THE BLOG

Beauty Routines That Can Cause More Harm Than Good

06/24/2014 02:25 pm ET | Updated Aug 24, 2014
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When the warm weather hits, so do the summer fashion and beauty trends. Products everywhere want to help people exaggerate the effects of summer on their bodies. Everything from lighter hair, tanner skin and long mermaid locks are longed for and created with products from the stores.

While you may like the way these summer beauty rituals look on you, they may be more damaging to your body than you realize. Here are just a few warm-weather fads that can cause more harm than good. They just might not be worth the consequences.

Tanning Oil: Even though you may want to be tan and sport that summer glow, it's important to put your long-term goals ahead of your short-term goals when it comes to the health and upkeep of your skin. While the actual oil doesn't harm skin, the extended exposure from the sun that it promotes can cause a great deal of harm.

Tanning oil and sunscreen below an SPF of 15 don't block enough of the sun's harmful UV rays to protect your skin and will allow the sun to cause damage. The popular Banana Boat sunscreen with SPF 4 only blocks about 75percent of UVB rays while SPF 30 blocks 97 percent of the rays. Protecting yourself from the sun's UV rays will benefit not only your health, but your appearance as well.

In fact, many of the wrinkles, skin thinning and overall "leathery" look of skin that are often associated with old age are actually due to extended periods of time under the sun without protection. Even more importantly, protecting your skin from the sun can help prevent skin cancer.

Tanning Beds: While tanning beds may seem like a quick, easy fix for pale skin, their consequences may not be worth the tan. According to Livestrong.com, women who use tanning beds more than once a month are over 50 percent more likely to get melanoma. Melanoma is the most dangerous and deadly form of skin cancer.

In the past, tanning beds were often advertised as a safe way to tan, but cancer research has discovered a strong link between tanning beds and melanoma, especially for young users. The younger you are when you start using tanning beds, the higher your lifetime exposure to dangerous UV rays becomes.

Sun-In Hair Lightening Product: While Sun-In seems like an inexpensive, easy way to add light, golden highlights to your beach waves, it can actually be pretty unhealthy for your hair. Sun-In contains a mixture of chemicals in its bottle that work to lighten hair. The product can dry out hair and weaken it, causing strands to break more easily or even fall out.

The effects can worsen if Sun-In is combined with the use of straighteners or high-settings on hair dryers. Sun-In can also increase the number of pesky split ends that show up. Sun-In is not recommended for people with darker hair. It can make the hair look discolored or give it an orange-colored tint rather than the desired effect of natural highlights.

Bleaching Your Teeth: Our teeth aren't naturally a dazzling white color, yet many of us try to bleach our teeth to get that effect. Even though it is a common practice and it doesn't seem like it would be harmful, teeth whitening can actually have negative effects on your pearly whites.

Hydrogen peroxide is used in most teeth whitening products, both those that are used in professional offices and at home. This can cause changes to tooth enamel, making it weaker, and increase sensitivity. In addition, while the teeth whitening will not be permanent, the harmful effect on your teeth will be. The more you use teeth whitening products, the more obvious the effects will be. 

Unfortunately, the demand and popularity of teeth whitening and bleaching products is increasing among both men and women. This is due to the promotion of the "need" to have model-like white teeth and because of the stains that food and drinks like tea, coffee and wine can cause.

Lash Extensions: At first, eyelash extensions seem like a miracle product. Something to visually thicken and lengthen your actual lashes that doesn't have to be applied daily? But the reality isn't as perfect as it sounds.

The lashes have to be individually applied using a semi-permanent glue. Then, touch-ups are recommended every three to four weeks. Wearing the eyelash extensions for long periods of time allows for the possibility of damage and hair loss for your natural eyelashes, especially if the extensions were not applied properly. You could also be more prone to irritation or infection due to the glue or bacteria that your extensions can catch.

So the next time you plan on starting one of these beauty rituals, consider the consequences and weigh them with the benefits. The short-term effects that the products and routines will have on your looks may not be worth the long-term penalties.