Here are the biggest beauty questions in the world (and the answers)

You have questions and Google has answers. Well… Google and ELLE Magazine.

When it comes to everything beauty-related, things can be quite confusing. Just walk through any drugstore makeup aisle and you’ll find yourself asking a million questions: Is my skin ‘golden light’ or ‘creme brûlée’? What is a luminizer and why is it $10? Will this mascara really make me look like an anime character? And the list goes on…and on…and on…

What’s most interesting is that these questions can change based on where you are in the world. After all, we don’t all have the same beauty standards and ideals. The proof comes in the form of the most searched for beauty questions on Google.

Rather than simply unveiling the questions that are plaguing the beauty world, Google teamed up with ELLE Magazine to answer them. These worldwide questions were answered by industry experts and can offer anyone – no matter where you are on Earth – some quality tips and tricks.


Top Question: “When does makeup expire?”

European cosmetic companies are required to label their products with an expiration date, which makes this question’s answer quite simple: Just look at the label.

BUT, if you’re label has worn off or disappeared into the unknown crevices of your makeup bag, Dr. Kelly Reynolds advises that you pay extra attention to anything that goes on your eye area. “The eye has very few defenses against bacteria,” Reynolds says. “It has open tear ducts and very little physical protection, so very low doses can cause infection.” In other words: Toss concealers, liquid eyeliners, and mascara after three months.

As for liquids like foundation, these should be thrown out after a year. If the product begins to separate or smell as though it belongs in the trash, then toss it out immediately. On the contrary, powders and shadows can last for up to two years, making them a worthy purchase if you plan on spending a bit more.

Overall, if you want to keep your makeup fresh and ready for action, keep it FAR AWAY from humid bathrooms. Also, this is very important: make sure to sanitize your brushes and tools on a weekly basis! Why, you ask? Because this can prevent bacteria from growing and from infiltrating your beautiful body.


Top Question: “How often to shampoo hair?”

Some people have oily hair, some have dry hair, some have hair that’s in-between. Hair is, essentially, like a snowflake in that it differs for each person. That’s why hair-care companies aren’t lying when they say that some women need to wash their hair every day.

“Women with a lot of sebum production benefit from daily cleansing. Sebum production is under hormonal control, so shampooing will not cause more oil production,” says dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD. “Drier hair types can do with as little as once a week.”

Although, there is one exception to this rule. If you are prone to fungal growth – which causes dandruff or scalp inflammation – you should regularly use an anti-dandruff shampoo (preferably one that contains zinc pyrithione or ketoconazole).


Top Question: “Is it bad to sleep with wet hair?”

Surprise! According to the Annals of Dermatology, air-drying may actually be more harmful than blow-drying. When your hair is left wet for a long period of time, this causes your locks to swell. Over time, this can weaken your hair from the inside out.

The study that proved this featured hair samples that were shampooed and then air-dried, or blow-dried at various temperatures, for two hours. The verdict: the air-dried samples showed significant damage – but the investigation also revealed that as the blow dryer’s temperature increased, so did the damage.

So, if air-drying is bad and drying at a high temperature is bad, what’s left? Experts suggest that you dry your mane on the lowest heat setting, while holding the dryer at least 6 inches away from your head.


Top Question: “Is foundation bad for acne?”

Luckily, most modern foundations are noncomedogenic. This means that they do not clog your precious pores. And it gets even better! Some foundations, such as BB creams, contain soothing anti-acne ingredients that not only hide acne, but also treat it. To find these miraculous products when browsing the beauty aisle, Dr. Jenny Kim states that you should seek out those that include salicylic or glycolic acid.

The takeaway: Hiding your problems isn’t as great as solving them (but you can also do both at the same time!).


Top Question: “Which vitamins are good for hair and skin?”

Next time you’re grocery shopping, look for these three superheros: vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants.

Vitamin C is a huge supporter of collagen production, while omega-3’s reduce inflammation, maintain skin hydration, and improve overall elasticity. If you’re interested in discovering new antioxidant-rich foods, go for berries, beans, artichokes, and russet potatoes. Aside from being delicious, these foods “reduce free-radical stress and oxidative stress in the body as well as the skin,” explains Dr. Patricia K. Farris.

Additional vitamins that you can take are Zinc, B complex vitamins (example: biotin), and vitamin E. In short, these supplements will make your hair strong, shiny, and reinvigorated.


Top Question: “How can I make hair feel soft?”

Hydrated hair = soft hair, according to hairstylist Tippi Shorter (who has worked with Queen Beyoncé!).

Hair-growth expert Dr. Alan J Bauman advises that we use a heavy, lipid-rich conditioner every time we get our tresses wet. “If you don’t, you’re putting hair at major risk for breakage,” he warns.

Regularly, Shorter states that we should be performing a 10-minute, deep-conditioning treatment. You can start by massaging a shea-butter-based mask through your hair, topping it off with a shower cap. “Get a hand towel, dampen it, and put it in the microwave for 20 seconds, and then wrap it around your head,” explains the woman who’s touched Beyoncé’s luscious locks. “The towel produces heat and steam inside of your cap, which helps to open the cuticle, allowing the mask to fully penetrate the hair strand and further soften hair.” If you want hair like Beyoncé, you should probably follow her advice!


Top Question: “What are makeup basics every girl should have?”

To answer this question, ELLE’s beauty team has narrowed down their kits to a handful of makeup essentials that will work for various events, both day and night. Their go-to essentials are: a cheek/lip tint, a concealer that can double as foundation, a smudgy pencil that can create a fine line or a smoky eye, and a tube of mascara.

Then, of course, you can add your personal preferences (especially those products that make you feel extra confident!).

Ultimately, when it comes to our beauty routines, what matters most is that we are happy and healthy – no matter where you’re located. But, if you are looking to learn more about how your routine can be improved, then ELLE + Google (GoogELLE?) has your back.

(Image via Shutterstock.)

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