In a sea of skincare products and regimens that are currently popular and widely advocated, you might find yourself, well, at sea. We have all been there; we have purchased numerous products completely wrong for our skin types, used products with potentially toxic ingredients and the like! Sometimes we have skipped a vital step in our skincare routine, or worse, have been overzealous when it comes to some other skincare practices. The point is – we have all made mistakes, but that is ok because it is never too late to learn. To that end, here is a list of common missteps in your skincare routine after 50.

Change this in your skincare routine after 50

Skipping out on SPF

More people are guilty of this skincare crime than you may suspect. People often have this misconception that SPF is redundant during the winter or anytime that they deem “not sunny.” While it is true that UVB rays—the ones responsible for burning—are much stronger during the summer, the truth remains that UVA ones remain pretty constant all year long, as explained by Arielle Kauvar, MD, clinical professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine.

UVAs will not cause sunburn, and that is why you might not be aware of the damage. They do, however, contribute significantly to both skin aging (including wrinkles and brown spots) and in the worst case scenari, skin cancer. Sun protection is not a matter that should be taken lightly, and it has never been easier to protect your skin, as there are numerous two-in-one moisturizers that contain a high level of SPF, so check out Allure’s selection, and start slathering your skin every day of the year.

Attacking acne-prone skin, even after 50

If you are fighting acne, you probably often make the mistake of using every tool in your skincare arsenal, often resorting to very aggressive cleansers and scrubbing your skin vigorously. What you have to realize first is that acne is a hormonal problem and most often has nothing to do with hygiene.

Excessively cleaning your skin with harsh soaps or exfoliating beads will not banish blemishes but it will make matters worse. It will just make your acne flare and cause so much irritation that you will be unable to use products or medications that might help soothe the irritation. Instead of being aggressive, you need to use gentle products such as the Ultraceuticals cleanser that contain salicylic acid, which unclogs pores and smoothens the skin by sloughing off dead cells. Proper diet can also be a great tool in fighting adult acne, so make sure you check the list – perhaps you will find foods that you take on a regular basis but that are actually harmful for your skin condition.

Scrub ‘till you drop

Your skin is your temple but that doesn’t mean you should scrub it overzealously. Despite the common misconception that you will have clear, smooth, exfoliated and radiant skin, the actual results of attacking your skin with products vigorously are redness, irritation and inflammation. Other issues you can unintentionally bring upon yourself are raw skin and infections, and finally, cause more acne as a result of overactive oil gland production. Exfoliation is important for removing dead cells, this is true, but when you do it daily, you are actually scrubbing off skin cells that are not yet ready for that. The key lies in moderation and gentle products. Use products designed for sensitive skin that not only help old skin cells migrate to the surface so they can be easily and gently removed, but also help regeneration and new cell formation.

Always take the natural route

It might be hard to believe, but not all natural skincare products are made equal, and not all of them are safe for your skin. According to SkinMed, the reality of the situation is, some natural products can be equally harmful as synthetic ones. What is more, there is scarcely any conclusive data based on which you can get a real recommendation for a product. That means that you should use your common sense and figure out what works for you instead of following every layman recommendation blindly. Poison ivy is natural but you would not necessarily smack it across your face, would you?

Not keeping a skincare routine after 50

The ultimate sign of love and devotion you can show your skin is taking care of it at least twice a day – by sticking to a day and nighttime skincare routine. The worst sign of disrespect, however, is not removing your makeup, skipping the evening routine and heading to bed with a face full of makeup. Sleeping with makeup, oil, and other impurities on can block your pores and lead to breakouts. It also disrupts cell turnover, which can leave skin looking dull, and in the morning what you see in the mirror is skin that looks like it has been through a war. Do not do this to your skin, love it, cherish it, nurse it before going to bed, and change your pillowcase regularly. Show love, and you will see love every morning when you take a look in the mirror.

Have you found a skincare routine after 50 that works for you? Tell us about it in the comments.

This post is by Nicole Noel, Guest Contributor