Looking beautiful takes work, and more importantly, it takes time. For some, it takes a lot of time, and if you’re like me, you’ll get frustrated when all that time you put in rewards you with a pimple, blotchiness or an oily t-zone. It’s maddening.
Well, I decided to get serious about saving time on my beauty regime recently, and did some research on what really works, and what is actually just superstitious, ritualized time wasting.
I was stunned at my discoveries. Some of my most treasured processes, the ones I thought were crucial to getting beautiful skin, were among some of those considered the biggest waste of time by beauty experts.
We have to remember, beauty is big business, and marketers will say just about anything to get you to buy the next big thing. That’s why you have to be very careful, because overdoing these processes can actually be doing you more harm than good.
Some beauty tips are genuine, and some are total nonsense. Here, I’m going to share the ones that have been ruled nonsense by a broad a range of experts, so you can claw back some time in your evenings for an extra glass of Pinot Grigio blush.
Your skin gets covered in dirt all through the day, and clogged up by makeup, so a good exfoliation every day will get into the pores and eke out all the bad stuff, allowing skin to breathe more easily at night. I also thought exfoliating triggered defence mechanisms in the skin that cause it to rejuvenate itself, making it ‘newer’ looking.
Turns out, it’s really bad for you. The skin takes a couple of days to recover from an exfoliation, and it also takes a couple of days for skin cells to die and accumulate in enough numbers to notice. So if you exfoliate every day, you’re actually building up the damage to your skin quicker than it can recover. This can lead to redness and inflammation, and increased risk of infection. Once a week preferably, twice a week maximum.
Time Saved: 5 Minutes
I have combination skin, so I have some oily patches and some dry patches. I thought a deep moisturising routine would help balance out my skin and keep it hydrated, pushing back the signs of aging that are starting to creep in.
Over moisturising is just as damaging as not moisturising at all. It’s all about balance. If you over-moisturise you can actually encourage breakouts by clogging pores, and can actually cause the skin to show signs of aging by overburdening it with moisture, which causes bloating and a loss of elasticity. By cutting this down, you can save time and more importantly, all the money you’re over-spending on moisturiser.
Time saved: 2 Minutes
Plucking Your Eyebrows
Unruly eyebrows look horrible, everyone is looking at them, oh god I have to neaten them up. Just one more. Oh no now that’s too much I’ve ruined them.
Thank heavens for Cara DeLevingne. Big brows are back in and we can all stop the collective insanity that comes from overplucking. Having thin, weedy eyebrows that need to be painted back in can cost people so much time, effort and heartache. Now full brows are in, just check in now and again to make sure there’s nothing growing off at right angles and leave it at that.
Time saved: 2 Minutes
A Big NO To Bubble Baths
Bubble baths help lock in moisture, and the bubbly soaps help to clean and cleanse the skin. The longer time spent in the bath helps the moisture get deeper, as well as gently allowing dead skin to fall away.
When you take a bath, you take everything in with you. All the dirt, bacteria and detritus of your life outside is now sitting in hot water – a petri dish, essentially. And even if you shower first to get clean, bubble baths use soap based detergents that foam, which are aggressive and serve to dry out the skin. Saturation of the skin can also cause it to swell and wrinkle. Stick to the shower, and save yourself a lot of time.
Time saved: 20 Minutes
Over Styling Your Hair
I thought: Everything they say on the shampoo bottles is true. My hair is both oily and dry, and needs coating and nourishment to rejuvenate it. If not, I will get split ends and I my hair will be a horrible greasy mop.
There’s a growing ‘no poo’ movement to get people away from surfactant-based shampoos that actually worsen the condition of hair, and build dependence so problems initially get worse when you come off them. Persist however and you’ll see real improvement. Hair is already dead, only the root is alive, so most of the shampoo science is gumpf.
I get the feeling I’m about to take some heat in the comments section here, but over treating your hair – that is, using a blow dryer, straighteners, curlers, hairspray, shampoo, conditioner and a hair mask, is not doing your hair, or your scalp, or your skin, any favours at all. Learn to work with what your hair gives you. Own it, and your confidence will define the style, not the other way around.
Time Saved: 30 Minutes
Total Time Saved: 59 Minutes
Wow. Cutting these out of your daily regime can save you nearly an hour a day. When you put it all together, you start to realise how much more time you’d have if you only did the things that really made a difference. This hour can be put to much better use socializing and spending time with your family. You know, living.
Are there any other processes you’ve discovered are just a massive waste of time? Share them in the comments below!