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10 Ways Your Beauty Routine Harms Your Health

Dirty makeup brushes cause acne.

Yes, cleaning your makeup brushes on a regular basis is inconvenient, but the alternative is swiping a bacteria-filled brush all over your face every day and then needing even more makeup to cover the embarrassing acne it leads to. Wash your makeup brushes so your skin doesn’t become an acne landmine all the time.

Sharing products puts you at risk for infection.

I don’t care how much better you think your best friend’s makeup brushes are. DO. NOT. USE. THEM. Using someone else’s brush, or letting someone else use yours, exposes you to foreign bacteria that can cause serious infections, like pink eye, cold sores, and staph.

Daily exfoliation damages your skin.

Gently exfoliating your skin one or two times a week is a safe habit, but exfoliating can becoming addicting because it feels so good. It’s easy to cross over to the side of over-exfoliation and not even realize that you’re harming your skin. When you exfoliate too much, your skin becomes irritated, inflamed, and more vulnerable to sunburns.

Gel manicures put you at risk for skin damage and cancer.

Gel manicures are popular because they last for so long, but the price you pay for polish that doesn’t chip isn’t worth it. The chemicals used in gel manicures can irritate your skin, but the biggest danger is the UV light used to set the manicure. Resting your hands under the UV light causes damage and can lead to skin cancer. No manicure is worth that.

(Image via James Heilman)

Waxing can cause follicle damage and rip sensitive skin.

No one actually enjoys the process of waxing, especially since the areas we wax are so sensitive. The issue with waxing is that it causes follicle damage and leads to sparse brows. Additionally, the wax can rip your skin, which in turns puts you at risk for infection when the deeper layers of skin are exposed to our germ-infested world. 

Steam cleaning your skin can lead to dry skin, breakouts, and broken capillaries.

Everyone enjoys the sensation of clean skin and tight pores, which is why steam cleaning is so addictive. Even though the steam helps open your pores and flush out makeup, dirt, and sweat, it can also severely dry out your skin. When your skin is excessively dry, it will overproduce oil and become prone to breakouts. The extreme heat can also cause capillaries to burst under your skin, and that’s never a desired look.

Cutting cuticles can cause infection.

It’s important to take care of your cuticles in order to maintain nail health, but cutting them too much can do more harm than good. If you try to cut more cuticle than necessary, you expose the tender skin around your nail to the germs of the world, and that can lead to an unsightly, painful, and serious infection. Be gentle with your cuticles, and cut as little as you can.

Leaving makeup on too long can lead to severe breakouts.

Sometimes washing your face at the end of the day feels like too much of a hassle. If you go to bed with your makeup on, however, you open yourself up to all kinds of negative side effects. The skin on your face is extremely touchy, and leaving all of the mascara, foundation, and pollutants from the world on your skin equals breakouts, loss of lashes, and rashes.

Wearing the same polish for weeks leads to dry nails.

Painting your nails all the time can be annoying, but the alternative is bad for your nails. If you leave polish on for too long (anything longer than the first chip is too long), then you’re drying out your nails. Your nails need to breathe, otherwise they’ll be covered in white marks, ridges, and and can even begin to split.

Waterproof mascara can cause lashes to fall out.

Waterproof mascara is the worst thing you can do to your lashes—it can cause you to lose lashes, which you need to protect your eyes from debris and dust. It might stay on through an entire white water rafting excursion, but it won’t come off without serious elbow grease, actual grease, and the sacrifice of several lashes. Avoid wearing it all costs if you want to keep your lashes intact and your eyes safe.