When it comes to beauty, cleanliness is just as important as technique. Unfortunately, even the best of us can forget (or may not even be aware) about all the unfortunate ways we collect dirt and bacteria that can negatively impact our skin and hair. That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of ten gross, but common, beauty habits that can be detrimental to achieving the look you want. Read on to learn what they are and how you can protect yourself.
1. Going To Bed With Makeup On
While it can be easy to give in to exhaustion and hit the hay without properly cleaning your skin, you should always try your hardest to avoid doing so. If you don’t, the makeup will clog your pores which can spawn acne, inflammation, and even wrinkles. If you just can’t bring yourself to wash your face, at least take a moment to wipe your skin with a few cleansing wipes.
2. Using Dirty Makeup Brushes
Well-used makeup brushes will be crawling with oil, dirt, and other gross materials unless washed regularly. This will put you at risk of breakouts and even infections. Luckily, it isn’t difficult or expensive to clean your brushes – you just have to do it consistently. Check out our article, “How Do I Clean My Makeup Brushes?” for a simple tutorial.
3. Leaving Your Tools Exposed
Flushing your toilet sends bacteria through the air and it will land on any nearby surface – including your cotton pads, brushes, and anything else left on your counter. So, whenever you use these tools, you are spreading that bacteria to your face which, obviously, is both unhealthy and super gross. Keep your tools off the counter and don’t leave the toilet lid up.
4. Using A dirty Brush
You lose a lot of hair every day – about 100 strands in most cases. As these strands junk up your brush, so do all the dead skin cells, dirt, and product residue that they carry. By re-using your brush without cleaning it, you are redistributing these gross materials through your strands, which will make clean hair quickly become dirty and greasy (yuck)! If you want healthy locks, you need to empty your brush on a daily basis, and wash it with soap and water from time to time.
5. Leaving Your Facial Brush In The Tub
If you use an electric brush for your face, you need to give the bristles time to dry after each use – otherwise they are likely to form mold and bacteria which is bad news for your skin (especially if you have any zits or cuts). Try placing it in a dry area outside the bathroom after you use it. This will prevent any humidity or steam from keeping the bristles wet and prone to forming gross materials.
6. Dipping Your Fingers In Your Cream
If your face wash or creams don’t come from a pump, you have to be extremely careful with how you apply them. Your fingers must be freshly washed (don’t even let them touch the faucet) before you dip them in your face products. If they aren’t, you will be carrying all kinds of nasty materials to your skin including oil, dirt, and germs. This is a big problem, especially if you suffer from acne or have any scratches on your face. Keep your fingers extra clean and, if possible, use a plastic spatula or cotton swab to transfer the right amount to your palm. You also want to be sure that you never double-dip your fingers, or the entire formula will be contaminated.
7. Sharing A Razor
This may be a little more common-sense, but it’s worth the reminder that sharing a razor with another person – no matter who they are – is a bad idea. Any virus or bacterial infection that person may carry could be transferred to you with one use, especially if the blade is dull. Don’t do it! You also don’t want to re-use your own razor too many times since harmful mold and bacteria can grow there as well. If you are planning to re-use a razor, be sure that you rinse it well when you’re done and allow it to sit upright in a glass so the water doesn’t rest on the blade (it will travel off of the razor instead).
8. Using A Loofah
A loofah is even more prone to forming nasty molds and bacteria than a facial brush. The bigger difference is that, even if you allow your loofa to dry, it will contain bacteria that you can’t get rid of. So, basically, just don’t use a loofah! A better way to eliminate dead skin cells is to use an exfoliating body wash which you can purchase or make yourself. Here’s an easy recipe: combine one ripe banana, three tablespoons of brown sugar, and a quarter teaspoon of vanilla extract or an essential oil. Gently massage it into your body while in the shower, then rinse for smoother, healthier skin!
9. Plucking Your Nose Hairs
Using dirty tweezers to remove nose hairs presents an easy path for germs to your bloodstream. Plus, your nose hairs are important for preventing certain illnesses (like the cold), so you don’t want to remove them completely. Instead, trim your hairs using clean clippers or even an electric trimmer if you’re worried about cutting yourself.
10. Sharing Cosmetics Samples
You can’t trust other people to be sanitary with disposable cosmetics applicators at the store. Even using a cotton swab won’t protect you – applying publicly-used cosmetics samples to your skin, especially on your face, can easily transmit a number of viruses. Ask for your own sample or just skip it altogether (it’s not worth the risk).
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