• Wed, Jan 29 - 11:04 am ET

Beauty Tips That Just Aren’t Worth It (And How To Make Them Work For You)

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

As an obsessive reader of health and beauty magazines and websites, I’m constantly getting new beauty tips that are supposed to improve my skin, brighten my smile, and make my hair shine like Blake Lively’s. This information is coming at me from the people whose job it is to help me improve myself (okay, more like sell magazines) so I’m usually fine with trusting this advice. But just because I now worship coconut oil as a natural skin smoother and deep conditioner doesn’t mean that I’m going to go ahead and follow every piece of advice I read. Although these tips may work on some level, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t a huge pain to go through with. I love feeling healthy and radiant and all of that, but at the end of the day, I have to prioritize the other parts of my life around my beauty routine. Here are the tips and tricks that just aren’t worth my time and energy.

Tip: “Sleep On Your Back To Prevent Wrinkles”

Why I Won’t Do It: The only time I will purposefully sleep on my back will be after I’ve had some sort of major surgery. It feels the most natural to me to sleep on my stomach, face mashed against a pillow, covers thrown over my head. There are plenty of things that I am awake for during the day to stress about, I don’t need to make going to sleep a challenge, too.

What I’ll Do Instead: Skin care is important, but I can help prevent wrinkles when I’m awake by slathering on the SPF when I’m out in the sun. I should also be applying a light SPF moisturizer daily, but, I’m going to be honest here, I don’t. Wear sunscreen, people! You’ll get to sleep all cozy if you do.

Tip: “Avoid Heat Styling Your Hair”

Why I Won’t Do It: This is a very valid tip for hair health. ODing on hair straightening completely fried by hair when I was in middle school, so I really should know better. I’ve gotten better at avoiding the hair straightener but not the blowdryer, particularly in winter, where you need to go and do things and can’t go outside with wet locks.

What I’ll Do Instead: Deep condition like it’s my job. Since I have very light, very fake blond hair, deep conditioning is a must if I don’t want my hair to feel like straw. Deep conditioning protects my hair from turning into split end city. A way that’s super cheap and highly effective is lathering up hair with coconut oil and letting it sit for at least three hours before shampooing out. A second way I can get away with my blowdrying habit? Only use heat when it matters. That means gently squeezing my hair dry with a towel before letting it air dry whenever I have the time. Since sleeping with wet hair can pull your hair and cause breakage (what doesn’t cause breakage, am I right?) I’ll try to avoid showering immediately before bed and giving my locks some time to air out.

Tip: “Use Only Natural Nail Polish”

Why I Won’t Do It: Because I love nail polish and there simply aren’t enough colors in the natural nail polish lines that I can afford. If this changes, perhaps I will make the switch. Another problem that I have with natural nail polish is that it doesn’t seem to last as long as the beautiful chemicals that exist within my bottles of Essie

What I’ll Do Instead: Vow to stop biting my nails — particularly when they are coated in polish. While I may not be willing to give up my chemical-laden polishes, the least I can do is avoid accidentally eating the flakes.

Tip: “Stop Eating Sugar To Benefit Your Skin”

Why I Won’t Do It: Umm, am I Gwyneth Paltrow after New Year’s? Sugar is delicious, and banning all foods with sugar will just lead to serious cravings later. I know I can’t quit sugar cold turkey — I’ve tried, but at the end of the day, the cookies will find me.

What I’ll Do Instead: Healthy my diet up with veggies, lean protein, and other things known to be great for your skin (and body in general). I’d rather suck down a daily kale shake and allow myself a sugary dessert once in a while. Another option? Cut back on sugar where it doesn’t matter and read labels more carefully on things like salad dressing, prepackaged smoothies, and jarred tomato sauce.

Tip: “Wash Your Hair Twice A Week At Most To Preserve Color And Natural Oils” 

Why I Won’t Do It: I try very, very hard to wash my hair as little as possible — I really do. It’s usually easy for me to skip shampoo on a regular day, but on days where I hit the gym the only thing that will make me feel truly clean is to wash my hair.

What I’ll Do Instead: Sulfate-free shampoo is a lifesaver for people with colored hair. My favorite is L’Oreal EverPure in Rosemary Juniper. It won’t strip your hair of your natural oils or do serious damage to dyed hair.

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  • Lindsey Conklin

    hahahahaahha ahh I love this post! none of these tips are worth it to me either. I literally can’t follow through with any of them. Sleep on my back? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? haha

    • Kaitlin Reilly

      Sleep should not be stressful! It should not be!

    • LynnKell

      The most I can compromise is to try to not sleep on my belly. Everything else is beyond my control when I’m in Morpheus’s arms

  • anna

    Was just going to say, I get a few drops of coconut oil to make my hair soft and shiny!
    I didn’t know that sleeping with wet hair is bad, though. I generally get it mostly dry when I go to bed but I have really, really thick hair.
    Also air drying it makes it large. It’s pretty straight naturally, but very very large. I always avoid volume shampoos for this reason. Any tips?

    • Kaitlin Reilly

      I have pretty thin hair (jealous of your thick hair) so I’m not the go-to person for controlling volume, but an easy thing that I’ve been using to keep hair nice without overdoing heat styling is to blow dry well after using Living Proof Prime Style Extender — it smells amazing and the formula wards off dirt particles so you don’t have to wash your hair for a few days. You can avoid letting your hair air dry since you won’t have to re-do your style.

    • cara

      I have thick, naturally curly hair and just got a new cut that’s much more layered and thinned out than usual, but still the same length. It’s been a godsend. My drying time has been practically cut in half and my hair is much lower maintenance since it doesn’t get so huge now.

  • elimoo

    It’s literally not possible for me to only wash my hair a few days a week. If I don’t, it looks oily on top and is just totally limp and lifeless.

  • Mel Stevens

    I go to the gym too and I have to wash my hair because I sweat a lot! What I do is I use the pro naturals hair mask that moisturizes it once a week and that way my hair is always healthy and shiny!