Facial Faux Pas

They say your eyes are the window to the soul, but what about your face? Your skin says a lot about how you take care of yourself and what kind of life you lead. It's the first thing people see when you meet them, so if you want to make a good complexion impression, you're going to have to make sure your face looks fabulous. We put together a list of major skin care sins to always avoid.

Woman sleeping while wearing makeup

1Sleeping in your makeup

No matter how tired you are, skipping the sink and falling right into bed is never a good idea. We know it's tempting, but leaving all that primer, powder and foundation on your skin can clog pores, irritate skin and cause a whole host of other problems like blackheads and other blemishes. To avoid all that potential complexion chaos, always wash your face before you go to sleep. There's a whole day's worth of dirt, oil and debris on your face – do you really want to leave it there?

If you're too tired to turn on the tap, use a facial cleansing wipe to take the day – and your makeup off. Keep a stash on your nightstand for easy access and make sure you use them if you really don't have the energy to wash up.

2Skipping the scrub

Exfoliating is a skin care staple and something that should never be skipped. It may seem trivial or like a time waster, but trust us when we tell you it's a must for a fabulous face. Exfoliating once a week is your ticket to smooth, clear, glowing skin. Why? Exfoliation sloughs off all the things (dead skin, dirt, etc.) that can build up on your skin, clog your pores and leave your face looking lackluster, making it an essential ingredient for natural beauty.

You'll either need a granular exfoliant (like a sugar or salt scrub), which is great for oily or combination skin, a chemical exfoliant (that uses AHAs), which is best for dry skin, or an enzyme exfoliator (usually fruit based), that dissolves dead skin without scrubbing, making it ideal for more sensitive skin.

3Not cleaning your makeup brushes

This is an easy one to forget or push to the bottom of your to-do list, but try to make cleaning your brushes a priority for the sake of your skin. Every time your brushes touch your face, they're picking up the natural oils and other debris that are always on your skin. The less you wash your brushes, the more they accumulate all of that icky stuff, which eventually has the potential to cause blemishes and skin irritations. Either use unscented soap and warm water or get a brush cleaner and give your brushes a bath regularly (at least once a month) and then allow them to dry completely (you can gently blow dry them) before using.

4Missing out on moisture

Your skin needs moisture – both inside and out – to look its best. This means staying hydrated (drink those eight glasses of water a day) plus choosing a good moisturizer that's suited to your skin type and the season and using it daily. Even if you have oily skin, moisture is not your enemy. In fact, the more you dry out your skin, the worse it's going to look and feel.

To get the most bang for your buck from your night cream, celebrity makeup artist and beauty expert Mally Roncal suggests applying a bit of primer on top of your night cream. The primer will seal in your night cream, allowing it to really do its job, instead of just evaporating into the air or rubbing off on your pillowcase.

5Under-washing

Many skin care experts suggest washing your face twice at night – once to remove makeup and once to actually cleanse the skin. If you are wearing makeup and you only wash once, you could be leaving some product behind where it can then settle into your pores. Of the women we polled, less than half washed twice but all said that they knew they probably should on days where they were wearing a lot of makeup. You don't have to double-wash every time you hit the sink, but gauge the amount of product you have on, and if it's more than usual, make sure skin is truly clean by cleansing twice.

Beauty how-to

How to clean your makeup brushes

Makeup brushes can harbor dirt and bacteria. Watch this video to learn how to properly clean and care for your makeup brushes.

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