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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
Read More: houseofwellness