BB glow facials – DHA safety – and hard water cosmetics 182

The Beauty Brains episode 182 – we cover beauty questions about

  • BB glow facials
  • The safety of self tanners
  • Doing you own research and
  • Hard water and your beauty products

Beauty Science News

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Is natural deodorant necessary?
8 Beauty ingredients to know about

Kukui Nut Oil
Marula Oil

Beauty questions

Alina asks – What do you think of BB Glow facials?

BB Glow facial is essentially a semi-permanent makeup treatment in which you take a pigmented BB cream and inject it into your face using a micro needling process. The pigmented product is only injected into the epidermis so over time it will come out of your skin due to normal skin growth and exfoliation. Interestingly, the reason a regular tattoo doesn’t come out of your skin is because it is injected into the dermis of your skin.

The theoretical benefits are that you get a long lasting foundation which means you don’t have to put it on for up to 6 months they say. hmm.  Since the epidermal turnover of skin is about 8 weeks, I’d say this won’t last even as long as 2 months. But if the approximately $400 cost of the treatment is worth about 2 months of permanent foundation, then you might think it’s worth it.  

Do people spend that much on foundation?

The real benefit, I guess is that convenience of not having to apply foundation regularly. Some people might like that. Do people apply foundation every day? I don’t think my wife does.

As far as other benefits go, the author of this review I read said she doesn’t use as many facial products now. Since you don’t really need to use a lot of facial products, that’s probably not a real benefit. But I could see how someone who changes their routine might think it is.

Alright, now the other side.  We covered micro needling way back in episode 45.  

According to the research out there (there isn’t a lot) micro needling can show some improvements in skin. It boosts collagen and elastin production & can help with scars. And in the recent review article published by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, they conclude that “micro needling appears to be an overall effective and safe therapeutic option for numerous dermatologic conditions”.  They also said that “the majority of microneedling studies have been case series and small RCTs (randomized controlled trial)” so more research needs to be done to determine the general safety of this procedure, especially if more people are going to start doing it.

The thing that wasn’t mentioned in the review paper is anything about the particular chemicals being injected into the skin using this treatment. Products like these don’t have to disclose the list of ingredients so you don’t really know whether you’ll have reactions such as skin allergies, irritation, and significant, lasting skin inflammation. You’re essentially letting yourself be a Guinea pig for an untested procedure.

So, with the uncertain safety profile and the limited benefit I’m not sure I can recommend doing this. But if you really hate putting on foundation every day and you don’t mind spending north of $400 for a treatment that probably won’t last more than 2 months, go for it.

Is DHA safe?

DHA is an acronym for dihydroxyacetone, which is an ingredient used in sunless tanning products.

DHA works by reacting with the nitrogen compounds found in the amino acids of the protein in the outermost layers of our skin to form brown colored compounds via a non-UV induced Maillard reaction. The tone of the tan depends on which amino acids are prevalent in the skin – some amino acids create yellow tones, some orange, and some brown tones.

Formulations are pretty simplistic because DHA is very reactive and the allowable ingredients with DHA are very few. On certain skin types, DHA can appear yellow or orange, so various additives are added to these basic DHA formulations to improve the end color result. These are not approved for sunless tanning by the FDA. A commonly used support ingredient is Erythrulose – a carbohydrate that reacts slowly on the skin and does not produce as intense of a color as DHA.

DHA has excellent safety data associated with it when used for tanning without UV exposure; because it is regulated as a colorant, it has strict purity guidelines set by the FDA. Some of the safety data includes few to no allergic reactions documented in humans, no skin penetration, and no mutagenicity or carcinogenicity in mice. But like any ingredient, there are risks – and while we can’t speak for Adrian – we weren’t sure what she didn’t like about DHA and this was all we could think of.

Oral tanning tablets exist on the market but there is no proof they work. The alleged mechanism is that one digests massive amounts of color additives like canthaxanthin. The additives are digested by the body and deposited into the skin, imparting a color to the body. The end result will be an orange to brownish deposit. The tanning result is not from a natural increase in melanin. This is NOT been approved by the FDA for this or any other use, so steer clear or oral tanning tablets. One company applied with the FDA to have canthaxanthin approved as a sunless tanning colorant and withdrew their application when they discovered adverse side effects – one being crystal formation in the eye.

You can use bronzers or BB creams that rely on iron oxide pigments for tanning, but this is a purely topical effect and will only last one wash.

There are also products with ingredients that allegedly increase melanin production topically. One ingredient that was in development was Palmintoyl Dihydroxymethylchromone. This allegedly works by increasing melanin content in the basal layer of the skin.

Bottom line: Unfortunately, there is no alternative to DHA that provides an adequate level of tanning and substantivity on the skin. That being said – you won’t find efficacious alternatives to DHA that are safe and any risks of using DHA clearly outweigh the risks of UV tanning.

How to do your own research?

1. Be humble because research is hard
2. Look for real experts who have a background in the subject
3. Look for unbiased experts who aren’t trying to sell you something
4. Watch out for ideologues who are pushing a biased agenda.
5. Always remain open to changing your mind if the evidence is good enough.

From Facebook – Cristina Rollins Great episode. It would be sosooso amazing if you could record an episode (or half an episode 😉 ) on hard water. How can we tell for sure we have it or how to test it (ph?)? What to do to avoid wrecking your hair / skin too badly? Do small shower filters work? (the ones sold on Amazon for example, not the professional ones applied on the entire home system), ecct. I have searched the site and only found a short comment. THANK YOU UUUU

Well, It’d be hard to do a whole show on hard water 😀 but we can certainly answer a few questions about it.  First, hard and soft water refers to the amount of metal ions or minerals in a water source.

Hard water is a term used for water that contains a high mineral content. Water from our waterways picks up different minerals like magnesium and calcium due to interactions with rock formations and who knows what else we’ve put in the ecosystem. So of course, geography plays a role in how hard your water is depending on where you live. There are also sulfates and chlorides present and limits on metals like iron and lead that are removed.

A common perception is that hard water is water that is contaminated, but the contaminants are actually minerals these are actual essential to health in moderate doses. If you look at bottled spring water, like Fiji, you can actually see that it contains various minerals that contribute to the flavor profile and feel of the water. Water completely devoid of minerals does not taste good and actually can be detrimental to health long term.

Laws govern how water is treated and how much hardness water can have when leaving the water treatment facility. The hardness of water is measured by primarily the calcium content of water through measuring how much calcium carbonate is present. 0 – 100 ppm is considered soft, 100-200 moderate, and 200 – 300 hard. Again – keep in mind water can also contain iron, chlorides, sulfates, magnesium or other minerals found on the earth’s surface. We call these dissolved solids. You can measure how much “dissolved solids” at your home by using a TDS meter. This is a little meter is plunged into a water sample and it reads out how many ppm is found in the water. It doesn’t necessarily identify each mineral, just the overall content. Typically, less than 500 is considered satisfactory. The only means of reducing total dissolved solids is by using reverse osmosis which is not really economical.

When it comes to washing dishes and doing laundry, soft water is better because it doesn’t leave a mineral residue behind. When you’re washing your hair, though, I do not believe soft water is beneficial over hard water in all cases. When water is softened, sodium  and potassium are often exchanged for the other ions. So while soft water might not contain calcium or magnesium, it still has these sodium salts which can alter hair.

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