8 Bad Beauty Habits Worth Breaking

It’s hard to stay on top of everything we should be doing to make sure our hair, nails, and skin are staying in tip-top shape. There are endless treatments and lotions designed to polish, condition, and moisturize. Often, there are simple things you can do that will make a huge difference. Do you sometimes fall asleep with makeup on? Are you addicted to gel manicures? Try dropping a few (or all) of these bad habits – it will make a huge difference.

1. Wrapping wet har in a towel

When your hair is wet, hair shafts are like loosened springs that can stretch and break more easily, dermatologist Jessica Krant told Shape. That means that every time you rub your hair with a towel, put it into a tight wrap, or brush and comb it too vigorously, it has the potential to break your hair shafts, leading to damaged, frizzy hair. Ready to kick the habit? Use a towel and move down your hair in sections, gently squeezing and blotting out excess water. If you have to wrap your hair, use a white cotton t-shirt rather than a towel — fabric is gentler on your hair. And for tangles, be sure to apply a detangling or conditioning spray first, and then use a wide-tooth comb.

2. Getting frequent gel manicures

Gel manicures have a few risks. First, UV exposure from the curing lights can accelerate the aging of the skin on your hands. Second, your nails can become thin and damaged from the acetone removers nail salons use, according to InStyle. Part of the major nail damage comes from the harsh, drying acetones, which are used by manicurists to ensure a speedy removal of your polish. Instead, spend more time removing the gel yourself.

Try an at-home kit such as Sensationail, a system that uses squares of foil to help acetone gently lift the polish. While you’re at it, try alternating a gel manicure with a regular one. Manicurist Patricia Yankee told InStyle to go six weeks on and two to four weeks off when it comes to your gel manicures. Make sure to coat nails with a nourishing conditioner like Duri Rejuvacote on the off weeks – it has keratin and calcium to help heal your nails. You could also try nail polish appliqués, which are nearly as durable as gels and provide cute tips pretty quickly.

3. Biting your nails

Aside from making you look really anxious, it can also wreck your nail beds. Damaged nail beds can lead to ragged cuticles and pesky hangnails. Glamour suggests keeping polish on your nails to help break the habit. If you’ve got a pretty color on your nails, you may be less tempted to bite your nails and ruin your mani.

4. Squeezing pores and popping zits

It’s our first instinct to pop zits when they show up on our face. Even though you know it’s bad, you just can’t help squeezing that white head that’s planted itself on your face — but you need to stop. When you pick at a zit, it creates a giant red spot on your face, which can last for days. Even worse? It could lead to lifetime scarring, according to New York Magazine. The easiest fix? Just leave your zits alone.

5. Washing your face in the morning

Using a harsh cleanser and scrub in the morning can strip your skin of essential oils. Only cleanse your face at night, as your skin regenerates while you’re sleeping. By washing your face in the morning, you’re undoing all the work your skin worked so hard to repair.

“Leave the house feeling clean and refreshed without turning your skin into the Sahara by simply splashing with water and applying a moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or higher. If you need to cleanse (perhaps you have makeup left over from last night), use a mild moisturizing cleanser that doesn’t contain harsh detergents before applying the same SPF moisturize,” says Shape.

6. Forgetting to floss

Flossing helps give you a bright, beautiful smile. But in case that’s not enough incentive for you, it can also be good for your heart. According to Glamour, recent studies show a link between the bacteria that causes plaque on your teeth and the plaque that forms in the arteries of the heart, which can lead to heart disease. The fix? Take a few minutes to floss each day — it’s worth it.

7. Scrubbing too often

While many dermatologists recommend exfoliating, it’s important to not do it all the time. Over-exfoliating can actually irritate your skin and cause dryness in the long run, causing you to want to try and exfoliate even more, writes Shape. According to the American Board of Dermatology, you should exfoliate your face and body no more than twice a week. When you do exfoliate, be gentle. You don’t want your skin to appear red and raw afterward.

8. Not washing your face before bed

After a late night at the office or after grabbing a few drinks with friends, all you want to do is get to bed. But before you do, it’s important to take a few minutes and make sure you’re washing your face, according to New York Magazine. Not only do you need to get leftover makeup off, but you also have dirt and grime from earlier in the day sitting on your skin and clogging up your pores. Keep a package of facial wipes nearby for nights that you’re tempted to just skip washing your face.

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