12 “Healthy” Hygiene Habits That Are Actually Bad for You

You may think you’re doing everything you can to improve your health and appearance, but these common hygiene habits do more harm than good.

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Cleaning out your ears with cotton swabs

Some people swear on cotton swabs to dig out ear gunk, but medical experts will warn you not to try it. And for good reason—those seemingly harmless cotton swabs have caused countless catastrophes, from punctured eardrums and ear infections to even hearing loss. According to Brande Plotnick, MS, MBA, the ear canal doesn’t even need to be “cleaned.” Enough water enters the ear canal during showers to naturally slough away wax that has accumulated.

Got an earache? Try one of these home remedies!