7 Gross Beauty Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making


You never hit the hay before washing your face. You floss daily. But you might not know some of your seemingly innocent beauty habits are, well, kind of gross. We won’t judge (and some of us were guilty of a few of these). Here are some of the mistakes you may be making and how to come clean.

It’s been months since you cleaned your makeup brushes.

If your skin is breaking out, your brushes may be to blame. Makeup brushes and sponges can get build-up from makeup along with oils, germs, and dirt. All that creates a nasty breading ground for bacteria—gross right? Here’s a quick guide on the right way to clean them.

You don’t clean your hairbrush, either.

Residue from hair products, dead skin cells, and your hair’s natural oils build up on your brush over time. This makes your hair dirtier, faster and it’s not doing you any favors in extending the life of your blowout. The solution? A monthly scrub. First, use a comb to rake through the brush—this should catch all the hairs and make them easy to remove. Then massage your brush with a little shampoo, rinse, and let it dry.

You love to swap beauty products with friends.

Passing off products to a friend is a fun way to transfer bacteria, illness, and infections fast. Even sharing tweezers isn’t a good idea. Plucking a stray brow may seem harmless, but you can still pass infections this way. In this case, sharing is not caring.

You’re too tired to wash your face. 

No, a one-time slip isn’t going to ruin your skin—but if you do forgo the face wash, make sure you change your pillowcase the next morning. An even better fix? Stash some makeup remover wipes and Night Cap by your night stand. Even if you skimp on sleep, at least your hair will get some beauty rest.

You take a flat iron to still-damp hair.

Just don’t. And while you’re at it, make sure you’re using a product with heat protection (this and this are favorites) every time a hot tool touches your hair.

Perfume: you’re doing it wrong.

Don’t rub your wrists together after applying. It creates heat and friction, which burns through the top notes of your perfume and causes the scent to have a shorter lifespan. Another fragrance faux-pas is leaving the bottle out on your bathroom shelf where exposure to light and fluctuating temperatures can cause your fragrance to break down, discolor, and even go rancid. Stick it somewhere cool and dark instead.

How old is your mascara again?

Did you know that beauty products expire? Over-the-counter products like sunscreen and anti-acne treatments tend to have an expiration date printed right on the packaging. But for the average beauty product, the expiration date is based on when you start using it and where you store it. Climate and humidity will shorten a product’s shelf life (so the best place to store your stash in a dark, cool environment). Using a product past its expiration date could result in irritation, rashes, blemishes, or even eye infections – no thanks! Assuming you store your products in a cool, dark place, here’s the rule of thumb on when to toss each product:

Mascara and eyeliner: 3 months (always toss out dried mascara—never add water to extend its life)

Liquid foundation or concealer: 1 year

Powder-based products (like blush and eyeshadow): 2 years

Lipsticks or gloss: 1 year

Cleanser: 1 year

Toner: 6 months to one year

Moisturizers: 1 year

Hair products: 2 years

Sample packets: 1 day…seriously.

A good rule of thumb: if it smells funky, looks weird, or its texture has changed significantly—toss it! Better safe than sorry.

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