David B. Reath, MD
Knoxville, TN (865) 450-9253

Beauty Blunders Part 1: Skin Care Snafus

Beauty Blunders


Although we all want to look our best, most of us are making beauty mistakes without a clue we’re doing something wrong.


Expert Advice. Easy Fixes.

It makes perfect sense. Dollars to doughnuts, your beauty regimen is based on advice you heard from your mom, combined with tips you read in fashion magazines and what you observed from popular girls in high school. And, maybe some YouTube smokey eye videos.

Times change. Even the best lessons can become outdated and make us appear older than we want. In this three-part blog series, we ask our beauty experts on the skin, makeup, and hair care to dish on the most common “beauty blunders” they see, and how to correct them.


Part 1: Skin Care Snafus


You put your cleanser on wet skin when you’re washing your face.


Surprised? Almost everyone gets this one wrong. It’s one of the first things they teach aestheticians, which is why all facials are started by cleansing dry skin.

Our expert product chemist Daniel Clary explains why: Cleansers use agents to remove dirt, and lipids from the skin (surfactants, esters, oils, etc.). These agents work by removing the surface tension and adhering to the impurities so they can easily be rinsed away. When you wet the skin first, you create a “barrier” that does not allow the cleansing agents to attach as effectively.

His instructions: Add to dry skin first, thoroughly massage in, then add water to activate and emulsify and rinse clean. VOILA! 🙂


You over-exfoliate.


We often think the answer to aging skin is to chronically force the skin to exfoliate. Daniel explains why this can do more harm than good. “Yes, cellular turnover does slow down as we age, but forcing the skin to do something it doesn’t naturally do can increase irritation and inflammation, which will ultimately age the skin faster. Using mild AHA’s such as lactic acid 1-2 times a week is all that is needed in regards to the “top-down” approach to exfoliation.”

“What most people are not aware of is that cellular turnover and proliferation can be achieved by empowering the skin to “exfoliate” from the inside out by using growth factors and cytokines that effectively communicate the message of proliferation while also being anti-inflammatory and maintaining the integrity of the skin.”


You don’t hydrate your oily skin.


It’s a common misconception that those with oily skin should avoid hydration. Oily skin must get moisture because, without it, the skin will overcompensate for the loss of hydration with oil, leading to breakouts and uneven skin texture. HA5, the breakthrough hydrator from SkinMedica, is made for you. We also have several light formula oil-free moisturizers that you might like too.


You use pore strips to get rid of blackheads.


pore stripsIt can be tempting to reach for pore strips to rip out your blackheads. When you peel them off and see those little black dots sticking to the strip, it’s darn impressive. We hate to ruin that sense of satisfaction, but you’re probably doing more harm than good. What you see on the strips is just the top layer, but the blackhead returns with a vengeance because the source of the problem was never corrected.

The main ingredient is polyquaternium-37, a film-forming, hairspray type ingredient. It’s basically a piece of gauze with sticky stuff on it. Ironically the adhesive can get into the pores and cause breakouts and…blackheads. Ripping the strips off, even though it’s fun, can tear skin and cause spider veins to surface.

Depending on your other skin care needs, Christy, our very own Blackhead Whisperer, has better solutions to tackle these pesky little things, both in the treatment room and at home.


You schedule a skin care procedure at the wrong time of year.


Skin Care PeelWait until fall to treat veins and dark spots. Even with the religious application of sunscreen, there are just some procedures you shouldn’t have if you’ll be spending any time in the sun. As the old saying goes, “The right thing at the wrong time becomes the wrong thing.”

Cooler weather is the time for laser vein treatments and getting serious about reversing sun damage as long as you are not going somewhere tropical in the winter. It can wait until you get back.

Our new Excel V laser is ideal for veins or vascular lesions, as well as removing red and brown pigments. The Skin Lightening RealPeel and Mini-RealPeels are aggressive and impressive. Reserve them for fall and winter since they take off significant layers, and you’ll need to stay entirely out of the sun. Fall is also is a great time to pull out the CryoCorrect to zap individual brown spots.

Christy is adamant: Everyone with even a hint of pigment needs to be on “Disco Defense”.


You neglect your neck.


Neglect your neckYour neck is an extension of your face, so if your current skin-care routine stops at your jawline, it’s time to make a change.

The delicate, thin skin on the neck often ages faster than other parts of your skin. Be sure you’re applying a generous layer of sunscreen to the front and sides of the neck, including your chest, if you’re wearing an outfit that exposes it to the sun. At night, indulge it with a well-formulated neck cream with firming peptides. For a noticeable improvement, try new Nectifirm ADVANCED.


You don’t change your pillowcase enough.


You may not have realized that your pillowcase should be part of your beauty routine. Many people make the mistake of not changing their pillowcase often enough, which can lead to breakouts. Dr. Reath recommends washing sheets and pillowcases in fragrance-free detergent if you have sensitive, reactive skin.

You should change your pillowcase every few days, especially if you don’t wash off all of your makeup. Speaking of….


You don’t wash your face before going to bed.


wash your faceThink about what your skin is exposed to during the day: makeup, oil, and environmental pollutants. Even if you don’t wear makeup, these irritants gather on the skin and attract harmful free radicals that age your skin faster. They also seep into pores, causing breakouts and blackheads.

Did you know that cell turnover is more active while we sleep as our skin takes advantage of this time to rejuvenate and heal itself naturally? This natural anti-aging process just isn’t effective if your skin isn’t clean. Trust us. If we knew all along that a clean face was the key to keeping our skin dewy and youthful, we would have been much better about this years ago.

There are more Beauty Blunders featured in the sixth edition of our practice magazine, Your Beauty, which just hit the stands.


To get your free copy, just fill out the form here, and we’ll pop it in the mail to you right away.Order Your Beauty


Outside Expert Daniel ClaryDaniel Clary is a passionate aesthetic advocate with over 17 years of experience in the skin care industry, including product formulation, skin physiology, and molecular biology. An elected member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, he delivers top-notch education to our staff as VP of Education at AnteAGE. Plus, he’s a really nice guy.

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