Whether you’re trying to get through one of those summer blockbuster horror films, are simply waiting for the dreaded “…” to end when texting, or anxiously checking back every five minutes to see if your final grades have been posted for the semester, nerves can get frazzled. What comes along with nerves? Stress and coping mechanisms that aren’t always the kindest to your body and beauty routine. Stress eating is probably the first thing that popped into your mind (pass the popcorn, please!), but there are a slew of other habits, most of which you might not even notice, that are less than ideal.
Picking Your Nails
Different than biting your nails, we assure you, this nervous habit is responsible for the demise of many wonderfully painted manicures. You may not even know you’re doing it. You’ll see signs usually around your cuticles, where the polish ends, giving you a seam in the polish to lift up and chip away. Obviously this is going to be easier to do if you gloop up your polish and apply more than a base, two coats, and a top coat. Not only does this habit make your manicure worn, but you can potentially pick off layers of your nails, damage the cuticle, and make nails weak in the process. The solution? Training yourself to identify the problem and investing in a long-wearing top coat should start you off.
Biting Your Nails
Biting your nails is a recipe for disaster in more areas than one. First, it’s going to diminish your long-wear manicure to that of a two-day lifespan in an instant. You’ll chip your polish, damage your cuticles, dry out your nails, which in turn could make them brittle, weak, and prone to peeling. All things you DON’T want to deal with. Not only that, but would you really want all the things you touch on a daily basis (i.e. the door handle, the counter-tops, your keyboard) in your mouth? Germ central! There are plenty of solutions to this habit, including getting a rather pricey mani to deter you from ruining it in the first place. Obviously, that’s the one you’ll get the most enjoyment out of.
Hair Flipping or Tendril Twirling
OK, so it’s a move we all do probably more times a day than we can even count, but constantly touching your hair out of nerves (or even if it’s a flirting mechanism) will get you one step closer to a wash—and then a dry and a style. Most commonly it’s in the form of a hair flip or twirling strand around your fingers, but you could also be unintentionally making your hair dirty. When you touch your hair, you’re transferring oils and dirt from your fingers to your locks. Fine every now and then but in excess, all day, every day will weigh your hair down or make it look greasy looking. Let the oil production in your hair be up to your scalp and keep your hands off (well, you get it) your hair. An easy solution if you know you’ll be in a high-stress environment is to pull your hair back or braid in a sleek look. You’re not going to want to add fly-aways to an updo.
Constantly Touching Your Hair Line
Similar to hair flipping, this nervous habit could lead you to be more prone to breakouts. Think about it. Your scalp is an area of your body (it’s skin, remember) that collects oils naturally. By placing your hands near your hair line, you’re transferring even more oils and bacteria to this spot. What could come of this interaction is clogged pores and blemishes. Anyone who has ever had a zit along their scalp knows they hurt really bad—that’s sensitive skin!
Touching Your Face
It’s the same concept put on your face—and you don’t have to have super sensitive skin for it to affect you. Resting or putting your hands on your face in excess could make your skin appear greasy, smear your makeup, and lead to clogged pores and an influx of blemishes. You’ll also be way more opt to pick at that zit or scab if your hands come in contact with them. Gross, but true. To avoid an uneven wear on your foundation (and a touch-up midday), keep this habit under control. Try a stress ball or at the very least, make sure your hands are clean and regularly clean your keyboard if you’re an at-work offender so you’re not giving your skin more germs to fight off.
Clenching Your Jaw or Grinding Your Teeth
Ever notice that your jaw is locked up and tight when you’re in a tizzy? This on a regular basis, or grinding your teeth back and forth, can have some serious side effects. For starts, both issues can lead to TMJ, which in serious cases can cause you to grind down at your teeth. TMJ is also known to cause dull aches, headaches, and general pain around your teeth and face. While the teeth grinding at night may require an expert opinion, try relaxing your face throughout the day, letting go of any tension in your jaw.
Biting Your Lips
Biting your lips in habit can lead to dry, flaky, or cracked skin, which on the lips can be really painful and sting if the cut comes in contact with something high in acidity like citrus or a salty substance. You’ll have to take care of those flakes with extra exfoliating and hefty lip balm application. Apply a moisturizing high-impact lip color so that you’ll be less likely to bite down, potentially getting the formula on your teeth.