I’ve probably had over a dozen different skincare regimes over the course of my life. In my early teens it was all about the nightly astringent pad scrub (the smell of OXY still triggers memories of that time.) In college, it was all about using the cheapest products available. I eventually graduated to the specialized skincare routine featuring personalized soaps and creams. And now I’m into BB creams that can hold up all day. But despite all these methods, Basically, I’ve been committing a daily mistake that could ruin my skin.

I know! I thought I had the skincare game on lockdown by this point. After all, I know to wash every trace of makeup away at night and avoid over-exfoliating. But there’s a common mistake many people make that may be causing skin, and even overall health problems.

To learn more about skin care and the most common mistake people make, I contacted Heather D. Rogers, a board certified dermatologist and founder of Modern Dermatology. She gave some great advice about the big mistakes that often cause skin damage (such as picking at blemishes). But there was one piece of her advice that really stood out.

So what is this big mistake? According to Rogers, it's skimping on the sunscreen.

“Thinking that applying sunscreen once is enough is a big mistake,” Roger says. “The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing a hat, sunglasses, sun protective clothing and reapply your sunscreen if you are spending the day in the sun.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never thought about reapplying sunscreen during the winter months, even on days when I get a lot of sun in. But Rogers is right: the AAD recommends that people reapply sunscreen approximately every two hours, or after swimming or sweating, according to the directions on the bottle.

Furthermore, the AAD recommends using broad-spectrum protection (which protects against UVA and UVB rays) with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or higher. Sunscreens such as the EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 or PCA Skin Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 45 fit the bill, and you can easily reapply them throughout the day.

But what happens if you want to reapply sunscreen over makeup? You can use a setting mist with SPF or opt for makeup with SPF in it. Although SPF makeup can’t replace regular sunscreen, it can be a nice additional buffer and it’s easy enough to reapply.

Overall, wearing sunscreen every day, and reapplying it every two hours if you’re outside — no matter the time of year or weather — can help keep your skin clear and healthy.

Images: vladimirfloyd/Fotolia; Giphy