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Does Bio Oil really work? Episode 82

This week we answer listener questions about Bio Oil and other products. But first, another game of Improbable Products…

Improbable Productswitches_tools___magic_stock_by_sassy_stock-d10mf82

Which of these bad body odor products is not real:

  • The iPhone bad breathalyzer that tells you if you have halitosis.
  • Odor detecting gym socks that change color when you feet start to smell.
  • The Smart Deodorant stick that automatically dispenses just the right amount of deodorant so your arm pits don’t smell.

Listen to the show for the answer!

Does Bio Oil work?

Bio Oil consists of mineral oil, triisononanoin, cetearyl ethylhexanoate, isopropyl myristate, retinyl palmitate, chamomile oil, lavender oil, rosemary oil, calendula flower extract, sunflower Seed oil, soybean oil, bisabolol.  According to our buddy Colin “The results of a clinincal trial are reported on the website. The term clinical trial is stretching it a bit as there were only 12 people involved, and there is no indication that a placebo was used. Only 50% of users saw an improvement after 4 weeks. There isn’t any indication of how much of an improvement they had. I don’t think this trial on its own is particularly strong evidence, but when you put it into the context that a lot of people who have used the product speak highly of it I am prepared to believe it is doing something. At the end of the day, Bio-Oil is a good moisturizer that may have some anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Are trade journals dirty rotten liars?

Chris asks…You guys mention that ‘Tetra-C’ reduces pigmentation according to a trade journal. Is there reason to be skeptical of trade journals? Yes. Trade journals usually feature articles written by the companies that sell the ingredients and the articles are not peer reviewed. This doesn’t automatically mean the research is bad it just means that it may be biased and hence you should be skeptical.

Trade journals include:

  • C&T
  • GCI
  • Spray Technology

It’s better than nothing as long as you read the research carefully and keep a skeptical eye on the claims.

What’s up with vegetable collagen?

Lauren asks…Algenist brand “Genius” products use “vegetable collagen” as an ingredient and claim that it “reinforces skin structure and supports natural skin matrix.” What are your thoughts on this? And I know you said there are no vegetable sources for collagen…so are they flat out lying?

Yes, we talked about collagen back in Episode 73. And we did say there’s no such thing. We looked at the ingredient list for this Algenist product and saw that, among other things, it does indeed contain something called “Vegetable Collagen.” So what is this?

I found an article looked about “vegetable collagen” in HAPPI which says that the company DKHS sells an ingredient known as ”Plant Collagen.” It’s official INCI is “Water, butylene glycol, collagen extract.” They describe it as an amino acid complex derived from plant protein which is similar to animal collagen. Plant collagen is high in oxyproline, proline, glutamic acid and glycine amino acids and is easily re-synthesized as collagen when it is absorbed into the body.”

So, first of all, it’s NOT real collagen but a plant protein that is similar. Second of all, it appears that Algenist is NOT using the official INCI name. HOWEVER, I also found this article in Pubmed that talks about genetically engineering tobacco plants to grow “human” collagen. Hmmmm. Could Algenist be using this? Seems unlikely.

Is Hexiplex the same as Helioplex?

Rachael asks…Hi Beauty Brains. I was at Walgreens yesterday and saw a new sunscreen product I’m curious about – “Hexiplex” on some L’Oreal bottles. From what I’ve read, Neutrogena’s Helioplex or L’Oreal’s Mexoryl are the best sunscreens to use. Is Hexiplex identical to Helioplex? Is it a new name for Mexoryl (which is legal here but not still widely available, as I understand it)? My kids have an insane family history of skin cancer on their father’s side and I don’t take chances; I recently asked a Canadian friend to mail me some Mexoryl sunscreen!

Thanks so much for your insight. I tell all my friends they NEED to follow you blog!

Hexiplex is a magic spell that protects your skin from…just kidding. It’s actually a trademark assigned to L’Oreal for “A combination of ingredients used as an integral component of non-medicated sun care and sunscreen preparations.”

I found it this product: L’Oreal Paris Advanced Suncare Silky Sheer BB lotion from 2014.

Here are the ingredients:

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (10.72%), Octisalate (3.21%), Octocrylene (6%), Oxybenzone (3.86%)

Inactive Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Alcohol Denat., Silica, Dicaprylyl Ether, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, PEG 30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Nylon 12, PEG 8 Laurate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Dodecene, Sodium Chloride, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Aluminum Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Iron Oxides, P Anisic Acid, Tocopherol, Disodium EDTA, Poloxamer 407, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Lauryl PEG/PPG 18/18 Methicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Isostearyl Alcohol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Poly C10 30 Alkyl Acrylate.

As you can see it does NOT contain ecamsule which is the name for Mexoryl SX. Seems to be they trademarked hexiplex because it looks and sounds a little bit like Helioplex.

Nail polish questions

Little Tabby has a three part question about nail polish separation and quality:

1. Is a layer of oil/clear substance on top of the pigment a sign that the nail polish is old ?
2. When you add thinner too many times, what signs of poor quality should I look out for (I did have a nail polish which even though it had been thinned too many times did not dry properly on my nails – I disposed of that one).
3. Is nail polish chipping after 1 or 2 days also a sign of deteriorating quality ?

1. This is not necessarily sign of age it could just be the quality of the formulation. If you shake the product and it stays together then it’s probably fine. If it separates quickly that’s not a good thing. In general, separation is a sign of poor quality or a good product that’s gone bad.
2. Adding too much thinner can make a product dry more slowly. (Depending of course on which thinner you use.) Too much thinner can also interfere with the ability of the nail polish to form a hard film on your nails to it might not adhere well, or it might crack more easily.
3. Maybe. It could also be a sign of poor application.

Image credit: http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs18/i/2012/057/2/b/witches_tools___magic_stock_by_sassy_stock-d10mf82.jpg

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • LittleTabby May 12, 2015, 10:39 pm

    Great and very informative show as always !

    A solution for the laundry issue is old-fashioned white vinegar in the wash.
    I have been using this together with my washing liquid.

    A link to a website:


    Hope this helps.

    • admin May 18, 2015, 11:13 am

      Thanks! Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me.

  • Chris May 13, 2015, 10:19 am

    I’m very curious as to what R & P are saying that isn’t true. In fact I’m certain that this is one of the few blogs where the authors don’t lie. Most beauty bloggers make money off of pushing certain products so obviously their recommendations are biased.

    And what does the average beauty junkie know about products anyway? Sure they might know that a foundation lasts all day, but they probably don’t know why. Go to YouTube and you’ll find a plethora of videos where various beauty “experts” explain that our skin absorbs 60 % of what we put on it. That’s why we need blogs like the Beauty Brains to explain the real science behind products so we can cut through the BS. Bringing in beauty bloggers without a science background will likely damage the shows reputation.

    • Randy Schueller May 13, 2015, 2:41 pm

      Thanks for the words of support, Chris. (In case anyone reading this missed the discussion we’re talking about Mo’s comments on this previous post.

    • Eileen May 13, 2015, 8:56 pm

      I agree with you, Chris. In this day of Internet self-promotion, anyone can become a “guru” or claim to be an expert. Many of them actually do provide consumers with a lot of information about how products look and perform when they swatch and wear them, but some of the unfounded statements, fallacious reasoning, and perpetration of misinformation can be mind-boggling. Those people should stick to swatches and LOTDs and leave the scientific explanations to blogs like The Beauty Brains.

      I see nothing wrong with having both beauty blogs and blogs that explain the science behind the beauty. By reading seperate blogs wherein the bloggers stick to their respective areas of expertise, we get better, more comprehensive and reliable information. It comes down to this: I don’t want some beauty maven telling me dimethicone is evil and should be avoided at all costs any more than I want Randy telling me how to achieve the perfect smoky eye! ( Sorry, Randy 😉 ) It’s simply not within their areas of expertise.

      When I want to see swatches of the latest products, pick up some application tips, or read about someone’s experience with a product, there are any number of wonderful beauty blogs and YouTube channels that I can turn to that provide that kind of information. However, when I want to understand about ingredients, learn how and why something works, be able to seperate fact from fiction, I turn to blogs like The Beauty Brains.

      • admin May 18, 2015, 11:20 am

        You obviously haven’t seen how good Randy looks when he wears smoky eyes.

  • Sophie May 24, 2015, 2:15 pm

    Hi guys, another interesting podcast. I’ve been fans of yours since the early days, when you were still the anonymous ‘brains’! Anyway, just wanted to comment on the criticism you received in this show. With all due respect to the person who made the comment I feel that in saying that, they’ve kind of missed the point of your whole blog, to be honest. You’re not there to necessarily be up to date on the latest hot product, you are there to sort the facts from the fiction, to educate the average consumer and to generally help people to not be ripped off! I don’t see what that has to do with being knowledgeable about the latest trends, as another commenter has already said, there are plenty of beauty bloggers who are already doing that. There aren’t many who do what you guys do. The only other cosmetic scientist blogger I can think of off the top of my head is Colin Sanders, although there may be a few others. And actually, as Perry rightly pointed out, you DO know about what’s happening in the beauty world. Maybe not always in a ‘what’s cool in Vogue’ kind of way but enough to provide interesting commentary and that’s what you’re about. I think you handled this really well too – you read this out publicly, considered it, offered to make a compromise, but ultimately stuck to your guns and defended your way of doing things and good on you. I wouldn’t want you to change the way you do your show and I’m sure I speak for many fans when I say that. Keep up the good work!

    • Randy Schueller May 25, 2015, 10:34 am

      Sophie: Thanks a lot for taking the time to comment. We REALLY appreciate your words of support!

  • Bev December 17, 2015, 4:13 pm

    Look into a laundry detergent for athletic apparel (WIN or Penguin are two brands) and think about skipping fabric softeners. Typically, athletic gear is made of fabrics that repel water. Additionally build up of body oils, detergents and fabric softeners increase this repellency, making it more difficult for water and detergents to penetrate the fibers and do the washing.

    You can also try the vinegar trick again, but this time do a pre-wash soak in a more concentrated solution of cold water and vinegar for 30 min.

    Lastly, dry your clothes in the sun after laundering. That’s how your grandma used to get smells out of fabrics. You may want to turn things inside out if you have concerns about colors lightening in the sun.

  • Maya August 20, 2016, 3:36 pm

    Amazon’s options for airless pump bottles is still overpriced.
    I found the best, unbeatable in fact, prices here: http://www.cprsale.com/index.php/category/airless-bottles/page_1/
    The only catch is that you have to get a minimum of 12 and since I’m dirt broke and spend my last penny on raw ingredients, I do occasionally get 1 or from whatever site I get my ingredients, at about double the price of the ones in the link above.

  • Maya August 20, 2016, 3:39 pm

    Amazon’s options for airless pump bottlesare still overpriced.
    I found the best, unbeatable in fact, prices here: http://www.cprsale.com/index.php/category/airless-bottles/page_1/
    The only catch is that you have to get a minimum of 12 and since I’m dirt broke and spend my last penny on raw ingredients, I do occasionally get 1 from whatever site I get my ingredients, at about double the price of the ones in the link above but still save on shipping.

  • Cheri Gould December 12, 2016, 12:20 am

    Stinky laundry…

    Oxy in the wash. You can soak in dawn dish detergent to strip laundry residue, but once you have clean clothes, use oxy in every single load. Use good detergent, not too much, no fabric softener. Use hot water on athletic clothes.

    I washed cloth diapers….and husband is a triathlete!

    You can get cheap oxy at the dollar tree.