Rodan + Fields / Blog / Doctor's Notes

Top 6 Common Skincare Mistakes (That Everyone Makes!)

Closeup of woman wearing hair wrap with clean, hydrated skin

Beauty enthusiasts know so much about skincare, and enjoy reading and learning even more about it. From ingredients to new products to hacks, tips and techniques, there’s so much content available and a multitude of sources from which to get the scoop.

At the same time, there are a lot of people who simply want their skincare routine to work for them—no added education involved. They do not necessarily have a passion for learning all the steps and understanding how they work behind the scenes for their skin. They just want to know if they are effective. And that’s ok! Skincare can be complicated. But if you remember a few key directions, you will see the results you are looking for.

Common Skincare Mistakes to Avoid

Are you making these top 6 common skincare mistakes? Read on to find out about all of the skincare mistakes to avoid.

1. You’re using a few products here and there, inconsistently

Your skincare routine consists of a few basic steps that can’t be missed.One of the worst skincare mistakes is cherry picking and applying products inconsistently and not in the form of a regular skincare routine. The 3 steps are cleansing, toning, and treatment and protection (this can be a combined step if you use a moisturizer with an added sunscreen). This is a basic multi-step skincare plan—of course, you can include additional steps based on your skin’s individual needs. You can also add extra products, like serums, to amplify your routine or to target additional skin concerns. However, you should never skip any of the core steps.

Step 1: Cleanser

Start with a gentle cleanser for both exfoliation and to remove makeup, dirt and pollution that has accumulated throughout the day. 

Step 2: Toner

Follow with a toner, an important step that so many people skip. A toner softens your skin, minimizing the appearance of pores and prepares your skin for the products you’ll apply afterward. Toners also often contain exfoliation benefits to help remove dead skin cells. This water-based vehicle allows for targeted ingredients to better penetrate the surface of the skin. In other words, toner optimizes the ingredients for better performance in the skin.

Step 3: Treatment and Protection (Cream)

The next and last step is your day or night moisturizer. This step provides your anti-aging benefits, protects your skin barrier, hydrates and supports cell turnover, while improving skin function and overall visible results. No matter the weather or climate, your skin needs that moisture. Your day moisturizer needs to protect your skin from environmental aggressors, like pollutants, and SPF for sun protection.

2. You’re skipping SPF. (One of the worst skincare mistakes to make!)

Skipping this step is one of the biggest skincare mistakes you can make. Preventative skincare is important. Even on rainy or cloudy days, even when staying indoors most of the time, you still need to wear your SPF. The consequences of skipping this step can have damaging results—visible signs of aging, blue light side effects, sunburns, or even skin cancer. “Whether it is cloudy, rainy, or bright, you need your sun protection every day because every day is ‘sunday’ as far as your skin is concerned,” Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields say. 

3. You’re applying your products in the wrong order.

The order in which you apply your skincare makes a difference, especially with add on products like eye cream. This is a very common skincare mistake that gets made. We recommend putting this on before you apply your face cream to protect your eye area, where the skin is more delicate than the rest of your face. Another good example of this rule?  Serum. It should always be applied before your face cream, as well. The thinnest products with the most active ingredients in the highest concentration should go onto the skin first. In other words, what is the most precious, comes first.

4. You’re confusing your skin’s circadian rhythm.

Your skin needs to be protected during the day and able to regenerate and restore itself at night. What happens with your skin at night? Your skin has its own circadian rhythm, which is a 24-hour cycle that is a part of the body’s internal clock. Think of it as an operating system like the one on your phone: It runs in the background to carry out essential functions and processes. At night, your skin absorbs products better, as it’s thinner at that time and undergoes the cell renewal and skin regeneration process. “Along with formulations, when you target the skin, we value your circadian rhythm and this approach greatly impacts results,” Dr. Kathy Fields says. “Your skin is cooler so more ingredients can absorb and penetrate better, leaving you with a dewy finish, which you wouldn’t want in the daytime,” Dr. Kathy Fields adds.

5. You are changing your skincare routine constantly.

We understand the siren call of new skincare products, but we advise you, for the sake of your skin, not to be tempted with seasonal “products of the week.” Skincare takes at least 4-8 weeks of consistent, twice-a-day use for you to see the results and benefits in action. So, give your skincare products a chance to work for you.

6. You’re forgetting your neck.

This is a very common mistake. Last but not least — think of your neck as part of your face. Protect your neck! Take care of your skin on your neck and dec (décolletage). Your face care products should be applied below your jawline in your morning and evening routines to keep it looking youthful and healthy. And if you have any product left over on your hands from your application? Apply it to the backs of your hands to keep them looking fantastic.

Guilty of Making these Common Skincare Mistakes? Don’t Worry.

You’ve heard it before: we all make mistakes! And skincare is no different. Skincare can be complicated. With the expansive variety of products on the market and information out there, it can be hard to choose the skincare routine that both addresses your unique skin concern and delivers the results you’re after. With all these choices, we are all bound to make some skincare blunders. But don’t fret. If you remember a few key directions or key steps listed above and follow them consistently, you’ll be on track to achieving your skin goals.