They say that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but we all know that there are standards to abide by. Society sets some of these criteria, and what looks good one year becomes a major beauty faux pas five years later. Other standards have more to do with certain qualities that aren’t so easily defined. They have more to do with taking care of ourselves in a way that lets our best selves shine.
Everyone wants to look beautiful, and we often go to great extents to make it happen. Despite their most diligent efforts, people often develop bad habits skincare and hygiene routines, or neglect aspects of personal care that affect how they look. Here are eight bad beauty habits you may not be aware you have.
1. Picking at Your Cuticles
Did you read this one and automatically notice your out-of-control cuticles? What may begin as an effort to keep your cuticles looking trim and even often turns into a bad habit. Many people also find that zeroing in on a particular body part and engaging in a repetitive action is soothing. Whenever they are stressed out, anxious or bored, they absently start picking at their fingernails and feel better. Picking at your cuticles leads to unsightly nails, hangnails and red and inflamed skin. If it gets bad enough, you can get an infection.
2. Biting Your Nails
Stress is the main reason people start gnawing away on their fingernails. It’s another feel-better behavior, at least in the short term. There are some habits you have that you know you’re doing as you act. Most people don’t brush their teeth without knowing it. With nail-biting, people can engage in the behavior without realizing they’re doing it. Gnawing on your nails leads to jagged fingernails. If you’ve had a manicure, it destroys the results.
3. Popping Your Pimples
Pimples aren’t just for teenagers. Plenty of adults get them on occasion, along with blackheads and whiteheads. When we see the offending blemish, we want it gone, now. So, you pop it. Or at least you attempt to. Sometimes you get the satisfaction of success, and other times the blemish turns into a raging, swollen, bleeding mess. Now, you’re stuck with something even more unpleasant and painful. It’ll last longer, too, and could lead to scarring.
4. Overdoing It With Your Face Cleaning
You may have established your face-cleaning routing with good intentions, but it could be doing a whole lot of damage to your skin. Your efforts to keep your skin soft and supple may actually be leading to either drier or oilier skin. This is one bad habit beauty routine that deserves scrutiny. While you should clean your face, products that contain harsh chemicals, such as alcohol or witch hazel, can lead to drying or cause your sebaceous glands to work overtime.
5. Sleeping With Your Makeup On
If you wear makeup, you’ve most likely gone to sleep without cleaning it off on occasion. That isn’t really an issue. It’s when it becomes a bad habit makeup behavior that it becomes a beauty problem. Falling asleep with your makeup on can result in stopped-up pores that then turn into pimples — that you probably want to pop — and acne. What’s more, a lot of makeup contains chemicals that act as free radicals. The longer the makeup stays next to your skin, the more likely some of these will get trapped and do some damage.
6. Crashing on an Unclean Pillowcase
Your pillowcase may not look too dirty (unless you always fall asleep with your makeup on), but it could be a big cause of your most recent pimple outbreak. Your body temperature rises when you fall asleep, so you tend to sweat during the overnight hours. That salty moisture soaks into your pillowcase, right along with oils and dirt. If you wear your makeup to bed, add that to the mix, too. It’s a perfect combination for beauty disasters.
7. Drinking Too Little Water
Our bodies are 60% water. To maintain that level, we have to consume more water daily than many people are in the habit of doing. Chronic dehydration is a concern for our physical health, but there are also beauty repercussions. It can make you look (and feel) more worn out. It can also dry out your skin, cause it to take on a red hue, and lead to a breakout. You may also wonder why your skin has lost that glow you used to have. A lack of water stalls the cell-turnover process, making your skin look dull.
8. Slouching More Often Than Not
Gravity is a powerful force. It can make you feel weighed down, drawing your head and shoulders forward and curving your spine. Our muscular-skeletal structure is designed to counteract gravity, but our lifestyles often cause us to slouch. Slouching does nothing to enhance your physical beauty, but it can also lead to a stiff and sore back, shoulder and neck muscles. Over time, you may find yourself in a significant amount of pain and find it harder to correct your posture.
We don’t develop bad habits overnight, but we often feel like we should be able to break them instantly. These expectations often lead to a great deal of frustration, disappointment and feelings of failure. You can convert bad habits into good ones without all the suffering and subsequent beating yourself up for every misstep. Some habits are easier to break, while others have an emotional foundation, making it more challenging to change without addressing the cause.
Break the Bad Habit Skincare Cycle
Dr. Jud has over 20 years of experience in mindfulness training and brain and behavior research. He is passionate about helping people turn bad habits into good ones, using techniques that result in a positive experience and lasting change. He developed app-based programs to guide people in changing their behaviors without relying on that often-elusive quality: willpower. His programs offer step-by-step guidance, weekly video calls with Dr. Jud and a supportive community. Find out more about his programs and get your free guide to changing unwanted behaviors.