Using Makeup Removing Wipes
Oh I know, the convenience right? If you don’t have 3 minutes to cleanse your skin properly at the end of the night then you might want to reavulate your time usage. These nasty contraptions do a crap job of removing your makeup, don’t do anything to actually cleanse your skin and leave a nasty film that then just sits there on your skin. Every time a girl friend of mine swears by them (and then complains in the same breath about chronic breakouts) I want to send her straight across the pond to Caroline Hirons for a little 411 on what wipes are good for (in Caroline’s words: “Fannies, Flights & Festivals”)
What to Try: Good old cleanser and a face cloth. You’ll break down the makeup, cleanse your skin and leave your skin properly prepared for serum/oil/moisturizer.
Rough, Gritty Scrubs
I cringe when I think of the apricot kernel laden scrubs of my teen years. Oh, my poor skin why did I punish you so? Unless you’re using them on your rear end or your feet, these chunky walnut shell laced scrubs have no business on your face. Think tiny jagged pieces of sharp hard shell tearing apart the top layer of your skin. Raw is not only NOT the way your should feel after exfoliation, but it can cause plenty of other problems down the line, like flakes, spread acne, exasperate rosacea, increase the chances of sunburn and sun damage… should I go on?
What to Try: A daily AHA/BHA Exfoliating product like Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner, or a gentle powder scrub that you mix to your desired consistency with cleanser/water – like Indeed Labs Powder Exfoliator.
Picking Your Cuticles
It’s so tempting, isn’t it? Picking at my cuticles and nails in general is a bad habit of yours personally, and I always regret it once I’ve done it. The cuticles are what nourishes the nails, creating a healthy bed for them to become strong and smooth. When you trim them away you not only disrupt this, but your open up the chance for hangnails, peeling skin and nasty nail infections.
What to Try: Soften cuticles with a remover like the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover and then gently push back excess skin to allow for clean, smooth polish application.
Tanning to Dry Up Acne/Skin Ailments
I know this one all too well. As a sufferer of Keratosis Pilaris my whole like, I used to firmly believe that my tanning bed tan made my arms smoother and clearer. I’ve had my friends tell me that getting some sun clears up their acne, and sure it might seem like that at the time, until the sun damage causes all those breakouts to end up as pigmented scars, lasting much longer (as well as potentially harmful!) then the original breakout.
What to Try: Treating acne with products geared for your skin type, drinking lots of water, listening to your body and its reactions to certain foods (sugar, wheat, dairy etc) can help treat from the inside out. If you want the tanned glow, go faux. I love Clarins Liquid Bronze for face, and St Tropez Mousse for body.
Holding on to Mascara Too Long
The term “best before date” really doesn’t apply to mascara – once it’s open give it two maybe three months tops. Not only does this type of products dry out causing flaking which could potentially scratch, irritate or cause a stye in your eyes, but it harbours bacteria faster than most cosmetics. When it comes to products your use on your eyes, it’s not worth the risk!
What to Try: If the idea of throwing out a $30 mascara every two months makes you cringe, opt for one of the many amazing drugstore formulas that will only set you back a tenner. My favourite right now is L’Oreal Butterfly Intenza, and Covergirl Lash Blast.
Over Treating Skin Breakouts
If you’re anything like me your first instinct when a pimple pops up might be “divide and conquer!” and to coat that sucker in ever acne topical or treatment I can find. Without a doubt though, I always regret this as I usually end up making much more of a mess than I started with. These types of treatments usually dry the living right out of your skin, leaving your blemish still red, and now flaky and hard to cover. Not to mention the nice little scar that sticks around.
What to Try: Nexcare Acne Absorbing Covers work amazingly well to draw out the blemish without stripping the skin or causing scarring.
Wearing Darker Foundation to Fake a Tan
An oldie, but a goodie that many still try and pull off is wearing a foundation a few shades too dark to appear more tanned. The thing is, no one tans painfully even like that, and it’s about as obvious as the sun in the sky on a clear day. There will be those who say “just bring it down your neck!” and to that I say “sure, until it wears off on all your clothes becoming even more obvious”.
What to Try: Pick a foundation that matches, and then dust a really nice neutral toned bronzer along the tops of cheekbones, across forehead and bridge of nose to fake a sunkissed tan. I prefer Tarte’s Park Avenue Princess Matte Waterproof Bronzer because it doesn’t lean yellow, orange or red and sticks around all day.
What are some of your self proclaimed bad beauty habits?
Which ones do you need to kick?