How Bad Your Worst Beauty Habit ACTUALLY Is
We know, we know: Quitting your beauty vice is a lot easier said than done. The thing is, though, some are bigger issues than others. So we talked to Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, about just how harmful that thing you do is for your skin and health.
Sleeping in Your Makeup
"Just because makeup is labeled as lasting 24 hours doesn't mean that you actually should wear it for 24 hours," says Zeichner. Why not, you ask? "Makeup can clog the pores, leading to pimples. And it actually can cause irritation of the skin, leading to eczema." Plus, "not only will it stain your pillowcases, but you'll get dirt and oil on the pillowcases, and that can lead to irritation or breakouts in the future," he says. So while forgetting to wash your face before bed once isn't a horrible, terrible thing, don't make a habit of it. If you're a forgetful person or you can foresee a time in the future when you're just going to be too lazy to wash up, Zeichner recommends keeping cleansing towelettes in your nightstand.
So how serious?Once: not the worst thing. On the regular: bad.
MORE:The 10 Biggest Face-Washing Mistakes
Squeezing Your Zits
Here's the thing: "A pimple is a pore clogged with dirt and oil," says Zeichner, "and, ultimately, the only place for that to go is out." That said: "You want to make sure that you don't cause more harm than good by picking your pimple the wrong way." Zeichner says he performs extractions in his office—they're done in a clean environment, and gently. When you go at your pimple at home, you're probably not replicating that conscientiousness. "When people pick their face with long, dirty nails, it can lead to infection and scarring," says Zeichner. So here's the deal: You shouldn't pick your pimples, he says.Zip, zero picking.But if you seriouslycan't resist, at least make sure you're doing it the proper way: in a brightly-lit area after you've cleaned both your hands and your face (either with warm water at the sink or in the shower). "Use two Q-tips, and gently apply even pressure on either side of the pimple," says Zeichner. "And if it's not ready to come out, then you'll try again another day. More pressure can just lead to inflammation and actually push the clog deeper into the pore."
So how serious? Eh, fine—but only if done the right way and just occasionally.
MORE:10 Tips for Acne-Prone Skin
Touching Your Face
Anyone who sits at a desk a lot probably does this every once in a while without even realizing it—you rest your head on your palm, play with your eyelashes while you read a boring report, or even just subconsciously playing with your pimples. "All of that can lead to breakouts because of oil and dirt on the fingers, and can lead to skin irritation," says Zeichner. (Or worse—yuck.) No one wants that on their face, so check out these tips for help quitting.
So how serious?Bad.
Picking Your Cuticles
Cuticles seem like an easy target for "harmless" picking, but that's not actually the case: They protect the base of your nail from infection, says Zeichner, so if you pick them, you're increasing your risk of getting one (and you're also upping your chance of getting inflammation around the nail simply from the act of picking). "Just like a cut on your knee can go awry, so can a cut on your finger," says Zeichner. "What's even more dangerous about your fingers is that you use them for everything: for going to the bathroom, for shaking people's hands." So what are we talking infection-wise? "You can get a superficial infection just from the skin that's torn and open, and then that can provide an entry point actually for deeper infections around the nail," says Zeichner. "And if you develop inflammation or an infection in the nail matrix—the area of the finger where the nail is produced that's right at the base of the nail—ultimately it can lead to permanent disfiguring of the nail itself because the nail won't grow in properly." Not good. So if you currently pick your cuticles, make sure you wash your hands a ton. And to help yourself quit, wear bandages on your fingers and moisturize frequently with hand cream—whatever you can do to minimize the appearance of hangnails. And since "sometimes picking your hangnails is a manifestation of anxiety," says Zeichner, "if you feel anxious or nervous, then you can touch base with your doc about that."
So how serious?Quitstat.
Video: The Kooks - Bad Habit
Fall Preview: Ralph Lauren to Restore École desBeaux-Arts
12 Odd Pain Relief Tricks That Work
How to Build a Compost Pile
MORE: A Full Review ofHM’s New E-Commerce Site
5 DIY Hydrating Sugar Face Scrubs
My desk sweater goes with everything I own and keeps me comfortable when the office is too cold
As a Single Mom, I Know Which One of My Married Friends Will Be Next
Immune Globulin Intravenous Reviews
Say Hello to the Foundations With Added Skincare Benefits
Hair Loss Styling Options for Men
How to make someone stop drinking alcohol
Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne Exit DKNY
How to prevent hair loss, hair fall during winter season naturally
Weekend Beauty Hack: Refresh Your Hair Color While You DeepCondition