Quick Chat with Paula Begoun, The Cosmetics Cop

Paula Begoun has to be the original beauty blogger. Before blogs, before lightening fast Internet, there was a series of books called "Don't Go to The Cosmetics Counter Without Me". If you aren't familiar with this title, and you love cosmetics, these books will change your life. Paula reviews cosmetic products by their chemical composition, not by her opinion of what she personally likes.

Her reviews are like neutral ground; stable compounds that are packaged properly will get high marks. Outlandish claims or harsh unneeded fragrances will not do so well. If you ever want to know what products live up to their claims from a cosmetic chemist point of view, Paula is your gal. Better yet, become a paid subscriber to Paula's website, Beautypedia and never miss a thing. I am constantly reading her reviews and her online ingredient dictionary is my go-to resource for quick research.

I recently had the chance to chat with Paula very briefly on her Blog Talk Radio show. My question? What is going on with my skin? Why is the skin around my nose taking on a spongy appearance while the rest of my face still looks nice and smooth? Her answer? I might be perimenopausal.

WHAT? Wait, I am slipping into menopause? I'm 36! Paula mentioned that one thing that effects the size of pores is androgen. As the body doesn't make as much estrogen, pore size can increase. All of which, is a side effect of perimenopause.

OK. I would like to forget that portion of the conversation happened.

So let's skip ahead to what she said I could do to improve the size of my pores. "Avoid irritating ingredients in all of your skin care products. Be sure to use products that do not contain things like alcohol, peppermint and many plant extracts. Try to avoid fragrances, they just aren't needed. Look for a really great exfoliant. Salicylic acid is a great exfoliant that can help bring about changes in your skin and the texture. There are quite a few out there, but, call me biased, I really like my 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid Gel. It really helps exfoliate the skins surface, as well as the pore lining."

I mentioned that as a blogger I change products often, every four to six weeks, and Paula exclaimed, "Oh my. I guess bloggers have to do that, but everyone else shouldn't. Skincare is like your diet. Can you imagine if you ate all kinds of random foods constantly? You would have the worse case of indigestion ever. If you can find a regimen you like, stick with it. The better it is for you and the more consistent you are, the better your skin will look. And of course, be sure to wear your sunscreen protection."

Even if I deny I could be perimenopausal, it was so much fun to chat with someone who has been such an influence in my life for the last 15 years. Thanks, Paula!

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