Beauty advice can be tricky. Your best friend swears by a dab of toothpaste to fix her zits, while your mom says that's bad for your skin. With so many magazines and beauty blogs, it's easy to get lost in competing opinions there, too. Her Campus turned to three beauty experts to get to the bottom of nine weird beauty tips. Read on for expert tips from:
Katherine Goldman, a licensed aesthetician and the founder of Stript Wax Bar www.striptwaxbar.com.
Dr. Jessica J. Krant, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist, founder of Art of Dermatology www.artofdermatology.com in New York City, and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
Annie Mayo, a makeup artist for film and TV and the founder of vegan makeup line Advanced Mineral Makeup www.advancedmineralmakeup.com.
TIP: Toothpaste helps reduce pimples.
VERDICT: Sometimes FACT.
This beauty tip is a classic for a good reason. On smaller zits, it works like a charm. “Toothpaste contains alcohol, which has the ability to dry up pimples and reduce redness and swelling,” Goldman explains.
Wash your hands and face to give yourself a clean surface to work with. Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste onto your ring finger – the finger you have the most control over, and therefore, the lightest touch – and dab a very thin layer over the blemish. Let the toothpaste dry for several hours. Peel off the dried layer carefully, without irritating the pimple, and continue with your regular skincare routine.
But be careful – this beauty fix can sometimes cause more harm than good. Dr. Krant says, “Larger pimples that are painful, red, and deep won't be budged. In fact, trying too hard to dry up a serious pimple can lead to burning the surface skin, causing a long-lasting scar or mark.” In cases like these, the pimple is likely to stick around even longer than it would if left untouched, so use caution.
As a rule of thumb, the toothpaste trick is safe as long as the pimple is “brand new and tiny,” according to Dr. Krant. If a pimple has lingered for more than a day or begun to worsen, don't touch it! A regular skincare routine should help keep zits at bay and help them heal if they've already arrived. Try Neutrogena's Deep Clean Facial Cleanser or Clearasil's StayClear Daily Face Wash. For more on acne treatment, check out these tips.
TIP: Spraying your makeup with hairspray locks it in place.
VERDICT: FACT, but proceed with caution.
If you're a dancer, you may have picked up this trick backstage. Hairspray keeps your makeup in place, especially while working up a sweat on stage. But as Mayo points out, “The cons of putting hairspray on your face far surpass the benefits. It contains harsh chemicals that can cause skin irritation and redness, and worse, burn your eyes. To really make your makeup stay put, apply a non-comodegenic primer and set your makeup with a finishing powder.” Try Sephora's Perfecting Ultra-Smoothing Primer and bareMinerals Mineral Veil Broad Spectrum SPF 25.
TIP: Cucumber slices fix puffy eyes.
You've seen cucumber slices as beauty products in movies... but you've also probably seen vampire movies and flicks with flying cars. But we're happy to report this tip actually works! “Anything cool or cold laid on the eyelids will shrink the blood vessels beneath the skin and reduce the amount of fluid collecting there,” says Dr. Krant.
While cucumber slices are a quick and natural way to relieve puffy eyes, the effect might not be strong enough to totally fix the problem. Dr. Krant adds, “Whether it's enough of a change to really be visible to someone else is questionable.”
TIP: Caffeine fixes puffy eyes.
Just like cucumbers, caffeine is another natural method of reducing puffy eyes. “Caffeine signals the blood vessels under the skin to shrink, which ultimately means less fluid under the thin eyelid skin and less puffiness,” Dr. Krant explains. Although, as with cucumbers, she maintains the effect might not be 100% obvious.
Goldman suggests applying caffeine topically by placing cooled tea bags under your eyes or by using an eye cream that includes caffeine as an ingredient. Check out Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller.