The 8 Worst Things You Can Do In Your Grooming Routine (And The Products That Can Help)
Open any magazine while you're waiting in the grocery store line, and chances are you'll find an article outlining the common grooming mistakes you're probably making. It's a frequent topic, but nothing about it is new. In 1550 BC, Moses gave the Israelites detailed laws governing personal cleanliness. I'm not here to do that. I'm not here to tell you how to shave or pluck your eyebrows (or if you even should), because those are your personal choices. Instead, this article is about skin and hair care mistakes that, when corrected, keep your body healthy and your routine as easy as possible.
On a quest for answers, I got in touch with two great specialists who really know their stuff: stylist Gina Rivera, founder of by-Gina Hair and Phenix Salons, and New York dermatologist and RealSelf contributor Dr. Michele Green. As two people who work with hair and skin care every day, they see the most common mistakes that happen over and over again. Consequently, Rivera and Green were able to give me some great insights into the hygiene habits you shouldn't miss, as well as the best products to get you back on track. Here are their top pieces of advice and recommendations, so you can get the most out of your grooming routine every day.
1. Over-Using Products While Styling
According to stylist Gina Rivera, founder of by-Gina Hair and Phenix Salons, over-using products while styling is a big mistake. "More is not always better," she says. Rivera suggests starting with a dime-size for thin hair and a nickel-size for coarser hair. "When using hairspray, make sure you are spraying eight to ten inches away from the hair." Rivera recommends TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifier. It gives hold and enhances your texture without clumping or over-drying, and it's infused with essential oils to keep hair hydrated and healthy.
2. Scrubbing Your Face With A Harsh Exfoliant
According to New York Dermatologist and RealSelf contributor Dr. Michele Green, one of the most common mistakes is "using the wrong exfoliant. People tend to use exfoliants that are too harsh on the skin, which can cause irritation and further damage." This microdermabrasion facial scrub uses ingredients like bamboo powder and volcanic pumice to gently buff away old skin, and ingredients like aloe vera, plant oils, and green tea to heal the skin underneath. Reviewers say it works without irritation, but still leaves their skin feeling clean and smooth.
3. Loading On The Products Without (Occasionally) Clarifying Your Hair
"It's always wise to use a clarifying shampoo once in a while to remove product build up," says Rivera. "I always like to do a baking soda rinse to remove product and medications from the hair." This ABBA Pure Detox shampoo is also a solid choice — it uses nature's most purifying botanicals (like baking soda and molasses) to get rid of heavy build-up and impurities. It's also great for people who spend a lot of time in chlorinated water, and reviewers say their hair feels so much lighter and softer.
4. Not Cleansing Skin Properly After The Gym Or Before Bed
"Not cleansing skin properly at bedtime or before and after the gym" is another big one, says Green. That being said, if you're in a hurry or sleeping out, you can't be expected to have your favorite bottle of face wash on hand. No problem — just throw this Su:m37 Miracle Rose cleansing stick in your bag so you're always prepared. It comes in a genius balm consistency so it won't leak all over your things, and it uses fermented rose extract to gently cleanse skin without irritating it. It's also a low pH, which reviewers say is great for fighting acne, removing excess oil, and taking off makeup.
5. Using An Over-The-Counter Shampoo
Your choice of shampoo could make a huge difference, according to Rivera. "Being behind the chair, I got tired of seeing my clients' hair becoming dry and damaged by the products they were using at home. Naturally, they would tend to go for products that smelled the best and have a lot of lather, finding out this would only give them temporary results. Over the counter products contain harsh detergents that will make your hair dry, brittle, and damaged," Rivera says. "Shampoo and conditioners such as the BioGen Complex are loaded with vitamins and minerals that your hair is lacking such as biotin, collagen, vitamin B12, B5, and B7. These are all ingredients that are necessary for healthy hair."
6. Forgetting The Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
According to Green, it's important to "wear a broad spectrum sunscreen daily," but some people dislike the way it interacts with their makeup, so they skip it. Babo Botanicals facial sunscreen is made with 100 percent mineral active ingredients, but it's soothing, lightweight, moisturizing, and sheer. It's made for extra sensitive skin and protects against broad spectrum UVA + UVB. One reviewer raved, "Love this sunscreen for daily use under my makeup. Goes on smooth and does not turn my face a funny color like other natural sunscreens I have tried. Also, this bottle has lasted me longer than I expected, about three months."
7. Skipping The Conditioner
"Always condition your hair," says Rivera. "Some of us skip this step thinking it's going to weigh your hair down and make it greasy — especially my male clients. This is not the case. There are many different types of conditioners, from deep to very light. I recommend a deep conditioner that is loaded with all your vitamins and minerals." Rivera recommends the Matrix Biolage Hydrasource mask. It's inspired by the aloe vera plant, which never dries, but still remains lightweight. It's especially great for thin hair that tends to get oily quickly, and some reviewers even say it helps hair grow faster.
8. Ignoring Your Skin's Specific Needs
Finally, it's always a good idea to pay attention to your skin type and choose products that are right for it. Everyone's skin is different, and there aren't any blanket products that work for all. "Not using the right product for your skin-type" is a common issue, says Green. "If you are acne prone you should use products that are non-comedogenic." This Christina Moss Naturals facial moisturizer is specifically formulated to keep pores from clogging, and it's great for sensitive skin. That's because it's free of harmful chemicals and instead uses deeply nourishing (but non-greasy) ingredients like apricot oil, aloe vera, and star anise seed oil. "Unlike switching to other lotions, this one didn't immediately cause me to break out," says one reviewer. "Over time my acne has slowly decreased."
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