To continue on from last week’s post, I’m still going to keep this one fairly broad so everything will be gender neutral and can be changed almost immediately all while costing little to no money. I say these are things you’re probably doing wrong because I didn’t learn about most of them until I started going to school for aesthetics so, to some these may not be common knowledge.
So, what do I think you’re doing wrong…
- Not washing your hair properly.
- I’m putting this at number one because if you guys only read one thing from this whole blog, it should be this. This is one of the things I didn’t learn until my 20s, so I’m not here to judge anyone that doesn’t already know this. SO, the “repeat” part in the instructions on the back of the bottle that read “lather, rinse, repeat,” is probably the most important part of your shampooing instructions. You don’t need to wash your hair everyday, but you do need to wash it twice when you wash it. In the correct order it should go: get hair wet, quick shampoo, rinse, shampoo with 1-2 minute scalp massage, rinse, condition (for at least 3-5 minutes), rinse. Getting the hair wet removes any loose debris and preps the hair for shampooing (if you apply shampoo to your dry hair, I’m assuming you’re a sociopath). Then using a DIME size portion of your shampoo, use your fingertips to help with product distribution while you gingerly work the product onto your scalp, avoiding your ends. Your shampoo should almost never lather on the first wash. This is okay. Your shampoo is still doing its job. Your hair is dirty which means it contains dirt and oil. Soap doesn’t get very soapy if it has a lot of debris to remove. Don’t keep globbing on more and more shampoo until you get suds. You’re just wasting product at this point and if you keep massaging, you’re working the dirt and oil back into your scalp. Make it a quick cleanse with a quick rinse. Water to remove loose debris and a quick wash to remove dirt and oil. After the first rinse take another dime size portion of your shampoo and this time massage it into your scalp for a good minute or two. Now your shampoo should give you a little bit of a lather because you’ve removed all of the build-up and are now letting it cleanse your roots and scalp while also giving your hair whatever benefits your product contains. It’s still a-okay if your shampoo doesn’t lather. Suds do not equal sanitary, they usually equal sulfates. Sulfates are irritants and are not good for your hair or skin. We’ll talk about products and ingredients further into detail in a later post. For now, just focus on the how-to, first. Massage is very important throughout the cleansing because it not only relaxes you, but it can also stimulate hair growth. After your second cleanse and rinse, add your conditioner, applying it generously to your ends and working it up. Some people say not to condition your scalp, but I disagree. Your scalp needs moisture just like the rest of your body and if you’re someone with oily hair, the additional moisture can actually help regulate your oil production. Stripping it will make it try to overcompensate for the lost moistures and will make it produce more oil. I work from home so, I don’t mind loading my roots down with conditioner because if my hair looks oily, no one is going to see it, but there is also nothing wrong with only wanting to lightly condition if you feel a deep condition will weigh your hair down too much. You’ll want to let your conditioner sit for about 3-5 minutes before rinsing and once you’ve rinsed, you’re finished. If you do this properly, you’ll notice your products lasting almost twice as long as they used to! This is why I don’t mind spending extra money on professional products because I know the products are more concentrated so, a little goes a long way, making the price per fl oz worth it.
- Not washing your body in the correct order.
- To go along with number 1, there is an actual order to bathing that (I believe) is more ideal for overall cleanliness. If you wear makeup or work in a field that typically leaves you covered in dirt and oil, you should be removing the majority of it before getting in the shower. Don’t scrub it off, don’t use makeup removing wipes, and for the love of whatever you believe in, do NOT put orange soap on your face. By orange soap, I mean that gritty soap that artists and mechanics use. Your hands are much tougher than your face. Instead, use a light oil and/or gentle cleanser. If you still have some eye makeup left over that’s fine. The steam from the shower will help loosen that up. You mainly just want to remove the majority of it so it doesn’t seep down into your pores once the shower steam relaxes them. Once in the shower, rinse off and immediately wash your face with a cleanser. Again, no need to scrub, you just want to try to remove the rest of the grime. Now do both shampoos, then conditioner. While you’re conditioning you can wash your body, shave, do a scrub, whatever you need to do. Once you rinse your conditioner, run your body wash back over your chest, shoulders, and back to remove any of the conditioner that may be left on the skin. This can actually lead to breakouts, especially if you have sensitive skin. Once you’ve done that, wash your face for a finale time. For the first wash I typically use a gentle cleanser since I’m just removing dirt and oil and then when I use a second cleanser, I use one that’s more treatment targeted. For me either anti-aging or acne related. Once you’ve rinsed that, you’re done. Lightly pat your body with a towel (if you have long hair, I typically like to clip mine up to get it off my back), but still leave the skin fairly wet. Apply your facial lotion first (you want to do this before your body lotion incase it has fragrance), then your body lotion. It should mix with the water and you should be white for a minute or two and you should give it time to absorb into your body. You will use less product and feel less greasy, but still hydrated once it’s absorbed. If you need extra moisture, add a non-comedogenic oil on top of your lotion once it’s dry.
- Not knowing the difference in moisturizing and hydrating.
- This is something that I’m going to assume most people don’t know because it’s not common knowledge. At least it wasn’t for me. To make it easier to remember, dehydrated skin lacks water and dry skin lacks oil. While the best way to keep your skin hydrated is to actually drink plenty of water, hydrators are products that are formulated with water-binding ingredients like glycerine, honey, or a hyaluronic acid to add to/increase the skin’s water moisture content. Moisturizers are oil-based products that don’t typically penetrate the skin (because most oil molecules are too large), but instead occlude or sit on top of the skin to lock-in your skin’s natural hydration as well as keeping the outer dermis soft. This is why it’s important to apply a lotion first to damp skin and then apply an oil on top once the lotion has been absorbed into the skin.
- Not wiping your face/skin in the correct direction.
- This one is pretty simple. You want to avoid tugging at the skin because that will begin to loosen up the elasticity in it and once that is broken, it cannot be repaired naturally. You always want to gently wipe your eyes, face, and body inwards and upwards as to not pull in a direction that could cause sagging.
- Not sleeping on a satin.
- Silk and/or satin sheets can be a pain to actually keep on the bed so, I’m not going to blame you for not running out and grabbing new bedding, but the main area you’re wanting to focus on for this is your head. If you aren’t up for making a full satin switch, try satin pajamas or at least a satin pillowcase. Obviously the better the quality the better it will be for your skin, but you also don’t have to go out and buy a $99 pillow case. Sally’s sells satin pillowcases for like $10. That’s at least better than cotton and or jersey or whatever else people use. Silk and satin are better to sleep on for both you skin and hair due to the material being slick and causing less friction. This can help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and hair breakage.
- Sleeping without a humidifier.
- Not an oil diffuser, just a cool water humidifier. As humans, we can almost always use a little more hydration at practically any given time. A small humidifier next to your bed helps to keep moisture in the air at night or while you sleep, which can then help keep the skin a little more hydrated and also prevent your lips and throat from getting dry.
- Not clipping your toenails properly.
- I say properly lightly on this one. I’m not entirely sure if this is a proven fact, but it’s something my dad taught me and it works for us, so I’d say it might work for you too. Now I’m going to be honest, it’s not very appealing, but if you are prone to ingrowns, it’s life changing. Since I only have issues with ingrowns on my big toes, they are the only nails I shape this way. So, instead of cutting straight across or even trimming away at the sides of the nail where the ingrowns have begun growing, you leave the outsides be and clip an inward “V” in the middle of your nail. as in your toenail kind of looks like –> |V| haha if that makes since. Don’t clip it too far though, you’re not trying to get to the ouchie part, just enough to make a little divot. This then redirects the growth inward instead of outward. I don’t ever wear open toed shoes, but I also don’t ever have painful ingrowns either so, pick your battle.
- Not using the proper sunscreen and not applying it correctly.
- This one is a biggie. Most sunscreens that you can buy at a drug store are loaded with chemicals that are,’t great for your skin. The three main things you want to avoid are a sunscreen with more than two active ingredients, aerosols, and a really high SPF. The only two active ingredients that should be in your sunscreen are zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Either or both are fine. Aerosols are full of harsh chemicals that are not only bad for your skin and the environment, but they also have been linked to chemical reactions in the sun such as burns and rashes. They should be avoided at all costs. Also, the higher the SPF, the more chemicals the sunscreen contains. So what should you look for? The two active ingredients mentioned earlier, the words “broad spectrum” (this means it blocks out both UVA and UVB rays), and an SPF below 40-50. It is also very important that you follow the instructions on the product you’re using so you know when to reapply. It is crucial that you reapply or you will only be protected for the allotted time the bottle says. When applying and reapplying sunscreen you must do so indoors or in a shaded area and 20-30 minutes before you actually get out in the sun. Sunscreen has to absorb into your skin for it to work so, if you’re applying it in the sun, you’re just letting it melt right off before it can do anything for you. It is important to use a proper sunscreen if you want to avoid all of the harsh things being overexposed to the sin can do to you. I, personally suggest cruelty-free products, but if you’re in a bind, you still need to protect your skin, so again, pick your battle. I use Badger for my body, which can be found at most Targets, Walmarts, and Walgreens and DermAware for my face. Kabana, Juice Beauty, True Natural, and DermaE also make really nice body sunscreens and Tarte and Josie Maran make great facial sunscreens that meet all of my criteria.
- Trying to switch all of your products at one time.
- If you suddenly feel like everything you’ve been using has just stopped working or you notice you’re breaking out more or you’re having some kind of rash or reaction to a product you’re using, the last thing you need to do is switch all of your products at the same time. Even if the new products are super gentle, your body isn’t used to an influx of new ingredients so, that could also be something thats sends your body into overdrive and continues to make you have a reaction. I would know, I just went through this haha. Take it from me, switch out one product at a time. Whatever is causing you to have a reaction is going to take a little while to completely get out of your system, so take your time testing out each product you switch for another, so you can get a more accurate analysis. Even if you weren’t already having some kind of abnormality from your products, having perfectly healthy skin doesn’t mean it can’t one day have a meltdown. If you switch out two or more products at a time, you’re going to experience some backlash from your body.
- Not knowing the ingredients in your products.
- It’s hard to tell who in the beauty/skin/health worlds are trying to actually help you and who just want to make money by scamming people. This is why it’s so important to know how ingredients are listed, what the ingredients are, and what they do. There are many ingredients in products that people will swear by that aren’t actually as beneficial as they claim to be. For example, benzoyl peroxide (the active ingredient in Proactive) is an ingredient that your skin will become addicted to. This is why if you’ve ever used Proactive, it probably felt like it was the only thing that worked, but after your skin got super dry and flakey, you tried switching to something else, but it completely broke you out so you had to go back to Proactive. At least that’s what happened to me. Turns out, the products I tried using after Proactive weren’t what broke me out, it was my skin detoxing/withdrawing from benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide isn’t completely useless though. It is great for spot healing, but it should never be used consecutively. The best active ingredients to look for, for acne products are salicylic acid or willow bark. Salicylic acid is derived from the bark of willow trees, but willow bark will be what you find in your more natural products while salyclialic acid will be used in more professional products. Glycolic acid is also good for helping fight both acne and aging. Both acids are chemical exfoliants as well so, they help with removing dead skin and reducing texture. It’s also important to make sure your products are actually using what they advertise by checking the ingredients. Ingredients are listed from the highest percentage used to the lowest and any ingredients listed after the preservatives usually make up less than 1%. The fewer ingredients in your products the better. It’s also not good if you can’t pronounce most of the ingredients and it’s not good to use products with heavy color dyes or fragrances. If you’re using natural products with essential oils, make sure whoever you are buying from knows the proper dilution ratio with a carrier oil. Essential oils are very strong and heavily concentrated so, adding too many drops to a product can cause irritation on the skin as well as photosensitivity. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ll do a whole post dedicated to ingredients and which ones work best for which skin types or skin issues and so on.
I hope this helped some of you or maybe you at least learned a thing or two and I’m not just a complete idiot for thinking people didn’t already know these things, but yeah, there’s my knowledge I wanted to share with you all. Next week we’ll probably go into more detail about a topic, but I really do think these general tips are very important to know when it comes to needing to take better care of ourselves and our bodies. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking care of yourself. It makes you look and feel better so, just do it. Mmkay byeee.