5 Biggest Skincare Mistakes We Might be Making

We understand how frustrating it can be to find the right skincare products for your skin, and it doesn’t help when there are just an overwhelming of products in the skincare industry.

Luckily, Elaine Yang, founder of askbella, is here to share the details of the five biggest skincare mistakes we might be making.


Yes, it sounds like a great idea – who wouldn’t want to dry out those angry pimples?! However, unfortunately, this is an old wives’ tale that doesn’t hold that much weight! It stemmed from when they didn’t necessarily have pimple patches or products that could help with blemishes or acne (they had to turn to household items). 

While it’s true that toothpaste typically contains some ingredients that will dry a pimple out, it doesn’t mean it will treat it effectively. Using toothpaste will normally dry the top layer of skin, leaving the sebum trapped underneath. If you have a pimple you want to treat, the best thing to do is to turn to products containing Salicylic Acid. Salicylic Acid is an effective blemish-combating ingredient because it can penetrate deep into the pores and will break up dead skin cells that have stuck together (which can form pimple-causing plugs within the pores). So put that toothpaste away and invest in products to have on hand next time an unwanted blemish appears. 


Beauty shopping can be an absolute minefield. It can be hard to know what products will suit your skin, especially since there are so many brands and so much information.

Why do you need to know what’s suitable for your skin? Well, for a couple of reasons, the main one being that some products can do more harm than good. Many people don’t realise that some ingredients, when mixed through the layered application, can either cancel each other out (aka the active ingredient stops working) or, worse – can an array of skin conditions like acne or even harmful reactions.

An example is what happens when you use a retinoid with salicylic acid. While each of these ingredients has incredible benefits on its own or when mixed with other ingredients, unfortunately, when mixed together, they can lead to over-drying of the skin (which, in turn, can lead to skin irritation). The skin will compensate for being overly dry, so it ramps up oil production, which can then create a vicious cycle of dryness or other issues like acne.

So how can you find out what products are suitable for your skin? The first is by visiting a skin specialist to understand your skin. However, sometimes this can be a process of elimination of products. Another option is to jump onto askbella, a beauty platform that uses AI to make skincare recommendations and provides a host of educational skincare info on their Skinfo Hub. Taking the guesswork out of skincare shopping and helping users to understand what’s suitable for their skin, askbella filters through hundreds of products from top-name brands like AlphaH, Skinstitut, Clarins, Dermalogica, and COSRX and ‘prescribes’ a simple regime tailored to your skin. Customers can then purchase these products from askbella’s retail partners like Adore Beauty.


Most people with oily skin will likely steer very clear of oil-based products – the reason sounds very obvious, right? Why would oily skin need any more oil? Well, it’s actually a common skincare mistake.

Our skin naturally produces oil (or, in skincare speak, secretes sebum) through our sebaceous glands. Some people naturally have more sebum than others due to genetics or other reasons. However, many people don’t realise that one of the main culprits of oily skin is often the products they’re using (or, more specifically, products stripping the skin of its natural oils).

When someone uses products that strip their skin of the precious microbiome (the oil and other skin flora that helps the skin cycle work correctly), the skin’s oil glands can go into overproduction mode to compensate for anything that has been stripped.

What then happens is a vicious cycle of stripping to try and eradicate some of the oil production, and then the skin starts to produce more oil to make up for the loss. Confusing right?! The truth is most skin types need water-based and oil-based skincare ingredients in their regime. Applying oil to oily skin can work wonders because oil as an ingredient is attracted to oil, so it can help to balance the skin and work as an excellent skin hydrator.


This is a widespread skincare mistake. Unfortunately, some products on the market don’t do a great job of thoroughly cleansing the skin (especially when wearing makeup). That means that sometimes the skin requires a double cleanse. As a standard practice, the skin should be cleansed both morning and night (but not washed too much – we will explain this later).

If awakening with a cleansed face from the night before, the morning routine should always be a light wash. This could mean hot water, a microfibre cloth, or a gentle cleanser. The evening should be a deeper cleanse, to remove any dirt, makeup or residue from the day.

Sometimes this will require a double cleanse, which can entail using a microfibre cloth, followed by a thorough cleanser. Please avoid over-cleansing or scrubbing the skin with physical or harsh products. Scrubbing sounds good in theory to eliminate excess dirt and residue, but it also can strip the skin of its natural oils. Finding the right balance can be tricky – but all part of ensuring you don’t make this common skincare mistake!


Hands up if your mother or grandmother stressed about getting onto anti-ageing practices when you were in your 20s (and you probably ignored them).

It makes sense that people start to look to anti-ageing products when they notice signs of ageing (hello, fine lines and wrinkles); however, anti-ageing should ideally be looked at as a preventative measure (not a reactive one). Unfortunately, as we get older, our collagen levels start to deplete by 1% to 2% every year until age 50 (depletion often begins by the time we hit 30, if not before). What’s more, the effects of the sun often don’t reveal themselves until later in life (so mindless sunbaking or sun exposure can do a lot of damage to your skin later on – not to mention the other risks associated with sun exposure).

This means that by the time we hit 50, we have minimal collagen left. It’s best to start your anti-ageing skincare regime in your early 20s. While that sounds early, there’s an array of gentle products on the market that can help maintain a youthful appearance without being too harsh on the skin. Ideally, choose ingredients and products with collagen-boosting potential.