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Myths about makeup are rampant in a field often dominated more by marketing than hard science. The makeup misconceptions Elliott shares in this episode will have you reapplying your foundation and asking, "Am I washing my face incorrectly?" Misconceptions is a weekly show where we debunk common misconceptions. This week, Elliott discusses some misconceptions about makeup.

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ELLIOTT: Hi I’m Elliott, this is Mental Floss on Youtube and today I’m going to talk to you about some misconceptions about makeup. So if you are confused, don’t worry I am Avon-it. 

[Intro music plays]

Misconception number one: test your foundation on your hand. Even though I’m telling you not to do this, I’m going to do this to prove why you shouldn’t. This is called taking one for the team. So typically your hands and your face get different amounts of sun, so they are likely to be different colors. Which means a better place for you to test you foundation would be your neck or your jaw line. See? This matches my hand but not my face ya’ll. Misconception number two: you outgrow acne. Around 80% of people between the ages eleven to thirty experience acne sometimes. Some people get acne for the first time when they are in their thirties or forties and people even older than that can have breakouts. Life is dark, you guys. Misconception number three: clean makeup brushes every few months. Many experts insist that you clean your brushes every week. Some claim you can do it once a month but you don’t want to wait until much longer than that. You want to know why? There’s bacteria. Just sitting in those bristles. Waiting for you. And since I just told you all those fun acne facts, I’m guessing I don’t need to give you much more motivation than hearing, “these things cause breakouts.” Anyways, all you need to do is dab your nasty brush in a bowl of warm water and shampoo and then just let it dry. Don’t drink this. Misconception number four: your skin breaths. You’ve probably heard this sentence before, “let your skin breathe,” but skin doesn’t breathe. If it did that would be terrifying. In this context people are usually encouraging you to remove your make up or try a product that doesn’t clog your pores, these are know as noncomedogenic products. Anyways, clogged pours aren't great but they aren’t slowly suffocating your breathing skin. Misconception number five: use a darker foundation than your skin tone. Some people say this will make you look tan but it will probably just look like you are using a foundation darker than your skin tone and that will look ridiculous. Misconception number six: washing your face with soap keeps it healthy. Experts encourage the use of products specifically designed to cleanse your face. Scrubbing your face can actually remove some of the good stuff on your face like protective oils and that increases the risks of rashes and burns. So you shouldn’t do what I did, which is wash your face with dishwashing detergent, which just makes my cheeks sparkle. Misconception number seven: Preparation H helps with puffy eyes. This is defiantly counter productive considering Preparation H might give you dry or inflamed skin around the eyes. Back in the day the product did contain a yeast derivative that may have decreased puffiness but A) no one has ever done a scientific study on that and B) that ingredient is no longer found in the Preparation H that is sold in the US. Misconception number eight: Men do not wear make up. Earlier this year a British survey found that men spend around $160 (or a £100) on grooming products including make up. Plus men’s personal care products is now a 3.9-billion-dollar industry and it is expected to grow 13% by 2018. Misconception number nine: pump mascara to get rid of clumps. Don’t do this okay? Because you are pumping air into here which is going to make your mascara dry out faster. Duh, ya’ll. And that actually causes more clumps in the long run. Plus the bacteria that comes from your eyes will accompany that air and will end up in ideal conditions for developing and multiplying. Instead, either swirl the brush around or wipe it down with a paper towel. You hear those guys? That’s the sound of clumps. Misconception number ten: popping a pimple is helpful. When you pop a pimple two things can actually happen that make the situation worse. Possibility number one is that the bacteria that was once chilling inside the pimple now has access to the rest of your face and settle in pours where it will set up shop and makes more zits happen. Possibility number two is that any bacteria that make be on your finger will now be in contact with the pimple. You could make it worse or even infect it.

[Outro music plays] 

Thanks for watching Misconceptions on Mental Floss on Youtube which is made with the help of all these wonderful people. If you have a topic for an upcoming Misconceptions episode that you would like to see, leave them in the comments and we’ll check em out. I will see you next week. Bye guys.