We all have them: beauty habits so engrained in our daily routines we could basically do them in our sleep. But what happens when those trusty regimens start to fail you, and you’re no longer seeing the same results? It might be time to switch things up.
This summer, I had a few issues pop up—from breakouts to bumps on my legs to brittle and broken locks—that forced me to rethink my usually reliable routine. Here are three basic beauty mistakes you might be making and how to fix them.
MISTAKE 1: WASHING YOUR FACE IN ONLY ONE STEP
“Double-cleansing” is a term that wasn’t in my beauty repertoire until recently. Usually, I’m so tired at night that I can barely muster up the strength for makeup remover wipe (I know, so bad), let alone wash my face. But when I read about double-cleansing regimens, I’ll admit I was intrigued. It’s a tried-and-true skincare method that has been used by a roster of some pretty iconic women, including Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Jackie Kennedy Onassis—just to name a few. Their secret skincare weapon? Erno Laszlo, a celebrity dermatologist (he started in 1927, hence those iconic names). And when I found out his products are still available to the masses (store locations can be found here), I was pretty much determined to try it.
Living in the city can do a number on your skin due to pollution and external stressors, so I opted for the exfoliate and detox double-cleanse. Other regimen options include:
- Hydrate and nourish for healthier, plumper skin
- Firm and lift, an anti-aging treatment for lack of firmness and elasticity
- Soothe and calm to comfort skin
The first step of the double-cleanse process included massaging a lightweight oil into my face using a cotton ball, which broke up my makeup like no toner I’ve ever tried. Though putting oil on your skin might seem counterintuitive, it’s actually a great way to remove buildup and open your pores so the cleanser can go deep under the surface of the skin. The next step required me to dip the sea mud bar into a sink filled with warm water. As I massaged the bar onto my face, the oil/cleanser combo turned from black to white, creating a super rich lather. (It was so spa-like, I almost forgot I was in my own bathroom!) I then thoroughly rinsed with warm water and blotted my skin dry with a towel.
The results were immediate. My skin was deeply cleansed and hydrated due to the combination of charcoal in the oil (which draws out impurities and combats buildup on the skin) and glycerin in the bar (which attracts and holds hydration). My pores felt open without that tight, tingling feeling of an astringent. Post-wash, there was also a noticeable glow to my usually tired looking skin. Put in the two-step effort, and I swear you’ll look forward to washing your face, instead of grabbing for another makeup remover pad.
MISTAKE 2: SHAVING FROM THE ANKLE UP INSTEAD OF THE KNEE DOWN
Source: SF Girl By Bay
At the beginning of summer, I started getting red bumps on my legs EVERY time I shaved. I was doing everything right: using a five-blade razor, utilizing a shaving cream for sensitive skin, waiting to shave a few minutes into my shower (the heat opens up hair follicles!)…but the bumps persisted. So I saw my dermatologist, who told me it wasn’t the products or razors I was using. It was my method.
Like me, you probably shave starting at your ankle and progress up towards your knee. Which, according to my doc, wasn’t doing any favors for my sensitive skin. When you go against the natural direction of hair follicles (ankle to knee) you increase the possibility of irritation, nicks, cuts, and in-grown hairs. But shaving down the leg on your first pass gets you closer to the root. If you Google it, there are tons of men’s websites advising readers to go “with the grain“ instead of “against the grain” when shaving their facial hair because it’s a highly sensitive area. WHY has no one told me this before?
Source: Live Simply
If your ritual feels incomplete without an upward shave, you can still do so. Once you’ve “gone with the grain,” your hairs are already very short and your skin is warm, which makes it safer to move the blade upwards on sensitive skin. And while we’re on the topic of shaving: ALWAYS replace razors at the first sign of dullness. Sensitive skin or not, your legs will thank you.
MISTAKE 3: BRUSHING THROUGH WET HAIR FROM YOUR ROOTS TO YOUR ENDS
Source: Gal Meets Glam
When I was younger, I brushed my hair 100 times before bed à la Marcia Brady. And when I realized it didn’t make my hair shinier like the cast of “The Brady Bunch,” working through those knots in my long, fine hair became a ritual I despised—especially after getting out of the shower. At the salon, I often offered to comb through my own tangles because hairdressers felt bad tugging so hard on my hair. And when they did, I noticed they always brushed from the bottom up.
Starting at the root and tugging down (I later learned), especially on wet hair, pulls the hair out of the follicle, causing it to snap. You end up tearing away a lot of unnecessary hair and creating those awkward fly-aways that tend to pop up at the first sign of dryness. Instead, work from the bottom up (the OPPOSITE of your new shaving ritual outlined above) in one inch sections.
Source: Luxy Hair
To make it even more manageable, section off your hair in horizontal sections like they do at the salon, apply a detangling product, and use a comb (not a flat brush) to work through hair ends. Once you’ve successfully detangled, move up an inch and comb through again (and so on and so forth until you reach the crown of your head). Your locks will look like Marcia Brady’s before you know it.
Lesson learned from the above? Sometimes the best and most effective beauty regimens require an extra step. But double the work means double the results—I promise it will be worth it!
This post is sponsored by Erno Laszlo but the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.