beauty

Putting perfume on your neck, and 4 other things a skin expert wishes you would stop doing.

Think you've got the whole skincare thing down-pat? So did we! But then we interviewed Dr Giulia D'Anna from Dermal Distinction and now we feel like we need to reconsider our entire existence. 

See, we asked her to dish out some common things she wishes people would stop doing with their skin. And while we thought we'd be all like, "Omg, I can't believe people do that!", we feel...seen.

Listen to Mamamia's podcast for your face, You Beauty, where we find out everything a skin expert puts on hers. Post continues below. 

You might want to take a seat for this one. It's going to hurt a little.

1. Using perfume on your neck or decolletage. 

Well, shit. "I know that people do this in the movies, in the department stores and probably at home - but please, please stop," said Dr D'Anna. "Perfumes contain oil, which is what makes them smell so good. But putting oils on your neck, even if they are in perfume, is truly bad for your skin." 

*Cries softly*

"Why, though?!" We hear you shout defensively. "Our skin is constantly exposed to harmful UV rays, and the oil in the perfume acts to increase the damage on your neck and decolletage. This can lead to skin thinning, damaged capillaries and pigmentation, or worse still, all three at once (called poikiloderma)."

So what's a gal to do? "Instead, put perfume only on non-exposed skin to avoid damage." Gotcha.

2. Not applying enough sunscreen.

So, you're applying sunscreen every morning because you're a smart little chicken and deserve a gold star, but are you applying enough? Ahhh!

"SPF30 sunscreen filters around 97 per cent of UVB rays," explains Dr D'Anna. "But this is dependent upon you using at least a quarter of a teaspoon on your face. Use half that amount, and this is only half the protection." 

So, if you feel like you're not applying enough sunscreen - you're probably not. Slap it on. Just do it. Cover your face, neck, chest and ears. Cause when it comes to sun protection, more is more. Most brands will give you a rough guide on how much to use on the packaging, or better yet, they'll have handy droppers or pumps that'll give you an understanding of what the right amount looks like. 

"Worse still, some people use none and that is no protection at all. Given that UV is responsible for most ageing and also for a number of skin cancers, do not miss this step." But this bit is irrelevant to us, because we all put it on every single day - rain, hail or shine. Right? RIGHT? 

Don't make us come over and put it on for you.

3. Using coconut oil on your skin.

Coconut oil. In recent years it's been touted as the miracle fix for pretty much every beauty issue, ever. Celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow, Kourtney Kardashian and Emma Stone have all raved about its effectiveness for hydrating and nourishing their skin, and even removing makeup. 

But you might wanna hold back on slathering it all over your face - because according to Dr D'Anna, coconut oil is not going to do your skin any favours. In fact, it'll probably cause it to break out.

"Coconut oil is very thick and blocks the pores of your skin, and when it does, welcome to breakout town. Instead, opt for ingredients like rosehip oil or almond oil. Both are beautiful and not prone to clogging up the skin," said Dr D'Anna.

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Video via Mamamia

Eek. Not great. Just use it on your food instead.

4. Judging skincare by the smell.

You know when you're in a store and you open up a skincare tester, take a sniff and go, "Omg how good does this smell? My face will love it. I'll take three." Well, apparently fragrance in skincare is not all it's cracked up to be - especially if you have sensitive skin.

Dr D'Anna said it's good to get into a habit of not always judging a skincare product by its fragrance, because that nice smell can do bad things to your skin. Cruel, we know. 

"If it smells great, then it has fragrance to give it that lovely scent. The number one skin irritant in skincare is fragrance. So whilst the product may make you feel all warm and fuzzy, your skin may break out, become red and sensitive, or very dry as a reaction to the skincare."

If this sounds like something that happens to you on the reg, try switching to skincare that is fragrance-free and see how things play out. "There are heaps of Australian brands that aim for a beautiful smelling product through great ingredients, rather than adding fragrance."

5. Not seeing a skin or dermal therapist for a skin diagnosis.

While you may get the occasional facial here and there, Dr D'Anna reckons we should all have an ongoing relationship with a skin expert. And it kinda makes sense. 

How many of us have spent ages wondering why our skin is super irritated (me), but just never check in with someone who can give us a proper, qualified answer? (Also, me).

"Many, many people believe that they have sensitive skin, but in large part, this is actually not true at all. In the majority of cases, the reason for sensitive skin is dehydration or using the wrong type of products on your skin. When skin is dehydrated, it literally sucks up whatever you put on it," explains Dr D'Anna. 

Meaning? "Sometimes a really active product penetrates much more deeply than intended, causing redness and itchiness."

These women will pretty much become your go-to Personal Face Fixers when your skin is freaking out. They'll pull it aside, give it a stern talking to and make it just stop with all that nonsense. 

"By seeing someone who can really look at your skin and investigate what is going on, not only are the right products recommended but also the right strength/concentration too. These are both equally important."

Feature image: Getty

What are some of your bad skin habits? Share with us in the comment section below.

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