Does Beverly Hills MD Brow Serum work and other beauty questions? episode 213

We have a lot of beauty questions to answer today, including:

  • What do we think of the Beverly Hills MD brow serum
  • Are lash tints safe?
  • Why do anti-aging ingredients affect skin color?
  • Why do dermatologists keep saying hyaluronic acid is pointless?

Perry and Valerie are under self imposed quarantine!  But we’re still recording. 

Beauty science news

Are cosmetics going to be more regulated?

The spokesperson from the EWG (who likes this new legislation by the way) said the following about the cosmetics industry.  “…no category of consumer products is subject to less government oversight than cosmetics and other personal care products.”  This is patently false. The least regulated, and in my view most dangerous, consumer product segment is the Supplement Industry. Congress passed the DSHEA act in 1994 which essentially took all the power the FDA had to regulate the supplement industry and put it in the hands of the supplement industry. I have zero faith in the quality of supplements. 

I still wonder why there isn’t a “Campaign for Safe Supplements.”

Beauty Questions

Question 1 – Diana says – Hi there! I just bought this after getting really mesmerized by the infomercial, and of course after I received it I’m wondering are any of these ingredients dangerous? I knew it might not be as effective as they promise, but I didn’t think about potential harm… do you mind taking a look?

Does it work? 

Well, first I’m never terribly impressed with the scientific validity of supplier funded research. They have a vested interest in exaggerating outcomes and ignoring things that don’t support their marketing story. They also aren’t under the same advertising rules that they would be if consumers were the customer. Symrise or Givaudan can make much more impressive claims than P&G or Unilever.

But for a small start-up company, they can just go to a supplier and ask them for something that can grow hair, and put it in. They probably don’t do any testing themselves and just use the product because the supplier says it works.  And if you’re selling online and advertising through infomercials, you can be a lot more loosey goosey with your claims. 

Of course, looking at their website they do a pretty good job of writing claims. They give the impression of this product working like a drug, but they don’t make any direct claims about it. For example, they say “..this formula helps support the stem cells present in your hair follicles, which control hair growth — so you can achieve the look of fuller, thicker brows without the need for excess makeup or microblading.

I mean the claim “formula helps support stem cells” is vague. What does it mean to “support the stem cells”?

Importantly though, nowhere do they say that the product will make your hair grow. 

So, I doubt you are going to see any real benefit to this product beyond some film forming that makes your brows maybe more noticeable.

And to the question of safety, this product is probably safe, at least as far as the ingredients go. I wouldn’t worry about product safety. I’d be more worried about spending $88 for less than 1 ounce of product!  Geez! 

Ingredient list – Deionized Water, Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Acetyl Tretrapeptide-3, Dextran, Larix Europaea (Larch) Wood Extract, Sodium Metabisulfite (Antioxidant), Glycine (Amino Acid), Zinc Chloride, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract, Glyceryl Caprylate, Propanediol (Non-GMO), Psidium Guajava Leaf Extract, Polysorbate-20, Keratin, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Lecithin, Pullulan, Sclerotium Gum, Xanthan Gum, Allantoin, Cetraria Islandica (Icelandic Moss) Extract, Keratin Amino Acids, Biotin, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil

Question 2Han from Instagram says, “Hi! I’ve been listening to the podcast for quite a while but only just found you on Instagram. Just listened to the episode about lash lifts… which made me wonder, are lash tints very safe or do they have different dangers?”

Is it safe? In Europe, silver nitrate is approved up to 4% in eye lash tints. A small selection of oxidative color is approved for use in dying eyebrows and eyelashes as well, but a majority of the colorants that you can use on head are not approved for use on the brow or lash. This is important for keeping in mind, to our EU listeners, that you should not take any hair color for the head and just put it on your brows or lashes because they don’t have the established safety. In the US, there are not any colorants approved for use in the lash area.

This is why the state of California does not allow eye lash tinting as a salon service, because there are no authorized colorants for the lash area, therefore there can’t be any products with approved colorants, therefore there are no approved products. Additionally, just because a colorant is approved for use in the eye area, doesn’t mean you are without risk; colorants are sensitizers and people can be allergic to them, just like hair dye. It’s important to patch test 48 hours before using eye lash tint to ensure no allergies exist. Additionally, permanent eyelash and eyebrow tints and dyes have been known to cause serious eye injuries, including blindness. 

Question 3 – Audio QuestionLisa asks – Hi! I have three questions. First, I wondered why is it that anti-aging ingredients: retinoids, niacinamide, and Vitamin C, also inhibit or reduces melanin in your skin? I’m a really pale untanned Fitzpatrick type II, and I appreciate every melanin molecule in my skin, personally. My second question is why aren’t there more retinaldehyde products out there? Are they really expensive to produce, or really photosensitive, or? And my final question is: Is PPD the best indication of UVA protection? I’m looking for a sunscreen with really high UVA protection, so should I be buying a sunscreen with PPD 30+ or a sunscreen with 5 Boots stars, for example? Or should I find a sunscreen with so-and-so UV filters? Thank you for listening to my questions!” 

  1. Anti-aging ingredients shouldn’t have too much impact on skin color
  2. Retinaldehyde doesn’t have a huge impact on skin appearance so it’s not used as much.
  3. The Boots Star rating with 5 stars and an SPF of 30 is the best to use.

Question 4 – MaskinRelaxin asks “Why do dermatologists say that hyaluronic acids are pointless? I was told that the molecule is too big to be able to penetrate into the skin.”

Maybe because most are too large to significantly penetrate the skin and they stay on top. Or maybe it’s because it doesn’t work better than glycerin. Or maybe it’s because they want to do injections instead of topical treatments.

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