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‘A skin peel gone wrong sparked my career’: Matt Woodcox on being a #skinfluencer

Debut goes skin-deep with Matt Woodcox  aka @dirtyboygetsclean 

You may know Matt Woodcox better as @dirtyboygetsclean. Let’s just say we have serious #shelfie envy. Matt quit his job to become a full-time content creator who, get this, tests beauty products for work. If that isn’t the dream, we don’t know what is. In the name of skin care enthusiast everywhere, Debut had to meet him and give you the low-down on how he did it.

Hi Matt, thanks for chatting with us! First things first, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do? 

I have been doing content creation full-time since 2017. Prior to that I was working in a hospital as a Medical Assistant. I was super miserable with what I was doing and when I stopped to think about what makes me happy, I realised it was beauty/skincare. I guess I really had that moment of clarity that so many people talk about where you don’t want to spend your life just working in misery. I never imagined I would be where I am at today, honestly. But, I am so proud of myself for all the hard work and I truly thank everyone on IG for the support. Cheesy, but true… lol! 

How did you become a beauty influencer?

I think I just started taking pictures of routines and products I love. Something that has always set me apart is my honesty and transparency. I feel like the beauty/skinsta community is so close that it’s just like talking with your friends all day!

What initially attracted you to beauty?

Well I had a peel that went very wrong and my skin was left in such a HORRIBLE state. I went to a spa and got a pretty intense peel that I think my skin just couldn’t handle. I had never gotten any treatments done prior and I think my skin just was way too sensitive to handle such a strong chemical peel. 

I spent THOUSANDS at Sephora trying to find something that would help my skin. I discovered a brand called Josie Maran and it changed my skin forever. I still use their stuff today!! 

Do you have any advice for people who feel down or sad about their skin?

Don’t be so hard on yourself. You will have bad skin days, and good skin days…. ALL skin is beautiful. My best advice is to be gentle and kind to your skin. And do not be afraid to see a dermatologist. 

Have you ever had comments that made you feel bad about your skin? If so, how did you deal with it?

Of course. The other day actually I had posted a photo of my skin unedited in natural light and people asked me “why is your skin so red?” and I just let them know that I get redness and I choose not to edit or cover it up with makeup, because real skin has flaws! 

What are your 3 absolute no-go’s when it comes to skincare? 

A: 1. Not wearing SPF 2. Not removing your makeup 3. Picking at your skin 

What does ‘natural’ really mean when it comes to beauty?

Ooh.. very good question. I think ‘natural’ in the beauty world can mean something different to everyone. A brand can put two natural ingredients in a product and label it as ‘natural’. I think for me it means the product is mostly ingredients that aren’t extremely chemically altered or enhanced. 

Are natural/DIY beauty products any better for your skin?

No. Natural products can be more irritating to some. For me, if it works for my skin I use it. I don’t recommend any DIY products at all. I think DIY products can be extremely harmful to the skin (especially the skin barrier). I always recommend using a product formulated by a professional. Please do not rub baking soda and lemons on your face! 

Are they any better for the environment?

I believe they should be. I think if a brand is going to market their products as natural, they should be eco-conscious as well. Sustainable packaging would be ideal. Less plastic/paper used and more recyclable and biodegradable packaging, please! 

What are you go-to skincare products?

So many…. Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil, Kopari Starry Eye Balm, Sunday Riley Good Genes, Supergoop Glowscreen, Elemis Pro-Collagen Overnight Matrix to name a few! 

Do you think the beauty industry is prioritising sustainability?

I think more are starting to… I don’t think its anywhere near where it should be, sadly. But as an influencer who receives a lot of PR packages, I have definitely noticed more efforts from brands. 

What would you like to see change about the industry?

I would love to see more sustainable packaging, for sure. A commitment from larger brands to reduce their carbon footprint would be nice. 


beauty, Features

Lucy Morgan

Lucy Morgan View All

Lucy is an English Literature and Law graduate. As well as editing for Debut, she’s written for Cosmopolitan UK, Grazia and London College of Style. She is particularly passionate about books, beauty and social justice, recognising their transformative impact in modern society.

Fave quote: ‘Tenderness is what love feels like in private. Justice is what love looks like in public’ – Dr Cornel West

“The creative industries are notoriously difficult to break into – now more than ever. I love working for Debut as we give unpublished writers, designers and PRs the opportunity to jump-start their portfolio; as well as releasing daily content that connects with women and non-binary people across the world.”


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