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For great-looking skin, it's important to stick to good skin care habits and products that contain [Link Removed] , but equally important for healthy skin is avoiding a few common skin care mistakes.  Small changes can add up to big results!  Here, in no particular order, are 5 skin care mistakes that we have all made and how we can fix them:

1. Not using enough sunscreen.  Nothing ages the skin more than unprotected sun exposure. We know that using a good, broad spectrum, photostable sunscreen like [Link Removed]  every day, rain or shine, is a must, but a recent study showed that most of us still don't apply enough to get the protection indicated on the bottle.  In fact, the study showed that the majority of sunscreen users only apply between 20 and 50% of the amount necessary to deliver the SPF rating. That means that if you're wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 30, you may only be getting protection of between 6 and 15.  The general rule of thumb is to use a full ounce for the entire body.  But what about those days when the face and neck are the only parts of the body that are exposed?  The recommendation varies depending on who you ask, but for the average adult, aim for 1/4 teaspoon to provide adequate coverage.  It's better to put on more than less, but if you find you can't quite do the full ΒΌ teaspoon, apply what you normally would, wait a few minutes and then reapply.  That way, you get spots you may have missed the first time around.

2. Not giving products enough time to work.  We would all love to see immediate results with our products, but the truth is that the skin needs time to adjust and react to active ingredients.  Sadly, there are no [Link Removed] .  The skin renews itself about every 28 days but it may take anywhere from 1 to 3 months for us to see results after introducing a new treatment to our skin care routine.  Whether you're trying to boost collagen production or lighten a few dark spots, be consistent with application and give it time to work.

3. Exfoliating too hard, or too often.  The [Link Removed] ), the result should be soft and radiant skin.  If your skin is irritated and red, you're likely overdoing it.  Gentleness is the key.

4. Not changing our skin care products as our needs change. Are you relying on the same products that you were using 10 years ago?  Skin changes with age, seasons and even the amount of stress we are experiencing. Now's a good time to tweak your skin care regimen to suit your changing needs, whether it be switching to a lighter moisturizer or adding [Link Removed]  that can fight free radicals and reduce premature aging of the skin.

5. Not cleansing our faces before going to bed. Who hasn't been guilty of not taking off makeup and the day's dirt from our faces before going to bed?  When left on the face, products break down and interfere with the nightly renewal process.  Here's a tip that doesn't require getting up and heading to the bathroom: have a micellar cleanser like [Link Removed]  and cotton pads by the bed.  Just wipe, no water or rinsing required.

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed] 

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