Mindy says…I have read about vitamin C being good for your face. What about putting it in the bath water? I heard something about it neutralizing chlorine. What I want to know is if it will give you the same benefits that it does for your face, if I put L-Ascorbic Acid Powder in my bath water. I know the concentration will not be exact and will be lower.
I think putting ascorbic acid in your bath water is a waste of money compared to using a good vitamin C lotion. I say that for several reasons:
1. For the most part the benefits provided by vitamin C are related to fighting the aging affects on your face. That’s not to say you wouldn’t benefit at all from applying it all over your body but it’s not like you’re trying to fight fine lines and wrinkles on your arms or legs. At least not usually.
2. The organic “stuff” in the bath water (either surfactants or gunk off your body) will “use up” the vitamin C’s antioxidant capacity.
3. Soaking in a bath tub for a few minutes won’t deliver very much Vitamin C compared to applying a lotion that stays on your skin for much longer.
4. You’ll have to use a LOT. Maximum skin absorption occurs at 20% AA which is quite high and can be irritating. Some sources, like our friend Paula B says use between 0.3 and 10%. Let’s choose a modest 1%. If your bathtub is average, it can hold about 75 gallons of water. 75 gallons is about 280 L which or 280 Kg is about 600 pounds. To make your bathtub a 1% solution of AA it would take about 6 pounds.
Is Colour Pop eyeshadow breaking the law?
Anna asks…I recently discovered a new online American cosmetic company, Colourpop (www.colourpop.com). I was shopping on their website and noticed several products that are sold with their eyeshadows and liners that have the disclaimer “not for use around the eyes.” It looks like Colourpop is using red lakes that are not FDA approved for use around the eyes. I contacted the company and they said that the “usage is up to consumer discretion” and people are using these shadows on the eyes with no problems. Is Colourpop breaking the law? What are the dangers of using this product around the eyes?
I’ll just read what their website says, then we’ll look at the ingredients, and then review the FDA’s regulation on colorants for cosmetics.
The website says…“For maximum coverage: Use fingertip and tap shadow onto EYE lid…use a flat synthetic brush…throughout the crease of the EYE… and finally, ***not intended for the eye area”.
According to the ingredient list the colorants are…
[+/- TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891), MICA (CI 77019), RED 28 LAKE (CI 45410), BLUE 1 LAKE (CI 42090), RED 7 LAKE (CI 15850)].
Red Lake 28 and Red Lake 7 both of which are on the FDA’s list of colors that can be used in drugs and cosmetics. (If you’re so inclined, you can click here to review the FDA’s color additive list for yourself.)
BUT, according to the FDA, “None of these colors may be used in products that are for use in the area of the eye unless otherwise indicated.” I don’t see any indication to the contrary so it looks like these two lakes are NOT allowed in products to be used around the eye. What doesn’t make sense to me is why ColourPop would sell an eyeshadow that has the warning “not intended for the eye area.” WTF!?! I’m not a toxicologist but my understanding is that using unapproved ingredients around your eye can cause problems ranging from eye irritation to blindness.
Do AHA serums make you sweat?
Pazzaglia says…For the last two and a half weeks I’ve been applying a 12% Glycolic Acid Cream at night, and I’m just beginning to see fantastic results (clear skin, less acne, no more blackheads). I haven’t had any negative reactions BUT, one thing I noticed is that immediately after I apply the creme, I get small pearls of “sweat” on every pore. Is this normal? Is this dehydrating my skin?
I’ve never heard of this “sweating” problem and I’m not aware of any technical rationale for how glycolic acid, or any other AHA, would stimulate sweat glands. These acids work by loosening the “glue” that holds cells together. That means their effects should be limited to the stratum corneum which are in the epidermis, the outer layer of skin. The sweat glands are located much deeper, in the dermis.
There is one other possibility…Glycolic acid is hygroscopic which means it can attract moisture from the air so maybe that’s the cause? We asked her if that could be what’s happening and she responded that she lives close to the Mediterranean Sea and it’s very humid in the summer. She recently wrote back and said: “I just wanted to confirm that it doesn’t happen in the fall – so it was definitely the cream’s reaction to the atmospheric humidity!!”
Allure magazine asked…Should you buy Organic Botox from Kim Kardashian?
Our next question comes to us from Allure Magazine. They asked me about this recent story regarding Kim Kardashian purchasing the licensing rights an anti-aging product called Biotulin, which is described as quote “an organic botox gel.” So, I took a look at the technology and here’s what I found out. This product claims to work based on 3 ingredients:
- Spilanthol – which is an extract of a flowering herb. They say is an anesthetic that relaxes wrinkles.
- Blady Grass extract – they say moisturizes skin.
- Hyaluron – also binds moisture.
Hyaluron – sounds good right? That’s because it’s just another name for hyaluronic acid which you can also get in a lot of other products. Brady Grass moisturizes? So what. So do a lot of things. Spilanthol…this seems like the “magic”. And guess what? According to peer reviewed articles I found in PubMed it DOES really have topical anesthetic properties. It also may have some utility as an anti-malarial drug. But to compare this ingredient to Botox makes NO sense. Do you know how botox works? It paralyzes muscles so it makes your skin more taught and stretches out the wrinkles. What does anesthetic do? It relaxes muscles. If anything, Muscle laxity CAUSES wrinkles it doesn’t reduce them.
How well does it really work? Who knows? The mode of action they describe makes no sense but they say they have clinical test data that proves it works similar to Botox. I don’t believe that AT ALL because I’ve never seen ANY topically applied product that can work as well as an injectable. But, to be fair, I haven’t seen their data. And I doubt if we ever will…but if they have robust clinical studies that they’d care to share with us, I’d gladly retract all my snarky comments.
One more thing. Allure asked if this product is safe. We haven’t reviewed their safety test data so we really don’t know but I do know that Spilanthol has been assessed as a penetration enhancer for other ingredients. That means it may be cause other ingredients that you DON’T want in your skin to penetrate.
Can you guess which of these tattoo products is fake? (Listen to the show for your answer.)
- Skin ink subscription – A custom mail order tattoo subscription service that sends you personalized temporary tattoos in the mail.
- Skin scanner – A tattoo parlor’s skin scanner app that let’s you scan other peoples tattoos and upload them so they can give you the same ink.
- Tattoo taxidermist – A tattoo taxidermist who will save your ink art by taking the skin off your body when you die.