Skincare mistakes to avoid

Image courtesy of Wix

As an avid skincare user and beauty enthusiast, I have made many mistakes with beauty, mainly the concealer lipstick trend of 2010. These are mistakes I have made in the past and mistakes backed up by industry experts. To celebrate beauty, here are some skincare mistakes I made so you do not have to. Listed after each mistake are a premium product recommendation and a budget-friendly product option. Although you may see faster results with the premium option, skincare does not have to be expensive. Make sure to get loyalty cards if you do decide to start investing in your routine.


Using makeup wipes or micellar water is not cleansing. It is wiping the product off whilst smearing bacteria across your face. Not only are makeup wipes terrible for the environment, but they are awful for your skin. As an alternative for thoroughly cleaning your skin, try double-cleansing. Caroline Hirons, a globally qualified advanced aesthetician trained in over 100 brands, believes in the importance of double-cleansing; removing “the first layer of dirt/makeup/SPF and then going in [to] actually wash your face” with the second cleanse. When cleansing the face with makeup wipes or micellar water, the skin is not thoroughly cleansed. A build-up of bacteria and dead skin cells will occur leading to more frequent breakouts.

Product-wise a more premium option for double cleansing is the Pixi Double Cleanse, which is a 2 in 1 product priced at £21.60 (if you take advantage of the Boots in Whitefriars student discount offer). A more budget friendly option would be the Boots ‘Botanics Organic Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm’ priced at £8.09 with student discount and then using the ‘Botanics Hydration Burst Dual Action Cleanser’ priced at £4.49 – also with student discount applied – as the second cleanse.


Exfoliating with either a physical or a chemical exfoliant can be great for the skin, but over-exfoliating is a thing. Over-exfoliation can occur either as a result of using too abrasive of a material such as a scrub or an exfoliating brush; or as a result of exfoliating too frequently. If your skin ever feels sore after exfoliating, you are over-exfoliating – that is not the feeling of the product working. Light exfoliation such as the use of a flannel in the cleansing process can be used daily as a light physical exfoliant. But keep chemical exfoliation, like an acid toner. Use it for a maximum of three times a week and keep physical exfoliation (i.e a scrub) to a minimum.

A great premium product which can be found in the Whitefriars Boots is the ‘Pixi Glow Tonic’ which is priced at £16.20 with a student discount. A more budget-friendly option which works just as well but does not break the bank is the ‘The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution’ priced at £6.80 which can be found in the Canterbury Fenwicks near the Mac counter.


Sheet masks are trending and can be found everywhere. Saying that sheet masks are not necessarily as amazing for your skin as they are marketed to be. They promise to boost hydration at an ultra-fast rate. However, as beauty expert Paula Begoun, founder of Paula’s Choice skincare and creator of, discusses: “Ingredients only absorb based on their molecular size. If an ingredient is too big a size, that mask is not going to change its size and help it absorb any better.” Sheet masks are a beauty product you do not need. I would invest the money into a consistent skincare routine – you will achieve much greater results. If you do want to purchase a mask avoid sheet masks altogether. Go for a mask that does not trap bacteria between the mask layer and your skin.

A premium option is the ‘Ole Henriksen Transform Plus PHAT Glow Facial’. Though expensive at £37.80 with student discount at the Whitefriars Boots, it can transform your skin by instantly exfoliating, illuminating, and brightening dull skin. A budget-friendly option to this would be the ‘T-Zone Australian Pink Clay Mask’, which can be found in the local Superdrug priced at £8.06 with student discount, which offers a great detox without the illumination.

Sun cream

This skincare mistake is the most easily forgotten but also most crucial mistake – not applying sun cream daily. In your late teens or early twenties, skincare may not seem that important but in twenty years you will be very grateful for the regular application of SPF. Though the sun is not the enemy of the skin and is a useful source of Vitamin D; too much exposure to UV rays will accelerate the ageing of the skin. Although it may be best to avoid purchasing skincare products containing SPF altogether and instead opting for purely sun cream as a layer of skincare routine. This is to prevent the interference of SPF with skincare active ingredients.

A premium sun cream that is non-greasy, incredibly absorbent, and easily applicable over the top of makeup is the ‘Kiehl's Ultra-Light' Daily UV Defence Sunscreen’ priced at £36 and can be ordered into Debenhams to collect. A more budget-friendly option, which does just as good of a job at protecting your skin, would be the ‘Solait Mattifying Face Fluid SPF50+’ which can be found in Superdrug for a very reasonable £3.59 with student discount.

Investing in Skincare may seem like a waste of money and can be slightly bewildering at first. Your skin may get worse before it gets better as it adjusts but avoiding these beauty mistakes can make a massive difference to your skin. Consistency is key with skincare so you can divide products into morning and night routines and the results will be obvious over time. Yes, makeup can cover up a lot, but skincare can prevent the need to cover up anything at all; so simply put down the Makeup wipes and pick up the sun cream.

This article is part of our one-off edition of IQ Magazine, out from November the 29th 2019. Pick up the magazine on campus in our InQuire distribution bins in Keynes, Co-op, the Templeman library and other locations on campus.