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On this episode of the Beauty Brains we cover a variety of topics for both hair and skin. On this show…

Beauty Questions

  1. Can you use regular hair color after using henna
  2. Why can’t you buy red lipstick, or can you?
  3. Is sunscreen causing cancer?
  4. Is hygral fatigue a real thing?

Beauty News

Nature’s Truth Recalls Wintergreen Essential Oil

Do consumers really care about sustainability? 

Recall Roundup – We check the FDA website so you don’t have to

skyn ICELAND Solutions for Stressed Skin Micellar Cleansing Water with ARCTIC ALGAE – RECALLED

Nature’s Truth Recalls Wintergreen Essential Oil – RECALLED

Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture CC Creme – RECALLED

See the FDA Recall site for youself

Beauty Questions

Question 1 – I heard that if you apply henna (just henna) on your hair, you can’t apply regular color on the hair (the one that uses peroxide), or vice versa. I would like to know if this is true, and if so the scientific explanation behind it. I do love the show and I would really appreciate if you could answer my question

Question 2 – Monica says she can’t find a true red lipstick. I try one on and it reads pink, brown or orange. I heard they outlawed an ingredient to make it red. Did this really happen? Can you get a red lipstick?

Question 3 – Alicia from Instagrama huge fan of the podcast, didn’t know who to rant to, so she contacted us. Alicia says, “This is the most outrageous blog post I have ever read concerning sun protection. Where is she getting these claims!? The headline: ‘Is your sunscreen doing more harm than good? Probably.’”

Source of the outrage

Question 4 – Is hygral fatigue a real thing? You shouldn’t let hair stay wet too long. Is this true?

Transcript of show can be found here

Follow the 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 this episode of the Beauty Brains we cover a variety of topics for both hair and skin. On this show…

Beauty News

Mental Health & Genes related to Tanning Bed Addiction

CBD line launched

Recall Roundup – We check the FDA website so you don’t have to

Young Living Essential Oils, Orange Blossom Moisturizer – RECALLED

la bella Extreme Sport Styling Gel – RECALLED

See the FDA Recall site for youself

Beauty Questions

Question 1 – Is there anything to this trend of blue light protection for the skin?

Question 2 – What’s the best way to pick a foundation on the Internet?

Question 3 – Can skin get “addicted” to skin moisturizers?

Transcript of show can be found here

Follow the 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 this episode of the Beauty Brains we cover a variety of topics for both hair and skin. On this show…

  • How does Hard water affect hair?
  • Should you be Patting or smearing on skincare products?
  • What natural ingredients that are good for hair?

Plus, we look at the Jacklyn Hill lipstick controversy and whether 0% aluminum natural deodorants are really a thing.

Crappy claims –  (Maybe need a title for this segment but the idea is to call out bad and misleading marketing claims)  Dove launches a 0% aluminum deodorant. Deodorants have never contained aluminum!

Kitchen Cosmetics

Will lemon juice lighten up darkened armpits?

No, but I can see how this lemon juice myth got started. There is a small amount of Vitamin C in lemon juice which some people believe will lighten skin. And there is citric acid in it which some people think might help exfoliate. But it’s unlikely to be of much help and it can also cause problems. Lemon juice can react with the sun to cause a rash.  Having a rash under your armpits is no fun.

Beauty Questions

Question 1 – Water Hardness

Question 2 – What natural hair ingredients are effective?

Question 3 – Should you pat or smear your skin care products?

There isn’t a lot of evidence that patting is better for application than smearing. The most important thing is that you apply sunscreen at all.

Transcript of show can be found here

Follow the 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

{ 2 comments }

We’re on vacation this week but instead of skipping the week we thought we’d give you some insight on the fragrance loophole and what it means from a cosmetic chemists and formulator’s perspective.

Follow the 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

{ 2 comments }

Welcome to the Beauty Brains. A podcast and website where real cosmetic scientists answer your beauty questions.

On the show today we cover:

  • Kitchen cosmetics: Does Beer work for hair
  • What’s the deal with the microbiome
  • Can you get alcohol free hair spray?
  • Can makeup sprays keep makeup on longer?

To see a transcript of the show go here.

Follow the 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

{ 2 comments }

Welcome to the Beauty Brains. A podcast and website where real cosmetic scientists answer your beauty questions.

On the show today we cover:

  • The types of questions you can get answered about beauty products
  • Does Preparation H really reduce puffy eyes
  • Are beauty products really cruelty free?
  • Will sunscreen prevent skin from tanning

This was a solo show and Perry tried out a couple new segments

To see a transcript of the show go here.

Follow the 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

{ 2 comments }

On today’s episode we answer beauty questions about :

  • Should one be worried about tree nuts in cosmetic products?
  • What’s the difference between a toners and astringent?
  • How does one spot a bad dupe versus an affordable product that works?
  • Why do some nail polishes last longer on some people than others?

Show intro notes

Article: You are what you eat: Within-Subject Increases in Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Confer Beneficial Skin-Color Changes

Is there really a problem with walnut facial exfoliators?

Do you need to exfoliate your head?

Beauty Science Questions

Should we be worried about tree nut allergens in cosmetic products?

Tree nuts are considered major food allergens. The actual nut or derivative from the nut, like an oil, may contain a protein or proteins that elicits an allergic reaction. In food, which is where a majority of the allergic reactions take place, it is a requirement through the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) that requires declaration of any tree nuts or possible contamination with tree nuts on the ingredient label, as well as any of the other major food allergens that exists. FALCPA does not cover cosmetic ingredients.

In short, cosmetic products don’t have labeling requirements for tree nuts in the US or EU that indicate a similar warning to food. In long, it’s not easy to prove scientifically that tree nuts are an issue topically as they how they are used in cosmetic products – and topically, meaning on the skin and not in for products intended for the oral mucosa.

Essentially, they couldn’t find sufficient evidence that applying peanut oil to skin was an issue consistently, so they couldn’t create a safety threshold.

There is no labeling requirement and I’m not aware that they have established guidelines for other tree nuts. In the US, this regulation does not exist.

All that being said, if you have any concerns about tree nuts in cosmetic products, even if they’re topical, I would consult your allergist and certain avoid products that come in contact with the oral mucosa or broken skin.

Question 2
Celeste says…Good morning, Perry and Valerie, Not sure whether you’ve answered this before, but what is the difference between a toner and an astringent? Is either one effective at what it claims?

Skin toners and astringents are terms often used interchangeably. However, many people consider that there are differences in the way they are formulated with toners using glycerin while astringents use alcohol. The reality is that there are plenty of astringents that use glycerin as well as alcohol. Witch hazel is another popular astringent ingredient. Most toners that I found were alcohol free.

Toners and astringents are frequently included as part of a three-step skin care regimen (cleanse, tone and moisturize). But let’s get to the more important question, do you really need either of these products? Let’s take a look at the ingredients used in toners to understand what they really do for your skin.

What does a toner do?
Toners usually claim one of two things – they can remove excess oil and dirt that your cleanser left behind or refresh and moisturize skin. Historically, toners use alcohol and/or witch hazel which can make your skin feel tight and firm and can feel refreshing. However, more recent versions of toners have moved away from this approach due to the drying effects of alcohol. Thus the split in terms Astringents and Toners. These types of toners are alcohol free and often use glycerin and panthenol (vitamins) to give skin the same kind of refreshed feeling while being more soothing to skin.

Do you need to use a toner?
I would say probably not but it is certainly a case of personal preference.. A decent cleanser should remove excess oil, dirt and makeup. And the truth is, you do not want to strip every last molecule of oil from your skin. Only grime, makeup and excess oil on the surface needs to be removed. The sebum (oil) that your skin produces naturally is actually good for your skin and is best left undisturbed. Toners, especially alcohol-based ones, tend to strip everything off, leaving the skin dry and irritated. As far as alcohol-free toners, they may feel good and leave a little moisture on your skin but they don’t really do much, particularly if you use a moisturizer anyway. The people that may benefit from using a toner are women with exceptionally oily skin (usually teens) or women with very dry skin. If your skin still feels sticky and oily after cleansing, a toner can help remove that excess grime. Women with very dry skin may find an alcohol-free toner to be soothing.

I have a question about nail polishes, and that it appears to be such differences for how long they last on different people. I get that there is a vast variety for how you apply the polish and your everyday wear and tear, but is there any difference in peoples nails that would effect how long nail polish lasts? Is there anything different with the nails of some people that makes nail polish not last as long? All the best, Jenny

The reality is that people’s nails are chemically very similar. I looked at a study called “Age and Sex Variation in Lipid Composition of Human Fingernail Plates” in the journal Skin Pharmacology and Physiology and while there were some difference between people 10 years and younger and adults, there were no significant difference between people at different ages as adults. Now, these looked at the age groups as groups and there was some variability within the age groups, but the differences I don’t think are significant to impact how well nail polish will stick on someone’s fingers. This will be much more affected by the

Method of application, the type of nail polish used, whether you put a base coat, the speed at which the polish is dried, the quality of the nail polish (is it old?), and the exposure of the hands to different environments. Things like washing dishes, cleaning the house, exposure to alcohol, etc. can all impact how long nail polish will last. It’s these environmental conditions that matter much more for long lasting nail polish than any difference in people’s nails.

Follow the 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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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

Butt Masks
Is natural deodorant necessary?
8 Beauty ingredients to know about

Seaweed
Wheatgrass
Saffron
Patchouli
CBD Oil
Kale
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.

Help 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

{ 2 comments }

Welcome to the Beauty Brains, a show where real scientists answer your beauty questions and give you an insider’s look at the beauty product industry. On today’s episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about

  • Whether or not expired or fermented milk from the kitchen can be used as a DIY Toner.
  • Should you be worried about shrimp in cosmetics?
  • Do we need a spatula or scoop for skin care products?
  • What makes Maybelline lip gloss work so well?

Beauty Science News

Herbivore’s Moldy Face Cream

Climate Beauty

Beauty Questions answered

Can expired or fermented milk from the kitchen can be used as a DIY Toner.

Milk has a complex chemistry, much like other natural components coming from plants or animals. It’s roughly composed of 87% water, 3% fat, 3% proteins, 4% carbohydrates of which lactose is the main carbohydrate, , and < 1% minerals (Ca, K, Mg, Cl, PO4, Acetate,), Enzymes, vitamins and gases. Lactose is the primary carbohydrate.

Fresh milk actually has very little lactic acid in it and it undergoes fermentation by different strains and variations of lactobacillaceae, like lactobacillus, leuconostoc, pediococcus, lactococcus, befidobacterium, to make different milks and milk products. The bacteria eat the sugar lactose, and lactic acid is secreted by the bacteria as a byproduct. Fermentation of milk with various levels of lactic acid by various strains of bacteria is desirable because it changes the foods into differing textures and flavor – like hard and soft cheeses, yogurt, salami, and fermented milk products like kefir.

Milks and fermented milks actually have a standard of acidity – milk generally across different regulated countries have a maximum allowable lactic acid concentration of 0.18 – 0.4%. No, it probably wouldn’t be a good source of Lactic Acid.

Taylor from Tampa – I saw this funny tweet today, below, and I laughed out loud, so I read some more of the comments. I have never heard of fish scales in makeup! If fish scales and more importantly, shellfish, are indeed used cosmetics, would someone with a shellfish allergy have a reaction? What type/how severe of a reaction would occur? I understand you’re not allergists, but maybe you’re familiar with this subject. And my mom has a severe shellfish allergy, so I’ll refrain from doing patch tests on her for now.

Indeed fish scales are used in some makeup products. There is an ingredient called Guanine which is derived from fish scales. It produces a pearly iridescent effect and is used to make products like body wash and shampoo shiny. In the business we call it pearlessence.  In makeup, it provides a shimmering effect in eye shadow and nail polish.

Now, as far as shellfish go there are some ingredients that make their way into cosmetics. Chitosan & Chitin are natural polymers found in many crustaceans of which shrimp is one. That makes up the shell of the shrimp. Anyway, shrimp shells are a source of chitosan which is used in some cosmetic products. Chitosan derivatives can be used as hair and skin conditioning ingredients & film formers like in hair sprays and styling products.

While it may or may not be a problem, if you have a shellfish allergy you should avoid products with Chitin in it.

Love this podcast, look forward to each new episode.  I did a quick search and I don’t think you have answered this question before.  My question is, do you need a spatula or scoop to get skincare products that are packaged in jars?  The worry, I guess, is that if you stick your fingers in your skincare, it will contaminate the product…presumably destroying it or at least lessening its benefits.  But if you have clean hands, and your product is not expired and has a legitimate preservative system, the need for a spatula and scoop doesn’t seem necessary. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

First, the problem with products packaged in jars or tubs is that they are exposed to the air much more than ones in squeeze bottles or pumps. More surface area exposure of the product means there will be more exposure of microbes and other bacteria in the product.  There is the additional problem caused when you dip your fingers in the product. Your fingers have additional bacteria that gets into the product when you do this. So the question is will using a spatula or scoop reduce the chances that your product will get contaminated?

While you might like the experience of scooping rather than touching your product, it’s highly unlikely this is going to provide you any extra protection from contamination. In my view, this is just the kind of advice a beauty product marketer might give to enhance the experience of using the product. There really isn’t any additional benefit.

Hey Beauty Brains!

I’m so glad that you’re back! Valerie is a great addition to the team. It’s so nice to have a weekly source of intelligent, informed beauty discussion again!

I was hoping you could shed some light on the seeming miracle that is liquid lipstick. Specifically, I recently began using the Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink liquid lipsticks and was amazed at how longwearing and comfortable they are. What about the formula makes these so transfer-proof and flexible? (As a woman of science, I have ruled out magic as a possible explanation.)

Also, question-within-a-question (sorry): If I put an SPF lip balm underneath these lipsticks, am I actually getting the approximately two hours of sun protection that I would get if I had applied the SPF lip balm alone? (Not taking into account reapplication.)

Stay warm! Best, Claire

We looked up the ingredient list of this product…But you know as an aside I just want to give kudos to companies like Maybelline who list all the ingredients on their websites. I hate when I go to a website and look for the ingredients in a product and they list just a few feature ingredients. Provide the whole list of ingredients please!

Anyway, a quick review of the ingredients shows that it is a mostly silicone based product including dimethicone, trimethylsiloxysilicate, a dimethicone crosspolymer, and a solvent. It also has paraffin which can help blend the colorants and give the product a more cushioned feel when you apply it. They reason it lasts so long is because silicones are really good at repelling water. The polymers also help it adhere better to the skin so the product isn’t left behind as much on drinking cups and other people’s lips. This product is all about the silicones.

As for your other question, when you put a sunscreen product on your skin the product is supposed to create a protective film all along your skin. The process of letting the product “dry” helps set up the film on the skin and adds to protection.  For a lip balm with SPF the film is a waxy layer. When you put this lip stick product over the lip balm it’s possible that you could be breaking up that film and diluting the sunscreen effectiveness. Without testing it is difficult to say exactly. However, I would guess that your SPF effect wouldn’t be effected too much so I wouldn’t worry about it. The reality is that 2 hour claim is highly dependent on how much you put on, how well you spread it around and the conditions of your lips. When claims like that are tested it is under ideal conditions.

Next time

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 show. On today’s episode we’re going to be answering your hair care beauty questions!

  • Hair products that claim to restore natural color in gray hair
  • Ouidad curl conditioner
  • Products that claim to thicken hair
  • How do you avoid hair damage?
  • How do you know what ingredients actually do something?
  • What are the best natural ingredients for hair products?

Beauty Questions

Bexaida asks – I have found this product that is restoring my hair color back to the shade I had in my youth, i used it for a few days and the silver and white turned darker and darker brown and my red undertones appeared as well . I use it less and less until all I need is once a week It is said to remove the Oxygen that builds up in our scalp as we age What do you know about this product?

The product you’re referring to is called Hairprint. This uses a standard technology in which a metal is oxidized to create color. It can provide some gray coverage but it does not work in the manner which is described by their marketing.

I was hoping you might take a look at the ingredients of the Ouidad Curl Immersion Triple Treat Deep Conditioner (see below). I had never tried a Ouidad product before due to price but finally caved after reading rave reviews about it. The problem is I really don’t like it and unfortunately can’t return it. I’m finding it doesn’t have much slip for detangling while it’s in my hair and when I rinse it out, it just doesn’t feel very conditioned. What is it about this product that would cause that? Also, is there anything that can be added to improve it? I’ve heard to add things like honey, oil, or glycerin. Thanks, Misty

This is the problem with following online reviews. First, you don’t know if they are real or the people were paid by the company to write the reviews. And second just because a product works well for one person doesn’t mean it will be great for another. I like using hot water for shaving my face but it’s probably not a great suggestion for most people. Beauty product effectiveness is largely related to your personal preference and experience.

So, you say that Ouidad leaves your hair without slip and it doesn’t feel conditioned. In looking at the ingredients they sure have a lot of ingredients!  There are a number of things in there meant for conditioning hair. Cationic surfactants like Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetrimonium chloride, and Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine. Those should give slip but then there are also a bunch of things which can interfere with that like the shea butter, lanolin, the oils, even the glycerin. And they have silicones in there but Cyclopentasiloxane which tends to evaporate and the others are in there at low levels. Based on the ingredient list it is not surprising you’re not feeling conditioning.

If you want conditioning as you describe look for something with Dimethicone high up in the ingredient list and something that doesn’t have as many ingredients to interfere with the working of all the conditioning ingredients.

You also wanted to know if there was a way to improve it. Adding honey or glycerin will not improve things. I think that would make it perform worse. I’m not sure there is anything you can do but you might try using a leave-on conditioner after. That could at least improve your detangling effect.

Curl Immersion Triple Treat Deep Conditioner Ingredients:

Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape)Seed Oil, Propanediol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Lanolin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil,Cyclopentasiloxane, Behentrimonium Chloride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Polyquaternium-37, Cetyl Esters, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Amodimethicone, Bis-Hydroxy/Methoxy Amodimethicone, C10-40 Isoalkylamidopropylethyldimonium Ethosulfate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetrimonium Chloride, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Citric Acid, Dipropylene Glycol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Palmitoyl Myristyl Serinate, Panthenol, Peg-8, Peg-8/SDMI Copolymer, Propylene Glycol Dibenzoate, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate, Quaternium-91, Sodium Polyacrylate, Trideceth-12, Trideceth-6, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (parfum)

Sheila Marie – My question has to do with a hair product called Nioxin. Can you please explain the science behind this product? And can you explain what it means when the hair product says that it “thickens” hair? Thanks for taking the time to read this email.

Nioxin prides themselves on creating products that thicken hair. They have some products in their line that contain Minoxidil so these are the basis for hair regrowth claims. Their other products “support” hair growth and work in standard product ways to make volumizing products like having a high level of surfactant and focusing on scalp cleansing. The reality is this is a marketing position and the product is unlikely to measurably improve hair thickness better than other products claimed to do the same.

Tina says – I have Caucasian hair that seems to break off excessively and is almost always frizzy. The natural texture seems to be wavy and straight in different places. I don’t know what kind of shampoo and conditioner I should be using.

Use a moisturizing shampoo and always use a conditioner afterwards if you are having problem with frizz and breakage. You might even consider using a leave-in conditioner.

Hi Beauty Brains,

I’ve really loved all your episodes on hair care recently, and listening to them helped me put my finger on what the core question is that I hope you’ll answer, which is “what are the best methods/products/etc to avoid damage to hair?” I like to grow out my hair quite long, so that means avoiding damage as much as possible so I can keep all the length I get. So how, in your opinion, do I do that? This is where all my other major questions spring from. Does harsh shampoo really cause damage? What conditioning ingredients really help? What deep treatments help? Where’s the balance between moisturizing your hair and getting hydral fatigue? On that note, what about the air drying vs. hair dryer debate?

There’s a lot of conflicting info out there on the internet on these topics. If you guys can put together a top ten tips to minimize damage or similar I would really love to hear it!Thanks Elizabeth

Tips for minimizing hair damage.

  1. Minimize washing. Getting hair wet swells the fiber and causes damage
  2. Don’t color your hair
  3. Don’t use a curling iron or flat iron
  4. Always use a conditioner – preferably something with silicones
  5. Minimize combing and brushing
  6. Minimize the use of things in your hair like scrunchies
  7. Don’t get a perm or relax hair
  8. Protect hair from the sun if you’re out a long time

My name is Sophia. I’m obsessed with not damaging my hair because I literally put hundreds of dollars into it. My friends tell me that hair dye is fine but I’m not so sure. As a cosmetic chemist you would know, just how much damage does hair dye cause? And even if I only do it once, what effects would that have and how would I recover from it? Thanks!

Well, we just talked about hair damage and coloring your hair is one of the most damaging things you can do. The only thing more damaging is relaxing hair which actually breaks protein bonds in the hair fiber.

If you only do it once, you can recover from it. The new hair that grows out won’t have any of the same damage problems. Of course, it can take a long time to grow back. Hair grows about half an inch a month.

Question: We often see companies marketing a product with a certain ingredient and stating this ingredient provides you with this benefit like for example a hair cream with Shea Butter and coconut oil marketed as heat protecting cream, or a Cinnamon hair mask marketing that Cinnamon helps with hair growth. With so much miss information out in the internet where can we as consumers find if these ingredients actually provides what there stating?  (Jeanie)

There is no single source – although the Beauty Brains is a good place

First assume that things don’t work. Most things won’t.

Journal of Society of Cosmetic Chemists


Google Scholar

Cosmetic Chemists on Twitter

Next time

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