Don't No. 1: Use a Loofah
"Don't use a loofah or body sponge. They abrade the skin and transfer bacteria that can promote skin infections."
—Charles E. Crutchfield, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School
Don't No. 2: Wash With Harsh Cleansers
"Avoid harsh cleansers such as traditional soaps. They strip the skin of essential oils, leaving the skin dry, flaky, and rough, while accentuating fine lines."
—Dr. Mona Gohara, dermatologist for Advanced DermCare and faculty member at Yale New Haven Hospital
Don't No. 3: Forget Sunscreen
"Absolutely never, ever forget your sunscreen!"
—Dr. Michael Swann, dermatologic surgeon at Swann Dermatology
Don't No. 4: Pop Your Blemishes
"Never pop a blemish—or anything else on your face, for that matter. It may be tempting, but popping anything causes your skin to break, thus making it more susceptible to infection, inflammation, and a bigger scar. The only time you should pop anything is if it has come to the surface (meaning you can clearly see an exit), and a simple push with sterile instruments or cotton swabs will do the trick. For everything else, go see a dermatologist!"
—Dr. Dendy Engelman, dermatologic surgeon
Don't No. 5: Neglect Your Skin Type
"Some people think products aren't too effective, but many patients who come to see me are using products that aren't really made for their skin type. Understanding your skin and using products correctly can give you amazing results."
—Dr. Michael Swann
Don't No. 6: Mix Products
"Mixing ingredients can actually backfire. For example, if you're using a glycolic acid cream and/or a vitamin C serum, along with a retinoid product, the acid and vitamin C may cause the retinoid to break down, becoming volatile and unstable. This causes irritation and compromises the effectiveness of all of the ingredients."
—Dr. Craig Kraffert, dermatologist and president of Amarte
Don't No. 7: Use the Wrong Treatments
"Large, painful blemishes are best treated with a trifecta of acne-fighting ingredients that include benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and hydrocortisone 1% cream. If you can make it into the derm's office, go so you can get a cortisone shot that will bring down inflammation within a day. But again, don't pick at it!"
—Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetics and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital