8 bad beauty behaviours to ditch ASAP

If you are guilty of these poor skin and makeup habits, it’s time for a refresh.

From using makeup past its use-by date to squeezing spots, many of us are guilty of poor beauty behaviours.

But with a little expert help, here is how to finally break those long-standing bad beauty habits.

Bad beauty habit 1: Using expired makeup

Makeup is designed to be used within months or years of being opened, says The Wellness Group naturopath and skin expert Madeline Calfas.

“After that time, the preservatives are no longer effective, increasing the chance of bacteria build-up,” she says.

“When this bacteria transfers on to the face it can be the catalyst for a host of skin issues.”

One study found 97 per cent of women admitted to using expired makeup, particularly mascara.

It found old products had a high level of contamination with pathogenic microorganisms including Staphylococcus aureus (golden staph).

Rather than rolling the dice on expired cosmetics, Madeline recommends tossing makeup at the first sign of looking, smelling or feeling off.

Bad beauty habit 2: Not washing makeup brushes

A 2015 study confirmed 61 per cent of women clean their brushes less than once a month – or not at all.

This statistic alarms makeup artist Johny Saade, who says brushes are a haven for bacteria.

“It’s important to clean makeup brushes regularly since they’re in such close contact with your face,” Johny says.

If you are unlikely to stick to a fortnightly brush cleanse, he suggests at least making an effort to sanitise your hands before touching any makeup tools.

Bad beauty habit 3: Wearing makeup to bed

Wearing your makeup overnight is like going to bed with a face full of dirt,” Madeline says.

“On top of that, your skin needs to breathe or it’s more prone to developing congestion and acne.”

For nights when you do not have the stamina for a full face wash, keep makeup removing wipes or micellar water on the nightstand for a quick waterless cleanse.

Bad beauty habit 4: Popping pimples

“Squeezing a pimple releases bacteria-filled pus, which can easily transfer around the face,” Madeline says.

“And it scrapes the surrounding skin, which may cause pigmentation and scarring.”

To break the habit, Madeline recommends making a conscious decision to keep your fingers off your face.

“But if you really can’t resist, at least put cotton balls around your nails to reduce the bacterial cross-contamination from your fingers and minimise scraping,” she says.

Bad beauty habit 5: Biting your nails

“Chronic nail biting can result in permanent damage to the nail plate and the way the nail grows,” manicurist Skye McIntyre says.

While there is no excuse for lazy trimmers, Skye concedes it is a tough habit to break for habitual nervous biters.

Her suggestion? Always keep nails short, filed and tidy, and regularly apply a skin-softening cuticle oil and hand cream.

“A coat of polish can also help discourage people from chewing their beautiful manicured nails,” Skye says.

Bad beauty habit 6: Pulling apart split ends in your hair

“Picking split ends is like a ladder in a stocking; the more you pick, the higher the damage climbs,” DiMattia & Co Hairdressing creative director Kerrie DiMattia says.

Do not give in to the urge to pick apart a split end. Instead, use your fingers to book in an appointment with your hairdresser.
“Split ends can be prevented with regular trims,” Kerrie says.

She also recommends using a quality protective oil at night to seal ends and hold off future splitting.

Bad beauty habit 7: Excessive heat styling

Too much exposure to high-temperature heat-styling tools causes dehydration and damage – particularly when used directly on wet hair.

“You run the risk of causing serious damage, especially if you haven’t applied any heat-protective products,” Kerrie says.

To prevent overdoing it, she recommends taking regular breaks from heat styling and embracing natural drying and “invest in products that bring out your hair’s natural texture”.

Bad beauty habit 8: Taking ultra-hot showers

A hot shower may feel relaxing, but it could also be the cause of unnecessary skin dehydration.

“Taking hot showers opens your pores and dilates your blood vessels. This causes moisture to escape, resulting in really thirsty skin,” Madeline says.

The general recommendation is that water temperature should be no more than 41C – but Madeline recommends erring on the milder side.

“Try gradually decreasing the temperature of your water every few days to adjust to a cooler shower,” she suggests.

Written by Sharon Hunt.