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By: Jessica Estrada

The secret to flawless makeup application really begins with your skin. Because if your complexion isn’t looking so hot, no amount of makeup will be able to make it better, which is why taking good care of your skin is so important. To help us step up our skincare game, we enlisted the help of Maria Castro, senior makeup artist and trainer at Blushington in Los Angeles, to share with Lively the five things you should never, ever to do your skin. Keep reading for her tips.

Never Over-Exfoliate

Exfoliating your skin is a good thing, but doing it on the daily can actually do more harm that good. “A lot of people think exfoliating, especially when they’re breaking out, will fix the problem by removing everything,” Castro says. “But if you over-exfoliate, it’s going to make things worse. It’s just going to dry out your skin and probably make you break out even more.” Instead, she advises to limit exfoliating to twice a week max for best results.

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Never Sleep With Your Makeup On

Sometimes you’re just way too tired to get up and take your makeup off before bed. We get it. It happens to all of us — especially on a night when you’ve been out late having fun. But this is a huge no-no when it comes to taking care of your skin. “If you sleep with your makeup on, the makeup actually goes into fine lines and it stretches out those lines and creates wrinkles,” Castro tells us. So, do your future self a favor and wash your face before your head hits the pillow. Or, at the very least, keep some makeup remover wipes next to your nightstand for a quick clean-up.

Never Pick at Your Face

“Picking your face or popping pimples is just going to create a scar that’s going to be there even longer than the blemish,” says Castro. Yes, it can be difficult to resist trying to solve the problem immediately but, in the long term, leaving your skin alone is by far the better option. Those scars can take forever to go away even with the best and most expensive treatments out there. Plus, picking your face transfers bacteria from your hands onto your skin,  causing more breakouts so it becomes this vicious cycle.

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skincare tips

Never Skip the SPF

If you’re not loading up on SPF daily, especially if you live somewhere sunny, you’re really doing your skin a disservice. “That’s going to create wrinkles and sunspots and cause premature aging,” says Castro. “It can damage your skin and even lead to skin cancer.” 

Never Overuse Products

Once your find your ride-or-die skincare products, you pretty much want to stick with them forever, but using the the same exact products for years and years is actually not the best for your skin. “Your skin gets used to them and then they stop working,” Castro says. “Switch it up every now and then, and then you can go back to [the products you love].” Changing your skincare regime about every three to six months is a good rule of thumb, she adds.