9 Gross Beauty Habits That You May Be Doing

Fix: Ask for the free samples to take home instead, says Fusco. “Many cosmetic companies stock mini-sized products for sampling,” she says. If not, ask if the salesperson to wipe the surface of the product with alcohol first, scrape off, or sharpen the top layer. Then, rather than using your face, try it on your less sensitive neck or inner wrist instead (test foundations on your décolletage, which has similar coloring), and wash up immediately after.

2. You store your swabs and cotton pads on the counter.

Risk: Gross, but harmless

You flush your toilet, but little bits of bacteria in the water will spray into the air, landing on exposed surfaces in your bathroom. Keri Peterson, MD, an internal medicine specialist in NYC, says you don’t want anything that makes direct contact with your face just sitting on your countertop. Even though it’s unlikely that you’ll get an infection this way, it’s still fairly unsanitary. (You’d run a bigger risk of, for instance, sticking the cotton swab up your nose or mouth.)

Fix: Store the swabs in a drawer, cabinet, or closed container. And, of course, close the lid prior to flushing your toilet!

3. You let the hair accumulate on your brush

Risk: Gross, but harmless

Healthy hair sheds up to 150 single strands a day, more if you use medicated shampoo. Many of those strands will gather in your brush, along with styling product residue, dead skin, and scalp oils.