Mother’s best-kept beauty secrets

“Pretty is as pretty does”—and other homespun wisdom.

By Rowena Wendy Lei


Mothers always seem to know what’s best, dispensing housekeeping or relationship advice—and tips on looking good. Here’s some mom-certified beauty advice, with inputs from experts.

Remove makeup before bedtime.

“Mom taught me [to] never sleep with my makeup on,” says Angela Nepomuceno, model, makeup artist and beauty blogger. “If I do … more often than not I find that I have a pimple the next day.”

According to dermatologist Allan Pua, M.D., the best time to let your skin breathe is during sleep. “Your skin tries to recover from all the damage it acquired during the daytime when you sleep. When you sleep with makeup on, you practically suffocate your skin by clogging up the pores. This might cause acne. The dirt and grime that stick to your makeup during the day also stays on your skin longer when you don't wash it off. This contributes to breakouts as well,” he reveals.

Chemical peels are a must to prevent freckles and dark spots.

“My mom always reminds me to get a chemical peel in order to clarify my skin and prevent freckles,” claims Roanne Dionisio, a toy importer and distributor.

“[A]nything that will exfoliate skin can theoretically help improve clarity,” divulges Dr. Pua. “As for prevention, the only way to prevent freckles from coming out or becoming too visible is by avoiding sun exposure and applying a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF30 every two to three hours.”

Fruits make good facials.

Ever tried a calamansi or papaya face mask? With alpha hydroxyl acids, a chemical from fruits, calamansi bleaches by exfoliating the upper layer of the skin. Papaya has papain, an enzyme known for its restorative effects on the skin. Both fruits are also rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants that tired skin will soak up. They’re not just for the face either. “Mom used to rub our dark elbows with the rinds of calamansi and papaya,” relates Ada, a freelance writer.

Use that last drop of egg white!

“Before throwing out egg shells, Mama would sweep up the last bits of egg whites from them and put them on her face!” remembers Van, a closet baker. Scientists have long discovered that egg whites have loads of protein—as much as 69 different kinds, according to a 2006 French study. Applying it on the face can instantly tighten pores and reduce wrinkles, albeit temporarily. More studies are needed to ascertain long-term benefits, but this will do for a quick fix—mix some calamansi into the egg white mask to banish white heads.

How about the truth about plucking white hair, and using olive oil as a moisturizer? Learn more mommy-approved beauty secrets in the September issue of HealthToday, out now in newsstands and bookstores.

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