10 Beauty Sins We Need To Stop Committing

Aly Walansky
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Photo: Henry Arden/Cultura/Getty Images

Photo: Henry Arden/Cultura/Getty Images

Whether we’re aware of it or not, plenty of us are being rather sinful when it comes to our beauty routines. If you want to stay off Skin Care Santa’s naughty list this season, there are some seriously bad beauty habits we should all stop committing.

Applying serums or creams with unclean hands …
Forgetting to wash your hands before applying serums or dipping fingers in a jar is basically an open invitation for germs to invade, making it one of the top beauty sins on record. You don’t want to get bacteria and who knows what else in your (not exactly cheap!) skin care products and on your skin, says Kathy Heshelow, founder of Sublime Beauty.

Popping pimples …
One of the worst things you can do to your skin is pop your pimples, says Allison Tray, owner of Tres Belle Spa. Not only can you spread infection under the skin, causing more pimples to come out to the surface, but you can also create scars. When you pop a pimple, it stops being a regular pimple and becomes an open wound, which makes it more susceptible to germs and breakouts.

Skipping SPF …
It’s an all too common belief that sunscreen is a summer-only necessity, but it’s crucial year round, even in the dead of winter. Your skin needs protection every season, so SPF should be used on a daily basis, says dermatologist Dr. Adebola Dele-Michael.

Being rough with our skin …
Our skin is not to be cleansed like our bathtub—elbow grease will not get the job done! Pulling downward, pushing too hard on skin, or stretching it will only lead to fine lines and wrinkles. You should always, always use a light touch on your skin, especially the fragile skin of the eyes and neck, says Heshelow.

Licking lips …
It’s just about the time of year when our lips are naturally dry from the cold weather and indoor heat, and it’s a natural instinct to lick our lips to keep them moist. In fact, it’s the worst thing you can do and will only exacerbate dryness. Try to keep lips as moisturized as possible with a dedicated lip protector or a lip balm loaded with emollients such as petroleum, lanolin, and cocoa butter or even just basic Vaseline, says dermatologist Dr. David Bank. Steer clear from other drying agents such as alcohol, salicylic acid, camphor, citrus, or other drying agents.

Plucking grays …
You noticed a gray hair and you’re running out to a holiday party—what to do? You wouldn’t be alone if your first instinct is to pluck them out, but plucking each hair will just cause them to grow back … and yes, they’ll still grow back gray. When a strand turns gray, the pigment producing cells at the hair follicle are all worn out, so matter what you do, the hair will grow back the same shade, says Dr. Bank. Instead, try a temporary at-home gray hair color treatment for a quick fix.

Not removing makeup at night …
No matter how tired you are or how late you get in, remove that makeup and let your skin breathe overnight. Your best bet is to follow up with a serum or night cream to boost collagen and hydrate, says Heshelow.

Sleeping on your face …
Sleeping on your side or stomach creates a furrow on one side of your face. Sleeping on your back is an easy way to minimize wrinkles, says Dele-Michael.

Shaving every day …
Too many people make the mistake of shaving their sensitive skin over and over, particularly areas such as legs, underarm, and bikini area, says Noemi Grupenmager, Founder and CEO of Uni K Wax Centers. This seems like a quick fix for stubbly hair, but shaving only removes hair at skin level, so it reappears in one to four days, and over time the skin itself becomes coarse. Worse still, “By continually cutting the hair, you are, in fact, stimulating its growth, encouraging the hair to grow back faster, thicker, coarser, and fuller, resulting in more hair growing from each pore. Even worse, the daily risk of nicks, cuts, ingrown hair, and razor burn further aggravates the skin,” Grupenmager says.

Over-tweezing brows …
“Nothing will age your face faster than thin, over-tweezed brows,” says Pamela Jeschonek, owner of Everyday Esthetics. “Over-tweezing can make your eyes look too close together, the bridge of your nose look wider and even make your face look heavier. So tweeze with caution, and remember that thin is never in when it comes to brows.”

Read more: 10 Beauty Habits You Should Be Doing Every Night (and Aren’t)

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