Making It UP: Out, damned spot

Hot date, job interview, your wedding, whatever - spots happen just when they shouldn't. Forewarned is forearmed: get yourself the non plus ultra in spot control.

The latest cool gizmo for clean pores is Biore Pore Perfect Cleansing Strip. Wet your nose, plunk it on. Ten minutes later - presto - you'll be sick at the "harvest" left on the strip, but your pores will be so clean they'll squeak. (Six sachets for pounds 7.50, at Boots.)

Origins Spot Remover's efficacy comes from salicylic acid (from wintergreen leaves), the bark of sweet birch, oregano, and clove buds. Its tiny, squeeze bottle is very discreet (pounds 8.50). Camphor, cola nut and witch-hazel give Origins Zero Oil (pounds l0) an uncanny ability to dull shiny faces, even under make-up. It also has a sneaky second career giving the matt finish to many shiny male pates. For Origins stockists, call 0800 731 4039.

Philosophy's Rescue Mission (pounds 9.50) is a tingly, refreshing mask that calms sad skin - a great redness reducer. (Call 0171-636-2523 for stockists.) Lush's Angels On Bare Skin (pounds 2.60) is a cleansing paste based on a medieval recipe. Lavender, ground almonds, rose oil and kaolin - refined clay - leaves skin feeling like the proverbial baby's bum. All Lush locations or mail order (01202-661832).

Clinique's spot fighters use salicylic acid. That's why the unisex Anti- Blemish Spot Treatment (pounds 9.50) and Touch Stick (pounds 9.50) mercilessly blast trouble areas. (Clinique stockists: 0171-409-6951.) Decleor's SOS Regulating Gel (pounds l3) has both Cytobiol Iris and zinc salt to regulate your skin's grease guns. (For stockists, call 0171-262-0403.) To hit spots and hide them, opt for Almay's Clear Balance Concealer (pounds 5.75 at Boots), a handbag essential.

Besides your friendly dermatologist, the best zit-zapper is skincare guru Eve Lom's Dynamite (pounds 14.50). This blend of essential oils is the one to turn to when your skin goes mad. Dynamite stops spots within hours - even through make-up. At Space NK locations, by mail order (01932-868079) and at intro.htm