So often, we look to beauty products to solve our most aggravating problems. From clearing complexion to repairing hair, there’s always something to improve and a product to help us do it. But, which products are actually worth it? Beauty products can be pricey, and the last thing you want to do is throw your money away on solutions that don’t work.
These beauty products are marketed so well that we think they will solve all of our problems. Before trying to achieve perfect skin, hair, etc. — beware of beauty hacks that can actually cause more harm than good. Here are five beauty hacks that might cause damage.
1. Quick Fixes for Acne
If you’ve ever had a pesky pimple, then you’re probably familiar with some of the weird hacks that exist. “Put toothpaste on your pimple, it’ll disappear overnight,” they say. Or, you take a trip down the skin care aisle at a drugstore and see products labeled ‘rapid spot treatment.’ We’ve all fallen victim to one of these quick fixes, but the truth is, they aren’t always the best solution.
Why they’re bad: The toothpaste hack can actually dry skin out too much and cause permanent damage like scarring. Toothpaste contains baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, both of which can cause irritation. Don’t rob your skin of natural moisture and make the problem even worse.
What to do instead: Pimple patches would be a better solution just to keep the area clean overnight. Also, if you’re truly struggling with acne, then you may want to consider an acne treatment to treat the underlying issue. A spot treatment might dry out a pimple and give you temporary peace of mind, but it won’t prevent breakouts from happening in the future.
2. Harsh Exfoliants
It’s actually recommended that you incorporate an exfoliator into your skincare routine once or twice a week. Exfoliators wash away dead skin cells while also clearing your pores of debris and dirt that face cleansers might miss. However, the wrong exfoliator with harsh ingredients can actually do more harm than good for the skin.
Why they’re bad: While a homemade facial scrub with “all-natural” ingredients may sound appealing, it’s not always good for your skin. Remember how sensitive your face can be to new skincare products, the same holds true for any natural ingredient. For example, the acidity in lemon can strip the skin of natural oils and cause irritation.
What to do instead: Find a high-quality, gentle exfoliant. It should be gentle enough that it doesn’t irritate the skin. At the same time, it should provide the deep cleaning properties that come with an exfoliant. With a little research, you can find an exfoliant for your skin type.
3. Too Many Hair Products
It’s easy to get carried away buying hair products. There are so many great things to try and some products you may love so much that you re-purchase. But when you add too many products into your routine, it becomes troublesome (and not just for your wallet).
Why it’s bad: Too many hair products can cause buildup, which will lead to several other problems. First, your hair won’t be able to benefit from products as it should. Second, it can leave the scalp dry and irritated. Lastly, your hair may feel heavy and be unable to hold a style.
What to do instead: Use only the essential products. Everyone should be using a heat protectant. Other products in your routine will depend on your hair type and hair concerns. You may need a leave-in conditioner for moisture. Or, maybe a hair oil to add moisture or shine. Or, maybe you like to use styling products like gels or hairspray. Whatever the case may be, pare it down to exactly what you need so you’re not overdoing it.
Bonus tip: If all the hair products in your current hair care routine are essential, invest in a clarifying shampoo. While every hair product is supposed to provide some sort of benefit to the hair, too many can be bad. A clarifying shampoo gives your hair a detox — deep cleaning it and washing away all impurities.
4. Coconut Oil in Hair
So many people swear by coconut oil to add shine, reduce frizz, or hydrate the ends of their hair. Some people even believe it has the power to make your hair grow. Even if coconut oil isn’t part of your beauty regimen, you’ve probably heard someone rave about its benefits. So, is it true?
Why it’s bad: The main fatty acid in coconut oil is lauric acid. When used on hair, it coats the strands and makes them water-repellent. This is great for taming frizz and providing instant shine; however, it’s a quick fix. Hair is made up of keratin, a protein that is made up of amino acids. Your hair needs these amino acids to be strong, hydrated, and healthy. Coating your hair in coconut oil will prevent the amino acids from penetrating and doing their job.
What to do instead: Coconut oil can provide quick fixes and make the hair appear healthy. But for long-term hair health, it’s not the best product. Instead, if you’re trying to fight frizz, use deep conditioning treatments or hair repair systems.
5. Contouring With Sunscreen
You may have seen the TikTok trend going around where people use sunscreen for contouring. The goal is to give their face a natural, sustained contour that requires no makeup. Sounds nice in theory, but it’s not something you should try.
Why it’s bad: The sun and its powerful UV rays can affect all areas of the face. While getting a sunkissed glow every day might seem harmless, the harsh effects of the sun add up over time. Not only does the sun cause premature signs of aging, but it can also cause skin cancer.
What to do instead: Lather the SPF all over! Sun protection is important, and you should be using protection on any skin that’s getting exposed to the sun. For a facial sunscreen, look for something gentle, effective, and at least an SPF 30.
You shouldn’t have to break the bank to solve your beauty-related problems. But you also shouldn’t resort to solutions that cause damage and don’t fix the issue. There is an answer to your problem, you just may have to do some research to figure it out. Don’t believe that every beauty hack is a cure-all, but be open to learning. Put simply — be cautious and curious!