Girls' Life November 2023

Girls' Life


How Gross Is Your Beauty Routine?


Let us let you in on a secret: We all have a little bit of Gross Girl in us, wheather we’re popping pimples or sleeping in makeup. While there’s no shame in slip-ups, making a habit of these beauty blunders can lead to breakouts, spreading bacteria or just general ick. We asked experts to rate the mistakes we all make…and help us clean up our act.

Skipping your Post-Workout Shampoo

You’ve only got 15 minutes between soccer practice and meeting up with your friends, so a quick rince-off it is.

No time to lather and repeat? Reach for the dry shampoo instead. “Spray sections of hair at the root, then massage it in,” suggest Leo Izquierdo, stylist and co-founder of IGK Hair Care. Just don’t overdo it: Dry shampoo can clog the pores on your scalps, leading to dull locks, so wash your hair with a detoxifying shampoo once a week, says stylist Olya Iudina.

Swapping Beauty Products With Your Bestie

Your lip gloss, shadow palette and fave highlighter all regularly make the rounds because sharing is caring, right?

Passing around makeup can spread bacteria and even lead to infections-especially anything that gets close to your eyes, says Maren Jensen, co-founder of Stila and Glow Beauty Fuel. If you need to borrow lipstick or lip balm, swipe away the top layer with tissue before applying, then wipe again after use. What’s safest to share? “Any product that comes out of a pump or dropper since it hasn’t been touched,” explains makeup artist Pauline Zilch.

Popping Your Pimples

When you see one sprout, your first instinct is to start squeezing. It’s Just. So. Tempting…

Bursting blemishes spreads bacteria and causes infections, but it can also do permanent damage (we’re talking scars), warns esthetician Rianna Loving. Can’t resist the urge to purge? “Clean skin before and after, then apply an anti-acne spot treatment to the area with a cotton swab,” says dermatologist Dr. Vivian Chin. If your pimple gets worse, apply a spot treatment and leave it alone. If it doesn’t clear up after a few days, see your dermatologist.

Never Cleaning Your Hairbrush

Odds are you haven’t washed your brush, yet you run it through your hair every single day.

That residue you see on your hairbrush? It’s made up of styling products, dead skin, dust and more, says Raven Hurtado, stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. Yuck. Every few weeks, fill a bowl with warm water and mild soap. Let your brush soak for 10 to 20 minutes, then remove all the debreis.

Just Using a Wipe On Your Face

You typically use a makeup wipe before bed or rinse your face with warm water.

Only swiping with a wipe? “Makeup, sunscreen, dirt, oil and more can stick to your skin,” says Dr. Chin. Double cleanse for a real clean: First, massage an oil-based cleanser into dry skin to remove makeup and dirt from the day. Rinse that off then, while your face is still wet, follow up with a face wash. Finish with moisturizer.

Letting Your Products Expire

You’ve been using the same palettes and masks for years, and they seem totally fine…

Beauty products have expiration dates, just like food. And makeup that’s past its prime doesn’t just dry out and separate-it can also harbor nasty bacteria. “Look for an open jar symbol on the back or bottom of the packaging with the letter M and number inside” to determine how many months the product is good for after your first use, says Zilch. Not sure when you cracked the container? Ditch the product if you notice a change in the smell or color.

Showering Every Other Day

You are on team “you don’t need to shower every day” but your friends say it’s gross. Who is right?

Depends! Did you go for a run? Hop in. Read a book on the couch all day? You’re probably good to go without, advises Dr. Chin. And if you have conditions like atopic dermatitis or eczema, you actually shouldn’t shower every day since it can dry out your skin. So use your judgement.

Sleeping on The Same Pillowcase For Weeks (Or Even Months)

You just lay your head on your pillow all night…how dirty could it possibly get?

“Pillowcases get covered in oil, sweat, hair and skin products plus dead skin cells, which cause greasy hair and acne,” warns Hurtado. Wash your pillowcases, washcloths and towels once a week, using hot water and fragrance-free detergent to kill dust mites and avoid potential allergic reactions.

Applying Makeup With Dirty Prushes

Who has time to wash everything and let it dry before you have to get ready again?

Dirty tools can cause dull skin, rashes and acne, says Zilch. So do a deep clean every other week: Swish the head of each one over a bar of brush soap, massaging it before rinsing. “Gently squeeze the water out, then lay them flat to complete drying,” recommends Jensen. You can do the same thing for sponges.

Doing DIY Manis/Pedis With the Same Clipper and Files You’ve Had in Your Bag For Years

The “may nails are fake but the sarcasm is real” emery board your bestie gave you still cracks you up three years later.

A lot of germs live on your hands, especially around your nails, so keep tools clean. “Wipe nail clippers with rubbing alcohol and allow them to air-dry,” says celebrity manicurist Julie Kandalec. As for files? Replace them frequently (you’ll notice the grit wearing away) and never share.

Falling Asleep Before Brushing

Sometimes you’re just so tired that brushing your teeth just feels truly impossible.

If dinner leftovers are still hiding between your teeth overnight, bacteria can convert that food into acid, making teeth weaker and more cavity-prone. So do your best to get in a quick brush before bed.