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16 Expert Answers for Eyes, Lips, Skin

Q: Is There a Safe Way to Pop a Zit?

A: There is, but it takes time to do it right, explains Fabienne Guichon-Lindholm, an aesthetician and director of communication for the skincare company Decléor. First, hold a warm compress against the area for a few minutes. Next, wrap each pointer finger in facial tissue and place them (not too close together) on either side of the blemish. Then, exerting pressure first down then up, gently work the clog out. Postextraction, use a toner and a mask for oily skin to tighten pores.Try Clean & Clear Clarifying Toner and Decléor Aroma Pureté Instant Purifying Mask.

Q: How Do I Find the Right Foundation?

A: Take heart—it is hard to find a perfect match, says British makeup artist Jemma Kidd. “There are millions of skin tones, and only a finite number of makeup shades.” What to do if you can’t pinpoint the right one? Mix two—one slightly lighter and one slightly darker than your skin. Test them on your cheek, which is more indicative of your true coloring than your jawline. And be sure to check the color in natural light or by a window. If you’re oily, look for a mattifying or powder formula, and if you’re dry, try a hydrating cream—and stay away from cream-to-powder potions, which tend to sap moisture from skin. For oily skin, try Clinique Perfectly Real Com pact Makeup and Maybelline New York Pure Stay Powder and Foundation; for dry skin, try Jemma Kidd Soft Touch Crème Foundation and Clarins True Comfort Foundation.

Q: Can Waxing Over a Mole Cause Cancer?

A: The worry expressed by some doctors is that waxing over moles—especially the raised variety, in which precancerous cells may be present—could precipitate a cancerous spread. This is not so, says Jeffrey Dover, M.D., director of Skincare Physicians in Boston. But he still advises against waxing over any irregularly shaped or raised mole (“why even risk irritation?”). And be sure to have the mole evaluated by your primary care physician or a dermatologist.

Q: Does Cutting Your Cuticles Make Them Grow Back Faster?

A: No, says Ji Baek, owner of New York City’s posh Rescue Beauty Lounge. Even so, you really shouldn’t cut them (though snipping a hangnail here or there is fine), as they’re there to protect your nail bed from germs. Instead, gently push them back daily with a hand towel after showering. And, after you apply moisturizer or eye cream at night, rub the excess onto your cuticles to keep them soft.

Q: Do Pheromones in Perfume Really Turn Men On?

A: For now, the answer is no—but that doesn’t stop the fragrance companies from trying! (See Pheromone and Pherose perfumes.) “Releaser pheromones” are reputed to be able to attract the opposite sex among some animal species. Humans can and do detect pheromones; however, there is no good evidence that we can actually use them to lure in a mate, says Charles J. Wysocki, a member of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. Until scientists get to the bottom of the pheromone debate, expect these substances to keep popping up in perfumes.

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