Why do women pay more for beauty products? Episode 117

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South Korean beauty innovationface-985960_960_720


Japan has long been the source of beauty trends for European and American countries but more and more that is shifting to South Korea. Recent trends out of Korea include BB creams, cushion compacts, sheet masks & ingredients like rice bran & pomegranate.

Recently, the latest products that hit Europe and North America were started in South Korea. So it would be interesting to see what else might be coming our way. Here are 5 new beauty products as reported by Health.com

1. Glass nail art. Essential people are putting little pieces of cellophane in their nail polish so it looks like your nails are shattered glass. No doubt inspired by all the shattered iPhone screens that people are seeing. Did I tell you I finally was struck by the broken screen demon?

2. Next is the Mask-Making Juicer. What do you get when you combine a juicer with a beauty product? You get a juicer that blends down fruits and veggies and turns them into a facial mask. I’ll put a link to a video which shows this thing in action. It looks pretty cool. I’m sure it’s just a novelty but interesting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gL6lIhkh-p8

3. Rubber masks – This is another mask that’s big in South Korea. It’s sold to you as flakes like oatmeal but when you add water it turns into a slimy paste. You spread it on your face and it hardens to a rubbery consistency. Then you just peel it off after 15 minutes. I’d love to try this one.

4. Intense foot peel – Here’s a product called the Baby Exfoliant foot peel which is a chemical peel for your feet. Sounds dangerous but it will certainly take the layers of dead skin cells off your feet.

5. And finally we have the Peel-off lip tint – You apply it like a regular lipstick then after 15 minutes, it hardens up and you peel it off. What you are left with is lips stained with a color that won’t come off even after a night of eating and drinking. I wonder if it comes off the next day?

Anyway, look for these products to be making their way to your beauty shelves in the coming months or years. It’s a little know fact that most cosmetic marketing is done by looking around the world to find what is selling hot in one market and bringing it to a market where the product doesn’t exist.

Breakthrough acne treatment

Speaking of “breakthroughs” in beauty science, I read about an interesting new acne treatment that qualifies as breakthrough. All you need is an ultrasonic generator, some gold particles, and a laser.

This comes to us from the Journal of Controlled Release I’ll put the link in the show notes on the off chance that any of our listeners might have missed the article. According to the article, researchers at the University of California have figured out a new way to treat acne by treating its source – which is overproducing oil glands. The new process is called photo-ther-molysis and apparently it’s extremely effective but it’s also somewhat complicated.

First, it uses low frequency ultrasound to increase the skin penetration of gold coated silica particles which are pushed into the sebaceous glands. Once the gold particles in the glands, they’re zapped with a laser that’s specially tuned to be absorbed by gold. As they absorb laser light the gold particles heat up through a process known as “surface plasmon resonance.” The heat then “deactivates” the oil gland. I think they mean “destroys” the gland, but the article was a bit vague on that point. After treatment, all the gunk that was clogging your pore, along with the gold particles, are excreted normally.

There are a couple of benefits of this approach – it doesn’t irritate or dry the skin. And, unlike antibiotic treatments, it doesn’t pose any risk of resistance or of long-term side effects. The researchers describe it as “highly local but highly potent as well.”

Before you get too excited about it, however, keep in mind that the treatment is still experimental and that more work needs to be done to understand the safety of this approach – for example they don’t know yet if it causes damage to the follicle which could stop hair growth. That might be a side benefit for women but might make it tough for a guy to grow a beard.

What’s living on your face?


According to this story your face is covered with parasitic mites called Demodex. They are microscopic arachnids that live on your skin and feed on things like oil, skin cells and skin bacteria. If you think of your face as a savanna, these little guys are like antelope grazing on whatever is coming out of the ground (or your face). Usually, they don’t cause any problems but when enough of them gather in one spot they can cause things like rosacea, dermatitis, types of alopecia, acne and more.

The fascinating thing is that researchers have been looking at the genetic history of these little guys and discovered that there or four distinct lineages that correspond to different regions of the world. There are African mites, Asian mites, Latin mites and European mites. And these mites get passed around families because any time you touch skin with another person, you trade some of your mites. The mites evolved differently in each region.

Interestingly, the population of mites reflect the history of the world. General African, Asian, and Latin mites tend to only be found on people from those regions. While European mites are found on the faces of everyone around the world. This is reflective of the days of European imperialism.

Beyond just a fascination with parasites that live on your face, there is actually some good cosmetic reasons to study these mites. Since they have been implicated in conditions like rosacea, making products that can kill these little buggers could actually help improve people’s skin. In fact, a recent study of a cream containing 1% ivermectin (an anti-parasite agent) showed that it reduced inflammatory lesions.

So if you are a suffer of rosacea, it could be your misbehaving demodex mites & a cream to stop them might be just what you need.

Should we be free from “free from” claims?


Let’s talk about “free from claims” (e.g, “free from parabens, sulfates, etc.”) The problem is that these kinds of claims are often used for fear mongering because they imply there’s something dangerous about an ingredient when there’s not. Free from claims can often be used in misleading ways – my favorite example is hair conditioners that are labeled as “sulfate free.” Conditioners don’t use sulfates (at least not the detergent kind.)

I read one article with the headline ‘Free-from claims are based on fears and should stop.’ Basically, arguing that free from claims should not be allowed at all.

You could argue just read the ingredient list but that’s to cumbersome for most people.

Now, there are other times when it’s legitimate – allergies maybe? Fragrance free? free from animal-derived ingredients, free from alcohol, That’s essentially the point of view put forward in another article I read which quotes Lorraine Dallmeier, Director of online Organic Cosmetic Science School Formula Botanica

She says “free from” claims are legit when based on ethical, religious or allergy grounds. She says that “Free from claims that do not denigrate competitors, nor create confusion with the product of a competitor, should be permissible,

Why do women pay more for beauty products?

You know how women have to pay more money for their clothes than men? Well, it turns out they also have to pay more money for their cosmetic products. According to a US study done by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, women pay an average of 13% more for female-specific personal care products.

According to the people who ran the study, they looked at five sectors of personal care products like hair care products, shaving products, body wash and deodorant. They got price information by doing observational studies at retailers like CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid.

You know which category had the greatest discrepancy?

Hair care. They found that women focused hair care products were 48% more expensive than male versions. Shaving products were the next biggest discrepancy with women’s products being 11% more expensive. The best deal were female deodorants which were only 3% more expensive.

I think the important thing for people to know is that there is practically zero difference between men & women’s focused personal care products. Seriously, the only significant difference would be the fragrance and packaging. If you are concerned about saving money and don’t care much about scent or packaging, just buy the male versions of products. There are literally no significant differences.

I do wonder why there would be this difference in pricing though. Perhaps it’s because men just don’t care?

Science proves you shouldn’t tightline your eyeliner


Are you familiar with this practice of “tight lining?” It’s a makeup technique that involves drawing eyeliner inside the lash line. Apparently it’s great to make your lashes look fuller without making it look like you’re wearing a lot of eye makeup.

It’s also somewhat contentious because some people have raised the concern that it could cause pink eye or other wise harm your eyes while others say it’s completely safe.

Well, now we know the truth based on a new study published in the journal of the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists.

Dr. Alison Ng, at the Centre for Contact Lens Research at Waterloo, directed a study which proves that people who apply eyeliner on the inner eyelid run the risk of not only contaminating the eye but also causing vision problems. This is the first study to prove that particles from pencil eyeliner move into the eye.

The research team evaluated different makeup application styles and used videography to compare the amount of eyeliner particles that migrated into the tear film.

They found that “makeup migration happened quicker and was greater when eyeliner wasT put on the inner lid margin.” In fact, in as little as 5 minutes, between 15 and 30% more particles moved into the tear film when tight lining was used.

They say that this kind of contamination can cause physical irritation and redness, and, if The harmful bacteria is present in the eyeliner, eye infections or blurred vision. If you wear contact lens you’re even more likely to have these kinds of problems.

So the bottom line is tight line at your own risk – or you could use that Dior eyeliner patch we talked about back in Episode 116.

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