Looking after our skin is high on our priority list. Plus, hands up if you’re hoping and praying, like us, that the expensive concoction of products you’re using will result in ageless skin in the future. Despite our efforts, some of the things we do to our skin every day have the experts shuddering. Think you’re a skincare saint? You might be surprised by some of the faux pas identified by these leading dermatologists.

1. Wearing make up to bed
We’ve all got home from a particularly late night out and been tempted to hit the pillow with a full face of makeup but dermatologist, Lauren Burton says this is a complete no-no. “Wearing your make-up to bed disrupts the skin’s natural ability to rejuvenate while you sleep, trapping dirt, oil and other environmental factors that settle on the skin throughout the day”. Sleeping in our makeup causes breakouts, blackheads and the build-up of bacteria on the surface of the skin, so it’s always best to wash off the night, before hitting the hay.

2. Picking and squeezing your acne
As tempting as it can be, the worst thing you can do to a pimple is pop it (guilty as charged). Dr Michael Rich, dermatologist and owner of enRich Dermatology, tells us, “Picking and squeezing will cause worsening of redness and swelling, and more than likely leave a scar.” That means– don’t touch! Instead, apply an alcohol-based solution, a product containing benzoyl peroxide, or an antibiotic lotion to treat the affected area gently.

3. Using make-up wipes
Using makeup wipes is quick and convenient but we aren’t using them properly according to the experts. “The active ingredients in make-up wipes are similar to that of a traditional cleanser, however this time saving tool also means you are skipping an imperative step – the rinse,” says Burton. If you’re going to use a make-up wipe remember to wash your face gently with a cloth and water afterwards to remove nasty residue.

4. Forgetting to reapply sunscreen
A majority of us are diligent with our sunscreen application on sunny days but forgetting to reapply after a few hours in the sun is a common mistake. Cancer Council Australia CEO, Sanchia Aranda says “Sunscreen is not effective when it’s not reapplied. Things we do at the beach like, towel drying, coming in and out of the water and perspiring can affect our sunscreen’s effectiveness. Remembering to apply every 2 hours or after swimming, sweating or towel drying is an absolute must!”

5. Wearing your makeup to gym
Wearing your makeup while working out isn’t a great idea. “Makeup will mix with sweat while you exercise to block skin follicles and cause congestion and acne,” says Dr Rich. If you can’t face the gym without a little coverage, consider a tinted moisturiser, mineral foundation or sunblock as an alternative.

6. Tanning
“It’s a common myth that if you don’t get sunburnt you aren’t at risk of skin cancer – but that isn’t the case. There is no such thing as a safe tan,” says Aranda. If your skin turns brown, it’s a sign of sun damage and you are still putting yourself at risk of skin cancer. Our advice, fake it til’ you make it. A fake tan is the safest way to get bronzed.

7. Over exfoliating your skin
Are you addicted to that squeaky clean, extra smooth feeling that comes with exfoliation? That could be a problem. “Over exfoliating your skin, although it feels amazing can cause serious damage in the long run. When the skin is over exfoliated, the natural protective barrier is damaged, leaving the skin vulnerable to moisture loss, irritation and sensitivity,” Burton tells us. Exfoliating 2-3 times a week is plenty.

8. Using too many acidic products
You may not even know it but many of the products we use on our skin contain different forms of acid aimed at reducing redness and spots. Acidic products inherently dry out our skin and too many will dry it out too much. “When we use too many acidic products the skin can appear inflamed and scaley. Be sensible. Less is definitely more,” says Dr Rich.

9. Applying an eye product directly to the eye
Your eyelids are the most delicate skin on your body, so be gentle. Try not to stretch or pull at the skin, it can cause it to wrinkle and lose elasticity. “Use your ring finger with light pressure to apply your eye crème or eye gel to the orbital bone – the area around your eye. There is no need to apply the product any closer to the eye as this will only cause sensitivity,” Burton explains.

10. Not wearing thongs in the gym showers
“Unless you want warts and tinea on your feet, invest in a pair of rubber thongs to keep your skin free of viruses and fungus!” Dr Rich says. We don’t need any more convincing, eek!