35 Beauty Mistakes You Don’t Realize Are Damaging Your Hair, Skin & Nails

Robert Hundley

While everyone’s beauty routine is unique, there are still some basic guidelines if you’re looking to prevent damage to hair, skin, and nails. Now, some of these “rules” are tried and true, like prepping your hair with a heat protectant spray before blow drying or styling with a straightener (bonus points if it’s blended with ingredients like nourishing coconut and argan oil). But some beauty mistakes are less obvious. For example, if you’re bathing without a shower filter, there’s a good chance you’re exposing your skin and hair to chlorine and hard water minerals. This can lead to itchy, irritated skin as well as hair that’s dry, damaged, and frizzy. A good filter is a simple, budget-friendly fix, and can be added to your existing showerhead.

Most of us have made at least a few of these common beauty mistakes at one point or another, but thanks to these highly rated hair and skin products, they’re cheap and easy to correct.

1

Mistake: Using A Harsh Physical Exfoliant On Your Face

Solution: These Gentle Chemical Exfoliating Pads That Use Glycolic Acid To Give You Brighter, Clearer Skin

Physical exfoliants can be harsh on skin, which is why using a chemical exfoliant — such as the glycolic acid found in these resurfacing pads — is a great alternative. The glycolic acid gently removes dead cells, allowing brighter skin to be revealed from underneath. Combined with clarifying witch hazel and moisturizing hyaluronic acid, the formula will have your skin feeling fresh and radiant.

2

Mistake: Showering In Unfiltered Water That Dries Out Skin & Hair

Solution: This Easy-To-Install Shower Head That Removes Unwanted Minerals

You may not realize it, but the water coming out of your shower could be drying out your skin and hair — especially if you live an area where hard water is the norm. This showerhead filter works to remove chlorine, while also depositing beneficial, pH-balancing minerals that soothe your scalp and skin. The multi-layer filtration system is easy to install on your existing showerhead in just a few minutes.

3

Mistake: Wearing Sandals Every Day & Getting Rough Feet

Solution: An Exfoliating Foot Peel That Makes Your Skin Baby-Soft

While sandals are a convenient warm-weather shoe, wearing them every day can result in dry, cracked heels. These foot peel masks, which are infused with hydrating papaya extract and aloe vera, can be slipped onto your feet like a pair of socks. The nourishing ingredients soak into your skin, helping the dead skin to gently peel off over a matter of weeks. A light lavender scent gives these masks an extra relaxing quality.

4

Mistake: Letting Dyed Blonde Hair Get Brassy & Damaged

Solution: This Purple Hair Mask That Neutralizes Orange & Yellow Undertones

If your blonde strands are looking a bit brassy, this purple hair mask can help. The violet-hued formula works to restore your color-treated hair to its original shade, while also deeply conditioning your locks with coconut and marula oils. It’s also great for revitalizing platinum, gray, and silver-colored hair.

5

Mistake: Forgetting To Moisturize Your Nails & Cuticles

Solution: This Best-Selling Oil That Makes It Easy

Just like the rest of your body, your nails and cuticles can benefit from an extra boost of moisture — especially when the weather is dry. Boasting a 4.7-star overall rating after 100,000 reviews, this hydrating oil blend is infused with milk and honey, two nourishing ingredients that soften and strengthen your nail beds. Add a few drops to your nails in the morning, and rub the formula into your cuticles.

6

Mistake: Not Preventing Ingrown Hairs From Forming

Solution: This Special Oil That Both Prevents Ingrowns & Soothes Post-Shave Irritation

Ingrown hairs — also known as razor bumps — can be easily prevented with this moisturizing oil. Formulated with jojoba oil, antioxidant-rich green tea, and hydrating vitamin E, the oil can be used on your armpits, legs, and bikini area — anywhere you want to prevent those irritating bumps. “Works wonders,” one reviewer raved.

7

Mistake: Going Out In The Sun Without Protecting Your Hair From UV Rays

Solution: This Hair & Scalp Sunscreen That Couldn’t Be Easier To Use

The same UV rays that damage your skin can also damage your scalp and hair, which is why this sunscreen mist is a must. The reef-safe, SPF-30 formula protects the delicate skin on your scalp while also shielding hair, and it’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. Made with 70% certified organic ingredients, it’s infused with moisturizing monoi oil and gotu kola extract to promote hydration and scalp health. Just a few spritzes is all it takes.

8

Mistake: Washing With Harsh Body Soap That Dries Out Your Skin

Solution: This Sulfate-Free Body Wash That Nourishes Your Skin Instead

A fantastic choice for dry, sensitive skin, this nourishing soap from Tree To Tub deeply cleanses without causing dryness. The gentle formula is fortified with hydrating aloe vera, shea butter, and cucumber. The secret ingredient? Naturally cleansing soapberry, which creates a creamy lather. A lavender scent creates a calming, soothing effect.

9

Mistake: Cutting Cuticles Instead Of Pushing Them Back

Solution: This Cuticle Pusher That Makes Your Nails Look Healthy & Clean

This cuticle-pushing tool allows you to maintain shapely, clean-looking nails without any harsh cutting. Made from durable stainless steel, the tool has a textured, easy-grip handle that gives you better control. The curved end effectively pushes back cuticles, while the square end helps remove dirt from hard-to-reach corners.

10

Mistake: Tying Your Hair With Elastic Bands That Can Cause Breakage

Solution: These Satin Scrunchies That Are Extra-Gentle On Your Hair

Traditional elastic hair ties can cause breakage and frizz, but these satin scrunchies won’t. The silky smooth material glides across strands (instead of tugging at them), and keeps hair free of ponytail bumps. Not to mention, these scrunchies look super cute when used to tie buns, braids, and pigtails. You get five in a pack for a super wallet-friendly price.

11

Mistake: Leaving Blemishes Exposed To Irritation & Bacteria

Solution: Covering Up Your Blemishes With Patches To Protect Them & Help Them Heal Faster

It’s important to leave blemishes alone while they’re healing, but that can be hard to do sometimes. These transparent acne patches completely cover up your pimples, protecting them from the pollution and irritants, while helping to prevent picking. Each patch is made with hydrocolloid, which absorbs excess oil and dirt from your skin.

12

Mistake: Detangling Your Hair With A Regular Brush That Causes Breakage

Solution: This Best-Selling Brush That Detangles Knots Painlessly

Designed with an ergonomic, easy-grip handle, this detangling brush glides right through tangles and knots without tugging. The rows of cone-shaped plastic bristles gently separate your strands sideways instead of down, which helps prevent the risk of breakage. It’s safe to use on any type of hair, whether it’s wet or dry. “This brush is so soothing on my scalp, it’s like a massage,” one reviewer commented.

13

Mistake: Getting Eyelash Extensions Or Using Falsies Often

Solution: This Gentle Serum That Makes Your Lashes Stronger & Healthier In The Long Run

Looking for a natural way to get thick, lengthy lashes? This nourishing serum is your answer. Formulated with powerful amino acids and ginseng root extract, the serum stimulates circulation around your hair follicles — resulting in serious growth. The best part? It can also be used on your eyebrows. After just a few weeks of applying this serum to your lash line, you’ll see fuller, more luscious lashes and brows.

14

Mistake: Neglecting To Soothe & Pamper Sensitive Skin

Solution: This Pure Rose Water That Tends To Sensitive Skin Using 1 Naturally Derived Ingredient

On those days when your skin is feeling irritated or parched, a light spritz of this rose water spray can provide soothing relief. Made of just a single ingredient — water distilled from the Moroccan rose — the gentle product is safe for your body, face, and hair. The light, hydrating water can also be used as a toner or makeup-setting spray.

15

Mistake: Applying Non-Mineral Sunscreen If You’re Prone To Dark Spots Or Melasma

Solution: A Mineral Sunscreen Stick For Your Face & Body

If you’re prone to dark spots or melasma, you may want to avoid chemical sunscreens if you’re looking to prevent further darkening. Instead, the best sunscreen for those with melasma will be a mineral-based formula such as this one from Neutrogena. Made with sun-protective zinc oxide and moisturizing vitamin E, the SPF-50 sunscreen can be applied to both the face and body in the form of a mess-free solid stick, and it’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

16

Mistake: Spending Money On Expensive Manicures For Smooth-Looking Nails

Solution: This Long-Lasting Tool That Buffs Your Nails For Less Than $5

Gel manicures or professional buffing aren’t the only ways to get your nails looking ultra-smooth. You can use this four-way nail buffer to achieve shiny nails in minutes, and it costs much less than a trip to the nail salon. Each side of the sanding block has a different texture designed to either shape, smooth, or give your nails a glossy sheen.

17

Mistake: Washing You Hands Without Restoring Moisture

Solution: These Moisturizing Gloves That Effortlessly Repair Dry Skin & Nails

Washing your hands is a hygiene essential, but all that soap and hot water can leave your skin feeling dry. These hand repair masks are formulated with moisturizing coconut oil and milk extract, as well as hyaluronic acid, which helps bind water to the skin. The masks can be slipped onto your hands like a pair of gloves, infusing a dose of moisture to your parched skin.

18

Mistake: Not Protecting Breakage-Prone Hair With A Strengthening Serum

Solution: This Under-$10 Hair Mist That Helps Repair & Protect Your Hair

Using a nourishing serum on your hair, such as this one from OGX, can prevent breakage before it happens. Formulated with moisturizing coconut oil, coconut milk, and whipped egg white protein, the serum works to strengthen your strands while also infusing hair with hydration. Safe for all hair textures, this vanilla-scented treatment will leave your hair shiny and smooth.

19

Mistake: Sleeping On A Cotton Pillowcase That Can Cause Hair Breakage

Solution: A Soft Satin Pillowcase That’s Gentle On Your Hair & Skin

Unlike traditional cotton pillowcases — which can cling to hair like Velcro and cause breakage — this satin pillowcase provides a silky smooth surface to rest on that protects strands. (It even helps prevent pillow creases on your face.) The soft material glides against your skin and hair, preventing friction during the night. You’ll wake up feeling dewy and refreshed.

20

Mistake: Shaving Without Regularly Exfoliating Skin

Solution: An Exfoliating Body Brush That Also Gives You A Mini Massage

If you shave (or use any hair removal process), it’s a good idea to exfoliate regularly, and this dry body brush is much cheaper than constantly restocking on a scrub. Designed with a combination of boar bristles and rubber massage nodes, the brush effectively buffs skin and stimulates circulation. “This is the best dry brush I have owned. I think the bristles are perfect. Not too hard or too soft,” one reviewer raved.

21

Mistake: Forgetting To Deep Condition Your Hair

Solution: A Fan-Favorite Hair Mask That’ll Last You Ages

Applying a deep conditioning mask to your hair on occasion can keep your locks feeling luscious and soft. Blended with nourishing argan oil, this hydrating hair treatment repairs and restores dry, brittle strands. It can be used on all hair types, from curly and thick to fine and straight. If you regularly use heating tools on your hair, this mask is for you.

22

Mistake: Using A Retinol That’s Harsh On Sensitive Skin

Solution: This Gentle Retinol Cream That’s Balanced Out By Hydrating Ingredients

Retinol is super effective in creating a bright, even skin tone, but some formulas end up being too drying for sensitive skin. That’s where LilyAna Naturals’ retinol cream comes in. Blended with skin-conditioning ingredients such as aloe, shea butter, and jojoba oil, the cream smooths texture and evens skin tone, while keeping your skin hydrated. A boost of hyaluronic acid helps the formula’s moisture bind to your skin.

23

Mistake: Wrapping Your Wet Hair In A Terrycloth Towel That Causes Frizz

Solution: A Microfiber Towel That Dries Your Hair Faster & More Gently

When you step out of the shower, reach for this microfiber hair towel instead of a terrycloth one. While terrycloth can be rough on your strands, this microfiber fabric is totally gentle — even reducing frizz and the risk of breakage while your hair dries. Plus, the towel is absorbent and fast-drying, reducing the overall time it takes to style your hair in the morning.

  • Available colors: Gray, Purple, Pink

24

Mistake: Using A Body Scrub On Sensitive Skin

Solution: A Body Lotion That Gently Exfoliates While It Moisturizes

Body scrubs made with physical exfoliants such as salt or sugar can aggravate your skin. Instead, try this moisturizing lotion that’s formulated with lactic acid, a gentle chemical exfoliant that stimulates skin cell turnover. Designed with dry, rough skin in mind, the lotion boosts your skin’s natural renewal process while adding deep hydration.

25

Mistake: Washing Your Hair Too Often

Solution: A Cute Shower Cap To Keep Your Hair From Getting Wet In The Shower

Shampooing your hair often can strip your hair of its natural oils, and in fact, it’s better to go a couple of days in between washes to help your locks retain their moisture. This nylon shower cap keeps your hair dry while you shower, securing around your scalp with an elastic band. A cute bow detail and a polka dot pattern give the cap a whimsical touch.

26

Mistake: Not Moisturizing Dry Skin Often Enough

Solution: This French Thermal Water That Makes It Easy To Hydrate Your Skin Anywhere, Anytime

If your face is particularly dry, then you might benefit from moisturizing more than once a day. This spring water mist from La Roche-Posay makes it easy to hydrate your face wherever you are, and it’s infused with selenium, which works as a powerful natural antioxidant. Just spritz the calming formula onto your skin and pat off the excess water after a few minutes.

27

Mistake: Not Using A Heat Protectant Before Styling Your Hair

Solution: This Hair Oil Spray That Protects, Softens, & Moisturizes Your Hair All At Once

Before using a hair dryer, curling iron, or straightener, apply this heat protectant spray to prevent damage to your strands. Effective at temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, the formula is made with moisturizing coconut oil and argan oil to infuse hair with hydration. “Smells good, feels good and leaves my hair smooth and shiny,” one reviewer wrote.

28

Mistake: Squeezing Blackheads With Your Fingers

Solution: These Gentle Strips That Suck Out Impurities Safely

When blackheads pop up on your nose, you should refrain from squeezing them with your fingers to prevent further irritation. Instead, try Mighty Patch’s gentle hydrocolloid strips that safely absorb dirt and oil from your pores. Place it over the bridge of your nose right before you go to bed, then peel it off in the morning. The flexible patch reveals all of the gunk it lifted from your skin, so you can see it’s really working.

29

Mistake: Not Opening Your Pores With A Steamer Before A Skin-Care Treatment

Solution: This Affordable Steamer That Makes It Easy To Do So

With this ionic facial steamer, you can give yourself spa-quality facials from the comfort of your own home. The unit generates up to 10 minutes of steam at once, which is plenty of time to open your pores and prep skin for a mask or serum. You also get a set of five stainless steel facial tools that help you effectively and safely remove blackheads from your face.

  • Available colors: Blue, Green, Pink

30

Mistake: Forgetting To Drink Enough Water Throughout The Day

Solution: This Clever Water Bottle That Reminds You To Keep Hydrating

Sure, you drink water every day, but are you drinking enough? On those busy days when the act of hydrating slips your mind, this water bottle can help. The 32-ounce bottle is designed with time markers that indicate how much water you should drink during each hour. A series of motivational messages encourages you to reach your hydration goals.

31

Mistake: Not Having A Skin-Care Routine For Your Delicate Under-Eye Area

Solution: These Under-Eye Patches That Make Caring For That Area *So* Fun

Under-eye circles are a fact of life when you don’t get enough sleep (but it can be hard to pack in a full eight hours). If haven’t been able to get enough rest, however, you can nourish the delicate skin under your eyes with these under-eye masks. Made with brightening 24-karat gold and plumping collagen, the masks can help even out your skin tone, resulting in a refreshed complexion.

32

Mistake: Keeping Your Makeup On When You Go To Bed

Solution: These Reusable Cotton Pads So You Never Have To Worry About Running Out

At the end of a long night out, it can be tempting to plop into bed without washing your face — but not taking off your makeup can cause skin troubles such as clogged pores and irritated eyes. These reusable cotton-bamboo pads gently remove your makeup with the help of a liquid makeup remover or cleanser. They’re machine washable, so you can use them over and over again — much cheaper than disposable one-use wipes.

33

Mistake: Not Protecting Your Lips From The Sun

Solution: This Fruity Lip Balm With SPF 30

In addition to your face, you should also be protecting your lips from the sun’s powerful UV rays. This SPF-30 lip balm from Supergoop! prevents the sensitive skin on your lips from burning in the sun, while also keeping your pout feeling plump and hydrated. Choose from two refreshing flavors — açai and mint.

  • Available flavors: Açai, Mint

34

Mistake: Blow Drying Your Hair Every Single Day

Solution: A Gentle, Effortless Way To Get Beachy Waves Sans Heat

Daily blow drying can be rough on your hair over time, which is why we love this texturizing spray that gives your strands some serious body without any heat styling. Enriched with sea salt and kelp, the lightweight formula gives your locks a boost of volume — not to mention, a dose of UV protection. It’s the next best thing to hitting the beach.

35

Mistake: Wearing Shoes That Give You Calluses

Solution: This Clever Treatment That Removes Them When They Inevitably Occur

Wearing uncomfortable shoes for long periods of time can cause hard calluses on your feet, but luckily, there’s an easy way to get rid of them. Just soak your foot in hot water, then apply this callus-removing gel directly to your skin. Follow up with a scrubber, and your feet will feel magically soft. “Cracks are gone […] Where has this been all my life? It’s definitely a new part of my skin routine,” one reviewer raved.

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