From spraying perfume on your neck to using a sponge – the 5 common beauty trends damaging your health | The Sun

WE all have our beauty rituals when it comes to getting ready each day.

But one expert has warned that some of these trends could actually be damaging your health.

Pharmaceutical scientist Hannah English said there are five red flags you should be on the lookout for.

1. Ditch the sponge

The Australia-based guru said the first thing she would never do as an expert in her field is use a loofah or sponge to wash with.

She said: "They are disgusting, no one ever washes them and they probably definitely have mould in them.

"If you’re getting rashes on your body, it’s probably your loofah. Get rid of it, use your hands."

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Dr Melissa Piliang, of the Cleveland Clinic in the US said sponges are a 'breeding ground for bacteria'.

They can also contain fungal organisms that lead to skin infections, she added.

2. Don't spray perfume on the neck or chest

We've all seen the perfume adverts where a beautiful model is liberally spraying perfume on their neck and chest.

But Hannah warned that this could be dangerous, due to the fact that perfumes often have compounds in them.

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She added: "They aren’t necessarily bad for you but they do make your skin more photosensitive.

"So I always spray my perfume on the back of the neck on my hairline. It lasts longer that way too."

If your skin is more photosensitive then you could be in danger of an unusual or heightened reaction to UV radiation from sunlight or from tanning beds, guidance from The Skin Cancer Foundation states.

3. Don't mix suncream

Experts have previously warned that you should wear SPF every day, even if you're in the UK.

Dermatologist Dr Hiva Fassihi previously said that the risk of skin damage is a year-round concern.

"It’s really important to use a sunscreen every day, even in winter months, because ultraviolet, which is an invisible radiation, is present all year round, even in the winter months.

"Because we know ultraviolet can cause problems with skin cancer and skin ageing, it’s really important to incorporate sunscreen use into your daily regime so it becomes routine.”

Hannah added that this is why it's so important to not mix your SPF with any other products you might be using.

She said: "By all means, put your moisturiser on, let it dry and they put your sunscreen on and let it dry and then go in with your makeup.

"But please do not mix any tint, any bronzer, nothing into your sunscreen.

"The reason for that is it needs to form an even film on your skin so that the coverage is not patchy, you could destabilise the whole thing by adding whatever you are adding."

4. Preservative-free isn't always good

Many products on the market today brand themselves as being 'free from preservatives'.

But Hannah said that this isn't always a good thing.

She explained: "Preservatives are in your products to keep them from getting mould in them.

"And once again with the mould we are trying to prevent that so that we don’t get a rash, so that we don’t get a lot of other harmful stuff. 

"If a water-based product has no preservatives, it will get mould in it."

5. Don't rely on sunscreen in your makeup

Hannah added that you should never rely solely on the SPF protection that is advertised on your makeup.

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She said: "Your makeup may well be SPF30 or SPF50+, but the correct amount of sunscreen to put on your face to get that protect is a quarter of a teaspoon, so about a millilitre.

"And if you’ve ever measured out a quarter teaspoon of foundation, and tried to put it on your face, you’ll know that no one wears that much foundation," she said.

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