While making New Year resolutions, did you think about some mistakes you made last year and wince a little? I know I did. Although, generally, I like to be optimistic and say, “If it is broken, it can be fixed”. Of course, this isn’t about relationships (sis, let it go). I mean, the type that can actually be fixed, like the beauty mistakes you made in 2023. If this is you, then you are in the right place.
2023 was a year of learning and re-learning for me in various aspects of life. I made some mistakes on the beauty side of things, but with the proper steps, I can confidently say I am back on the right path. The joy of entering a new year includes getting a do-over in some areas, so don’t fret. Taking care of one’s skin is a continuous journey, and it is very easy to fall off the wagon a couple of times.
When it comes to general beauty well-being, you can easily get sucked into doing too much or just stop caring. Admittedly, maintaining a beauty routine can be tasking, and there is always a need to strike that balance to live a healthy life. While some of these beauty mistakes may not seem like a big deal, they can go from being mildly harmful to causing you major problems in the next few years. For instance, I started pulling out some facial hairs absent-mindedly while working or in deep thought. Although I caught myself a couple of times, I just couldn’t leave them to grow, and now, I have a black spot there that looks like an injury. Nothing seems to be clearing it, and the skin around that area has become tougher. Sometimes, I ask myself why I didn’t just stop.
As a woman in her 20s to 40s, the beauty choices we make now determine how our skin and bodies will be in our 50s and above. In taking care of your body, most essentially your skin, it is important to do proper research and adopt the routines that will serve you in the long run. With our busy schedules, differences in beauty needs, and the wiggle room in our routines, beauty mistakes are bound to happen, but we don’t want regrets during retirement now, do we?
I’ll tell you the habits you need to change to achieve better beauty results in 2024, but before then, have you ever wondered how beauty trends have gained prominence in recent times?
The Media’s Influence on Beauty Routines
Something about the micro beauty trends of 2023 reminded me of being in high school, looking forward to my next beauty magazine so I could try out the trends in them. There’s always something new, which continued until my University days. I would be so excited to try a new eyebrow hack or some lip liner tips or beg my family members to buy me some beauty products just to achieve the results the magazine promised me. These social media GRWM (Get ready with me) content are as exciting as they are flimsy because there’ll always be a new trend to get behind.
I also love that social media constantly amplifies the need for better living. Although there are unrealistic expectations and standards, we can sift out the misinformation to focus on the benefits. This is why I am very pro-personal research because everyone’s experience with beauty varies.
In the past few years, TikTok has become the social media platform of choice for beauty lovers. It started as a quick beauty GRWM (Get-ready-with-me) that soon became a trend of everyone showing us their beauty routines. We went from enjoying these relaxing videos to researching the benefits of the products creators swear by and quickly purchasing them. I mean, who doesn’t want healthy and beautiful skin? On my end, I took the vitamin C serum seriously because the minimalist influencers preached it, and I found that it upped my skincare game. Another thing I was particular about was sunscreen, and this has ensured that my skin is protected from the sun. Although I don’t reapply as often as I should, I only run away from the sun, don’t sue me.
Influencers are the real winners
Influencers are the real winners, and according to the Beauty & Evolution of Influence study by Lefty, the need of beauty consumers for genuine and authentic content led to an increase in influencer spending in five years. “As a result, the influencer economy has witnessed a stunning 335% growth over the past five years, with brands forecasted to spend $32.5B on influencer marketing in 2023, up 18% from last year’s numbers and reaching an astonishing $48.8B by 2025 (According to Statista, 2022)”. Lefty’s data also showed a decrease in engagement on other platforms like Instagram, while TikTok saw an increase because of its “real” content being a hit among beauty enthusiasts. Brands like Fenty Beauty capitalised on using influencers and opinion leaders to reach their target audience.
This has shown that the beauty community has witnessed massive growth in recent years, and more people are joining this wave. There is a cult-like following of beauty trends, and the most recent is healthy/clean living for beautiful skin.
“Healthy is beautiful”
However, the “healthy is beautiful” trend didn’t just start. It has existed and been amplified by the media since the 1970s, especially after models and entertainers began to spot a natural and glowing bare-faced look. Actress Farah Fawcett, one of Charlie’s Angels, was famous for her glowing smile in the 1970s, and Jane Fonda launched a healthy living trend that enhanced healthy beauty.
Today, the media promotes the individuality of beauty by celebrating striking features we would ordinarily have disregarded. A good trend that empowers women to be confident in their looks and define their beauty standards. These standards are wide and broad, accepting the uniqueness of beauty in different generations. The social media representation of boomers with growing gray hairs living their best, healthy lives is amazing. Its influence on millennials, gen-z, and gen-x is a direct tell of how they have maintained their beauty over the years even with the ever-present societal pressures of fitting a certain aesthetic.
Social media promotes the good and bad of beauty. We are bombarded with “how to” content daily and are bound to make some beauty mistakes while following the set trends we come across. Whether you consider attention to beauty an unnecessarily vain characteristic or simply want to live healthily, there are general beauty mistakes to avoid in your daily activities.
General beauty mistakes to stop making in your daily lifestyle, especially in your 20s
For those who don’t take beauty routines seriously, you might want to start doing that. Introducing your skin to a routine and getting off the wagon can hinder your skin from reaching the healthy heights you want. Taking great care of your skin ensures a better and healthier lifestyle; you’ll also be saving a lot of money that can come from fixing skin issues when you could have just prevented them. An old but gold adage rings true here- prevention is better than cure.
If you want to spend the next few years looking good and maintaining healthy skin, here are ten general beauty mistakes you should avoid:
- Don’t leave your products in the bathroom. This includes makeup and skin care products because the humidity in your bathroom affects the ingredients in the products.
- Wash your towels, duvets, and bedsheets regularly. Keeping these clean will help you maintain healthy skin and prevent germs.
- Wash your makeup brushes and clean your beauty tools. Many of us forget to do this regularly, and it can cause damage to our facial skin.
- Stop sharing your beauty products without using disposable applicators. You don’t know where anyone’s hands have been; they might also not remember. If you need to share, ensure you have disposable applicators others can use.
- Cleanse your skin regularly. Avoid leaving dirt on your skin for too long; it is simply gross and will block your pores, causing inflammation.
- Avoid over-exfoliating. Use soft sponges and treat your body with care; you don’t need to scrub off your skin if you are using the right products.
- Don’t pop those pimples- This is something I also struggle with – learning to leave my face alone. It only does more harm than good, and the black or whiteheads are not worth it.
- A minimal skincare routine is good, but ensure it contains the essentials.
- Don’t sleep with makeup. Always use a cleanser, no matter how tired you are. I have been known to wake up startled because I forgot to wash off my makeup, and you’ll find me running into the bathroom in the middle of the night.
- Check the expiry dates of your products and be mindful of them. This is another beauty mistake many of us make, we often forget that beauty products expire.
Here is a breakdown of how long you should keep different types of products:
- Powders (including blushes, bronzers, shadows): 2 years
- Cream shadows and blushes: 12-18 months
- Oil-free foundation: 1 month
- Cream compact foundation: 18 months
- Concealers: 12-18 months
- Lipstick and lip liner: 1 year
- Lip gloss: 18-24 months
- Pencil eyeliner: 2 years
- Eyeliners & Mascara: 3 months
- Skin care products- 6-12 months if opened and exposed and no expiry date is stated.
The Beauty Mistakes to Leave Behind in 2023
In conducting research, experts are the best people to speak to. There is a reason they are certified, and while you might have gotten a good level of progress from your DIYs, it is essential to have scientifically tested facts to work with. To further ensure quality information relevant to various age groups, I spoke to one of my go-to beauty experts to share the beauty mistakes women make from the ages 20 to 40. She also advised on beauty trends we should adopt to ensure a smooth-sailing beauty journey to our 50s and beyond.
The foundation is important, and these tips will help you adopt a solid base for your beauty journey.
Expert tips- The beauty mistakes to avoid in your 30 to 40s
Skin care consultant Ebun highlights the need to adopt routines that cater to your skin needs. “As you enter your 30s and 40s, it becomes even more crucial to adapt your skincare routine to address your skin’s changing needs. Many women unknowingly make skincare mistakes during this phase, hindering their skin’s health and radiance”. Ebun lists the common mistakes women in their 30s-40s make with their skincare.
Skincare Mistakes in Your Late 20s – 30s:
- Neglecting Retinoids: Ebun says a common mistake is not incorporating retinoids into your skincare routine. Retinoids, such as retinol, help combat signs of ageing, reduce fine lines, and improve skin texture. She advises introducing a gentle retinoid product into your skincare routine and gradually increasing usage to avoid irritation.
- Inadequate Sunscreen Usage: Passionate about using sunscreen, Ebun convinced me to take the use of sunscreen seriously and recommended my first-ever product to me. She posits that sun protection is crucial at any age, but many women in their 30s underestimate its importance. Ebun advises the application of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 daily, even on cloudy days, to shield your skin from harmful UV rays and prevent premature ageing.
- Skipping Double Cleansing: I only started double cleansing last year because keeping my skin clean as I approach my 30s is of utmost importance to me. Ebun recommends double cleansing using an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser. This is essential to effectively remove makeup, dirt, and pollutants while ensuring a clean canvas for your skincare products to penetrate and work optimally.
- Ignoring Exfoliating Acids: Ebun counsels that to improve your skin tone and texture in your 30s, skipping exfoliating acids, such as glycolic and lactic acids, is a beauty mistake you should avoid. These acids help remove dead skin cells and promote cell turnover. She advises that you incorporate a gentle exfoliating acid into your routine once or twice a week to reveal a brighter and more youthful complexion.
Skincare Mistakes in Your 40s:
- Neglecting In-Clinic Treatments: With the knowledge that your skin texture changes as you get older, Ebun says relying solely on skincare products may not be sufficient in your 40s. While you might be dedicated to your skincare routine, making little adjustments to your skin needs is best. She advocates for incorporating professional treatments like peels and facials to address specific concerns and boost your skin’s vitality.
- Using Outdated Products: To reiterate, you need to reassess your skincare products to accommodate the change in your skin’s needs. Ebun says to look for formulations that target mature skin concerns, such as loss of elasticity and hydration. You should also update your routine with products that contain potent anti-ageing ingredients like peptides and antioxidants.
- Lack of Essential Products: You need to add certain products to your skincare routine in your late 30s to early 40s. These products are crucial to your overall skin health. Ebun recommends investing in the following products:
- A good eye-makeup remover
- Lightweight cleanser for morning or second cleanse
- Hyaluronic acid-based facial mist
- Antioxidant serum
- Quality hyaluronic acid products
- Facial oil & eye products
- Vitamin A/retinoid
- Moisturizer suited to your skin type
- And, of course, SPF
Ethical beauty practices
I am an advocate of ethical and sustainable practices and the beauty industry is going through a transformation as sustainable beauty keeps gaining good movement. It is commendable that beauty brands are working on maintaining these elements in the production and ingredients of their products. Loreal Paris and Revlon are examples of brands walking the talk; they have decided to ethically source mica, a mineral that adds pigment to makeup. In the same vein, beauty enthusiasts also need to implement this in the consumption of products.
Consumers need to promote healthy beauty practices through the products we use and the practices involved, from usage to storage and waste disposal. As ethical consumers, we have an important role to play, and one way to go is to explore recycling opportunities for waste disposal to reduce the impact on landfills.
2024 is the year to adopt or upgrade your beauty routine to achieve the desired results for your skin as you age. Don’t neglect your body. Treat it with care, and like a well-trained child, it will reward you. Who’s ready to glow with me in this new decade? Which beauty mistakes are you guilty of, and which will you be adopting?