From picking that pimple to using every skin-care product under the sun and spending hours Googling that rash, there are some skin-care habits that do more harm than good. We asked some of our favorite NYC dermatologists what their patients do that drives them mad. Ahead, find out what they had to say. Read, repent and resolve to stop making these cardinal skin-care sins.
1. Quit Picking at Your Acne
We’re all guilty as charged when it comes to picking at our faces one time or another, but Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic andclinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, urges you to keep your hands away from your face! “While tempting, picking at the skin oftentimes causes more harm than good,” he warns. “Trauma from dirty fingernails can lead to infection or even scarring. Rather than picking the pimple, I would prefer [a patient] come into the office for prescription medication or an injection of cortisone, which will calm inflammation within 24 hours.” Can’t get in to see your doc? Try an acne sticker, which will help treat the blemish and prevent you from messing with it.
2. Don’t Go Overboard on Skin Care
“The overuse of harsh products and over-stripping beautiful natural skin through scrubbing, toning, exfoliating and brushing is the most frustrating trend I’ve seen lately,” says Dr. Ellen Marmur, NYC dermatologist and founder of Marmur Metamorphosis Skincare. When you overuse skin-care products you can often find yourself actually hurting your skin’s layers without even realizing it, which is why you have to pay major attention to the ingredients you use and how often you use them.
3. Stop Starving Your Skin of Moisture
Hydrated skin is healthy skin, but you’re going to have to give your face some help in the hydration department. “Whether you feel you have sensitive skin or not, moisturizing is essential, especially during the winter months when the majority of us suffer from dry, irritated and itchy skin,” says Dr. Shari Marchbein, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at NYU School of Medicine “Everyone should be applying a rich cream with ceramides and hyaluronic acid like CeraVe Moisturizing Cream one to two times a day.”
4. Be Educated — But Don’t Rely on Google
The internet gives us a lot of knowledge, but sometimes patients rely too heavily on what they read and should go see their doc before jumping to conclusions. “While I love my patients to be educated, it’s frustrating when they try to dictate their own treatment regimen,” says Dr. Zeichner. “When you come to the office, you are seeing me for my professional opinion. Sometimes patients become fixated on certain treatments that may not necessarily be the best option for their specific issue. Trust your doctors, they are there to help you.”
5. Avoid Showing Up to Your Derm With a Full Face Beat
While we ordinarily encourage you to wear all the makeup, consider taking it off before you visit your dermatologist. (The same advice applies for nail polish, too.) “These things can make it difficult to properly evaluate the skin, which can cause slight changes or discolorations to be missed,” says Dr. Nava Greenfield of Schweiger Dermatology Group. And don’t bank on taking your makeup off at the office, either. “It’s too time-consuming,” Dr. Greenfield adds.