How to Handle Multiple Skin Types & Concerns on One Face

Airdate: 4/25/14

Are you dealing with oily and dry skin? What about wrinkles and acne, or dryness and enlarged pores? Tune in as Paula and Bryan go over the best routines to deal with multiple skin types and concerns going on at the same time—and discover the sneaky ways you may be making these issues worse! This must-hear show promises to reveal insights that give you greater control over skin that seems to have a mind of its own!

Paula Begoun: Hello. I’m Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, here with my co-writer and Research Director, Bryan Barron. We are the best-selling authors of Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me. We’re here to keep you beautifully informed so you can make the best decisions about everything from skincare to makeup, hair care, Botox, cosmetic surgery. You name it, when it comes to beauty we’ll discuss it. Tell you the truth and take your questions on our Facebook page.
00:00:26 Today we’re going to be talking about one of the more confusing - actually maybe this is the most confusing aspect of skincare come to think of it, which is how to handle multiple skincare concerns. And almost, I mean, actually for most people - there is just a small minority where it’s not true that you have more than one skin problem, one skin type going on on your skin. Just take, I’m just talking about me now, just my own skincare issues.
00:01:00 I have sun damage. I have brown discolorations. I have open pores. I tend to break out, still. I have oily skin in some areas. I have dry areas mostly around the center part of my eyes and around my eyes. And I can get rashy, eczematous skin, eczema-prone skin, particularly around my hair line and sometimes around my eyes.
00:01:27 I have the very definition of multiple skincare concerns. A lot of people do. Or they have dry skin and Rosacea, or oily skin and Rosacea, and have breakouts, and have open pores. And have brown discolorations. Or they have - I mean, the multiple number of problems and combinations that women can have from acne to dry skin to oily skin to sensitive skin to Rosacea all at the same time is just not uncommon.
00:02:07 For those lucky ones who have no clue what we’re talking about and look at their skin and go, “Oh, I don’t know, it looks good to me. I don’t know what she’s…” God bless you. I’m thrilled for you.
Bryan Barron: We secretly hate you.
Paula Begoun: I’m jealous as all get out and I covet what you have. So, for the rest of us who struggle with this problem, and I didn’t even add wrinkles and sagging skin into the mix, and hair growth, hyper hair growth. I mean, it’s endless unfortunately. So having said all that, what do you do about it? How do you identify it?
00:02:44 And then how do you treat it. And the way we’re going to start this conversation, this really incredibly important basic conversation really about skincare, because you can’t take care of your skin until you know what it is you’re taking care of.
Bryan Barron: Right.
Paula Begoun: Bryan, you were telling me that there are sneaky things that you may be doing - actually it’s not even sneaky, just unwittingly.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. Unwittingly. Unknowingly.
Paula Begoun: Doing to your skin to make matters worse.
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
00:03:15 What we hear from a lot of Paula’s Choice customers just to use an example is they will order one or two products from us and they’ll use them for a while and either they don’t get the great results that they’re expecting and they’ll come back to us and say, “I don’t understand it, all the reviews for this product from your other customers seemed to indicate these big changes will happen. I’ll finally have the skin I want and I’m just not getting it with this product.”
00:03:40 And it can be frustrating for us because what we don’t know is what else you’re using. This isn’t a lesson about making sure that all the products you use are from one brand. You can mix and match between brands based on your budget, based on your skin type, based on your concerns. What counts is that you are using only products that are well formulated.
00:04:03 Those that we recommend on the Beautypedia review section of our site or those that we may have not reviewed yet but you can kind of tell from the ingredients that this is something that Paula and the gang would approve of. If you are using one or two good products and several not so great to bad products, you will not get the results you want. Maybe not even close from the good product.
Paula Begoun: Exactly.
00:04:29 Exactly.
Bryan Barron: So, you really have to look at what else you’re using, even if it’s something you’ve been using for a long time and you think, well gosh, I like this.
Paula Begoun: Because we often like what’s bad for us.
Bryan Barron: What’s bad for us.
Paula Begoun: Exactly.
Bryan Barron: You like that moisturizer because it smells so good.
Paula Begoun: Right. You like that moisturizer because it feels and looks so beautiful in the jar, even though jar packaging won’t keep the necessary ingredients stable. You like it because your friend told you it was wonderful. You like it because it tingles, and tingling is your skin saying stop it, you’re hurting me, ouch. Tingling is a bad response, not a good response from skin.
00:05:05 I mean, on and on and on. And it is easy to fall into bad products and think you’re using a good product because advertising is so darn seductive. And we cannot stress this enough that one good product, one product - for example, we sell products at Paula’s Choice that we’re very proud of - our Pure Radiance, our C15, our BHA concentrates - that do magnificent things for skin.
00:05:34 But you will neither get the strong benefit or you will actually get irritated from them if you are using products like bar soaps, toners that contain irritating ingredients like alcohol, moisturizers that are overly fragranced or even a little fragranced, or contain irritating plant extracts. We can go on and on. One product - first of all, one product is never the answer. But one good product - one brilliant product with a lot of bad products - or even one really bad product, say bar soap, I would always put up there with the way to start off with a really bad skincare program which will get you diminishing results because it’s so irritating and drying, and damaging to skin.
00:06:20 And then anything else you put on has an uphill battle just to make it better from the bar soaps.
Bryan Barron: Very, very good points. So, it all starts with when you’re dealing with multiple skin types and concerns, as Paula mentioned most of us are, you need to look at every product in your routine, not just what is going to solve problem one, what is going to solve problem two, and on and on. It’s this architecture that you have to consider and that is one of the reasons that we have literally begun saying skincare is rocket science.
Paula Begoun: It is rocket science. Especially with how much we know. I mean, I remember when I was first starting to write about skincare with my first book, before you were around, which would have made my life so easier, but I don’t think you were born yet.
Bryan Barron: Ha!
Paula Begoun: When I wrote…yes you were. Weren’t you?
Bryan Barron: I was.
Paula Begoun: So, I wrote Blue Eye Shadow Should be Illegal.
Bryan Barron: I was in fifth grade.
Paula Begoun: Oh, I don’t even want to hear that! I wrote Blue Eye Shadow Should be Illegal and then actually even the first, I don’t, seven books I wrote on skincare and beauty, the amount of research that was around in those days, I mean, we didn’t know about sun damage. We didn’t -
Bryan Barron: And she had to go to the library!
Paula Begoun: I had to go to the library.
Bryan Barron: And use the card catalog!
Paula Begoun: And because the best libraries at the time were at the University of Washington, which you had to be going to school to get in.
00:07:46 So, I had to bribe the - well, not bribe - I established a relationship with the medical librarian to get me in to see the articles.
Bryan Barron: I did not know that.
Paula Begoun: Oh, I did. Really. I did.
Bryan Barron: You did shameful, shameful things.
Paula Begoun: What I did to try to get, and write, and find the research for my first books.
Bryan Barron: You were on a quest.
Paula Begoun: I was on a mission, I’ll tell you.
Bryan Barron: And hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Paula Begoun: And they were scorning my “get the cosmetics companies.” Oh my god.
00:08:13 So, okay, so you it’s never just going to be one product. You have multiple concerns. Actually, even if you don’t have multiple concerns, it takes a gentle cleanser. It takes a beautifully formulated toner to even out the process of cleansing or just laying down the good antioxidants before you do anything else. For most skin types it is the exception where you will not get amazing benefits from a well formulated exfoliant, sunscreen, and then a moisturizer for your skin type. And when I say a moisturizer it doesn’t have to be a cream.
00:08:45 It can be a serum. It could be a liquid. It could be a gel that is loaded with beneficial ingredients. And I know it gets boring hearing us say antioxidants and skin repairing ingredients in retinol, but all of those add up as the basis for starting to take great care of your skin. And a lot of the things we’re talking about, cleanser, well formulated toner, sunscreen, exfoliant, and moisturizer appropriate for your skin type.
00:09:12 Actually, all the products you use need to be appropriate for your skin type. If you have dry skin and you use products designed for oily skin, that’s going to be a problem. You have oily skin and you use products designed for dry skin. That’s going to be a problem. Big problem. So, the basic steps we’re just talking about and getting products appropriate for your skin type actually start taking care of multiple problems almost from the get go.
Bryan Barron: They do.
00:09:38 That was - and a bit of making your life easier, the bright side of all of this confusion is that when you’re using well formulated products with the ingredients that we’ve been talking about you will see that they are able to address multiple concerns. It isn’t about a routine with 35 products.
Paula Begoun: What we just described in terms of a cleanser, a toner loaded with skin repairing ingredients and antioxidants, a well formulated sunscreen meaning it’s loaded with skin repairing ingredients and antioxidants, an exfoliant, AHA or BHA exfoliants that don’t contain any irritants, and a moisturizer.
00:10:21 And, again, when I say moisturizer I mean a product for your skin type, lotion, gel, or liquid that is filled to the brim with the skin repairing antioxidant ingredients. What you will address with these products that I’ve just talked about is to a large extent you will deal with reducing sensitive rashy skin, because a lot of sensitive rashy skin is caused from using bad products. You will start the healing process for your skin because that’s what antioxidants do is they help heal skin. Sunscreen will help stop, well, I don’t know stop, but close to stop the damage going further.
00:11:01 And the research is clear and actually helps improve, actually heals skin, allows skin to make healthier, better cells. And then a moisturizer at night because your daytime product is your moisturizer with sunscreen or your foundation with sunscreen.
Bryan Barron: That’s a good point. It’s often confused that a morning, a daytime SPF and a moisturizer need to be two separate products. And the truth of the matter is -
Paula Begoun: No. No.
00:11:30 They can be absolutely the same product. They should be the same product.
Bryan Barron: Yes. So, if you’re talking about, well, I need a day cream because some lines sell day creams and almost without exception those day creams or day lotions are missing -
Paula Begoun: Sunscreen!
Bryan Barron: So then they sell you the sunscreen that you put over, if they even have a sunscreen in the line because some of them don’t. But you do not need - unless you have very dry skin - you do not need a separate moisturizer and then an SPF product.
Paula Begoun: Right.
Bryan Barron: You can get those benefits from both.
Paula Begoun: And actually you because -
Bryan Barron: I mean from one. Ha! From one product!
Paula Begoun: From one product.
00:12:04 Actually I got you and I wasn’t even going to correct you. Right, from both. And as a matter of fact, recent research, actually not all that recent, but over the past few years has shown that a sunscreen when it does contain all these other wonderful ingredients we’re talking about like antioxidants actually works better to protect skin from the sun. And the better ones do come. Now, there definitely are sunscreens that aren’t loaded with these brilliant ingredients.
00:12:33 But the ones that are are the ones that we give the highest rating to and, of course, from Paula’s Choice we wouldn’t formulate a sunscreen otherwise.
Bryan Barron: Without that good stuff.
Paula Begoun: So, that’s the basic to start addressing issues like irritation, sensitivity, the exfoliant absolutely will help reduce the size of pores, will reduce some amount of breakouts.
Bryan Barron: Uneven skin tone. Texture. Fine lines. Sun damage. Brown spots.
Paula Begoun: So, that’s the basic. That’s the starting point. From there, what you would add in depends on what the level of your problem is. So, for example, from Paula’s Choice, if you have brown discolorations, either from hormones which is kind of a brown masking as opposed to sun damage, brown spots which are smaller. Well, they can be large, but they’re rounder or uneven little - people think of them as freckles that grow.
Bryan Barron: But they’re not cute.
Paula Begoun: No.
00:13:34 They’re not cute. And they get worse. And they get worse. So, we have products like our Pure Radiance, our C15. We have higher strength exfoliants - well, actually, let’s just stay with brown spots for a second. So, for the brown spots we have our C15, we have our Pure Radiance, and we have our hydroquinone based products, our remarkable skin lightening products. Those are concentrated products to a specific issue which is brown discoloration to one degree or another or uneven skin tone.
00:14:09 You might want to consider adding those in to the basic skincare products we were just talking about. Now, if you have an issue with deep sun damage, we’re talking about deeper lines, crepier skin, and sagging skin, you might want to consider a higher strength exfoliant or a weekly type of exfoliant. And in the Paula’s Choice line we have a 10% AHA weekly treatment.
00:14:37 Some people use it a little bit more often. You have to judge how often to use it for your skin type. We also have our BHA 9, which is a way to up the concentration of our BHA 1% and 2% products.
Bryan Barron: And the 4% is now out.
Paula Begoun: Our new one!
Bryan Barron: The Weekly Retexturizing Foam.
Paula Begoun: People know we’re obsessive about BHAs because of the remarkable benefits.
00:15:02 The active ingredient in BHA products is salicylic acid.
Bryan Barron: We have 12 of them now.
Paula Begoun: I am. I’m a disturbed woman.
Bryan Barron: I think we’re a little off the charts.
Paula Begoun: We’re a little off the charts. They are our best-selling products. Women love them. The overnight benefit is really what makes them so remarkable. And because one of the things about sun damaged skin, well, and just aging in general - no surprise - is it doesn’t change in the other direction. You don’t start growing younger.
00:15:35 What you do is reduce the damage and make improvements. And with BHAs almost overnight improvements in skin tone and the stronger you get the improvement in deep wrinkles that you get. But it has to be redone. It doesn’t heal it because the structural damage that you’ve done, the cellular damage mutation that’s taken place underneath, you cannot correct it 100%.
00:16:03 We don’t even have a number - there’s no research showing how much you can actually improve it. What we know is that visually every morning you will see a difference. Some people can use it once a week. Other people two or three times a week. Sometimes every day depending on the depth of problem and how your skin handles it. So, depending on the problem and the depth of the problem, you then choose products that you add to the five step.
00:16:32 Now, here’s where it gets complicated because then there are some people who you throw into the mix is acne. And then I just - you’re me. You’re like me and you breakout and you have these other problems. And then - now, somebody like me actually, my BHA that I use, our 2% BHA liquid and our BHA 9 actually controls my acne beautifully.
00:17:01 And I rarely breakout.
Bryan Barron: I haven’t seen you with a breakout in quite some time unless it’s only happening when you’re in Hawaii.
Paula Begoun: No, no.
Bryan Barron: And even then I see you on Skype.
Paula Begoun: That’s true! Sometimes - it is a bit of an issue of age, the hormone imbalance between estrogen and testosterone in a woman’s body stops being such an up and down maniac experience in the body. Breakouts can reduce.
00:17:32 And mine have over time reduced just with age. But some of it is over the past many years that I’ve been using these products I know that it controls my acne rather beautifully, but it doesn’t for everybody. Now, personally I can’t use benzoyl peroxide. Even if it’s our benzoyl peroxide products which have no other alcohol or irritants, it doesn’t - it’s just very gentle benzoyl peroxide with anti-irritants. Simple but very effective products.
00:18:00 But I can’t use that. I wish I could, especially when I was younger because for some people adding in a benzoyl peroxide product and a BHA product can change their skin from a breakout-prone skin. For some of our customers they tell us in no uncertain terms that it has - of course, we know it hasn’t cured their acne - but they feel that it’s cured because they just don’t breakout.
Bryan Barron: Right.
Paula Begoun: It’s like almost night and day. They went from thinking they had acne to they really didn’t. And often it’s because the products they were using -
00:18:33 Remember, we were talking about those five basic products. Those products they were using from other lines like toners with alcohol, bar soaps, irritating moisturizers, way too creamy moisturizers.
Bryan Barron: The category of anti-acne products is so fraught with bad formulas.
Paula Begoun: It’s shocking.
Bryan Barron: At least comparing anti-acne as a category to anti-aging, there’s a lot of misinformation and misleading claims on anti-aging products.
00:19:02 But the majority of them, especially the ones that aren’t packaged in jars, are fairly good formulas.
Paula Begoun: Fairly good formulas.
Bryan Barron: They’re not going to make matters worse.
Paula Begoun: And some great formulas.
Bryan Barron: And some great formulas. But with the anti-acne products it’s honestly -
Paula Begoun: Oh my gosh. I don’t know - I feel bad.
Bryan Barron: Year after year it’s shocking. And I think that social anxiety, the loss of self-esteem and the feelings of worthlessness that come with fighting breakouts are just so much more complex than those that accompany seeing signs of aging.
00:19:32 Not that that can’t be emotionally debilitating, but you look around at other people your age and they have wrinkles, too; you feel like there’s a community.
Paula Begoun: Right.
Bryan Barron: And I think when you’re struggling with really bad acne -
Paula Begoun: You’re just all by yourself.
Bryan Barron: You’re all by yourself. Why you?
Paula Begoun: And it’s a wound.
Bryan Barron: Yes!
Paula Begoun: Having wrinkles and sagging skin is a process of life.
Bryan Barron: Right. Everyone, sure.
Paula Begoun: Even with the best of products and the best of genes, but acne is a red swollen thing on your face that just looks, and I’m speaking for myself, this is my experience, that just made me feel ugly.
00:20:14 My wrinkles and my looking older doesn’t make me feel ugly. It makes me wish I was younger, but it doesn’t make me feel ugly. My acne my whole life made me feel ugly. And that’s what makes it so emotionally debilitating. And then the Paula’s Choice Research Team sees these products claiming they get rid of acne, especially aimed at young people, and we look at the formulas and we’re just sick.
00:20:41 And we know that there is no way in the world that those are going to do anything but make matters worse. You might see a little bit of improvement from one of the beneficial ingredients it happens to contain in the first week, but the irritation from all the other ingredients, it’s just devastating. Devastating.
Bryan Barron: Right. Going back to what we said at the beginning of the show, there may be one good anti-acne product in this kit, but the rest of them are full of irritating, problematic ingredients and so it has to - again, it’s all about looking at every product in your routine.
Paula Begoun: Now, the other thing that we need to add in before we wrap up this topic is there is a progression of products you have to consider as you look at the problems you’re dealing with and the depth of the problem you’re dealing with as to whether or not the five basic products we talked about need to have additional products that you add in.
00:21:36 The other thing is what about over-the-counter or prescription products, because there are as much as skincare products can address, and they can address them beautifully, they can’t always address everything, particularly severe types of Rosacea that if you don’t use a prescription type anti-Rosacea product the amount of - the problem will only get worse.
00:22:08 And the dynamic that is taking place in the skin will just get and continue to grow and get worse. When you need to add over-the-counter products, it’s a little complicated for us to go into that right now, but I know we have an article about when to add - don’t we have an article?
Bryan Barron: We do.
Paula Begoun: We do have an article. I know, because I think we wrote it. Ha!
Bryan Barron: Yes. And that took a long time.
Paula Begoun: That was hard.
Bryan Barron: When to add prescription products to your skincare routine. It is in the Expert Advice section of our site, Basic Skincare Tips.
Paula Begoun: So, take a look at that. Because that’s a bit more complicated to go into right now, and I think actually, Bryan, that’s a really good topic for another show is prescription and over-the-counter products like cortisone creams over-the-counter and prescription for eczema and rashes.
00:23:04 Anti-acne treatments that include retinoids as opposed to just retinol which is the cosmetic ingredient or retinoids like Retin-A and Tazorac and Adapalene, Differin, and how to add those in. If you have psoriasis or you have - I mean, there are so many, or Rosacea for that matter, that there are medical treatments that you should consider.
00:23:36 And then what we need to add into that category is also when the concern you have is better addressed by saving up your money for a laser resurfacing or an IPL, an intense pulse light treatment, or a chemical peel from a dermatologist. So, I think that there are medical treatments that you can add into a great skincare routine for more stubborn or when you want a particular result that skincare products can’t address.
Bryan Barron: Yes.
00:24:04 And a major area where that would apply would be sagging.
Paula Begoun: Oh, to tighten skin, right.
Bryan Barron: Skincare, if there’s one sign of aging where skincare has limitations it’s correcting signs of sagging.
Paula Begoun: Also, severe acne.
Bryan Barron: Cystic types.
Paula Begoun: Cystic type acne. Some people can get improvement from acne products, anti-acne products, great anti-acne products. But for the most part the more deep and not what they - what is it called, nodular? There’s a term for it.
00:24:40 But cystic is another term. The more severe the acne the less likely skincare, regular skincare products, a BHA or a benzoyl peroxide product, even the stronger strengths - in fact, the higher strengths of benzoyl peroxide actually has been shown to actually cause negative results because of the irritation it causes.
00:25:01 So, the higher 10% strengths actually have gone away of benzoyl peroxide because the higher strength actually has been shown to cause problems, not help acne.
Bryan Barron: It’s pretty rare to see a 10%. Sometimes we’ll see a 6.5% or 7%, but -
Paula Begoun: And we would strongly suggest you stay away from that, because of the research that says that higher strength brings diminishing results because there does come a point where then a dermatologist can step in with products like topical antibiotics, particularly Clindamycin mixed with a small amount of benzoyl peroxide.
00:25:36 Some forms of retinoids that are prescription only. So, we’ll do another show on that. But those are another way that your skincare concern would need - your multiple skincare concerns would need to be addressed with a different assortment of products. Oh, you know something? I just - I’m going to just need to say this and then we’ll wrap up.
00:26:01 A lot of - in the desire and the hope that there is one product that will take care of everything, benzoyl peroxide, which is a wonderful anti-acne, anti-pimple, anti-zit product, though I hate those words, but they are. That is what benzoyl peroxide is designed for. Women and men misjudge what it’s supposed to do or just get bad information on the internet.
00:26:28 Benzoyl peroxide does not treat/help/affect/have anything to do with blackheads. Two totally different problems in skin. Blackheads and acne often come together, but they are two different problems in terms of how they are treated. Benzoyl peroxide does not impact blackheads, or open pores. Different issue. Don’t think that that benzoyl peroxide -
Bryan Barron: Whiteheads. Milia.
Paula Begoun: Nothing to do with it. You need an AHA or BHA, and of course, for acne BHA is what we always - salicylic acid is what we always recommend. Ooh, I’m exhausted. Should we take one question?
Bryan Barron: We can do that. And I will find that for you. But I wanted to make sure that we also covered -
Paula Begoun: Oh, did I miss something?
Bryan Barron: I wanted to make sure that we covered age. Because one of the things we hear from our customers all the time when they first start telling us about their skin - before they even get to skin type or skin concerns they begin with their age.
Paula Begoun: I’m 50.
Bryan Barron: Yes.
Paula Begoun: And I need to do something.
Bryan Barron: Or, it’s the -
Paula Begoun: Or it’s the belief that age is a skin type.
00:27:40 Because if I’m 50 there are different products for what I’m worried about than if I’m 30.
Bryan Barron: Yes. Yes.
Paula Begoun: So not true. Ha! So not true! So, age is not a skin type. You can tell me you’re 70 but I don’t know how much time you’ve spent in the sun. I don’t know if you’ve been taking great care of your skin.
00:28:01 You might not have a brown spot anywhere to be seen. I don’t know that you have - at 70 or 20 you can have blackheads or not have blackheads. At 70 you can have blemishes or not have blemishes. At 30 you can have some advanced sun damage, especially wrinkles and brown spots, especially if you’ve been using a tanning booth - one of those evil, maniacal, terrible sources of sun damage and skin cancer.
00:28:31 So, age doesn’t tell me anything about what your skin type is, what your skin is doing, what you might need for your skin, because everybody’s skin, regardless of age, has - well, let me say it this way. Skin age - how old your skin is is irrelevant to what it’s doing, because too many other factors play in.
00:29:00 Age is not a skin type. Skin is a skin type. And at any age you can have different problems that somebody else in a different age may or may not have. All 70 year olds shouldn’t be doing the same thing. All 50 years old, all 30 year olds, all 20 year olds. It depends on what’s going on with your skin, the products you use, not your age. I’m glad you told us how old you are; happy birthday at some point. It has nothing to do with what we’re going to recommend in the long run for what you should do to take care of your skin.
00:29:35 What we need to know are the problems you’re dealing with, what are you skincare concerns, and then we’ll put together a routine for you to give you the best results.
Bryan Barron: Okay. One more thing and then we’ll take a lighthearted question.
Paula Begoun: I love lighthearted.
Bryan Barron: This is something that I’ve seen lately and it’s sort of becoming a pet peeve of mine, but I’ve seen more and more people in their 30s and 40s and beyond saying that they have adult acne.
Paula Begoun: Ha!
00:30:01 Adult acne.
Bryan Barron: “Well, I need to do something about my adult acne.”
Paula Begoun: As if it’s different from teenage acne.
Bryan Barron: Exactly.
Paula Begoun: Right. It isn’t. It isn’t.
Bryan Barron: And that ties in with the whole age is not a skin type because I was just thinking when you were going over all that whether someone is age 14 or 44 and they call us or email us at Paula’s Choice and they say I’m dealing with breakouts, or acne, or zits, or pimples, or whatever you want to call it, we’re going to prescribe the same products.
Paula Begoun: Right.
Bryan Barron: We’re going to talk about the same modes of treatment.
Paula Begoun: Exactly.
00:30:32 If you break your arm, you’re going to get a cast. And I don’t care if you’re ten years old or 70 years old. If you break something, if you cut yourself -
Bryan Barron: “I broke an adult bone.” Ha!
Paula Begoun: I’m going to give you stitches at whatever age you are. So, ha, “I have an adult bone.” If you hurt yourself you are going to need - I mean, there’s obviously exceptions to that in terms of some diseases and some problems that come along with age and life.
Bryan Barron: Yes.
00:31:02 And with acne there are some dermatologists, I’ve seen the argument made that adult acne is characterized by stress. And Cortisol is a stress hormone and it changes how the other hormones affect your oil glands. And adults are stressed and teens and kids aren’t stressed, so there’s a difference in the acne.
Paula Begoun: Oh, give me…then they haven’t met a teenager. I don’t know anybody who was more stressed than a teenager because they stress over…
Bryan Barron: Everything.
Paula Begoun: …I don’t know, sneezing, dressing, their phone, texts, social life, is someone saying that, their Facebook posts.
00:31:40 That’s just the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Okay, let’s take our first question.
Bryan Barron: Okay, this is from June from the Paula’s Choice Facebook page. She says, “My makeup goal for this year, doesn’t everyone have one, eyebrows. I need to get a better handle on how to accentuate my brows without making them look like I’m a drag queen.”
Paula Begoun: Ooh, but looking like a drag queen could be a good look, personally.
Bryan Barron: Ha! Some of them are gorgeous.
Paula Begoun: I should be so lucky!
00:32:08 So, having said that, but if you don’t want to look like a drag queen we understand.
Bryan Barron: I thought this was a good question for you because your brows, I know you’re a bit fanatical about your brows.
Paula Begoun: I am fanatical.
Bryan Barron: And they always look good.
Paula Begoun: Do you like the way I’ve been wearing them lately? I’ve been over…there’s a website called Do you know that website? I get a kick out of that website.
00:32:35 Some of the recommendations are just ridiculous and drive me crazy. But sometimes I’m just fascinated by the makeup before and afters they show for celebrities. In particular everybody loves looking at celebrities. And so they have one of Kim Kardashian. And I have to say, I am absolutely maybe one of the only people in the world who has never watched Kim Kardashian or read about her.
00:33:01 I don’t even want to know she’s alive. I’m sure she’s a nice person, but her life is her life. She doesn’t care about my life, I don’t care about her life. So, having made that statement, the picture of the way she used to look before she had her own personal makeover on this Daily Makeover site I thought was brilliant. It is about -
Bryan Barron: Did she have super bushy eyebrows?
Paula Begoun: No, not super bushy, just not defined.
00:33:30 Yeah, just not defined. Not well shaped for her face. Her makeup was the wrong color for her face. She didn’t accentuate - didn’t brighten her skin. She kind of darkened her skin with her foundation. Maybe she thought it made her look more tan. I mean, the before and after was striking, but in particular, for me personally what I took away from that because I still think some of the best ways to determine what to do with your makeup is fashion magazines.
00:34:01 There’s not much in terms of skincare information I want you to follow, but in terms of really beautifully applied makeup, a lot of celebrities - not the music stars so much. I’ve got to definitely make that - that’s kind of like the drag queen category sometimes. Again, it can be beautiful, but just if you don’t want that. But the way Kim Kardashian in the before and after did her brows, it started me wearing - because I wear less makeup now than I’ve ever worn.
00:34:33 And I thought my face needed more definition. And I’ve also been losing brow hair, which just drives me insane. It’s one of those age things. And so I started defining my brow more. What do you think? Too much, too little?
Bryan Barron: No.
Paula Begoun: Good?
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
Paula Begoun: Yeah? Huh. Okay.
Bryan Barron: It looks like this side, on your left, might be a little bit shorter.
Paula Begoun: Yeah, it is shorter. So, one of the problems...what do you do?
Bryan Barron: Let’s preface that by saying very few people have brows that are identical.
Paula Begoun: Right.
00:35:04 Right.
Bryan Barron: You almost always have to do a little zhuzhing.
Paula Begoun: Yes. And especially when I’m pointing it out then you’re kind of like super staring at my brows.
Bryan Barron: Ha! Yes.
Paula Begoun: But some of what it is, I’m adapting this style, is one of the hardest things about brows is when you don’t have hair. Because what I do is I do - I have thinning brows, so I do have hair - filling in brows is far easier and can look more realistic than when you have no brow hair.
00:35:36 So, the two things about brows is when you use a pencil it has to be a dry finish pencil. You need to stroke it on and not wipe it on, or you use a cream to powder type product or a powder product and you, again, stroke it on. You don’t wipe it on.
00:36:01 It’s not like one big smooth motion. And when do have -
Bryan Barron: Right. Feather - hair like strokes. You want to make hair like strokes.
Paula Begoun: Hair like strokes. Now, they need to not be so like you can see each stroke; they kind of blend together. But the idea is that it doesn’t look like one big stripe against the brow. When you have hair, then that fills in the spaces of your hair - you’re using, having shaped your brow, you’re using the actual shape to fill in what the depth of width and shape you want. The hardest area to fill in is to raise your brow and add color on top.
00:36:40 Because that looks like you missed your brow. The easiest place is underneath and to make it look more like a shading than an actual line across the brow. And then the other thing that we recommend, and lord knows I recommend, and then also using a grooming product. A hair mascara like product so that you give your actual hair a little bit of thickness, especially if you have sparse brow.
00:37:09 From the Paula’s Choice line you would - oh, we don’t have our Browlistic anymore. We’re coming out with or Browlistic cream. So, you got to wait for that. But there are brow bars where you can get powder to cream. Oh, and when our eye shadows come out, they have a whole array of beautiful colors you can choose as a powder brow color.
Bryan Barron: The Matte Eye Shadow Palette.
Paula Begoun: And then you need brushes, either a thin eye liner brush, or a thin wedge brush which is essential if you’re going to use a powder or a cream to powder type product. And then, again, in Paula’s Choice it would be our hair and brow tint, because I use it to cover up my gray when I’m between hair dyes and over my brow to fill in. that’s how to get the best brow. And also take a look at Kim Kardashian’s picture, before and after, on
Bryan Barron: Okay.
Paula Begoun: So, thank you for listening.
00:38:05 I’m Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, with my co-writer and Research Director, Bryan Barron. Come visit us on All of the shows are there. All of our content, because we write a lot. We have a lot to say—
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