7 Sins of Beauty

Just because you have your beauty routine down to a science, doesn’t mean you don’t have a few bad habits that you could stand to kick.

Breaking these habits will make you more beautiful in the long run, so here are 7 good reasons to finally make some changes.

1. Washing your hair everyday 

No matter what type of hair you have, shampooing and conditioning every day will only make your hair oilier, says Alan Kossof of Teddie Kossof Salon and Spa in Northfield. Instead, opt to wash three to four times per week. If you absolutely can’t go a day without, apply only a conditioner to wet hair from midshaft to ends and rinse. “Using a conditioning treatment cleanses and conditions the hair without the harshness of the shampoo,” Kossof says. A dry shampoo is another good alternative to go longer between washes.

2. Overstyling your hair

If you’re washing your hair too much, chances are, you’re also overstyling. Kossof recommends using your hair dryer and styling tools on the lowest heat settings (after you’ve applied a thermal protectant product), and saving the flat iron and curling iron for special occasions. Your cuticles will thank you.

3. Skipping moisturizer

With age, skin gets thinner and dryer, and when your skin’s barrier function gets dehydrated, it changes the elasticity of the skin, says dermatologist Dr. Amy Brodsky of Glenview. Skipping lotion on a regular basis can lead to infection, eczema, cracked skin and wrinkles. Dr. Brodsky’s rule of thumb: Use a lotion that comes in a pump in the warmer months, and a cream that comes in a jar or tube during winter months. “Your oil-to-water ratio is higher in a cream than it is in a lotion, so it’s more moisturizing,” she says.

4. Skipping sunscreen

We all know that wearing sunscreen is important, but just because you’re not at the pool on an 80-degree day doesn’t mean you can skip it. Find a sunblock that is broad spectrum, so it blocks both UVA and UVB rays, Dr. Brodsky says. UVA light causes aging and wrinkling, so don’t forget to read the fine print.

5. Using old makeup

Liquid makeup—foundations, creams, lipsticks, etc.—can become unstable and breed bacteria over time (not to mention, they won’t do their jobs like they’re supposed to). Don’t let these products hang out in your makeup bag for more than a year. Mascara expires even faster and should be tossed after just three months. Most powders should be stable over time, so they’re safe to hang on to for longer.

6. Forgetting to floss

Flossing once a day is essential for preventing cavities and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), which can lead to periodontitis (loss of bone around the teeth). It’s also important to use the right technique, says Dr. Kimberly Busch of Holohan Dental Professionals in Northbrook. “Follow the curvature of the tooth, and wrap the floss around the tooth as you pull down,” Dr. Busch says. Pulling straight down can actually do more damage than good.

7. Overwhitening your teeth

Although whitening your teeth is safe, overwhitening does more than increase sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks. You can actually go past the point of whitening, Dr. Busch says, and counteract the process, leaving you with an unnatural grayish hue—not a good look.