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Does alcohol improve your sense of smell? The Beauty Brains Show episode 46

Tune in this week to learn how alcohol can improve your sense of smell. Plus another thought provoking round of of Beauty Science or Bullsh*t!

Click below to play Episode 46 or click “download” to save the MP3 file to your computer.

Show notes

Beauty Science or Bull Sh*t – with a natural twist

Which of these natural sources has NOT been the inspiration for a next generation cosmetic ingredient. (Two are real, one is made up.)

1. Wasp venom as…a Botox-like wrinkle reducer.
2. Donkey Milk as a vitamin rich moisturizer.
3. Butterfly wings as an iridescent makeup pigment.

Beauty Science News

Are fragrance allergies all in your head?
The first story is about research done at the Monell Chemical Senses Center. They figured out that people may be imagining that they’re allergic to fragrance. At least in terms of a reaction to fragrance that involves asthma. They’ve found that if we expect an odor to be harmful our body will react to it as if it is actually harmful. The study was published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research.

They gave the subjects a rose scented chemical to smell. Half the group was told the scent may have therapeutic properties and the other half was told that it may be irritant. Then they assessed their air ways for inflammation. The people who were told it had therapeutic properties thought it smelled nice. The people who were told that it was an irritant experienced more airway inflammation (some of which persisted for a 24 hours.) The scary part is that we’ve talked before about chemophobia but here’s a case where just telling someone that a chemical is dangerous actually makes it dangerous.

BPA replacement in plastic bottles maybe just as bad as BPA
The plasticizer used in bottles could be a hormone disruptor. But it’s replacement could be just as bad! BPS has same sort of issues as BPA. The moral of the story is in the push to get rid of compounds that people think are dangerous could lead to things that are even worse. An example of this is the movement toward preservative free products which has led to an increase in product recalls.

Illegal butt injections on rise in US
The BBC which reports that unscrupulous “pretend” doctors are injecting fake buttocks plumping ingredients into women. Butt plumping and butt lifts are legit procedures – done by something like 10,000 women per year. It’s expensive so an underground business has sprung up run by fake doctors who inject dangerous substances into women’s behinds:

  • Olive oil
  • Cement
  • Superglue
  • Tire sealant

Sadly the reaction to this stuff is pretty gruesome. It can change skin color and cause scarring. One woman even died after getting illegal silicone injections – from another woman she met ONLINE.  This is apparently rampant in Miami Florida where one plastic surgeon says he gets 100 calls per week from women looking for help. Why is this such becoming such a problem? Blame the hip hop culture and the pressure on women to have bigger behind.

The Surgeon General warns against indoor tanning
For the first time the Surgeon General has spoken out about the dangers of sun and indoor tanning.

Alcohol improves your sense of smell
According to the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, our sense of smell may be improved by a couple of cocktails. It turns out that our sense of smell is inhibited by certain brain functions. So if you could lower the inhibiting signals in the brain you should be able to boost how well you can smell.

The researchers had 20 volunteers smell a set of three liquid samples and two of which were identical one was a little bit different. Then they split the panelists into two groups and gave them a drink:  Half got plain grape juice and the other half got grape juice mixed with a shot of vodka. After having their drink, the smell test was repeated.

The results showed a correlation between the persons blood alcohol level and how well they could discriminate scents. They found having one or two drinks in an hour increased  their ability to discriminate odors but having any more than that decreased ability.

Natural skin moisturizers can cause food allergies
Did you know that you can develop a food allergy just from using a skin lotion with natural ingredients?  An article from the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology reports on a woman who developed an allergy to goat cheese after using a goat milk containing skin lotion.

Victoria’s Secret model burns off split ends
A Brazilian model by the name of Barbara Fialho, announced to the world that she goes to a salon where BURN OFF HER SPLIT ENDS.  Here’s how it works: The stylist braids her hair to make the split ends popout and then wave a candle underneath them to singe off the splits. Here’s why this is a bad idea: no matter how good you are or how careful you are by its very nature you can’t exactly control where the flame will touch. Fire degrades hair and/or cross-links the proteins making them more brittle which means whatever the flame touches you will be more likely to have a new split end.

LIL buy it now button

Buy your copy of It’s OK to Have Lead in Your Lipstick to learn more about:

  • Clever lies that the beauty companies tell you.
  • The straight scoop of which beauty myths are true and which are just urban legends.
  • Which ingredients are really scary and which ones are just scaremongering by the media to incite an irrational fear of chemicals.
  • How to tell the difference between the products that are really green and the ones that are just trying to get more of your hard earned money by labeling them “natural” or “organic.

Click here for all the The Beauty Brains podcasts.

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