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Welcome to the Beauty Brains, a show where real cosmetic chemists answer your beauty product questions and give you an insider’s look at the cosmetic industry.

This is Episode 226.
Hosts Perry Romanowski, and Valerie George

Is glycerin bad for curly hair?
Are encapsulated ingredients better?
Do scalp exfoliators help?
Can beauty companies hide allergens in their products?
What’s the difference between organic DHA and the non-organic kind?

Upcoming webinar on cosmetic formulating

Beauty Science News
Sunscreen ban lifted in Florida

Interesting. Here’s what happened – Hawaii banned certain sunscreens due to harming coral reefs. A couple places in Florida followed suit. The governor in Florida has overridden those bans.

Are the bans effective? They had banned oxybenzone or octinoxate containing sunscreens.

Heard on Instagram
Sun Armour – No grease! No mess! No toxic chemicals! Sun Armour strengthens your skin on the molecular level to better resist the sun’s rays. Just try it with no strings attached for thirty days!

Beauty Questions
Question 1
From twitter – Jasmine says – I’ve noticed that many curly hair products contain glycerin but I frequently see information online stating glycerin is bad for curly hair, especially in both dry or humid climates. That doesn’t leave a lot of in between. Is there any truth to this?

Rinse off products, the glycerin is just going to rinse down the drain.
Leave-in products, it can help draw moisture to the hair. This may be helpful for curly hair (reduce brittleness) Even in dry climates, glycerin will provide some improved hair fiber flexibility….

Question 2
Jen says – I’m not sure if you’ve heard about Susan Yara and her new skin care brand Naturium. I will spare you the details regarding her controversial launch, but I was wondering about something that she mentions about the products. She says the 22% vitamin c is “encapsulated” in gold making it more gentle on the skin. Later she talks about retinol being “encapsulated” but she doesn’t explain what it’s encapsulated in. Do you think “encapsulated” is more of a buzz word or is she using this correctly? She also talks about photostable retinol. Is that a thing? Thank you so much for your help. I never want to spread misinformation and it’s so wonderful to have you as a source! – Jen

Encapsulation technology has been around for decades. It is nothing new and nothing special. It’s a marketing gimmick in my opinion.
The basic premise is this…

1. Some ingredients are not compatible with other formulation ingredients (e.g. Vitamin C oxidizes in water)
2. If you encapsulate Vitamin C, you can protect it from water in the formula so it won’t break down. Or in the case of Naturium products, they go with the “protect the skin” claim.

Think of encapsulated particles as microscopic eggs. If you put the Vitamin C inside that egg, then plunge it in water, the water can’t get to the vitamin C to break down.

It makes logical sense, but just because something is logical doesn’t mean that it’s true in real life. Here are the real-world problems with encapsulated ingredients.

-If you make your encapsulated shell too hard, it doesn’t break when the consumer is using the product. In rinse-off products this means the product just washes down the drain. In leave-on products, this means the product eventually falls off the skin with dead skin cells. In this case it’s like putting a grain of sand on your skin. Eventually, it just falls off.

-If you make your encapsulated shell too soft, then the particles open up during the production process. You’re essentially left with no encapsulated material any more and it is pretty much the same as if you didn’t encapsulate the material.

The trick is to get a shell that is hard enough to survive the production process, but soft enough to open up when a consumer uses the product. In practice, this is impossible which is why “encapsulated” technology is just a marketing gimmick. It will have no measurable improvement on the performance of the product. If encapsulation worked, all big companies would use the technology. It’s telling that they don’t.

And as far as encapsulated retinol being more gentle, yes I could see that. They just make the shells so hard that none of it gets delivered to the skin ergo, it’s much more gentle.

No, photostable retinol is not really a thing. However, there are retinol derivatives that may be photostable (retinyl N-formyl aspartamate). Unfortunately, the photostable derivatives do not work as well as the retinol. More marketing.

Question 3 – (audio)
Mary – Do products that exfoliate the scalp actually provide any benefit? Physical or chemical exfoliators. Is it good or bad for the hair? Would these work for black hair textures? Is it worth trying?

I’m skeptical that people will notice any benefit from using a scalp exfoliator (your thoughts?)

Here’s the theory of why scalp exfoliating will help…

While it’s logical that it would help, just because something is logical doesn’t mean it’s true.

Question 5 –
Jessica says – Hi! I own a small airbrush tanning business. I buy solutions from a few different companies. Some have an organic source of DHA and some don’t. I guess my question is can I say the ingredients are all ok to be putting on the skin for an airbrush tan? I advertise “organic” tans but I know that not ALL the ingredients are organic or even need to be. Are there any warnings or studies that have been recently put out against spray tan solutions? Thank you so much.

Thanks for the questions. There is a little bit to unpack here and hopefully we can clear up some of the confusion.

First, let’s talk about what makes spray tans work. The main ingredient in spray tans is DHA (dihydroxyacetone) It. reacts with proteins on the outer layer of skin which causes them to get darker. This is a maillard reaction and is the same kind of reaction that causes bananas to get brown. Now, this is different from another compound, docosahexaenoic acid which is also referred to as DHA. Docosahexaenoic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil and is a popular ingredient in dietary supplements. And it is important to note, the ingredients are NOT the same. If you make a sunless tanner product with the dietary supplement DHA, it will not turn the skin a darker color. The only DHA that turns skin brown-ish, is Dihydroxyacetone.

Ok, let’s move on to what the term “organic” means. In the US, the term “organic” does not officially apply to cosmetics, at least as far as the FDA is concerned. However, the US Department of Agriculture created organic standards for food and then they made a provision that covered cosmetics. This seems a little out of their authority but the FDA deferred to them. So, if you want to say your cosmetic is certified organic, you have to adhere to the USDA organic standards. If you want that, it’s hard. You have to control the farming, get certified, and the ingredient cannot be synthetic. While there is a USDA certified organic version of Docosahexaenoic acid, there is NOT an organic version of Dihydroxyacetone. So, it is a myth that any of these spray tans are “organic,” at least as far as the USDA is concerned.

I’ve read that some manufacturers claim that their products are “Ecocert certified organic.” Well, Ecocert is a non-governmental organization that sets standards for natural raw materials. Their “organic” certification would not qualify in the US. Additionally, Ecocert certified organic DHA does not exist. So, companies who are claiming an organic sunless tanner are misleading you. I don’t recommend you make the claims either. You could get sued (lawyers have made a lot of money going after fake organic claims) and it isn’t true. It’s illegal to make false claims.

The ingredients in spray tans are safe. DHA has been approved by the FDA as a safe and effective ingredient when used externally. However, it is worth noting that technically spray tans are not a legal form for delivering DHA. While topical application has been proven safe, there is not enough data to conclude that internal ingestion of DHA is safe. This includes what you might breath in during a misting of the stuff.

The FDA posts three requirements for places that provide spray tan booths.

Are consumers protected from exposure in the entire area of the eyes, in addition to the eyes themselves?

Are consumers protected from exposure on the lips and all parts of the body covered by mucous membrane?

Are consumers protected from internal exposure caused by inhaling or ingesting the product?

If for any of these questions the answer is no, then the product is being illegally applied. But most places require eye protection (I imagine) so as long as you are doing that, you’re ok.

But no, there are no such thing as Organic Sunless Tanners. At least by the USDA definition.
You can read more about the FDA’s stance on sunless tanners here.
https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-products/sunless-tanners-bronzers

Sign off:

If you get a chance can you go over to Apple Podcasts and leave us a review. That will help other people find the show and ensure we have a full docket of beauty questions to answer.

Incidentally, if you want to have a question answered on the Beauty Brains, just record it on your smart phone then send it in an email to thebeautybrains@gmail.com. Or you can send us a message through our various social media account.

The Beauty Brains are now on Patreon! If you want to support the show Patreon is the best way to do it. This will help keep the show going and avoid any of those pesky advertisements that I find so maddening in other podcasts that I listen to. Thank you to all of our Patrons!

Thanks again for listening and remember Be Brainy about your Beauty.

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On today’s show I’m going to answer questions about

  • Microplastics in cosmetic products
  • Metallic colorants in hair color
  • The best products to use when undergoing chemotherapy
  • Should you used expired sunscreens?

Beauty Science News

Is coffee waste the next hot ingredient? 

Follow the Beauty Brains

Thanks for listening. Hey if you get a chance can you go over to iTunes and leave us a review. That will help other people find the show and ensure we have a full docket of beauty questions to answer.

ASK A QUESTION – If you want to ask a question click this link or record one on your phone and send it to thebeautybrains@gmail.com

Social media accounts
on Instagram we’re at thebeautybrains2018
on Twitter, we’re thebeautybrains
And we have a Facebook page.

Support the Beauty Brains!
The Beauty Brains are now on Patreon! Help support us to continue to make episodes.

Thanks again for listening and remember Be Brainy about your Beauty

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Welcome to the Beauty Brains, a show where real cosmetic chemists answer your beauty product questions and give you an insider’s look at the cosmetic industry.

Hosts: Perry Romanowski.

On today’s show we’re going to answer questions about…

  • Whether beauty supplements can make hair & skin look better
  • What exactly is skin pH
  • And whether you have to mix products exactly to get them to work?

Beauty Science News
Does SPF 100 work better than SPF 50?

CIR releases latest findings

Beauty Questions

Question 1 – Clare –  I want to grow my hair longer – it’s taking too long – Vita gummy hair growth products – Do they work?  or are they a load of rubbish?

There are a number of compounds popularly believed to affect hair growth. These include Protein, Vitamin C, Biotin, Vitamin B12, Zinc, Niacin, Essential fatty acids, iron, Copper, Selenium, Vitamin A and Vitamin D. I mention these because these were the ones mentioned in a review paper. The paper also says that there is no evidence that any of these will affect the hair growth of anyone who is not malnourished. So, unless you have a eating disorder, you are not going to see any benefit from using a supplement to grown hair.  The paper specifically calls out that Biotin has not been shown to increase hair growth in people who are healthy.

Question 2 – Danielle – Halo beauty supplements – Hair skin and nails formula – Before and after pictures 

Before and after pictures are never a good measure of whether a product works. First, they are easy to trick (photoshop anyone). But the pictures on the website are not even that complicated. Most of them are just different lighting. 

The other thing that before and after don’t tell you is the idea of if you did nothing. That is, if you had no treatment what would your skin look like?   When you are evaluating any treatment remember there are three things that can happen.

  1. The condition gets better
  2. The condition gets worse
  3. The condition doesn’t change

Now, these three things can all happen if you do nothing too. So you need more evidence than just before and after pictures.

If you add to this the fact that supplements are a practically unregulated industry and you really have no way of knowing what you are buying, I don’t recommend them. 

Unless you’re malnourished, or your doctor recommends it, I would suggest you avoid any dietary supplements, even ones publicized by social media influencers. 

Question 3 – Tinks – Skin doesn’t have a pH. – Does skin have a pH? What are they matching? Where are they getting that it does have a pH?

You are actually measuring the pH of the material that is on the skin, not the skin itself.

Question 4Christina – Some serums require mixing 2 products before use. Unfortunately,  you don’t always mix it perfectly. Will it still work if you don’t mix exactly the right ratios? (Niod peptide)

https://niod.deciem.com/product/nid-copper-amino-isolate-serum-21-30ml

Yes, it will still work. Which isn’t saying that it will work much.

Follow the Beauty Brains

Thanks for listening. Hey if you get a chance can you go over to iTunes and leave us a review. That will help other people find the show and ensure we have a full docket of beauty questions to answer.

ASK A QUESTION – If you want to ask a question click this link or record one on your phone and send it to thebeautybrains@gmail.com

Social media accounts
on Instagram we’re at thebeautybrains2018
on Twitter, we’re thebeautybrains
And we have a Facebook page.

Support the Beauty Brains!
The Beauty Brains are now on Patreon! Help support us to continue to make episodes.

Thanks again for listening and remember Be Brainy about your Beauty

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Welcome to the Beauty Brains, a show where real cosmetic chemists answer your beauty product questions and give you an insider’s look at the cosmetic industry.

Hosts: Valerie George and Perry Romanowski.

On today’s show we’re going to answer questions about…

  • Whether you should get a cosmetic fridge?
  • If dry shampoo is bad for your hair and other hair questions
  • What is the lameller technique and how does it work?

Suggested listening:

Up First Podcast – American Police

This American Life – Episode 707

Beauty Science News

Is men’s skin care really poised for growth?

A third of people surveyed are practicing risky cleaning procedures during the pandemic.

Recalls

Arbonne International has recalled its Shea Butter Body Wash

BECCA Cosmetics Light Shifter Brightening Concealer, – recalled due to the presence of Mold on the applicator sponge. 

Beauty Questions

Question 1 – Lori – So I’m just curious to hear from you guys if this is a product that you think is actually well it doesn’t do what it claims does it extend the life of your cosmetic products is it something that you would recommend using or is it fine to just keep items in a in a regular fridge looking forward hearing what you have to say and thank you for helping me through this lockdown in your own special way

A special cosmetic fridge will not give you different results than using a regular fridge. But don’t eat your cosmetics!

Question 2 –  Charolette – 1. Hair washing – Is dry shampoo worse for your hair than washing your hair? Is it equally bad for your scalp?
2. Should you cut your split ends? Is it beneficial or is that a myth?
3. Ordinary hair serum – Does this work? What’s the science behind it?”

-REDENSYL™ *(Givaudan): Targets stem cells and human fibroblasts from the dermal papilla to improve hair density.
-Procapil™ (Sederma Inc.): Increases blood flow in the scalp which allows the hair to be well nourished, resulting in appearance of thicker hair.
-BAICAPIL™ (Provital, S.A): Increases hair density.

Ingredients in Ordinary Serum – Water, Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Caffeine, Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3, Larix Europaea Wood Extract, Pisum Sativum Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Triticum Vulgare Germ Extract, Glycine Soja Germ Extract, Trifolium Pratense Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Apigenin, Oleanolic Acid, Arginine, Glycine, Calcium Gluconate, Zinc Chloride, Lactic Acid, Gluconolactone, Dextran, Maltodextrin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Xanthan gum, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Polysorbate 20, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Metabisulfite, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

Question 3 – Christine – Hello Beauty Brains. Recently I came upon this product called L’Oreal Paris Elvive 8 second Wonder Water. It claims to use “Lamellar technology” to deposit proteins and amino acids only where needed. It heats up when in contact with hair and water making the hair feel hydrated and smooth. What is this Lamellar technique and how does it work?

It’s the evolution of micellar water!

Follow the Beauty Brains

Thanks for listening. Hey if you get a chance can you go over to iTunes and leave us a review. That will help other people find the show and ensure we have a full docket of beauty questions to answer.

ASK A QUESTION – If you want to ask a question click this link or record one on your phone and send it to thebeautybrains@gmail.com

Social media accounts
on Instagram we’re at thebeautybrains2018
on Twitter, we’re thebeautybrains
And we have a Facebook page.

Support the Beauty Brains!
The Beauty Brains are now on Patreon! Help support us to continue to make episodes.

Thanks again for listening and remember Be Brainy about your Beauty

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Welcome to the Beauty Brains, a show where real cosmetic chemists answer your beauty product questions and give you an insider’s look at the cosmetic industry. This is Episode 222. Yes, that’s a palindrome!  Yeah.   I’m your host, Perry Romanowski and with me today is…well, it’s just me. Valerie is off today but she’ll be back next week.  

Meanwhile on today’s show I’m going to be answering questions about…

  • Whether the SkinDupes AI is a reliable way to pick skin care products?
  • Can you combine Vitamin C and Niacinamide?
  • Do blue light serums provide any extra benefit?
  • Whether it’s worth it to grow your own plant extracts for skin care?

Why don’t people apply sunscreen? 

I should say up front that it’s a good practice to wear sunscreen every day. It has proven benefits both with stopping the negative skin aging effects of the sun and also protecting you from the development of cancer. If you’re going outside, wear sunscreen.  

-they don’t like how it feels
-they think it causes acne
-they don’t like the white cast it leaves on the skin
-they don’t want to mess up their makeup and
-they don’t think they need it because they aren’t going to be in the sun too long.

CBD meet CBG  – CBG is the new CBD?

Beauty Product Advice

So, an efficient way to find the product that is the best value for you, which means it works well and is low cost, is to start with an inexpensive product. If the least expensive product works for you, then that’s what you should use. However, if you try that inexpensive product and you hate it, then move up to the next tier of product cost and try that out. If you don’t like that, then move up in price until you find a product that works for you.  This is the most efficient way to find the product optimized for you. 

But what that does not mean is that you should just buy the cheapest thing you can find. Some people may like VO5 or Suave shampoo. It’s cheap and it works. But a lot of people won’t like it. It may be too harsh or they don’t like the fragrance. For those people, they should move up to the next tier of shampoo. Don’t start out with a super pricing, customized product for your hair type. Because the product likely isn’t better and you can find less expensive options that will work just as well. 

Anyway, I just wanted to clarify, we here on the Beauty Brains are not telling you that you should just buy the cheapest products.  What we are telling you is that you need to experiment with products to find out what works best for you. And that a good way to start that experiment is to begin with the least expensive products. Then move up in price until you find a product that you are happy with.

Beauty Questions

Question 1My question is about the skincareskool. It’s described as the first algorithm that compares products that are similar. Is this dupe finder reliable? Can you expect similar results from products that have a high match score?  

They give a reasonable option as an alternative. Just know they are not completely unbiased or accurate.

Question 2 Shilpa says – I read online that certain actives should not be used together, specifically vitamin c and niacinamide. I read the vitamin c reacts with the niacinamide and inactivates the niacinamide. Is this true, and if so, should I apply niacinamide creams at night in rotation with my retinoids? Can they be applied together or do they react together too?

Now, about combining them in a single product. Generally, Vitamin C needs to be used at a low pH to be most effective while Niacinamide works better at a higher/neutral pH. So, there can be a problem if the pH isn’t optimized.  As far as a problem layering, no there isn’t a problem with that.  But some research done in the 1960’s had shown a negative interaction between Niacinamide and Ascorbic Acid (they can potentially react to produce nicotinic acid which can cause redness and itching).  However, that result is using pure ascorbic acid and niacinamide held at high temperatures. It’s unlikely to be a problem in modern day formulations stored at room temperature.

So is there any benefits to combining them?  They would be beneficial together in that you could get multiple effects from a single product. Niacinamide and Vitamin C fight different problems related to aging skin. Combining them also would help with skin lightening (theoretically) as they work in different ways to achieve that effect.

Question 3 – Paige asks – Is there a difference between an antioxidant serum marketed for blue light and a good antioxidant serum? Are these products actually beneficial or what are their shortcomings?

There is not really a formulation difference. They pretty much use standard anti-aging ingredients like peptides, humectants, niacinamide, etc. But there isn’t any ingredient you can formulate with that will have a measurable impact on the effect (or lack there of) that blue light has on skin.  The products are beneficial in the way that moisturizers are beneficial. But there is nothing in them that will make them measurably different in terms of the effect of blue light.

Question 4 – Mishu asks Is there no plant extract worth harvesting and using in skincare? Is synthetic always better?

To the question of whether any plant extract works to provide benefits for your skin. As a consumer you need to know up front that while cosmetic marketers frequently advertise on their bottles that there are plant extracts in the product, the reality is only a tiny amount of the extract is typically used. The formulators & marketers of the product don’t expect those extracts to have any measurable impact on performance. They are what we call “claims” ingredients and they help tell a story. They don’t make the product work. 

Now, there are lots of plants that may have benefits. Aloe juice certainly has moisturizing benefits.  And in an article titled “Botanicals in Dermatology: An Evidence-Based Review” published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, they point out potential benefits for a few plant extracts such as Tea Tree oil to fight acne, Glycyrrhiza, which is derived from licorice, as a treatment for atopic dermatitis and Mahonia and Capsicum for psoriasis. Of course, there is just directional evidence for these working. It hasn’t reached the level of these being prescribed as treatments.  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20509719/

Question 5Alison asks – Am I better off still using good old-fashioned petrolatum and glycerin on my face? Is hyaluronic acid just a fad?

Yeah. Glycerin is the most efficient humectant in terms of real world performance. Hyaluronic acid makes a much better story though. I think it’s just a fad although it’s an ingredient that will probably stick around because it does actually work. I just don’t think it works better than plain old glycerin. It’s a lot harder to market products that just use it, but that’s why I’m not in the beauty product selling business. If you’re using a product with petrolatum & glycerin, you can’t do much better in terms of performance.

Question 6 – Julia says – What’s up with prostaglandins used in eyelash serums? My understanding is that they are similar to the ingredients in prescription medications in effectiveness and potential side effects, but do not require the labeling or testing required of “drugs”. What gives?  

If they work, they’re illegal drugs.  Except Latisse

Question 7 – Theresa asks – Are commercially available retinol creams like La Roche-Posay Redermic R Intense with 0.3% retinol just as strong as the prescription tretinoin at 0.25% or 0.3%? What’s the difference?

The tretinoin products are proven to work. The retinol products aren’t.

Question 8Tina says “This is the list of ingredients that Monat does not use in their products: NO Parabens , SLS/SLES, Cyclic Silicones, BHT, DEA, Phthalates, Phenoxyethanol, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, or Paraffin Wax, Triclosan, Plastic Microbeads, Formaldehyde Releasers.  Can you explain in laymen’s terms what they are/do and if they’re actually harmful? Or, is this more fear-based marketing?”

It’s fear based marketing.

Question 9 – And finally, here’s one from Kimberly  from Instagram – What is the difference between Medical grade skincare and OTC skincare? I’ve heard many so called experts say non medical grade skincare does nothing but make your skin feel nice.

OTC skin care uses proven actives to treat conditions like acne, psoriasis, eczema, etc. The ingredients and claims are regulated by the FDA (at least in the US).  In this case OTC refers to the terms Over the Counter drugs.  These are the most regulated cosmetic-type products on the market.

If you’re just referring to any product you can buy at the drug or grocery store then perhaps you mean OTC as in drug store brands. These are different and they can not, by law, treat diseases. They are classified as cosmetics and are only allowed to improve the appearance of skin and hair.

Medical grade skincare is a marketing position that has no legal meaning. Anyone can call anything they want “medical grade.” It does not refer to things that dermatologists prescribe.  It generally refers to standard cosmetic products that are sold by dermatologists, use a dermatologists name, or just take the marketing position  that they are medical grade. The reality is that these products do not have any special technology that allows them to work better or treat diseases that other cosmetic skin care brands can’t do. It is a marketing position, that’s all.

Follow the Beauty Brains

Thanks for listening. Hey if you get a chance can you go over to iTunes and leave us a review. That will help other people find the show and ensure we have a full docket of beauty questions to answer.

ASK A QUESTION – If you want to ask a question click this link or record one on your phone and send it to thebeautybrains@gmail.com

Social media accounts
on Instagram we’re at thebeautybrains2018
on Twitter, we’re thebeautybrains
And we have a Facebook page.

Support the Beauty Brains!
The Beauty Brains are now on Patreon! Help support us to continue to make episodes.

Thanks again for listening and remember Be Brainy about your Beauty

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Welcome to the Beauty Brains, a show where real cosmetic chemists answer your beauty product questions and give you an insider’s look at the cosmetic industry.

Hosts: Valerie George and Perry Romanowski

On today’s show we’re going to be answering questions about…

  • Is blow drying at low heat better for your hair than air drying?
  • How important are amino acids in hair care products?
  • How do you go about studying cosmetic science?

Beauty science news:

Breaking news – J&J discontinues selling talc based baby powder!

 

Do you know any of these influencers?

SCCS publishes trio of final safety opinions on hair dye, anti-perspirant and anti-dandruff ingredients

Who is the SCCS – Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety.  It’s important to note that this group the SCCS is not funded by industry and the scientists do not work for industry. It’s also important to note that these levels of ingredients are not different than what the US allows.  More evidence that cosmetic products in the US are not less safe than those in the EU and that cosmetic products are safe to use.

Beauty Questions

Question 1 Renee – The scientist at ghd says that blow drying at low heat and speed is actually better for hair than air drying. Is this true? 

Link to product

Good question. I doubt a consumer would notice much difference.

Question 2 – Wageeda says – I have been wondering about amino acids in hair products!. I noticed amino acid used recently a lot . But is it effective?is it better to as hydrolyzed such as hydrolyzed wheat protein or as a separate amino acid such as Glutamic Acid, Histidine, Serine,  Arginine, Lysine .  Lastly, what’s the difference between amino acids  in relation to hair and what is the best one for damaged hair in leave in and masks conditioners?

Question 3 – Audio – Cyndi – Totally enamored by the chemistry behind our cosmetic products. Pro makeup artist, 53 years young. I don’t have a degree. I want to begin a college career, and eventually become a professor of cosmetic science.  Should I minor in business and marketing? If I can only choose one, which should I minor in as a future professor?

It really all comes down to what you want your career to be. If you want to become a future professor, you will have to at least get a degree related to the topic you want to teach. So, if you want to become a professor of cosmetic science, you’re going to have to get a degree in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering. Then you would likely need a Masters in the subject since undergrad degrees don’t teach much about cosmetic science. Getting a minor in Marketing would probably help more than in Business.

Follow the Beauty Brains

Thanks for listening. Hey if you get a chance can you go over to iTunes and leave us a review. That will help other people find the show and ensure we have a full docket of beauty questions to answer.

ASK A QUESTION – If you want to ask a question click this link or record one on your phone and send it to thebeautybrains@gmail.com

Social media accounts
on Instagram we’re at thebeautybrains2018
on Twitter, we’re thebeautybrains
And we have a Facebook page.

Support the Beauty Brains!
The Beauty Brains are now on Patreon! Help support us to continue to make episodes.

Thanks again for listening and remember Be Brainy about your Beauty

 

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Hello & welcome to the Beauty Brains, a show where real cosmetic chemists answer your beauty product questions and give you an insider’s look at the cosmetic industry. This is episode 220.

Host:  Perry Romanowski

7 Marketing Tricks that are Costing you Money

  1. Natural product nonsense
  2. Clean beauty con
  3. Salon brand secrets
  4. The Pricing Ploy
  5. Advertising antics
  6. Flawed Influencers
  7. Subscription service shenanigans

Follow the Beauty Brains

Thanks for listening. Hey if you get a chance can you go over to iTunes and leave us a review. That will help other people find the show and ensure we have a full docket of beauty questions to answer.

ASK A QUESTION – If you want to ask a question click this link or record one on your phone and send it to thebeautybrains@gmail.com

Social media accounts
on Instagram we’re at thebeautybrains2018
on Twitter, we’re thebeautybrains
And we have a Facebook page.

Support the Beauty Brains!
The Beauty Brains are now on Patreon! Help support us to continue to make episodes.

Thanks again for listening and remember Be Brainy about your Beauty

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Welcome to the Beauty Brains, a show where real cosmetic chemists answer your beauty product questions and give you an insider’s look from scientists in the cosmetic industry. 

On today’s show we’re going to be answering questions about…

  • Is the wait time necessary when you are applying acids?
  • How do you debate product safety with someone?
  • Do skin products with natural moisturizing factor work better?
  • Should you avoid glycerin and dimethicone in hair products?

And we’ll cover some beauty science news too.

Beauty Science news

What’s your stance on wearing masks?

Perry on Ecowell podcast 

J&J lawsuits get go ahead

Beauty in the time of covid

Beauty Questions

Question 1 – Shea Drury – My question is about wait times after applying acids. After cleansing about 3 nights per week, I apply Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid, wait 20 minutes, then apply Cosrx AHA Whitehead Power Liquid, wait 20 minutes, then go on with the rest of my routine. From what I’ve read, the reasoning behind waiting 20 minutes after applying the acid is that it takes 20-30 minutes to neutralize, therefore by waiting you are getting more benefit from the product, and that applying other products over acid before it has neutralized naturally will neutralize the acid. Also, the possibility of irritation is said to increase if you don’t have the wait time between the two acids. Do you think this wait time is necessary? And given that BHA is oil soluble and AHA is water soluble, which one should go first?

No, 30 minute wait time is not necessary.

Question 2 – I recently had a conversation with a makeup artist about products to clean makeup brushes. She said J&J Baby Shampoo contains harsh ingredients that are bad for the skin and for the waterways. She has created a product called Luxury Vegan Makeup Brush Soap but I don’t know ingredients well enough to tell if her product is “good” for the skin and the waterways. Do you mind weighing in or direct me to how to sort this out on my own? Thank you.

The first thing I keep in mind when discussing “this product is better than that product” with someone, is what their belief system is. This person clearly has a definition of what a “good” product for the skin is. In going to this person’s website, they think a good product is vegetable-based, sulfate-free, fragrance-free, antimicrobial and antibacterial is good. Ok, we might not agree with their definition, but we can use this definition to see if the J&J product fits the definition. In looking at the J&J product ingredient list, I can see it is not fragrance-free, although all the allergens were disclosed. All of the other requirements are met.

The second thing I do is check what they’re saying about the product to see if it’s valid. This person says J&J’s tear free shampoo has ingredients that are bad for the skin. Aside from the fact that every company is required to prove their products are safe, and certainly a company the size of J&J is doing so, what ingredients could be the culprit? There are some studies that show glucosides (of which the J&J product has Decyl and Lauryl) can be irritating, which I think can be true at high levels. That doesn’t necessarily mean this product is irritating, though. I then look at the makeup brush soap and see that it contains pentasodium pentatate. This can be non-irritating to irritating. Additionally, pentasodium pentatate is a hazardous substance that has to be declared on Safety Data Sheets. So, this person doesn’t have a leg to stand on if they want to use this as a talking point. However, pentasodium pentatate is perfectly fine when used in their product. The second thing they claim is that their product is good for the waterways. What they mean by this is that their product’s ingredients readily biodegrade when introduced into water, or that the ingredients are not harmful to aquatic life. I’m not sure if this individual has both of these in mind, but I would say this is likely true. Looking at her ingredients, this is likely true. You can find this information in Section 12 of a Safety Data Sheet. The J&J product contains EDTA, which is not readily biodegradable, but eventually will. I didn’t look up all the ingredients, but this jumps out. Keep in mind it’s important to keep in mind the safety data sheets are written for the ingredient at 100% of the concentration and you can extrapolate some things to the end product, but use caution there.

Last but not least, I ask myself what this individual would have to gain from having this view point. This person has created their own product, so of course they think it’s going to be superior to anything else on the market. 

I do want to make one final comment; this person may be referencing an older ingredient debacle that J&J had where their formula used Quaternium-15 as a preservative. This is a formaldehyde donor, and while it’s safe for use, it has gained a bad reputation. J&J came heavily under attack and was forced to reformulate under consumer pressure despite the safety of the ingredient and the product.

Luxury Vegan Makeup Brush Soap
INGREDIENTS: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Sorbitol, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Laurate, Sodium Oleate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Milk Sodium Myristate, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Glyceryl Laurate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Sodium Thiosulfate, Sodium Citrate, Titanium Dioxide, Trisodium Sulfosuccinate, Tocopherol, Pentasodium Pentatate, Tetrasodium Etidronate

Johnson & Johnson Tear Free Baby Shampoo
INGREDIENTS: Aqua (Water), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Lauryl Glucoside, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, PEG-150 Distearate, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Fragrance, Polyquaternium-10, Disodium EDTA

Question 3 Deborah – What are your thoughts on moisturisers formulated with elements that are found naturally in the skin (e.g. The Ordinary Natural Moisturising Factors + HA)? Specifically are these formulations better for damaged/sensitive skin?

What is it?
The NMF are components that your body naturally produces to keep your skin moisturized.  If you analyze the NMF you’ll see that it consists of about 40% amino acids, 12% sodium PCA, 12% lactate, about 8% sugars like glycerol, 7% urea, and a bunch of other stuff. NaPCA is really important because it helps the skin hold onto moisture.

Do products that include it work better? I don’t think so.

It makes for a good marketing story. If you like the products and what they do for your skin, then they are worth trying. But as far as moisturizing and making your skin feel better, there are better ingredients than what the skin produces naturally.

Question 4Paula asks, when looking for new products for myself and clients to help strengthen or moisturize hair, what are some ingredients I should look for? I have a brand I’ve used for years that I love and have always felt made a huge difference in my hair, but if I remember correctly, I looked the other day and it had glycerin & dimethicone high up on the list, which makes me think it’s just coating my hair. 

Glycerin and dimethicone are used in products for two different reasons. If you are using a rinse off product with glycerin, it is likely being rinsed off the hair and going down the drain. It’s kind of a waste to put in those types of products but brands do it anyway for various reasons. If you are using glycerin in a leave-on product, I do find that it can coat the hair and it leaves the hair feeling a little tacky. It’s certainly not harming the hair, because sometimes things coating the hair is a good thing. It increases lubricity helps with combing and reduces breakage. It’s about personal preference, and I just don’t like the feeling of glycerin being left on the hair.

Dimethicone use in formulations is complex. There are some really light weight dimethicones that provide good rinse-feel. These don’t remain on the hair, but rather either get rinsed down the drain or volatilize into the atmosphere. Then, you have the dimethicones that are heavier in weight and remain on the hair. These provide lubricity to the hair or make calming the hair a little bit easier. Or they can be used for anti-frizz or to weigh down the hair. The point is, you *want* them to coat the hair or they can’t do their job.

If you are looking for products to strengthen or moisturize the hair, I wouldn’t worry too much about the presence of glycerin or dimethicone as a deterrent. Do you want to look for products that contain protein, which is a form of scaffolding on the hair that acts as a strengthening network. Wheat protein is actually excellent for strengthening the hair. A lot of people worry about wheat protein having gluten, but the protein is hydrolyze, and therefore gluten is typically not detectable. If you have a concern about gluten and you see hydrolyzed wheat protein in a product you shouldn’t have to worry too. Additionally, some proteins like hydrolyzed soy protein can increase the moisture content of hair. You can also look for an ingredient like polyquaternium-37 which leaves the hair feeling really conditioned.

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ASK A QUESTION – If you want to ask a question click this link or record one on your phone and send it to thebeautybrains@gmail.com

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Thanks again for listening and remember Be Brainy about your Beauty

{ 5 comments }

Welcome to the Beauty Brains, a show where real cosmetic chemists answer your beauty product questions and give you an insider’s look at the cosmetic industry. This is Episode 218.

Hosts: Valerie George and Perry Romanowski. 

On today’s show we’re going to be answering beauty questions about…

  • How do magnetic face masks work?
  • Do Rodan + Field products really live up to their claims?
  • Are Monat’s hair products really that special? 
  • Can Monat cleanser remove a marker mark?

Beauty Industry news

Most popular beauty products during quarantine

Recall alert

Wyndmere Naturals Recalls Birch Sweet Essential Oil and Aches & Pains Synergistic Essential Oil –  because it contains methyl salicylate which must be in child resistant packaging as required by the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA).  The product as packaged represents a poisoning danger if swallowed by small children. This is just another reminder that just because something is natural, that doesn’t mean it is safe!  

Beauty questions

Question 1 – Audio QuestionIrena – from Germany. I’ve seen a magnetic face mask. Is that something that works? The mask is supposed to absorb the gunk and the magnet pulls everything out of your pores. Does this work?

The main ingredient is iron powder. The rest of the mask is pretty standard. One that I saw from Dr Brandt had common skin care ingredients like Dimethicone, polysilicone, silica, peptides and a film forming polymer. You apply the mask, leave it on for 5-10 minutes, then remove it with an included magnet that you wrap in a tissue and glide over your face. This is purely a gimmick. The magnet is not pulling things out of your pores.

Question 2 – Nicole says, “Hi! I am wondering if you have ever looked into Rodan & Fields products to see if they really do what they claim. Specifically, the Reverse Regimen and Redefine Regimen. I have used both for at least 6mo each and saw good results, but it’s very expensive. Reverse claims to lighten hyperpigmentation, which it did lighten hyperpigmentation some and left my skin glowing. Redefine claims to lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. While it did lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, the price point is high and I am wondering if there is an alternative line that is cheaper with similar results? Thanks for looking into this! 

REVERSE – products

  • Exfoliating Wash $44
  • Intensive Brightening Toner $50
    • Kojic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Phenylethyl Resorcinol, Dipotassium Glycrrhizinate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract
  • Dual Active Brightening Complex $102
    • Vitamin C Formula: Ethoxydiglycol, Ascorbic acid, Kojic acid, Syringa Vulgaris (Lilac) Leaf Cell Culture Extract
    • Retinol Formula: Retinol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate
  • Reverse Broad Spectrum Sunscreen $43
    • ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 2.6% Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate

REDEFINE – products The REDEFINE Regimen includes four products that together visibly improve fine lines, wrinkles and loss of firmness for younger-looking skin.

  • Redefine Daily Cleaning Mask $44
    • Sodium Lactate
  • Redefine Pore Minimizing Toner $50
    • Gluconolactone, Lactobionic Acid, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Seed Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract
  • Defense Treatment Broad Spectrum SPF 30 $87
    • ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 2.5%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 2.7%
  • Overnight Restorative Cream $80
    • Niacinamide, Gluconolactone, Squalane, Tetrapeptide-21, Ascorbic Acid, Hydrolyzed Sericin, Hydrolyzed Silk, Retinyl Palmitate, Sodium Hyaluronate

Other suggestions:
Renee Rouleau – spa brand
Olay Regenerist
The Ordinary

Question 3 – Audio – Julia – you have way better arguments and research. Big fan. Monat global brand which is MLM. I tried products and they worked great for my curly hair. They make outrageous claims. Says no other shampoo can do that. What’s your take on this company and their claims? Is there truth in their claims?

Thanks for the question. I’ll say at the outset that I’m not a big fan of the MLM model. This is mostly because the vast majority of people who sell MLM products just end up losing money. But I will say, that just because I think the business strategy is a bit suspect, that doesn’t mean the products necessarily are. There are plenty of MLM companies that make good beauty products.

So, let’s dive into your question.  You said you tried the products and they worked great for your curly hair. That’s great. Now, you didn’t say specifically what product you tried and they only have one targeted to curly hair (their Curl Cream).  I was looking for the outrageous claims you mentioned but honestly, I didn’t see them. Here is what they say about the curl cream 

Defines and conditions all curl types, for frizz-free long-lasting, natural-looking, manageable tresses.

These are decidedly pedestrian claims that pretty much any brand can make.  And in looking at the product ingredient list, it features a styling polymer called Polyquaternium 72 made by a raw material company named Croda. It’s a perfectly fine polymer and they have evidence that in lab tests it provides a bit more hold than other styling polymers like the ever popular PVP. But there is nothing special about this product, its ingredient list or even its claims.  Everyone makes these same claims about their products. 

Now, you said their shampoo makes claims that no other shampoo can do. So, I looked at one of their shampoo products, and didn’t see anything special there either.  Their Advanced Hydrating shampoo is “sulfate free” and based on a couple Isethionate surfactants and a Betaine. This is not revolutionary technology. I don’t think it’s particularly impressive technology either but some people might like it. They do load it up with a bunch of oils which just makes the product worse at cleaning hair but some consumers and marketers think that oils in your shampoos is a good thing.  I don’t think it is. 

But honestly, they don’t even have any outrageous claims here. 

Sulfate-free, gentle cleanser. “Renews dehydrated hair with softness, elasticity, and shine.”  “Infuses hair with intense hydration.” “Improves manageability…” “Leaves hair soft and shiny.”  Pretty much every hair care product will make similar claims. 

They have their “feature” ingredients like REJUVENIQE® Oil which is just some blend of oils that is going to do pretty much what all the other oils do. Then this ingredient Capixyl which “helps to strengthen and thicken hair while supporting natural growth.”  Notice how weak the claim is? What does “supporting natural growth mean” or what does it mean to “help” strengthen hair? These claims are only meant to sound impressive. They really aren’t. 

In a video on their website they talk about restructuring hair from the inside out. But if you pay attention carefully to their claims, they are not making any claims that can’t be supported by any other product.  The bottom line is that while they likely make perfectly fine, albeit a bit overpriced, products, there is nothing special about them. You can go to Target and get products that work every bit as good (or even better) than Monat products. 

Yes, I think there is truth in the claims.  I didn’t see any false claims. I just also didn’t see any impressive claims. Mostly, these seem like pretty boring, standard hair products.

As far as what I think of the company…there are some things that cause me concern. First, I do object to the BS fear marketing they employ posting all the things that their products don’t include as if that somehow makes their products safer. They make claims about ingredients that are “toxic” which aren’t toxic or unsafe. This is pretty standard in the “clean beauty” movement though so they aren’t especially bad here. 

Article from Medium.com which reviewed the company 

Question 4  – Kimberly says, I’ve seen a few people that sell Monat put Sharpie on their face and remove it with their new makeup removing balm. What ingredient(s) would be in that to be able to remove a permanent marker? They’re super into marketing their products as all natural, and I don’t buy into that because they’re not all natural, and even if they were, I’m a believer that natural is a marketing gimmick. 

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Isoamyl Laurate, C13-15 Alkane, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Polyethylene, Heptyl Undecylenate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Synthetic Wax, Calcium Silicate, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Adansonia Digitata Oil, Mauritia Flexuosa Fruit Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Gardenia Taitensis Flower Extract, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Caryocar Brasiliense Fruit Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Extract, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Pulp Extract, Musa Sapientum (Banana) Pulp Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugarcane) Extract, Glycolic Acid, Myrica Cerifera (Bayberry) Fruit Wax, Glycerin, Tocopherol, Silica, Aqua/Water/Eau, Ethylhexylglycerin, Benzyl Alcohol    

“Like dissolves like.”

Follow the Beauty Brains

Thanks for listening. Hey if you get a chance can you go over to iTunes and leave us a review. That will help other people find the show and ensure we have a full docket of beauty questions to answer.

ASK A QUESTION – If you want to ask a question click this link or record one on your phone and send it to thebeautybrains@gmail.com

Social media accounts
on Instagram we’re at thebeautybrains2018
on Twitter, we’re thebeautybrains
And we have a Facebook page.

Support the Beauty Brains!
The Beauty Brains are now on Patreon! Help support us to continue to make episodes.

Thanks again for listening and remember Be Brainy about your Beauty

 

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On today’s show we’re going to be answering questions about…

  • Does Kiehls eye alert product help eyes look better?
  • What is the best product to use to avoid breakouts with anti-aging benefits?
  • What do you think of the technology of the new Victoria Beckham line?
  • What is the oldest beauty product on the market today?

Beauty Science

Fekkai launches new beauty technology to customize hair care

Take the Fekkai quiz

Beauty Questions

Question 1 – Audio Question – Frank O – This is about Kiehl’s Eye Alert product, which uses cucumber and alfalfa to energize the skin in eye area and vitamin E and caffeine to combat dark circles and puffiness. Do these do anything?

Question 2 – Norma Jean asks, “Can you tell me what you think of the following two products’ ingredients and which you’d recommend for sensitive skin that is avoiding breakouts and wants anti-aging? I love your podcast!

Question 3 – Audio – What do you think of the new Victoria Beckham and Augustinus Bader collaboration? Trisha – Victoria Beckam – TFC8 technology claims to create an optimal environment for the skin’s repair. It has a high price tag and is there evidence that it works?

Question 4Dear Beauty Brains, I love the show! I am currently reading War Paint about Helena Rubenstein and Elizabeth Arden. Apparently [they’re] the creators of fear mongering in cosmetic advertising. It’s got me wondering what are some of the oldest skincare products in their original formulas still in the market? Thanks for the info. Rhonda from California.

Follow the Beauty Brains

Thanks for listening. Hey if you get a chance can you go over to iTunes and leave us a review. That will help other people find the show and ensure we have a full docket of beauty questions to answer.

ASK A QUESTION – If you want to ask a question click this link or record one on your phone and send it to thebeautybrains@gmail.com

Social media accounts
on Instagram we’re at thebeautybrains2018
on Twitter, we’re thebeautybrains
And we have a Facebook page.

Support the Beauty Brains!
The Beauty Brains are now on Patreon! Help support us to continue to make episodes.

Thanks again for listening and remember Be Brainy about your Beauty

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