6 Things every woman should know

Cosmetics Cop and best-selling author Paula Begoun, has dedicated the last thirty years to helping women find the right products for their beauty needs. rubybox sat down with her to bust some beauty myths and get the cold, hard facts.

Don’t buy moisturiser in a jar
Every time you open your day or night cream, you expose the active ingredients to air which causes them to degrade and lose their effectiveness. Plus, your fingers carry bacteria (yuck) and repeatedly sticking them into the product transfers bacteria and causes the ingredients to break down further.

Instead, buy products with airtight, dark packaging (clear packaging that lets light in can also cause ingredients to break down).

Try Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel.

Don’t scrimp on sunscreen
Most of what we don’t like about our skin (now and in years to come) is related to sun damage. Generally, for days when you're exposing a lot of skin to the sun (think a trip to the beach), you should be applying at least 25ml (about a shot glassful) of sunscreen from head to toe.

If your foundation includes sun protection, then be sure you've applied it evenly and liberally. And don’t forget about your lips – go for a broad spectrum gloss or lipstick and reapply often.

Try Piz Buin In Sun Sun Lipstick SPF20.

Don’t think expensive equals better
Just because you spend more money on skincare doesn’t mean you’re going to have better skin. The price doesn’t tell you anything about the quality. It’s all about the formulation.

An irritant-free, inexpensive toner can be just as good as, or maybe even better than, an irritant-free toner by an exclusive brand (depending on the formulation), and any irritant-free toner is infinitely better than a toner that contains alcohol, peppermint, menthol, essential oils, eucalyptus, lemon, or other irritants.

Spending less doesn't hurt your skin, and spending more doesn't help it. It's all about the formulation, not the price.

Try Paula’s Choice Resist Advanced Replenishing Toner.

Do know that if it’s too good to be true, it usually is
There is no magic potion or combination of products in any price range that can make wrinkles truly disappear or prevent them. Daily use of a well-formulated sunscreen and never getting a tan, are the two best things you can do.

Try Ultrasun Anti-ageing Formula 50+ Face.

Do read ingredients labels to avoid breakouts
Steer clear of products that contain any kind of irritant, including alcohol, menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus, camphor, lemon, grapefruit, or lime as well as natural or synthetic fragrances.

Irritation stimulates more oil production at the base of the pore, and that makes skin redder, more noticeable, and hurts your skin's ability to heal. Plus, avoid products with thick, overly creamy textures, or those that come in stick form. Rather go for gels, light serums and lotions.

Try Bioderma Sebium Mat Cream-Gel

Do pop that pimple
You've heard people say don’t squeeze a pimple. They're wrong. In reality, popping a pimple reduces inflammation, scarring, healing time, and gets rid of the ugly white bump, but only if you do it right.

Cleanse your face with luke warm water and dry your skin gently. Take a comedone extractor and centre the opening over your pimple. Gently (and we mean really gently) push the comedone extractor down on the whitehead and move it across the pimple. That should release the contents.

If you overdo it you will create a scab and risk scarring (a reminder of your acne you don't want with you for the rest of your life). Treat with a blemish gel rich in salicylic acid to help heal and prevent further breakouts.

Want to read more? Get Paula’s latest edition of Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me here.

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