• Face wash. Over-washing your face is an easy habit to get into, and it can dry out your skin. Not using the right cleanser for your skin type can also be a mistake, says Dr. Marianna Blyumin-Karasik, a dermatologist in Hollywood, Fla. “For example, if someone with sensitive or rosacea-prone skin uses heavy-duty cleansers or cleansers with chemical or mechanical exfoliants, such as fruit acids or sand beads, they may get skin irritation such as redness and peeling,” she says.
The right way: For sensitive-skinned individuals, a nightly wash to remove makeup and daily environmental grease is enough. People with normal or oily skin should aim for twice a day. Apply a little warm water to the skin, then gently massage a pea-sized amount of the wash into the skin and rinse.
• Face serum. Layering serum on too thick can lead to skin irritation or cause the product to flake off, especially if you use it with a lot of other products.
The right way: There’s a reason serums usually come in an itsy-bitsy bottle; a little goes a long way. ShopSmart recommends following the instructions on the packaging. Most suggest using just a few drops of serum or a single squirt for the entire face.
• Shampoo. If you’re having more bad hair days than good ones, it might be because you need to switch things up. “Hair can become resistant to a cleanser’s properties,” explains Ryan Trygstad, a celebrity stylist at Sally Hershberger Downtown salon in New York City.
The right way: “I advise changing up your shampoo (brand) once a bottle is empty,” Trygstad says. “Also, try to cut back on shampooing altogether to allow the natural oils on your scalp to moisturize and hydrate your hair.”