7 Beauty Products You're Using Way Too Much Of

Sometimes the old adage “less is more” is really true. You can see it for yourself when you’re staring in the mirror and notice that your favorite beauty products aren’t working for you the way they should. Any number of factors can give one person an excellent result and another user a completely different outcome, but one of those factors might just be user error. A simple tweak or fix can help you get the most out of your favorite go-to products, and sometimes that simple tweak can be to just put it down for a bit or limit the amount of product your using. We asked the pros to pinpoint what they think are the most commonly overused products and what you can do to take it down a notch and get the most out of them.  

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Back Away From Brittle Nails

It may sound odd, but nail strengtheners and hardeners can actually cause brittle nails. “Nail strengtheners contain formaldehyde and can turn nails brittle as the result of overuse,” says Los Angeles nail artist Sarah Chue. “If your nails have gotten harder after using a nail-strengthening product and have plateaued, but you continue to apply it, you know you are using too much. Once it’s done its job, you should stop using it and switch to a non-formaldehyde coat as a replacement.”

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Put the Protein Down

Protein-rich hair products are known to promote strong, healthy hair, but according to Jamie Robinson, owner of Hair Maiden Salon in Orlando, FL, if you’re using protein-packed conditioning products, you’re probably overusing them. “If you leave them on too long or use them too frequently during the week, it can cause a protein overload, resulting in hair breakage,” says Robinson. “People tend to think that protein moisturizes the hair, but it doesn’t. Too much protein can throw off the natural moisture balance and make hair more prone to damage and frizz, or just break off. You definitely don't want to use protein-rich hair products on a daily basis.”


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Cease and Desist the Heavy Contouring

Love it or hate it, contouring is here to stay, but mastering the technique can be difficult for even the most skilled makeup aficionados. “It comes down to two things,” says celebrity makeup and nail artist Blondie. “Picking the right contour colors for your skin tone and blending. Watch out for foundations that are too orange or contour colors that are too dark or cool for your skin tone. Opt for a cream-based foundation instead of a liquid when trying out this technique. A cream will help you blend everything in more effortlessly and seamlessly.”



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Scrub That Scrub

Exfoliation is an essential part of a skin care routine, but doing it too much can have adverse effects on your skin.  “I often see people overuse exfoliating products. In the quest to look younger and have smoother skin, people are doing too many aggressive exfoliating treatments that are actually injuring their skin,” says celebrity aesthetician Renée Rouleau. “Redness, inflammation, abnormal sensitivity and flaking of the skin can all be signs of over-exfoliation. Every type of skin responds differently, but at the very least, exfoliation with facial scrubs, acids or at-home peels shouldn’t be performed every day. I recommend using facial scrubs that contain round beads instead of harsh natural grain scrubs and limiting usage to just two to three times a week.” 


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Take It Easy on Your Teeth

An easy product to overuse is one you reach for first thing in the morning. Grabbing your tooth-whitening toothpaste to start the day with a sparkling smile might be a bad move. “There is no magical chemical that can whiten our teeth by using it for just one or two minutes, twice a day. Tooth-whitening toothpaste comes in contact with our teeth for such a short time that it forces the manufacturers to add pumice like substances to them in order to help remove stains and help teeth look whiter,” says Wellington, FL, cosmetic dentist Sam Sadati, DDS. “Overuse of whitening toothpaste can cause wear to the protective layer of tooth enamel and lead to tooth sensitivity. Switch to regular toothpaste and opt for over-the-counter teeth whitening strips instead." 


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Don't Pump Up the Volume

Volumizing styling products can give your strands a lift, but that temporary volume can leave you with permanent damage. “Volumizers that contain alcohol can cause your ends to dry out. Either make sure you are using alcohol-free styling products or target the root and mid-lengths of your hair and make sure to skip your ends. The only part of the hair that needs drying out from greasy flatness are your roots,” says Robinson.


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Break the Twice-a-Day Rule

Sometimes you have to break the rules, and in the case of mechanical cleansing brushes, the twice-a-day rule may cause you more harm than good. “Just like exfoliating scrubs, mechanical cleansing brushes are commonly overused and can cause a stripped moisture barrier, resulting in dehydration, flaking, redness and inflammation,” says Rouleau. “Overuse can also cause stimulation of melanin activity, possibly resulting in an increase of hyperpigmentation (brown spots and patches). If you use a cleansing brush, my professional recommendation is that for most skin types it not be used twice a day as suggested, but instead two to three times a week in place of a facial scrub.”