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Which beauty products are essential? Episode 15

How many products do you need to be clean, attractive and healthy? In response to a listener question, Randy and I decide that you only need four. What do YOU think? We also talk about why the FBI is looking for pee in counterfeit cosmetics. PLUS: We announce the winner of our iTunes Review Contest!

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Randy opened the show with an alarming Beauty Science News report about the recent FBI warning on counterfeit cosmetics. They’ve found phony cosmetics contaminated with arsenic, aluminum, beryllium, cadmium, bacteria and even human urine!  Listen to the episode to find out how to spot these fakes and what action to take when you do.

Our listener question of the week comes from Wade who wants to know which personal care products are essential so he can minimize his routine. We break it down like this:

1. What kind of cleaning products do you need?
2. What kind of grooming products do you need?
3. What kind of odor control products do you need?
4. What kind of products do you need to stay healthy?

We also compare and contrast our suggestions with Glamour’s “Top 10 Must Have Products” list:

  • Blush
  • Concealer/Foundation
  • Anti-wrinkle eye cream
  • Lipstick
  • BB cream
  • Mascara
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Deep conditioner
  • Face wipes
  • Sunscreen

The winner of our iTunes Review contest is Evielv. Congrats!! Email your contact information to thebeautybrains@gmail.com and we’ll send you a free copy of our latest book.

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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.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • marie January 28, 2014, 3:33 pm

    Hi guys
    If you want to check out the iTunes reviews from your international listeners as well, you can download the trial version of CommentCast. You currently have 14 reviews including those from the US.

    If I might ask a question of my own, you last post on parabens is quite a few years old. Are there any updates or findings from the scientific community about the “alligators in the sewers” of skincare? thanks 🙂

    • Randy Schueller January 28, 2014, 3:51 pm

      Thanks Marie! It didn’t dawn on me that we’d have a different set of international reviews in iTunes! I just downloaded CommentCast but there must be some glitch in the software because there’s a comment from you in Belgium that says you hate my catchphrase! That can’t be right!

      • marie January 28, 2014, 4:42 pm

        that is a very peculiar glitch, indeed 🙂
        keep up the good work!

  • rozy January 28, 2014, 7:30 pm

    Wow Glamour is crazy, they did not list a single actual must have. I think that would be nasty to just floss the teeth without brushing. It might just move stuff around but it would still stick to your teeth. I think brushing is more important bc I have dry mouth and I have a disgusting film on my teeth when I wake up.

  • rozy January 28, 2014, 7:31 pm

    The FBI warning reminded me of this article: http://www.brightestbulbinthebox.com/2014/01/wantable-january-2013-review.html

    Long story short her lip gloss is a petri dish of mold. So nasty.

  • Susan January 29, 2014, 12:09 am

    Minimum to be clean, attractive and healthy:
    1. Hot water and mild soap (preferably homemade)
    1. Baking soda, vinegar (for hair cleaning and rinsing)
    OR cheap shampoo/hair conditioner (I have tried ALL the expensive ones and they don’t make my hair look any different. Ever.)
    2. Hairbrush (cheap; the natural bristle type fills my hair with static electricity)
    2. Floss, toothbrush, toothpaste
    3. Some kind of moisturizing cream (Pond’s Dry Skin cream works as well as anything else)
    4. A really good (read: expensive) nail file and clippers
    5. Razor (for shaving under arms)
    6. Pure cornstarch baby powder
    7. Dr. Scholl’s Foot File
    8. Sunscreen
    9. Lip balm with sunscreen

  • Wade February 22, 2014, 12:27 pm

    Hi “Berry” and Randy. Thank you for answering my question! Your discussion back-and-forth—it sounded like what happens in my head. haha. You are officially “beauty minimalists.” ;D

    If anyone is wondering, here’s my essential list:

    1. Cleaning: some sort of cleanser (I am using a homemade olive oil soap now)
    2. Grooming: Nivea Creme (for face, body, and hair)
    3. Odor: Apple cider vinegar (as a deodorant)
    4. Health: floss, baking powder, and toothbrush
    5. Nonessential: razor, pumice stone, nail clippers, tweezers, hair dryer

    Thanks again guys!

  • Annelise August 27, 2015, 3:34 pm

    As a girl I’ll leave my bare essentials pared down from several years of traveling for dance.
    1. Baby shampoo- this is more multipurpose than you guys even got into since not only can you wash your face, body and hair with it you can wash delicates and make up brushes as well. I like Johnson’s for the light smell. I ordinarily wash my body with Dove, hair with Suave and face with Aveeno but I like knowing when I travel I can streamline the process with no major changes in appearance.
    2. Lotion- I have found that the Neutrogena Norwegian formula hand lotion is great for my very easily irritated hands. It can also be used everywhere else including my hyper sensitive cheeks. Which I thought was crazy and great. No promises for everyone else and I do have a face lotion for most of the time. I usually do this in a pinch or if my cheeks are windburned.
    3. Sunscreen- I like Neutrogena Dry touch which can be used everywhere and doesn’t break me out.
    4. Floss and a toothbrush- I have a sensitivity to regular mint toothpaste which means that I used to get sick from brushing my teeth. I got by manually scrubbing my teeth with a rinsed toothbrush and then flossing with those floss pick things after every meal. Dentist never noticed and as long as I scrubbed my tongue and rinsed my mouth with water (or saltwater if it was really rank), there was no telltale smell. Now I usually use children’s bubblegum toothpaste because I found it’s the only flavor that doesn’t bother me… Other than cinnamon but cinnamon flavored toothpaste is not carried in my local stores.
    5. Conditioner- I can get away using just Pantene Ice Shine. It detangles and imparts shine which is all I need. For reference I have hip length, high density, fine blonde hair that’s pretty straight. I do like to double condition normally with a second conditioner but I don’t have to in a pinch.
    6. Deoderant- I sweat a lot but I seem to be sensitive to most antiperspirants so I just use low scent deoderants. No specific brand for once.
    7. Mascara- I can get away with just wearing mascara to enhance my blonde eyelashes. This is normally all I do. For nicer occasions I’ll wear bb cream or mineral powder to even skin tone. But if I travel I usually just make do.
    Well this list has just reminded me of how many extras I have in my bathroom that I don’t really need. But oh well. They’re cheap indulgances like Suave’s Sun Riped Strawberry shampoo for the smell.

  • Pilgrim September 27, 2015, 3:36 pm

    this is a fun topic! and the advice is helpful. as Wade said, since this is a post about minimalism, my results came out as active ingredients. i must admit, i am a chemical whore.

    cleaning – tetrasodium EDTA, triclosan

    grooming – tweezers, hairbrush, clippers

    odour control – aluminum chlorohydrate

    health – sun protection, physical and chemical

  • Pilgrim September 27, 2015, 3:38 pm

    this is a fun topic! and the advice is helpful. as Wade said, since this is a post about minimalism, my results came out as active ingredients. i must admit, i am a chemical whore.

    cleaning – tetrasodium EDTA, triclosan, flouride

    grooming – tweezers, hairbrush, clippers

    odour control – aluminum chlorohydrate

    health – sun protection, physical and chemical

    buggers, almost forgot the flouride.