Vladimir Gjorgiev/Shutterstock Gross as it feels, earwax actually cleans your ears by collecting dirt and debris, then carrying them out. Scraping that protective goop from the ear canal will leave your ear unprotected—or worse, says otolaryngologist Dr. Erich Voigt, MD, of NYU Langone Medical Center. “If you put a Q-Tip in, you push that wax in further and then prevent it from being able to flow out naturally,” he says. “The wax is continually produced, and it rolls in on itself and becomes larger, deeper, thicker, and denser over time.” That buildup could give you hearing trouble or an ear infection, so keep cotton swabs, fingers, and other objects out of your ear. Instead, wait to wipe wax away until it’s reached the outside of your ear. Don’t miss these other 10 things you probably clean too much.
Dead skin cells
Maridav/Shutterstock You still should wash your face twice a day, but a deep-cleaning scrub shouldn’t be part of your daily regimen, says dermatologist Jody Levine, MD, of Plastic Surgery & Dermatology of NYC. “Over-exfoliating your skin can be just as harmful as using the wrong type of product, as it can strip your skin of natural oils and cause breakouts,” she says. She recommends exfoliating just twice a week to slough dead skin cells away without leaving your face raw. Along with over-cleaning your face, you may be over-cleaning your house. These are 10 things you only need to wash once a year (or less).