Breakups suck, but trust us: we don't want people throwing away their beauty routines along with their ex boyfriends.
Lying around in our makeup all day, eating things we know we shouldn't be eating, and drinking more than we know we should be drinking aren't just harmless coping mechanisms. They can actually ruin the long-term health of our skin, hair, and more.
Picture Regina George after being dumped by Aaron Samuels. Is she the Regina George we want to be? No. She's got bad skin, a bad attitude, and her clothes don't fit. Especially when we're feeling our most vulnerable, we want to be channeling the Regina George that rules the school, or at least the Regina George that dominates on the lacrosse field.
It's actually possible to keep being our best selves (or our best Reginas) after a relationship ends. All we need to do is resist the bad beauty habits and indulge in the habits that won't harm us. We're already handling the emotional turmoil of a heartbreak, so why add zits, dry hair, or weight fluctuations to our plate? We have enough to deal with.
Although there are some bad habits to definitely NOT engage in after a breakup for the sake of #beautygoals, there are a few bad habits that we consider to be totally fair game. Guilty pleasures are part of what help us all get through the hard times! Read on to learn which breakup go-tos are bad, and which ones are actually forgivable.
20 Ditching Your Skincare Routine (Avoid)
A really bad breakup can make you give up on the world outside your bedroom. If doing a task means leaving the comfort of your comforter, you'll probably want to bail and just stay cozy - at least for a few weeks after the relationship ends.
According to relationship expert and author Susan Elliot, the average person takes four to six weeks to recover from a breakup. "After four to six weeks, it's unhealthy to still be staying in bed," she tells Cosmopolitan.
Six weeks without trekking to your bathroom for a good old exfoliating and moisturizing sesh? Don't do it! Trust us: your skincare is worth the effort.
19 Slouching (Avoid)
When you're feeling down you're probably going to slouch. As Fast Company reports: "The next time you’re feeling sad and depressed, you’ll likely be slumped over with your neck and shoulders curved forward and head looking down." Keeping your chin up isn't just good for your confidence post-breakup, it's also important for your long-term #beautygoals.
According to the staff at Harper's Bazaar, slouching puts a big burden on your back muscles, which can lead to huge discomfort and misaligned posture in the long run. Unless you want to be hunched over for life, beware of this bad breakup beauty habit.
18 Biting Your Nails (Avoid)
This habit tells the whole world you're feeling anxious and insecure. If you find your hand reaching for your mouth post-breakup, try your best to avoid the nail-biting temptation. We know it can be comforting, but it can also be horrible for your nails themselves.
If you wear acrylics like Ariana, this is a surefire way to wreck your manicure. It can even damage your tooth enamel, according to health experts at Texas A&M University. The last thing you need after a breakup is a broken smile or hands that make your manicurist give you the side-eye. Avoid.
17 Not Washing Your Sheets (Avoid)
Ok, so...you might be missing your ex. You might want to hold onto everything you can that reminds you of him, including your bedding. Maybe your sheets still smell like him? But, girl...that's gross.
Get yourself up out of bed AT LEAST ONCE in the six-week recommended relationship mourning period to wash those sheets! Greasy sheets lead to oily skin, according to Self.
Not only will changing them give your face a fresh surface to lie on, minimizing your chances of breakouts caused by dirty sheets, but it will make your marathon nap sessions that much more luxurious. Your clear skin will thank you in the long run.
16 Crash Dieting (Avoid)
Have you ever had a total transformation after a relationship ends? You're not alone. The desire to reinvent ourselves after a breakup is so common that cognitive scientists study it extensively, according to researchers at the BBC.
One way we often choose to transform ourselves is by trying quick and drastic diets, but we can't caution against these enough. Crash diets might transform the way you look in the short term, but the BBC reports that they can seriously harm your health along the way.
Don't pull a Regina George and hit the Kalteen bars after a breakup. Take care of yourself, friends! No ex is worth harming your body for.
15 Chewing On Your Hair (Avoid)
Post-breakup it's okay to hug your cat. It's not okay to become your cat. Chewing your hair isn't only bad for your hair itself (duh - gnashing your teeth through your precious locks causes big-time breakage), it's also bad for your digestive system. We don't care how good your shampoo smells, hair is NOT FOR EATING. Can you say 'human with a hairball?' Ugh.
Like biting your nails, chewing on your hair is a really bad way to cope with breakup stress. We suggest replacing this nervous habit with a productive one. Try taking up something new like drawing or knitting. These days even Lauren Conrad knits, so don't knock it 'til you try it!
14 Sleeping In Your Makeup (Avoid)
We all know this is a beauty faux pas. Do we still do it when times are tough? Yes. Sarah Jayne Tipper, Clinical Director at Pure Swiss Boutique, has some info that might stop us from ever doing this again - even when we're dealing with post-breakup woes.
"We naturally shed about 50 million skin cells a day and it's mostly during the night that they renew," she explains to Glamour. "Old...makeup can trap dead skin cells, leaving you with a dull complexion and an accumulation of... bacterias." Result? Zits galore.
She also says sleeping in mascara makes eyelashes "brittle, break, and even fall out." Hard pass!
13 Midnight Carb Binges (Avoid)
Yes, comfort food is comforting. Like Oprah, we all love bread. Digging into a burger or other carb-wrapped delights can act like a Band-Aid on the emotional wounds that breakups cause. But like a Band-Aid, they aren't really a solution to the problem.
Late-night carb binges can lead to breakouts, bloating, and general feelings of crumminess. "Many people make poor food choices when they are depressed or even stressed, and may reach for refined carbohydrates," reports Health, but loading up on these carbs can cause moods to spike and drop, contributing to the depression cycle instead of fixing it.
Keep this in mind when breakup sadness has you reaching for the chips.
12 Piling On the Products (Avoid)
In desperate times, we might find ourselves reaching for more makeup than we’d usually wear. We've got to cover those sad puffy undereyes somehow! And it's scientifically proven that wearing lipstick makes women more confident, as reported by EliteDaily. But loading on the makeup isn't actually good for your long-term beauty health.
If you make super-layered, excessively applied makeup a habit, you're likely to end up with dull or congested skin - meaning your pores are more likely to get clogged up with product. According to Real Simple, once pores grow, they can never really become the tiny dots they once were. It actually takes extra effort to keep them empty once they've been opened.
11 Completely Changing Your Hair (Avoid)
Please, everyone: put the scissors down. The days after a major breakup are WAY too emotionally fraught to be spent making big hair decisions. Whether or not to get bangs is a question you need your friends, mom, and spirit animal to weigh in on - NOT something to go for on a whim.
Changing our hair post-breakup is so common that we have a full list of celebs on this website who have done exactly that, from Katy Perry shaving her head after ending it with Russell Brand to Gwen Stefani undergoing a crazy dye job after her divorce from Gavin Rossdale. Breakup hair is a mistake plenty of people make. Don't be part of the statistic.
10 Staying Up All Night (Avoid)
We know it's tempting to stay up all night hate-viewing your ex's social media accounts. It's almost impossible not to peek these days, but spending hours when you should be asleep scrolling through his stories is bad news for your emotional AND physical health.
Sleep is essential for keeping up a clear complexion, healthy hair and nails, and almost every other element of natural beauty. People call it 'beauty sleep' for a reason! It's the time our body takes to restore and regenerate all kinds of cells that have been damaged during the day. If you can't put the screen down and catch some ZZZs for your emotional health, do it for your #beautygoals!
9 Skipping The Gym (Forgive)
Who is actually motivated to work out after getting dumped or dumping someone? The energy it takes to do that kind of emotional labor is exhausting enough. We totally forgive you if you choose to stay on the couch instead of hitting the gym in the weeks following the end of a relationship.
We recommend alternatives to the gym, like taking walks or going out with friends. Chatting burns calories, right? Relationship expert and matchmaker Julie Spira agrees that getting out of the house sans the (ex) BF is a smart idea. As she tells Cosmopolitan, "Anything that can enrich your life without your plus-one by your side is a good thing."
8 Taking Long, Hot Showers (Forgive)
After a good cry, almost nothing feels more comforting than a long, hot shower. You may know this isn't great for the environment (save water, people!) but you may NOT know that it also isn't great for your skin. According to WebMD, hot water strips your skin of its natural moisture barrier, leaving it feeling tight and dry.
Who wants to deal with dry, flaky skin on top of the emotional turmoil of a breakup? We all have enough to worry about without damaging our skin, too. But while cooler showers are ideal, we can all agree that people deserve a good soak after a relationship ends. Just be sure to pile on the moisturizer afterwards.
7 Overspending On New Makeup (Forgive)
Remember the reinvention issue we mentioned a few items back? People going through big transformations after breakups is a real thing. Cutting your hair into bangs is a bad way to act on the whims that arise in the moments after a relationship ends, but buying a lot of new makeup? That's something we can forgive.
It's healthy to overhaul your belongings after a breakup and ditch the things that remind you too much of your ex. It's also healthy to replace your makeup every few months, according to Insider. We don't know if your bank account can handle a full makeup bag replacement, but new products aren't the worst thing you could be indulging in.
6 Oversleeping (Forgive)
Oversleeping can be as bad for your skin as not sleeping enough. Believe it or not, the AGS reports that too much sleep has been linked to premature aging. Signs of premature aging include wrinkles, skin sagging, and an overall dullness of the complexion. Dang. Who knew sleeping all day could do all that?
These kind of effects happen to people who sleep most of the day, every day, for weeks at a time. We hope that if you're oversleeping after a breakup you're not doing it for this long. A little lie-in or afternoon nap now and then while you mourn the end of a relationship is totally forgivable.
5 Using Makeup Removal Wipes Instead Of Washing (Forgive)
Makeup removal wipes are made for just that - removing makeup. They aren't designed to be cleansers that fully wash the day's oils and dirt from your skin. They’re also terrible for the environment, taking hundreds of years to biodegrade, according to stats reported by The Daily Mail. That said, we can totally understand the temptation to reach for a makeup wipe and staying in bed when times are tough.
Don't make a long-term habit of it, but replacing the occasional full face wash with a wipe is forgivable. In short: cleaning your face with makeup removal wipes is better than not cleaning it at all and sleeping the night away with a full face of makeup.
4 Not Drinking Enough Water (Forgive)
You already know that water is good for your skin and overall beauty health. Dehydration is one quick way to a tired looking face. But who has time to keep track of those eight to 10 glasses a day when you've just ended a long/intense/meaningful relationship? Not us. You might find yourself reaching for other kinds of drinks, and (within moderation) we think that's okay.
There are times to focus on your water consumption, and there are times to just lie back and let the tears flow. However you're coping with the end of a relationship, forgetting your water goals is completely understandable.
3 Pounding Back The Chocolate (Forgive)
Chocolate heals all wounds. It's what we all find ourselves reaching for when our emotions have taken a nosedive. It's also so sugary that it might cause us to break out, especially if we're already prone to acne. Even so, you know what? We don't care.
Eating chocolate can trigger serotonin production, making us feel happier fast. If we eat DARK chocolate, the perks get even better. According to Pop Sugar, dark chocolate contains zinc and antioxidants that are actually good for healing any damage that the sugar might do to your skin. Whatever chocolate you prefer can be a little comfort in your time of need, so we say go for it anyway.
2 Overusing Skincare Treatments (Forgive)
Your post-breakup instinct might be to go grab some pore strips and a hair mask and lean into the kind of me-time that Ariana Grande recommends in "NASA." You might raid your cabinets for anything beautifying you can apply and then open Netflix to binge-watch something while it all soaks in. Skincare experts say this is actually a bad call.
"Applying far too many products to the skin can create more problems than they were meant to solve," dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellet tells Best Health magazine. That's an unfortunate side-effect, but would we ever tell you off for doing TOO MUCH self care? As if.
1 Touching Your Face A Lot (Forgive)
We get it. There might be tears. You’ll need to wipe them away and get on with your life. That requires some finger-to-face action.
Usually we'd advise against touching your face, because it spreads all the dirt and grime from your fingers all over your precious complexion. It's almost like applying foundation, but you're applying whatever germs and bacteria have built up on your fingers from touching your phone screen or whatever else you've come into contact with that day.
It's better to be hands-off, but there are exceptions to every rule. Do what you need to do to get back to beautiful post-breakup! We won't judge.