6 Products in Your Bathroom You Won't Believe Don't Work

#3. Anti-Aging Creams Will Age the Shit Out of You

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There are only two surefire ways to fight the aging process: time machines and death. But that hasn't stopped every cosmetics company from stocking drugstores, makeup counters, and back alleys with anti-wrinkle creams. And a shit-ton of those creams have chemical compounds called alpha hydroxy acids, which work by penetrating and exfoliating the top layer of skin. So old skin cells are shed and everyone walks away with a shiny baby face.

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Artist's interpretation of exfoliation.

There's only one problem -- while burning off the top layer of your skin, AHAs are also creating thinned, weakened skin that's more susceptible to UV damage, which just happens to be a major cause of premature aging. Oh, and cancer. As more fine lines start showing up, the user is more likely to slather on the cream.

It's a serious enough problem that the FDA has suggested that cosmetics companies put a warning label on their products. Cosmetics companies responded by laughing and giving the FDA the finger. Probably while humping their giant piles of old lady money.

Burke/Triolo Productions/Brand X
The money taken from a child's birthday card is truly the best kind.

So What Should You Do Instead?

Don't use anti-aging creams, since, no matter how they're labeled -- glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid, malic acid (or, for the hippies, "fruit acid") -- they all have basically the same effect. A good rule of thumb is to keep anything with the word "acid" far, far away from your face. Or if you do use these creams, do it sparingly, and definitely use sunscreen in conjunction. Or just, you know, use sunscreen, since that will prevent UV damage and premature aging so you won't have to burn your freaking face off.

#2. Cutting Your Cuticles Can Give You Frankenhands

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If you're not one of those fancy types who puts effort into fingernail maintenance, you might not know that the teeny tiny pair of scissors they give you with every nail kit aren't just for trimming your nose hair or decapitating gummy bears. They're specifically for trimming that gross little half-moon of skin at the base of your nails called the cuticle so you can make your nails look longer and cleaner. Your cuticles are basically the foreskins of your fingers.

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From now on, just think of your fingers as dicks.

The problem is that the cuticle is your shield against all the crap your nails encounter every day, while at the same time delivering nutrients and blood to your fingernails. Cutting your cuticles (or even pushing them back) can lead to not only infection, but conditions like Beau's lines, which is fancy talk for "stitched-together gangrenous Frankenstein finger":

DermAtlas

Or true transverse leukonychia:

Golbal Skin Atlas

See? If you just neglect that part of nail care completely, you're actually ahead of the game. The rest of you need to learn to imitate your lazier brethren.

So What Should You Do Instead?

Don't cut your cuticles. And if you're a lady (or a well-groomed man), don't let your manicurist cut them either. Which is harder than you think -- nail professionals have a hard-on for cutting that skin off, or at least pushing the cuticle so far back on the nail that you end up with sore, red nail bases in addition to nice new polish.

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"Just a few more good whacks and then we'll be ready to remodel your bathroom!"

If you can't resist, like if you're a hand model or some shit and your cuticles are just sitting there taunting you, first consult a mental health professional, then try pushing the cuticles back gently. Or just wear gloves everywhere.

#1. Washing Your Hair Every Day Is Probably Causing All of Your Hair Problems

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Everyone knows that if you go more than a couple of days without washing your hair it'll end up looking like an oil spill pelican. If ads are to be believed, modern shampoos and conditioners do more than just clean your hair -- they smooth it, shine it, moisturize it, and repair the split ends that are repulsing even your loved ones.

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"I want a divorce."

The problem is that "vitamin/nutrient-enriched" shampoos are about as likely to repair your hair as slathering a bunch of vitamin C on dead grandma is to induce her resurrection. Your hair can't be revitalized because it isn't alive. And while shampoo is cleaning your hair, it's also removing the protective coating that makes your hair look healthy -- sebum. And hair without sebum is basically the "before" hair at the beginning of shampoo commercials: tangled, dry, brittle, and dull.

In fact, conditioners exist because shampoos are too effective -- conditioners cover the damage done by shampoos by pasting split ends back together and temporarily replicating sebum's look. And even then, they're not so great at it. The next time you're at the supermarket, check out the number of shampoos labeled for dry hair as opposed to oily hair. Most likely, the dry hair will outnumber the oily ones, because of shampoo's drying and damaging effects. Washing your hair every day is just stripping the sebum and replacing it with a weak chemical copy of the shit you just washed off.

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It's like pushing a Caddyshack DVD into a wood chipper with Caddyshack II.

But what if your hair is greasier than Bret Michaels in a deep fryer? Weirdly enough, overwashing your hair can also cause your scalp to overcompensate and produce extra sebum, which leads to greasier hair.

So What Should You Do Instead?

Actually, you probably don't even need to use shampoo at all. One informal Australian study challenged people to go without shampooing for six weeks. Of 500 participants, 86 percent found little or no change to the quality of their hair after giving up shampoo for six weeks. So if nothing else, at least try cutting back to a couple times a week if you just can't go without your shampoo-induced shower orgasms.



For more ways you're totally screwing yourself, check out 5 Ways You're Accidentally Making Everyone Hate You. Or discover 6 Reasons Assholes Are Healthier (According to Science).

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