Seven bad beauty habits and how to break them

Bad beauty habits - they're not the best behaviour, but some how, sometimes, we just can’t seem to help ourselves. Here are tips on how to break them for good!

woman with brown hair, brunette model in collared shirt dress, hair in bun

Alvaro Goveia

We’ve all been there, done that: picked a pimple, neglected to wear sunscreen and OD’d on the DIY hair colour. And while we know it’s not the best behaviour, some how, sometimes, we just can’t seem to help ourselves. Here’s how to break the habit and incorporate a new and positive one into your routine:

1. Picking at spots

BKamins C-Resveratrol





Of course nobody wants a pimple, but squeezing them almost always makes the blemish worse and last twice as long. It can even cause scarring and even an infection, says Toula Bintas, the co-owner of Allazo Skin Care in Toronto. “You are best to leave it alone and let it heal on its own naturally.”

Break the habit: by applying an acne product containing benzoyl peroxide once a day. “This will help reduce inflammation and the pimple,” explains Bintas.
Try: B.Kamins C-Resveratrol Serum, $125,

2. Skimping on sunscreen

Clinique Age Defense








Did you know that only 78 percent of Canadian women wear sunscreen? Don’t even get us started on the 66 percent of men who don’t. Not wearing a 30+ sunscreen every single day is the fastest way to create unwanted fine lines and wrinkles, burn your skin and set yourself up for skin cancer. “Too much sun exposure and the skin starts to look dry, wrinkled, discoloured, leathery and even, appears to be thicker,” warns Bintas.

Break the habit: by applying a teaspoon-full of Broad Spectrum (UVA/UVB) SPF 30-infused sunscreen, moisturizer or BB cream all over your face and neck, 30 minutes before you leave the house. If you’re going on a beach vacation, slather a shot glass worth all over your body and reapply from head to toe every two hours.
Try: Clinique Age Defense BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $44,

3. Biting your nails

Butter London Kerfuffle









We’re not going to lie: this is not the prettiest bad habit to engage in. Not to mention, fingers in mouths are germy and the biting can lead to hangnails, torn cuticles and even infection. “It causes damage to your nail plate and the nail bed underneath the nail,” says Bintas. “And it can cause bleeding around the skin of the nails because biting nails rips and tears at the skin.”

Break the habit: by “distracting yourself by chewing gum, eating a lollipop, whatever,” says Bintas. “If you have to, cover your nails by wearing gloves or even apply artificial nails until you can get out of the habit of biting.” Transforming your bitten nails into a beautifully manicured set is another great deterrent.
Try: Butter London nail lacquer in Kerfuffle, $17,

4. Chewing your lips

Korres Lip Butter








Licking, biting and chewing at your lips all lead to one thing: chapped lips. “It can cause breaking and peeling of the skin,” says Bintas. “If the skin breaks it can be very painful and may even bleed, which can lead to infections and an increased susceptibility to cold sores.”

Break the habit: by keeping a protective, moisturizing, tinted lip balm on hand and applying it regularly.
Try: Korres Lip Butter in Jasmine, $16,

5. Sleeping with makeup on

Simple Cleansing Wipes








Most of us have fallen asleep with our makeup on at least once in our lives. It’s easy to do: we’ve either been too tired or too lazy to take it off. We get it. But when this bad-girl behavior becomes a nightly ritual, know that blackheads and clogged pores are right around the corner. “The skin is not able to breathe and regenerate itself,” explains Bintas. “And by leaving your makeup on all night, you are rubbing it into your pillow and onto your sheets making your bed a breeding ground for germs.”

Break the habit: with cleansing wipes. Keep a container next to your bed. “Make it a ritual every night and it will become your new habit,” says Bintas.
Try: Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes, $4.97,

6. OD’ing on the DIY hair colour

Neutrogena Triple Moisture









If you’re like us, playing hairstylist is so tempting, especially late on a Saturday night when there’s nothing on the agenda or the TV. And with so many great hair colours to try out, it’s hard not to become a repeat DIY offender. Over-use of chemicals on our hair is damaging, though, and can result in dry, brittle strands that break easily. “It can leave the hair and scalp very dry,” affirms Bintas. “The chemicals can strip the hair of protein and ceramides, which are building blocks for strong, healthy hair. Over processing not only leads to damaged hair follicles, it can also cause thinning, loss of hair and an allergic reaction.”

Break the habit: by first and foremost, putting down the dye and picking up a deep conditioning hair treatment to infuse a little moisture into your hair, then head to the nearest hair salon for a consultation with the professionals. Feeling bold? “Try wearing wigs or extensions until your hair is healthy again,” suggests Bintas.
Try: Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask, $40 at drugstores

7. Over-plucking eyebrows

Benefit Brow ZInger








Knowing how much hair to pluck from your brows is always a fine line and there’s really nothing worse than having to draw it on to accommodate a patch job. Plus, contrary to popular belief, your eyebrow hairs do not grow back as quickly as your head hairs do, and frequently won’t grow back at all. “You pluck a chicken, but tweeze your eyebrows,” reminds Bintas. “And you should only tweeze eyebrows a few hairs at a time, then stop and take a step back and look at them from a distance. You need the perspective, because up close everything looks like it needs to come out. Eyebrows should frame the shape of your face not change it.”

Break the habit: and see an aesthetician for pro advice on how to shape and manage your arches with a minimum of tweezing. Next, invest in a proper eyebrow grooming kit to give you perspective on how pretty brows should look. “Remember,” says Bintas. “It’s better to take away less rather than more.”
Try: Benefit Cosmetics Brow Zings Eyebrow Shaping Kit, $35 at Shoppers Drug Mart


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