Don’t waste money on expensive beauty brands Episode 66

Tune in to this week’s show to find out how your brain reacts to expensive beauty brands. And how to pick beauty products based on your astrological sign. (Yeah, right.)

Show notes

Improbable Products

This is the game where I scour the internet for new beauty products that sound too wacky too believe. Then I make up a wacky one of my own and challenge Perry to guess which one is the fake. You can play too – can you guess the phony story? Listen to the show for the answer!

1. The Boar Bristle Toothbrush
Boar bristle hairbrushes are the best natural grooming tools. Now, our new Boar Bristle toothbrush uses these stiffer natural fibers to deep clean your tooth enamel.

2. The Scented Fork
Make any meal more tasty with this elegant fork that’s saturated with enticing aromatherapy oils.

3. The Beauty Spoon
Are you frustrated because you can’t get the last few drops of your favorite beauty product out of the bottle? This new flexible, spatula like spoon lets you scrape out every drop.

Beauty Science News

Science says you shouldn’t bother buying expensive brands
According to this study, when a product’s price goes up, it increases “blood-oxygen-level-dependent activity in medial orbitofrontal cortex, an area that is widely thought to encode for experienced pleasantness during experiential tasks.” So by purchasing a more expensive product, your brain physically changes and tells you that the product is better. But if spending more actually gives you more pleasure then shouldn’t you buy the more expensive one?

Does sunscreen make you infertile?
A new study claims certain sunscreen ingredients can make men less fertile. The researchers studied 500 couples that were trying to become pregnant. And they tracked the relationship between their fertility to lifestyle factors and to chemicals to which they’ve been exposed. They tested participants’ urine samples for five different UV filters and found that 2 of the UV filters were linked to diminished fertility in men (but not women.)

Those ingredients are BP-2 and 4OH-BP. Now this is a single study and the researchers themselves cautioned “that the results are preliminary and that additional studies are needed to confirm their findings.” So it’s important that these kind of studies are done but here’s the strange thing – neither of these are actually sunscreen ingredients.

BP2 is used in some packaging inks for foods and 4OH BP is a breakdown product of BP3 which is oxybenzone which is used. in the study BP3 was NOT a problem. It’s a little misleading to say sunscreen lotions are the problem because these chemicals come form other places. BUT if you want to be cautious you should avoid oxybenzone because it does has a bad rap as an endocrine disruptor.

Triclosan in soap causing liver damage?
Triclosan continues to be a controversial ingredient. Perhaps we should discontinue its use where volumes are high and there’s little benefit (like in soaps) but continue to use it where the volumes are low and there’s a proven health benefit (like in toothpaste for gingivitis.)

How to choose beauty products based on your astrological sign

Refinery29 published explains which beauty products you should use based on your astrological sign. This is all according to celebrity makeup artist Gloria Noto who has the signs of the zodiac tattooed all over her body. So I think she’s a credible source. Anyway, here are a few of her tips:

  • For Aquarius she suggests covering the whole eyelid with a neon blue eyeshadow. and adding a neon purple liner which she makes by adding a bit of water to shadow. Get it water?
  • For Pisces she is emulating the scales of a fish with a variety of metallic looking pigments. finished the face with a balm luminizer to highlight and give a dewy, fresh-from-the-water finish.”
  • Leo the lion get’s an elongated cat eye shape. Of course.
  • Taurus will be sexy in a slow burning way so she designed a play on the horns of the bull by creating a graphic shape to the outer edges of the eyes.” So if you’re a Taurus I guess you’re supposed to look…horny?
  • in 2015 Gemini should wear a two tone black and pink lip color. She what she did there – 2 toned color for Gemini?
  • Finally, for Cancer, she emulated sea shells and the ocean by using a loose orange pigment on the eyelid with pale green powder where the eyelid meets the brow bone.

There you have it – astrologically determined makeup for 2015.

Why are larger eyes more attractive?
Studies have shown that men are biologically programmed to find women with bigger eyes more attractive. Why the appeal of big eyes? Two reasons: Big eyes are a sign of higher levels of estrogen and the concept of neotenous protection, which says that men will take care of children.

Can almond oil kill you?
Back in episode 59 we talked about sesame oil as a skin moisturizer. That made me think of another popular natural oil used in lotions – almond oil. Did you know that almond oil can be a deadly poison? This came to my attention though our friend Colin over at Colin’s beauty pages when he reported on a study that almonds were pulled from Whole Foods stores because they contained cyanide. So I wondered that if almonds contain cyanide is almond oil safe to use in cosmetics.

It turns out, and I didn’t know this, but there are two kinds of almonds: bitter and sweet. The bitter variety DO contain a relatively high level of cyanide. Bitter almonds yield about 6.2 mg of cyanide per almond and the LD50 for cyanide is 50 mg – 200 mg. That means if a person of average weight ate only 15 of these almonds you could die.

Fortunately, sweet almonds are the ones sold for human consumption and it’s sweet almond oil that used in cosmetics so there’s really nothing to worry about but I thought it was an interesting story worth sharing.

Men try to impress women with their grammar
A recent study shows that men unconsciously change the way they talk to women depending on where the women are in their monthly cycle. Researchers found that men mimicked women’s sentence structure less frequently when the women were at the more fertile point in their cycle.

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.

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