#1 Dry shampoo
When you overdo it with dry shampoo in one sitting, you might begin to find white dandruff-like flakes in your hair. First of all, you only want to spray just enough to get rid of the oiliness near your scalp, and the best way to do that is by starting with a smaller amount, letting that settle in, and seeing if you need to use more. Spraying too much just causes a buildup of product that sits on your scalp and clogs it. This can actually restrict the blood circulation in your scalp. which in turn can accelerate hair thinning over time.
The second and slightly more important thing to be diligent about is to be mindful not to use dry shampoo for too many days in a row. Imagine not taking off your makeup at night, and just applying a second layer the next day. That’s what dry shampoo will do to your scalp if you don’t wash your hair with shampoo and water at night after using it. Case in point: I used to go two or more days with dry shampoo, and would always find pimples popping up on my scalp after.
Image: Percy & Reed No Fuss Fabulousness Dry Shampoo, $26
#2 Silicone primers
While silicone-based primers are great at blurring out imperfections and making your skin look wonderfully smooth, the silicone actually sits on your skin and can clog your pores. Of course, they are some of the best primers out there for those of us with oily skin, so it can be hard to avoid them entirely.
The solution? Try to limit use of these primers to shorter lengths of time, and fewer times a week if possible. I prefer to only use them for special occasions, when I really need my skin to look as flawless as possible. And the rest of the time? Well, why hold your skin to impossible standards, right?
Keep a lookout for primers that don’t contain silicone, and if a smooth surface is really important to you, there are always skincare treatments and services out there that can help with alleviating scars or unwanted skin texture.
Image: Benefit Cosmetics The Porefessional Face Primer Mini, $21
#3 Cleansing brushes
As much as I love beauty gadgets, I have something of a love-hate relationship with cleansing brushes. I started using a model from a well-known beauty brand when it first came out, but discovered to my dismay that my skin started breaking out and becoming more sensitive. While cleansing brushes can help achieve a much deeper cleanse, some people might find the bristles too harsh on their skin. The constant brushing, if too much for our skin to handle, can cause unwanted skin irritations, dry skin, or even inflammation. That said, some brands like Philips or Clarisonic have next-generation models boasting really gentle bristles that may not irritate your skin at all.
It’s best to keep an eye on the changing condition of your skin when starting on a brush cleanser to make sure that you aren’t aggravating your skin. If you find that you can’t use a brush too often but still enjoy the deep cleanse it affords you, save it for nights where you’ve got more makeup on, like events or special occasions.
Image: Clarisonic Mia 2, $270
#4 Longwear liquid lipsticks
While lipsticks that quite literally stay put all day are a wonderful invention, there’s no denying how harshly drying some of them can be on your lips, especially when you consider the amount of scrubbing and friction needed to get the lipsticks off. Many of us have a hard time keeping our lips healthy and moisturised as it is without the extra stressors of hard-to-remove and drying products. The wear and tear can leave your lips looking cracked or chapped and requiring a lot more effort to keep hydrated.
One way to deal with this is by using a good lip mask every night, and using a more nourishing cleansing oil to remove the lipstick. You can try coconut oil if you haven’t yet, though when on the go, I find that I can remove my lipstick with the help of some lip balm in a pinch.
Image: Nyx Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Sandstorm, $19
#5 Face or body scrubs
There’s a reason most scrubs are only recommended for use two to three times a week. Harsher scrubs containing abrasive sugar or salt grains can cause micro tears in your skin if you use them too often or too vigorously. Always opt for a gentle scrub when it comes to your face, and use gentle circular motions to buff away the dead skin. Your body can take more gritty scrubs, but it’s important to make sure you aren’t scrubbing too aggressively, which can leave your skin more vulnerable to scarring and external aggressors like sun damage.
Here’s a tip if you want to skip scrubs entirely: I sometimes prefer to use an exfoliating glove with my regular body wash, especially if I’ve found one that’s nourishing enough for my skin while leaving it feeling clean.
Image: Sephora Collection Sugar Body Scrub, $36
#6 Nourishing hair masks
A while back I wrote about the best way to wash your hair effectively and thoroughly without wasting product. In that article, I mentioned the reverse wash method for fine hair, which involves conditioning your hair prior to shampooing, so that the bulk of the heavy conditioner is washed away. This technique works largely because fine hair is very easily weighed down by hair products.
With hair masks, even medium-to-coarse hair types will find buildup with excessive use, with this largely due to the product being harder to rinse out. This eventually leaves your hair looking more greasy and flat, which is far from ideal. Make sure you use a clarifying shampoo a couple of times a month to fully remove any product build up, and always give your hair a thorough rinse with lukewarm water when washing out any conditioner or hair masks.
Image: Yves Rocher Repair: Nutri Repair Mask, $22. from Sephora
Text: Alyssa Dhaliwal, Her World Plus / Additional reporting: Arissa Ha