic a few times a week or even once a day less effective than using it every day, twice a day long term. I have tried it both ways, and have seen only improvement using it twice a day long term. The vast majority of exfoliants and cleansers make my skin feel overworked, burned, excessively oily/tight/dry, and I avoid these things like the plague, but I’ve never had any such averse side effects from the Clarisonic. If anything, my skin feels soothed by using it as regularly as I do because I no longer have painful, bleeding, scarring acne.

      In short, I use it as the company recommends and my skin has not been better since I was a child!

  10. Although I agree that toner should be wiped on, isn’t toner now a thing of the past? Shouldn’t your cleanser be washed away? If it’s not I think you need a different cleanser. I’m a huge fan of facial mists for hydrating the skin, but I don’t think I’ve used toner in over 5 years. There is jsut no need for it.

    • Kristen

      I use a toner every morning and night. I have acne prone and oily skin and I find that using witch hazel as a toner keeps my skin balanced. I actually did not start using toner until I introduced witch hazel into my routine after a breakout. Now I will not be without it! I think it really comes down to your skin. I don’t use toner to necessarily wipe off residue that my cleanser didn’t remove, I use it as a extra step in my routine to keep acne at bay.

      I have never gotten on the misting bandwagon. To me it seems a very ineffective way of using a toner in the first place.

      • Quinctia

        I was just coming in to comment that the only time I saw any results from toner was when my skin was more acne prone…I more spot treated with toner, but it helped then.

        Otherwise, you should probably choose a different cleanser rather than add another product (or two? “toner cloths,” seriously?) into your routine.

    • Hello Daniela,
      I personally believe that toners are an essential part of a good skin care regimen, as long as they are alcohol-free. Read five reasons why you need to use a toner. -Renee

  11. I sort of disagree on the Clarisonic one… Clarisonic is not an exfoliator. Clarisonic even makes sure you don’t expect Clarisonic to exfoliate your skin….
    On the other hand, I’ve been using Clarisonic for 2 months and my skin hasn’t looked this good since I was 11 years old!

  12. Thanks for the tips! I’m only guilty of picking at my skin when I see blemishes developing (can’t help it sometimes), but other than that apparently I’ve been treating my skin pretty well! Thanks for letting us know what we should do for our skin in different seasons though. I do add a serum of something for winter but other than that I haven’t thought so much about this!

  13. never knew that about toner… very helpful! I’m going to start unlearning this tonight!

  14. lia

    Interesting tips, most of which I have heard of before. The one about washing your face twice a day threw me off though- I generally only wash my face once, in the morning while I shower. Washing my face too often seems to make it more oily, especially by the end of the day, even when using a gentle cleanser (Philosophy Purity). I don’t wear foundation/full face makeup (just eyeliner and lip gloss) so I don’t feel like I need to wash my face at night. Should I be washing it at night anyway? And if so, how can I combat the increase in oilyness? Thanks!

    • Ashley

      I only rinse my face once a day, which is when I take my evening shower (although if I were to skip it because I was too tired to shower, then I’d not rinse/wash my face at all for the day), and my skin is much much happier. Even though I don’t use products of any kind, putting my skin on a schedule that is different than that of my body doesn’t produce any benefits. When I was using cleansers though, my skin was still just as oily whether it was used once or twice a day – it only became normal-combo once I stopped products. I’d often notice though that if I were to be lazy with my routine in highschool, my skin would not at all look oily until about 3 days without cleansing in any way. But my skin would not be worse for it.

      Overall, the only point I agree with here is 1 and 6. Everything else is 100% subjective to the individual, so I find it extremely irritating and, honestly, somewhat idiotic for these habits to basically be generalized to everyone.

      • Ashley

        To clarify/fix, I meant to say that 2-3 days without using any of my skincare products, not just not cleansing :)

    • Quinctia

      Well, that’s just the thing. Sebum, in itself, isn’t a bad thing for your skin to produce. It naturally keeps it from being dry. The problem comes in overproduction, and while hormones tend to cause that result during puberty, once you’ve gotten into a routine of overwashing (your face, your hair, anywhere) your body will overproduce sebum as a countereffect. So, it seems counterintuitive at that point, but washing less might make your skin less oily if you’re in that kind of cycle. Everyone needs to find a balance that works for them. I think, if you put product on your face, you should wash it off before bed, but what method/cleanser you use and when you should wash again is very individualized.

      I wonder, sometimes, if a lot of people with “combination” skin could benefit from washing less, because if you’re really oily and really dry, it might be because you’re working so hard at stripping the oils that your skin needs, they’re not doing their job and your body is trying to produce them faster so they don’t get stripped again.

  15. Monique

    I did find this post helpful. But with my Clairsonic I use it twice and a day. My skin is oily and after using my clairsonic it has cut my oil production down quite a bit. I guess it really depends what kind of skin you have. My skin looks amazing now. I get so many compliments.

  16. Eileen

    Many dermatologists advise women with dry skin to not wash their skin in the morning. If the skin is properly cleansed at night, it is not necessary and can actually further dry out the skin and aggravate skin conditions. Simply splashing with water or going over the skin with a mild toner is sufficient. That’s the problem with lists of dos and don’ts–one size does not necessarily fit all.

  17. Nadia

    I bought and returned the Clarisonic. And I didn’t even use it twice a day. I used it once daily. I tried it for about a month before I decided it wasn’t working for me. My skin became extremely sensitive and started flaking big time. It was way too harsh for me. I wouldn’t even say I have sensitive skin but it was too sensitive to tolerate the Clarisonic on a once a day basis. And I felt it was too expensive to keep only to use it once a week or whatever. So I took it back.

  18. HeatherSA

    Where do I find “Post-Breakout Fading Gel”? :)

  19. HeatherSA

    Oh, and also where can I get the no picking toy you mentioned? I have a horrible picking habbit. :((((

  20. Thank you for your tips. I’m going o go check out your Clarisonic post now.

    Kindness is the best accessory,

  21. Morgan

    I got my Clarisonic as a gift and I love it. I have acne prone, oily, sensitive skin and I use my Clarisonic Mia 2 once daily, usually at night to ensure all my makeup is gone.
    I have the normal brush head on it and use CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser at the lower speed setting. Since introducing the Clarisonic to my skincare routine, I’ve made sure to eliminate anything else that could “re-do” what my Clarisonic already does (for example, face scrubs and harsh topical ointments). I don’t have any qualms about using it daily and I have yet to see any concerning reactions from my skin. In fact, it is looking better than ever :)

  22. Not tugging the eye is really hard for me, I cannot apply eyeliner or eyepencil without doing so. It looks horrid then. Gah. People say practice, but I don’t have the time at 7 in the morning >:

  23. Maebeee

    I agree with everything especially the washing in the morning. Who doesn’t wash their face in the morning. That’s just nasty not to. As for my two cents on the Clarisonic I use it once daily and my skin has never been better. I use it with a delicate brush and Chanel cleanser. The Clarisonic that I have is the Mia and my brush does not rotate it vibrates. It is awesome. I’m not sure about the rotating ones that would seem too rough.

  24. Hunter

    Hello Renee!

    I have skin that is always red in my cheeks, and if I wash my face in the morning it just gets worse. So I have taken to using rosewater toner in the morning, then using my serum and spf. Is it really bad that I’m not using an actual cleanser in the morning? I just hate the increase in redness that comes with it.

  25. There is no other good things than having a clear glowing skin. Having a nice skin is a pride, it makes women even more beautiful, more attractive, and being attractive could boost confidence.

  26. winter100

    i’d really like to see some evidence to back up the claim that while sleeping your skin secretes “toxins”

  27. Jennie

    I too use rosewater to cleanse my face in the morning like the other person mentioned here, renee is it okay to do this and properly cleanse tone etc at night
    I read that rosewater is very good at cleansing and toning and moisturising the skin all in one??
    Whats your view on this