Avoid these makeup mistakes that make you look years older

Nov 9 2012 - 9:33am
Oprah, Beauty Secrets, Makeup Mistakes, Skin Care

It might not be possible (yet) to turn back the hands of time, but for great skin, there are many steps you can take that can make you appear more youthful if you avoid certain makeup mistakes.

You may be making some very common mistakes in your skin care and makeup routine that actually will cause you to look years older. Oprah and Huffington Post share the best beauty secrets from top experts.

First and foremost, there are a couple of things you can do to slow down the aging of your skin: Wear sunscreen and stop smoking. Sun exposure can lead to wrinkles, age spots and other skin problems in addition to the increased risk of skin cancer. Wear a sunscreen of at least 15, even on cloudy days, on your face and neck. Apply it early - at least 20 minutes before leaving the house. If you plan to spend all day outdoors, be sure to reapply sunscreen at least every two hours and wear a wide-brimmed hat.

Smoking also makes your skin look older by narrowing the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow. This depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin, the fiber that give your skin its strength. The American Cancer Society offers a complete guide on how to quit smoking – and stay quit.

Clean Skin is Healthy Skin
Clean skin is also an important step toward a more youthful appearance. The goal is to unclog pores, dissolve dirt and makeup, and remove excess oils. A simple, gentle cleanser made for the face is enough, says Boston dermatologist Ranella Hirsch MD. You do not need a product that offers a bunch of “extras” that wash downs the drain. Her favorite cleansers are those you can buy at any drugstore across the country, such as Basis Cleaner Clean Face Wash at just $6 a bottle.

Remember that before you begin washing your face and putting on makeup – wash your hands! Our hands are carrying around billions of bacteria at any given time which inevitably gets transferred to our face. Bacteria is the number one culprit of skin breakouts.

When washing the face, first remove eye makeup with a product specifically made for the task and then cleanse. Start at the forehead and work your way down to the nose, then outwards to your cheeks and eventually down to your face and neck. Small, circular motions can help massage the skin, bringing back healthy blood flow to the face. Use tepid water, because anything too hot will shock the skin and could burst capillaries, resulting in red marks usually found around the nose and cheeks. After cleansing, splash the face with cool water to close the pores and pat skin dry with a clean towel.

If you have dry skin, it is a good idea to exfoliate the skin two to three times per week prior to putting on moisturizer and foundation.

Here again, moisturizing the facial skin is very important for a youthful look, but you do not have to spend a ton of money on “specialty” products that claim to do more than they actually do. A basic moisturizer that contains both a humectant such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and propylene glycol (to draw water to the skin) and an emollient such as dimethicone, petrolatum and coconut oil (to prevent water loss) .

At night, use a moisturizer lotion or cream that contains a retinoid. Research shows that this vitamin A derivative can undo wrinkles and discoloration caused by sun damage. Look for the word “retinol” in the ingredients list (the higher up, the better.) Retinoids can be irritating at first, so gradually increase the amount you use until you can tolerate one each night. Apply the retinoid to your neck also, but because that skin is more sensitive, use it more sparingly.

Foundation and Powder Mistakes to Avoid
The proper color of foundation can help even out discoloration, but too much of the thick stuff will settle into fine lines and sap the luminosity from your skin. Makeup artist Frances Hathaway suggests avoiding products described as “matte”, “velvet”, and “long-wearing” and opt instead for sheer liquid formulas with light-diffusing pigments.

Many people top off the foundation with powder, but it may not be necessary. Youthful skin reflects light, but powders prevent light reflection and may actually magnify the lines in the skin. If you need an extra layer of coverage, use a very sheer translucent powder and use only on the nose and chin. If you use powder to keep oiliness at a minimum, you may instead try a packet of blotting tissues to use midday on the T-zone (nose, chin and forehead.)

Some women use a thick concealer to hide dark circles and shadows under the eye. Unfortunately, an improper product actually will draw attention to the area. A better option is a brush-on highlighter pen. Oprah suggests Neutrogena Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector, another inexpensive product found in drugstores, which uses illuminating particles instead of opaque color. Apply it only near the inner corners of the under-eye area where shadows are most prominent.


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