Let go of your loofah every few weeks
We all have our beauty besties. Whether it’s a love connection with brushes or a match made in heaven with mascara, saying goodbye is never easy. But it’s important—especially when we’re talking about spoilage, expiration dates, or skin infections. One potential hotbed of bacteria is the loofah you use in the shower, which collects your dead skin cells and literally redeposits them—dirt, grime, and all—right back onto your body the next time you use it. Be prepared to replace that body sponge every few weeks, or sooner if it smells or changes color. Or skip the loofah entirely and just apply a cleanser with a chemical exfoliant, such as glycolic acid, using your fingers, as Anjali Butani, MD, cosmetic dermatologist and founder of ANJALI MD Skincare advised SELF. Here are other ways you could be showering wrong.
Mix up your mascara every three months
As much as you love your lengthening, feathering, dramatically lash-boosting mascara, you have only one pair of eyes and you can’t afford to lose them. That’s why you’ll need to chuck your mascara every three months, or face risks from contamination with bacteria and cold viruses. “Anything moist that’s touching wet parts of the body—eyes, lips, open skin—lasts a shorter period of time,” explains Joshua Zeichner, MD, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research Department of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital. A good rule to follow: If the product can’t be sterilized, toss it. These are the beauty products you should be storing in the fridge for maximum shelf-life.
Swap your beauty sponge every three to four months
“If these disposable sponges are not replaced every few months, or if there are any color changes, they could be a breeding ground for mold,” Dr. Zeichner says. Always wash and thoroughly dry your Beautyblender after each use to minimize the bacterial buildup that could cause breakouts. And definitely chuck the sponge sooner than three to four months if it starts to crack or crumble, or if you used it when you had a bad cold or an infection. These are the non-negotiable rules for keeping your beauty tools sanitary.