7 Things to Never Do When Applying Skin Care

From your choice of towel to an all-too-common “dropper don’t,” these are the moves experts say you should stay away from when applying skin care.

Don’t take a dropper to your cheek.

New York dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD took to Instagram to “set the record straight” on what he categorizes as a huge mistake he sees skin-care influencers make every day on social media. “If you’re applying a skin-care product that uses a dropper, do not take that dropper and apply it directly to your cheek,” he advises. “You may like the way it looks in your video, but you’re contaminating the tip of the dropper that you are putting right back into the bottle. Instead, open the bottle, put a couple of drops on your palm or on the tips of your fingers and then apply it to your face.”

Don’t forget to wipe down your products.

Elizabeth Lampell, aesthetician at Biologique Recherche Los Angeles, strongly supports the above and offers this in-line advice for the non-dropper varieties: “Never dip your fingers directly into your product containers. Use a Q-tip or small product spatula,” she says. “Also, get into the habit of frequently wiping down the outside of your products. Clean products help to avoid the spread of bacteria on the skin which cause breakouts.”

Don’t use too-hot of water.

Avoid the use of hot water on the skin, and, if possible, wash your face in the sink rather than the shower, Lampell advises. “Hot water can cause; sensitivity, inflammation, dryness and can lead to loosening the skins elasticity.”

Don’t use dirty towel.

Might sound like a no-brainer, but Lampell says she sees it a ton. “When drying your face, reach for a clean towel, a reusable cotton pad or a single-use cotton face towel.”

Don’t go overboard.

Multistep skin-care routines may be the rage, but Alicia McKeithan, aesthetician at Biologique Recherche Los Angeles, is not a fan. “Less is always more! Applying too many products onto the skin at once can cause irritation and sensitivity which can lead to chemical burns, rashes, or textured skin.

Don’t wait to “feel the burn.”

“Products should never irritate or burn when applied to the skin,” McKeithan says. “That can be an indication of the product being too strong or the skin barrier is compromised.”

Don’t drag.

If you don’t really pay attention to how you remove a mask, McKeithan says you should start. “When removing masks or cleansers, we never want to drag the skin, it can result in premature aging and irritation.”