8 Everyday Beauty Habits That Could Be Bad For Your Health
We all have beauty habits, whether they're things we do on the daily or just in a pinch. But even though most steps of any beauty routine seem harmless at the time, there are actually a few beauty habits that could be bad for your health. And that's kind of a scary idea. After all, how could your favorite eyeliner possibly do you dirty? Well, there are actually a couple of ways.
To find out what it is about certain beauty habits that make them no-no's, I emailed with a couple of experts. Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care and Assistant Clinical Professor for the Department of Dermatology at the George Washington University Medical Center, and Dr. Marnie Nussbaum, board-certified dermatologist and chief medical ambassador for Sebamed, both let me in on why some habits are worse than others. Because even though it may seem like getting split ends or a breakout are the worst things a beauty routine could cause, there are some potential results that are much more serious. So you know which habits to follow with caution or even take a break from, here are eight of them that could be causing more damage than they're worth:
1. Using Spray Products
According to Dr. Tanzi, anything that comes as an aerosol spray like hairspray, deodorant, self-tanner, and even sunscreen release chemicals into the air that are easy to inhale, and dangerous if you inhale too much. To avoid health problems that are associated with breathing in too much of these spray-products, Dr. Tanzi recommends always using them in spaces with good ventilation.
Over-washing and over-exfoliating can lead to a whole host of problems, says Dr. Nussbaum. She explains that scrubbing too much can cause dryness, acne, irritation, inflammation, and even scarring (among other issues), so it's important to never over-treat.
3. Showering In Hot Water
Dr. Nussbaum also warns against using water that is too hot when showering or bathing. "Hot water mixed with harsh soaps can strip your skin of its essential oils, leaving it feeling tight, dry, and itchy," she says. Because moisture loss can lead to other problems such as acne flareups and eczema, Dr. Nussbaum recommends taking lukewarm showers to prevent drying your skin out too much.
4. Cutting Cuticles
Cuticles may seem like they get in the way of a perfectly good manicure, but they're there for a reason. Bustle writer, Stephanie Chon, reports that cuticles are basically a seal between the skin around your nails and the nails themselves. So if you were to cut your cuticles, you would essentially be opening little doors into your body where harmful bacteria could enter. If you want the look of trimmed cuticles without the possible infection, try gently pushing them back after first softening them with a cuticle oil or warm-water soak.
Although drawing eyeliner on your waterline looks cute, it's also potentially dangerous— especially if you wear contacts. Dr. Weslie Hamada from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care explained to me over email that if you tightline, "Your liner could rub off and get on your contact lenses and cause irritation and affect your vision." I don't know about you, but my ability to see is not something I'm willing to risk for my beauty routine.
6. Sharing Bar Soap
Although soap may seem inherently clean, Dr. Nussbaum stresses that traditional bar soap should not be shared with others. This is because the surface contact makes it possible to transfer harmful bacteria from one user to the next. Even though sharing is usually caring, infections are an exception.
7. Tweezing Ingrown Hairs
As satisfying as it can be to successfully tweeze an ingrown hair, there are certain times when it's better to leave the job to a professional. NYC-based dermatologist, Dr. Francesca Fusco, explained to fellow Bustle writer, Melodi Erdogan, that some signs to look for to determine if your ingrown is becoming infected and requires professional attention are the site filling with pus or developing an expanding red ring. Because tweezing it out yourself could spread an infection, it's best to leave more severe ingrowns to the pros.
8. Applying Expired Makeup
If you still have working makeup left once you pass its expiration date, it might not seem all that bad to just keep using it until you finish it. But there are some health concerns that may make you think twice. Infections, rashes, and conjunctivitis are just a few of the things that could happen if you continue to use makeup that has expired, reports Refinery 29. No thanks.
While some of these beauty habits could cause some pretty serious issues, practicing them with caution, or just simply avoiding them could make all the difference between a cat eye and pink eye.