We all want lovely, flawless skin, don’t we? Yet that is far from the reality for many of us. That is why it is important to avoid doing things that irritate and cause further damage to our skin. Here are our best skincare tips.

Avoid products that are highly perfumed
It can be tempting to use products that have a strong and pleasant scent. But to minimise the risk of developing allergies or provoking a negative skin reaction, it is wise to choose products without a lot of perfume. Less exposure means less risk of your skin developing a sensitivity, with all the unpleasant consequences that can have. If you want to smell nice, it is better to buy a good quality perfume that you can spray on separately.

Protect yourself against the sun – all year round
Yes, you read that right. You must be careful to protect your skin from the sun’s rays at all times – even in the winter months. Slathering on the sunscreen may seem ridiculous in the middle of winter, when the clouds are thick and the snow is falling. But UV rays will still get through, so it is important to give your skin the protection it needs. Use a moisturiser with a skin protection factor (SPF) all year round, so you are always shielded against harmful UV rays.

Avoid unnecessary exfoliation
Peeling and exfoliation are very popular at the moment, but overdoing it can be damaging for delicate skins. If you have dry or sensitive skin, you should avoid exfoliating too often. If you scrub too much, you risk damaging the epidermis, which is the last protective layer between you and the outside world, and making it difficult for your skin to retain the moisture and nourishment you are trying to give it. You should therefore scale back on the scrubbing if your find your skin getting itchy and dry.

Don’t squeeze pimples
This is obvious for some, while others find the temptation irresistible. But if you squeeze a pimple with your fingers, you simply irritate the inflamed area even more, and there is a good chance you will be opening the door to even more bacteria. This can lead to further inflammation and may even cause scarring. If you feel you absolutely have to squeeze your pimples, the best advice is to use two cotton buds. That way you avoid transferring bacteria from your hands, and if you squeeze too hard, the cotton buds will simply snap. It is a cheap and simple way to avoid damaging your skin.

Don’t forget to moisturise
To keep your skin looking fresh and healthy, it is tremendously important to stop it drying out. So make sure you apply a good moisturising day cream, and preferably a replenishing night cream as well. Many people skip this important daily routine, which can lead to even 20-somethings getting “dry skin” wrinkles. Don’t forget to drink enough water during the day, either. The body consists of around 60 per cent water, so it is hardly surprising that any imbalance on the inside will be visible on the outside.

Get enough sleep
Sleep is one of the body’s most important regenerative processes. At night, the body produces less of the stress hormone cortisol, a substance that also plays a part in breaking down the skin’s protective barrier. So make sure you get enough sleep. Too little sleep can impair the process of cell rejuvenation that is necessary for both a healthy body and fresh-looking skin.