Thankfully, we live in a time when personal grooming is — and should always be — a personal choice. Razors are optional, natural eyebrows on-trend, and I know tons of people who have ditched shampoo forever. That being said, there are still common grooming mistakes that women make, though they're often more about safety than they are about preference.
When you're talking about grooming, you're usually talking about hair and skin. Yeah, blackheads are annoying and some people prefer stubble-free legs, but the fact of the matter is that our body does what it does for a reason. Blackheads are a result of sebum production which helps your skin stay soft, and humans have body hair to trap heat, protect us from sun exposure, and stop dirt and infections from entering our sensitive areas.
If you choose to groom, that's totally up to you, but it's important to do it correctly and in a way that's not going to harm your body. While going about your grooming routine, be sure to watch out for cuts, hair and skin damage, and the spread of bacteria. Here are a few of the most common grooming mistakes that women make, as well as a few some ways to fix them.
1. Extracting Blackheads And Blemishes With Your Fingers
Trust me; I get you. It's insanely tempting, but fingernails are among our dirtiest body parts, and when we pick and squeeze at our skin, we're transferring bacteria as well as hindering the healing process. Instead, use an exfoliating mud mask like this one — it contains naturally detoxifying minerals that cleanse the skin, jojoba oil to soothe, and a light exfoliant to remove every bit of dirt from pores. Reviewers love it, commenting that "it does really help with shrinking pores and extracting blackheads."
2. Shaving Without Protecting Skin From Ingrown Hairs
It's a women's choice to shave or not to shave. However, if you do choose to shave your body hair, be aware that razor blades make your skin more susceptible to ingrown hairs, irritated skin, and infected hair follicles. Kerah Lane post-shave formula uses ingredients like witch hazel, aloe, and salicylic acid to soothe irritations, lessen ingrown hairs, and fight bacteria build-up to prevent infections.
3. Washing Your Hair Every Day With Oil Stripping Shampoos
Odds are you've heard this one, but shampooing your hair every day strips your scalp's natural oils and proteins, causing frizz, breakage, and damage. Instead, alternate washes with a vinegar rinse cleanser, which gently removes product build-up, excess weight, and impurities without stripping your hair. It uses ingredients like vinegar, nettle root, and plantain, so hair feels nourished as well as light and clean.
4. Cutting Your Cuticles During A Manicure
Not only does cutting your cuticles leave your nails open to infection, but it causes them to grow back tougher and more calloused than before. It's better to moisturize and push back cuticles instead, and this Bee Naturals cuticle care set can help. It comes with a refillable brush pen for no-fuss application, as well as a jar of their nourishing moisturizer formulated with antibacterial essential oils.
5. Skipping The Heat Protectant When You Style Your Hair
Yeah, blow dryers and flat irons can cause split ends, frizz, and even hair loss — but that doesn't necessarily stop a lot of us from using them. Luckily, you can minimize the damage with a good heat protectant like this Argan Oil spray. It uses gentle ingredients that take most of the heat for your hair, and it doubles as a leave-in conditioner so your hair is soft, healthy, and manageable. "It smells really nice and it's not sticky or greasy," wrote one reviewer. "It also seem to help with adding a sheen to my hair when I apply heat from the flat iron."
6. Letting Your Makeup Brushes Collect Bacteria
According to experts, conjunctivitis, staph, strep and E. coli are only a few examples of bacteria that can thrive on your makeup brushes. That's why it's important to clean them regularly with something like Ecotools makeup brush cleansing shampoo. It's hypoallergenic and free of parabens, but it removes oil and product build-up to leave your brushes soft, hygienic, and looking brand new again.
7. Going To A Salon You Haven't Researched For A Wax
Because waxing salons often use a communal pot of wax, dermatologists say that it's an easy way to spread infections — and if you're choosing cheap salons because you found a deal online, that can lead to trouble down the line. So why not save some money and wax at home? Nearly 2,000 reviewers are in love with this Cirepil wax for at-home hair removal, because it's ultra fluid, great for sensitive areas, and doesn't use any strips at all.
8. Over-Exfoliating Acne-Prone Skin
This one's for those who use the loofah, then the sugar scrub, then the electric cleansing brush. According to skin expert Jamie Sherrill, when you overdue it with the exfoliation, "you’re also getting rid of all those healthy skin cells, which protect your skin’s natural barrier." Instead, exfoliate gently with this Organic African black soap, which has ingredients like plantain skin ash and cocoa pod to remove dead skin and build-up. However, it also has shea butter and vitamin E to nourish new skin underneath, which is why reviewers are calling this the "miracle soap" for breakouts, acne, eczema, and dandruff.
9. Using A Dull Or Dirty Razor While Shaving
Not only do older blades carry more bacteria, but the metal bends over time, making it harder to cut the hair without tugging at it. This can cause razor bumps, ingrown hairs, and infection. If you don't want to switch out your blade every week, the Razor Saver can help. It sharpens and cleans your blades with its easy-to-use design, and promises to make even cheap disposable razors last for 50 or more shaves.
10. Moisturizing When Your Skin Is Dry, Not Damp
According to experts, your skin is much more likely to absorb products when it's damp from the shower — which means you'll also want something that doesn't have a lot of harsh ingredients. A great post-shower option is this US Organic Body Oil, which is USDA-certified organic, and free of parabens, alcohol, and artificial fragrances. The antioxidants and essential fatty acids absorb quickly into skin without leaving a greasy residue, it comes in a convenient spray, and reviewers say it's great for sensitive skin.
11. Skipping Your Neck In Your Skin-Care Routine
The neck often goes overlooked when it comes to skin care. But in the wise words of skin care expert Renée Rouleau, "The neck is an extension of the face and needs attention, too." Because it uses plant-derived ingredients that tone, nourish, and hydrate, Body Merry Neck Cream is a great option for your neck, chest, and, yes, even your face.
12. Neglecting To Take Care Of Eyebrow And Eyelash Hairs
All too often, eyelashes fall out during false lash application, makeup removal, or when using mascara. And eyebrows can become sparse from accidental over-plucking. If that's an issue for you, there's Lavish Lash growth serum — it's hypoallergenic, non-irritating, easy to apply, and nourishes the follicles so lashes and brows grow back quicker than ever.
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