Sunday 26 June 2011

Beauty and The Beast...Break these bad beauty habits

Everyone has bad habits. Enjoy eating peanut butter out of the jar with your fingers? We won’t judge. Don’t mind leaving wet towels on the floor? Hey, whatever floats your boat. Hit the sheets with your make-up on? Whoa, hold on.

While you can hide your bad chocoholic habit at work via your secret stash, beauty habits, on the other hand, show on your face – literally.

Kick these bad habits to the curb, before you end up really regretting starting them in the first place:

1. Cradling the phone against your face. As women, we were born to be multi-taskers, and gabbing on the phone with a client while typing up reports is just second nature to us. Unfortunately, your face will pay the price.

Phone receivers gather a lot of oil and gunk, which you repeatedly press against your face. It’s not only gross, but you end up clogging your pores which eventually lead to break-outs. Make a conscious effort to keep the receiver away from your cheek. Or, if you’re on the phone a lot, invest in a headset. It may look dorky, but it beats sporting pimples.

2. Exfoliating too much, too often. Facial scrubs are a great way to slough off dead skin cells to reveal glowing, youthful skin. But if you scrub too much, too often, you’ll end up with overly sensitive skin and broken capillaries.

Scrubs are best done once or twice a week – max, and make sure to read the label of whatever exfoliant you plan to use. Some contain strong chemicals like alpha-hydroxy-acids and retinoids that, in high amounts, can irritate your skin.

3. Sleeping in your make-up. Who has time to strip their face clean of make-up when you get back from the club at 4 am after clocking in a 12-hour work-day? We understand, really, we do. But think about this: it’s when we sleep when our skin cells rejuvenate and turn over, and they can’t do that when your pores are blocked with all the sweat, oil, and make-up.

We know it’s quite a chore, but make it a point to remove every trace of make-up before hitting the sheets. It’ll save you from changing the pillow cases in the morning and from buying pimple creams. Not to mention the lovely eye infection you can get from not removing your eyeliner.

4. Biting your nails. Not only is this habit unhygienic, but it’s downright gross. Do you even know what kind of germs are living under your nails?!

Biting your nails can also damage your nail plate, which makes them prone to infection. The “chewing” motion also twists and tears your enamel, making your nails weaker.

While you’re too old to try the “wrap-band-aid-around-each –finger-to-prevent-chewing-your-nails” trick, how about investing in a pretty manicure? Seeing your nails all gussied up will prevent you from biting them, and if you did, we doubt you’ll find the taste of nail polish appealing.

5. Sharing make-up. Say you forgot your lipstick and borrow your friend’s for one quick swipe. That’s fine, but don’t make a habit out of it.

While swapping clothes and sharing shoes with your girlfriend is an unspoken law that every gal abides by, make-up is definitely off-limits. That’s because bacteria, germs, and other nasties live in make-up – which means if you borrow your best friend’s mascara, you could also be borrowing a possible case of pink-eye.

6. Using old make-up. We know it’s hard to let go of that perfect, out-of-production shade of blush, but make-up that’s past its prime is bad for your skin. While make-up has preservatives, they still have a shelf-life – and once expired, become breeding grounds for bacteria.

How do you know when it’s time to toss them in the trash? As a general guide, concealers last for one year, powders and eye pencils (if sharpened regularly) for two years, and mascara for four months. Lipsticks last up to a year, but throw them away when they smell rancid or start to taste funny.

7. Sunbathing. You may proclaim yourself as a sun worshipper, but trust us – you’ll regret that religion when you start getting premature wrinkles – or worse, skin cancer.

Recent studies have shown that melanoma is the third most common skin cancer among 15-39 year old women. So sure, sporting a golden glow may look gorgeous, but melanoma isn’t. Stay safe by slathering on sunscreen with SPF 30 every hour or so, and keep out of the sun from 10 am to 3 pm, when it’s at its highest (and strongest).

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