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MYTHS OR FACTS?

with Alice Hart-Davis

WIPES ARE BAD FOR YOUR SKIN

MYTH: No they’re not! There is nothing ‘bad’ about wipes, particularly if they are lovely big soft damp ones like Good Things Total Wipeout wipes, which are gentle on your skin and good at getting rid of dirt and make-up. Beauticians and even beauty journalists like me will tell you that wipes are not really ‘proper’ cleansing, in that they don’t get your face as clean as when you take your time and massage a cleansing product all over your face, then carefully remove it with a damp flannel or wash it off. But we all love wipes because they are so easy to use and there are times when we all need to take a shortcut, even when it comes to skincare.

YOU CAN BE ADDICTED TO LIP BALM

FACT: The more you use it, the more you seem to need it…. So you start to feel you can’t do without it. It’s a familiar story, though not one that men will recognise; they rarely use lip balm and most of the time, their lips are just fine. So what’s going on? Like the rest of the skin, the lips should be able to produce ‘natural moisturising factor’ (NMF) – a substance that keeps them smooth and supple. But if you constantly dose them with a layer of lip balm, particularly if it is one made with petrochemicals which offer very thorough cover, your lips will lose the ability to moisturise themselves. So use lip balm as little as you can get away with, and choose one that is made with natural plant-based ingredients. That way you are less likely to find yourself so dependent on the stuff.

YOU GET SPOTS FROM EATING CHOCOLATE

MYTH: You get spots because your hormones are playing havoc with your skin, and it’s very likely to happen as you go through puberty, or, as you get older, because of stress in your life. These hormones make your skin produce more oil, while at the same time making the pores more likely to get blocked. What you eat has very little impact on whether your skin gets spotty – the only things that DO seem to make spots worse are sugar and having lots (more than a pint a day) of milk. What you can do to help yourself is keep down the bacteria levels on your skin by cleansing it carefully twice a day with a product that won’t strip all the oil out of the skin, and treat individual spots with spot gel.

YOU SHOULDN’T USE A FACE SCRUB ON DRY SKIN

MYTH: Exfoliating products are good for any sort of skin, because they remove dead cells that can clog the skin’s surface. This means that skin looks fresher and also that any products you use are better absorbed by the skin, rather than getting stuck in the old dead cells. So if your skin is dry, exfoliating will mean that your moisturiser can sink in better. The key thing with exfoliating is to do it GENTLY! I can’t emphasise this enough. Most people think you need to scrub away at your face to get your skin really clean, but that will just make your skin sore and irritated. Use your exfoliating product gently but regularly and your skin will thank you!

YOU CAN USE TOOTHPASTE ON SPOTS

FACT: Well you CAN – and like many people, I did this when I was younger – and it can feel that it’s helping because the toothpaste will dry out the spot – and the skin around it. But if you’ve ever tried this, you will have noticed how toothpaste stings when you apply it. That’s an indication that it’s irritating to the skin, which is not a good thing. So you will be better off using a well-formulated, skin-friendly anti-blemish gel like Good Things CLEARLY SPOTLESS Clearing Gel.