Reason 1: Multiple products can make them all less effective.
Cocktailing your skincare—that is, layering on multiple skincare products—is popular for a reason. After all, the more antioxidants, the merrier—right? Not always. "Cocktailing, when done right, can yield amazing results," Engelman says. "However, some ingredients cancel out the effects of others or can be irritating to the skin, causing dryness or sensitivity." If you're not seeing results or, worse, experiencing redness or dryness, simplify your skincare routine to just cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. You can add your extras back in one-by-one to see what actually works for you...and what doesn't.
Reason 2: Picking can cause inflammation or irritation.
So, you have a zit. It can be tempting to throw all of your acne-fighting products at it in an attempt to shrink it—and then pick at it once that doesn't happen. But fixating on and picking at imperfections can have lasting consequences. "Excessive exfoliation can break down the stratum corneum, whose job is to be a barrier against pathogens," Engelman explains. "If the barrier function is damaged, skin becomes vulnerable to infection from microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungus, and leads to sensitivity and irritation." It can also lead to chronic inflammation, she says, which can lead to premature aging. Resist the urge to pick; instead, cover your zit with acne treatments at night and concealer during the day — and if you really need it to go away ASAP, see your dermatologist, who can inject the pimple with a corticosteroid, or use a safe, sterile procedure to drain it for you.
Reason 3: Over-scrubbing can create bigger problems.
"If there's any excess sweating, odor, or visible dirt and grime, it's definitely a good idea to do a more detailed cleaning," says Qian Gu, MD, a family medicine physician in New York, NY. "However, one must be careful with excess scrubbing as it may cause broken skin, which is a lovely area for infections to develop." The same goes for your body as it does your face. So if, say, your butt is feeling itchy or uncomfortable, try using just one gentle product, like Preparation H Flushable Wipes. Not only will they cleanse, but they'll temporarily relieve irritation due to hemorrhoids and help protect sensitive tissue.