As a New York City dermatologist, I see all manner of skin problems walk into my office. And while my job is to help my patients to fix those issues, a big part of that is also deducing why they are happening. Think of it as skin care forensic science—I’m investigating the clues to solve the complexion crimes that got you into trouble in the first place.
With that in mind, here are the 10 most common skin care mistakes to avoid if you want to keep your skin on the right side of the (beauty) law.
Wear sunscreen whenever you are in the sun—no matter how long that may be.
Apply your sunscreen before you are in the sun.
If you are already wearing sunscreen on a daily basis, then you are one step ahead of the game. However, there’s more to it than that—if you aren’t applying it right, you could still be putting your skin in harm’s way. A big mistake I see is people who wait to apply their SPF until they are already in the sun. Your skin isn’t fully protected until the sunscreen has had a chance to settle and become active. In order to make sure you have the full strength of that SPF working for you, apply it 10-15 minutes before you plan to go outside. Remember to protect often overlooked areas like your ears and lips. Also, classically neglected is the top of your forehead adjacent to the hairline because people fear messing up their hair if sunscreen is applied there. Due to this neglect, the top of the forehead is where I see an epidemic of pre-cancers, skin cancers and sunspots in my practice.