The Beauty Cons: Facts and fallacies about staying beautiful
Beauty is a multi million
Much of it is a con.
Lipsticks, eyeliner and
nail varnish are great. They help a woman to look better and therefore feel
But many cosmetic products are sold to help women overcome
And most of those are built on fallacies and fake
Here are the facts about the ten commonest health problems that
affect a woman's looks. Together with my advice on how to deal with these
problems - without spending a fortune.
Every week millions of women
spend millions of pounds on anti-wrinkle creams, anti-spot creams, especially
formulated shampoos and skin creams designed to feed and nourish their skin!
The variety is immense. The cons seem endless.
yourself get ripped off trying to protect your good looks. Here are the simple
answers that will save you a fortune and help you look - and feel - better!
Brittle nails - and split edges - are almost
certainly caused by putting your hands in strong detergents or by using nail
varnish solvents too often.
There are numerous branded products
available for the treatment of brittle nails.
But the best solution is
to take care of your nails more carefully!
* When washing up use rubber
gloves. Modern chemicals are strong enough to strip metal - they'll ruin your
skin and nails.
* Use a long-handled mop if you do any dishes without
your rubber gloves
* Try not to change your nail varnish too often. If
varnish gets scratched or chipped, touch-up rather than remove and repaint.
Cleaning off nail varnish can weaken your nails.
While your nails
recover keep them short - to minimise the risk of breaking them.
think any products sold to harden or condition your nails are worth buying. But
do use a moisturising cream around your nails.
Cellulite is a posh foreign word for `fat'.
People who believe it exists will tell you that it affects the thighs
and buttocks and that it is more difficult to remove than ordinary fat.
They will then try to sell you a `magic' substance to get rid of your
The magic substance will cost a fortune.
think cellulite exists.
If you've got lumpy thighs or buttocks then you
* Revise your eating habits and eat less
* Take up gentle
but regular exercise
Dandruff is the commonest
hair complaint. It affects just about everyone at one time or another. But it's
Most people feel embarrassed when they get dandruff.
TV adverts for anti-dandruff products don't help - they remind us that
dandruff is anti-social!
But in fact dandruff is common, simple,
harmless and relatively easy to treat.
Your skin is always being
replaced. As new cells are produced so the old ones have to be shed.
Occasionally skin produces new cells too quickly and the older,
discarded cells fall off like snowflakes.
For reasons which no one
entirely understands this problem most commonly affects the scalp - dandruff!
Scientists and hair specialists have spent years trying to work out what
causes it. Their best guess is stress. It seems that most people who are
susceptible to dandruff get it worst when they are under pressure.
good news is that it's fairly easy to treat.
There are dozens of
anti-dandruff shampoos available. And you don't necessarily have to buy the most
Teeth can be discoloured by
many types of food. But cigarettes are the commonest culprits.
buy abrasive toothpastes to remove stains. But if used too often these can
damage your teeth.
My advice: visit your dentist to have you teeth
cleaned thoroughly and professionally and then give up smoking.
Dry hair is dull, brittle and difficult to
manage. It breaks easily and the ends split.
The reason for dry hair is
a lack of natural oil - probably because the oil producing cells aren't working
If you suffer from dry hair you can help yourself by:
* Keeping out of the sun and avoiding electric hair dryers and sunlamps.
Let your hair dry naturally or dry it carefully with a towel after washing. Too
much heat will make the problem worse.
* Frequent brushing and combing
may help - by stimulating the oil producing glands.
* Using a good
conditioner. It will give your hair more bounce and make it easier to manage.
But don't buy a shampoo that contains a conditioner. That's like trying to put
your make-up on while washing your face! Always buy a separate conditioner and
apply it after shampooing.
* Be especially careful when changing the
shape or colour of your hair. Dry hair is very easily damaged so avoid home
perms and only let skilled hairdressers handle your hair.
* You may be
able to improve dry hair by rubbing an oil directly onto your hair and into your
If your skin's superficial cells are full
of water they look plump and pink and feel smooth.
If your skin's cells
are short of water your skin will feel hard and rough and look cracked and
Dry skin is exactly what it says.
industry will try to sell you products designed to put the water back into your
I think you can ignore them.
In my view the best way to
deal with dry skin is not to try and push water back into the cells (nigh on
impossible) but to try and stop the water that is there being lost!
the best way to do that is to use a moisturising cream.
Buy the cheapest
and simplest moisturiser you can find. Ask your chemist to recommend a good,
simple, very plain cream.
Buy several huge pots of it and put one by
every sink in your house.
Then use it regularly - and always after
washing your hands or getting them wet.
You can also help yourself by:
* Keeping in the shade in very sunny weather unless you're using a
* Wearing rubber gloves when doing the washing up etc.
* Avoiding bubble baths etc - because they can make dry skin worse
* Using a bath oil. The oil will disperse in the bathwater and then
stick to your skin to help protect it from drying out further
soak in the bath for more than 15 minutes. Too much bathing results in the loss
of natural oils and water.
Unwanted body hair
is a major problem for thousands of women - particularly as summer approaches!
The growth of body hair is controlled by your hormones and your genes
(neither of which you can change).
But there are several ways you can
remove unwanted hair - different methods are best for different sites!
Cutting off excess hair with scissors or a razor is the simplest method.
It's not true that shaving will make hair grow faster or more bristly.
Electric razors are easy to use and you can't cut yourself.
most women get a closer shave by using a blade. Always remember that wet hair is
easier to cut than dry hair.
Chemical removal with special depilatory
creams is most effective where hairs aren't too thick.
The big problem
with them is that they can cause nasty allergy reactions. Always try them out
first on a tiny piece of skin.
Waxing sounds horrific but is good for
large areas - such as legs - which need rapid treatment.
Wax is put onto
the skin and allowed to set. When the wax sets the hairs stuck in it are pulled
It can be as painful as it sounds if done by inexpert hands.
The big advantage with wax is that because the whole hair is pulled out
the skin does feel smoother.
Electrolysis is the only method that will
produce permanent hair removal.
It has to be done by a skilled operator
- and can be expensive if you have a lot of hairs to remove.
electric current has to be passed into the root of each hair - which then dies.
Done well - by a good operator - it is remarkably effective. Done badly
hairs often regrow.
Electrolysis is particularly useful for isolated and
easily visible hairs - eg on your face.
oil producing cells on your scalp produce too much oil then you'll suffer from
It can be a nuisance - but one consolation should be the
fact that greasy hair is stronger and tougher than ordinary or dry hair.
If you suffer from greasy hair you should:
* Avoid combing or
brushing your hair too often - that can produce extra oil.
* Avoid wearing a
hat if possible - that helps make things worse.
* Keep your hairstyle
* Keep out of the direct sun and use warm rather than hot water when
washing your hair.
Since long hair gets dirty easily, needs more
attention and looks worse when greasy you may be better off with a shorter
Wash your hair every 2 or 3 days in warm water but don't
scrub your scalp too much.
Buy a simple shampoo which contains few
additives and no conditioner.
Conditioner will probably make greasy hair
Acne is one of the commonest skin problems.
It affects 9 out of 10 teenagers and thousands of people in their 20s, 30s and
One in 20 people in their forties suffer from acne!
Acne is partly caused by the over-production of oil - stimulated by sex
That's why it starts during teenage years.
women taking the pill often suffer from it.
If you keep your pores clear
you'll reduce your chances of getting acne.
* Wash regularly and use a
clean face cloth or fairly soft brush. If you want to spend more money you can
buy an abrasive cleaning paste to use instead of a roughish face flannel.
Plenty of sunshine will help.
* Remove make-up thoroughly - otherwise it can
clog the pores and make things worse.
* Ask your doctor for help if
necessary. He can prescribe pills to help control your spots.
Your skin is full of elastic fibres which give it
an ability to stretch and then return to its original position.
get older the elastic fibres break down and your skin becomes less elastic.
Combined with too much drying sunshine, chemical pollution of the
atmosphere and a drop in circulating hormone levels that's what causes wrinkles.
Here are my quick tips for reducing your wrinkles:
1. Keep out
of the sun as much as possible - or use an effective sunscreen cream. The sun is
a giant wrinkle-making machine.
2. Use a simple moisturising cream regularly
to protect your skin.
3. Keep away from cigarette smoke - if you smoke use a
cigarette holder. Smoke will make you screw up your eyes - and that causes
You can buy dozens of anti-wrinkle creams but most of them
work simply by filling in the wrinkles!
Once you wipe off the cream the
wrinkles are still there.
In my opinion the only permanent way to
eradicate wrinkles is to have plastic surgery.