Most of us have a skincare routine that we stick to out of habit — it’s all about a repetition of steps you have to do day in and day out. But what if you are you repeating the wrong steps? Here are 11 of the top skincare mistakes we’re all guilty of.

Top 11 skincare mistakes

1. Over Exfoliating

It’s tempting but highly damaging in the long term to buff away too much of your top skin layer. “You’re actually removing the protective barrier that your skin has,” says Dr. Ben Johnson, founder of Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare. “Once removed, your skin is exposed to environmental toxins and sun damage, causing aging.” Exfoliate two to three times a week, max.

Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant, $28.05, Amazon

2. Falling Into Bed With Your Makeup OnSkincare Mistakes

You can be forgiven for that one drunken night, but it can’t be a habit. “Not removing your makeup for the night clogs your pore and oil glands,” says Dennis Gross MD. “When makeup becomes impacted in pores, it makes them appear larger. Once your collagen levels decline, the pore won’t snap back as easily once it has been enlarged.” Plus, he says, it leads to inflammation.

Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes, $3.69, Amazon

3. Not Cleansing Properly

You may be diligent in makeup removal, but are you using the right cleanser to put your skin in optimal condition for overnight renewal? “Look for a cleanser that contains the right ingredients,” says Gross. “Things like antioxidants for protection, salicylic acid to help clear your pores, and witch hazel, which acts as a natural astringent.”

CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser, $10.19, Amazon

4. Not Wearing Sunscreen Every Day

It’s not just for the beach: The best protection against skin aging is a good sunscreen defense. “Wear it everyday, and look for one that has an SPF of 30 or higher,” says Florida-based dermatologist Marisa Potter. “It should also be broad spectrum, which means it helps to shield you from UVA rays (as well as UVB) which are known to cause photoaging of the skin.” She also advises applying sunblock to your chest and the top of your hands daily as well.

Neutrogena Clear Face Sunblock Lotion, $9.97, Amazon

5. Exfoliating Away Oily Skin

Not possible, says Florida-based esthetician Crystal McElroy. “People think that if they exfoliate with different scrubs they’ll eliminate issues like oily skin, but when your skin is over-scrubbed, the oil production actually speeds up because skin’s natural repair mechanism is put into overdrive.” Again, two to three times per week is sufficient for exfoliation.

6. Picking At Your Face

Most of us know we shouldn’t do this, but lots of us do it anyway. “Anytime you pick or pull at your skin, you are causing damage and creating irritation, scars and wrinkles,” says Johnson. Just. Stop.

7. Using Dirty Makeup BrushesSkincare Mistakes

Yes, it’s doing more damage to your skin than you think. “Invest in a brush cleaner, especially for your foundation brush,” says McElroy. We love Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner. “Keeping your brushes clean every day will ensure no dirt and old makeup buildup is going to effect your skin.”

Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner, $8.50,

8. Drying Out Your Skin

“We all break out,” says California-based dermatologist Howard Murad. “People with acne or the occasional pimple think they need to dry out their skin, so choose products that are too harsh — which can cause further irritation than the breakout itself.” He says to look for a treatment that soothes while it targets your skin concern, and to always finish with a hydrating moisturizer.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel, $16.14, Amazon

9. Not Moisturizing Oily Skin

Regardless of your skin type, it’s imperative that you moisturize daily and apply a heavier cream at night, says Dr. Murad. “It’s a common misconception that those with an oily skin should avoid moisturizers. In fact, it’s vital that even oily skin gets moisture because without it, skin will overcompensate for the loss of hydration [with more oil], leading to breakouts and an uneven skin texture.” Take note: Moisturizing adds water to the skin, not oil.Skincare Mistakes - Olay Complete

Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer, $17.88, Amazon

Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream, $12.40, Amazon

10. Loading Your Skin Up With Products At Night

Less is more, says McElroy. “After a normal cleansing routine, applying two or three different serums for a variety of concerns isn’t effective at all. All topical products are effective up to 0.3% absorption into skin so the more you add the less effective each of them is.” If you have multiple skin needs, alternate your serums.

11. Sleeping On A Cotton Pillowcase

Better yet, switch to silk. “Satin or silk minimizes permanent creases and complexion issues. Persistently pressing your face into a pillowcase causes trauma to the skin. Over time, this trauma aggravated by the friction of cotton can cause permanent creases as our collagen breaks down,” says Dr. Gross.

Alaska Bear Natural Silk Pillowcase, $19.99, Amazon

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