10 Beauty Blunders That Can Harm Your Skin

By Marisa Ramiccio. May 7th 2016

We’ve all made beauty mistakes at some point, such as going overboard with the self-tanner or overdoing it with the eye shadow. But certain mistakes can be more harmful than others. In this article, we’ve listed 10 common, beauty blunders that can be harmful to your skin.

Sleeping With Your Makeup On

It’s 4 a.m. and after spending a long night out on the town, the last thing you want to do is wash your face, let alone go through the toils of your nighttime beauty regimen. But beware: leaving your makeup and the daily dirt and oils on your face overnight can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. If you want to keep your face cleansing time to a minimum, keep a pack of face wipes near your bed for a fast cleanup. Or, stash a pack in your purse for those late nights out.

Dry Shaving

You ran out of shaving cream, but your legs are in a desperate need of a shave. So what do you do? You rake that razor across your dry skin anyway. Bad idea. Shaving without some type of moisturizer can lead to razor bumps, ingrown hair, nicks, cuts and other skin problems. If you find yourself without shaving cream or gel, use lotion or Aloe vera gel as a substitute.

[Related: How To Get Rid Of Razor Bumps]

Not Using Enough Sunscreen

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying an ounce, or one full shot glass, of sunscreen to the exposed areas of your skin before spending time in the sun. Many people only apply a fraction of this amount, leaving their skin vulnerable to the sun’s rays. Since sun damage leads to early aging and skin cancer, it’s important to cover every area of exposed skin, including your hands, feet, ears, neck and jawline. Even when the temperatures are cooler and it’s snowing or raining outside, you should still wear sunscreen because the sun’s UV rays can still penetrate the skin.

[Related: How To Apply Sunscreen Properly]

Exfoliating Too Harshly

When exfoliating, it’s important to scrub away the dead skin cells, but you don’t want to scrape away the rest of your skin. When you over-exfoliate, you risk irritating your skin and increasing its level of sensitivity. To exfoliate properly, use a washcloth or exfoliating gloves, a gentle body scrub or face wash and don’t forget to apply moisturizer afterward.

Tanning The Wrong Way

Now that the effects of tanning beds have become widely known, other methods of artificial tanning have increased in popularity. But some of these methods pose their own risks. Tanning pills, for example, contain a chemical called canthaxanthin, which turns skin an orange or brown color and creates yellow deposits in the eyes. Tanning lotions or bronzers are actually your best bet as long as you choose products that don’t contain tyrosine, an ingredient that has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Overkilling Zits

That pesky pimple is just begging to be popped, but if you do, you’ll be making the situation worse. Popping and picking your zits can lead to scarring and it delays the healing time. You also risk the chance of getting an infection. If you don’t pop the zit, you may be tempted to use an acne cream to dry it out. But don’t overdo it. Overusing acne cream can dry out the surrounding skin. One of the best ways to treat zits naturally and quickly is to apply a drop or two of tea tree oil on the inflamed area.

[Related: The 8 Best Home Remedies For Acne]

Using Dirty Makeup Brushes

Aside from mixing colors, you may be mixing bacteria with your makeup brushes. Staphylococcus, streptococcus and E. coli have all been found on unclean makeup brushes and they can cause an infection or other health problem if applied to the skin. To wash your makeup brushes, let them soak in a mixture of baby oil and water. Swish the brushes around. Dump the water out and repeat the process until the water remains clear. If you’d rather not wash your brushes, buy new ones every few months.

Rubbing Your Eyes

The skin beneath your eyes is very delicate and thin. If you rub it, wither through cleansing or applying makeup, your risk breaking a blood vessel, which will darken the skin, or stretching the skin, which will lead to fine lines.

Wearing Too Many Products

Day creams, night creams, anti-wrinkle creams, sunscreen, firming cream – all of these products can be an overload on your skin. The acidity of these products can lead to irritation and inflammation, so stick with a cleanser and an all-in-one cream to both streamline your routine and keep irritation to a minimum.

Leaving A Facial Mask on Too Long

You applied a moisturizing face mask, but you forgot about it. Now it’s been on your face for way longer than the 15-20 recommended time limit. Should you be worried? If the face mask contains salicylic acid or glycolic acid, then the answer is yes. These chemicals can cause irritation to the skin, including redness and inflammation. So if you tend to fall asleep with your facial on, use a non-chemical face mask instead.


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