The Bad Beauty Habits You Have to Quit

Bad beauty habits can be hard to break up with — kind of like that boyfriend who keeps resurfacing to wreak havoc. But it’s high time to save face and kick it all to the curb (yes, and we mean the guy, too), and start treating yourself and your skin and hair with the respect it deserves.

Consider this your ultimate breakup manual for the 10 beauty habits you need to quit and the best ways to ensure you don’t revert back to your old behavior.

1. Being bronzed and dangerous

woman applying sun protection lotion

Quit tanning now. |

Tanning is a four-letter word among the healthy beauty community — no matter if you’re soaking up the sun outside or fake-baking in a tanning bed. The ultraviolet rays can be ultra-harmful to your skin, even if you don’t burn. No matter how much you want to hit the beach with a tan, it’s not worth the risk of premature aging and skin cancer. But, as many have experienced, tanning can be not only a bad habit but also something of an addiction for some people. If you are really craving the bronzed and beautiful look, achieve it through a self-tanner instead. There are a number of good products out there that fake a bake better than ever. You’ll be glowing in no time.

2. Not taking it all off

Bed sheet and pillow

Always take your makeup off. |

If you hit the hay with your full face on, then that beauty sleep is likely not going to be so beautiful. When you go to bed in your makeup, you don’t give your skin an opportunity for a restorative breath of fresh air. Plus, the product rubs onto your pillow which can press it deeper into your pores, causing breakouts. You also miss out on a cleansing, toning, and moisturizing routine that can keep skin nourished and help prevent signs of aging.

Next time a late night out has you too exhausted (or tipsy) to take it off, at the very least, replace that bad habit with a quick sweep of a cleansing towelette. Keep them by your bed. This will help remove pore-clogging makeup — no sink required. And remember, that pillowcase should be changed often, too, to prevent the accumulation of dirt, oil, and makeup.

3. Nailing it

chewing your nails is a bad beauty habit

Stop chewing on your nails. |

If you’re practically making a meal of your fingernails, fight the urge to chew them down to nothingness. It’s often a hard habit to break, as nail-biting traces back to a childhood habit for many people and it often represents underlying stress and anxiety. But, it not only wreaks havoc on your hands, it can be pretty offensive to other people. It’s also a pretty solid way to put a lot of germs into your body really quickly and potentially get sick as a result. While you’re kicking the habit, try keeping your hands occupied with a stress ball or use gloves to provide an actual barrier to your nails. There are even nail lacquers in the drugstore that have an off-putting taste to create a negative reaction to nail biting, which can be your reverse Pavlovian response and the ticket to quitting for good.

4. Being a scent-sation


Don’t overdo it with the perfume. |

The art of fine fragrance can be a beautiful thing — when used in balanced moderation. Floating in a cloud of perfume that practically announces your presence before you even arrive is creating a scent-sation that’s not always welcome. A fragrance should be a subtle note for people to ponder — not an overpowering whack in the nose. If you really must heavily mist it on in your own aroma-verse, then make sure you go for something light like an eau de toilette. Or try natural essential oils that won’t be as heavy and possibly offensive to your adoring fans.

5. Getting your nails done

a woman getting a manicure

Don’t get a manicure too often. |

If a weekly manicure has been on your iCal for longer than you care to remember, then you may want to switch up your schedule. As pretty as those fingers look, the frequent application of acrylic tips, gel manis, and even nail polish remover can weaken and strip fingernails, leaving them dry, brittle, and broken. Cut down on the constant salon visits and give yourself an hour back each week. Your nails will thank you.

6. Channeling your inner pop star

woman squeezing pimple in front of mirror

Resist the urge to touch your blemishes. |

Popping blemishes is a short-term fix that can lead to long-term flaws like acne scars. Plus, if you’re unconsciously picking at your face, it can be a rather distracting, unattractive way to attract attention. Resist the urge to pop the pimple, and apply a warm compress to the affected area for a few minutes to reduce inflammation and redness.

7. Turning up the heat

woman styling hair with a heated hair straightener

Skip the straightener. |

If the blow dryer (or the straightening iron) is your best friend, you may need to break up with it — or at least have some time apart. Heat-damaged hair can result in breakage, split ends, and dullness. Find some new go-to hair styles that give your strands a break from the heat. If your hair is naturally curly, go au naturel rather than straightening it constantly. Or, try foam rollers instead of a curling iron and a side braid in place of a blowout.

8. Getting plucky

close-up of a woman with gray hair

Don’t pluck away the gray |

Silver is never a winning hue to find in your hair, but when the gray strands emerge, don’t pluck them out. When the hair grows back, it will do so unevenly. Also, if you continue to pull out your hair, it may not grow back. Try another quick fix, instead, like a mist-on cover-up spray or a root concealer to snuff out those mismatched strands in a flash. Then make an appointment at the hair salon for a color treatment.

9. Not being a block star

Woman Under Beach Umbrella

Wear sunscreen every day. |

The use of sunblock, especially on your face, is one of the most essential elements to good skincare — yet it’s a good habit that many are in the bad habit of forgetting. A good SPF protects skin from the signs of premature aging such as sunspots and wrinkles, and more seriously, skin cancer. So, do it for your vanity and for your health. To make it easier to remember to apply sunscreen in the morning, find a facial lotion that pulls double duty with SPF built in to the formula so you don’t have to take the extra step to add a separate product to your regimen.

10. Getting dirty

brushes on eye shadows

Wash your makeup brushes. |

If you rarely or never wash your makeup brushes, it’s time to come clean. Fresh, clean tools will help distribute the product more evenly for a flawless finish. But, even more importantly, they will keep bacteria from affecting your face. If you have unexplained breakouts, revisit the cleaning regimen for your brushes and give them a good wash with mild soap and water. If you have a hard time remembering to clean them, invest in a spray-on brush cleaner to quickly spritz on.

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