The Beauty Brains https://thebeautybrains.com/blog/ Real scientists answer your beauty questions Wed, 14 Aug 2019 01:11:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 We're cosmetic scientists who answer your beauty questions. We explain what the chemicals used in cosmetics really do, how products are tested, and what all the advertising really means. Listen to us and you'll be a smarter beauty consumer! Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid thebeautybrains@gmail.com thebeautybrains@gmail.com (Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid) The Beauty Brains are like Myth Busters for cosmetics. Randy and Perry are cosmetic scientists who cut through the hype to explain how beauty products really work. For a fun and informative take on the beauty biz, listen to the Beauty Brains. The Beauty Brains http://thebeautybrains.com/wp-content/uploads/podcast/BeautyBrains_image_iTunes2.jpg https://thebeautybrains.com/blog/ Do oxygen facials work & more beauty questions – episode 192 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/08/do-oxygen-facials-work-more-beauty-questions-episode-192/ Wed, 14 Aug 2019 00:51:49 +0000 https://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5278 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/08/do-oxygen-facials-work-more-beauty-questions-episode-192/#respond https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/08/do-oxygen-facials-work-more-beauty-questions-episode-192/feed/ 0 On today’s episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about  Oxygen facials and how they work How does plant based hair color work? Does light degrade shampoo? Substituting Body Wash for Hand Soap And more, plus… Kitchen Chemistry! Beauty News Is showering daily necessary? Kitchen Chemistry Tumeric and cinnamon for foundation & eye […]

On today’s episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about 

  • Oxygen facials and how they work
  • How does plant based hair color work?
  • Does light degrade shampoo?
  • Substituting Body Wash for Hand Soap
  • And more, plus… Kitchen Chemistry!

Beauty News

Is showering daily necessary?

Kitchen Chemistry

  • Tumeric and cinnamon for foundation & eye shadow
  • Sugar & lemon juice for waxing
  • Kool-aid for plumping lips
  • Tea bags for under eye circles
  • Beauty hacks with Coca cola

Beauty Questions

Question 1 – Rachel asks, “What is an oxygen facial and do they really work?”

The bottom line is that oxygen facials have not been proven to provide any benefit that you can’t get from a standard moisturizer treatment or exfoliation. And at from between $200 and $500 a treatment, they certainly don’t seem worth it to me.

Question 2 – Hi BB, I’m a professional hairstylist and first of all I want to thank you for all of the wonderful information you provide. It can be hard to find accurate scientific information in the beauty industry and it means a lot to me. I have a question about Biolage by Matrix’s new hair color launching this fall. They claim it to be 82-100% plant based with only 2-9 ingredients. I was pretty skeptical until I saw a video of them mixing it. It comes in a powdered form and they mix it with hot water, not developer. It looks exactly like traditional henna, but it comes in up to 20 shades. I was always taught to avoid henna hair color as any shades besides the original copper shades have to be made using compound dyes which can have bad reactions with bleach or other chemicals used in the salon. They claim this color to be completely free of metallic dyes and to be compatible with bleach. Are they just mixing it with direct dyes or mixing it with other plants besides henna to make these colors?

Question 3 – Sam says… I bought a shampoo. Specifically Garnier Ultimate Blends [Honey Treasures Shampoo]. It had suddenly stopped lathering and the shampoo just sits there doing nothing. Does light degrade shampoo? It was in a glass jar. I know shampoos comes in clear bottles so I’m not convinced light is the issue. It [wasn’t] out of date either. I’m wondering what could have caused this and if once the lathering stops does this impact on the shampoos ability to clean? Thanks. Sam  

Question 4 – Is it ok to use body wash in place of hand soap?

Question 5 – Ashley asks…In episode 172 you talked about the different variables that affect product price. What about brands that say they are made in small batches? The claim is that due to the small batches the products are made in, less preservatives are used which means there are more active ingredients. Is this true and are there any clear advantages to making products in small batches? I use Glymed Plus.

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 today’s episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about  Oxygen facials and how they work How does plant based hair color work? Does light degrade shampoo? Substituting Body Wash for Hand Soap And more, plus… Kitchen Chemistry! On today’s episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about  Oxygen facials and how they work How does plant based hair color work? Does light degrade shampoo? Substituting Body Wash for Hand Soap And more, plus… Kitchen Chemistry! Beauty News Is showering daily necessary? Kitchen Chemistry Tumeric and cinnamon for foundation & eye […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 50:28
Cosmetic brands and big companies – Who owns that – episode 191 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/08/cosmetic-brands-and-big-companies-who-owns-that-episode-191/ Tue, 06 Aug 2019 15:29:55 +0000 https://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5242 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/08/cosmetic-brands-and-big-companies-who-owns-that-episode-191/#respond https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/08/cosmetic-brands-and-big-companies-who-owns-that-episode-191/feed/ 0 On this episode of the Beauty Brains we answer a number of beauty product questions and talk about big companies and the brands they own. Beauty Questions What is the big deal about squalane Does the number of ingredients in a product impact its effectiveness? Are dip nails safe? And how do anti-dandruff shampoos work? […]

On this episode of the Beauty Brains we answer a number of beauty product questions and talk about big companies and the brands they own.

Beauty Questions

  1. What is the big deal about squalane
  2. Does the number of ingredients in a product impact its effectiveness?
  3. Are dip nails safe?
  4. And how do anti-dandruff shampoos work?

Beauty News

Rhode Island offers free sunscreen

The International Top 30 Household and Personal Products Companies

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

Neutrogena light therapy mask recalled

See the FDA Recall site for youself

Beauty Questions

Gillian – What’s the deal with squalane oil? What’s the difference between squalane oil and squalene oil, and how do they compare to other oils like rosehip oil? She’s seen claims that squalane is considered the best oil for all skin types? Is that really true? It is more shelf-stable and less likely to go rancid because it is a saturated oil versus rosehip oil being polyunsaturated. Excellent hydrator, anti-oxidant, oil controller and anti-bacterial that also sinks into skin better than other oils. What can a $38 oil (Peter Thomas Roth) do that a $8 cannot (Ordinary)?

Ceyda asks – Does a product’s, say moisturizer or serum, number of ingredients matter for its effectiveness?

Ana from Instagram says, “I am enjoying your podcast and have heard you talking about the efficacy of different nail polishes, but am concerned about the safety of gel nail polish and SNS – which some people call ‘dip’ nail polish. I am concerned about what it will do to my nails with continuous use. Do nails need to ‘breathe?’ I appreciate any feedback.”

Doug Schoon’s letter

Rebecca – Anti-dandruff shampoos – how do anti-dandruff shampoos work? do you have to use them multiple times a week in order for them to be effective?

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

]]>
On this episode of the Beauty Brains we answer a number of beauty product questions and talk about big companies and the brands they own. Beauty Questions What is the big deal about squalane Does the number of ingredients in a product impact its effect... On this episode of the Beauty Brains we answer a number of beauty product questions and talk about big companies and the brands they own. Beauty Questions What is the big deal about squalane Does the number of ingredients in a product impact its effectiveness? Are dip nails safe? And how do anti-dandruff shampoos work? […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 49:18
Skin microbiome and cosmetics – peppermint oil and hair growth – episode 190 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/07/skin-microbiome-and-cosmetics-peppermint-oil-and-hair-growth-episode-190/ Sun, 28 Jul 2019 07:34:16 +0000 https://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5206 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/07/skin-microbiome-and-cosmetics-peppermint-oil-and-hair-growth-episode-190/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/07/skin-microbiome-and-cosmetics-peppermint-oil-and-hair-growth-episode-190/feed/ 2 On this solo episode of the Beauty Brains we cover… Beauty Product Topics Skin Microbiome – Do these beauty products really work? Peppermint oil – Can it grow hair? Should you spend a lot of money for La Mer? Follow the Brains Thanks for listening. Hey if you get a chance can you go over to […]

On this solo episode of the Beauty Brains we cover…

Beauty Product Topics

  • Skin Microbiome – Do these beauty products really work?
  • Peppermint oil – Can it grow hair?
  • Should you spend a lot of money for La Mer?

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

]]>
On this solo episode of the Beauty Brains we cover… Beauty Product Topics Skin Microbiome – Do these beauty products really work? Peppermint oil – Can it grow hair? Should you spend a lot of money for La Mer? Follow the Brains Thanks for listening. On this solo episode of the Beauty Brains we cover… Beauty Product Topics Skin Microbiome – Do these beauty products really work? Peppermint oil – Can it grow hair? Should you spend a lot of money for La Mer? Follow the Brains Thanks for listening. Hey if you get a chance can you go over to […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean
Henna hair color and hygral fatigue – episode 189 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/07/henna-hair-color-and-hygral-fatigue-episode-189/ Mon, 15 Jul 2019 21:55:59 +0000 https://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5162 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/07/henna-hair-color-and-hygral-fatigue-episode-189/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/07/henna-hair-color-and-hygral-fatigue-episode-189/feed/ 7 On this episode of the Beauty Brains we cover a variety of topics for both hair and skin. On this show… Beauty Questions Can you use regular hair color after using henna Why can’t you buy red lipstick, or can you? Is sunscreen causing cancer? Is hygral fatigue a real thing? Beauty News Nature’s Truth […]

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

]]>
On this episode of the Beauty Brains we cover a variety of topics for both hair and skin. On this show… Beauty Questions Can you use regular hair color after using henna Why can’t you buy red lipstick, or can you? Is sunscreen causing cancer? On this episode of the Beauty Brains we cover a variety of topics for both hair and skin. On this show… Beauty Questions Can you use regular hair color after using henna Why can’t you buy red lipstick, or can you? Is sunscreen causing cancer? Is hygral fatigue a real thing? Beauty News Nature’s Truth […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 50:11
Blue light protection for skin – do you need it? episode 188 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/07/blue-light-protection-from-skin-do-you-need-it-episode-188/ Mon, 08 Jul 2019 20:09:32 +0000 https://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5118 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/07/blue-light-protection-from-skin-do-you-need-it-episode-188/#respond https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/07/blue-light-protection-from-skin-do-you-need-it-episode-188/feed/ 0 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 […]

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

]]>
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 ... 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 […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 38:45
Natural ingredients for hair and skin – what works? episode 187 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/06/natural-ingredients-for-hair-and-skin-what-works-episode-187/ Mon, 24 Jun 2019 19:36:59 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5106 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/06/natural-ingredients-for-hair-and-skin-what-works-episode-187/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/06/natural-ingredients-for-hair-and-skin-what-works-episode-187/feed/ 2 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 […]

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

]]>
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, 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 […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 53:16
Fragrance Loophole vacation episode 186 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/06/fragrance-loophole-vacation-episode-186/ Fri, 14 Jun 2019 16:39:40 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5100 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/06/fragrance-loophole-vacation-episode-186/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/06/fragrance-loophole-vacation-episode-186/feed/ 2 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 […] 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

]]>
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. 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 […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 13:32
Does Beer work for hair and answers to other beauty questions – episode 185 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/06/does-beer-work-for-hair-and-answers-to-other-beauty-questions-episode-185/ Wed, 05 Jun 2019 23:21:17 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5097 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/06/does-beer-work-for-hair-and-answers-to-other-beauty-questions-episode-185/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/06/does-beer-work-for-hair-and-answers-to-other-beauty-questions-episode-185/feed/ 2 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 […]

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

]]>
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 sp... 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 […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 34:08
Will sunscreen prevent tanning? episode 184 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/05/will-sunscreen-prevent-tanning-episode-184/ Wed, 29 May 2019 15:57:26 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5093 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/05/will-sunscreen-prevent-tanning-episode-184/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/05/will-sunscreen-prevent-tanning-episode-184/feed/ 2 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 […]

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

]]>
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 A... 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 […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 29:32
Tree nut allergies and cosmetics – episode 183 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/05/tree-nut-allergies-and-cosmetics-episode-183/ Wed, 22 May 2019 17:20:29 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5089 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/05/tree-nut-allergies-and-cosmetics-episode-183/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/05/tree-nut-allergies-and-cosmetics-episode-183/feed/ 1 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 […]

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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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? 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 […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 48:05
BB glow facials – DHA safety – and hard water cosmetics 182 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/05/bb-glow-facials-dha-safety-and-hard-water-cosmetics-182/ Mon, 13 May 2019 20:04:06 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5084 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/05/bb-glow-facials-dha-safety-and-hard-water-cosmetics-182/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/05/bb-glow-facials-dha-safety-and-hard-water-cosmetics-182/feed/ 2 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 MasksIs natural deodorant necessary?8 Beauty ingredients to know about SeaweedWheatgrassSaffronPatchouliCBD OilKaleKukui Nut OilMarula Oil Beauty questions Alina asks – What do […] 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

]]>
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 MasksIs natural deodorant necessary? 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 MasksIs natural deodorant necessary?8 Beauty ingredients to know about SeaweedWheatgrassSaffronPatchouliCBD OilKaleKukui Nut OilMarula Oil Beauty questions Alina asks – What do […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 56:26
Fermented milk and Shellfish Cosmetics – Episode 181 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/04/fermented-milk-and-shellfish-cosmetics-episode-181/ Tue, 30 Apr 2019 22:07:50 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5073 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/04/fermented-milk-and-shellfish-cosmetics-episode-181/#respond https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/04/fermented-milk-and-shellfish-cosmetics-episode-181/feed/ 0 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 […]

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

]]>
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 ... 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 […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 37:14
Your hair care questions answered – episode 180 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/04/your-hair-care-questions-answered-episode-180/ Tue, 23 Apr 2019 23:15:11 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5069 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/04/your-hair-care-questions-answered-episode-180/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/04/your-hair-care-questions-answered-episode-180/feed/ 1 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 […]

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

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


]]>
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 avo... 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 […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 47:46
Is Quaternium 18 a silicone? Episode 179 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/04/is-quaternium-18-silicone-episode-179/ Tue, 16 Apr 2019 21:22:30 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5064 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/04/is-quaternium-18-silicone-episode-179/#respond https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/04/is-quaternium-18-silicone-episode-179/feed/ 0 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. Hosts: Valerie George and Perry Romanowski On today’s episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about What are the benefits of broccoli seed oil? What is the deal […] 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.

Hosts: Valerie George and Perry Romanowski

On today’s episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about

  • What are the benefits of broccoli seed oil?
  • What is the deal with California’s banning a list of toxic ingredients?
  • Can you easily remove Quaternium-18?

Beauty Science News

Your car is dirtier than a rest stop

Michelle Pfeiffer Launches a Genderless, 100% Transparent Perfume Brand

Beauty Questions

Julie – I would love to hear your take on this new hero ingredient: broccoli seed oil! Fashionista is comparing it to retinol without the irritation, but I’m skeptical. What are the potential benefits? What kind of concentration should I look for?

The bottom line is that broccoli seed oil is nothing special in my view. You could see superior results by just including a standard moisturizing ingredient, a sunscreen, and specific vitamins. But the name Broccoli is more familiar with consumers and it plays well with the natural trend so it’s good for marketing.

Another reality is that you as the consumer have no way of knowing whether they’ve included 10% in the formula or 0.01%. While there is some interesting possibilities for the ingredient, it’s only marketing hype in my mind at the moment.

Camille asks – What are your thoughts on this new bill: California bill would ban sale of makeup containing cancer-causing chemicals, toxins

https://www.foxnews.com/health/california-bill-would-ban-sale-of-makeup-containing-cancerous-chemicals-toxins

Sherry wants to know whether toners are really needed.

Typically, facial cleansers are formulated to have a pH of anywhere from 4.5-7, and ideally 5 -6. Of course, this is dependent upon what else the cleanser should be doing – is it advertised as gentle, or exfoliating? What are the types of surfactants in the cleanser? What is pH range the preservative system works in?

Of course, it’s in the best interest of companies to sell more products, but through personal experience, I think there is some validity to using toners, but they don’t necessarily have to do with pH of the skin. I like toners for making the skin feel hydrated

——-

Deja says – I was told that quaternium-18 is a silicone. Will a shampoo made with Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine and decyl glucoside remove silicone buildup in hair? Specifically, quaternium-18?

No, quaternium-18 is not a silicone. It is a quaternized ammonium molecule which has two methyl groups and two Tallow groups. So, it’s not necessarily vegan. In fact, some sources of quaternium-18 come from mink. But you don’t have to worry about silicone buildup.

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

]]>
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. Hosts: Valerie George and Perry Romanowski On today’s episode we’re going to be answering your beauty... 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. Hosts: Valerie George and Perry Romanowski On today’s episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about What are the benefits of broccoli seed oil? What is the deal […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 38:28
Curology questions – Salon conditioners and bar soap shampoo – episode 178 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/04/curology-questions-salon-conditioners-and-bar-soap-shampoo-episode-178/ Thu, 11 Apr 2019 17:58:19 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5060 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/04/curology-questions-salon-conditioners-and-bar-soap-shampoo-episode-178/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/04/curology-questions-salon-conditioners-and-bar-soap-shampoo-episode-178/feed/ 3 On today’s episode of The Beauty Brains we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about The differences between salon and store bought deep conditioners Whether curology is better than going to a dermatologist And what are the pros and cons of using a bar soap form of shampoo and hair conditioner? Beauty Science News […]

On today’s episode of The Beauty Brains we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about

  • The differences between salon and store bought deep conditioners
  • Whether curology is better than going to a dermatologist
  • And what are the pros and cons of using a bar soap form of shampoo and hair conditioner?

Beauty Science News

Here’s a story that was published in Elle about dangerous cosmetics.

You know it’s a truism in the media industry…if it bleeds it leads. Fear based news stories are preferred for news organization and stories about cosmetic products are included. Fear based news stories prey on our anxieties and in this online world, they lead to more clicks, social media shares, and advertising money. And they all follow the same formula, grab attention with a scary headline, then offer a solution to reduce that fear.

These types of fear mongering / sales articles are all over the Internet. They are not based on science and are really just hidden advertisements parading as some kind of news. Rather than talking to a toxicologist who would be expert in product / ingredient safety, they usually talk to a biased brand owner who benefits from keeping you scared of mainstream products. Why are no toxicologists contacted when writing articles like this? Because the stories would not be nearly as scary.

Michelle Pfiefer fragrance launch

Speaking of fear marketing, it seems Michelle Pfiefer is launching her own “clean fragrance” line in which she’s following the lead of companies like P&G, L’Oreal and Unilever by making the full ingredient list available online for anyone who wants to see it.

Well, I think this new wave of transparency is good. For a chemist it’s interesting to get more information about other people’s products. I’m just not sure how helpful it is for consumers to now know that Tetrahydro-methyl-methylpropyl)-pyran-4-ol is in your fragrance.

Natural Formulas Arrive At Clairol

Happi magazine is reporting that Clairol has launched a new Natural Instincts line of demi-permanent hair colors. The company says that it’s the most gentle at-home hair color product yet and it’s made from 80% naturally derived ingredients. The other 20% are supernaturally derived, I guess.

What Does Vegan Skin Care *Really* Mean? | Shape Magazine

And finally, if you want to know what Vegan Skin care really means, there’s an article in which I was quoted in Shape Magazine. To sum up the article basically while there can be animal derived ingredients in cosmetic products, mostly there aren’t. Companies got away from using animal derived ingredients back in the late 1990’s as a reaction to the mad-cow scare in the UK.

Certainly you still see animal ingredients like Lanolin, Beeswax, and Gelatin but for the most part, the vast majority of cosmetic products you can buy do not contain animal derived ingredients. They are derived either from plants or petroleum. Of course you might say that petroleum was really just dead dinosaurs so it’s still animal based…but that’s not right. It’s a myth that the dinosaurs turned into petroleum. There weren’t nearly enough dinos to do that. Petroleum actually comes from the decay of ancient phytoplankton that lived in the oceans. So technically, petroleum based ingredients are plant based too. Petroleum is plants!  Which makes them vegan. I wonder if that will catch on with consumers seeking vegan cosmetics.

Alright, on to some beauty questions and answers.

Beauty Question

Lily asks – My question today is, Are the deep conditioning treatments salons offer any different from your regular conditioner? A popular one in the recent year is keratin deep conditioning treatment, and I also heard of quinoa hair treatment.. people pay hundreds of dollars for them. I know you are paying for services and that fresh feeling you get coming out of a salon. But I’m curious if there is any difference in formulation between salons conditioning treatment and your regular ol conditioner ?

This is a great question and I’ll cut to the chase, yes deep conditioning treatments in salons are different from a regular conditioner. But I mean they are different in terms of how they are applied, how they are rinsed out and the whole process. They may even be different in terms of how they are formulated since the aesthetics of putting the product on the hair, rinsing it out, and the fragrances are not nearly as important for a salon treatment than for something you use at home.

But in terms of whether you’re getting some great benefit from these pricey treatments versus something you could just do at home…I’ve not seen any good evidence of that.  Consider that there are no special ingredients that go in a salon conditioning treatment that couldn’t also be put in your standard at-home product. I looked at the Clairol Professional Color Vibrancey Repair Packet and they have standard conditioner ingredients Amodimethicone, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Panthenol…you know, the same type of stuff you get in store brand conditioners.

Despite what you might read on the Internet there’s nothing about a quinoa hair treatment that is particularly impressive. Certainly not worth hundreds of dollars.  Keratin deep conditioning…those products also contain silicones, cationic conditioners, and all the other things found in standard conditioners. There really is no special technology that a salon puts on your hair when doing these special conditioning treatments.  

Now, I’m sure the whole experience will leave you with great feeling hair but I’ve tested enough of these conditioning treatments to know that your hair is not going to be left in a condition significantly better than the condition you can get by using a standard conditioner at home.  

Misty from Texas What are your thoughts on Curology? What do you think of these custom formulations?  Is this a good option instead of going to this instead of a dermatologist?

I hadn’t heard of Curology so I went over to their website to check them out. Indeed, they are all about customization and making customized formulas. Or at least, custom-ish formulas. They try to make things simple for you. You answer a few questions, snap a picture of your skin, send it to the website then they send you “your custom super bottle” of perfect skin care for you.  It sounds like magic.

But I’m skeptical of these types of things as you might have imagined. Especially the part where you are subscribing to a service. The main reason people market products as subscription is that it’s a guaranteed sale. They know that a large segment of their customer base will be too lazy or forgetful to cancel a subscription once it starts even if they don’t like the product. Marketing companies love to get people to subscribe to products. While subscriptions for things like Netflix or Car Insurance make sense, subscriptions to beauty products (especially acne treatments) don’t.  

They also don’t offer refunds.  hmmm. More troubling is the cancellation policy where they say that “if you do not receive a cancellation confirmation email, your account has not been cancelled.”  Seems a little dodgy to me. If someone wants to cancel they shouldn’t have to count on the company sending back an email to confirm you cancel. And then they don’t have a phone number?  What kind of business doesn’t have a phone number?

I digress.

The products are made in conjunction with a dermatologist which most likely means the dermatologist worked with a cosmetic chemist or contract manufacturer to get the products made. Anyway, I’m sure they are fine products.

I looked at their ingredient lists and wasn’t terribly impressed. The primary ingredients in their cleansers are Cocamidpropyl Hydroxysultaine and Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate. Then there are a couple of secondary surfactants too. This will be a perfectly functional, light cleansing product. I suspect it will have a hard time cleaning off a face that has a lot of makeup on it, but for an every day cleanser, I’m sure it will be fine.

The moisturizer isn’t anything special either in that it contains things you would expect like Dimethicone, and a couple other silicones and humectants like Glycerin and Sodium Hyaluronate. Again, a perfectly fine moisturizer.

But $60 for a 2 month supply?  

Then there is the super bottle. According to what I could find the formula contains three active ingredients which could be clindamycin, azelaic acid, tretinoin, niacinamide, and zinc pyrithione. These are all things that are found in anti-acne products.  Nothing groundbreaking here.

In my view the questionnaire is just a marketing gimmick. They ask you about skin sensitivity, aging, oil production and your breakout history. People are not very good at assessing their own skin so there are no obvious formulation changes you can make based on these answers. They could randomly give you one of the products and if it works, great. If it doesn’t work they can give you a different combination and keep iterating like that until you get something that works. Maybe their technology algorithm can do better than that but I doubt it.

Alright, so to your final question, is this a good option over going to a dermatologist? In my opinion, I don’t really think so. If you have acne, the first thing you should try is the over the counter stuff you can get at the store. These contain ingredients proven to work against acne for most people. But if you’ve tried that stuff and still have a problem, going to the dermatologist is a more reasonable option than a service like this one.  If you have severe acne or something that is complicated to treat, you need to be looked at by a dermatologist. Some people might like the at-home convenience of a service like curology but I’m skeptical that that is worth the cost.

Beth – What are the pros and cons from using a bar soap form of shampoo and hair conditioner?

First, what are these products and how are they different than standard shampoos and conditioners?

Basically, these formulas use many of the same ingredients as standard formulas but with a lot less water.  For a solid shampoo, typically a detergent is used diluted to about 15% of the formula. In these solid shampoos they can just skip the water and use a solid version of the detergent like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.

For a solid conditioner, they substitute a solid like Coco butter or Shea butter for the water but then include conditioner ingredients like Behentrimonium Chloride. They also include some detergent surfactants so you can was the stuff out of your hair.  These are tricky formulas to make and they generally don’t include the best ingredients you can use in conditioners.

Pros –

  1. Reduce water waste in making the product. We haven’t thought much about water when creating formulas but in the future it could have significant impact on the environment.
  2. Reduce packaging waste – No plastic bottles means less waste.
  3. Reduce number of ingredients needed to make products – For solid products you can use a lower amount of preservatives, pH adjusters and some other ingredients. There is nothing necessarily wrong with those ingredients but reducing exposure to any kind of chemicals is probably helpful. At the very least this lessens the chances of you developing some kind of reaction to one of the compounds.
  4. Last longer – the marketers say that these bars will last longer and they might be right. Bar soap seems to last longer than body wash so these probably will last longer.
  5. Easier to travel with? I guess you don’t have to worry about the bottle opening up and getting all over your clothes

Cons –

  1. Light cleaning – they probably aren’t going to clean your hair as well
  2. Low foaming – they won’t feel like they are working because it’s harder to make foam. This may not be related to how well they are working but you probably won’t enjoy the experience as much.
  3. More damaging – Rubbing a solid on your hair directly could cause damage that you don’t get from a liquid product.   
  4. More tangling – The rubbing action might also make your hair more tangled.

In my view these products aren’t going to be as satisfying to use for people with longer hair. For someone with short hair they might be fine.  But on the plus side, they can probably work as bar soaps too.

Support 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

]]>
On today’s episode of The Beauty Brains we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about The differences between salon and store bought deep conditioners Whether curology is better than going to a dermatologist And what are the pros and cons of ... On today’s episode of The Beauty Brains we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about The differences between salon and store bought deep conditioners Whether curology is better than going to a dermatologist And what are the pros and cons of using a bar soap form of shampoo and hair conditioner? Beauty Science News […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 27:34
What does Mandelic Acid do in Deodorants – The Beauty Brains solo https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/04/what-does-mandelic-acid-do-in-deodorants-the-beauty-brains-solo/ Mon, 01 Apr 2019 19:42:49 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5056 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/04/what-does-mandelic-acid-do-in-deodorants-the-beauty-brains-solo/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/04/what-does-mandelic-acid-do-in-deodorants-the-beauty-brains-solo/feed/ 2 Welcome to episode 177! It’s a solo episode of the Beauty Brains. On this episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about Thinning hair and the research going on in that area Whether cupping is an effective facial treatment Which sunscreen ingredients block UVA Why mandelic acid is used in deodorants. Beauty science […]

Welcome to episode 177!

It’s a solo episode of the Beauty Brains.

On this episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about

  • Thinning hair and the research going on in that area
  • Whether cupping is an effective facial treatment
  • Which sunscreen ingredients block UVA
  • Why mandelic acid is used in deodorants.

Beauty science news

Is dust making you fat? Probably not.

Three hot new beauty trends from the UK – Vegan Beauty, Clean Beauty & Microbiome

Danish retailer bans fluorinated compounds in all cosmetics – And dentists around Denmark rejoice!

Are attractive women less trustworthy? Research says maybe, The Beauty Brains don’t agree.

Beauty Product questions

In your recent podcast you mentioned that only two sunscreen ingredients approved in the U.S. block UVA rays. What are the names of the two that block UVA?

That’s easy enough. The two approved in the US that block UVA are Avobenzone and Zinc Oxide. Titanium Dioxide will block a small portion of UVA rays, and so does Octocrylene, but for broad spectrum, blocking-all-the-UVA, you need to use either Avobenzone or Zinc Oxide. L’Oreal also has Mexoryl but they are the only ones who can use it. In the EU there are like 6 more UVA blockers that formulators can use.

Here’s an audio question – Does hyaluronic acid just evaporate off your face?

But let’s take a look at the ingredients. Drunk Elephant Bee Hydra Instensive Hydration serum – It’s got water, of course, but next is Coconut Alkanes – these are just emollients which are technically oils. Then there is Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil – so, they have some oils. I’m not sure why you said they didn’t.

But you’re right there isn’t anything here that would qualify as an occlusive agent per say. Then there are a bunch of fruit extracts…those aren’t doing much. Ah, there are a lot of humectants Pentylene glycol, Glycerin, Sodium PCA, Panthenol maybe, and of course Sodium Hyaluronate.

So, you’re worried this will just evaporate off. Well, that’s not true. While the formula does have water & cyclomethicone which will evaporate off rather quickly ingredients like Glycerin and Hyaluronic acid, they are not going to evaporate off any time soon. They will stay on the surface of skin and absorb water from the atmosphere or maybe from your skin and…you know..keep providing moisturizing benefits. They’re not going to evaporate off. And you don’t need to put any oils on top of it to make sure that doesn’t happen.

The formula also has film forming polymers like Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer & Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer which will make it stay on your skin even more. It will prevent easily rubbing it off.

So, no, you don’t have put on oils on top of this product. Now, I’m not sure you’re getting a great deal spending $52 for 50 mL of this product when you can get less expensive options that probably work just as well for you, but I’m sure this is a fine product.

Erin asks – As a biologist and chemist, who’s not as young as I used to be, I’ve found your podcast really interesting when it comes to anti-aging cosmetics and their claims. Recently, you did a podcast where you talked about thinning hair. I am very familiar with common knowledge that all products claiming to increase hair growth are bogus, with the exception of Rogaine which is questionable.

Because of my own personal experience, I am wondering if this is a problem with research that is just not well designed to test for ingredients encouraging increased hair growth?

Then she goes on to explain how thinning hair is a problem in her family, and how she tried a product from Monat which work well initially, then didn’t work as well after a while, and then it seems like it’s working again.

And so she wants to know Do you know of anyone doing really good testing on promoting hair growth? I think it’s a shame if this area is not being adequately researched.

First, you’re right Rogaine is the only proven thing for hair growth. And that doesn’t work for everyone.

Next, on the subject of your experience. As a scientist I’m sure you’re aware of anecdotal evidence and how unreliable it is. It’s really easy to fool ourselves. Especially when we want something to work. You know the scientists & researchers out there in the cosmetic industry, we want to make discoveries. We want to make products that really work and that people want to use. Not only is it satisfying intellectually but it’s also monetarily good too. So, there is a lot of research out there going on with hair thinning. It’s just not something that has been easy to find stuff that works. The things we’ve found are by accident usually. And a product like this would be a drug. So, pharmaceutical companies are spending money researching this. There’s a lot of research money going in to finding solutions to hair loss. As you can imagine, this would be a huge market if someone found something that actually worked. I can tell you, the solution is not going to come from a Multilevel marketing company. It’s probably not even going to come from P&G or L’Oreal or one of those companies who focus on making consumer products. J&J might discover something as they are a pharmaceutical company, but most beauty companies are not set up to develop these types of products.

Unfortunately, those companies also don’t tend to publish their research. And they certainly don’t publish research that shows no benefits. So, it’s hard to know what has been studied. The only thing we can know is that this is a huge opportunity, pharmaceutical companies would be the ones who have to make these products (they are drugs) and it’s most likely that they just haven’t found anything that really works.

I feel your pain. I’ve just hit 18,256 days of living and I’m getting a little thinning on the top too. I wish I had better news for you but hair growth products…they mostly don’t work. And when evaluating whether something works it’s really important to not fool yourself. As famous physicist Richard Feynman said “The first principle (of science) is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool. Just remember that whenever you are evaluating any beauty product.

Olga says…I saw recently a lot of videos on YouTube on face cupping. Is it proving a rejuvenating facial massage? Is it safe to do it at home?

Thanks for the question. I watched a few facial cupping videos and I have to say, I’m less than impressed. The procedure didn’t seem to be doing much of anything. However, watching youtube videos is not really a scientific examination so I did a little more searching. Facial cupping was no doubt inspired by the general practice of so called Cupping Therapy that is popular with the alternative medicine crowd. I’ll say up front, there is little evidence that cupping therapy has any real benefits. In a review of scientific studies of cupping therapy published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, the authors concluded that “this overview of systematic reviews suggests that cupping may be effective for reducing pain. The evidence is insufficient for other indications. Therefore, considerable uncertainty remains about the therapeutic value of cupping.”

It was a treatment developed before science and subsequent investigation of it has shown no skin benefits. Now, there are plenty of people who will disagree with that but I’m persuaded by evidence, not stories from people who have paid money to get the procedure done or by fake doctors who get paid to do these procedures.

Anyway, back to facial cupping. So, there is no evidence that facial cupping will rejuvenate your skin. And it certainly won’t have any long lasting effects either. Any fluid movement you might do while sucking on the skin of your face will drain back to where it started rather quickly.

As far as safety goes, yes it’s mostly safe to do at home. The biggest downside is that you can suck too hard on your skin and cause bruising. I don’t think a bruised face is what people are going for with this.

The bottom line is that facial cupping has no proven benefits and if you do it too hard you can bruise your skin. It’s pseudoscience, not proven and I don’t recommend it. I’ll provide a link to the review of research studies in the show notes.

Andrea asks…Why is mandelic acid the first ingredient in Lume deodorant?

Lume is touted as a natural deodorant but this seems a little dicey. I mean, it’s true Mandelic Acid was originally discovered as a component of almonds, but the stuff used in production of products is made through synthetic chemical reactions. But there pretty much aren’t any truly natural cosmetics.

I tried to find an ingredient list from the bottle, but all I found was what they had on their website & a picture of one bottle. And indeed the second ingredient, at least on the squeeze tube product is Mandelic Acid.

First, it’s helpful to know that mandelic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid, like Glycolic acid but just a bit bigger as far as molecules go. As far as acid strength goes, it’s a stronger acid than glycolic acid. It’s been used for years in medicine as a urinary antiseptic because it’s thought to be an antibacterial. It’s being studied by some as a potential anti-aging ingredient.

It’s the antibacterial effect that is most likely why mandelic acid is in their product. Underarm odor is caused by bacteria that feast off the sweat you produce. Putting an antibacterial ingredient there will kill the bacteria and theoretically reduce the odor. This is how deodorants work. In traditional deodorants, the ingredient Triclosan is used. It is also an antibacterial. The other thing that deodorants have are fragrances to offset your natural odor. Now, if you wash your armpits, then put this on, theoretically the bacteria wont have time to cause odor so you could have an unscented version which they have but they also have a scented version. I’m guessing the scented version sells better.

I’ll point out they also make some fearmongering claims as they say they are free from “Aluminum, Silicone, Phthalates, Sulfates, Parabens, Gluten, Corn, Soy, Talc, Coconut Oil, Baking Soda” The reality is deodorants don’t use Aluminium. Aluminium salts are found in antiperspirants that stop you from sweating. This product and all deodorants will not have an impact on whether you sweat or not.

Deodorants also don’t normally contain phthalates, sulfates, parabens, gluten, corn, soy, or coconut oil. Some might have talc but that’s not normally found. Silicones are used but there are perfectly fine substitutes. And baking soda, well that’s not something you should put under your arms anyway.

So, there you have it. Lume uses Mandelic Acid as it’s antibacterial component and that’s why it’s in there. Of course at $14 a stick, it’s certainly not going to be a better value than the Speed Stick that I use. But if you like Lume and the brand story, it might work for you.

Next time…we answer more of your beauty questions.

If you want to ask a question about beauty products you can click the link in the show notes or record one on your phone and send it to thebeautybrains@gmail.com  Of course, we prefer audio questions because that makes for a more interesting sounding show.

Beauty Brains wrapup

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

]]>
Welcome to episode 177! It’s a solo episode of the Beauty Brains. On this episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about Thinning hair and the research going on in that area Whether cupping is an effective facial treatment Which sunscr... Welcome to episode 177! It’s a solo episode of the Beauty Brains. On this episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about Thinning hair and the research going on in that area Whether cupping is an effective facial treatment Which sunscreen ingredients block UVA Why mandelic acid is used in deodorants. Beauty science […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 39:31
This episode smells – we answer fragrance questions https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/03/this-episode-smells-we-answer-fragrance-questions/ Mon, 18 Mar 2019 19:20:21 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5052 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/03/this-episode-smells-we-answer-fragrance-questions/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/03/this-episode-smells-we-answer-fragrance-questions/feed/ 7 Welcome to episode 176! Today is our all-fragrance question extravaganza!!   On this episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about What do the terms unscented and fragrance free mean? Should you avoid fragrance in skin care products What’s the difference between synthetic and natural fragrances? And how do fragrances get chosen for […]

Welcome to episode 176!

Today is our all-fragrance question extravaganza!!  

On this episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about

  • What do the terms unscented and fragrance free mean?
  • Should you avoid fragrance in skin care products
  • What’s the difference between synthetic and natural fragrances?
  • And how do fragrances get chosen for products?

Beauty science news

Gillette partners with Terracycle to recycle razor blades

Is the FDA going to get more power to regulate cosmetics

Beauty Product questions

Sheila says – Can you talk about the terms unscented, fragrance free, and for sensitive skin?

What differentiates these products from other products that are not necessarily for sensitive skin, when most of the ingredients are the same?

—-

Grace says – Do you agree with Paula’s Choice severe take on fragrances leading to irritation? And then she provides a few links to scientific papers that the brand uses to justify their advice.

Ya know this is an interesting question and one I think we’ve stumbled upon in the past.  I know that Paula has been against fragrance in skin care products for a long time. While she makes a reasonable argument for avoiding fragrances, I think she goes too far and the advice to avoid fragrance in skin care products is overly cautious.

So let’s go through what Paula’s position is on fragrances in skincare.

On the Paula’s Choice website she has a post which explains it titled “Why Fragrance-free Products are best for everyone

Fragrances are known to be sensitizing to all skin types so you should avoid them. Also, not all sensitizing reactions are noticeable so you might be damaging your skin without even knowing it. So, everyone should avoid fragrances in their skin products.

Now, I don’t exactly disagree with the first few statements, but I do disagree with the conclusion that everyone should avoid fragrances.  Let’s dive a little deeper into her specific argument.

The first claim she makes it that it is well known that fragrance is a common sensitizing ingredient for all skin types – This isn’t exactly correct.  You see “fragrance” is not a single ingredient. Fragrances are made up of dozens or even hundreds of ingredients. It is true that some of the ingredients in some fragrances are sensitizing to different skin types, but it is not correct to say all fragrances are sensitizing to all skin types. This isn’t exactly what is claimed but it is implied. There are plenty of fragrances made up of ingredients that will not be sensitizing or cause any reaction to the vast majority of people.

Another claim that is made is that fragrances impart scent through a volatile reaction and that it is this natural reaction that causes skin sensitizing reaction on skin. Again, this is not exactly correct. This may be pedantic, but volatility is not a chemical reaction. It is a physical process in which molecules of the fragrance evaporate off the surface and into the air just like when water evaporates. These molecules bind with receptors in your nose which causes the sensation of odor. In chemistry, when we use the term “reaction” it specifically means that molecules interact other molecules to form some new molecule. Nothing like that is going on here.   

The volatility of an ingredient has little to do with the skin sensitization of a material. What is responsible for skin sensitization reactions is your immune system. Fragrance materials (or any other ingredient you might be sensitive to) bind with receptors on immune system cells in your skin which ultimately can lead to a reaction like redness, swelling or inflammation. Now, if you do not happen to have a cell with a receptor that reacts to the fragrance ingredient, then no immune reaction will take place. The ingredient will evaporate off your skin, maybe get into your nose, you’ll smell it, then it goes off into the atmosphere, never to be heard from again.  You’ll be like the 95-98% of people who experience no problems when using skin products with fragrances in them.

Now that gets us to the next claim made.  They say that even if you don’t show signs of being aggravated by fragrance in products, there could be some silently occurring damage going on in the skin that you just don’t notice. They further claim that this will build up over time and cause worse problems in the long term. Well, this is just conjecture and no proof is given. While it may be true that there is some invisible damage being caused there is no proof offered that people who use fragrance have worse skin years later because of it. I doubt that it is true or at least that it is true in any measurable sense.

She does offer up the analogy to not wearing sunscreen but this is completely different. Sun exposure damages DNA of stem cells which causes future damage in new cells. There is nothing in the immune response to fragrances that is going to cause long lasting damage like UV exposure. An analogy is not proof.

If they wanted to prove this, they would need to compare two people with the same genetics using the same products but with one having a fragranced product and the other an unfragranced one and see who’s skin is better. Obviously, a study like this can’t be done. Maybe you could compare people who use fragrances versus people who don’t but there are genetic differences so even that wouldn’t be completely accurate. However, even doing a study like that wouldn’t tell you much.

So, it’s not like you will go wrong if you follow Paula’s advice to avoid fragrances in skin care. But if you’re one of the 95% + people who have no negative reactions to fragrances, then you’re not really helping yourself much. You’re just using products that smell worse while enjoying the experience of doing skin care less.

The position to be fragrance free is a unique one in the market and it carves out a niche for their products. But it smacks a little bit of fear marketing in my opinion.  If you like the experience of fragrances in your skin care products and don’t have any noticeable reaction, I say go ahead and use them. If you have problems, then go fragrance free.

————

DanaLynn asks – what is the difference between synthetic or natural fragrance?

Why would one be “safer” than the other?

-I personally think the the synthetic ones would be safer. Because you have a higher confidence of what the composition of the ingredient is. Natural ingredients can be made up of anything that happens to get incorporated into the plant while it’s growing. The production of synthetic ingredients are tightly controlled under specific conditions.  Also, natural ingredients are more likely to be contaminated with some microbe that could cause problems. All-in-all, synthetic is safer.

——

Katherine asks – How to choose fragrances for different cosmetic products?

Go through the process of how we pick a fragrance for a product.

1.  Marketing concept – create an avatar of potential customers

2.  Mall intercept testing

3.  Submissions from fragrance houses

4.  Fragrance screening

5.  Ultimately choosing the fragrance

Next time…we answer more of your beauty questions.

If you want to ask a question about beauty products you can click the link in the show notes or record one on your phone and send it to thebeautybrains@gmail.com  Of course, we prefer audio questions because that makes for a more interesting sounding show.

Beauty Brains wrapup

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

]]>
Welcome to episode 176! Today is our all-fragrance question extravaganza!!   On this episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about What do the terms unscented and fragrance free mean? Should you avoid fragrance in skin care products W... Welcome to episode 176! Today is our all-fragrance question extravaganza!!   On this episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about What do the terms unscented and fragrance free mean? Should you avoid fragrance in skin care products What’s the difference between synthetic and natural fragrances? And how do fragrances get chosen for […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 40:14
Are cosmetics safer in Europe than in the US? Episode 101 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/03/are-cosmetics-safer-in-europe-than-in-the-us-episode-101/ Tue, 05 Mar 2019 00:45:42 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4451 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/03/are-cosmetics-safer-in-europe-than-in-the-us-episode-101/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/03/are-cosmetics-safer-in-europe-than-in-the-us-episode-101/feed/ 7 We had a technical glitch this week & Perry is on vacation so enjoy a show from the archives…episode 101 Question of the week: How are cosmetics regulated outside of the US? Jacs from the UK asked…”Can you add a overview on how cosmetics are regulated in the rest of the world other than America […] We had a technical glitch this week & Perry is on vacation so enjoy a show from the archives…episode 101

Question of the week: How are cosmetics regulated outside of the US?3044867827_6e619a0f80

Jacs from the UK asked…”Can you add a overview on how cosmetics are regulated in the rest of the world other than America please?”

Our answer comes from UK-based cosmetic chemist Colin Sanders of Colin’s Beauty Pages.

Who makes the regulations in the EU?

The obvious first question for someone outside the EU is who actually makes the rules?
In fact it is a pretty good question for people inside it as well. The answer is that the regulations are drawn up by the European Commission, a body that many Europeans don’t know exists.

The commission itself is run by 28 commissioners who are delegates from each of the 28 member states and who are usually politicians with a successful career behind them. 
They have a staff of about 23,000 to do the actual work of drawing up legislation. The cosmetics regulations are just one of the many things the commission does, and it has been pumping them out regularly every 4 years since 1976. You can easily discover the latest version – it is online along with all other EU regulations so a bit of googling will find it.

The commission can also issue what are known as decisions, which are ad hoc rulings on specific points. These can and do override regulations in particular cases. A recent example is the change to the rules on methylisothiazolinone where a decision has tightened the restrictions on it. This means you can’t be absolutely sure the published text is up to date, which is one of the charming foibles of the way the regulations work.

What the European Commission doesn’t have is a specific department devoted to cosmetics. So the regulations are drawn up by general bureaucrats. They don’t know anything about cosmetics so they depend on advice. They got some of this from trade bodies and from interested parties. This means that the interests of the big producers are taken into account. Smaller producers? Not so much.

They also have advice from a body called the scientific committee for cosmetic safety or SCCS, which is composed largely of academics with an interest in medicine and general science.

The whole thing is pretty transparent, at least on paper. Decisions are well documented and published online for anyone to read. The opinions of the SCCS are full of detail. They quote the data they used and the reasoning they adopted. They also give the names and credentials of the people involved. So you know who they are, and they show their working. You do need to have a fair bit of background knowledge to be able to keep abreast of it all though. Neither bureaucrats nor scientists are well known for making their business easy to follow.

What are the main ways the regulations control things?

So what sort of regulations have these guys come up with between them? You don’t need to get any kind of registration of approval to launch a cosmetic, but you do need to register it on the Cosmetic Product Notification Portal. This is a simply enormous database of every cosmetic formulation on the market along with its pack copy. Registering a product on it is not tremendously difficult and is free to registrants, which inevitably means the cost of administering it comes from European taxpayers. Its stated purpose is to provide poisons centres with rapid information on the ingredients of cosmetic products in the event of some kind of medical incident. I’d love to know how often this database is referred to.

First of all, notice that you DON’T have to get approval to launch a cosmetic in the EU. That’s how it is in the US too. The registration requirement he mentioned is already voluntary in the US and the new bill would make it mandatory. And yes, the fees for this would be passed on to US tax payers.

This isn’t the only information the European Commission is collecting. There is also a requirement to notify them of any serious adverse effects on cosmetics. This is an idea that has been adopted from the pharmaceutical industry where it has been going on for a long time. This is potentially of great help in identifying problem products and problem ingredients. It has only been running since 2013 so it is a bit soon to judge how this is going to work out. But if my experience is anything to go by there aren’t going to be too many of them.

The EU has quite a long list of banned substances. This is the longest bit of the regulations and the one that almost nobody ever refers to. I have the rest of the regulations printed out in a folder on my shelf full of notes and comments. I add whatever I learn about what they mean and how they are interpreted and enforced, but I skipped the banned substance list. I don’t think there is anything on it that anybody would ever want to put into a cosmetic in the first place, so I don’t really see the point of it.

There is a list of controlled substances, which are things that you are only allowed to use up to a certain level or in particular kinds of product.
There are lists of permitted preservatives, colours and so on although there is nothing to stop you using things that are not on the list so long as they are safe.

But the most significant way that cosmetic product safety is addressed is through the requirement for safety assessments. When you think about it, there are two ways you can ensure safety. You can either lay down a set of rules that everyone needs to follow, or you can require that somebody who knows what they are doing approves products before they are released.
The EU uses a mixture of both. There are plenty of prescriptive rules, most of which are pretty conservative in their assessment of the risks particular ingredients pose. And you also need to get any formulation you launch signed off by a safety assessor. When safety assessments originally came out the rules about who should do them and how they should be written were pretty vague. They simply called for a suitably qualified person to assess the safety of the product. 
I quite liked this approach. It put the onus on the company to justify that their assessor was indeed suitably qualified.

Sadly the rules have become much more exiguous and now there is a specific format that safety assessments need to follow and some criteria for suitable qualifications for assessors. This actually makes the system a bit weaker, because anybody with a chemistry or a life sciences degree can easily meet the criteria with relatively little extra work and as long as they diligently follow the correct format laid down in the rules, they can be a safety assessor. That seems a lot easier than having to justify that you are suitably qualified to me. I’d rather have somebody who actually knows a bit about how cosmetics work personally.

How does it all work in practice?

Different European countries enforce the regulations in different ways. In the UK trading standards officers are responsible. But this is just one part of their remit to protect consumers, and their approach is generally pragmatic. They tend not to give cosmetics a huge amount of attention, probably for the very good reason that they don’t give consumers much in the way of trouble. There are other bits of legislation that they have in their toolkit which are relevant to cosmetics which they can use, so even when there is a problem they aren’t necessarily or even probably going to use specific cosmetic legislation to deal with it.

The cosmetic regulations are in fact rather unsuitable to their purposes. A good example are skin lighteners containing hydroquinone. Most people in the business are reasonably clear that article 14 of annex 3 of the EU regulations bans hydroquinone in any products except hair dyes and artificial nails, and in these you can’t use more than 0.3%. But if you look at it as it is written, it is open to the interpretation that it is limited in those products but you can use as much as you like in other products. So I wasn’t surprised to see a prosecution of a shop selling a skin lightening cream being carried out using a completely different law altogether.

This might sound like a criticism, but it really isn’t. One of the good things about the EU regulations is that they are written in language that is straight forward enough to provide guidance to anyone interested and you don’t need a lawyer to interpret them for you.
In Ireland the health department has been given the job of enforcing the cosmetic regulations, and they go about it in a rather more legalistic way presumably because their pharmaceutical training influences them to do so. If you are selling products in Ireland you need to be ready be interrogated by the someone who has read the regulations carefully if they get any complaints. Other European countries all have their own particular ways of enforcing the regulations.

Are cosmetics really dangerous or not?

So the big question is do the regulations actually do the job 
What are the risks that cosmetics pose to consumers? It happens that most cosmetic products are applied to the skin and the hair, which are not really vulnerable parts of the body. Unbroken skin is a pretty good barrier to most potential toxins. Even products that are used in or around the mouth like lip balm and toothpaste are used in tiny quantities. Cosmetics that did contain harmful ingredients are not going to do much harm. And there is not much incentive to use anything harmful anyway. You can make highly effective products using ingredients that are both cheap and safe. Why would you do anything different?

So the products from big, medium sized companies are likely to be both legal and completely safe. In fact given that they are all trying to build brands they are very concerned with their reputations and would probably not behave very differently if all the cosmetic regulations were withdrawn tomorrow.

There are also quite a lot of people who make cosmetics on a small scale and sell them at crafts and websites like Etsy. These people may not be quite so aware of the details of the regulations but they are motivated by a love of what they do and it is hard to imagine them doing anything harmful.

The only sector of the cosmetics business which is likely to pose any risk are products that are made on a small scale purely to make money. These tend to be distributed in ways that makes it hard for you to track back to them. Not very well known websites, direct mail and mail order adverts are typical. These people are not out to do any harm, but they can often be willing to cut corners. There was a lot of publicity recently about fake branded products. Contamination is the biggest problem, and fake products were found to contain things like rat droppings. Nobody is putting this kind of thing in their products deliberately, but they might well not follow elementary hygiene such as keeping batches covered overnight. This is exactly the kind of thing people out to make a quick buck are going to do as well. The cosmetic regulations give one option to the authorities when they are trying to stop this kind of thing going on – though there are other laws that might well be being broken at the same time.

Colin’s Conclusion

I think the conclusion I draw is that cosmetics you buy through regular distribution channels like shops, pharmacies and the big specialised online cosmetic websites are pretty much as safe as you can expect anything to be. The regulations are respected and followed by all the big suppliers and distributors. But the actual detail of what the regulations say is probably not as important as the motivations of the people who make the stuff.

iTunes reviews

I think it’s interesting to note that this question came to us in an iTunes review…those are really important to us. We took a blood oath to give a shout out to every single person who writes a review for us. We’ve had a LOT of reviews in the last few weeks (we’re over 125 reviews now!) so let’s read a couple more:

Hi-CD3 says…Most trustworthy source for beauty science. These guys know more about beauty products than nearly all of the instant fix studies and products advertised & endorsed on TV.

Amanda says…I’ve learned so much from listening to these 2 seasoned pros!! I’m continually grateful to these guys for providing informative, entertaining podcasts for free. And, she says, “I love Perry’s voice.”

Kenlynn from Canada says…Beauty science rules. These guys are informative, funny and really are the experts. As someone who makes their own cosmetics, it’s awesome to have an inspiring show like this to learn more about beauty myths and facts.

 Please support the Beauty Brains

You can show your support for us by clicking this link to sign up for a free trail at Audible.com. Thank you!!

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We had a technical glitch this week & Perry is on vacation so enjoy a show from the archives…episode 101 Question of the week: How are cosmetics regulated outside of the US? Jacs from the UK asked…”Can you add a overview on how cosmetics are regulated ... We had a technical glitch this week & Perry is on vacation so enjoy a show from the archives…episode 101 Question of the week: How are cosmetics regulated outside of the US? Jacs from the UK asked…”Can you add a overview on how cosmetics are regulated in the rest of the world other than America […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 38:31
Are spray sunscreens illegal? And other sunblock questions – Episode 175 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/02/are-spray-sunscreens-illegal-and-other-sunblock-questions-episode-175/ Tue, 26 Feb 2019 03:25:16 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5043 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/02/are-spray-sunscreens-illegal-and-other-sunblock-questions-episode-175/#respond https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/02/are-spray-sunscreens-illegal-and-other-sunblock-questions-episode-175/feed/ 0 This is episode 175 and on today’s episode we’re going to cover a news stories we found interesting in the cosmetics industry, and then we’ll answer your beauty questions about: Are sunscreen sprays legal? What is the level of SPF we should use on our face everyday? Why hasn’t the FDA approved the new sunscreen […]

This is episode 175 and on today’s episode we’re going to cover a news stories we found interesting in the cosmetics industry, and then we’ll answer your beauty questions about:

  • Are sunscreen sprays legal?
  • What is the level of SPF we should use on our face everyday?
  • Why hasn’t the FDA approved the new sunscreen filters available in Europe in Asia like Uvinul and Tinosorb? When can we expect these to be available in the US?
  • Is there A device for use at home that can show you if your spf is applied appropriately. I went to the derm and they had a blue light that showed sun damage beneath the skin surface. It was shocking! (Angela)

Beauty Science News

Does Coconut Oil Dry Out Your Hair?

Allure posted an article in 2017 to explore why some people feel the benefits of coconut oil on hair, while others are left with their hair feeling like straw. Coconut oil is still all the rage for skin and hair – many swear by it in their beauty ritual. But what is it doing on hair?

Coconut oil is actually confusing in the name, as when we think oil, we think a liquid that’s insoluble in water. Coconut oil is actually a liquid above room temperature and a solid below room temperature, yet it’s called an oil.

The temperature at which an oil, fat, or butter starts to solidify is called its titer point. You can identify this visually when it starts to cloud when it is melted and clear. Typically, oils have a titer of below 40.5°C, while fats have a titer above 40.5°C. An easy way to think of that is oils solidify when they are cold, and fats start to solidify when they are warm. Butters have a titer in between 20°C and 40.5°C. All of these formats are chemically composed of triglycerides, with their varying combinations contributing to their titer point.

If we look at different oils, apricot kernel oil as a titer of 0 – 6°C, or 32 – 42.8°F. That’s pretty chilly before it starts to cloud! Coconut Oil has a titer point of 22°C, or 71.6°C when it starts to solidify, and it solidifies quickly. The point is, when one applies apricot kernel oil to the hair, it will likely always stay in liquid oil form when applied to the hair. Conversely, coconut oil starts as a liquid after being rubbed together in our hands and melted, but shortly after being on the hair, the temperature drops before it solidifies into a film on the hair. This can happen quickly, and this is actually what I think contributes a lot to the dry feel of hair.

Coconut oil, in theory, should not leave the hair feeling dried out based on its triglyceride composition – 48% lauric, 18% myristic and 9% palmitic acids, with oleic acid and linoleic acid in smaller portions. These latter are readily used in hair care, so coconut oil itself shouldn’t feel drying. It’s likely the solidification and viscosity difference (looking like lard versus a liquid) that play into coconut oil sitting on the outside of the fiber, solidifying, and thus feeling like a dry, hard layer on the hair.

Spray Sunscreen update

FDA new sunscreen ruling

Before there is a final monograph companies just follow the tentative monographs and sprays weren’t included in this. But in 2018 the FDA issued a new policy that said companies could avoid enforcement of the rules against certain forms if they followed specific guidelines which included

  • 1. Only use a sunscreen actives listed in the monograph & at the approved percentages.
  • 2.  Don’t make disallowed claims like “sunblock”, “sweat proof” or “waterproof” or “all-day” protection.
  • 3. follow all the requirements for OTC drugs like having the right labels & dictions & the reporting of adverse events.

But the rule goes on to state specifically the type of form that will be allowed including oils, lotions, creams, gels…and Sprays.

Interestingly, some of the forms that the FDA still does not allow includes Shampoos, Body washes, Powders, Towelettes, and Wipes.

Now, for sprays the FDA does require manufacturers to have additional labeling. They require specific directions, and a warning which says “do not spray directly into face. Spray on hands then apply to face”

So, even the FDA is telling you that it’s a dumb idea to spray a sunscreen straight into your face. And of course, I’ll stop doing that.

Beauty Questions

Paola asks, “What is the level of SPF we should use for our face everyday?”

The FDA recommends a minimum of SPF 15, or SPF 30 if skin is fair. It’s also important to use a broad spectrum sunscreen. Any sunscreen that is not SPF 15 or broad spectrum has to carry a warning that says, “Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.” Valerie personally wears a broad spectrum SPF 30 cream daily, but she has fair skin. Perry uses SPF 30 or 50.

Nicole asks…why hasn’t the FDA approved the new sunscreen filters available in Europe in Asia like Uvinul and Tinosorb? When can we expect these to be available in the US?

The EU has 27 approved sunscreens while the US has only 16.  And of those 16, only 8 are really used. And actually of those 8, only 2 can block UVA. Half of the ones approved in the EU but not in the US also block UVA so it would really open up formulation options for cosmetic chemist if they would get approved.

The reason they are not approved is because the FDA looks at sunscreens as drugs while in the EU sunscreens are considered cosmetics. Drug actives require a lot more safety and efficacy data than cosmetic ingredients.  

President Obama signed the Sunscreen Innovation Act, in November 2014 to help get these things approved more quickly. The law said the FDA was supposed to review applications for eight European sunscreen molecules: amiloxate, bemotrizinol, bisoctrizole, drometrizole trisiloxane, ecamsule, enzacamene, iscotrizinol, and octyl triazone.

Unfortunately, instead of approving the sunscreens, the FDA told the makers of the ingredients that the sunscreens weren’t approved without more testing, specifically for long term exposure to for children and pregnant women. That means for the companies who want to sell the ingredients more expensive and lengthy clinical testing. But the companies are just getting tired of it so it’s unlikely that we’ll see a new sunscreen approved any time soon.

Angela wants to know…Is there A device for use at home that can show you if your spf is applied appropriately. I went to the derm and they had a blue light that showed sun damage beneath the skin surface. It was shocking!

I looked into this and indeed there is a product available for doing just that. There’s a device called Sunscreenr that attaches to your phone and will show you a picture of yourself what you look like under UV light.  The idea is that the darker your skin looks, the more protected it will be.

More practical than this device I think are those colored sunscreens. For example, Coppertone has a Kids Colorblock Disappearing Green Sunblock Spray which goes on one color and goes invisible when it dries.

I looked into how this works and according to a patent granted in 2001 (patent 6290936B1) they use a water-soluble dye or a blend of water-soluble dyes whose color substantially disappears when the sunscreen emulsion dries after it is spread on the skin and/or is rubbed out. That just seems more practical to me.  

However, these types of sunscreens haven’t really had great market success so that shows you what I know about whether a technology will be successful or not.

Beauty Brains wrapup

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

]]>
This is episode 175 and on today’s episode we’re going to cover a news stories we found interesting in the cosmetics industry, and then we’ll answer your beauty questions about: Are sunscreen sprays legal? What is the level of SPF we should use on our ... This is episode 175 and on today’s episode we’re going to cover a news stories we found interesting in the cosmetics industry, and then we’ll answer your beauty questions about: Are sunscreen sprays legal? What is the level of SPF we should use on our face everyday? Why hasn’t the FDA approved the new sunscreen […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 36:44
Does lip balm expire and other beauty questions – Episode 174 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/02/does-lip-balm-expire-and-other-beauty-questions-episode-174/ Tue, 19 Feb 2019 02:34:55 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5040 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/02/does-lip-balm-expire-and-other-beauty-questions-episode-174/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/02/does-lip-balm-expire-and-other-beauty-questions-episode-174/feed/ 3 Beauty questions covered on this episode include… Why is the prescription azelaic acid so expensive? Do cosmetic products expire? Is petroleum in skin products like Aquaphor bad for you? What’s the difference between moisturizers and hydrators Beauty news How will the microplastic ban affect cosmetic products? I saw this story that the EU was proposing […]

Beauty questions covered on this episode include…

  • Why is the prescription azelaic acid so expensive?
  • Do cosmetic products expire?
  • Is petroleum in skin products like Aquaphor bad for you?
  • What’s the difference between moisturizers and hydrators

Beauty news

How will the microplastic ban affect cosmetic products?

I saw this story that the EU was proposing to ban microplastics in products like cosmetics, detergents and agricultural products.  The concern with microplastics is that they get into the environment clog up waterways and have a negative impact on wildlife.

They say about 36,000 tons of microplastics are released into the environment every year.  That sounds like a lot.

Then they go on to say that the ban would force the cosmetic industry to reformulate over 24,000 formulas. That sounded pretty high to me. They also said it would cost the sector more than 12 billion pounds a year in lost revenue.

The industry group, the CTPA says that there isn’t scientific evidence that microplastics from cosmetics are a source of marine pollution.

I personally don’t think you really get much benefit from these microbes. It’s more of a gimmick. I don’t think they provide exfoliation for example. And I’ve looked.

Beauty Game

Which is the fake Goop product?

Vampire Repellent
Organic Cotton Toothbrush – This is the fake
Coffee Enema
Camel Milk home delivery service

Questions

Pee Vee asks, “Why the heck is prescription azelaic acid so expensive?  This ingredient has been around for a long time! It is not a patented ingredient, as far as I know.”

Do cosmetic products expire?

Scott says…I was wondering if you could help clarify some information regarding shelf life please.

To give you a bit of context:

For the past 17 years I’ve been using a lip balm called: Nivea Hydro Care Caring Lip Balm.

Here comes the bad news: Last year Nivea reformulated their entire range of lip balms which they call the “new melt-in formula”

The new formula is terrible. It smells revolting, it has a very sticky texture and no moisturising properties whatsoever.  The old formula is perfect for me, it goes on smoothly, it’s mildly scented and feels very rich and moisturising.

My query relates to the shelf life.  On Nivea’s website they state that “unopened products have a shelf life of at least 30 months from the date of manufacture unless they carry a specific expiry or use by date”.

I have enough lip balms in my stash to last me until December 2020 (assuming I use one per month) but I have no idea when they were manufactured.

Is it strictly true that they will go stale after the 30 months unopened?

We’ve gotten questions like this a few times but I don’t think we’ve covered it on the podcast. Beauty product consumers often want to know how long a product will last. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer but here are some guidelines to determining the expiration date of a cosmetic formula.

Before we talk about the expiration date, it makes sense to first define what is meant by “expiring.”  When it comes to cosmetics, there are various things that indicate a product has expired.

First, does it still work?  A good indication of whether a product has expired is if it still works. If a product stops providing the benefit for which you use it, then it is expired. If the lip balm doesn’t make your lips feel good, then the product has expired and you shouldn’t use it.

Next, does it have acceptable aesthetic properties?  Perhaps the most important indication of whether a product has expired is whether it continues to be aesthetically pleasing to use. Over time, there can be chemical reactions going on in your product which can result in color changes, odor changes, pH drift, viscosity changes, texture changes and more. While these products might technically continue to work, they aren’t as pleasing to use as they were when you first bought them, so the manufacturer would consider them “expired.”

How are expiration dates determined?

Manufacturers define the expiration date as a point in time when the product doesn’t meet specifications. These are just standard tests run on products when they are first made.  By defining an expiration point as the time when the product no longer meets specifications, you can then run a test to determine an approximate expiration date. The industry standard way of doing this is called stability testing.

Stability testing – Stability testing involves an experiment in which you take samples of your product and put them at different environmental conditions for a set period of time. The conditions vary in temperature and light levels and are meant to simulate what happens to the product during its life cycle from shipping, to store shelves, to consumer’s bathrooms.

At select intervals you evaluate your samples for various physical, chemical and performance characteristics to see how they have changed. If the changes are minimal according to your company standards, then the product is still good.  When characteristics of the product go outside of the specified ranges, then your product can be said to have “expired.”

Manufacturers and consumers likely have different expectations for how long a product should last. For most products, the industry standard is that it should be stable for at least one year. This means you shouldn’t expect to see any changes for characteristics outside the specification range after one year of testing. Of course, if the product isn’t selling fast enough the manufacturer would like this date extended but they also strive to have all inventory sold before one year.

Consumers are a bit different in that they want to have products that will last for as long as they have it. They don’t really want to buy a product that will “go bad” in a short amount of time. Actually, I don’t think they want products that will go bad for however long they have the product. This can be a really long time. In fact, I’ve got a men’s hair styling product that is at least 10 years old. I still use it on occasion because it smells fine and still works. This is why I make a terrible target consumer for hair products.

It’s interesting to note that in the US there is no specific requirement to put an expiration date on cosmetics. It is a law however, that the manufacturer has to run tests to determine the shelf life to demonstrate the product is safe to use.  In the EU there are more stringent requirements for product expiration dates. If a product has an expected shelf life of longer that 30 months you must do testing to demonstrate how long the product will last after opening. If the product has a shorter than 30 month shelf life, you must put a “best before” date on the package.

So, back to your question. While the manufacturer has put the 30 month expiration date on it if the lip balm still tastes right and works for you, it’s unlikely there will be any problems with using it. Of course, if you do have a problem you probably won’t have any recourse since you’ll be using the product in a way not recommended by the manufacturer.

Jodi asks, “Is Petroleum in skin products like Aquaphor bad for you? What’s snow white Petroleum?”

Dina asks – What is the difference between hydration and moisture/hydrating and moisturizing? How do moisturizers work? And how are they different from hydrators?

You know, we got this question and I thought it was a bit strange. It’s hard for a formulator to keep up with all these marketing terms. Cosmetic marketers have a tough time differentiating their products so they come up with different ways to talk about the same things.  Anyway, the terms moisturizing and hydration are really marketing terms which means the companies can define them pretty much however they want. They all mean the same thing and refer to increasing the amount of water present in either hair or skin. In investigating what’s on the market I noticed that some marketers use these terms to differentiate between Humectants (which are ingredients that attract water) and Occlusive agents (which are materials that block water from escaping thereby increasing the amount in the skin). But these are not scientific terms.

Moisturizers as some people define them, are oil based ingredients including occlusive agents like Petrolatum or Mineral oil and emollients like esters and plant oils. They work by creating a film on the surface of skin which prevents water from escaping. They also make the skin feel smoother and less dry.  Hydrators are ingredients called humectants like Glycerin or Hyaluronic Acid that absorb water from the atmosphere (or your skin) and hold it in place on your skin.

You’ll see hydrators and moisturizers advertised in all kinds of different products. Things like balms, seriums, oils, creams and even gels. The form of product doesn’t matter too much since it does not really affect the performance of the product much. Although creams and balms can be made to be a bit more intensive because you can include more occlusive materials. But the for product performance it is the ingredients that matter. The form just affects the experience of applying the ingredients.

For really dry skin occlusive agents are the best (something with Petrolatum works the best). But if someone want to avoid petrolatum, shea butter or Canola oil or Soybean oil can work.  In reality, petrolatum is the best however. If you use a humectant (hydrator) you should see immediate improvement in skin. If you use a moisturizer (occlusive) it will take an hour to improve skin. That’s why you should use a product that incorporates both.

If you want to ask a question about beauty products you can click the link in the show notes or record one on your phone and send it to thebeautybrains@gmail.com  We prefer audio questions because it sounds better on the podcast.

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.  

Speaking of beauty questions, 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

]]>
Beauty questions covered on this episode include… Why is the prescription azelaic acid so expensive? Do cosmetic products expire? Is petroleum in skin products like Aquaphor bad for you? What’s the difference between moisturizers and hydrators Beauty n... Beauty questions covered on this episode include… Why is the prescription azelaic acid so expensive? Do cosmetic products expire? Is petroleum in skin products like Aquaphor bad for you? What’s the difference between moisturizers and hydrators Beauty news How will the microplastic ban affect cosmetic products? I saw this story that the EU was proposing […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 34:03
What to look for in a facial sunscreen – Episode 173 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/02/what-to-look-for-in-a-facial-sunscreen-episode-173/ Tue, 12 Feb 2019 01:35:15 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5032 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/02/what-to-look-for-in-a-facial-sunscreen-episode-173/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/02/what-to-look-for-in-a-facial-sunscreen-episode-173/feed/ 4 Hello and 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. Beauty questions answered on this show Do silicones dry out your skin? Why do white hairs on my head turn reddish at the ends? What ingredients should look […]

Hello and 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.

Beauty questions answered on this show

  • Do silicones dry out your skin?
  • Why do white hairs on my head turn reddish at the ends?
  • What ingredients should look for in sunscreen while exercising?

Beauty Science News

Royal Society of Chemistry has a challenge for you!

Here’s how you can win £1million! The Royal Society of Chemistry has an ongoing program where they will award £1million to the first company that can produce a chemical free product. They started the program back in 2010 but unsurprisingly, no company has won the award thus far.

3D facemasks are introduced by Neutrogena

Well, it looks like Neutrogena is trying to cash in on both by launching a customized 3D facial mask that fits perfectly on your face.

Do women spend $15,000 on beauty products in a lifetime?

Doing a little math and if you spend $50 a month on beauty products, that’s $600 a year which over 40 years is $24,000. So, $15,000…I don’t know that doesn’t seem too outrageous. It actually seems a bit low to me. And if you compare it to other things we spend our money on (cab rides for instance) it seems like a pretty good deal to me.

Donna wants to know why her white hair, only in the front, is turning reddish on the ends, and is there anything besides a chelating shampoo the Brains can recommend?

Gray hair appears gray because it lacks the pigment used to naturally color hair, melanin. Melanin is produced deep in the hair follicle by melanocytes. As we age, for various mechanisms, the melanocytes stop producing melanin, so the hair becomes gray, or white. For some people, it’s not uncommon for their gray hair to continue to shift color.

In order to combat metal buildup in the hair, one can use a chelating shampoo that is specifically designed to sequester metal ions in the hair fiber and remove them. Most shampoos contain chelating agents, but not for metal removal from hair. That’s to sequester metals in the actual formulation. You’ll need to specifically look for one for metal removal.

Silicone in cosmetics

Thaïs asks, do silicones in cosmetics dry your skin? And also, please explain the difference between silica and silicones. Thanks!

Thanks for the question Thai. Let’s start with the second part first. What is the difference between silica and silicones. Silicones are compounds derived from the element Silicon which is the 14th on the periodic table of elements.

Instead most of the silicones you find in cosmetics are based on silicon-oxygen-silicon- (-Si-O-Si-) bonds. In nature, silicon exists in a mineral called quartz. In fact, quartz and silica are the same thing. Just Silcon bonded to Oxygen. Silica is the major component of sand. It’s a solid used for it’s abrasiveness (so for exfoliating), for its light-diffusing properties and for its ability to absorb oil.

Silicones are made from silica and can take on many forms from solid to liquid to gas. Through a variety of chemical reactions we can make things like Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone and all the other silicones use in cosmetics.

Silicones are used for a variety of reasons including

  • Spreadability
  • Feel
  • Shine
  • Occlusion
  • Slip

Ok, so that’s why they are used. But do they dry the skin? No, there is no evidence that they are drying. In fact, I looked through the research report done in the CIR and there was no significant report of a topical silicone from a cosmetic causing dermal irritation or dryness. In fact, silicones like Dimethicone are occlusive agents which would be expected to increase moisturization.

Sunscreen on your face tips

Juels asks – What ingredients should look for in sunscreen while exercising?

Stick to the Zinc Oxide / Titanium Dioxide sunscreens. The ones with the hydrocarbon sunscreens like avobenzone or oxybenzone can cause stinging if they get in the eyes or even irritate sensitive skin.

One problem with these mineral sunscreen actives is that they can be visible. It’s not like you’ll look like a mime when using them but it can give a slight ghostly hue. There are nanoparticle sized zinc products that are invisible and these are perfectly fine to use if you want to avoid the ghostly look.

I’d stay away from something that has a lot of herbal extracts and things in it. Although these ingredients are supposed to be natural, they are packed with dozens of naturally occurring chemicals any one of which can cause skin irritation and reactions. Go for a minimalist strategy here and look for products with fewer ingredients.

Look for something that is fragrance free. Fragrance ingredients can cause skin irritation and stinging.

I also like sunscreens that have a film forming polymer in there that helps hold the product in place. Look for something with the word Crosspolymer or copolymer in there such as an ingredient like Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer.

Of course I also recommend wearing a visor and sunglasses if you are going to run outside in the sun.

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.  

Speaking of beauty questions, 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

]]>
Hello and 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. Beauty questions answered on this show Do silicones dry out your skin? Hello and 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. Beauty questions answered on this show Do silicones dry out your skin? Why do white hairs on my head turn reddish at the ends? What ingredients should look […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 40:35
Expensive beauty products – how is their price determined? Episode 172 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/02/expensive-beauty-products-how-is-their-price-determined-episode-172/ Mon, 04 Feb 2019 22:52:43 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5018 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/02/expensive-beauty-products-how-is-their-price-determined-episode-172/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/02/expensive-beauty-products-how-is-their-price-determined-episode-172/feed/ 4 On today’s episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about Does a product’s price indicate anything about quality? Does Glycerin and Aloe Vera really moisturize? What does Salicylic acid do in products? And how legit are beauty product / ingredient trends? Beauty Science News Unilever goes further with transparency The Big Companies are […]

On today’s episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about

  • Does a product’s price indicate anything about quality?
  • Does Glycerin and Aloe Vera really moisturize?
  • What does Salicylic acid do in products?
  • And how legit are beauty product / ingredient trends?

Beauty Science News

Unilever goes further with transparency

The Big Companies are finally hopping on the transparency trend and have pledged to list a breakdown of the ingredients in their fragrances for all to see. While they started in early 2017, Unilever has now completed their project to list the ingredients in their fragrance with a concentration of 0.01% or more. This initiative goes further than is required by cosmetic regulators. They say they did it to help inspire trust in consumers.

But if you’re curious you can check out the fragrance ingredients in Unilever products by going to http://www.smartlabel.org/ in the US & Canada or https://www.unilever.co.uk/brands/whats-in-our-products/  for people in the EU.  

71% of Consumers are Buying Beauty on their Commute

A new study done in the UK has found that 71% of consumers are purchasing beauty products on their commute. Of course, this was done in a metropolitan area, like London, where public transportation is the main method of how people get to work. The study found that the average weekly expenditure of the commuters doing the online shopping was between £89 and £153. This contributes about 22.8 billion Pounds per year to the economy, which is 14% of the overall online shopping economy in the UK.

———-

Questions – Product costs

Veronica asks, is there a way to determine the quality of a product when looking at the price?

This is a great question and one that I’m sure trips up a lot of consumers. I think it’s ingrained in our brains at an early age that more expensive things are better than less expensive things.  And cosmetic marketers, and marketing people in general, definitely take advantage of this phenomena. If someone can get you to pay more money for a product, that’s a good reason for them to charge more.

3 major things that affect how much a product costs.

  • Raw material & production costs
  • Distribution costs
  • Brand positioning

Question – Glycerin and Aloe vera in moisturizers

Many face mists have Glycerine or Aloe Vera in. Do these ingredients actually moisturise/hydrate or dry the skin. I have tried both and each time my skin feels drier.

Yes, glycerin does. Aloe may provide a little moisturizing but not much. Certainly less than Glycerin.

In general, Aloe vera contains about 75 potentially active constituents including vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, lignin, saponins, salicylic acids and amino acids. The sugars and amino acids may have some moisturizing effects but it’s difficult to separate out just what is having the effect.  I will point out that in a 1999 review article British Journal of General Practice, the authors concluded in regards to aloe, “Even though there are some promising results, clinical effectiveness of oral or topical aloe vera is not sufficiently defined at present.” Basically, as far as its use as a medical treatment, it has not been proven.

Question – Tell us about salicylic acid

Please tell us something more about salicylic acid in beauty products. Could it be used in concentrations more then 2%,

Salicylic acid is an oil-soluble active known as a beta hydroxy acid. It has different functions in cosmetics, such as exfoliation, treatment for acne, and wart removal. However, there are concentration limits depending what the salicylic acid is being used for. In instances where salicylic acid is being used to treat acne or remove warts, it would be considered an active drug in the United States.

Question – What about beauty trends?

Lauren is a listen who is glad the show is back, and has proclaimed, YAY, SCIENCE in her note to us. We’re glad you’re listening, Lauren, and thanks for asking one of today’s questions: “I’d love to know how legit trends are. For example, everyone’s doing those mask thingies. Are they even good for your skin? Is there something better you can do instead? Or are korean beauty products the new hotness? Is acai the killer ingredient that will make you younger?! Stuff like that. Because man I never know.”

You’ve got to understand that not much really changes from a technology standpoint when it comes to cosmetics.  The things you use today are pretty much the same types of products people were using 20 and 30 years ago. I once did a comparison of the Pantene shampoo ingredient list of 2018 versus one in 1998.  They were pretty much the same ingredients. Not much changes.

But in the beauty industry, you always need something new. It’s a lot like the fashion industry. And so you get these trends…

In my view, the science of cosmetic products is not changing much and the technology and products are not changing much either. The thing that is changing a lot is the marketing stories that go along with them. And it is the marketing stories that create the trends. Or maybe it is the other way around, the trends create the marketing stories.

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.  

Speaking of beauty questions, 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

]]>
On today’s episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about Does a product’s price indicate anything about quality? Does Glycerin and Aloe Vera really moisturize? What does Salicylic acid do in products? On today’s episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about Does a product’s price indicate anything about quality? Does Glycerin and Aloe Vera really moisturize? What does Salicylic acid do in products? And how legit are beauty product / ingredient trends? Beauty Science News Unilever goes further with transparency The Big Companies are […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 40:57
Jade Rollers – Micellar water – and more – Episode 171 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/01/jade-rollers-micellar-water-and-more-episode-171/ Mon, 28 Jan 2019 18:43:34 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5012 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/01/jade-rollers-micellar-water-and-more-episode-171/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/01/jade-rollers-micellar-water-and-more-episode-171/feed/ 3 On today’s episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about Do jade rollers work or are they just hype? Is micellar water good enough for cleaning off makeup? Will supplements give you better looking skin? Is this hot, expensive hair line worth the money? And are the ingredients in cosmetics safe? Chit Chat […]

On today’s episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about

  • Do jade rollers work or are they just hype?
  • Is micellar water good enough for cleaning off makeup?
  • Will supplements give you better looking skin?
  • Is this hot, expensive hair line worth the money?
  • And are the ingredients in cosmetics safe?

Chit Chat

Beauty App mentioned on the show – YouCam Makeup

Beauty Science News

Cosmetic animal testing banned deemed pointless

I was alerted to this interesting story which suggests that the animal testing banned in the EU is actually pointless because it is routinely gotten around.

This actually occurred to me when I first heard of the ban and now the folks at Cruelty Free International have chimed in. This is the group behind the Leaping Bunny Cruelty Free certification.

——–

Are people boycotting Gillette?

Here’s the controversial commercial.

Correction:  Does Petroleum Jelly cause acne? Those concerns turn out not to be based on science.

Remember a couple episodes when we talked about Petroleum Jelly? I think it was episode 169. Well, I was contacted by a listener and he asked me why I cautioned people about petroleum jelly and acne.  He suggested I was giving advice that wasn’t accurate any more. So I looked into it a bit further.

It turns out this might not actually be a problem. According to a study done back in 1996 to answer the question once and for all Does Petroleum Jelly cause acne, Dr Albert Kligman (who also happens to be the guy who originally suggested petroleum jelly might cause acne) found that in fact petrolatum does not cause acne or make it worse. The advice to avoid it for facial products is not supported by science.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to avoid facial products containing petroleum jelly even if you have acne prone skin.

Question 1: (audio question)

Can you please explain how a jade roller or other rollers for on the fees are used are they hype do they really help does it matter if it’s Jade or some other stone?

Jade rollers have reportedly been around for a long time, like hundreds of years. The technology comes out of China and ancient traditions so it’s development isn’t steeped in science.

These rollers are part of a more general group called crystal facial rollers. In addition to jade, other types of crystals used include rose quartz, amethyst, and tourmaline.  Basically these crystal rollers look a bit like tiny paint rollers with the roller part made out of a polished, rounded crystal.

To use them you just roll it around your face. It’s supposed to give you a facial massage which will supposedly relax your facial muscles? This then presumably would loosen things up and make your wrinkles look better or help prevent you from getting them.

Let’s consider some of the claims made about these rollers.  I searched for any scientific evidence to support the claims and here’s what we found.

1. Improved skin tone & elasticity – There’s no evidence that massage with anything will improve skin tone. It may have an effect on elasticity.

2. Natural collage boost – There is no evidence that massage boost collagen production.

3. Reduction of puffiness and wrinkles – Some dermatologists believe that massage can help move fluid around in your face which could reduce puffiness.

4. Increase circulation and promote lymphatic drainage – If done vigorously enough this could also help with lymphatic drainage. But you don’t want to do it too hard because that could lead to rupturing pimples that might increase inflammation.

5. Toxin elimination – That’s just silly talk. A crystal is not going to draw toxins out through your skin.

6. Tightening pores – There’s no evidence massage (or anything else) will tighten your pores.

I would also add that while there is minimal evidence related to facial massage being beneficial to skin, there is even less evidence that using something like a jade crystal will have any additional benefit.

The claims made about different crystals amounts to just belief in magic. This is outside the realm of science but as far as proof goes, magic is not real & neither is the effects of these crystals on you “energy” whatever that is.

The bottom line is that if you like the feel of a facial massage, you might enjoy using a jade roller like this. But there is nothing magic about the composition of the roller. I’m sure you could get the same benefit out of a plastic roller that is shaped and painted to look like jade.

Question 2: (audio question continued)

My second question is about micellar water how is that used as a cleaning agent or to remove make up is it enough to just use that alone or again is it hype or is it something that really works?

What is micellar water

Micellar water is a marketing term made up so product marketers can sell you a different version of a facial cleanser. From a formulation standpoint, essentially you take the ingredients found in a standard mild cleanser and dilute them down.

The term “micelle” refers to structure of the detergents (also known as surfactants) in the formula. Surfactants are a special type of molecule in that they have a water compatible portion and an oil compatible portion. Because of this surfactant molecules have this property where they arrange themselves in spherical structures on a microscopic level. These spheres are known as micelles.

When you use a the product the micelles break open, surround oil soluble dirt, which can then be rinsed or wiped away.

But you know what, this is exactly the same way that facial cleanser work!!

The reality is that micellar waters are just diluted cleansers. There are some slight differences in that some products use a positively charged surfactant (called a cationic surfactant) instead of the more common nonionic surfactants found in general facial cleansers.

Question 3:

Jesse want to know – What are your thoughts on the efficacy of taking vitamins and supplements internally for skin health?

1.  There is almost no good evidence to show that a person with a standard diet will get any benefit from taking supplements to improve their skin. There are lots of single studies to show some evidence but these have not been replicated and are generally not well designed. Basically, if you’re malnourished it could help skin but for regular people, no.

e.g. https://sci-hub.tw/https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/26659939

2.  The only thing for which there might be some effect is Collagen supplements. I don’t find the evidence compelling since it hasn’t been independently duplicated, but there is at least a double blinded placebo controlled study.  e.g (https://sci-hub.tw/https://www.nature.com/articles/1602438)  

3.  There is no evidence whether pills or powders or liquid supplements will make a difference. I would suggest for consumers who find the use of supplements compelling to experiment with the form that works for them best. Pills are preferred by some but liquids by others. It will not make much difference as far as absorption and effect on skin.

Question 4:

Anne from Vancouver says – Glad to you guys are back! Happy new year! I would your opinions on the https://briogeohair.com/ Hair line. Here’s an example product – the Scalp Revival Charcoal and Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo.

As for whether or not the products are worth the price, it really depends on what you’re willing to spend. Products that avoid the use of silicones and are sulfate-free typically cost more per pound because ingredient companies leverage the market trend and charge more for the ingredients. Additionally, natural ingredients, like esthers, oils or extracts, are more expensive because they rely on Mother Nature for the harvest, and additionally need to be processed, so they tend to be more expensive as well, over silicones that are used in hair care to make the hair feel good. It’s not always necessarily the case because there are some high-performance silicones that do really cool things on the hair that can be pricey.

Question 5:

Finally, Camie asks – are the ingredients that listed in the cosmetics safe to use and what might be the side effects?

There is an easy answer to this one.  Yes, ingredients listed in cosmetics are safe to use. In fact, in the US and around the world it is illegal to sell unsafe products, it’s as simple as that.

 The CIR is the Cosmetic Ingredient Review board

Cosmetics are safe to use so it’s not something I’d worry about. But if you are afraid of cosmetics, don’t use them. You don’t have to use cosmetics to live a happy, healthy life. However, for a lot of people cosmetics make them feel better about themselves and feel happy.

Sign off:

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.  

Speaking of beauty questions, if you want to ask a question click this link

or record one on your phone and send it to thebeautybrains@gmail.com

We prefer audio questions because it sounds better on the podcast.

Also, follow us on our various social media accounts:

on Instagram we’re at thebeautybrains2018

on Twitter, we’re thebeautybrains

And we have a Facebook page.

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

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On today’s episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about Do jade rollers work or are they just hype? Is micellar water good enough for cleaning off makeup? Will supplements give you better looking skin? Is this hot, On today’s episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about Do jade rollers work or are they just hype? Is micellar water good enough for cleaning off makeup? Will supplements give you better looking skin? Is this hot, expensive hair line worth the money? And are the ingredients in cosmetics safe? Chit Chat […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 44:14
The Curly Girl Method – what’s the science? episode 170 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/01/the-curly-girl-method-whats-the-science-episode-170/ Mon, 21 Jan 2019 18:32:02 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5008 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/01/the-curly-girl-method-whats-the-science-episode-170/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/01/the-curly-girl-method-whats-the-science-episode-170/feed/ 9 On today’s episode of the Beauty Brains we cover beauty questions about Shampoo and what it does to hair color Whether collagen works in skin care products The Curly Girl method of treating hair Beauty Science News Is there asbestos in J&J baby powder?  Reuters says that J&J was selling product with asbestos in it. […]

On today’s episode of the Beauty Brains we cover beauty questions about

  • Shampoo and what it does to hair color
  • Whether collagen works in skin care products
  • The Curly Girl method of treating hair

Beauty Science News

Is there asbestos in J&J baby powder? 

Reuters says that J&J was selling product with asbestos in it. J&J says they weren’t. Science can’t answer that question but it can answer the question of whether you should be afraid baby powder is causing cancer. It isn’t.

Unilever Sues Target

Unilever, the parent company of the spa skincare brand Dermalogica, has filed a lawsuit against the major retailer Target in the United States, alleging that they are not authorized to sell their product but they are obtaining it and selling it anyway. Even worse, the complaint states that Target is removing the holograms and quality control tags that let the consumer know the product is authentic.

Do you think Unilever is justified in filing this lawsuit? – Tweet it to us @thebeautybrains

Beauty Questions answered

Question 1:

Lily says – Love the podcast, I am so glad you are back. Keep up the good work!

I would love to know the chemistry of shampoo on colored hair.

  • Why does washing hair strip off the color on colored hair?
  • What ingredient(s) make the color safe shampoo effective ?
  • Does purple/blue shampoo keep your blonde highlights blonde?
  • How exactly does it work and will it work if it’s old highlights ?
  1. Washing removes color from colored hair because it opens the cuticle, swells the hair and allows the color to leach out.  Explain how hair color works.
  2. Color safe shampoos don’t really have an ingredient to make them less stripping, they have less detergent so they will nominally remove less color. But the reality is that they don’t work too well. If you tested products side by side, you wouldn’t see much difference in stripping of color.
  3. Blue/purple color is meant to reduce brassiness
  4. Essentially a small amount of the violet or blue dye is absorbed into the hair and that offsets any brassiness color.

Question 2:

Duilia asks –  Does collagen really work in topical skin products?

Collagen does a lot of things in the body but for skin, in addition to being the scaffolding, it promotes elasticity, flexibility, it protects the lower layers of skin and the body. It’s produced by the body in many forms but for skin it comes in these tiny fibers that are meshed together to form the skin structure. It’s an important protein

Now that brings us to the main question, why is collagen put in skin products and does it really work?

There are really two reasons cosmetic makers put collagen in skin products. The main reason is because collagen is an appealing ingredient to consumers which helps differentiate the product from all the other moisturizers out there and convinces people to buy it.

The logic behind using collagen in formulas goes something like this.

Skin is made of collagen
As we age, our skin produces less collagen
The lack of collagen is one of the things that leads to sagging skin and wrinkles
So adding collagen back to skin will refresh the skin and make it look young again

It’s worth pointing out too that the type of collagen used in skin products is called hydrolyzed collagen which is collagen protein broken down into a more simplified structure. It’s nothing like the collagen is found in skin.

But we don’t want to be too dismissive. So, let’s dip into our toolbox to take a more detailed look at collagen in topical treatments. Whenever we try to decide whether any anti-aging ingredient works for the skin it makes sense to ask the three “Kligman questions” that we ask. Kligman was a famous research dermatologist who did a lot of pioneering work in the field specifically related to cosmetics.

The first question is Based on the chemistry of the ingredient, is there any scientific mechanism that could explain why it would work?  Well, we’ve already talked about that and while the way it’s done in cosmetics is dubious, there is some scientific theory upon which collagen could improve the skin. If bits of the collagen protein could get down to the collagen scaffold and then get incorporated into it, that might provide a benefit.

So the second question is “Does it penetrate to the part of the skin where it needs to be in order to work?”  If hydrolyzed collagen was to work it would have to be able to penetrate into the dermis which is where the majority of skin collagen is. Unfortunately, the molecule is too big to penetrate so for the most part it does not. Instead it stays in the stratum corneum and may provide some moisturization but that’s about it.

And then the third question is “Are there peer reviewed, double blind, placebo controlled studies demonstrating the ingredient really works when applied to real people?”  None that I could find.

So, the bottom line on topical collagen is that even though it has been used in moisturizers for years as an antiaging ingredient, there is little scientific evidence that would support using it for such purposes.

No Duilia, topical collagen doesn’t really do much in skin beyond providing a little bit of moisturization.

Question 3: (Audio question)

CG method says stay away from…

We could do a whole show on this method but we’ll try to tackle some of the specific claims.

First, there is the claim that sulfates shampoos are too harsh and you should use sulfate free products or conditioners only.

Next, there is the claim you should avoid silicones or non-water soluble silicones. There is also the claim you should avoid parabens and fragrance.

Finally, there are claims about how you should style your hair. Don’t use heat, don’t comb hair, and don’t use a towel.

So, let’s start with the first claim. Are sulfate shampoo too harsh and are sulfate free products better? Not really but it depends.

Then there is the second part of the question. Protein sensitivity.  According to Jasmin, the CG method says too much protein makes hair dry brittle and too much hydration makes hair soft and limp. – This is a misunderstanding of how protein treatments affect hair.

Finally, to the question of whether these ingredients be used as an indicator to find the right products for your hair?

No.

Curly Girl method:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDofglvTFx8

Curly Girl method 2 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6V6a_yQk-o

Next Time…

We’ll look at the question whether the ingredients used in cosmetics are safe to use and what might be the side effects?

Sign off:

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.  

Speaking of beauty questions, if you want to ask a question click this link

or record one on your phone and send it to thebeautybrains@gmail.com

We prefer audio questions because it sounds better on the podcast.

Also, follow us on our various social media accounts:

on Instagram we’re at thebeautybrains2018

on Twitter, we’re thebeautybrains

And we have a Facebook page.

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On today’s episode of the Beauty Brains we cover beauty questions about Shampoo and what it does to hair color Whether collagen works in skin care products The Curly Girl method of treating hair Beauty Science News Is there asbestos in J&J baby powder?... On today’s episode of the Beauty Brains we cover beauty questions about Shampoo and what it does to hair color Whether collagen works in skin care products The Curly Girl method of treating hair Beauty Science News Is there asbestos in J&J baby powder?  Reuters says that J&J was selling product with asbestos in it. […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 44:17
Is more hemp coming to your cosmetics? – Episode 169 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/01/is-more-hemp-coming-to-your-cosmetics-episode-169/ Mon, 14 Jan 2019 19:53:39 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5002 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/01/is-more-hemp-coming-to-your-cosmetics-episode-169/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/01/is-more-hemp-coming-to-your-cosmetics-episode-169/feed/ 11 Welcome to the Beauty Brains podcast. In today’s episode we answer questions about Petrolatum and it’s use in skin care, whether eyebrow growth serums really work and dish on a couple cosmetic industry stories that we found interesting. Beauty Science News Hemp is now legal to grow in the US. What will this mean for […]

Welcome to the Beauty Brains podcast. In today’s episode we answer questions about Petrolatum and it’s use in skin care, whether eyebrow growth serums really work and dish on a couple cosmetic industry stories that we found interesting.

Beauty Science News

Hemp is now legal to grow in the US. What will this mean for beauty products and the hot new ingredient CBD?

P&G teams up with the EWG – Even big companies are now starting to jump on the certification bandwagon. They don’t even seem to care that their partner doesn’t value the science of toxicology when making declarations about product safety.

Also mentioned was this Bloomberg article about P&G working with EWG.

Beauty Questions answered

Does brow regrowth serum really work? Only drug products can actually regrow hair. Article discussed on the Zoe Report

Lulee asks – Is petroleum jelly bad for the skin? Everything in moderation but petrolatum gives some excellent benefits to skin.

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.  

Speaking of beauty questions, if you want to ask a question click this link

or record one on your phone and send it to thebeautybrains@gmail.com

We prefer audio questions because it sounds better on the podcast.

Also, follow us on our various social media accounts:

on Instagram we’re at thebeautybrains2018

on Twitter, we’re thebeautybrains

And we have a Facebook page.

Thanks again for listening – Be Brainy about your Beauty

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Welcome to the Beauty Brains podcast. In today’s episode we answer questions about Petrolatum and it’s use in skin care, whether eyebrow growth serums really work and dish on a couple cosmetic industry stories that we found interesting. Welcome to the Beauty Brains podcast. In today’s episode we answer questions about Petrolatum and it’s use in skin care, whether eyebrow growth serums really work and dish on a couple cosmetic industry stories that we found interesting. Beauty Science News Hemp is now legal to grow in the US. What will this mean for […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 36:47
What makes a cosmetic chemist – Episode 168 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/01/what-makes-a-cosmetic-chemist-episode-168/ Mon, 07 Jan 2019 14:50:32 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=5000 https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/01/what-makes-a-cosmetic-chemist-episode-168/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2019/01/what-makes-a-cosmetic-chemist-episode-168/feed/ 9 Beauty Science News What makes a cosmetic chemist? Here’s a story published in the Insider back in November talking about the Luxury skin-care brand Sunday Riley and whether their founder is actually a cosmetic chemist. But what makes someone a cosmetic chemist? Nearly all cosmetic chemists working in the mainstream cosmetic industry have a college […] Beauty Science News

What makes a cosmetic chemist?

Here’s a story published in the Insider back in November talking about the Luxury skin-care brand Sunday Riley and whether their founder is actually a cosmetic chemist.

But what makes someone a cosmetic chemist?

Nearly all cosmetic chemists working in the mainstream cosmetic industry have a college degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Pharmaceutical or maybe Biology. Most people have Bachelor’s degrees but more and more people are getting Masters degrees from places like the University of Cincinnati.

Alright, so there is the education piece but then there is the experience piece. The truth is when you get a chemistry degree they teach you about chemistry in all fields. They don’t specifically train you in something like cosmetic chemistry. In fact, when I started in the field I didn’t know much about cosmetic science at all. Everything I learned was on-the-job training and research I did on my own.

To be a cosmetic chemist it takes more than just having a degree in chemistry or even a PHD is some subject. To be a cosmetic chemist you have to have worked as a cosmetic chemist. And there are even cosmetic chemists who haven’t done formulating. Formulating means that you put together recipes. There are cosmetic chemists who do basic research or claims testing that have little knowledge about creating cosmetic formulas.

And the truth is that formulating skin care products is different than hair care products which is different than color cosmetics. I have spent most of my time formulating hair care products and some of my time with skin care products. I haven’t spent much time at all making color cosmetics beyond a few lipstick and foundation formulas

Question 1: Heat Protectants for Hair

Sharon wonders about heat protectants for hair. Heat protectants are products that contain ingredients that protect the hair from heat styling. So, if you use hot tools like straightening irons, curling irons or blow dryers, you’ll want to protect your hair from the heat.

Heat is bad for the hair because it causes chemical changes in the fiber. It also causes water to evaporate from the hair – which is great when you are trying to dry the hair, but bad for the condition of your hair…

Question 2: I guess I could Google this, but… I sometimes leave nail polish on my toes for a long time. Is that bad?

Not really

Question 3: Dragongirlpatch wonders if Herbivore Botanicals products are properly preserved?

In looking at the ingredient list, it appears they do not use standard, effective preservative like parabens but instead use a combination of things including Sodium Anisate and Sodium Phytate. They also likely use a low pH (say below 5.0) and then do their best to produce the products in a clean environment. This type of formulation strategy is known as “hurdle technology” and a lot of natural brands are doing this. This allows them to make the claim that they are paraben free or preservative free. Other natural brand and formulas also use organic acids like Sorbic Acid or Benzoic acid or they use Phenoxyethanol. There are a number of alternative preservatives used by natural formulators.

Honestly, I have a hard time relating to this claim because when I hear “paraben free” or especially “preservative free” I think “unsafe” and “contaminated with dangerous microbes.” But clearly, I’m not their intended consumer.

So, yes the products are most likely preserved but you might want to use the products quickly because I wouldn’t expect them to last as long as standard beauty products.

While on their website I was struck by a few of the other claims that they made. In their marketing story they said

During our creative formulating process we knew we needed to innovate because we were trying to create something that didn’t exist and had never been created before: A lightweight, natural, truly synthetic-free moisturizing cream with a dewy finish that easily blends into skin leaving it perfectly moisturized.

In looking at their ingredient list they clearly have not lived up to this claim. They have Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Cetearyl Alcohol, and Cetyl Palmitate. These ingredients do not exist in nature. There is no cetearyl alcohol plant out there. You can create it from plant material but only using synthetic chemistry.

I’m sure they’re perfectly fine formulas although at $48 for 1.7 ounces of product, it certainly isn’t a bargain. You can find products that work just as well or better for much less money. But this company engages in what we call fear marketing touting the boogeyman of synthetics while propagating all the standard natural product propaganda. They’re products are not safer than the ones produced by the big guys. And based on the preservative systems they use, I’d worry they are less safe.

Question 4: Curious Pete asks – If you were only allowed to buy 1 product for shower, shampoo, shave , what would it be?

Mine would be shampoo. In fact, that’s pretty much what I use. I like a shampoo that gives a good creamy lather. Phique shampoo but something like Tresemme or Pantene is great too. In truth, I’m happy using something like VO5 or Suave because the foam is good & I like the fragrances.

Question 5: Janis says “My hair is thinning as I age. Is that inevitable?”

For a large portion of people, yes.
There was a study published in British Journal of Dermatology back in 2001 where they looked at the Hair density, hair diameter and the prevalence of female pattern hair loss. The researchers looked at a general population and also a group of women who specifically complained about hair loss. What they found was the for the general population older people had lower density of hairs, so there were less hairs on their head. To give you a sense of this, at 35 people have an average of 293 hairs per cm2 while at age 70 people had an average of 211 hairs per centimeter squared. That’s about a 27% hair thinning just from density. But there is also the problem of hair fibers thinning. At age 35 the hair fiber had the largest diameters at 83 micrometers while at age 70 the diameter was only about 68 micrometers.

So, it looks like aging naturally results in thinning hair. And as far as treatments go, Minoxidil is the only thing proven in humans to work topically. I was reading some research on mice that showed both Peppermint Oil and Lavender might work as well as minoxidil, but mice studies are often not repeatable in humans. With something like hair loss, I’d like to see substantial proof in humans before recommending people try some products.

Cosmetic marketers however, are more than happy to sell you hair treatments with peppermint and lavender with the promise that it works. I’m skeptical.

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.

Speaking of beauty questions, if you want to ask a question click the link in the show notes or record one on your phone and send it to thebeautybrains@gmail.com We prefer audio questions because it sounds better on the podcast.

Also, follow us on our various social media accounts:
on Instagram we’re at thebeautybrains2018

on Twitter, we’re thebeautybrains

And we have a Facebook page.

Thanks again for listening now, go make a difference!

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Beauty Science News What makes a cosmetic chemist? Here’s a story published in the Insider back in November talking about the Luxury skin-care brand Sunday Riley and whether their founder is actually a cosmetic chemist. Beauty Science News What makes a cosmetic chemist? Here’s a story published in the Insider back in November talking about the Luxury skin-care brand Sunday Riley and whether their founder is actually a cosmetic chemist. But what makes someone a cosmetic chemist? Nearly all cosmetic chemists working in the mainstream cosmetic industry have a college […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 42:32
Should you wash your hair every day? Episode 167 https://thebeautybrains.com/2018/12/should-you-wash-your-hair-every-day-episode-167/ Mon, 10 Dec 2018 13:22:08 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4997 https://thebeautybrains.com/2018/12/should-you-wash-your-hair-every-day-episode-167/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2018/12/should-you-wash-your-hair-every-day-episode-167/feed/ 7 Hello and welcome to the Beauty Brains, a show where real scientists answer your beauty questions and give you an insiders look at the beauty product industry.   On today’s episode we’re going to be answering questions about should you wash your hair every day whether dermatologist recommended products are better, the difference between natural and […] Hello and welcome to the Beauty Brains, a show where real scientists answer your beauty questions and give you an insiders look at the beauty product industry.  

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

  • should you wash your hair every day
  • whether dermatologist recommended products are better,
  • the difference between natural and synthetic hair colors
  • how home skin analyzing devices work & if they’re worth it

Beauty Science stories

Parabens continue to be safe

‘Sub-zero waste’ set to be next big global beauty trend in 2019

Follow us on Instagram

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Hello and welcome to the Beauty Brains, a show where real scientists answer your beauty questions and give you an insiders look at the beauty product industry.   On today’s episode we’re going to be answering questions about should you wash your hair e... Hello and welcome to the Beauty Brains, a show where real scientists answer your beauty questions and give you an insiders look at the beauty product industry.   On today’s episode we’re going to be answering questions about should you wash your hair every day whether dermatologist recommended products are better, the difference between natural and […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 31:21
The Return of the Beauty Brains – Episode 166 https://thebeautybrains.com/2018/12/the-return-of-the-beauty-brains-episode-166/ Tue, 04 Dec 2018 02:04:54 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4994 https://thebeautybrains.com/2018/12/the-return-of-the-beauty-brains-episode-166/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2018/12/the-return-of-the-beauty-brains-episode-166/feed/ 27 After a brief hiatus, the Beauty Brains podcast is back. Covered on this episode: Beauty Science stories: Cruelty free products are free from cruelty. What does it mean for consumers? Getting rid of animal testing means that products will not be much different than what you could ever make. EWG on the Kardashian’s show – […] After a brief hiatus, the Beauty Brains podcast is back.

Covered on this episode:

Beauty Science stories:

Cruelty free products are free from cruelty.

What does it mean for consumers? Getting rid of animal testing means that products will not be much different than what you could ever make.

EWG on the Kardashian’s show

We got an email from the PR firm that does the work for the Environmental Working Group (the EWG). This is the group that seems to exist to propagate fear about cosmetics. Well, they sent me a notice crowing about how they were mentioned on the Keeping up with the Kardashian reality tv show. I think they wanted to get us to book the EWG expert on the show. Maybe we’ll do that some time.

The article goes on to parrot the other standard, misleading talking points of the EWG…the idea that cosmetic products are not safety tested…they are. The idea that products with a low EWG rating are more safe than ones with a higher rating…they aren’t. And the notion that new cosmetic regulatory legislation will make products more safe…it won’t.

So what can you do? I think you can assume products bought at stores and produced by big corporations are safe. The things you have to most worry about are products made by small companies who don’t do safety testing.

 

Beauty Questions:

Are human stem cells effective in anti-aging products?

Coincidentally, I just read a story about a new skin care product that incorporates both plant and human “stem cells.” This type of marketing is a bit annoying because it’s completely misleading. There aren’t stem cells in the product no matter what this company claims about their skin cream.

How do I know this? Well, all you have to do is know a little about the science of stem cells and it becomes clear. So let’s talk about stem cells.

Stem cells are living cells that are undifferentiated. They’re a bit like the cells that start every embryo when the sperm and egg cells fuse. They contain all the DNA information to make an entire human being (or plant or other animal depending on the species). When embryos start to grow, most of their cells differentiate into things like skin cells, brain cells, heart cells, and all the other different organs in your body. While nearly every cell in your body has the same DNA material, the DNA code is expressed differently so you end up getting the different organs. It’s like your DNA is one big recipe book and the organs are made by following different recipes in the same book. This is called cellular differentiation.

Stem cells do not differentiate in this way. They maintain their potential to become any type of organ. They also have an unlimited ability to divide and live. See most differentiated human cells can only divide about 50 generations before they die. They are subject to the Hayflick limit and have a built-in program that kills them off. Scientists theorize this prevents cancer.

But Stem cells, are not restricted as such. That’s why they are so promising for curing diseases or regrowing organs. Imagine if you could take some of your own skin stem cells and grow new patches of your own skin from them in a lab. You could use that skin to cover scars or other tissue damage. You could even get rid of wrinkles or signs of aging skin. It’s this potential that makes them a promising treatment for antiaging products.

It’s also a misunderstanding of this potential that has duped consumers and inspired marketers to put them into skin care formulations. So you might be wondering, if a stem cell could reverse aging, why wouldn’t you do it?

I’ll tell you why.

Because stem cells only work if they are living. And living stem cells are not being put into these skin creams. If they were, they would have to have a special growth medium and be kept at a specific temperature. They would need to be refreshed with food too. Stem cell containing creams are not created as such. At best you have a cream filled with dead stem cells that have no potential to do anything.

Plant stem cells

Plant stem cells in a skin cream is even more baffling to me. These are stem cells that come from plants and have the potential to grow stems, leaves, fruits, etc. Why would anyone think that a plant stem cell is going to be able to help improve the appearance or condition of your skin? It is nonsensical.

The reason companies put them in formulas however, is because they can claim the product has stem cells (which consumer like I guess) and the ingredients can be obtained inexpensively. Human stem cells would be pretty pricey and probably illegal. This isn’t a problem with apple stem cells. So marketers figure if people like stem cells in their products, it doesn’t matter what type of stem cells they are.

In this, they are right. But only because the type of stem cell in your cosmetic doesn’t matter. No type of stem cell added to your skin lotion will do much of anything!

Of course, I should add that stem cells are a promising technology for the future. And they may even be a great anti-aging treatment when the science catches up with the application. You will know when it is a real anti-aging treatment when the following things are true.

The stem cells are from humans (preferably yourself)

The stem cells are alive

The product is somehow delivered to your dermis (probably an injection)

The product is applied by a doctor

If stem cells really worked the way they are promised, this treatment would be beyond a cosmetic one and well into the drug category. It just might happen in the next 20 years but any cream that is advertised to be anti-aging because it contains stem cells now is about as effective as all the skin creams without stem cells.

Kelly asks : What hair dyes cover gray the best?

Kim asks  – Why do people think “All Natural” is better?

There certainly is a “natural” trend in the beauty industry. It has taken on many names such as Green Beauty, Organic beauty, Natural beauty, and the latest, Clean Beauty.

Essentially, these phrases are all meant to imply that this new type of cosmetic is somehow more safe for consumers. They also try to imply that the products are also somehow better for you and that they work better. This is all just misleading marketing.

But why do people think that natural is somehow better?

I think there are a few reasons.

First, there is a thing in philosophy called the appeal to nature. This is a type of argument that says something is good because it is ‘natural’, or something is bad because it is ‘unnatural’. Of course, it’s easy to demonstrate that this is false (just think of dangerous things like poison ivy, snake venom, or anthrax) But many people just accept this as fact.

So with people primed to believe claims, advertiser take advantage of this. You see it all the time with companies making Free From claims or 100% all natural claims. The worst is Chemical Free claims as if everything isn’t made out of chemicals. All these claims imply that something natural must be better for you. When people are constantly told by advertisers that natural is better than synthetic they start to believe it.

Add to this a complicit media who love to do stories about some natural wonder product that scientists didn’t create. I think there is something compelling about stories where some unexpected, overlooked person or ingredient is discovered to do something amazing. This is almost always some type of natural ingredient.

Another reason I think is because (at least in the United States) there is a tendency for people to not trust corporations. They see big corporations as the ones who are making synthetic products while the natural products are made by little companies. Mom and pop shops that only put out wholesome goodness. This is false of course. In fact, some of the biggest natural brands are made by big companies, but people don’t really know that. We’ll have to do a show sometime looking the big companies and the “independent brands” they produce.

There is also the notion that natural ingredients are somehow better for the environment and more sustainable. (some are, some aren’t) Or that natural ingredients are better for indigenous populations and farmers. Sometimes they are, sometimes they’re not. And there are also people who buy into the natural trend who genuinely think that natural products are safer just because they are natural.

So those are a few of the reasons I think some people prefer natural products.

The reality is that in most cases natural is not better.

Natural products are not safer, natural products do not work better, and natural products are not always better for the environment. As with most things, these issues depend on many factors and the truth in any instance is complicated.

Shereen asks Does silicon damage curly hair?

Not really.

Remember to check out our new Instagram account.

Follow us on Twitter. ]]> After a brief hiatus, the Beauty Brains podcast is back. Covered on this episode: Beauty Science stories: Cruelty free products are free from cruelty. What does it mean for consumers? Getting rid of animal testing means that products will not be much d... After a brief hiatus, the Beauty Brains podcast is back. Covered on this episode: Beauty Science stories: Cruelty free products are free from cruelty. What does it mean for consumers? Getting rid of animal testing means that products will not be much different than what you could ever make. EWG on the Kardashian’s show – […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 39:07 Should you use a skin cream made with your own blood? Episode 165 https://thebeautybrains.com/2018/01/should-you-use-a-skin-cream-made-with-your-own-blood-episode-165/ Thu, 18 Jan 2018 20:22:20 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4974 https://thebeautybrains.com/2018/01/should-you-use-a-skin-cream-made-with-your-own-blood-episode-165/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2018/01/should-you-use-a-skin-cream-made-with-your-own-blood-episode-165/feed/ 26 We don’t have a transcript for today’s show yet but please enjoy the audio. Listen to the end of show when Perry and I announce that this will be our final podcast for the foreseeable future. Thanks for stopping by! We don’t have a transcript for today’s show yet but please enjoy the audio. Listen to the end of show when Perry and I announce that this will be our final podcast for the foreseeable future.

Thanks for stopping by!

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We don’t have a transcript for today’s show yet but please enjoy the audio. Listen to the end of show when Perry and I announce that this will be our final podcast for the foreseeable future. Thanks for stopping by! We don’t have a transcript for today’s show yet but please enjoy the audio. Listen to the end of show when Perry and I announce that this will be our final podcast for the foreseeable future. Thanks for stopping by! Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 39:41
Are beauty products from Amazon the real thing? Episode 164 https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/09/are-beauty-products-from-amazon-the-real-thing-episode-164/ Fri, 29 Sep 2017 16:12:04 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4962 https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/09/are-beauty-products-from-amazon-the-real-thing-episode-164/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/09/are-beauty-products-from-amazon-the-real-thing-episode-164/feed/ 17 Today, we bring you a special Beauty Brains episode featuring Sarah Bellum.  Randy is on vacation. We answer a few question. About beauty products on Amazon cejxn19 asks – Hi Guys, I’ve heard some horror stories of people buying expired or knock off beauty products on amazon. Is there any good way to tell if […] Today, we bring you a special Beauty Brains episode featuring Sarah Bellum.  Randy is on vacation.

We answer a few question.

About beauty products on Amazon

cejxn19 asks – Hi Guys, I’ve heard some horror stories of people buying expired or knock off beauty products on amazon. Is there any good way to tell if a product is legit other than trial and error?

About the K-Beauty product craze

shar037 says – Hi! I am fascinated with the whole K Beauty craze. With ingredients like Snail Mucen (goo), bee venom, sheep placenta…my curiosity is peaked. Not to mention the fact that most K Beauty routines consists of at least 10 steps! Is there any validity to the use of ingredients like these? Are 10 steps better than 3?

About diluting shampoos

Dash says – I’ve read quite a few times now about people diluting their shampoo with water before using it. The ratio varies, but it’s roughly 1 part shampoo to 5 parts water. Does this seem like a good, hair-protective idea? Or would it simply not clean as well?

Beauty Science Story:

http://www.beautyworldnews.com/articles/19235/20170404/experts-speak-about-the-truth-in-wearing-makeup-to-the-gym.htm

 

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Today, we bring you a special Beauty Brains episode featuring Sarah Bellum.  Randy is on vacation. We answer a few question. About beauty products on Amazon cejxn19 asks – Hi Guys, I’ve heard some horror stories of people buying expired or knock off be... Today, we bring you a special Beauty Brains episode featuring Sarah Bellum.  Randy is on vacation. We answer a few question. About beauty products on Amazon cejxn19 asks – Hi Guys, I’ve heard some horror stories of people buying expired or knock off beauty products on amazon. Is there any good way to tell if […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 19:12
Is bee venom a good anti-aging ingredient? Episode 163 https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/08/is-bee-venom-a-good-anti-aging-ingredient-episode-163/ Thu, 24 Aug 2017 05:01:11 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4952 https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/08/is-bee-venom-a-good-anti-aging-ingredient-episode-163/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/08/is-bee-venom-a-good-anti-aging-ingredient-episode-163/feed/ 4 Is bee venom a good anti-aging ingredient? Monika asks…Korean Bee Venom essence but it does seem to work. My question is the bee venom really magic or is there something else that removes the spots? RS: Thanks Monika…this gives me the perfect excuse time to remind listeners to go back to Episode 105 and listen […]

Is bee venom a good anti-aging ingredient?

Monika asks…Korean Bee Venom essence but it does seem to work. My question is the bee venom really magic or is there something else that removes the spots?

RS: Thanks Monika…this gives me the perfect excuse time to remind listeners to go back to Episode 105 and listen to the story about how Perry got stung in the eye by a bee. If nothing else, just go the webpage and check out the picture of his face. It’s horrific. I’m not kidding. But let’s put my personal revulsion aside and try to figure out why this product seemed to work on Monika’s acne.

PR: We found a study published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine titled “Effects of cosmetics containing purified honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) venom on acne vulgaris.” The researchers did testing in the lab and found that bee venom can kill p acne which is the bacteria that is a contributing cause of zits. Then they did a study on real people and found that a significant decrease in inflammatory and noninflammatory acne lesions. The P value was only 0.027 which is not very statistically sound but at least there’s a reasonable chance this really works on acne.

RS: BTW, the product also contains azelaic acid and willow bark extract which is a natural source of salicylic acid. Both of these acids are drugs that are proven help acne so they could be responsible for the improvement you saw. But this raised the larger question about the trend of using bee venom in beauty products, specifically in anti-aging products.

Anyway, is bee venom a good skin care ingredient?

PR: As always when looking at functionality of cosmetic ingredients we try to answer the 3 Kligman questions.

RS: Does it penetrate? Sure it does…when you get stung by a bee. But I couldn’t find any clear evidence that it penetrates when applied topically. There are studies on bee venom as wound healing agent but of course open wounds are NOT the same as healthy intact skin. So that doesn’t tell us much. We can infer it penetrates based on some of the efficacy studies we’ll discuss in a moment but it certainly is not a clear cut YES.

PR: Is there a mechanism to describe how bee venom could theoretically reduce wrinkles or improve the appearance of your skin in any way? Again, this is murky at best. Bee venom does have some anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and it’s been used for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and even cancer. But this has little to do with skin. Apparently it has some some antimicrobial properties which could make it beneficial for certain skin conditions. We did find a study done in vitro showing it can decrease the formation of a type II collagen (which is how it helps treat arthritis). Melittin is the majority chemical found in bee venom is SAID TO increase/boost collagen production. But we couldn’t find anything explaining how it could do this or how it could reduce their degradation which is what you’d expect in an anti-wrinkle product.

RS: Okay then, what about the third (and most important) Kligman question: Is there evidence that bee venom reduces wrinkles when applied to real people? Well, there’s some evidence but I wouldn’t call it very good. I thought we had hit the jackpot when we found the study “The beneficial effects of honeybee-venom serum on facial wrinkles in humans.” I mean how much more on point could you ask for, than that?

PR: Here’s what they did: First they got some bee venom. That in itself is not an insignificant task. Here’s how the facial study paper described it…”the bee-venom collector was placed on the hive, and the bees were given enough electric shocks to cause them to sting a glass plate, from which dried bee venom was later scraped off. The collected venom was diluted in cold sterile water and then centrifuged at 10,000 g for 5 minutes at 4°C. Purified bee venom was then freeze-dried and refrigerated at 4°C for later use. They took the bee venom and formulated it into a serum at 0.006%. There was no discussion of what else was in this serum. Which, by the way, is kind of important.

RS: Next they recruited 22 women ages 30 to 49 and asked them to apply this serum to their faces twice daily for 12 weeks. The researchers did a clinical evaluation before the test and at 4, 8 and 12 weeks. Here’s what they found: The average visual grade of all patients significantly improved with the bee-venom serum treatment: 6.64% at 8 weeks (P=0.002) and almost 12% at 12 weeks. (P=0.0003) I don’t even know what that means. They also directly measured wrinkles using a couple different techniques, one was total wrinkle count. Results showed that total wrinkles went from about 104 initially to about 100 after 12 weeks. Plus or minus 32. Huh? There were similarly confusing results for wrinkle depth and total wrinkle area.

PR: Even if these numbers showed a conclusive reduction in wrinkles the data would still be suspect because the study was done with out a proper control. The product is just tested against nothing so we don’t know if some other factor cause the change or if other ingredients in the serum moisturized skin and therefore provided a modest reduction in wrinkles. There’s just no way to know.

RS: So what’s the bottom line? There seems to be a CHANCE bee venom may be helpful in treating acne, but we have data showing how it compares to conventional treatment like sal acid or B.P. There seems to be even less evidence that bee venom has any reliable anti-aging properties. By the way, thanks you Paige DeGarmo for providing much of the research we used in answering this question.

Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence 
Ingredients:

Snail Secretion Filtrate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Arbutin, Human Ogliopeptide-1, Bee Venom, Plantago Asiatica Extract, Laminana Digita Extract, Dios Pyros Kaki Leaf Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Ulmus Campestris (Elm) Extract, Bacilus Ferment, Azelaic Acid, Althaea Rosea Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Butylene Glycol, Beta-Glucan, Betaine, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Cross Polymer, Adenosine, Panthenol, Allantoin, Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Pulsatilla Koreana Extract, Arginine

References

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4598227/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3732424/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apitoxin
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-972-bee%20venom.aspx?activeingredientid=972&

Is dandruff shampoo good for your face?

Vanessa asks…I just saw a video of someone saying she uses Nizoral dandruff shampoo as a face mask or face cleanser for clearing tiny bumps on her face. Would this really work?

RS: This is one of those practices that sounds like an urban myth..I was ready to call B.S. on this one. Until we did a little digging.

PR: First, a little background on Nizoral. The active ingredient in that formula that stops dandruff is an anti fungal agent called ketoconazole. It kills the fungus that causes dandruff. That’s unlike most dandruff shampoos, like Head and Shoulders, that use zinc pyrithione. Did Nizoral get an NDA?

RS: Second, let’s talk about face bumps. It’s like a fist bump but done with your face. What causes face bumps?

PR: Of course there is acne but that condition is caused by bacteria (among other factors) not related to fungus.

RS: There’s Milia which is a skin condition characterized by small white bumps. These are typically keratin-filled cysts that are harmless. Milia is extremely common in infants (but adults get it too) and it’s believed to be caused by oil producing glands in your skin that are not fully developed. But they have nothing to do with fungus.

RS: What about razor bumps? No, those are caused by ingrown hairs, not fungi.

PR: BUT…there is a condition called “Pityrosporum folliculitis” which is caused by a yeast that can colonize the hair follicles and cause itchy, acne like bumps.

RS: I believe it’s pronounced “Pity the forum you like to eat us”

RS: It’s not TYPICALLY found on your face…most commonly found in what is called “the cape distribution.” I had never heard that term but it refers to the upper chest and upper back. Which is wear a cape would contact your skin. The bumps are said to be pinhead sized and uniform.

PR: Everyone has this yeast but in some cases it can grow like crazy. Contributing factors including applying greasy ingredients, like coconut oil, to your skin and wearing tight clothing that doesn’t breath.

RS: Which is why all the best dressed superheroes only wear capes made from cotton.

PR: Why are we spending so much time discussing this condition? Because this particular kind of yeast can be killed by ketoconazole. And that brings us back to Nizoral. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, washing your face with Nizoral weekly can get rid of face bumps. The best practice is to apply it to your face and leave it on for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off. However, you should be aware that treatment with ketoconazole doesn’t always work.

RS: So the bottom line it that IF your face bumps are caused by “Pliny thesaurus, come and fight us” then washing your face with a dandruff shampoo containing ketoconazole MIGHT help. But if some other condition is the cause then you’re totally wasting your time. In that case, consult a dermatologist.

Reference: http://www.aocd.org/?page=PityrosporumFollicu

Is dry conditioner the next dry shampoo?

Melissa Mary asks…Have you seen some of the dry conditioner formulas lately? They seem to be sold in specialty beauty stores like Ulta and Sephora. I’m not sure if they’ve made their way to drugstores yet. Are they essentially just shine sprays? Would they work well with dry shampoo?

RS: Dry Shampoos have been popular for several years now. In fact, we worked on the first successful mass market dry shampoo, Tresemme Fresh Start.

PR: But we weren’t familiar with dry conditioners until now. Melissa Mary provided a link to a couple of example products. One is from Amika and it’s an alcohol based spray with some silicone and cationic type conditioning agents.

RS: The other is Drybar’s Detox Dry Conditioner I can’t figure it out. According to a Sephora website it’s a very light light aerosol spray that you apply to dry hair. But the ingredient list they provide must be wrong because it looks exactly like a conventional rinse out conditioner with fatty alcohol, silicones, and quats. It could even be a No Poo Spray (although that sounds like some sort of aerosol laxative.) Regardless, this kind of product couldn’t be sprayed in the way shown in the video. So I’m guessing the ingredient list is wrong.

PR: We can tell you, though, that these products appear to be more conditioning than a shine spray because shine sprays are pretty much just pure silicone. Typically Cyclomethicone is used because it evaporates and it’s paired with something like dimethicone which gives good shine.

RS: But I still don’t understand the point of these products. I don’t really see how these would work with a dry shampoo, though, because dry shampoos leave a powder in your hair. Would you really put another leave in product on after that? Or do you use them instead of a dry shampoo in which case you’re applying them to dirty hair which is just going to make it weighed down? It makes no sense! We’ll post the ingredients in the show notes.

Amika spray:
Butane, SD Alcohol 40-B, Propane, Diisopropyl Adipate, Peg-8 Dimethicone, Panthenol, Butylene glycol, Quaternium-91, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Extract, Water.

Drybar spray:
Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isododecane, Cyperus Esculentus Root Oil, Prunus Insititia Seed Oil, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed) Extract, Citrus Junos Peel Extract, Keratin, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Caesalpinia Spinosa Gum, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract, Cystine Bis-PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Jojoba Esters, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Sodium Nitrate, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dextran, Caprylyl Glycol, Parfum (Fragrance), Stearamine Oxide, Methoxy PEG/PPG-7/3 Aminopropyl Dimethicone, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, Cetrimonium Chloride, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Silicone Quaternium-22, Isopropyl Alcohol, Quaternium-80, Dimethiconol, PPG-3 Myristyl Ether, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Octyldodecanol, Octocrylene, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Quaternium-95, BHT, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Sodium Chloride, Dehydroacetic Acid, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Potassium Sorbate, Benzyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Sorbic Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Disodium EDTA, Sucrose Laurate, Glyoxal, Benzoic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Methylisothiazolinone, Linalool.

http://m.sephora.com/product/P404912?icid2=skugrid http://m.sephora.com/product/P406254

Beauty Science News

Allure to stop saying anti-aging
https://www.allure.com/story/allure-magazine-phasing-out-the-word-anti-aging

Don’t condition your hair after a nuclear explosion
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/08/15/543647878/in-the-event-of-a-nuclear-blast-don-t-condition-your-hair

iTunes reviews

PR: Great podcast says “Fake noise from United States.” Perry and Randy help make me feel like an informed consumer who can make more informed choices. This Podcast has quickly become one of my favorites joining the ranks of Science VS, Skeptics Guide…, and This American Life.

RS: Ruweida from South Africa says…How do I profess my love for thee? Sexy nerdy scientists with an unbiased view on beauty products. Compulsory listening for any consumer. Love. Love. Love.

PR: Paul From France says…Goodbye marketing BS. Thank you Beauty Brains for providing an inside view on how marketing is constantly trying to screw you! And thank you for enlightening everyone on how cosmetic products really work.

RS: Alez from South Africa says…These two are my heroes. I’m a beauty writer, and I can’t tell you how many times the Beauty Brains have saved me from buying into and endorsing products on false premises. Just one request – Randy, please be nicer to Perry

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Is bee venom a good anti-aging ingredient? Monika asks…Korean Bee Venom essence but it does seem to work. My question is the bee venom really magic or is there something else that removes the spots? RS: Thanks Monika…this gives me the perfect excuse ti... Is bee venom a good anti-aging ingredient? Monika asks…Korean Bee Venom essence but it does seem to work. My question is the bee venom really magic or is there something else that removes the spots? RS: Thanks Monika…this gives me the perfect excuse time to remind listeners to go back to Episode 105 and listen […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 21:02
Can you use diaper rash cream as sunscreen? Episode 162 https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/07/can-you-use-diaper-rash-cream-as-sunscreen-episode-162/ Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:13:16 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4941 https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/07/can-you-use-diaper-rash-cream-as-sunscreen-episode-162/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/07/can-you-use-diaper-rash-cream-as-sunscreen-episode-162/feed/ 11 Can you use diaper rash cream as sunscreen? Mari asks…Today a customer came into the retail pharmacy where I work and demanded that we sell him zinc oxide diaper rash paste so he could use it as sunscreen. I tried to steer him in the direction of actual sunscreens with listed SPFs, but he was […]

Can you use diaper rash cream as sunscreen?

Mari asks…Today a customer came into the retail pharmacy where I work and demanded that we sell him zinc oxide diaper rash paste so he could use it as sunscreen. I tried to steer him in the direction of actual sunscreens with listed SPFs, but he was not to be dissuaded and ended up leaving with a tube of generic diaper rash cream (with no listed SPF) in hand. His rationale was that diaper rash paste has a higher percentage of zinc oxide than zinc oxide sunscreens. Although this is sometimes true, depending on the brand, my concern is that (a) the formulation of a diaper rash paste might not make it an effective sunscreen and (b) without a listed SPF, there’s no way to really know. What are your thoughts on this?

We’ve talked quite a bit about sunscreens on the showgram but believe this is the first time that diaper rash products have come up. So a little quick background discussion is in order.

We used to think that urine was the primary cause of diaper rash which makes sense since a baby (especially under 2 months) can urinate up to 20 times per day. But the hypothesis was that urine releases ammonia which raises the pH of skin which opens it up to damage. But it turns out urine is NOT the primary cause…it’s feces.

The pH of feces is acidic due to bile and studies have shown that diaper rash is more prominent where the feces contact the skin. This contact can lead to yeast and bacterial infection. So mark your calendars that today was the day that the whole urine-diaper rash myth was busted.

And that brings us back to diaper rash creams. In case you didn’t know, both sunscreens and diaper creams are Over the Counter drugs and are controlled by the FDA.

Sunscreens are 1 type of drug…they are sunscreens. But diaper rash creams are actually not 1…not 2…not 3 but actually 4 different types of drug products: External Analgesic, Topical Antifungal, Topical Antimicrobial, and Skin Protectant.

In addition to Zinc Oxide other approved diaper rash ingredients include mineral oil, petrolatum, cornstarch, allantoin, calamine, dimethicone, kaolin clay, and cod liver oil.

How does ZnO help with diaper rash? It works 3 ways: It helps water proof (or feces proof) skin, it’s a mild astringent which means it can cause the contraction of body tissues, and it has some antimicrobial properties. That’s what makes it suitable for use in the 4 drug product categories we just mentioned.

So Zinc Oxide is an approved drug ingredient that is used in both products. But does that mean you could use them interchangeably? Can you use diaper cream as a sunscreen as the demanding gentleman in Mari’s pharmacy intended to do.

And conversely, can you use sunscreen on diaper rash?

Let’s begin by answering a fundamental question: is the zinc oxide used in diaper creams the same as the zinc oxide used in sunscreens?

In classic Beauty Brains fashion, the answer is yes and no. Chemically, they’re identical. Both have to use USP grade [what does USP stand for] which means they have to meet certain purity requirements.

BTW did you know that, being a natural product, zinc oxide contains somewhere between 1 and 10 ppm of lead?

Physically, there are differences. Zinc oxide powders are sold with different particle sizes and the size of the particle impacts how well the zinc screens out UV rays. It’s even more complicated than that because it’s not just the size of the particles but these particles tend to stick together to form clumps or aggregates which affect how well the zinc scatters UV rays.

In addition to different particle sizes zinc oxide is commercially available in different varieties such as surface coated varieties as well as dispersions in different materials like natural oils and silicone fluids.

So sunscreens HAVE TO use a version of zinc oxide that’s designed to scatter UV rays…and sunscreens are tested to ensure that they do indeed do that. But diaper rash creams do NOT have to use one of those forms. They may or may not and there’s no way to know since diaper rash products are not tested for UV protection. So that’s issue #1.

Here’s issue #2: Even if a diaper rash cream uses the exact same grade as a sunscreen, the way the diaper rash cream is formulated can impact level of UV protection it provides.

Yeah, the medium in which the zinc is dispersed can determine the final opacity of the product. In other words, the oils, waxes, and other ingredients used in diaper creams can make the final formula more transparent in which case it won’t filter out as much UV radiation.

And then there’s issue #3: The way the product is processed makes a difference as well. For sunscreens, specific dispersion technology can be used to one way to make sure these particle agglomerates are broken up.

Diaper rash products wouldn’t necessarily require the same kind of dispersion technology.

What does all this mean? IF a diaper rash cream contains the right kind of ZnO, and IF it’s used at the correct concentration and IF it’s properly processed, and IF the final formula doesn’t contain any ingredients that can compromise the UV scattering properties of the ZnO, THEN you certainly could use a diaper cream as a sunscreen.

But the only way to know for sure is to conduct SPF testing and it’s doubtful any company will do that because even if it works they can’t use that data to promote the product? Why not? Because the drug monographs and don’t allow for any combined claims.

Even if I knew all those IFs where true I’m not sure I’d want to use diaper rash cream instead of sunscreen. Aesthetically it could be a trainwreck: a diaper cream’s PRIMARY purpose is to create a hydrophobic barrier so they use high amounts of things like petrolatum. A high ZnO/petrolatum cream is great for babies but not very pleasant when smearing all over your face or body.

Is there ANY reason why you’d want to do this? I’m guessing it’s motivated by cost: depending on the brand, diaper rash creams can be cheaper than sunscreens. For example, Desitin costs about $1.75/oz while a ZnO-only sunscreen like Badger costs about $4.70/oz.

So the Beauty Brains bottom line is amount of money you save is not worth the risk of compromised UV protection or the sacrifice of aesthetics.

References:
https://www.badgerbalm.com/s-33-zinc-oxide-sunscreen-nanoparticles.aspx
https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DevelopmentApprovalProcess/DevelopmentResources/Over-the-CounterOTCDrugs/StatusofOTCRulemakings/ucm072574.htm
http://www.zn-oxide.com
https://www.ghchemicals.com/pharmaceutical-and-food/

Is facial massage good for winkles?

Mark asks…is facial massage good for wrinkles?

We’ve touched on this before. Way back in Episode 14 we answered a question about facial yoga being good for wrinkles. So go listen to that for a full recap. But the basic idea is that “plumping up” muscles by exercising them gets rid of wrinkles. Massage is essentially another way to stimulate facial muscles.

But as we pointed out at the time, muscle laxity is not the cause of wrinkles – rather it’s the collapse of structural elements like collagen and elastin. So if we’ve covered this before why are we answering it again? Because it gives us an excuse to discuss another aspect of this which is using electrical stimulation to get rid of wrinkles.

CNN recently reported electro-stim for skin and they quoted Jennifer Aniston who said that “”It’s like a little workout for your face.” And an aesthetician they interviewed said that the more times you have the procedure the more results you’ll see.

Sure, get a bunch of treatments – depending on where you have it done it costs between $200 and $600!

However, the consensus of the medical experts they talked to is that “there is no data demonstrating its effectiveness.” I did find a couple of papers on the subject. One study tested 6 women. Another evaluated 108 women and did show that the procedure resulted in SOME difference in facial muscle thickness.

But it required treatment for 20 min/day, 5 days/week for 12 weeks. That would cost you between $12000 and $36000. Who’s going to spend that kind of money for such a small benefit?

As always the important takeaway is that you think critically when you hear about treatments like this. Not everyone thinks like that. 

RS: When I posted this on Facebook, one commenter said “Clearly Mr. Knott needs to experience micro current himself because regardless of “data” it most certainly does produce results and it is so much more than a “feel good” skincare modality. It seems like he is trying to discredit skincare therapists.”

I replied: DM: It may be nice for Mr. Knott to experience the treatment but that doesn’t prove or disprove that it really works. That’s what “data” is for and in this case there doesn’t seem to be sufficient data to prove that this treatment really works. If you’re familiar with any evidence we’d love to see it and share it with our readers.

Does this plant extract boost collagen?

Ana asks…We love the beautybrains podcast here in Portugal and I finally have a question to ask. I read recently about a plant called bulbine frutescens that is kind of similar to aloe. In some studies it says the juice of the plant stimulates collagen production. Have you heard about it? Do you think it would be a good think to use on the skin for the anti aging properties?

Bulbine frutescens is similar to aloe in that their both used in the treatment of skin wounds and burns. We found a study showing that leaf gel extracts can increase collagen deposition in wounds on pig skin.

I won’t go into details on how the testing was done but unfortunately I CAN’T say that “no pigs were harmed during the course of this study.”

But even if there is some data, before you get too excited, consider 2 of the Kligman questions. Remember what those are?

Mechanism, penetration, and data it works on real people.

In this case they’re applying the BF leaf extract directly to a wound. So the extract doesn’t need to penetrate and the mechanism of wound healing is NOT the same as the production of normal collagen that keeps your skin looking smooth and healthy.

In fact, we couldn’t find anything to suggest this material has anti-aging properties when applied to healthy skin.

If it is similar to aloe it may have some moisturizing properties and it may be good for sunburn but don’t expect it to fix the kind of collagen loss we all experience as we age.

Reference:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232319403_Bulbine_Natalensis_and_Bulbine_Frutescens_promote_cutaneous_wound_healing [accessed Jun 21, 2017].

Beauty Science News

J&J vs natural products

Link

I want to give a quick mention of an article I saw on Global Cosmetic News about Johnson & Johnson speaking out on natural products. First of all I love the title: J&J calls parents bluff over natural baby products. Let me quote the article:
“While many parents want all-natural products for their baby, natural or organic isn’t always what’s safest for baby,” said David Mays, Senior Director of Global Scientific Engagement at Johnson & Johnson in an email sent to Forbes. “The debate over naturals and chemicals has been oversimplified where many consumers now believe that the more natural something is, the better and safer it is. It’s just not that simple and in fact that oversimplification is doing a great disservice to consumers.” I think important take away is this quote: ‘being natural is never more important than being safe.’

Artificial sun tan

Link

iTunes reviews

  • Ouija says…Your “showgrams” are fun, educational, and a much needed public service. Put me down for a yes on the banter.
  • Tornadogirl1981 from Germany says…So useful! Should be on a list for everyone who spends money on skincare. In addition to substance, the form of delivery makes you laugh out loud so beware when listening to the Beauty Brains in public places.
  • Tavelbella says…Just when I thought I knew it all! Love sharing your factoids with my clueless friends.
  • Rose from Australia…Great to learn more about beauty products and how they work 🙂
  • Sashawhyismynamenotavailable says…Great podcast for the closeted cosmetics junkie (or junkie to be) — 5 stars
  • Togahairgurl…I absolutely love listening to these Cos-chesmonauts! I would love to be in your industry, so listening to your podcast is fascinating.
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Can you use diaper rash cream as sunscreen? Mari asks…Today a customer came into the retail pharmacy where I work and demanded that we sell him zinc oxide diaper rash paste so he could use it as sunscreen. I tried to steer him in the direction of actua... Can you use diaper rash cream as sunscreen? Mari asks…Today a customer came into the retail pharmacy where I work and demanded that we sell him zinc oxide diaper rash paste so he could use it as sunscreen. I tried to steer him in the direction of actual sunscreens with listed SPFs, but he was […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 34:03
How can you find a cheaper natural lip balm? Episode 161 https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/06/how-can-you-find-a-cheaper-natural-lip-balm-episode-161/ Tue, 13 Jun 2017 05:01:21 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4924 https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/06/how-can-you-find-a-cheaper-natural-lip-balm-episode-161/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/06/how-can-you-find-a-cheaper-natural-lip-balm-episode-161/feed/ 11 How can you find a cheaper natural lip balm? Abby says…I have a question about Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip Mask. It claims its natural formula smoothes, nourishes and moisturizes lips with a bio active combination of organic agave nectar, jojoba oil, vanilla co2 extract, and triple the amount of the antioxidant trans-resveratrol found in red […]

How can you find a cheaper natural lip balm?

Abby says…I have a question about Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip Mask. It claims its natural formula smoothes, nourishes and moisturizes lips with a bio active combination of organic agave nectar, jojoba oil, vanilla co2 extract, and triple the amount of the antioxidant trans-resveratrol found in red wine. It doesn’t mention anything about it containing lead so I’m wondering if it’s safe and effective to use on dry lips. I’m also wondering if you can tell me if there’s anything else on the market that might be similar to this because this is very expensive.

Bite Beauty, in case you’re not aware, is a Toronto based company that hand crafts lip products using “food-grade, or good-enough-to-eat ingredients.” Their credo is to prove that “there’s no sacrifice in quality for products sourced from nature.”

That sounds quite noble but of course it’s never as simple as that. Mainly because when it comes to cosmetics everyone has a different definition of what “sourced from nature” means. But let’s set that aside for the moment and focus on what this particular lip mask.

Most of the hype is around the ingredients Abby mentioned: the agave, the “CO2”vanilla, and the resveratrol but let’s use our “Rule of 5” to look at the PRIMARY ingredients in the product: lanolin, castor oil, agave, olive oil and beeswax.

Lanolin is the first ingredient and it’s perfectly reasonable for use in a product like this because it’s composed of waxy, cholesterol-like materials and other skin compatible lipids. That means it’s good for sealing moisture into skin and making skin softer and more pliable. The big negative of lanolin is that some percentage of the population is allergic to it. It also gets a lot of criticism because it’s an animal by product. You don’t have to kill the sheep – it just comes from the oil on the wool. But still, it’s animal derived which some people don’t like.

Castor oil is another good emollient. Do you know why it’s called “castor” oil? I always that original it was used to lubricate casters…those rollers used on the bottom of some kinds of furniture. But that’s not it all all. Castor oil was originally used as a replacement for the oil from the perineal glands of beavers. And the latin word for beaver is “castor.” Anyway, when properly mixed with other ingredients it can form a nice film on the lips which make it good for a “lip mask.”

Next is agave which is essentially cactus nectar. It doesn’t have ANY benefits to the skin that I’m aware of. (Maybe it can help bind a little more moisture but the other ingredients really have that covered.) It’s primary used as a sweetener so in this formula it just makes the product taste better. It does have the advantage of having a lower glycemic load which means it doesn’t have much impact on your blood sugar.

That might be a big deal dealing with a product like a sweetened soft drink because you’re consuming a lot of it. If you drink a can of soda with sugar it can mess with your blood sugar levels but a drink sweetened with agave isn’t as bad. Of course, that doesn’t matter very much when you’re talking about a lip balm because you apply such a small amount. Instead of 1 calorie you’re ingesting 0.5 calories. It doesn’t really matter.

Olive oil unsaponifiables, which are also known as hydrogenated olive oil, is the next ingredient. This is a solidified version of olive oil that has some skin moisturizing benefits and also contributes to the heavier feel of the product.

Beeswax rounds out the top 5 ingredients and it’s there simply to give the product a thicker consistency. This product is not in stick form it’s packaged in a small squeeze tube so it’s more fluid. Beeswax helps, to some extent, seal in moisture so it’s a good thickener for a product like this.

So these are the ingredients that provide the form and function of the product. The vanilla, which Abby also asked about, is just there as a flavoring agent. The fact that’s it’s CO2 vanilla just means that it was extracted from the vanilla bean using carbon dioxide and high pressure rather than a solvent like alcohol. Supposedly this means the aroma of the extract is closer to the aroma of the original vanilla bean but it doesn’t necessarily give the vanilla any super powers. It may just make it taste a little bit better.

And that brings us to the resveratrol which is often touted as a miracle anti-aging ingredient. This all started because of a few studies back in the early 2000’s which showed that if you give older mice high doses of resveratrol they are able to more successfully walk across a balance beam. Another study showed it made lazy mice look like they had exercised.

There haven’t been very many studies on the effect of resveratrol on skin. There was a 2005 study that indicated topically applied resveratrol can protect skin from UV damage but again this was an animal study. A couple of studies have been done on humans: a 2012 study showed that people who took the ingredient orally had better quality skin and a 2011 study showed that resveratrol gel improved acne. But overall, the scientific consensus is that the benefits of topically applied resveratrol are not well established.

The fact that this product contains “triple the amount of resveratrol found in red wine” isn’t that relevant because you’re applying such a small amount.

So at best you’re applying a very small amount of a compound that hasn’t really been proven to have much of an effect.

On the plus side it may help you walk better on a balance beam.

So back to Abby’s question about less expensive substitutes for this Bite Beauty product. If the agave is just there for sweetness, the vanilla for flavor and the resveratrol…well probably not much. So let’s say for the sake of argument you don’t need to worry about finding a product with those ingredients. What SHOULD you look for?

Since the majority of the product is lanolin I’d look for another lanolin based product. We can’t tell you how to find a product that will FEEL the same way but we can give you a couple of options that are close enough for you to maybe want to try and they’ll be a hell of a lot cheaper.

First there’s Koru Naturals lip balm. It contains just two ingredients: USP Grade Lanolin and Sunflower Seed Wax. It only costs $2.80 for a 0.15 ounce stick.

And then there’s Lanicare which contains Lanolin, Castor Seed Oil, Olive Oil Unsaponifiables and Beeswax. That’s also about $3.00 per stick. Both of these products are about a tenth of the cost of Bite Beauty so they certainly seem worth a try.

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask Ingredient list:
Lanolin* (medical grade), Organic Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil**, Organic Agave Tequilana (blue agave) nectar**, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil Unsaponifiables*, Organic Cera Alba (Beeswax)**, Flavor, Vanillin, Siraitia Grosvenori (Monk Fruit)*, Vanilla Tahitensis (Vanilla) Fruit Extract*, Organic Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax*, Trans-Resveratrol*, Vitis Vinefera (Grape) oil*, Tocopherol acetate*, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract (And) Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract (and) Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*.

What’s the deal with K Beauty anti-aging alginate masks?

Kate in our Forum asks…. There is this new beauty trend going on in Japan and South Korea – Alginate Masks. They work by mixing alignate mask with water, then you need to apply it to the face, leave the mask in place for at least 15 minute, then remove by peeling it off in one piece. These masks claim to have lifting effect, reduce wrinkles and hyper pigmentation. Is this something new that can actually work on skin and penetrate it? Or is it another foolish trend created by marketers?

To answer Kate’s question let’s start by explaining what it means for a product to be a “mask.” In her original Forum post Kate asks about two ingredients that she saw popping up in a number of these K Beauty mask products: Calcium sulfate and Sodium alginate. Alginate is a material derived from seaweed and it’s a polysaccharide, sort of a long chain of sugary-starch material. When alginate is combined with a divalent atom like calcium, these long chains of starches are connected together in a process we call cross linking.

So when this cross-linked mixture dries, it forms a film. That’s the basic property of any mask – the ability to form a film on your face. That film serves two purposes. First, it provides a tightening feeling because it’s pulling on your skin. That may give the look and feel of lifting and may temporarily tighten some wrinkles. But these benefits only last until the mask is washed away. The second function of the film is to hold other ingredients, like anti-aging actives, onto your skin.

Remember, that for anti-aging ingredients to be effective a few conditions must be met. First, the ingredient must be efficacious, just because a company CLAIMS an ingredient will do something doesn’t mean it really works.

Second, you need to have that ingredient in the right form, delivered from the right kind of forumula (e.g, pH), third it has to be at the right concentration.

And lastly it has to have enough time to get to it needs to do. Some ingredients don’t need to penetrate into the deeper layers of the stratum corneum to work and they work fairly quickly. Others need to be on skin for a lot longer. And that brings us to the problem with masks.

There are three problems actually.
1. Masks are limited in the types of ingredients they can contain. Unlike a cream or lotion where you can easily combine oil and water soluble ingredients, masks tend to be made with more water soluble ingredients.

2. Masks are not the best delivery vehicle because the ingredients can be trapped in the film which prohibits them from fully contacting the skin .

3. And most important, unlike other product forms masks are only left on the skin a relatively short period of time which limits the kind of anti-aging effects it can have. Specifically Kate asked about reducing wrinkles and hyper pigmentation. Ingredients that are effective against these symptoms of aging need to be in contact with skin for a LONG time. Think hours, not minutes. Anti-aging ingredients work best when left in contact with skin. So whether it’s a cleanser or a toner or a mask, if the product isn’t left on the skin you KNOW it’s not going to work as well.

The bottom line is that masks are fun to use and provide a temporary benefit but they can’t be your main anti-aging weapon.

Is baby shampoo good for adults?

Alessandra asks…Is Johnson’s Baby shampoo a gentle sulfate-free option for fine-haired adults who don’t use many styling products (and an inexpensive alternative to fancy salon “low-poo” products)? Or is it as harsh as stylists say, because in order to make the product non-irritating to the eyes, its pH is really unsuitable to the hair?

First let’s talk about what’s in J&J baby shampoo. We’ll put the complete ingredient list in the show notes for your reference.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the ingredients look different than regular “adult” shampoos. Remember the ingredients most commonly used in adult shampoos are sodium or ammonium lauryl and laureth sulfate (SLS, SLES, etc). These are anionic surfactants meaning they tend to have a negative charge, they are high foaming, good degreasers, and unfortunately, can intereact with skin in such a way that causes irritation for some people.

Now, in typically for a baby shampoo, and certainly in the case of J&J the first ingredient after water is what we call a non-ionic surfactant. In this case it’s PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate. This type of detergent doesn’t foam as much so it doesn’t clean as well but it is milder because of the way it interacts with skin.

You’ll also see Cocamidopropyl Betaine which is a cleanser and foam booster used in both baby and adult shampoos. It can be made from coconut oil so even though it’s chemically processed you’ll see it featured in some natural products.

Next is PEG-150 Distearate. This is another non-ionic compound but this one doesn’t do much cleaning. Rather it’s used as an emulsifier to tie the system together and to add some thickening.

Finally, there’s sodium trideceth sulfate. How can this product be sulfate free if it contains a sulfate? “Sulfate free” really refers to free of SLS, etc. This surfactant is considered more of an non-ionic because of the mildness that the “trideceth” portion of the molecule provides.

So these 4 ingredients provide the backbone of the formula. Of course it contains preservatives, colorants, and fragrance as well. It also contains a touch of polyquarternium-10 which is a polymer that can provide a little bit of conditioning but it won’t give the same kind of feel of silicones or guar that you’ll find in adult conditioning shampoos.

One more thing…it contains sodium hydroxide which is a horrible chemical that can burn through your skin. Do you want to explain how that can be in a baby shampoo?

NaOH is very basic which means it has a high pH. But a very small amount can be used to adjust to the pH. When you adjust the pH the base reacts with the acid and is neutralized. In other words the sodium hydroxide is “used up” and isn’t even really in the product any more. So you don’t need to worry about it.

The pH of this product is about 7 which is close to the pH of tears which is one of the reasons it doesn’t hurt babies’ eyes.

But to answer Alessandra’s question, is this stuff too harsh as she said? I’ve even heard it said that I baby shampoo is harsh because it’s loaded with detergents to help get rid of cradle cap. That’s not true. You don’t need a lot of detergent for that more just mechanical washing. What you might need is a keralytic agent that would help speed up skin cells sloughing off but those are not used in regular baby shampoo.

So baby shampoo is NOT harsh but that doesn’t mean it’ll leave your hair feeling smooth. Some people think baby shampoo feels rough because of what it DOESN’T contain: there aren’t really any major moisturizers or silicones in it to coat the hair and counter balance all the surfactants.

The bottom line is that you may not like the way baby shampoo makes your hair feel but it’s not harsh and irritating.

Ingredients: Water, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, PEG-150 Distearate, Phenoxyethanol, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Fragrance, Sodium Benzoate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Polyquaternium-10, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Acrylates Copolymer, Yellow 6, Yellow 10.

Beauty Science News

Daily Consumption of a Fruit and Vegetable Smoothie Alters Facial Skin Color.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26186449

Remember that time I ate 3 pounds of carrots in one night in an attempt to turn my skin orange?

Well, it turns out that that experiment wasn’t so crazy after all.  In an article published in the journal PLOS One researchers found that daily consumption of fruit and vegetables produced a measurable skin color change. Here’s what they did. They took a group of 81 university students both male and female and measured their skin color using a chronometer. I should mention these were all from an Asian population.  They were able to get a LAB value for yellowness, redness & luminance.  Remember we used to do measurements like that.

Anyway, they gave half the group a fruit smoothie to drink daily and the control group got mineral water. Over the course of 6 weeks they did skin measurements to see what would happen.

It turns out there was a large increase in skin yellowness in the test group and a slight increase in skin redness after 4 weeks of testing.  This effect remained for even 2 weeks after they stopped the test.

So, if you have Asian skin and you are interested in changing the color, perhaps a daily fruit smoothie rich in carotenoids is the way to go. Ya know, I’ve always been skeptical of this “beauty from within” trend but this is at least some evidence that it could work.

Why is Homeland Security interested in cosmetic products?

http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Regulation-Safety/What-does-Homeland-Security-want-with-beauty-industry-part-1-CFATS

Normally we say you shouldn’t believe all the hype about dangerous cosmetic ingredients. But it turns out that some cosmetic ingredients are so hazardous that Homeland security has gotten involved.

The danger is not from using cosmetic products, those are safe, but certain raw materials in high concentrations can be weaponized. For example, here are 3 common cosmetic ingredients that can be used in explosive devices: If there are any terrorists listening please cover your ears:

triethanolamine which is used as a pH control agent, hydrogen peroxide which is used in hair lighters and a bunch of other products, and powdered aluminum which is used in color cosmetics.

So, Homeland Security is working with cosmetic companies that have large stock piles of these ingredients to help them ensure the materials remain secure.

The only time I’ve seen cosmetic chemistry threaten homeland security was that time you were doing some testing in the lab and and you set a comb on fire. Remember that?

iTunes reviews

Abky25 says…5 stars. This podcast is a must for anyone who wants to be informed about the products they’re using. Since I started listening to this i’ve really reduced the amount of money I spend on skin products. I will say the podcast can get a bit boring after a while. Overall, these guys are easy to listen to and just so knowledgeable!!

Disparate Housewife from Ireland says…Beauty is an industry and this podcast holds them to standards while guiding listeners to be savvy consumers. I love that the hosts are intelligent and have a fun sense of humour.

Monika from Sweden says…You’ve saved me so much money and I love to listen to you on my morning commute.

Um, please says…I never write reviews but this podcast is just so awesome I had to share the love! These guys address all your cosmetic questions in a fun, quick, and educational way.

 

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How can you find a cheaper natural lip balm? Abby says…I have a question about Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip Mask. It claims its natural formula smoothes, nourishes and moisturizes lips with a bio active combination of organic agave nectar, jojoba oil, How can you find a cheaper natural lip balm? Abby says…I have a question about Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip Mask. It claims its natural formula smoothes, nourishes and moisturizes lips with a bio active combination of organic agave nectar, jojoba oil, vanilla co2 extract, and triple the amount of the antioxidant trans-resveratrol found in red […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 36:41
Can hair straighteners stop your hair from being naturally curly? Episode 160 https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/04/can-hair-straighteners-stop-your-hair-from-being-naturally-curly-episode-160/ Tue, 18 Apr 2017 05:01:11 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4905 https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/04/can-hair-straighteners-stop-your-hair-from-being-naturally-curly-episode-160/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/04/can-hair-straighteners-stop-your-hair-from-being-naturally-curly-episode-160/feed/ 20 Can hair straighteners stop your hair from being naturally curly? Sarah asks…Can straightening your hair for a long time change it from being very curly to being naturally straight? That’s like saying bleaching your brown hair for a long time will make you naturally blonde. It doesn’t work that way because you’re only treating the hair that’s […]

Can hair straighteners stop your hair from being naturally curly?

Sarah asks…Can straightening your hair for a long time change it from being very curly to being naturally straight?

That’s like saying bleaching your brown hair for a long time will make you naturally blonde. It doesn’t work that way because you’re only treating the hair that’s already grown out of the scalp. The chemistry and biology that determines if your hair is curly or straight happens BELOW the scalp.

Yes, there are two main factors that control hair shape. One is the shape of the follicle. We’ve used this analogy before but you can think of hair as little tubes of Play Doh that are squeezed out of holes in your scalp. If the scalp hole is perfectly round the hair is round and very straight. If the hold is a little more oval, the hair has an elliptical shape which causes it to twist and turn into a curl. And if the hole is sort of kidney-bean shaped, the hair grows out to be kinky (like African-American hair.) There’s nothing you can do about this although it may change as you age and experience hormone changes.

The other factor is the protein composition of the cortex of the hair. That’s the core of hair that gives it its strength and it’s made up of protein bundles that are grouped into two different regions: one is called the Ortho Cortex and the other is the Para Cortex. These regions absorb water differently and this differential absorption causes one protein region to swell more than the other. That causes hair to twist and turn as it absorbs moisture. That’s why hair gets curlier in high humidity.

The chemistry and biology involved with these factors take place deep in the follicle which is buried beneath the scalp. Once the hair is extruded from the follicle and it pokes out through the scalp, its shape is set. Nothing that straightening products do to the dead hair on top of your head affects the living, growing cells under the skin.

These straightening products work by modifying the molecular bonds inside hair to change the shape from curly to straight. Temporary straightening products modify the hydrogen bonds which are very weak. As soon as your hair gets wet the hydrogen bonds reset and your hair reverts to being curly. Temporary treatments include heat processing like flat ironing. Most styling products work this way as well.

On the other hand, semi-permanent and permanent straightening products modify the disulfide bonds in hair. These are sulfur-sulfur bonds which are very strong. You have to break these bonds so the hair loses its curly shape, then you pull the hair straight and then create new bonds that hold this new shape. These disulfide bonds are hard to break and reform but once you’ve straightened the hair this way it’ll stay straight for a long time.

These long lasting straighteners use similar technology to permanent waves and relaxers. Some products use formaldehyde or formaldehyde-like chemicals because they are good at forming cross linked bonds in the hair which keeps it straight.

You should be aware of the tradeoff involved in using these products though: the longer lasting the straightening effect, the more damaging it is. That’s because not all the bonds are reformed once their broken. That means your hair is weaker after permanent straightening so it will break more easily.

I just learned something about curly hair that I think is interesting. Mechanical engineers at Purdue University used an infrared microscope to study how hair reacts to heat and they found that curly hair loses heat faster than straight hair. That’s because the shape and surface area of hair determine how fast heat dissipates – and straight hair holds on to heat for a longer period to time.

This research is important because it can help consumers predict how much damage they’re doing to their hair during heat styling. It could lead to the development of new styling products that are designed to work better on curly hair. Better living through chemistry!

Can you believe this anti-aging ingredient list?

PMA asks…Can I believe Skinceuticals A.G.E Interupter when it says it contains 4% of blueberry and 30% of proxylane?

I think the more urgent question is…what the hell is proxylane? That’s how it’s spelled on the Skinceuticals website: p-r-o-x-y-l-a-n-e. One word. Proxylane. But there is no such thing. There is however, an ingredient called Pro-Xylane. Pro – dash- Xylane (which is a type of sugar.) (Pro-xylane, by the way, is a trade name for hydroxypropyl tetrahydropyrantriol.) The fact that they couldn’t even spell the name of one of their key ingredients correctly is the first strike against them in terms of believability. But there’s more.

Let’s look at the claims.

  • Reduces the appearance of skin creping and thinning
  • 
Visibly improves the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and skin texture
  • 
Restores water and nutrients to improve the look of skin firmness
  • 
Comforts dry, aging skin
Paraben-, alcohol-, and dye-free.
  • These are pretty generic claims…note the use of weasel words like “reduces the appearance of” and “improve the look of.”

If you do the right kind of test you can usually get enough data to support these kinds of claims. But the last claim…the one about paraben free. That should be a no brainer right? All you have to do is not use parabens. BUT if you look at the ingredient list on their website you’ll see that the product contains both ethylparaben and methylparaben! In terms of believability, that’s strike two!

Now let’s get back to the core of PMA’s question which was about the concentration of 2 key ingredients. The only way we can tell FOR SURE is to look at the actual formula. We don’t have access to that but we do know that by law ingredients must be listed in order of descending concentration until you get to ingredients that are used at 1% or less. Below that level you can list them in any order.

The first four ingredients are: Water, Propylene glycol, dimethicone, and Pro-xylane. Skinceuticals is telling us that the Pro-xylane is present at 30%. Given the ingredient label law we just mentioned we know what the first three ingredients must be present at HIGHER levels that 30%. But if that were true the first 4 ingredients would total up to at least 120% of the formula which can’t be right either. Something is screwed up!

Ok but what about 4% Blueberry? The INCI name for blueberry extract is vaccinium myrtillus fruit extract. It appears on the ingredient list almost at the end, AFTER EDTA and parabens which are used at much less than 1%. If blueberry was present at 4% it would HAVE to appear much higher on the ingredient list. So this seems very sketchy too.

So what’s gong on here? The wording on their website says that key ingredients are “4% Blueberry extract and 30% Proxylane.™” I wonder if it’s possible that they’re referring to the concentration at which the ingredients are supplied to them. In other words, if Pro-xylane is sold as a 30% solution, then they could be saying, “hey, we’re using 30% Pro-xylane in our product” In other words, they’re referring to the concentration of the ingredient itself as purchased, not the concentration used in their final product. But that still sounds very sketchy to me too. That’s strike 3.

Yeah, in terms of ingredient list credibility, this product is just a hot mess. What makes even less sense to me is when you look at who owns Skinceuticals. It’s L’Oreal who typically is very careful and accurate with claims like these. Maybe the parent company is letting this brand play a little fast and loose the the facts. But the important thing is that if you want to try this technology, it’s expensive. ($160 for a 1.7 ounce jar.) Wouldn’t it be nice if L’Oreal made a cheaper product?

Well, they do! Here’s a L’Oreal’s Triple PowerTM Deep-Acting Moisturizer has the same active ingredient with a similar formulation that’s only $25 for the exact same amount.

http://www.skinceuticals.com/a.g.e.-interrupter-635494345001.html?cgid=anti-aging-products#start=8&cgid=anti-aging-products

http://www.lorealparisusa.com/products/skin-care/products/facial-moisturizers/revitalift-triple-power-deep-acting-moisturizer.aspx?shade=Triple-Power-Deep-Acting-Moisturizer

Aqua / water / eau, propylene glycol, dimethicone, hydroxypropyl tetrahydropyrantriol, cyclohexasiloxane, isohexadecane, glycerin, synthetic wax, dimethicone/peg-10/15 crosspolymer, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, ci 77163 / bismuth oxychloride, phenoxyethanol, magnesium sulfate, ethylhexyl hydroxystearate, salicyloyl phytosphingosine, acrylates copolymer, methylparaben, ethylparaben, disodium edta, vaccinium myrtillus extract / vaccinium myrtillus fruit extract, parfum / fragrance, butylphenyl methylpropional, coumarin

Is this makeup ingredient ALWAYS a sunscreen?

This question comes from our Forum… Hi all – just wondering if all skin care or make up products that contain titanium dioxide provide some amount of sun protection even though an SPF is not listed on the bottle? I see it listed in some of my moisturizers, serums, etc. for example: Olay Eyes Lifting Serum.

Titanium dioxide is not just a sunscreen. It’s also used to whiten a formula or to make it more opaque. I think that’s the case in the Olay product you mentioned. Based on where it appears on the ingredient list there’s not enough there to be a functional sunscreen.  In this case its at the bottom so its less than 1% so its not a sunscreen which is up to 20%.

Water, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Sdimidetheicone Crosspolymer, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Polyethylene, Panthenol, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Allantoin, Polyacrylamide, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-4, Dimethiconol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Laureth-7, Sodium Peg-7 Olive Oil Carboxylate, Disodium Edta, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Iron Oxides.

Do lip plumpers have long term effects?

Angela C asks…Just wondering if there are any long term effects to using lip plumping glosses? My favorite is by Soap and Glory, a product called “Sexy Mother Pucker.”  About a minute after application the tingly stops and its a nice long wearing gloss that isn’t overly goopy.   My question is – is there a downside to such products? Will using this daily prematurely age the skin on my lips or cause fine lines to appear sooner?

RS: Lip plumping products work by using an irritant to stimulate the nerves in your lips which causes that tingly feeling. They MAY stimulate histidine release which could give you some temporary swelling. As long as the product doesn’t over-irritate and/or your lips and you don’t develop an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients it’s probably fine.  The thing to watch out for is that if you’re applying this kind of product to very dry/chapped lips that puckery tingling sensation can become too intense.

Polybutene, Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil/Huile Minérale), Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Glycerin, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Hydroxystearic Acid, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Mica, Parfum (Fragrance), Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, Propylene Glycol, Alumina, Stevioside, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, BHT, Tin Oxide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Eugenol, Geraniol, Citronellol, Benzyl Alcohol, Coumarin, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 15850 (Red 6), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), CI 77499 (Iron Oxides)

Beauty Science News

Skin lotions can cause you to catch on fire

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-39308748

Do you really want beauty products that smell like this?

I saw three different news stories but they all had something in common – new products that with a rather odd fragrance profile.

The first one is a Japanese spa treatment that is pancake-scented with notes of vanilla and maple syrup. I know that different cultures embrace different scents but the idea of “hot cake hot tub” seems sickly sweet to me.
http://mentalfloss.com/article/93343/guests-japanese-resort-can-soak-pancake-scented-hot-tubs

Next, there’s a new fragrance from Demeter (De-meter? Dem-etter?) Anyway, it’s called Kitten Fur and it smells like the back of a kitten’s neck.
Personally I’m waiting for them to develop a “wet dog” cologne.

http://www.refinery29.com/amp/2017/03/145657/kitten-fur-perfume-demeter

Finally there’s a pizza flavored lip balm. This comes to us from Etsy seller is Regina Panzeca. She says it’s not a bland pizza flavor because it has notes of Italian herbs, tomato, garlic. In other words, this lip gloss makes your mouth taste like all the things you brush your teeth to get rid of.

https://www.thrillist.com/news/nation/pizza-lip-balm-etsy

So there you have it – 3 products with questionable aroma-ti-city.

iTunes reviews

Robert from the UK says…Informative for Chemist Listeners as well! The episodes always bring a smile to the end of my day, when I get to enjoy Randy & Perry rip into false claims, cheeky company practices and pseudoscientific blog posts.

Wenabar says… Makes my life easier. I used to spend so much time researching and reading articles, blogs, magazines, etc. Now if I want to know something, I can count on TBB’s to fill me in. I love their rapport which is a hilarious mix of nerdy-cool.

Yeoldegoldie says… Do you scour cosmetic ingredient labels with the avidity of a Lululemon-clad Yogini dissecting the food product labels at Whole Foods? Are you a critical thinker who understands that the difference between marketing hype and solid, tested, and effective anti- aging ingredients?? If so, this podcast is for you!

ChoirGeek from United Kingdom says…Super fascinating, listen asap &educate yourself on what you’re putting on your skin.

Cwfjluwgjj says…I’m a guy who wears “natural” makeup to cover my blemishes, etc and I’ve slowly been sucked into the world of makeup and skincare. As much as I love Fat Mascara, it’s so refreshing and awesome to hear guys discuss the world of makeup and beauty. Pleeeease keep this podcast going forever!

Abbielove says…Humor, Wit & hardcore cosmetic science!  I’m an Esthetician and I just love filling my beauty brain with all the scientific information from behind the cosmetic industry scenes! Do you ever want a showgram guest?

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Can hair straighteners stop your hair from being naturally curly? Sarah asks…Can straightening your hair for a long time change it from being very curly to being naturally straight? That’s like saying bleaching your brown hair for a long time will make... Can hair straighteners stop your hair from being naturally curly? Sarah asks…Can straightening your hair for a long time change it from being very curly to being naturally straight? That’s like saying bleaching your brown hair for a long time will make you naturally blonde. It doesn’t work that way because you’re only treating the hair that’s […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 35:00
Why isn’t everyone exfoliating with AHAs? Episode 159 https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/03/why-isnt-everyone-exfoliating-with-ahas-episode-159/ Tue, 21 Mar 2017 05:01:55 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4895 https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/03/why-isnt-everyone-exfoliating-with-ahas-episode-159/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/03/why-isnt-everyone-exfoliating-with-ahas-episode-159/feed/ 14 Why isn’t everyone exfoliating with AHAs? Melissa says…I’ve been using an night cream with glycolic acid and I noticed that my skin is actually brighter, clearer, and softer. I’ve been using this product for years and I still love it but I worry that it may be too good to be true. Are there any […]

Why isn’t everyone exfoliating with AHAs?

Melissa says…I’ve been using an night cream with glycolic acid and I noticed that my skin is actually brighter, clearer, and softer. I’ve been using this product for years and I still love it but I worry that it may be too good to be true. Are there any risks associated with alpha hydroxy acid products? Why aren’t we are using them?

Thanks Melissa. Long time fans of the show will remember that I love getting questions about Alpha Hydroxy Acids because it gives me an excuse to retell the story of the marketing director for St. Ives didn’t quite get the acronym and would instead of calling them AHAs would call them “Ah-Ha’s.” That always amused me during meetings because it sounded like she was speaking with exclamation marks. “We need to launch a new AHA!”

Before we can answer Melissa’s questions, let’s quickly recap what AHAs are and how they work. Alpha Hydroxy Acids are a class of chemical that is used to loosen dead skin cells.They consist of long chain of carbon and hydrogen atoms with a carboxylic acid group at the end. When naming carbon chains we start by labeling the carbon next to the carboxylate which is known as the α carbon, the next carbon is the β carbon, and so forth. So in this case the carboxylate is on that first carbon so this is an ALPHA hydroxy acid. Salicylic acid has the group on the second carbon so it’s a BETA hydroxy acid.

They work by softening the “glue” that holds skin cells together so the dead ones fall off more easily. When this happens, the basal layer is triggered to produce fresh skin cells. This is also referred to as “increasing cell turnover.”

There are several types of AHAs. The two most common are Glycolic and Lactic. Glycolic acid is the smallest, it can be derived from sugar cane or produced synthetically. Lactic is also known as “milk acid” because it can be derived from soured dairy products, as well as fermented vegetables and fruit.

One less popular AHA is actually Perry’s favorite to pronounce: Tartaric Acid. Other runners up include citric and malic acid. There’s another that’s technically a PHA or polyhydroxy acid and that’s lactobionic acid. Interestingly, According to research published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, Lactobionic acid is not only more effective than glycolic acid at improving cell turn over but it’s also less irritating. An international team from London, Serbia and Slovenia tested both AHAs in a cream and a gel. 26 volunteers used the products twice a day for two weeks. The researchers found that Lactobionic acid scored better in both forms even though their data indicated the gel base worked a bit better than the cream form.

But Melissa asked if there are risks associated with AHAs. Yes, there are. Some people can’t tolerate their effects and they experience redness and irritation (especially if they have rosacea prone skin.) Using products too frequently or using products that have too high of a concentration can exacerbate this problem. A potentially bigger problem is that if you misuse AHAs they can increase the danger of UV exposure. This was determined by the European Commission on Scientific Affairs. This is problematic is you’re using them improperly or too often but for most people, AHAs are perfectly fine.

So if they work so good and they’re safe for most people, why isn’t everybody using them? Great question! First of all, everyone’s skin is different and not everyone responds to AHAs to the same degree. Some people (especially if they’re prone to conditions like rosacea) are likely to see redness and irritation to an extent that can over whelm the benefits. Other people may have dabbled with AHA products but perhaps they didn’t choose one with a high level of actives and were so disappointed in the results that they just gave up. But there are a lot of people like yourself who have picked a good product to which they respond to well. Good for you!!

The other factor, in my opinion, is that the beauty industry wants to sell more products (and more expensive products) by enticing you with the latest and greatest technology. We’re so bombarded with information on all these new product launches that sound so amazing, that sometimes it’s hard to focus on the basics that really work. Companies may think it’s harder to sell “old” technologies like AHAs when they can hype the latest and greatest algae extract or whatever.

ALS vs. SLS vs. SLES vs. ALES

Long time fan Alessandra asks…Which is more harsh SLS vs ALS vs SLES vs ALES?

First, let’s decode that alphabet soup: Most people know that SLS is sodium lauryl sulfate. They may not know that ALS is Ammonium lauryl sulfate. When you see an “E” added to the name that means it’s Sodium or Ammonium “LAURETH” sulfate.

Yes, the “eth” stands for ethoxylation which essentially means that you’re extending the molecule by inserting some oxygen atoms. Why would we do this? Because the ethoxylation process makes the detergent milder (and a little less powerful as a cleanser.) Essentially that’s because it’s more water soluble. So that means that sodium lauryl and ammonium lauryl are harsher than sodium laureth and ammonium laureth? Got it?

Now what about the sodium vs ammonium versions? There’s really not much difference. It’s the lauryl sulfate part of the molecule that’s the issue not the counter ion.

Alessandra pointed out that several brands like Organix and Leonor Greyl, advertise their shampoos as SLES-free but they have ammonium lauryl sulfate as the first ingredient. Now you know how misleading that is!

Are silkworm cocoons good for skin?

Becky says…I’ve read a few articles about the collagen-promoting qualities of silkworm cocoons – apparently rubbing them on your face improves the texture of your skin, improves signs of UV damage and all those other impossibly amazing things. It sounds like another crazy gimmick but I noticed in this article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2837024/Rub-face-silkworm-cocoons-wipe-away-wrinkles-sounds-bizarre-works.html they back it up with some pretty convincing words from a dermatologist. 


Becky’s right, the dermatologist quoted in the article says some very convincing things. For the most part the woman rubbed her face with cocoons every day for about a month and at the end of that time her skin looked better. Of course this can’t be considered scientific evidence because the test involved one person and there was no control.

But there ARE some studies showing sericin (silk protein) may have anti-aging properties under certain conditions. For example, one study showed that silk sericin can “stimulate collagen type I synthesis, suppress the regulation of nitrite, which nitrite may induces oxidative stress.” This test was done by applying pure sericin directly to cultures of cells in the lab which does NOT prove that rubbing cocoons are your face will do anything. http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/jas/article/view/22487/15481

I’m still skeptical, however, because rubbing a cocoon on your face is not a very efficient way of delivering sericin to the skin and the amount of the protein that can be delivered that way seems like it would be very low. Stick with the anti-aging products that are proven to help.

Should you worry about counterfeit hairspray?

Redheaded 4 Trouble says… I’ve seen this picture floating around Facebook. It shows a hairspray can with the label torn off to reveal a different brand underneath. The caption says: “This is why you do NOT buy product from TJ MAXX, ROSS or MARSHALS!!! Only buy from your stylists, that’s it.” I’m thinking this is probably just something salons are spreading so people will buy these products from them at a higher price. What do you think?

This isn’t nearly as sinister as it appears and it is NOT proof that TJ Maxx is selling counterfeit hairspray. My guess is that the company had too many cans decorated of the blue product so rather than destroy them and lose the value, they decided to have them relabeled and then used them for another product.

Yeah, If it were TJ Maxx or any other third party labeling over one product with the label from another then the ingredient list would be wrong (as well as other information) which would be illegal.

How would this even work? They buy a cheaper, inferior product and then relabel it? But the product underneath is Egyptian vs Chi – prove that this is the same brand. Why wouldn’t they buy Suave hairspray and relabel it? IT MAKES NO SENSE!

After I wrote this, I found a Snopes article that gives the same answer: http://www.snopes.com/chi-products-tj-maxx-marshalls/

Beauty Science News

Lifestyle matters more than genetics for looking young
Link

New makeup trend

Link

We’re routinely criticized for not being in touch with the latest beauty trends – but not today! Here’s a story from Refinery29 about the newest, most exciting thing in cosmetics: ear makeup. Apparently some trendy Instagrammers are posting pictures where they have applied a dab of glitter or a spot of color to their ear lobes. Violette is one of the most popular.

It’s interesting because this isn’t an area of the body that’s been used for cosmetics much but apparently now it’s quite the rage. Right now these women are just repurposing other make up and applying to their ears but it’s only a matter of time before some savvy cosmetic manufacturer catches on and starts to create make up specifically designed for the ears.

I predict we’ll see MAC launch a line of Ear Shadow and Ear Gloss to light up your lobes! Now, this creates a new problem: which is makeup residue on ear jewelry. Inevitably your earrings will get gunked up so you’ll need a special product to to clean makeup from earrings. Well, I’ve created that product and I call it – wait for it…”Earring Aid.” Get it?

iTunes reviews – it’s an All International edition of iTunes reviews!

Twiddly dee from Canada says…As an Esthetician I can appreciate all the science behind products. Keep up the great work!

Hrwlondon from UK says…Both informative and soothing listening. Lots of interesting facts and anecdotes. Would like a top ten greatest ingredients show soon!

MeginMunich from Germany….Excellent Beauty Advice! I really appreciate the scientific basis behind these beauty tips. Most of the information available these days is distributed by marketing teams and can be totally confusing.

Livdane from Latvia says…Funny, evidence based and informative. I used to think that I was an informed and skeptical consumer. Now in hindsight I can appreciate the Dunning-Kruger effect on me at its best. The podcast revealed me the whole new world of the cosmetic chemistry in the amazingly geeky and entertaining way Randy and Perry delivers it. Now I can make the claim: “listening to The Beauty Brains minimizes the perceived feeling and appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”

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Why isn’t everyone exfoliating with AHAs? Melissa says…I’ve been using an night cream with glycolic acid and I noticed that my skin is actually brighter, clearer, and softer. I’ve been using this product for years and I still love it but I worry that i... Why isn’t everyone exfoliating with AHAs? Melissa says…I’ve been using an night cream with glycolic acid and I noticed that my skin is actually brighter, clearer, and softer. I’ve been using this product for years and I still love it but I worry that it may be too good to be true. Are there any […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 33:57
How does color changing makeup work? Episode 158 https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/02/how-does-color-changing-makeup-work-episode-158/ Mon, 20 Feb 2017 06:01:44 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4880 https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/02/how-does-color-changing-makeup-work-episode-158/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/02/how-does-color-changing-makeup-work-episode-158/feed/ 10 How does color changing makeup work? Julia asks…I’m a make up artist and my question is how does color adjusting makeup work? I’ve tried a few and they didn’t adjust very well. Also, what are both of your favorite ingredients to use on your own skin? Thanks for bringing this up Julia! Color changing makeup […]

How does color changing makeup work?url-6

Julia asks…I’m a make up artist and my question is how does color adjusting makeup work? I’ve tried a few and they didn’t adjust very well. Also, what are both of your favorite ingredients to use on your own skin?

Thanks for bringing this up Julia! Color changing makeup has never come up on the podcast before but we’ve written about it a couple of times. On our website someone once asked “People have called self-adjusting makeup the mood ring of makeup, does it actually change with your mood?” Great way to rephrase Julia’s question…So, Perry, what say you?

The idea is great! But this is one of those amazing beauty products that don’t really exist.

Right. in fact, back in Episode 51 we talked about 10 amazing beauty products that don’t exist and true mood ring lipstick was one of them.

Yeah, the notion that these products change color with mood is a myth. But color changing makeup, or self-adjusting makeup as some people call it, does change a LITTLE bit.

Yes, in fact, there are two different ways that these products can work.

Color change by pH

The first way involves color that changes with pH and solubility. Most of the products that we see that make these claims use this approach. The main ingredient that provides the effect is a colorant known as “Red 27,” a red dye which is colorless when dissolved in a waterless base. When it comes in contact with moisture, the change in solubility and pH causes the dye to turn bright pink.

The product appears to change with your personal chemistry because the color changes when it comes in contact with moisture in your skin or even just the humidity in the air. Red 27 can be used in powdered cosmetics, waxy sticks, and gels.

We’ll list a couple of examples in the show notes including Smashbox O-Glow Blush, Stila Custom Color Blush, and DuWop Personal Color Changing Lipstick.

Color change by encapsulation

The second way to make a product change color is to use pigments which are encapsulated. In this case the colorant is coated with a waxy or gel-like ingredient and suspended in an uncolored base. When the product is rubbed into your skin the friction breaks open the dye capsules releasing the color.

The product appears to change with your personal chemistry because the more your rub in the color, the more is released.

Encapsulated colors work best in cream and powder based products, although they can be used in water-based lotions with the right kind of encapsulating agent. Some examples of products that uses encapsulated colors include Wet n’ Wild’s Intuitive Blend Shade Adjusting Foundation , The Body Shop’s All in One BB Cream, and Carmindy and Company’s Diamond Fusion Powder.

I want to quickly mention a third type of color changing product. It’s not quite the same thing but consider products that provide a “natural tan glow.” These may use a different name but they’re just self-tanners and they work by using an ingredient called “dihydroxyacetone” or DHA. This chemical reacts with the keratin protein in the upper layers of your skin, staining them a light orangish-brown color. The product appears to change with your personal chemistry because it uses low levels of DHA that provides a very gradual change in skin color. The more you use, the more pronounced the “glow” effect is. Jergen’s Natural Glow is an example.

Finally, here are a few tips if you’re planning on using any self-adjusting makeup. If you’re using the pressure sensitive type you may have to play around with it a bit to find out how much you need to rub it in to match your particular skin tone. (Or at least to get it as close as possible.)

You should also keep in mind that color change has little to do with you individual skin chemistry. However, the color of your skin will have a significant effect on the appearance of the cosmetic color. As your skin color changes (either with age or sun exposure) the color of these cosmetics could look different. This is not an issue for lip products since the skin on your lips doesn’t change color much because it doesn’t tan.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

While it’s true that cosmetics can change color, the idea that they can match your mood is a myth. If you find a product that gives you the color you like, then fine. But don’t be fooled into buying these products because you expect them to magically adjust to your skin tone.

Does lipstick make bubbly drinks go flat?

Jessica asks…I heard an interview on NPR that said if you have lipstick and you drink something out of the glass the lipstick interacts with the champaign and makes it go flat. Is that correct?

Very interesting question. I had never heard this before but we tracked down the interview which was with a chemist by the name of “Richard Zane” who said that “any greasy thing like chips, fries, or lipstick will actually break up the bubbles. So will leaving too much soap in the glass.”

This makes sense – at least for the part of the liquid that actually touches the lipstick. especially if you’ve just put on a fresh coat of lipstick and you leave a large smear of it on the inside of the glass then there may be enough left over to continue to break up the bubbles. It most cases it doesn’t sound like wearing lipstick will make the entire glass of champagne (or beer or soda or whatever) go flat.

The ingredients that are causing the problems are the primarily the oils and the silicones in the lipstick. Certain silicones are actually used as anti-foaming agents which are specifically designed to break up bubbles. You could certainly avoid silicone containing the lip products to maximize bubbles. You could also look for lipsticks that are higher in wax content since those are less likely to transfer to the glass.

Do high ph shaving creams work better?

Christopher asks… Many shaving creams seem to have very high pH’s. Some assert that alkaline shaving cream opens up the cuticle of the hair, which makes the oils and conditioners enter the strands more effectively and therefore making cutting it easier. This seems like a well-marketed excuse. Is there merit to the idea that opening the cuticle of the hair with a pH cream better accepts the conditioning agents and makes it easier to cut? If so, is it worth the high pH trade-off?

Shaving creams traditionally are formulated from true soaps which mean they inherently have a high pH. It is true that very high pH can swell the hair shaft which would soften and weaken the hair. (This is one of the tricks used in hair coloring products and to some degree relaxers.) It’s not really about opening the cuticle but about swelling the hair shaft.

However, I’ve never seen any data showing that shaving cream works that way, possibly because the pH isn’t as high as the other products we mentioned and it’s not left on the hair/skin for very long. But at least it’s theoretically possible.

The “trade off” that Christopher mentioned is that high pH soaps can deplete the natural acid mantle of your skin which protects your skin. If any slight improvement in the ease of hair cutting worth a potential compromise of your skin barrier? I guess that depends on how hard it is for you to shave…

Will salt ruin your hair straightening treatment?

Liz says…”After using a hair straightening treatment, I’ve heard that it’s not only sulfates one should avoid but also (and perhaps more importantly) sodium chloride. Is it true that sodium chloride is the so-called Kryptonite of these treatments?”

We’ve never seen any evidence that the level of salt that one would encounter during normal shampooing would have any impact what so ever on the longevity of hair straightening treatments. I can’t even think of a plausible mechanism for this effect, can you?

Nope. Of course it depends on what kind of straightening treatment you’re talking about. Some straighteners do actually modify the chemical bonds in hair. I can’t think of anyway that those would be effected by quick contact with salt. Others products straighten temporarily by coating the hair with silicone or something – but any shampoo will reverse that effect, not just ones that contain sodium chloride. I think the whole “salt is bad for your hair” thing is highly exaggerated.

I can see how people would think this, though. They’ve seen their hair be damaged by swimming in the ocean, so they assume salt water is bad for hair. But being in the ocean (or even the pool) exposes you to multiple sources of damage: extra UV radiation, multiple wet and dry cycles of your hair, chlorine, etc. The exposure time to the saltwater is also a lot greater.

Yeah, there’s a big difference between salt exposure from being in the ocean or in a pool and simply washing and conditioning your hair. And besides, just about every shampoo has salt in it anyway even if it’s not listed on the label. That’s because sodium chloride is a byproduct in the production of many surfactants.

Beauty science news

Alarm clock wakes you up with scents

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During the holiday season I was in the market for a new alarm clock. Mostly, I wanted to get one in which I could plug in my phone and listen to podcasts while I go to sleep. Anyway, while looking for one I stumble on this product called the Sensorwake alarm clock. It’s an alarm clock that wakes you up by diffusing a burst scent in the room. You can wake yourself up to the smell of coffee, bacon, the forest, waves, grass and 10 other scents. Each scent blasts last about 30 uses and it costs $5 for each cartridge. I suppose if it takes off famous fragrance companies might get onboard. This product seems a bit ridiculous to me. Who would wake up just from a strong odor? Does that happen? Well, they also have a backup traditional alarm just in case the odor isn’t enough to wake you up. Anyway, if you’re curious about the product you can go to their website https://sensorwake.com/ to learn more.

St Ives face scrub may be dangerous

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Remember when the company we worked for bought the St. Ives brand? When was that…late 90s? At the time St. Ives had shampoo and conditioner as well as skin care. Do you remember one of the most popular skin products? 
St. Ives Apricot Scrub! In fact, at one point it was the number one facial scrub in the country. Well, it’s back in the news but not for a good reason – the current owner of the brand is being sued because the product is “”unfit to be sold or used as a facial scrub”.

There’s a class action lawsuit that argues the particles in the scrub can cause the skin to tear. Interesting sidenote contrary to what you might think the scrubbing particles are not Africa pieces but actually walnut pieces. 
the article mentions a couple of dermatologists who say that this kind of product can be too abrasive. Unilever, naturally, says their product is safe.

So what’s the truth? I expect both sides are right to some extent. I’ve personally use this product and I know there are tens of thousands hundreds of thousands of consumers with used it with no problem. If you miss use for either use a product like this I wouldn’t be surprised if you could cause some skin abrasion. I don’t expect this problem will go away but I wouldn’t be surprised if you leave her and some extra warning statements to their label.

On an ironic endnote there is an ingredient that they could substitute for the walnut shells that would completely solve this problem. That’s right – plastic microbeads. Unfortunately they’re being banned world wide because they contribute to pollution.

iTunes reviews

Oznuck from Austraila says…Mansplaining — 1 star. I’ve tried to like this podcast because I love science and skincare. But this is the epitome of mansplaining. I’m tired of the condescension and the sexual comments. I’m tired of hearing the hosts’ mocking comments about what their listeners must be watching on tv (the Bachelor? Really?). I’m tired of their “humor” and the snide remarks made to put others down, including the other host. It could be so much better.

Smelliness says…5 stars
 “As a science student I quickly developed an interest in the chemistry of beauty products. Imagine my disappointment in trying to find podcasts to further my understanding, I found a veritable drought of science focused cosmetic podcasts. Then lo and behold, beauty brains popped up on my phone and at last I had the scientifically backed podcasts of my makeup dreams.”

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How does color changing makeup work? Julia asks…I’m a make up artist and my question is how does color adjusting makeup work? I’ve tried a few and they didn’t adjust very well. Also, what are both of your favorite ingredients to use on your own skin? How does color changing makeup work? Julia asks…I’m a make up artist and my question is how does color adjusting makeup work? I’ve tried a few and they didn’t adjust very well. Also, what are both of your favorite ingredients to use on your own skin? Thanks for bringing this up Julia! Color changing makeup […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 31:39
Are lotions with water bad for your skin? Episode 157 https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/01/are-lotions-with-water-bad-for-your-skin-episode-157/ Tue, 24 Jan 2017 06:01:24 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4870 https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/01/are-lotions-with-water-bad-for-your-skin-episode-157/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2017/01/are-lotions-with-water-bad-for-your-skin-episode-157/feed/ 13 Are lotions with water actually bad for your skin? Veronica asks…I heard that using lotions with water is actually bad for your skin because as the water evaporates it removes the skin’s natural moisture and oil. Is this true? Veronica’s question is an interesting twist on a theme that we have discussed a couple of […]

Are lotions with water actually bad for your skin?pool-519453_640

Veronica asks…I heard that using lotions with water is actually bad for your skin because as the water evaporates it removes the skin’s natural moisture and oil. Is this true?

Veronica’s question is an interesting twist on a theme that we have discussed a couple of times – and that is how moisturizers actually work.

There are two fundamental ways that lotions can moisturizer your skin: one way is to provide an occlusive barrier that prevents the moisture that’s already in your skin from evaporating. That’s what ingredients like, petrolatum, mineral oil, silicones and so forth do. The technical term for this is reducing TEWL or Transepidermal Water Loss.

The second way lotions work is to attract moisture to you skin using an ingredient that has an affinity for water. We call these ingredients “humectants” and they are things like glycerin, sorbitol, and hyaluronic acid. They essentially bind water to the surface of your skin.

The best skin moisturizers use both mechanisms to moisturize skin. And the best way to do that is through an emulsion that’s a combination of oil and water.

This brings us back to Veronica’s question – what about the water that’s contained in the cream or lotion? What does it do?

There’s enough water in a lotion or cream to give your skin a little quick moisture boost which the oils and other occlusive agents can lock in your skin. Let’s be clear – most of the moisturizing effect comes from preventing the loss of what’s already in your skin, but it doesn’t hurt to add that extra little topical boost of moisture.

Right, some of that extra water will be absorbed by your skin and some of it will evaporate but that process of evaporation doesn’t cause any harm to your skin. It’s not going to cause the loss of skin’s natural moisturizing capacity in any way. So what Veronica has heard about lotions is just a myth. BUT I can see where this myth may have got its start.

It could have come from the fact that soaking your skin in water is not good for it. That swells the skin cells and does allow leaching out of some water soluble moisturizing components like urea and sodium PCA. But that only happens when your skin is submerged in water for a considerable period of time.

So I could see some clever marketer taking this little half truth and then saying that skin care products that contain water are bad for skin so they can sell you their special oil based product that doesn’t contain water. But it just doesn’t work that way. So, Veronica there’s nothing to worry about from using skin lotions that contain water.

Is air drying hair more damaging than blow drying?

DaniD in our Forum says…I recently came across this article claiming that air drying is actually bad for your hair. “The reason? When hair comes into contact with water, it swells which damages the protein. The longer your hair is wet, the longer it swells and the greater the chance for damage.” Is this true? I also wonder if all the extra tugging from brushing during blow drying could add additional damage as well.

We wrote about this a couple of years ago. I think the post was lost when our server crashed. I can’t remember if we ever talked about it on the show before or not. But, yes, there is showing that air drying your hair does cause some damage. The mechanisms is exactly as you explained.

That swelling and shrinking process she described is actually called “Hygral Fatigue.”

Exactly. But the study that we found didn’t compare this damage to the damage caused by blow drying, so we don’t have data to say which is worse. If I had to choose, I’d say that blow drying is more damaging for 3 reasons:

1. You still get some fiber swelling whether your blow drying or air drying.

2. The additional heat from blow drying can be damaging by itself.

3. The tugging that she described does cause additional damage.

I think it’s really interesting, and kind of counter-intuitive, that air drying causes any damage at all but it’s probably still better than blow drying. But you know what doesn’t blow…the fans who review us on iTunes.

Can tomatoes really shrink your pores?

Renee asks…According to Easyhacker.com, rubbing tomatoes on your face is a good way to shrink your pores, is that true?

Let’s take a look and see exactly what Easyhacker says about using tomatoes on your face. According to the video on their website: “Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and acids, both of which are effective at reducing the appearance of pore size.” http://easyhacker.com/how-to-reduce-large-pores-naturally/

There is a kernel of truth to this: In the video the author mentions that the acid in tomatoes is salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a keralytic agent which means it can loosen dead skin cells. This is one way to keep pores clear of debris and keep them from appearing larger. So yes, sal acid is good for minimizing pores. But do tomatoes contain enough of it?

Tomatoes contain about 1mg of sal acid per 100 gr which about 0.01%. http://www.food-info.net/uk/qa/qa-fi27.htm
Salicylic acid products that are effective against acne need to contain about 3% sal acid. So tomatoes are about 300 times weaker than a product that you can buy over the counter. I really can’t see how that small of an amount of sal acid would have much effect.

You can do the same kind of calculation for vitamin C. Tomatoes contain about 23 mg of ascorbic acid per 100 gr of the fresh fruit. That’s about 0.23%. We know from previous research that the most effective level of vitamin C is somewhere between 15% and 20%. That’s almost 100 times too low. http://ucanr.edu/datastoreFiles/608-1086.pdf

The bottom line: Tomatoes do contain natural chemicals that can help keep your pores clean. However, they contain FAR less than products that are optimized for this purpose.

Beauty science news

FDA Recommends Limiting Lead In Cosmetics

Link

Lead is NOT a cosmetic ingredient that is added to the product for any reason whatsoever. Rather it is a contaminant that occurs naturally in the environment that comes in in trace amounts with certain ingredients.

It’s difficult if not impossible to remove all lead from any given product depending of course on what ingredients you’re using.

This hit the news pretty hard a few years ago when I believe there were two studies showing that many brands of lipstick, especially those with red colors, do contain small amounts of lead.

The amount of lead ranges from a couple of parts per million two up to about 9 ppm.
We’ve also said before that such small amounts don’t seem to really present much of a risk because your body can process these. Now for very young children or pregnant women even smaller amounts do raise some concerns but remember that small amounts of lead are approved even in drinking water and candy. So limiting lead to very low levels is a prudent thing to do and it should be done but getting to absolute zero doesn’t always seem to be necessary or feasible.

So the new news is the FDA has said they want to limit the amount of lead in cosmetics to 10 ppm. What does this mean?

Since the highest amount of lead that was found in the study a lipsticks was 9 ppm the FDA is really just saying make sure you don’t go any higher than what we’re already finding in your products.

The bottom line is that’s a good safeguard but it really doesn’t change much in terms of what’s already in the products you’re using.

Dumpster diving for luxury makeup

Link

Have you heard about the latest strategy for getting beauty products? It’s dumpster diving. According to a story in Marie Claire, Beauty bloggers, and other motivated people I suppose, are heading out to the dumpsters behind stores like Sephora and Ulta and finding discarded beauty products. These stores probably have to throw away old product and testers to make way for the new stuff and some less-than-squeamish beauty aficionados are diving into those dumpsters to retrieve what they see as perfectly fine products.

One beauty vlogger posted a video in which she found nearly $2000 worth of product in an Ulta dumpster. And since the video has over a million views no doubt this will inspire some other people to take the dive.

In the story they also got quotes from a guy in New Jersey who has been reselling found make-up since the 1970’s. He says he makes 100 percent of his income from beauty product dumpster diving. So, if you’re buying things on eBay or Craigslist, well…sometimes a good deal might not be such a good deal.

So you might be wondering whether this is safe. It really depends on the product and the risk you’re willing to take.

Aloe free aloe

Link

I just talked about lead, a contaminant you don’t want to have in your products but it’s there. Here’s a story about an ingredient that you DO want in your products but it seems to have gone missing.

Bloomberg News reported that some private label brands of aloe vera skin care lotions that are sold by Walmart, Target, and CVS didn’t actually contain any aloe vera. Bloomberg commissioned a lab to test samples of these products and low and behold, they couldn’t find any traces of aloe. Which makes me think…Bloomberg has got a LOT of time on its hands.

If you go back to episode 156 you’ll find out why this is kind of much ado about nothing because except in a few rare cases aloe doesn’t really do anything in the skin lotion anyway so if you’re missing it you’re not missing much.

Still, no one likes to be deceived. Companies should be held responsible for deceptive advertising. If they’re selling you an aloe lotion you should expect to find aloe in it. (Unless it’s just aloe scented which we’ll get to in a second.)

But here’s the piece that makes no sense to me. It’s very common in the beauty industry to sell a product with a featured ingredient in this case aloe and that product only contains a very small amount of aloe or maybe it only smells like a aloe. There is no law on how much you have to put in your product so you put in a small dusting of aloe you call it an aloe product and you’re done. That’s perfectly legal. Why would you risk a lawsuit and even action by the government by lying on your label and saying it contains aloe and it doesn’t. You’re not saving any time or money. It makes no sense!

Now I should point out that the test method used by the lab to measure aloe is a bit controversial it’s not 100% accurate so it’s possible these results could just be a fluke.

Taking more selfies makes you happier

Link

According to a study published by researchers at the University of California-Irvine, they tested forty-one students who were instructed to take selfies for four weeks straight. They also had to share the selfies with others. They then reported their moods over that time. Researchers found that this group of people were happier and more confident over the course of the study. Just smiling (even fake smiling) made people feel better.

Now, I had to dig a little deeper because the report on this study was pretty weak and left open a lot of questions. Like did it have to be selfies or could just any picture do? Also, was there a control group.

Well, it turns out that there were actually three groups. One group took selfies, another group took pictures of things that made them happy, and the third took pictures of things that thought would make other people happy. Only the selfie takers reported feeling more confident and comfortable.

So, the bottom line is that this research suggests a good strategy for becoming more happy. Run every day and at the end take a smiling selfie. Then share it on twitter every day.

iTunes reviews

Breathe Easy 4 Once…Great fun for this med student — 5 stars. I appreciate their easy rapport, nerdball humor, and the SCIENCE. This podcast makes you a better consumer, science nerd, and human being. Okay, that last one might be a bit of a stretch but not by much. Keep it up! The world needs good podcasts like this to balance out the many shows about “Housewives of the Rich and Brainless.”

Cool Maven…5 stars. I realized that I have never before heard two highly intelligent men bicker and it’s very amusing. I’m a podcast freak and am very selective about those that I actually ‘subscribe’ to and they easily made the cut. THANK YOU, Beauty Brains — you ROCK!

Liz says… 5 stars. The Beauty Brains help you see through marketing claims and pseudoscience to make informed decisions and often save you money. Some may not like the banter at the beginning and throughout but I often laugh and enjoy it.

Look says… This is a great podcast to debunk a lot of beauty science myths and get to the truth of what’s in your bathroom. Really big fan though they tend to digress. They have a teensy blindspot about natural ingredients/ethnic hair care so I’d take their advice there with a pinch of salt. ]]> Are lotions with water actually bad for your skin? Veronica asks…I heard that using lotions with water is actually bad for your skin because as the water evaporates it removes the skin’s natural moisture and oil. Is this true? Are lotions with water actually bad for your skin? Veronica asks…I heard that using lotions with water is actually bad for your skin because as the water evaporates it removes the skin’s natural moisture and oil. Is this true? Veronica’s question is an interesting twist on a theme that we have discussed a couple of […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 32:06 Is aloe vera lotion really good for skin? Episode 156 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/10/is-aloe-lotion-really-good-for-skin-episode-156/ Tue, 25 Oct 2016 05:01:11 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4856 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/10/is-aloe-lotion-really-good-for-skin-episode-156/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/10/is-aloe-lotion-really-good-for-skin-episode-156/feed/ 53 Is aloe lotion good for skin? Gemma asks…I am a huge fan of Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Fresh lotion. However, I have found another aloe lotion that is even cheaper: Perfect Purity. So I’m wondering can you tell me if the Perfect Purity will perform as well as my beloved Vaseline? Or should I just […]

Is aloe lotion good for skin?

Gemma asks…I am a huge fan of Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Fresh lotion. However, I have found another aloe lotion that is even cheaper: Perfect Purity. So I’m wondering can you tell me if the Perfect Purity will perform as well as my beloved Vaseline? Or should I just bite the bullet and save my dollars for a big bottle of the Vaseline Aloe Fresh?_mg_3478

Thanks to Gemma for taking the time to record her question. We can answer this pretty conclusively just based on reviewing the ingredients and we’ll cover that first. But then we we want to take this opportunity to talk more about aloe vera itself and discuss why it is (or isn’t) so good for your skin. So, let’s break down the differences between Vaseline and Perfect Purity.

The Vaseline product contains 4 key moisturizers let’s look at each one in order of descending concentration. First there’s glycerine. Glycerine is a humectant which means it attract and bind water to skin. That’s one of two basic ways that a moisturizer works.

The other way a moisturizer works is to occlude the skin which means it seals the moisture in by preventing evaporation. That’s how the second ingredient, mineral oil, works.

The 3rd key ingredient is dimethicone which is a silicone that not only helps seal in moisture but it also protects the skin from detergents and other harsh ingredients. Which is why it’s approved by the FDA as a skin protectant.

The 4th ingredient is petrolatum which is one of most effective, if not the most effective, occlusive moisturizing ingredients.

So Vaseline contains a potent cocktail of simple but effective moisturizing agents. Now let’s look at all the effective moisturizers in Perfect Purity. Ready? Here we go:

Mineral oil. That’s it. The rest of the formula is just emulsifiers and control agents. Vaseline is better because a mixture of different occlusive agents blended with a good humectant will moisturize more effectively than just a high level of mineral oil.

In addition, Vaseline has a better balanced emulsion system so I’d expect it to be more stable and more aesthetically pleasing. Finally, for what it’s worth, the amount of aloe in either formula is pretty much irrelevant.

And that brings us to the second part of the discussion – what is aloe and is it or isn’t good for skin?
What is aloe vera?

Aloe vera gel is harvested from the aloe vera plant by cutting open the leaves and collecting what oozes out. This thick, clear “ooze” is known as a mucilage. The term mucilage comes from the work “mucus” or it least it comes from the same Latin root. Talked about pituitous.

The gel is sterilized, through Pasteurization, and filtered. It can be sold that way or it can be spray dried and turned into a powder.

Most of the mucilage is water about 99.5%. The other 0.5% is a combination of mucopolysaccharides, choline and choline salicylate.

The polysaccharides include pectins, some celluloses, and sugars like mannose derivatives. It also contains amino acids, lipids, and sterols like lupeol.

Interestingly, the specifications for aloe allow it to contain 1 ppm arsenic, 2 ppm lead and 0.01 ppm mercury.
What does aloe do for skin? Here’s the good news. This stuff really works.

According to Dr. Zoe Draelos, MD a dermatologist who is frequently quoted on matters of cosmetic science, aloe vera is a good treatment for burns.

Mucopolysaccharides are film formers that create a thin, protective covering over the burn as the aloe dries; this film helps shield exposed nerve endings. Choline salicylate (which is chemically similar to the active ingredient in muscle rub creams) is an anti-inflammatory that soothes burned skin.

WHO agrees that it works for burns. “Aloe Vera Gel has been effectively used in the treatment of first- and second-degree thermal burns and radiation burns. Both thermal and radiation burns healed faster with less necrosis when treated with preparations containing Aloe Vera Gel.” I saw at least one test that compared it to a petroleum jelly coated gauze and it was statistically better. http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js2200e/6.html

But wait, there’s more! Aloe also has anti-inflammatory properties. There both in vitro and in vivo studies showing aloe is reduces acute inflammation (at least in rats.) The mechanism appears to be based on enzyme active and through inhibition of prostaglandin F2. The sterol components of aloe (specifically lupeol) are thought to be responsible.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But here’s the bad news: aloe is effective only under very specific conditions.
Things to look for in aloe product

A lot of aloe lotions contain aloe powder. But Dr. Draelos points out that reconstituted powdered aloe vera doesn’t contain the same 0.5% of goodies that make the aloe work. That means it won’t have the same activity.

The research summarized by WHO confirms this. They say …”At present no commercial preparation has been proved to be stable. Because many of the active ingredients in the gel appear to deteriorate on storage, the use of fresh gel is recommended.”

In addition, WHO says that concentrations of between 10% and 70% of the fresh gel are required to get the benefits. That’s a lot! (The described dose or posology)

So, it seems unlikely that most of the aloe lotion products on the market will provide all the benefits we described. Don’t have the right posology. It’s a poser!

If you’re still determined to use aloe here are a couple of things to look for. First make sure you’re getting the right kind of aloe.

Actually, the first step is to make sure you’re getting aloe AT ALL. One of the products that Gemma asked about in her email was “Dermasil Aloe Fresh.” But when you look at the ingredient list it doesn’t actually contain any aloe! (Of course this could be a typo on the ingredient list but still…come on!

But back to the right kind…To make sure you’re not getting the reconstituted version look for “juice” in the ingredient name. Allowed names include “aloe barbadensis leaf juice” or just “aloe vera juice.” If it says aloe or aloe extract you not getting the right stuff. (Mention difference between different INCI versions. 2nd edition vs 9th edition.

Second, look for high concentrations. When formulating natural cosmetics, you won’t find 10 to 70% in a typical lotion but there are products on the market that use aloe at this level. One that we found is Jason Natural Cosmetics Aloe Vera Super Gel. It’s not fresh but this kind of product has the best chance of providing aloe benefits – just keep in mind that it won’t replace a conventional moisturizer because it doesn’t contain the type of ingredients we talked about at the top of the show.

Aloe is an effective natural ingredient but only when used fresh and at high concentrations. Most commercial products won’t provide the full benefits you get from the plant itself.

We should mention that Gemma has her own blog which is  visagemaquillage.blogspot.com

Ingredient lists
Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Fresh lotion ingredients:
Water, glycerin, stearic acid, isopropyl myristate, mineral oil, glycerl stearate, glycol stearate, dimethicone, peg-100 stearate, petrolatum, cetyl alcohol, tapioca starch, phenoxyethanol, magnesium aluminum silicate, methylparaben, acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, fragrance, propylparaben, disodium edta, xanthan gum, stearamide amp, aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder, titanium dioxide (cl77891)

Perfect Purity:
Water, stearic acid, cetyl alcohol, glycerol monostearate, mineral oil, triethanolamine, carbomer, aloe vera, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin e) , propylene glycol, diazolidinyl urea, iodopropynyl, butylcarbamate, DMDM hydantoin, fragrance, Yellow 5 (CI 1940) Blue 1 (CI 42090)

Jason Aloe Vera Super Gel ingredients
Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Gel, Aqua (Purified Water), Vegetable Glycerin, Allantoin, Polysorbate 20, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Potassium Carbomer, Argnine, Natural Menthol, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex, Fragrance Oil Blend

Dermasil Aloe Fresh lotion:
Water, glycerin, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone,, Glycol Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-40 stearate, Cetyl alcohol, Cetyl Acetate, sodium hydroxide, fragrance, dimethicone, phenoxyethanol, carbomer, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, disodium edta, Acetylated Lanolin, methylisothiazolinone, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, magnesium aluminum silicate, lecithin, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Cholesterol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Prunus Amygoalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Ethylene Brassylate, Santalium Album (Sandalwood) Oil, Rosa Damascena Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Stearmide Amp, Disodium Edta, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Dmdm Hydantoin, and other Ingredients. Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycerin

Are serums really necessary?

Sheila asks…Thank you for recommending The Age Fix. I read the book and have throughly enjoyed it. My question is are the use of serums really necessary?

I‘m glad to hear you enjoyed The Age Fix! Remember that’s the book by friends of the Brains Dr Tony Youn who runs the Celebrity Cosmetic Surgery website. Very entertaining! Check it out.

First let’s talk about serums. Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer because the term “serum” is used differently by different companies. 
All it really tells you is the consistency of the product – it’s not a liquid, or a cream or a lotion. I think in most cases the term has just come to mean “a product with a heavy consistency.” Typically clear and applied with a dropper or some other controlled dispensing packaging.

Whether or not a product provides a benefit is not typically dependent on the product form but rather the active ingredients it contains. For example, a serum with retinol? Probably worth the money. Unless you’re using a cream or lotion with retinol in which case you don’t need both. What about a serum with chamomile extract? Probably won’t provide much benefit.

So maybe the question shouldn’t be “are serums necessary?” But rather something like “which active ingredients are necessary to provide the benefit I’m looking for.” Once you’ve decided that you can decide which product form is best for you.

Is this a good nail oil package?

Sonja in our Forum says…. A lot of nail art bloggers and Instagrammers swear by this nail oil pen, but I can’t help but wonder if packaging nail oil this way is safe. The pen has a brush on one end and the oil comes out through the brush, which you can sweep across your cuticles and nails. I can see how it’s =convenient, but I worry that the brush would pick up germs from my hands and then the germs could migrate back into the reservoir of oil and contaminate the product. Is this kind of packaging safe?

I don’t think there’s much to worry about because this kind of product is not very prone to microbial contamination. If you look at the ingredients you’ll see that there’s no water in the product which means bacteria and mold won’t be able to grow very well.

Plus, the pen packaging prevents direct exposure to moisture so the product is likely to stay uncontaminated. For anhydrous products that are more exposed to the moisture in the environment (think of a bath oil in an mouth container) there’s still concern but I don’t think there’s much danger here.
Simply Pure Hydrating Oil Pen ingredients: Jojoba Wax Ester, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Fragrance Oil Blend, Olive Squalane, Vitamin A Oil, Vitamin E Oil, Tea Tree Oil http://www.myblisskiss.com/simply-pure-hydrating-oil-pen/

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Is aloe lotion good for skin? Gemma asks…I am a huge fan of Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Fresh lotion. However, I have found another aloe lotion that is even cheaper: Perfect Purity. So I’m wondering can you tell me if the Perfect Purity will perform a... Is aloe lotion good for skin? Gemma asks…I am a huge fan of Vaseline Intensive Care Aloe Fresh lotion. However, I have found another aloe lotion that is even cheaper: Perfect Purity. So I’m wondering can you tell me if the Perfect Purity will perform as well as my beloved Vaseline? Or should I just […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 32:55
How can I tell if a product will cause acne? Episode 155 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/10/how-can-i-tell-if-a-product-will-cause-acne-episode-155/ Tue, 18 Oct 2016 05:01:07 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4849 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/10/how-can-i-tell-if-a-product-will-cause-acne-episode-155/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/10/how-can-i-tell-if-a-product-will-cause-acne-episode-155/feed/ 12 Can a patch test predict acne? Janelly asks…I would like to know if patch testing a product for acne can really work. I see this concept mentioned a lot on Reditt as a way to test if a new skincare product will cause acne. That’s a great question but patch testing for acne does NOT work. […]

Can a patch test predict acne?

Janelly asks…I would like to know if patch testing a product for acne can really work. I see this concept mentioned a lot on Reditt as a way to test if a new skincare product will cause acne.14130436354_2488c613eb_b

That’s a great question but patch testing for acne does NOT work. Unlike an allergic reaction (where can occur in minutes or hours) the process of acne genesis takes much longer.

According to Fisher’s Contact Dermatitis, acne can result from topical application of cosmetic products via two mechanisms. The first is referred to as a “true comedone” process and that takes several months to develop. The second is the result of follicular irritation and that takes weeks to occur.

A patch test that involves leaving a product on your skin for only a few hours or even a few days will not accurately predict whether or not you will break out.

Even if you could patch test and leave it on, or reapply it, I’m not sure I’d trust the result because it could be a false negative based on the small area of skin which you applied it to.
She said applying it all over her check for several weeks but at some point that’s not a patch test that’s just using the product.

We shared this response with Janelly via email and she asked this follow up question: “Now that I know that it takes at least several weeks to a few months to know if product is breaking me out, is there a way of isolating which product is breaking you out? Is this even possible?

Trying to isolate which product is breaking you out is not very practical because you can’t really do long term single variable tests on yourself very well. I don’t think anyone is really going to put a single product on their face and leave it there for several weeks/months without washing face, wearing any makeup, putting on sunscreen, etc.

And you have to repeat that process for every product you want to evaluate. Even IF you did all that you still can’t really control for other factors like hormonal changes and changes in diet.

About the best you can do is buy products that are labeled as “non-comedogenic.” Even that is no guarantee because the testing that’s done to evaluate whether or not a product will give you acne is NOT very definitive.

We’re talking about the rabbit ear assay. In fact, there are some people who say that test is not predictive AT all. So at best it can give you some guidance.

The bottom line is that predicting acne is VERY difficult and don’t waste your time on patch testing.

Ref 

Can shampoo and conditioner be concentrated?

Scott says…I use a shampoo and conditioner by Pureology and on the front of the bottles they claim the products are concentrated formulas. Do you know if this is true or not? Is it possible to formulate shampoos and conditioners in a way that makes them more concentrated?

A claim like that is meaningless because it doesn’t provide a comparison to anything else. More concentrated than what?? And even if it is true, what’s the benefit? Do they claim that it works any better? And again, better than what?

Now, I can think of a couple of applications where this MIGHT make sense. The first is in the case of deep cleansing products where a slightly higher surfactant load is justified. (Although most shampoos have plenty of cleansing power.)

The second is It MIGHT make sense from a sustainability point of view – you make the product more concentrated so you get more uses per bottle which reduces packaging waste. I’ve seen this used successfully in dishwashing soaps and laundry detergents.

But you have to realize that there are some negatives associated with increasing concentration. Hair care products have to have the right aesthetics or they don’t feel right on your hair – it’s tough to make a highly concentrated product that isn’t hard to disperse through your hair.

And some ingredients just don’t work well at have a higher concentration. For example Polyquat 7, which is a great condition agent used in shampoos, can build up on hair if you use to much and it can make the product very stringy and pituitous. “Consisting of, or resembling, mucus.”

In most cases, when a company tells you their shampoo or conditioner is “more concentrated” it’s probably just a marketing gimmick. The bottom line is that the claim could be true but rather pointless.

Is Nugene Worth the money?

Lee asks… I need to know if NuGene Universal Serum is worth the astronomical price of $300 a bottle!! Is there comparable products for less money?

This is a product based on stem cell media. We’ve talked about stem cells before and science says that they don’t work when applied from topical products. (in fact here’s a recent article on that very topic: http://www.miamiherald.com/living/health-fitness/skin-deep/article62053467.html)

The product also contains 4 different peptides. Peptides are promising ingredients that do have some data which indicate they have anti-aging properties including collagen stimulation and slowing the breakdown of the structure of skin. But there are plenty of cheaper peptide products on the market. To be honest, I didn’t have time to track any down but you can Google products that have these ingredients and you’ll find cheaper versions.

Their website includes links to clinical studies in which their product(s) were tested (single blind, half face test) against nothing. The results showed their products moisturize, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, etc, better than no treatment at all.

Most anti-aging products will produce similar results so I don’t see anything compelling that shows this product is worth $300. They did have one study showing gene expression but this was done in vitro (on cells in the lab) so it doesn’t necessarily translate to real life. I say save your money.

Ingredients: Human Adipose Derived Stem Cell Conditioned Media, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 / Glycerin, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Polysosbate-20, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-5, Aloe barbadensis Leaf Juice , Pentapeptide-18 / Caprylyl Glycol, Nano Chloropsis oculata Extract / Pullulan, Citrus grandis Seed Extract, Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose, Phenoxyethanol / Sorbic Acid / Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Fragrance, DL-Panthenol, Niacinamide, Camellia sinensis Leaf Extract, Nanosome Copper Peptides, Human Oligopeptide-1

Beauty Science News

Perfume can influence your dreams

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Here’s an interesting article I stumbled on which discusses work that researchers did looking at the influence that smell has on your dreams. According to scientists at the University Hospital Mannheim in Germany, people who were exposed to the scent of rotten eggs during sleep had unpleasant dreams while people exposed to the scent of roses had pleasant dreams.

In this study of 15 women…oh brother, researchers hooked them up with tubes taped to their nostrils and had them go to sleep. They monitored the subjects’ brain activity. When they hit the REM stage they gave them a shot of either rotten egg smell, rose smell, or no smell for 10 seconds.

The scientists then let them sleep for another minute and woke them up. They asked them to describe their dreams at that moment and rate the experience as positive or negative. It turns out that people who had the rotten egg smell dreamed negatively while those with the rose dreamed positively.

They think that this could be a potential treatment for nightmares or other sleep disorders. I’m thinking this might be a whole new product category for fragrance makers.

UPF: The SPF of clothing

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We talk a lot about sunscreen products on the program but I hadn’t given much thought to the sun protection factor of clothing. Fortunately, our friend Nikki at FUtureDerm has. She published an interesting article about sun protection from clothing which is called UPF or Ultra Protection Factor. Here are a few key points:

Dark protects better than light fabrics.
Heavier fabrics are better than lighter fabrics
Tighter weaves are better than looser weaves and knits
Synthetic is better than natural fabric (e.g. cotton)

If you’re interested, you can look up the ratings for different fabrics. There’s a rating scale published by ARPANSA which stands for Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency.

Perfumes pollution in the canals of Venice

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You ever wonder what happens to the fragrances used in soaps, shampoos and skin lotions? Well, according to this study they end up in our water supplies and can persist for a long time. That is if you live in a place like Venice where there are no sewers.

Between April and December 2015, scientists repeatedly collected water samples from 22 places between the inner canals in the historic center of Venice, the island of Burano and at two points in the far-north lagoon. They were looking for the presence of 17 fragrances among the most used and chemically stable between the thousands available to the cosmetics industry.

Traces of ‘scented’ molecules have been identified in all sampling sites, including those more distant from inhabited areas, though illustrating concentrations up to 500 times higher in the inner city canals. Samples collected during conditions of low tide in Venice and Burano showed concentrations comparable to those of untreated waste water.

Of course, they don’t know the consequences of this build-up of fragrance molecules and they aren’t at levels that would be toxic to marine organisms.

So what does it all mean? I don’t know. It seems like these scientists were looking for some way to convince people that there might be a problem and that they need more money to study it. It seems like there is a lot of research like that.

New mascara will make you more popular

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A recent article from Cosmetics Design discusses a Japan based company that is developing what they call “an aesthetic shape-controlling mascara” that will give you “enhanced social impression in Asia.”

I’m not sure I totally understand this but the company, Kosé, says that their studies show that women who wear mascara has higher self esteem and social status and they link that to curve of their eyelashes because it makes the eye appear bigger and more open. So, they developed a mascara specifically to enhance this eyelash curl. It uses water based resins like you’d find in hairsprays to control the lash shape. That’s an interesting trend based on Asian culture, I wonder if it will ever make its way here. (Cheap Trick Big Eyes)

New sunscreen applicator

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Putting on sunscreens is a pain in the ass. And this is why people don’t do it more. I know I don’t like to. And the spray sunscreens seem like such a waste to me.

Well, here’s a new packaging design that might change that. It’s called the BlokRok and it reminds me of an antiperspirant stick. You put your sunscreen in the container and then roll it on your skin. No mess and you get the proper amount in the right places. We’ll see if this takes off.

iTunes reviews

Shinobuchin from Australia says…Very informative and brilliant show! — 5 stars. Randy and Perry are like my besties when it comes to beauty, trust them and nothing else any packaging or fancy ad campaign will ever tell you.

Blondenicky says…Educates While Entertains — 5 stars. This show has taught valuable lessons, for example, It’s Ok to Have Lead In Your Lipstick, and has answered Other Beauty Questions I’ve Been Dying to Know 😉 What started out as a way to keep my entertained at work has also given more insight into the cosmetics I use. I’ll never walk into a store the same way again.

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Can a patch test predict acne? Janelly asks…I would like to know if patch testing a product for acne can really work. I see this concept mentioned a lot on Reditt as a way to test if a new skincare product will cause acne. Can a patch test predict acne? Janelly asks…I would like to know if patch testing a product for acne can really work. I see this concept mentioned a lot on Reditt as a way to test if a new skincare product will cause acne. That’s a great question but patch testing for acne does NOT work. […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 30:42
Are cosmetics poisoning our water supply? Episode 154 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/10/are-cosmetics-poisoning-our-water-supply-episode-154/ Tue, 11 Oct 2016 05:01:51 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4842 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/10/are-cosmetics-poisoning-our-water-supply-episode-154/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/10/are-cosmetics-poisoning-our-water-supply-episode-154/feed/ 2 Should your cosmetics be biodegradable? Fabi asks about biodegradable products… I have an outdoor shower and it drains into the ground and everyone tells me I have to have biodegradable shampoo, conditioner, and body wash for the ground. Can you explain biodegradable products? It’s really hard to find them. What they’re all about and why […]

Should your cosmetics be biodegradable?

Fabi asks about biodegradable products… I have an outdoor shower and it drains into the ground and everyone tells me I have to have biodegradable shampoo, conditioner, and body wash for the ground. Can you explain biodegradable products? It’s really hard to find them. What they’re all about and why would it be important to use them? What are some pros and cons of these products?old_outhouse_-_the_seats

This is a great question that we’ll try to answer but everyone should recognize that this is not our usual area of expertise. We’re not environmental chemists or water treatment specialists but we’ve tried to sort this out the best we could If we’re not quite right on any of these points please let us know and we’ll make corrections as needed. We’ve included references where ever possible so you guys can check out work. Let’s start by explaining what the term “biodegradable” means.

What is biodegradability and how is it measured?

Biodegradable means that a material can be broken down, or decomposed, by the action of bacteria, fungi, or other biological processes.

Here’s a simply analogy from Biodegradable Product Institute (BPI) that explains it really well: “If you think of a long string of popcorn on a thread as a “plastic polymer” chain, then step one (fragmentation) is when the thread is cut randomly between the popcorn kernels and you have a shorter chains of popcorn. The second step “biodegradation”, occurs when you get short enough for you to eat the popcorn and use it as a food.”

It’s important to break down these ingredients because if they persist in the environment they may have adverse effects like toxicity, effect on ozone, bioaccumulation in the food chain to name a few. But if an ingredient is biodegradable, it’s much less likely to cause any of these other problems because it rapidly breaks down.

Not every ingredient is a candidate for biodegradation. Bacteria can only feast on carbon-based materials. (Mention true meaning of organic.) Silicones and other inorganic materials have to be separated and disposed of in a different way. We’ll get to that in a minute.

Biodegradability can be measured in different ways. One key factor is to measure something known as the “DOC” which is Dissolved Organic Carbon. My favorite biodegradability test is the “Porous Pot” test which sounds like something we used to do back in college. But this is apparently different because it simulates the effect of aerobic microbe activity like you’d find in a waster water treatment plant.

Measuring biodegradability is also complicated because an ingredient can be readily degraded into components but some of these components may or may not degrade further. Dialkyl sulfosuccinate is an example. So you have to consider not only each ingredient but WHAT it degrades TO because an ingredient may be biodegradable but parts of it can still persist in the environment.

It’s also important to note that time is a factor when measuring biodegradability. Some tests look at how much degrades in 28 days others look at degradation in just 10 days.

BTW, You’d think that this would be easier for natural derived ingredients but actually it can be MORE difficult to test them because they frequently consist of mixtures of materials compared to synthetic compounds which are more purified and therefore more singular.

So as we said, this is quite complicated. Frequently testing is done for one ingredient and then various models are used to predict how similar materials will biodegrade. For example, there’s the BIOWIN model that uses peer reviewed literature, government databases, and research done by cosmetic ingredient suppliers to predict biodegradability.

Are biodegradable claims meaningful or just marketing?

So clearly, this can be a confusing subject area. How are consumers supposed to know if a product is really biodegradable and if that’s meaningful or not? The answer is…it’s hard to tell.

Different countries have different requirements for making biodegradable claims. We’ll mention a few but you can find more at the Biodegradable Product Institute http://www.bpiworld.org

Europe
In the EU the European Commission has established a voluntary eco label scheme which allows you to label your product with a flower symbol if it meets specific requirements. The regs say that each surfactant in the product must be biodegradable and they establish some very specific parameters for how much non biodegradable materials are allowed in shampoos, liquid soaps and shower products. So, look for the flower.

Canada
Canada uses the “Mobius Loop” symbol which I’m sure you’ve seen. It looks like three twisted arrows following one another to form a triangle. Canada does not allow any degradation products to be harmful to the environment, the require substantiation of biodegradability, and they require the conditions for biodegradability to be specified. In other words, you can’t claim that a product is biodegradable if most of time it ends up in a land fill where is won’t degrade.

US
The U.S. doesn’t have an official symbol, as far as I can tell, although the Biodegradable Product Institute does have symbols. For the most part you’ll have to rely on the company to specifically tell you that the product is biodegradable.

The claims are are governed by the Federal Trade Commission. There are 3 basic guidelines to determine if you can say if your product is biodegradable or not. One, you must have “competent and reliable scientific evidence that the entire item will completely break down into elements found in nature within a reasonably short period of time after customary disposal.” Two, solid waste items must break down in 1 year. Three, “claims must be qualified to the point that they’re not deceptive.” That’s similar to Canada, it also means that you have to be clear whether you’re talking about the only the formula or the formula and the package.

So is it more of a marketing story? The testing is complicated and the requirements are vague/broad enough that if a company wants to make a claim, they can. There’s little context/data to know if one product is more biodegradable than another. (No one is doing competitive product testing that I’ve seen.) Also, testing is expensive and there’s not a lot of benefit unless your positioning is natural so most brands don’t do additional testing. They’ll just look at supplier data or previously tested versions.

Based on what we’ve read it looks like a lot of ingredients used in shampoos, conditioners, and body washes are biodegradable to some extent when properly processed. According to a water quality report by Cornell University which says “most laundry detergents and surfactant-based cleaning products are considered safe for both septic systems and groundwater.” And just in case you’re worried about things like silicones, check out this report from Dow Corning that says silicones used in personal care products degrades into silica and carbon dioxide.

It seems like this is more of a concern for products that can “exist in the wild” like sunscreens. Sunscreen ingredients get rinsed directly into the ocean where they may be creating adverse effects.

Examples of biodegradable products

You do tend to see this claim more from brands positioned as natural and organic. Brands that make biodegradable shampoo include Avalon Organics, Kiss My Face, Dessert Essence, Nature’s Gate, Live Clean and Toms of Maine. Lets look at a few examples:

Garnier

Even a big brand like Garner is making these claims. For example, for their Pure Clean shampoo, Garnier claims the product is “92% biodegadable” which is great. But if you look at the ingredients you see the product is based on standard surfactants like Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate and Cocamidopropyl Betaine. So at lot of shampoos will have similar biodegradability just by using standard ingredients. 
http://www.garnierusa.com/products/haircare/pure-clean.aspx

Claim: 92% BIODEGRADABLE FORMULA

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Chloride, Hexylene Glycol, Pyrus Malus Extract/Apple Fruit Extract, Parfum/Fragrance, Sodium Benzoate, Hydroxypropyl Guar Hydroxypropyl-Trimonium Chloride, Citric Acid, Salicylic Acid, Benzoic Acid, Niacinamide, Pyridoxine HCI, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Saccharum Officinarum Extract/Sugar Cane Extract/Extrait De Canne A Sucre, Citrus Medica Limonum Peel Extract/Lemon Peel Extract, Camellia Sinesis Extract/Camellia Sinesis Leaf Extract, Malphighiapunicfolia/Acerola Fruit Extract, Sodium Hydroxide.

California Baby

California Baby Shampoo is formulated with glucosides which are less common surfactants derived from corn. They claims the product is “extremely biodegradable” which doesn’t tell us very much.

Ingredients: Water, Decyl Glucoside (Sustainable Palm Fruit Kernel and/or Coconut), Lauryl Glucoside (Sustainable Palm Fruit Kernel and/or Coconut), Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract (Soap Bark) (Certified Organic), Vegetable Glycerin USP (Sustainable Palm Fruit Kernel and/or Coconut), Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract (Calendula) (Certified Organic), Viola Tricolor Extract (Pansy) (Certified Organic), Yucca Schidigera Root Extract (Yucca), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe Vera) (Certified Organic), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil (Certified Organic), Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Xanthan Gum USP, Panthenol (Vit. B5), Phytic Acid (Rice Origin), Gluconolactone (Sourced from Corn (Non-GMO)) (and) Sodium Benzoate. No Fragrance or Scent Masking Agents.

Method

Then there’s the brand Method that seems to provide the most information. For their Mickey Mouse body wash and shampoo http://methodhome.com/wp-content/uploads/method_greenskeeping_toolkit_final_complete-100614.pdf They claim the ingredients “degrade into simple and benign components in the environment. Method follows the highest technical standard for defining biodegradability, whereby at least 70% of organic ingredients break down within 28 days.” This particular product uses baby shampoo type surfactants.

Ingredients: Water, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Propanediol, Disodium Oleamido MIPA Sulfosuccinate, Fragrance, Citral, Limonene, Linaool, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycerin

Do beauty products contaminate the water supply?
With all that background in mind, let’s go back to the first part of Fabi’s question. Essentially she wants to know if she needs to buy special BD products for her outdoor shower.

For indoor plumbing, waste water is pumped to a treatment center. For an outdoor shower it drains into an underground septic system which is a tank buried underground. Either way, it works like this: the oil and fat based materials (most of the surfactants and conditioning agents) float to the top to form what is called the scum layer.

These materials can be treated with bacteria to be broken down. The water layer in the middle can be drained away and the bottom layer, the sludge that doesn’t degrade can be sent to a landfill (in the case of water treatment plants) or it can be pumped out (in the case of home septic systems.) Home septic tanks are supposed to be cleaned out every few years.

So, Fabi, if you have a septic tank it doesn’t really sound like you need any special products. If you don’t have a septic tank and you’re just letting waste water drain into your yard then that’s kind of messed up. Talk to a plumber.
https://www.epa.gov/septic/how-your-septic-system-works

The Beauty Brains bottom line

So the bottom line is that while there are specific ingredients used in shampoos that don’t biodegrade, it appears this isn’t a big problem because the majority of cleansing and conditioning agents (which make up the VAST proportion of the stuff that gets into waste water) are pretty readily degradable.

If Fabi is worried about her outdoor shower, this doesn’t seem to be a huge problem. If you want to make the planet a better place and reduce stuff that ends up in land fills and so forth, then vote with your dollars and buy products that make it clear that they adhere to higher standards. Method is apparently one of these.

It’s tough to tell in the US because there’s no universal standard. If enough people do this it will encourage companies to follow stricter standards (like the EU Flower) because that’s where the money is. As always though, be careful about companies that try to get you to spend a lot more money products just because they have a vague claim of “biodegradble.”

What are Dry Oils?

United States 35 says “Can you please talk about this kinda new, not new anymore, trend of dry oils?”

“Dry oils” seems like such a strange term. Oils certainly aren’t “wet.” I think what they really mean is more like “non-greasy, quick absorbing oils.” That would be in contrast to things like mineral oil and most traditional vegetable oils like olive oil. That “oily” feeling is a function of the long carbon backbone that’s characteristic of these oils.

Since this is a marketing term there’s no universal scientific definition so companies can call just about anything they want a “dry oil.” But typically they fall into two categories. Some are true oils, like squalane, that just have a lighter texture. But most “dry oils” are not really oils at all.

Sometimes they’re silicones like cyclomethicone and sometimes they belong to a class of materials known as esters. Esters are esters are typically derived from a carboxylic acid and an alcohol so they have different properties than just a long chain of carbon atoms with hydrogens attached. They have a lighter texture.

In either case, these materials feel like they sink into skin quickly and don’t leave as much residue. However, the trade off is that these “dry oils” are not as occlusive as traditional oils. So don’t think you can get a great moisturizer that’s formulated exclusively with “dry oils.”

Beauty science news

New scar technology

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Here’s a story about some new technology to help prevent scarring on people who are severely injured. A team out of the University of Western Australia are studying compounds that inhibit an enzyme that enables the cross linking of collagen. See when a scar is formed, this enzyme causes collagen molecules to form chemical bonds within themselves which leads to scar formation.

The idea is that if they can prevent that cross link bonding, then they will prevent scar formation. They are working with a pharmaceutical company to find compounds which inhibit an enzyme called lysol oxidase or LOX.

They test new compounds using a “scar in a jar” model which is a lab culture which mimics scar formation in a petri dish. Who knew there was such a thing?

Anyway, they have found a few compounds that have inhibited the LOX enzyme in the petri dish model and will be moving on to mouse and pig models. If that’s successful they’ll move on to human trials in a couple years.

While the technology is being developed for burn victims or others with severe scarring, there is no reason why this couldn’t work for cosmetic applications too.

So maybe there is hope for me to get rid of the scar in the middle of my face caused by the chainsaw accident.

Facial hair transplants are growing

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Remember last week or the week before we talked about the breakthrough scientific study showing that bald guys are less attractive? Well while we’re waiting for the hate mail from that story to come in and start flooding in I thought I would share another male hair related story.
Apparently facial hair transplants are on the rise. Up like 200% in the last few years.
Here’s how it works they cut out follicles from the back of your scalp and transplant those viable follicles to your face.

It seems to me this would appeal to a very small sub segment of the population three overlapping circles one would be guys who have trouble growing a beard and I would have to include myself in that first group. Second group are the ones who have enough money to actually have a procedure like this done because it’s bound to be expensive. And thirdly they also have to give a crap about this. I’m going to hold off investing in that facial hair transplant clinic for right now.

Grey hair pills don’t work

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Have I ever told you how I feel about dietary supplements? Well, the way they are regulated in this country is shameful, dangerous and embarrassing. Now, I’m sure there are some reputable supplement makers who attempt to create quality products, but there are a ton of sketchy manufacturers who try to scam people by selling products that don’t reflect what’s on the label, making impossible claims, and generally tricking people into buying useless products.

According to this story apparently one such company went over the line when they tried to claim that their product could reverse or prevent the formation of gray hair.

A US district judge ruled that Coorga Nutraceuticals Corporation violated the law by claiming they product Grey Defense which is a dietary supplement could reverse or prevent gray hair. They were ordered to pay nearly $400,000 fine and told to stop making those claims because they are misleading and not supported by scientific evidence.

The bottom line is that gray hair preventing pills don’t work. Don’t waste your money.

The thing that is troubling about this is that the companies only have this small fine (I’m sure they made more than $400,000 on sales of this product) and they can continue to sell the product as long as they don’t make the claim. Or they can just start up another company, make the same claims and bet that the FTC won’t be able to catch up to them. It’s ridiculous.

Science says Clark Kent’s glasses are a good disguise

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You know the deal with Superman’s secret identity? He doesn’t wear a mask or anything. When he switches to Clark Kent he just puts on a pair of glasses and POOF no one recognizes him. Pretty ridiculous right! Wrong! Science says this really works. Sort of.

A study published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology described how a researcher showed panelists pairs of pictures of people with and without glasses. When both pictures either had or didn’t have glasses the panelists could tell they were the same person. 80% But when just one picture had glasses only 74% of people could tell. The researcher concluded that glasses are a good disguise and that Clark Kent and Superman did indeed look like two different people. It doesn’t work with people who you know well so Lois would have been able to tell.

Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com.

Click here to get your free audio book. ]]> Should your cosmetics be biodegradable? Fabi asks about biodegradable products… I have an outdoor shower and it drains into the ground and everyone tells me I have to have biodegradable shampoo, conditioner, and body wash for the ground. Should your cosmetics be biodegradable? Fabi asks about biodegradable products… I have an outdoor shower and it drains into the ground and everyone tells me I have to have biodegradable shampoo, conditioner, and body wash for the ground. Can you explain biodegradable products? It’s really hard to find them. What they’re all about and why […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 35:16 Is store brand mouthwash as good as name brands? Episode 153 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/10/is-store-brand-mouthwash-as-good-as-name-brands-episode-153/ Tue, 04 Oct 2016 05:01:04 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4832 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/10/is-store-brand-mouthwash-as-good-as-name-brands-episode-153/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/10/is-store-brand-mouthwash-as-good-as-name-brands-episode-153/feed/ 5 How can I tell if a store brand mouthwash is the same as the expensive name brand? Victoria says…My husband insists that all name brand products are stronger and better than store brands. He feels strongest about Listerine and his dentist agrees with him. Does it matter in areas other than cosmetics? When discussing store brands, […]

How can I tell if a store brand mouthwash is the same as the expensive name brand?mouth-1234269_640

Victoria says…My husband insists that all name brand products are stronger and better than store brands. He feels strongest about Listerine and his dentist agrees with him. Does it matter in areas other than cosmetics?

When discussing store brands, I don’t think we’ve ever said “there’s NO difference” if the ingredients are the same. Comparing ingredient lists is a great way to see if a store brand is “in the ball park” compared to a more expensive brand but unless you see percentages listed you don’t know for sure if the concentration of ingredients is the same and if there are other factors, like manufacturing techniques, that may result in the products being different.

Fortunately, she picked a great example because Listerine DOES list the percentage of its active ingredients so we can do a much more precise comparison to store brands.

Listerine is named after Dr. Joseph Lister who pioneered the used of disinfectants in hospitals. It was invented in 1879 by two scientists Joseph Lawrence and Jordon Lambert. Lambert became one of the founders of the Warner-Lambert company that marketed Listerine until 2006 when it was bought by Johnson and Johnson.

Before we get to the chemistry of Listerine here are a couple of fun facts according to Wikipedia:

  • For a little while in in 1927 the company marketed Listerine Cigarettes.
  • From the 30s’ until the ‘50s they advertised that Listerine could be rubbed on your scalp to prevent “infectious dandruff”.
  • And, until the mid 70s, Listerine was marketed as a “preventive and remedy for colds and sore throats.” But then the Federal Trade Commission determined Listerine doesn’t do that at all and they ordered them to to stop making those claims.

But what Listerine DOES do it give you fresh breath and it does that by using four essential oils that give the product antiseptic properties. Those are still listed on the bottle today: http://www.listerine.com/active-ingredients?icid=subnav

  • Eucalyptol: Derived from the eucalyptus tree
  • Thymol: Developed from the ajowan herb
  • Methyl salicylate: Identical to methyl salicylate in natural wintergreen
  • Menthol: Identical to menthol found in natural cornmint

In addition, Listerine contains about 26% ethanol which is a solvent for the essential oils and also give it a more powerful mouthfeel. The rest of the ingredients are essential control agents to maintain the pH, give it color and flavor and so on.

Now, let’s look at a popular store brand to see how it compares. The Walgreens version of Listerine also lists the percentages of its active ingredients so let’s make a direct comparison of each one:

Eucalyptol

Listerine: 0.092%

Walgreens: 0.092%.

Thymol

Listerine: 0.064%

Walgreens: 0.064%

Methyl salicylate

Listerine: 0.06%

Walgreens: 0.060%

Menthol

Listerine: 0.042%

Walgreens: 0.041% So, other than the difference of 1/1000th of a % less Menthol, the active ingredients are identical.

There is a slight difference in alcohol concentration. It looks like Listerine uses about 26% while Walgreens contains about 22% but the ethanol is not an active ingredient so that isn’t an issue. It appears there’s NO reason to assume that these products would function differently. If Victoria’s husband’s dentist says otherwise I’d love to see his or her rational for that.

Right. I mean it’s POSSIBLE that Listerine has done side by side testing that shows their product out performs the equivalent store brands so if that’s the case we’d gladly change our mind but lacking that kind of proof we have to say that there is no difference.

You know there’s an interesting statement on their website that’s relevant to this discussion. Here’s the quote: “No other branded mouthwash brings power to your mouth like this botanically derived, four-ingredient formula.” At first glance that sounds like a superiority claim – it seems like they’re saying no other product works like Listerine. But look carefully at the wording. No other BRANDED mouthwash… And that’s true. I couldn’t find any other brand name product that uses this same cocktail of active ingredients. Only the store brand knock offs. So that’s clever of them to make a claim out of that. So what’s the bottom line for Victoria?

It’s tough to tell if a store brand is identical to a name brand unless they list the ingredient percentages but in the case of Listerine it seems clear cut that the two versions are pretty much indistinguishable in terms of performance. I recommend she just buy the store brand and pour it into a Listerine bottle.

Walgreens brand
Active Ingredients: Eucalyptol (0.092%), Menthol (0.041%), Methyl Salicylate (0.060%), Thymol (0.064%)
Inactive Ingredients: water, Alcohol (21.6%), Sorbitol, Flavor, Poloxamer 407, Benzoic Acid, Sodium Saccharin, Sodium benzoate, FD&C Green No. 3

Is the new “mirror chrome look” nail polish dangerous?

Camille says… There is a “chrome effect” nail video swarming the internet but I read some pigments that provide this mirror effect are made of aluminum and are dangerous if inhaled either in application or when filed off. Do we order this powder or save our lungs and dollars?

Based on what I’ve been able to find you are correct that aluminum is providing the “chrome” or “mirror” look in this nail polish. This isn’t entirely new. This look has been offered in the past in the form of stick on films, press on nails or streaky liquid polish. Sally Hansen Color Foil, for example uses aluminum powder.

And that’s perfectly fine because aluminum powder is approved by the FDA as a colorant. Specifically, the FDA says that “Aluminum powder may be safely used in coloring externally applied cosmetics, including cosmetics intended for use in the area of the eye, in amounts consistent with good manufacturing practice.” (http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=&SID=d098fe49ba80a72c842d0da5b8452f83&r=PART&n=21y1.0.1.1.27#se21.1.73_12645).

BUT the FDA regs are designed with finished products in mind. The safety profile can be different in this case because you’re mixing a powder into a nail polish and that powder can become airborne. Or you’re filing nails after they dry which can also generate airborne particulates. That’s a potential problem in this case because it is known that excessive inhalation of aluminum dust can cause scarring of the lungs. I’m not a doctor but that sounds bad. (http://nj.gov/health/eoh/rtkweb/documents/fs/0054.pdf).

So Camille’s concern certainly seems valid. It’s especially problematic for the nail technicians who might be exposed to larger amounts of aluminum dust throughout the day. I would think that if you could be exposed to significant amounts of dust from this pigment (either from mixing the pigment into a base or by filing nails coated with polish containing this pigment), I think wearing a mask would be a wise safety precaution. Once the application is complete I don’t see why there would be an additional risk.

Is my vitamin C cream giving me cancer?

Pazzaglia asks…I stumbled on an article about how Benzoic acid (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benzene_in_soft_drinks) turns into carcinogenic Benzene in the presence of Vitamin C. I’m guilty of having access to enough information at my disposal to freak me out without any of the knowledge to draw useful conclusions. So.. should I be worried about pairing my Italian Retin-A Cream (Airol) with a vitamin C serum. Would these two products create a carcinogenic cocktail on my face?

Let’s start by explaining a bit about the benzene controversy. Benzene, which is a 6 carbon ring, has been proven to be carcinogenic. The benzene can come from benzoates which are used as preservatives.

Specifically, “The benzene forms from decarboxylation of the preservative benzoic acid in the presence of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and metal ions (iron and copper) that act as catalysts, especially under heat and light.”

The FDA sets limits on how much benzene can be drinking water and other beverages. They looked into this and found that most products are below the safe limit which is 5ppb but they did find a couple of soft drinks that had higher levels.

The soft drink industry has responded by removing benzoates to a large extent although there are still products that use them.

That’s enough background because this is not the Beverage Brains podcast. What does all this mean for Vitamin C creams?

It doesn’t seem like this a problem in skin products for two reasons. First, benzene is a much greater health concern if you’re ingesting it which was the issue in the case of the benzene in soft drinks.

Second, the product she mentions also contains EDTA which chelates metal ions and reduces the chances of benzene formation.
Ref: http://www.icba-net.org/files/resources/icba-benzene-guidance-english.pdf

I would expect that your chances of getting cancer from using a vitamin C cream that converts a benzoate preservative to benzene, are WAY lower than your chances of getting cancer from smoking or drinking or eating grilled meats.

iTunes reviews

The first one comes from Cristina from Moldova. My favourite beauty webiste. The podcast is very educative and hilarious. I particualry like when they insert bits of vintage addvertising. Listen to save money on your beauty purchases!

Brit222 says…I love this podcast- with so much pseudoscience and so many grandiose claims in skincare and beauty, it is nice to have a reliable source that I can trust!

Canadian Angela says…Since finding The Beauty Brains podcast I no longer mind being stuck in traffic! I have learned so much listening to Randy and Perry’s method of informing consumers of the science behind why some products work and why some are a complete waste of money. Oh and you should really buy the book!

Beauty science news

Smell dating

Link

Here’s an idea that might revolutionize the way people do online dating. Instead of picking people based on their looks or dating profiles, this project called Smell Dating matches people based on whether they like their natural body odor.

When you sign up for this service you are sent a T-shirt to wear for three days. You are not allowed to wear perfume or deodorant. You then send off your shirt and you receive samples to sniff in exchange. You choose the scents you like the best. If someone you like likes the way you smell then they connect you via email. No information about age, gender or sexual orientation is known prior to the shirt smelling.

The idea is that if you like someone’s scent then you theoretically will be more biologically compatible with them. There is evidence that people like the scents of others who have compatible immune systems.

So, does it work? Well, it didn’t seem to work for the reporter who wrote the story in the Guardian. She got four matches (two men, two women), went on one date and there was no “chemistry” between them. That doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone but I suspect humans & dating are a little more complicated than using our noses to pick our mates.

Dental care breakthrough

Link

Scientists have learned how to grow new teeth from a somewhat distasteful source: human urine. This gives a whole new meaning to the term “potty mouth.”

This study was published in Cell Regeneration Journal and it shows that stem cells from urine could be grown into tiny tooth-like structures. The researchers are from China and hope that someday their technique could be used to replace lost teeth. Of course not everyone agrees with this approach. One stem cell researcher noted that that “that goal faces many challenges.” No kidding. But seriously, there are other, richer, sources of stem cells than urine so this seems like an odd choice. Regardless, just in case this catches on I’ve begun designing companion products to go with urine teeth the first product I’ll be launching is…Dental floss made from toilet paper,

Weird beauty ingredients

Link

Cosmetic marketers are always looking for exotic ingredients to put in products. Usually, there is some story that goes along with it and sometimes the material can be really weird. For example, last show we talked about Centipede excretion that was being included in skin products as an anti-inflammatory. Well, here’s a story from LuxurySpot which lists some of the weirdest ingredients. Look for these ingredients to be featured in future cosmetic launches. We’ve talked about some but many we haven’t.

  • Snail slime – it’s a mix of proteins that are supposed to repair skin damage. It doesn’t.
  • Bee Venom – Supposed to plump up your skin. Not likely
  • Bacteria – The folks at Mother Dirt think this will be the cosmetics of the future. They may find a niche but I doubt we’ll see a big shift towards bacterial laced cosmetics.
  • Hemp – With all the states that have legalized marajuana it’s not surprising people want hemp products. The oil is a fine enough natural oil but there isn’t any data showing it’s anything more special than soybean oil.
  • Donkey Milk – supposedly good for your skin. I wouldn’t count on it.
  • Ice plant – this is an extract taken from plants that grow in icy conditions. It’s supposed to rejuvenate your skin. Maybe it’s a good story but I doubt it will noticeably improve your skin.
  • Camel milk – Apparently people love to bath in milk and they think it will improve their skin. Camel milk is supposed to have more lactic acid than cows milk so the marketers say it will be good for exfoliation and skin brightening. I don’t know why the formulator wouldn’t just put lactic acid in the formula.

Don’t be fooled by exotic ingredients. These story ingredients almost never provide additional functions to products but marketers continue to add them. And the main reason is that people want to buy products with ingredients that sound exotic. Argan Oil was a big hit last year but the reality is that the products that featured Argan Oil were really just standard silicone products that had a drop of Argan Oil in them. Consumers bought the Argan Oil, but the Cyclomethicone and Dimethicone were actually providing the benefit.

RS Bogus baby products

Link

I bring up this next news story because it’s sort of a coincidence. A few weeks ago I saw a product in my local Walgreens that caught my eye it’s by the brand Babyganics. It was a combination pack of sunscreen and insect repellent. It had the usual claims about being natural and organic I took a look at the sunscreen and saw that it was using legitimate mineral sunscreen active so OK fine I can see how you could say that’s natural and maybe organic.

But then I looked at the insect repellent product and saw that it had nothing other than some natural extracts things in it like citronella. Now those products are controlled by the EPA they don’t fall under cosmetic regulations but I’m not aware of any approved insect repellent other than things like DEET that really work. So I left the store scratching my head on how this product could get away with it.

Turns out they’re not really getting away with it because there’s a class action suit against the brand for misleading claims. The most interesting part of the story though was the last line which informed me that this brand was recently bought by SC Johnson.

That’s a very reputable company that always plays by the book so I’m wondering if they bought this brand and then had just not gotten around to making the necessary regulatory changes before everything hit the fan. So. If you know anybody and if SCJ see if you can get the inside scoop on this lawsuit confidential lawsuit that then we can share with our tens of thousands of listeners.

Beware contaminated cosmetics

Link

There’s one thing that bugs me about cosmetic manufacturer more than anything else. You know what that is?

No, it’s companies that sell contaminated cosmetic products. It is not hard to ensure your products are safe and free from microbial contamination. You just need to use GMPs and a proper preservative system. Ever since ingredients like Parabens or Formaldehyde donors got bad press and fear mongering groups started spreading misinformation, some cosmetic manufacturers have made it a marketing angle that they don’t use these ingredients.

But you know what happened? Now we’ve got more instances of products being recalled by the FDA due to bacterial contamination.

So, as a public service I just want to call out those brands who received warning letters from the FDA for selling products that were contaminated with microorganisms.

  • The Aura Cacia brand has voluntarily recalled their Milk and Oat Bath due to microbial contamination. The brand says that their products are made from simple & pure botanical ingredients that unlock nature’s ability to improve our well-being. Well, if they think exposing people to disease causing bacteria is improving well-being, we have different meanings for the term well-being.
  • Arbonne International – They got contacted by the FDA due to bacterial contamination of their Black and Brown liquid eyeliner. Nice going Argonne. And on an eye product? I wonder if they blinded anyone.
  • Aplicare Castille Soap Towelettes – These were recalled due to bacterial contamination.

 

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How can I tell if a store brand mouthwash is the same as the expensive name brand? Victoria says…My husband insists that all name brand products are stronger and better than store brands. He feels strongest about Listerine and his dentist agrees with h... How can I tell if a store brand mouthwash is the same as the expensive name brand? Victoria says…My husband insists that all name brand products are stronger and better than store brands. He feels strongest about Listerine and his dentist agrees with him. Does it matter in areas other than cosmetics? When discussing store brands, […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 38:15
Can Baby Foot really make your feet smoother? Episode 152 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/09/can-baby-foot-really-make-your-feet-smoother-episode-152/ Tue, 27 Sep 2016 05:01:01 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4822 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/09/can-baby-foot-really-make-your-feet-smoother-episode-152/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/09/can-baby-foot-really-make-your-feet-smoother-episode-152/feed/ 20 How does baby foot work? Leslie asks…Can you please explain how Babyfoot works and if it is truly safe to use. I have used it and my feet did peel but I really don’t understand how it works.  In case our listeners aren’t familiar with this product, it’s a special type of exfoliator designed just […]

How does baby foot work?

Leslie asks…Can you please explain how Babyfoot works and if it is truly safe to use. I have used it and my feet did peel but I really don’t understand how it works. 149580816_a956e46245_b

In case our listeners aren’t familiar with this product, it’s a special type of exfoliator designed just for your feet. For $25 you get two “booties” lined with a gel product.

Here’s what the website says about it:

Our scientifically formulated product contains 17 types of natural extracts…
The principal ingredient …is fruit acid which…penetrates into the layers of dead skin cells and breaks down the desmosomes which hold the layers together.
…skin is undamaged but peels easily away from the fresh layer beneath. After peeling, your feet are reborn just like a baby’s foot.
Note: Baby Foot must only be used on the feet.

As you can see from the website they’re very proud of their 17 natural extracts. But, surprise, the natural extracts have very little to do with how the product actually functions.

Yea, this is a great product in the sense that will do exactly what it says it will. However it doesn’t work because of the reason they tell you. If you look at the first two or three ingredients you’ll see our old friends glycolic acid and lactic acid. These are both alphahydroxy acids which as most of you probably already know are very good at exfoliating.

AHA’s work by loosening the “glue” that holds dead skin cells together and as you strip away that upper layer of dead skin the remaining skin will be very soft and supple. These are sometimes called “Fruit acids” but fruit extracts are not the source of these fruit acids. Fruit acids only occur naturally at very low levels to make commercial quantities of lactic acid, for example, you have to use a large scale fermentation process.

That involves giant vats of sucrose and glucose mixed with lime or chalk. The mixture is fermented in a fermenter until crude calcium lactate is formed. The gypsum is stripped way which leaves crude lactic acid, that in turn is purified and concentrated into the material used in this product. I could go on but I’m already boring myself.

But just because this is based on common alphahydroxy acid’s don’t think you can use your normal exfoliating face lotion on your feet. This is a case where buying a special product probably is justified.

That’s because there are two bits of “magic” that make this product work. First, it’s designed only for your feet which tends to have a thicker layer of callused skin so they have formulated the product with higher levels of the alpha hydroxy acids. You could use your regular exfoliating facial on your face and use that on your feet and it may not work very well but it won’t hurt you. On the other hand if you use baby foot on your face it could leave you with a chemical burn.

The second bit of magic is the fact that it has an occlusive application method. That’s the little plastic sock that you wear after applying the product. This application method accomplishes two things it keeps the solution from evaporating so it stays more active against your skin and it prevents it from being rubbed off presumably while you walked around or put on regular socks or whatever.

So the higher concentration and the occlusive application really boost the efficacy and help this product deliver the softness of the baby’s foot. Great. It works. But she also asked if it’s safe.

The answer is “mostly yes.” Alphahydroxy acid’s are used in thousands of products with very little problem. However because this is a higher concentration if you were to have more sensitive skin it is conceivable that you could get a chemical burn on your foot from this. And apparently that indeed has happened to some people.

According to dermatologist Sandra Bendeck, who works with One Medical Group, (http://www.onemedical.com/blog/live-well/baby-foot-safe/) , it’s a bit concerning that the company doesn’t disclose the level of fruit acids. AHAs are typically used at up to 10% but we don’t know HOW much are in this product. She also pointed out that some of the reviews for the product mention side effects like “bleeding, cellulitis, and having to go to the ER after using it.” She also says that diabetics, who can have issues with nerve endings in their feet, should not use it.

In addition, according to the Baby Foot website, the product should be avoided “during pregnancy, lactation, or menstruation because during this period the skin becomes more sensitive due to the disruption of normal hormone balance.”

Finally, the website also mentions that the product also contains salicylic acid which is classified as a category C drug by the FDA and that animal studies have linked salicylic acid and birth defects.

So the bottom line is that the product does use technology which is very effective although it’s rather expensive for what you get. The ingredients it’s based on are commonly used in the beauty industry but the concentration and application method MAY cause problems for some people.

Ingredients
Active ingredients: Water, Alcohol, Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Arginine, Butylene Glycol, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Glucose, O-Cymen-5-Ol, Citric Acid, Malic Acid, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil, Nasturtium Officinale Extract, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Saponaria Officinalis Leaf Extract, Hedera Helix (Ivy) Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Clematis Vitalba Leaf Extract, Spiraea Ulmaria Flower Extract, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Salicylic Acid

How do makeup setting sprays work?

Roni says…I have a question about makeup setting sprays. I have tried doing half face test and the half with the setting spray wears longs, the makeup looks better at the end of they day. What is making the product do that? Why does it make it last longer?

The name “setting spray” seems a little inaccurate to me. It implies you’re doing something to the make up to “cure” it or anchor it to the skin. In reality what you’re doing is putting a thin film on top of the make up that helps it remain undisturbed.

That’s right. Let’s take a look at a couple of products starting with the one emailed us about: Wet N Wild Picture Perfect Setting Spray. (Not Wet And Wild.) The main ingredient is PVP which is a polymer that is a film former. PVP stands for…

Poly Vinyl Pyrrolidone. It’s used in in products like mousses and gels to form a film on hair that holds it in place. By the same principle PVP can form a film over your make up that prevents it from smearing or smudging as easily. The disadvantage to PVP is that it’s hygroscopic which means that it can absorb moisture from the air which can make it sticky.

In this particular product the PVP is dissolved in a mixture of water and alcohol, which of course will evaporate. The product also contains propylene glycol to plasticize the film and keep it from cracking.

So how do you use this stuff? The website instructs you to…”Hold the setting spray 8 inches away from your face and mist in a criss-cross pattern.”

And finally, what about the cost? This Wet N Wild product is relatively inexpensive at $5.00 for 1.5 ounces or about $3.30 per ounce.

Next let’s take a look at the Matt Finish Setting Spray from NYX COSMETICS.

This one is based on VP/VA copolymer. You can think of VP/VA copolymer as the next generation of PVP. It provides similar benefits but it is less likely to absorb moisture. That means in hair sprays it provides superior hold. I assume this property would make it better for setting makeup as well.

The instructions are to “Hold 8-10 inches from face, close eyes, and spray in downward motion 3 times to cover entire face.” So NOT criss cross but downward motion. Got it.

It sells for $8 for 2 oz or $4.00 an ounce so it’s slightly more expensive but it could very well be worth it.

Finally, let’s look at an example that uses different technology: URBAN DECAY COSMETICS All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray

It’s different it uses a hybrid approach. In addition to PVP for film forming it also contains a couple of fluorinated ethers and a couple of additional polymers. In theory, this kind of system could provide a much more durable, waterproof makeup shield.

The website describes it as a “groundbreaking, clinically tested formula… [that] features patented Temperature Control Technology…. actually lowers the temperature of your makeup to keep foundation, eyeshadow, blush and concealer in place – even in hot and humid or cold and windy conditions.

I don’t know about temperature control but it certainly could work better in high humidity.

I was kind of blown away because the website describes a 7-day clinical study the conducted on this product. They found that:
“78% of participants said All Nighter helped their makeup last for 16 hours.
Over 80% said their makeup not only looked better, it stayed on better (even in the T-zone) without settling into fine lines.
88% or more said All Nighter was the best product to help their makeup last.”

And just for the record, you’re instructed to “mist face 2-4 times, in an “X” and “T” formation.” Not criss cross. Not downward motion. Just x and T. Got it?

But here’s the catch: The product sells for $30 for 4 oz or about $7.50 per ounce. That’s more than twice as much as the Wet N Wild product. Is it twice as good?

If you’re really curious I would recommend getting a sample or a tester of the more expensive product at Sephora or someplace and doing your half face test again with the more expensive product versus the cheaper product and see if you see a difference.

Matt Finish Setting Spray from NYX COSMETICS Ingredients
Water / Aqua / Eau, Alcohol, VP / VA Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Niacinamide, Sodium Salicylate, Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract, Mahonia Aquifolium Flower / Leaf / Stem Extract, Phenoxyethanol.

Wet N Wild Ingredients
Water/Eau, Alcohol Denat., PVP, Propanediol, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Dimethicone PEG/PPG-12/4 Phosphate, Glycereth-5 Lactate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Chlorphenesin, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Poloxamer 127, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Fragrance/Parfum.

Urban Decay Ingredients
Aqua (Water/Eau), Alcohol Denat, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, PVP, Methyl Perfluorobutyl Ether, Methyl Perflouroisobutyl Ether, Dimethicone PEG-7 Phosphate, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Caprylyl Gylcol, Menthyl Methacrylate Cross Polymer, Poloxamer 407, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Cocamidopropyl PG Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Glycereth-5 Lactate, N,2,3-Trimethyl-2-Isopropyl Butamide, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Fragrance, Aloe Barbandensis Leaf Extract.

Do sunscreen pills work?

Silvia from Spain says I want to know if sun protection pills really work.

Personally, I think SPF pills are in the realm of quackery but according to the American Academy of Dermatologists there is SOME promising research in this area. https://www.aad.org/media/news-releases/could-protecting-your-skin-from-the-sun-be-as-easy-as-popping-a-pill

Yeah, we found an article from 2014 which quotes a Dr. Lim from the AAD who says that there is SOME data showing that Polypodium leucotomos, an extract of a Central American fern plant, can increase the amount of time it takes for skin to become sunburned. That’s in pill form!

According to Dr. Lim…“We’re not completely sure how sunscreen pills work, but the main understanding is that Polypodium leucotomos acts as an antioxidant, so it protects the skin from oxidative damage caused by sun exposure,”

Wow, that sounds too good to be true. How much SPF protection does it provide?

It’s tough to compare directly because this ingredient is take orally not applied to skin but Dr. Lim says studies estimate it as having an SPF of about 3 to 5. That’s WAY less than Academy’s recommended SPF level of 30 or higher.

So if the best studied sunscreen pill ingredient MAYBE gives you an SPF of less than 5 it seems kind of pointless. THere’s no way that could replace using a sunscreen lotion. At best it might supplement the protection you get from your lotion but not by much. That’s assuming of course that the pill you buy even has the right ingredient at the right concentration.

iTunes reviews

JanellyL says…New favorite podcast 5 stars. They provide great insight on how products work and call out what products’ claims are bs. Plus they are never boring with their dry humor and sarcastic banter. Another plus is that if you ever have a question, they are so quick with responding to your email.

Slithy tove says…Beauty is a lot more than science 3 stars. It’s great to have a resource that encourages consumers to think more critically about the content of the products they buy, and this show has taught me a lot in that respect. But as a woman, sometimes it’s hard to listen to two men laugh about how ridiculous beauty marketing can be when most of it is unrelentingly targeted at women’s self esteem. For example, when they were discussing unlicensed “butt injections” – a horrifically dangerous practice that disproportionately affects lower income trans women who can’t afford to get the procedure done safely – and making callous puns about “the bottom line,” the insensitivity made me cringe. Or another direct quote: “If you want to give yourself the best chance of getting a good grade, just make yourself as attractive as possible” (this just after recognizing the same study found this bias didn’t apply to male students). I know you guys focus on science and you like to keep things light-hearted, but I often wish you’d recognize there’s way more to all of this than chemicals. Marketing hype and unfair biases about beauty come from cultural norms and contexts that can be seriously messed up. (Props to Randy for acknowledging this from time to time.) How about a dedicated regular feature about ridiculous products for men, to balance things out? Or letting your female intern speak on the show? That’s what I’d call being even more brainy about your beauty.

Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com.

Click here to get your free audio book. ]]> How does baby foot work? Leslie asks…Can you please explain how Babyfoot works and if it is truly safe to use. I have used it and my feet did peel but I really don’t understand how it works.  In case our listeners aren’t familiar with this product, How does baby foot work? Leslie asks…Can you please explain how Babyfoot works and if it is truly safe to use. I have used it and my feet did peel but I really don’t understand how it works.  In case our listeners aren’t familiar with this product, it’s a special type of exfoliator designed just […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 38:22 How does Tresemme Beauty-Full Volume Reverse Wash haircare system work? Episode 151 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/09/how-does-tresemme-beauty-full-volume-reverse-wash-haircare-system-work-episode-151/ Tue, 20 Sep 2016 05:01:46 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4810 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/09/how-does-tresemme-beauty-full-volume-reverse-wash-haircare-system-work-episode-151/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/09/how-does-tresemme-beauty-full-volume-reverse-wash-haircare-system-work-episode-151/feed/ 6 How does Tresemme Beauty-Full Volume Reverse Wash haircare system work? Jess says…I just saw an ad for the Tresemme Beauty-Full Volume system. Is there really something to conditioning first and then shampooing or are they just convincing us to wash our money down the drain? Let’s talk a little bit about the process of reverse […]

How does Tresemme Beauty-Full Volume Reverse Wash haircare system work?

Jess says…I just saw an ad for the Tresemme Beauty-Full Volume system. Is there really something to conditioning first and then shampooing or are they just convincing us to wash our money down the drain?4049368260_2181e7ea07_b

Let’s talk a little bit about the process of reverse washing just in case our audience isn’t familiar with the practice. This is where you take a product that’s typically applied AFTER shampooing, like a conditioner or some kind of oil, and you apply it to your hair BEFORE you shampoo.

The idea is that the shampoo will remove the “excess” materials and leave just enough behind on your hair to provide conditioning benefits but without the feeling heavy residue that some conditioners cause. So this is targeted toward those people with thin, fine hair and those people who don’t want to lose volume when then condition.

Here’s how their website describes it:

Introducing the NEW TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume collection – a revolutionary new reverse wash haircare system,

Using conditioner after you shampoo can weigh hair down and leave it flat. TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume Reverse System is a game-changing regimen that gives your hair amazing body and bounce. Condition first to soften, then shampoo to wash away the weight.

So this is different from other techniques we’ve talked about like co-washing or no-poo. This is more of a pre-poo method. This isn’t a new idea. In fact, one of the most iconic products in the entire hair care industry, VO5 Hot Oil is a “pre-poo” conditioner. Although not everyone seems to realize that. Coconut oil is typically used this way as well – you apply it to hair, let it soak in, and then wash it out.

Right, but Tresemme is the first major brand to market a companion shampoo and conditioner to be used in this way. What have they done that’s different?

Technically they haven’t really done things very differently. If you look at the ingredient lists for the new Beauty-Full volume products you’ll see that the shampoo is based on Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Cocamidopropyl Betaine, two very common surfactants with a bit of Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, which is a conditioning agent used in 2 in 1 shampoos. If you look at their Moisture Rich shampoo you’ll see the ingredients are almost identical.

The Pre-wash conditioner is based on Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Behentrimonium Chloride, with some Amodimethicone. This is very similar to their Healthy Volume conditioner. So the products aren’t really that different. Does that mean that reverse washing is just a scam?

No not really. There are two ways that reverse washing can provide a different level of experience. The first has to do with how much stuff you’re leaving behind. First, remember that conditioners work by depositing lubricating agents on the surface of your hair. So in a sense, conditioner is putting “clean dirt” on your hair. The shampoo has to work harder than usual, gets used up by the combination of the dirt on your hair and the conditioner residue.

Second, you have to realize that shampoo and conditioner ingredients are soft of magnetically opposite. What I mean by that is that shampoo surfactants tend to be anionic which means they have a negative charge and many conditioning agents are cationic which means they have a positive charge. So it’s possible that the positively charged material on your hair from the conditioner could cause the negatively charged materials in the shampoo to deposit on your hair. That’s exactly what happens with VO5 Hot Oil.

Yes, the complex that’s formed by combining a cationic material with an anionic one is called a “Cat-an” wax. These waxes will vary depending on the type of conditioning agent and the strength of the cleansers in the shampoo. When this kind of complex is formed it is less soluble than either of it’s components so it tends to fall out of solution and stay on the hair.

If you’re following the Tresemme instructions, which tell you to completely rinse the conditioner before applying the shampoo, then I’d be surprised if you’d feel a tremendous amount of interaction between the two products. But I did find one popular beauty blogger who says the secret to reverse washing is to NOT RINSE the conditioner. She uses the shampoo to remove the conditioner. If you follow these instructions you could end up with with quite a bit of deposition.

Depending on the nature of the formulas, how much you use, and exactly how you apply them, you could see a wide range of results on your hair.
So, what’s the bottom line for Jess?

Reverse washing is really “a thing” but you shouldn’t spend a lot of money on special products. You might experiment with your regular shampoo and conditioner before rushing out to buy something new. But if you like the approach, the Tresemme products are worth a try because they’ve presumably been optimized for this method of application and they’re really not that expensive.

Shampoo ingredients
Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Dimethiconol, Fragrance, Glycol Distearate, Carbomer, PPG-9, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, Citric Acid, DMDM Hydantoin, Disodium EDTA, PEG-45M, Sodium Benzoate, Acrylates Copolymer, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Mica, Titanium Dioxide

Pre-wash Conditioner ingredients
Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Behentrimonium Chloride, Dipropylene Glycol, Fragrance, Amodimethicone, DMDM Hydantoin, Disodium EDTA, PEG-7 Propylheptyl Ether, Cetrimonium Chloride, Lactic Acid, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Acrylates Copolymer, Methylisothiazolinone

Health volume conditioner ingredients
Ingredients: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Behentrimonium Chloride, Lysine Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Gelatin, Keratin Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Hydrolyzed Silk, Ascorbic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Soluble Collagen, Niacinamide, Biotin, Fragrance, Dipropylene Glycol, Potassium Chloride, Lactic Acid, Amodimethicone, Disodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, PEG-150 Distearate, Cetrimonium Chloride, PVP, Polysorbate 20, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, VP, Methacrylamide, Vinyl Imidazole Copolymer, Methylisothiazolinone

Healthy moisture conditioner ingredients
Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Behentrimonium Chloride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Panthenol, Niacinamide, Biotin, Fragrance, Dipropylene Glycol, Lactic Acid, Potassium Chloride, Amodimethicone, Disodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, PEG-7 Propylheptyl Ether, Cetrimonium Chloride, Polysorbate 20, PEG-150 Distearate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

Are banana peels good for acne?

Boom says…the internet told me that if i rub banana peel on my acne and acne marks that it will help soothe and diminish them. Any truth to this? There is loads about this on youtube.

We know that bananas peels are rich in Vitamin A, which is a proven topical treatment for acne. So, yes, absolutely, rubbing banana peels on your face is probably the best natural treatment for breakouts.

Hang on….Just because banana peels contain vitamin A that doesn’t mean you can just rub them on your face and get rid of zits. Let’s break this down. Vitamin A is a group of chemicals, not one single compound. What kind of vitamin A is good for acne?

That would be Retinoids, like retinol or retinoic acid.

Ok, do bananas contain Vitamin A in the form of retinoids?

Not exactly, they contain Beta carotene. But beta carotene can be converted into retinol, so like I said banana peels are a great natural….

Wait a minute. HOW does beta carotene get converted to retinol?

Uh, well. there’s an enzyme in the digestive tract of some animals that can convert it.

Can humans convert it?

No, humans don’t have that enzyme.

And can it be converted when applied topically to skin?

Well, I couldn’t find any data proving it could but I can’t prove that it can’t either. So maybe all that beta carotene in banana peels DOES end up as retinol which can fight acne. Then it would work!

Ok, maybe. Assuming there’s enough of the active ingredient. How much beta carotene is in banana peels?

About 150 micrograms of BC per gram of banana peel.

The average banana peel weighs about 10 grams so if you rubbed 2 peels on your face that would give you about 3000 micrograms of BC which is about 0.003 grams. So if ALL the BC converted to retinol you’d have .003 grams of retinol. right?

No one wants to hear you do math on the podcast.

Just answer the question.

Ok, yes 0.003 grams.

Now, just rubbing the peel is not going to release all of that but how much is reasonable? Half of it?

Yeah, OK let’s assume just rubbing the peel on your face releases 50% of the total vitamin A.

So you end up with maybe 0.0015 grams of retinol on you face. Right?

Right.

And how much retinol does a typical anti-acne cream contain?

Maybe 1% retinol and you apply maybe a few grams to your face so you’re applying about 5 grams of product and 1% of 5 grams is 0.05 grams of retinol.

So even IF … all the vitamin A in a banana peel gets converted to the correct form (which it doesn’t) and even IF you could get all that vitamin A out of the peel and onto your skin (which you can’t) THEN you’d still have only about 0.0015 grams from banana vs. 0.05 grams vs a cream.

That is correct.

So the vitamin A from banana peels is AT LEAST 30 times more dilute than what’s used in a cream. And that’s a BEST case scenario. In fact, its probable that you’d have much much less than that. Do you STILL think banana peels can work for acne?

Yes but according to your calculations, if you rubbed 60 banana peels on your face maybe then could work.

Let’s just go on to the next question…

Fine. I win.

Does wearing liquid foundation “dilute” your sunscreen?

Sarah says…I read that .wearing liquid foundation over sunscreen “dilutes” your sun protection. I guess my take is that you may be moving your sunscreen around a little while applying foundation, but it’s unlikely you’re removing it altogether–where would it go? I’m not going to lose sleep about this, but I’d be curious for your take.

We can think of a few reasons why this might be plausible…First, if you apply foundation over sunscreen before the sunscreen has a chance to form a proper film, that can cause problems. This could disrupt the emulsion to the point where you could lose coverage. Waiting about 15 minutes would solve that problem.

Second, you may (consciously or unconsciously) use less sunscreen if you know you’re applying another product on top of it. Obviously if you under dose the sunscreen it won’t provide the targeted SPF.

On sort of a related note….perhaps whoever wrote was referring to makeup that contains SPF. Some people think that SPF is additive but it’s not: SPF 50 plus SPF 15 does not equal SPF 65. At best you’ll get an average of the two which in this case would be SPF 57.5.

So if you’re layering SPF and expecting them to add up, you will be “diluting” that total. Sort of.

Beauty Science News

Microbes in skin care

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Here’s a story that shows you the direction that the cosmetic market may be taking in the future. Beneficial microbes in your skin care products. Now we all know that bacteria is typically not a good thing. In fact, those antibacterial soaps were all about killing all the bacteria that’s on your body. Well, scientists have recently been studying the surface of the skin and the microbial ecosystem and have found that while there are some harmful disease causing bacteria, there are also good bacteria that protect your skin from viruses, other bacteria and microbes.

Some marketers are now taking advantage of these helpful bacteria by creating pro-biotic cosmetics. Probiotics are common in the food industry and like most things that work in the food industry, the cosmetic industry figures people will like it in their cosmetics. There are a couple of challenges to this technology the least of which is how to talk about it. Do consumers really want to use a product that contains live bacteria? Who wants to put bacteria on their bodies? So experts suggest talking about the micro biome and giving it a positive spin. I know there’s a brand called Mother Dirt (http://motherdirt.com/) that is all about pro-biotic for the skin. This brand was started by some university types. We’ll see how well they do. They do claim the product to be preservative free mostly because if they had preservatives in the product that will kill the good bacteria too.

Most of the products that are taking advantage of this pro-biotic trend are not delivering live bacteria but rather deactivated probiotics. The claim is that these ingredients will help boost the wellness of resident bacteria. It seems like a sketchy claim to me.

I don’t know where this will go. I think consumers like foam and these products are going to have lower levels (if any) of surfactants and they probably aren’t going to smell great. It’s also difficult to see the actual benefit you get. But what do I know. Lots of companies think this is the future of skin treatments and maybe it is. But I’m skeptical…as we’ll see in the next story, J&J isn’t

 

Anti-bacterial soap ban

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The FDA is further restricting which ingredients can be used in antibacterial hand and body washes. We’ve touched on this in the past – in the last few years use of these AB products have exploded so the FDA has been taking a fresh look at them to make sure there are no issues.

First of all they found that these types of products don’t really work all that well. In fact, there’s no compelling data to show they work better than regular soap and water. Secondly, over-exposure MAY cause some health concerns, although the data there is not conclusive either. But, the FDA did the prudent thing – if there’s no real benefit and there is some slight risk – then it makes sense to prohibit use of these ingredients. It’s still kind of complicated – This new rule applies to wash products containing one or more of 19 specific active ingredients, including the most commonly used ingredients – triclosan and triclocarban. The FDA is still looking at the data for 3 other ingredients. Also, this applies only to the wash type products sold to consumer. It does NOT include hand sanitizers or antibacterial products sold for use professional health care.

J&J get into microbe research

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According to a recent report in cosmetics design, J&J has signed a research agreement with a company called Xycrobe Therapeutics. They are exploring how engineered bacteria can be used in personal care treatment products. Xycrobe has sever bacterial strains that have a close relationship with the human body. They see these organisms as ones that will have the ability to help treat an array of skin issues. It will be looked at for treating things like acne, psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema.

This good bacteria area is ripe with research. And for good reason because it really is a new line of study. The truth is most cosmetic products that you use right now aren’t drastically different than the things that people were using in the 1950’s and 60’s. There hasn’t really been a significant technological development in a long time. But these microbes could certainly be a new technology.

So, look for this technology to first be applied to anti acne products. That’s probably the biggest market and there are just some people who don’t respond to standard treatments.

Citrus fruits and skin cancer

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Apparently eating a lot of fruits like oranges and grapefruits can increase your risk of contracting melanoma. This study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology says that citrus products contain psoralens and fur-O-coumarins which can stimulate certain cancers when they’re exposed to light. The study looked at the diets of over 100,000 people over the course of 4 years. After controlling for other factors, the melanoma risk was found to by 36% higher in people who ate citrus fruits more than 1.5 times per day. So I’m sure it won’t be long before some enterprising beauty company starts selling sunscreen in the produce aisle of the grocery store.

Millennials aren’t buying soap bars

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Remember back in the early 90’s when we were working at Alberto? That is when body washes were just getting started. At that time soap was still the dominant product. But boy have things changed. Now bar soap is seen as old fashioned and Americans in the age range of 18 to 24 just aren’t buying it. The people buying it the most are men over the age of 60.

According to a study published by Mintel the overall market growth in soap, bath and shower products was plus 2.7%. But sales of bar soaps have slipped 2.2%. Young consumers and women just don’t like traditional bar soaps any more. One reason is that millennials believe bar soap is covered with germs after using them. And some health authorities like Minnesotas Department of Health is suggesting that people should use liquid soaps because germs can grow on bar soap and spread infection. That seems questionable to me. I know big companies would prefer people buy liquid soaps. The profit margin is higher.

iTunes Reviews

Googerstu says…Both Perry and Randy are knowledgeable, have great chemistry (with each other. pun intended), and care about the public. Only critique: I wish we knew more about Randy: has he ever tried joggling? What is his favorite long-named cosmetic ingredient? What does he like to read? Does he appreciate wild animals? The lack of personal info makes the dialogue a bit like an effective half-head-test; it’s a bit lopsided.

Asair2139 says…The beauty brains approaches beauty from the side of science…and it has saved me money and made me smarter! Some people complain about their banter at the beginning of episodes, but I think they’ve found the right mix of fluff and hard science to make the podcast fun and substantive.

Robert from Canada says…A bit of a drag on those quiz things but the tighter format is much better. it’s much better on my patience and my ears. Really would like more product reviews. I swear by the brand Live Clean. I would love your feedback on it. Who makes it any inside info.

Quick answer: The company doesn’t list ingredients on their website or anywhere else I could find.  That’s a huge red flag. I went to the website to find out more about their company…usually look at for legal footer info on who owns who. The link doesn’t work. The background just says…Proudly a Canadian brand, Live Clean launched with the premise that hair care products could be environmentally friendly, highly effective, and a pleasure to use. They also say that SLS/SLES are derived from petro-chemical ingredients but they are also derived from coconut oil. Finally, they’re against parabens which is not good science.

Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com.

Click here to get your free audio book. ]]> How does Tresemme Beauty-Full Volume Reverse Wash haircare system work? Jess says…I just saw an ad for the Tresemme Beauty-Full Volume system. Is there really something to conditioning first and then shampooing or are they just convincing us to wash ou... How does Tresemme Beauty-Full Volume Reverse Wash haircare system work? Jess says…I just saw an ad for the Tresemme Beauty-Full Volume system. Is there really something to conditioning first and then shampooing or are they just convincing us to wash our money down the drain? Let’s talk a little bit about the process of reverse […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 38:00 Are Micellar Water makeup removers the real deal? Episode 150 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/09/are-micellar-water-makeup-removers-the-real-deal-episode-150/ Tue, 13 Sep 2016 05:01:54 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4806 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/09/are-micellar-water-makeup-removers-the-real-deal-episode-150/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/09/are-micellar-water-makeup-removers-the-real-deal-episode-150/feed/ 19 What’s the deal with micellar water make up removers? Taylor asks…I’m a new listener and enjoy your show so much. (Gets me through the work day) I want to know the hype about micellar water and is this something new or just a mild makeup remover with a “fancy name.” Micellar waters are named after […]

What’s the deal with micellar water make up removers?

Taylor asks…I’m a new listener and enjoy your show so much. (Gets me through the work day) I want to know the hype about micellar water and is this something new or just a mild makeup remover with a “fancy name.”screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-3-46-32-pm

Micellar waters are named after the technical term, micelle, so before we talk about the products we should explain what that is.

Micelles are structures that are formed when surfactant are dissolved in water. Remember that surfactants, short for surface active agents, are used in beauty products as cleansers and emulsifiers that help mix oil and water soluble ingredients.

If you look at the chemical structure of surfactants they typically have a long oil soluble tail and water soluble polar head group.  When surfactants are present in water at a certain concentration, they begin to assemble into larger structures based on the water soluble/oil soluble parts of the molecule. The oil soluble tails try to group together to get away from the water. The lowest energy state for them is to have all the tails together so they are shielded from water by the polar head groups – which again, water soluble. Think of it as a ball or sphere of surfactant molecules with head on outside, tails facing inside.

These spheres of surfactants are called micelles and the concentration of surfactant required to form them is called the Critical Micelle Concentration or CMC.

Micelles have a couple of useful properties – the oil soluble tails can interact with other oil soluble materials like dirt and oil, and sort of trap them inside the micelle away from the water. That’s how micelles allow surfactants to mix oil and water soluble materials.

Secondly, the structure of the micelle helps reduce the irritation potential of certain surfactants. It’s kind of counter intuitive but because of micelle formation, a surfactant may actually be more irritating at a LOWER concentration (when the molecules are floating around by themselves) rather than at a higher concentration when they’re tied up in micelles. And that brings us back to micellar waters…

The idea is that Micellar Waters are milder or better for you skin because the surfactants are tied up in micelles. I think these products are more likely to be mild because they don’t use harsh surfactants in the first place.

Yeah, if you look at the ingredient list for products that claim to be micellar waters they tend NOT to use traditional, high foaming surfactants. Instead they use a combination of nonionic surfactants, which tend to be milder on skin. One of most common nonionic surfactant used in micellar waters is Poloxamer 184.

This ingredient is made of units of polyoxyethylene, followed by a unit of polyoxypropylene, followed by a unit of polyoxyethylene. It can reduce surface tension and help lift away dirt. Some versions of Poloxamer can give the skin a soft and smooth appearance.

Micellar waters also use solvents like hexylene glycol. In fact, that’s the number one ingredient in almost every micellar water I’ve seen. HG can help remove oily makeup all by itself and it’s not harsh on skin. Also use PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides which function similarly.

It’s also import to note that some MW do use more traditional anionic foaming surfactants but they are typically more mild, like Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate.

So overall, yes, these MW products are likely to be milder than many other cleansers. And, unlike traditional foaming cleanser’s they don’t necessarily have to be rinsed. They may even provide more of pleasant after feel than other cleansing products.

I have to say that companies have done a great job marketing these products. Somehow, these seem so special that they should be really expensive.

Yea, remember “micellar water” is a marketing term not a true technical term. (Technically we would say it’s a makeup remover “with a surfactant levels that has met or surpassed the Critical Micelle Concentration.”) There’s anything wrong with that being marketing driven but just don’t be tricked into thinking it’s worth more money because of the fancy name.

But they SHOULDN’T be that expensive. There are some very affordable MW products on the market. You can spend Simple has one that only costs about $1.00 per ounce. Of course there’s Lancôme EAU FRAÎCHE DOUCEUR Micellar Cleansing Water which is 6x the price. I doubt it’s 6 times better.

Do vitamin c boosters really work?

Sam says…I like using Paula’s Choice C15 booster exactly as indicated: adding it into my current lotions to “boost” their performance. This is super convenient because it doesn’t alter my existing routine, AND I can mix it into my body lotion and get this serum’s benefits all over without going bankrupt.

However, I am super confused about how Paula’s booster actually works when mixed with other products. Since ascorbic acid requires a pH below 3.5 to remain stable, how can the it possibly maintain this when mixed with any variety of unknown products? Paula’s customer service says the serum was formulated with this in mind and it has penetration enhancers to ensure that the ascorbic acid is viable when mixing.

NuFountain makes a similar product but they say mixing it with other products will likely affect the pH and render the ascorbic acid useless. They say to apply their serum first to allow full absorption of the ascorbic acid without any chance of altering its efficacy.

So what is going on? Are these two serums really radically different or is someone just wrong here?

I don’t think it’s a question of who’s right or wrong, I think it’s more about degrees of rightness. I understand the appeal of the “booster” premise. Essentially you’re turning any regular skin cream into a vitamin C treatment. That’s a great idea. It another way of making a 2 in 1 product. And you know what we say about 2 in 1 products…

You may gain convenience when you make a combination product but you’re always going to compromise one benefit or the other, or both, when you try to combine two products into one.

In this case you’re sacrificing the efficacy of ascorbic acid to gain the convenience of quicker product application. Let’s look at the facts.

There are 3 factors that can impact the stability of ascorbic acid in a situation like this.

  • pH – as Sam said, the pH needs to be around 3.5 for maximum stability.
  • Ingredient interaction – it’s well established that certain ingredients like oxidants and metal ions can degrade the stability of AA.
  • Dilution effect – The ideal concentration of AA is about 15 or 20%. Much more than that and it will irritate skin. Much less than that and it won’t be as effective.

So what happens when you use the “booster approach?” You’re mixing AA serum with other products that may have any or all of these 3 factors.

The pH of a typical skin lotion is in the range of 4 to 6 so you’re raising the pH out of the ideal range. I don’t see how a small amount of this booster could lower the pH of a large amount of a secondary product.

Lotions do contain oxidants and metal ions so you may be introducing destabilizing agents.

And, you’re putting a few drops of a concentrated serum into a larger volume of another product – so by definition you’re diluting the AA.

That’s ESPECIALLY true in Sam’s case where she’s using it in a body lotion to “get the benefits all over.”

Okay, so we’ve established that the boosting approach is more likely to reduce AA efficacy compared to using the AA serum on it’s own. Does that make Paula’s Choice a liar?

NO! Because none of these 3 factors we just described COMPLETELY deactivate AA. They just make it less stable. Some percentage will still work it just won’t be optimal.

In other words, if you use the product as Paula describes you’ll get the convenience and some of the benefits of vitamin C.

Right but the efficacy of the vitamin C may not be at the same level as using the serum on its own – depending upon what you mix it with.

The bottom line is that both companies may be correct but to different degrees. You have to decide which benefit is more important to you.

The best approach is to use Vit C serum by itself, apply other products later. Less convenient but maximum efficacy. Mix booster with other creams: Get convenience but sacrifice some efficacy.

How do salt sprays create texture on hair?

Annie asks…How does sea salt work to create texture in the hair? Why is it so good at creating waves? Can it be bad in any way?

Salt dries on hair and it forms a coating. Because of the crystalline nature of salt this coating has a gritty feel. This type of coating is especially good at increasing friction between hair fibers which gives texture. BTW, sugar behaves similar but may be sticky, especially in high humidity.

I don’t see any reason why it would make straight hair wavy but if your hair has a natural wave it could enhance that creating more entanglement between fibers.

What are the negative impacts sea salt can have on hair health? It’s a fact of nature that water tends to move from areas of high concentration to areas of lower concentration. This is the principle of osmotic pressure. So moisture that’s inside your hair MAY migrate outward toward the salt where it will evaporate.

That means if you have very dry/porous hair, you might want to stay away from salt-based styling products. The more porous your hair the easier it is for moisture to leach out.

That, of course, presumes that the salt is really what’s providing the benefit. If you’re interested in a salt spray just make sure you read the ingredients to see it’s really the salt doing the work and not something else. Polymers do the same thing but provide more hold less grit. (PVP or ones that start with PVP/VA).

Beauty Science News

Self-cleaning hair brush

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Here’s an innovation that I think is very cool – a self cleaning hairbrush. Scientists at The Ohio State University (go Buckeyes!) discovered that a lot of people just throw away their hairbrushes because they’re so hard to clean. That means cleaning your hairbrush is a sustainability issue.

So, they designed a 3D printed hairbrush that has a flexible backbone – you simply bend back the top of handle part and the bristle part moves forward which makes it very easy to pull all the hair and junk right off. You let go and it snaps right back into place.

The university is looking for licensing partners to commercialize this patented hairbrush (US 8,857,005) in the health and beauty industry — for people and for pets.
I can’t wait to see this on the market – and I suggest it may make a good gift for Mrs. R.

Who are the top beauty brands so far in 2016?

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The midyear beauty brand rankings are out and I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the leaders.

So this is a ranking put out by YouGov BrandIndex. This company is supposedly the authority on measuring brand perception. They measure public perception of thousands of different types of brands in different sectors. They do this by interviewing thousands of customers every day and they do it on a global basis.

They published the results of the top brands in the US for beauty products. Specifically, they got their rankings by asking consumers “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?”

And unsurprisingly the top spots are held by traditional beauty companies like P&G and Unilever. Here are the top 5 beauty brands for the first half of 2016.

5. Pantene with a score of 12.6. These scores can range anywhere from +100 to -100 so that gives you some perspective on the overall score.

4. Neutrogena is next with a score of 14.0

3. Olay has the next highest buzz score at 14.2

2. Is Head and Shoulders with a score of 14.7

And the number one beauty brand thus far in 2016 is Dove with a score of 16.8

If you look at the brands that have most improved in scores from the same time period last year, Head & Shoulders is best followed by Dove, and Neutrogena. Then L’Oreal Paris comes in next and finally MAC cosmetics. It seems they done something to improve their scores.

I guess what I find most interesting is that big brands still dominate the minds of consumers. I thought in this age of the Internet that smaller brands would be able to break through the noise of traditional advertising and steal the spot light. But it’s not true. So far, you can’t beat real advertising when it comes to making yourself known.

Shocking new information on hair loss

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Let me just say that in discussing this next article I intend no disrespect to our follicularly challenged male listeners. But, science says bald guys are less attractive.

This seems to fall into the category of another one of those scientific studies that we probably didn’t need to waste money on.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Facial Plastic Surgery answers the question “Does how much hair a man has matter in how he is perceived?” The researcher, who by the way is from Johns Hopkins University, surveyed 122 people and found that men with hair were rated as “more youthful, attractive, successful and approachable.”

My favorite quote: “Limitations of the study include its small population and study design. “

We could do a better job than that using our email list and Survey Monkey. One would’ve thought that the billion-dollar hair growth industry might have been a clue that having hair on your head is a desirable attribute. Nonetheless now we have scientific proof.

Skin care line made from centipede poop.

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We’ve got some beauty news out of South Korea. It seems like all the hot new beauty trends start there doesn’t it?

Anyway, researchers there have now launched a cosmetics line using an antibiotic substance found in a species of centipede. These centipedes have apparently long been used in traditional Korean medicines for generation but now this knowledge has been applied to cosmetics. Specifically, they focus on the centipede’s antibacterial property.

The extract is known as scolopendrasin I and it’s a peptide excreted by the centipedes to fight bacteria. Scientists believe that it is a proven effective treatment for atopic dermatitis.

They say that two companies are in the process of commercializing products using this centipede ingredient.

I wonder what their brand names might be.

Centilotion
Centsations
Cent Impede – the brand that stops bacteria in it’s tracks

SPF = Savory Poultry Fun

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The term SPF typically stands for Sun Protection Factor but I think it could also mean “Savory Poultry Fun.” That’s because it was in the news this week that fast food giant KFC now has a sunscreen that smells like fried chicken.

Apparently this is a promotional stunt for the Extra Crispy chicken because they tell us “The only skin that should be extra crispy this summer is on your fried chicken.” Their website describes how it works: “Harmful ultraviolet rays bounce off your skin while the lovely fragrance rays penetrate it to give you a healthy chicken aroma.”
My favorite quote: Several Associated Press reporters who tested the sunscreen said the smell did not immediately bring to mind chicken, however.

Remember our cosmetic chemist friend Colin Sanders who runs Colin’s Beauty Pages? Do you think he’s related to Colonel Sanders?

iTunes reviews

Patrickbooth says…5 stars I came for the science, but stayed for the banter. Perry is a loquacious, good natured fellow, while Randy is the somewhat curmudgeonly of the two slyly jabbing at Perry which makes for a fun time. Sometimes I think Perry could offer Randy a nice belly rub to open him up to the audience more.

Jenni4ever…5 stars Great chemistry. These two guys bring thoughtful and well articulated discussion to beauty. I specifically appreciate that they don’t use a beauty consultant as previously suggested by another reviewer. I think this untainted take on the chemistry/utility of the products gives me the most educational and straightforward information.

Kangopie from South Africa says…4 stars This is a great show! They are a bit lame but funny all the same … thats a compliment. Somehow having never met them I trust their reviews and commentary because they look at the science.

Jus1Me says…Love it when you don’t take breaks 3 stars. You take far too long on your breaks. This is the third week where you are playing repeats. Unacceptable. It doesn’t take much effort to sit and put a good show together, even when on vacation. You guys are too good to slack for so long.

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Click here to get your free audio book. ]]> What’s the deal with micellar water make up removers? Taylor asks…I’m a new listener and enjoy your show so much. (Gets me through the work day) I want to know the hype about micellar water and is this something new or just a mild makeup remover with a... What’s the deal with micellar water make up removers? Taylor asks…I’m a new listener and enjoy your show so much. (Gets me through the work day) I want to know the hype about micellar water and is this something new or just a mild makeup remover with a “fancy name.” Micellar waters are named after […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 37:26 Is Charlotte Tilbury Multi-Miracle cream really miraculous? Episode 149 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/09/is-charlotte-tilbury-multi-miracle-cream-really-miraculous-episode-149/ Tue, 06 Sep 2016 05:01:56 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4797 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/09/is-charlotte-tilbury-multi-miracle-cream-really-miraculous-episode-149/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/09/is-charlotte-tilbury-multi-miracle-cream-really-miraculous-episode-149/feed/ 11 Is Charlotte Tilbury Multi-miracle cream really worth it? Jo asks…I love Charlotte Tilbury’s Multi-Miracle Glow product but I’m afraid I spent too much and I worry that it really provides any benefits. Can you tell me if it has any special properties and if not is there a more budget conscious version? Thanks for the question, […]

Is Charlotte Tilbury Multi-miracle cream really worth it?2941691931_dbabec0f53_z

Jo asks…I love Charlotte Tilbury’s Multi-Miracle Glow product but I’m afraid I spent too much and I worry that it really provides any benefits. Can you tell me if it has any special properties and if not is there a more budget conscious version?

Thanks for the question, Jo. It sounds like you’re really torn about using this product so let’s see if we can help.

First of all, don’t be confused if you decide to look for this product because in addition to Mult-miracle glow she also sells a “Magic Cream.” Apparently Charlotte went to the “Harry Potter School of Cosmetic Marketing.” Harry Potter and the Sorcerous Skin Cream? By the way that brings to mind another beauty question, if you have a Harry Potter, do you shave it or pluck it? Wax it? Anyway…

Let’s begin by taking a look at exactly what this product claims to do. Here are some of the claims from the website:

  • The basic idea is that this is a 3 in 1 product: a deep cleansing face balm with anti-wrinkle benefits; a regenerating mask with an “overnight facial” finish; and a “SOS remedy that you can use on cuticles, elbows, heels and shins to cheat the body of an angel!”
  • It features ingredients like Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil and Cranberry Seed Oil that “are highly effective anti-oxidant pure oils that moisturise the skin & stimulate micro-circulation.” That’s a drug claim!
  • It also has “extracts of frangipani flower soothe and help purify dirt and makeup” Purified dirt?
  • Then there are Rose hip and camellia oil regenerate the skin to delay the signs of aging
  • Finally, our old friends Vitamins A, C and E to “smooth wrinkles and bring the skin’s complexion back to life.”
  • So as you can see, the anti-aging claims are pretty standard – lots of products make these kinds of claims. Unfortunately, it doesn’t contain any of the best anti-aging ingredients like retinol or niacinamide.

It does contain a functional version of Vit C (Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate) but since it appears on the ingredient list below fragrance we know it doesn’t contain a very high level. That means it probably isn’t very effective.

Maybe the most interesting aspect of the product is that can be used as a cleanser as well as a moisturizer. That’s because unlike most products it’s based on Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride which is a coconut oil derived material that can have both cleansing and moisturizing benefits.

Yea but as we’ve discussed before there are always trade offs when you combine functionality like this. That means it won’t be the best cleanser or the best moisturizer. Which brings us back to the question of product value.

Jo is right about the product being expensive. It’s costs $100 for 100 mls which is A LOT especially when you consider Charlotte’s telling you to use it on your elbows, shins, etc.

So it doesn’t have any special anti-aging benefits, it makes some compromises between being a great cleanser and a great moisturizer, and it’s really expensive. Sorry Jo but this doesn’t sound like the best way to spend your money.

Like we always tell people, if really love a product and you can afford it, then you should buy it. But don’t buy it because of the things that the company tells you. There are similar products that can save you a lot of money.

Yes, we found a couple of other products that are based on Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride. I’ll put links in the show notes but one is Credentials Collagen Elastin 14-1 Creme and it costs $14 for 2 ounces.

Another is Hyaluronic Acid Beauty Cream which costs about $24 for 2 ounces. We’re not saying these are identical to Charlottes product but they may have a similar feel and they cost a LOT less.

Charlotte Multi-miracle Glow ingredients: Glycerin, Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride , Cyclopentasiloxane, Sucrose Stearate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Cellulose Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Xanthan Gum, Fragrance (Parfum), Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, PEG-8, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Rubus Chamaemorus Seed Oil, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Bht, Plumeria Rubra Flower Extract, Red 40 (CI 16035), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Benzoate

Replacement options:

Credentials Collagen Elastin 14-1 Creme

INGREDIENTS: Water (Aqua), Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Methyl Gluceth-20, Stearic Acid, Polysorbate 60, Cetyl Alcohol, Soluable Collagen, Sorbitan Stearate, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Dehydroacetate, Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben

Hyaluronic Acid Beauty Cream

Ingredients: Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Emulsifying Wax NF, Glycerin, Isopropyl Myristate, Stearic Acid, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Butylene Glycol (and) Calluna Vulgaris Extract, Glyceryl Stearate, Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E), Phenoxyethanol (and) Chlorphenesin (and) Propylene Glycol (and) Sorbic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 80, Perfume, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Triethanolamine, Sodium Magnesium Silicate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Bisabolol, Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

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Is “Not Your Mother’s” shampoo” any good?

Brokensticker says…I bought this shampoo- “Not Your Mothers Way to Grow Shampoo” thinking the ingredients sounded good but I find it’s drying to my hair. Can you please explain what I’m finding to be drying? I can’t figure out why- all of the ingredients seem good to me.


You know what’s more confusing than the ingredients? The branding! It’s Not Your Mothers. Or is it Not your Mothers Way? Or Not your mothers way to grow…Long and strong shampoo.

I wasn’t familiar with the brand so I checked out their website. It looks like they’re all about creating what they call “the highest quality, salon comparable products at the most affordable prices.”

That sounds laudable, let’s take a look at the ingredients in this shampoo to see if they succeeded. The backbone of the formula consists of cocamidopropyl betaine, which is typically used as a secondary foam boosting surfactant, and a blend of sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate, sodium methyl oleoyl taurate, and sodium cocoyl isethionate. It also contains a conditioning polymer polyquaternium-7.

The isethionate/taurate combination does make for a mild system but it’s kind of unusual to use the betaine as the primary surfactant. I’m wouldn’t be surprised if the foam feels significantly different. In terms of what’s drying your hair, it could just be the lack of conditioning agents.

Yeah, the Polyquat-7 is the only thing that’s going to stay on your hair after rinsing to provide some slip. They don’t use any silicones or other two in one type conditioners like guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride.

In terms of value, this stuff sells for $6 for 8 ounces so as they promise it is more affordable than many salon products. And unlike many salon products, they are using premium cleansers. (You’d be surprised how many salon shampoos just use basic SLES based formulas.)

Brokensticker might be better off with one of the sulfate free shampoos from the L’Oreal line. They’re slightly cheaper, they use an even better surfactant mix and they contain more conditioning agents.

Ingredients: Water, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate, sodium methyl oleoyl taurate, acrylates copolymer, fragrance, sodium cocoyl isethionate, polyquaternium-7, polygonium multiflorum extract, aesculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut) seed extract, retinyl palmitate, tocopherol, inositol, calcium pantothenate, linoleic acid, biotin, apigenin, oleanolic acid, biotinoyl tripeptide-1, alcohol, PEG-35 castor oil, polysorbate 20, butylene glycol, PPG-26-buteth-26, PEG-40 hydrogenated Castor Oil, Glycol Distearate, Laureth-4, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Citric Acid, Sodium Chloride, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

Does this eyelash growth product really work?

FLA Girl in NJ asks…Would you please analyze the ingredients of Shiseido’s Full Lash Serum and comment as to whether any of these ingredients are prostaglandins or prostaglandin derivatives, or whether it contains any other ingredient that could potentially change eye color?  Are there any other lash growth serums you could recommend that are proven 100% safe with regard to not changing eye color?

Remember the great: “Jan Marini Eyelash Growth Controversy?” back in the 2000s? Back in 2003, a group of dermatologist published a paper in the Dermatology Online Journal suggesting that a drug used for glaucoma (latanoprost) actually stimulated eyelash growth. This could be the basis for the Jan Marini eyelash product.

I was amazed that this could be true! It seems to me that this would’ve been HUGE news in the cosmetic business and the general public. But it went by without nearly a mention. Imagine the money this discovery could bring in!
 Then I dug a little deeper and found out why the discovery likely passed unnoticed. Subsequent studies were not able to repeat what the original scientists demonstrated. According to these scientists in an article published in 2005 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, topical application of latanoprost was NOT EFFECTIVE.

Not having seen the original papers, I can’t say which research study is more believable. However, in terms of credibility, the American Academy of Dermatology is one of the premiere organizations in the area of dermatology so they win out there. Additionally, amazing claims like “Renews hair growth” require amazing proof. One paper in an online journal that can’t be reproduced by peers is hardly amazing proof.

In the case of this product, it appears that the active ingredient is arginine. There is some information that suggests that arginine can stimulate release of nitrous oxide which in turn stimulates increased blood flow to the follicle and therefore increases hair growth.

We couldn’t find any definitive studies which back this up although there are several patents along this line from Proctor, L’Oreal and others.

Just because something has a patent doesn’t mean it really works. The patent could be a method of composition or even something related to packaging.

Shiseido Full Lash Serum:
 
Water (Aqua/Eau), Dipropylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Sorbitol, Alcohol, Polyvinyl Acetate, Glycerin, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Methylparaben, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Potassium Hydroxide, Arginine, Xanthan Gum, Zizyphus Jujuba Fruit Extract, Simethicone, Trisodium Edta, Tocopherol.

Beauty Science News

Scorpion nail polish

Link

Here’s a story about a weird beauty trend that is going on in Latin America. Women are getting scorpion manicures. That is, they get manicures and glue tiny scorpions to their nails.

According to the story published in the Daily Mail, it started out as a joke by one beauty parlor and just caught on from there. They were having a scorpion theme day at the salon and had the crazy idea to glue dead baby scorpions to people’s nails. They posted a video on their Facebook page and it went viral. This led to people from across North America to visit the salon to get a manicure with baby scorpions attached to their nails.

Before applying them they kill the tiny insects with bug spray but these things still have their stingers and venom. It’s highly unlikely that you would get them venom in your bloodstream but still, it seems pretty crazy. And I feel a bit bad for the scorpions.

Incidentally, I searched and didn’t find any comment about this from PETA. No one is looking out for the ethical treatment of scorpions.

 

Marvel for men

Link

You know I’m always on the look out for stories that intersect two of my passions: beauty science and comic books. That’s why I was excited to hear that the brand Magic Shave has teamed up with Marvel Comics to create a media program around their shaving products using the hero Luke Cage. The storyline is titled “Luke Cage in a Close Shave!” Get it?
Hearing about this once again turned my mind to other Super hero themed personal care products. I have 3 suggestions, are you ready?

  • Stretch mark cream for Mr. Fantastic.
  • Some kind of eye drops for Daredevil.
  • And for Jessica Jones maybe a bourbon scented skin lotion.

Is flossing really just a waste of time?

Link

This story reminded me of one of my goals from a couple years ago. My goal was to floss every single day. And I was successful. I guess once you get into the habit, it’s pretty easy to do.

Anyway, the next year I restarted the goal and was doing fine until I heard a dentist interviewed on The Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast and this guy said that there was no scientific basis for the recommendation to floss. He claimed there were no peer reviewed studies to demonstrate flossing helps prevent gum disease or cavities. After that I sort of waned on flossing after I ran out of floss.

The thing is that no one believed me. I had a discussion with my dentists and neither he nor my hygienist thought what I was saying made sense. They told me they were taught in dental school that flossing was a good thing to do.

Well, according to Associate Press, they verified what the skeptical dentist on the show was saying. There is no scientific evidence that proves the benefits of flossing.

So, do you think that means people should stop flossing?

What it really means is that this is a subject that hasn’t really been studied very well. There are no groups who find it important enough to do a peer reviewed double blind study on the subject because everyone just assumes that there is benefits.

P&G who sells lots dental floss pointed to a two week study which “proved” that floss fights plaque but a scientific review of the study found that it was lacking (and only lasted 2 weeks). J&J declined to comment when presented evidence that flossing doesn’t reduce plaque.

So what do we make of this?

I don’t know. It seems obvious that there should be a benefit to flossing but there haven’t been good enough studies to show that it is. Maybe there just needs to be more studies.

I know I still floss just not as obsessively as I did that one year. And I don’t feel bad about it either.

This does go to show you that just because you do something and that experts recommend it, doesn’t mean that a scientific evaluation of the advice will show that their is any benefit.

Why swimming pools make your eyes red

Link

For those of you listening to this in the summer of 2016, swimming pools have been in the news lately because of the Olympics. BTW I’m not saying Perry and I went to Rio on vacation…Anyway…Everyone knows that the chlorine compounds used to sanitize swimming pools are irritating and can make your eyes red. Right? WRONG! I just read an article that explains that the chlorine itself does NOT do that. But chorine reacts with nitrogen it can form a compound called chloramine that IS irritating. Chloramine can make your eyes string and look blood shot it can even irritate your lungs and make you cough. AND how do you think the nitrogen gets in the pool?

That’s right, mostly from poo and pee and sweat. A clean chlorinated pool will NOT cause you any irritation. Only ones full of dirty diapers, or whatever.

iTunes reviews

  • RachelMarie13 says…Randy and Perry give great unbiased information which is hard to find in beauty these days. Up there with Serial and this American Life. The best beauty podcast I have found.
  • Pam says…I am so excited to continue my journey learning from these wise scientists. Thank you for all that you do!!!
  • Bubafzhyvx says… informative, unbiased and funny, love it!
  • LaurisseRT has “Only one suggestion. The only way this show could get better is if they played airhorn sounds after the hosts burn each other with their witty quips.
    Eyelash growth product
  • FLA Girl in NJ asks…Would you please analyze the ingredients of Shiseido’s Full Lash Serum and comment as to whether any of these ingredients are prostaglandins or prostaglandin derivatives, or whether it contains any other ingredient that could potentially change eye color?  Are there any other lash growth serums you could recommend that are proven 100% safe with regard to not changing eye color?
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Is Charlotte Tilbury Multi-miracle cream really worth it? Jo asks…I love Charlotte Tilbury’s Multi-Miracle Glow product but I’m afraid I spent too much and I worry that it really provides any benefits. Can you tell me if it has any special properties a... Is Charlotte Tilbury Multi-miracle cream really worth it? Jo asks…I love Charlotte Tilbury’s Multi-Miracle Glow product but I’m afraid I spent too much and I worry that it really provides any benefits. Can you tell me if it has any special properties and if not is there a more budget conscious version? Thanks for the question, […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 33:41
Does an anti-aging skin cleanser really exist? Episode 148 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/08/does-an-anti-aging-skin-cleanser-really-exist-episode-148/ Tue, 30 Aug 2016 05:01:16 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4794 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/08/does-an-anti-aging-skin-cleanser-really-exist-episode-148/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/08/does-an-anti-aging-skin-cleanser-really-exist-episode-148/feed/ 3 Our plane just landed and I’m posting this from my phone while waiting for Perry who’s stuck in customs. Apparently they think his juggling balls are contraband. We’ll be home soon! In the meanwhile listen to this blast from the past about skin cleansers and active ingredients. Click this link to read the original show […] Our plane just landed and I’m posting this from my phone while waiting for Perry who’s stuck in customs. Unknown-2Apparently they think his juggling balls are contraband. We’ll be home soon! In the meanwhile listen to this blast from the past about skin cleansers and active ingredients.

Click this link to read the original show notes. ]]> Our plane just landed and I’m posting this from my phone while waiting for Perry who’s stuck in customs. Apparently they think his juggling balls are contraband. We’ll be home soon! In the meanwhile listen to this blast from the past about skin cleanse... Our plane just landed and I’m posting this from my phone while waiting for Perry who’s stuck in customs. Apparently they think his juggling balls are contraband. We’ll be home soon! In the meanwhile listen to this blast from the past about skin cleansers and active ingredients. Click this link to read the original show […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 36:52 Zika or bug spray: which is more dangerous? Episode 147 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/08/zika-or-bug-spray-which-is-more-dangerous-episode-147/ Tue, 23 Aug 2016 05:01:34 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4790 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/08/zika-or-bug-spray-which-is-more-dangerous-episode-147/#respond https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/08/zika-or-bug-spray-which-is-more-dangerous-episode-147/feed/ 0 I thought for sure we’d be back in the country by now but before we could board the plane Perry was detained by the police. I’m still not sure what’s going on but apparently it has something to do him getting robbed on the way back to the hotel.   Don’t worry though, you can still listen […] I thought for sure we’d be back in the country by now but before we could board the plane Perry was detained by the police. I’m still not sure what’s going on but apparently it has something to do him getting robbed on the way back to the hotel.  mosquito-clip-art-mosquito-clip-art-9

Don’t worry though, you can still listen to this encore episode where we discuss the infamous “date rape” nail polish controversy and the safety of DEET, the active ingredient in mosquito sprays.

Click here for the original show notes. ]]> I thought for sure we’d be back in the country by now but before we could board the plane Perry was detained by the police. I’m still not sure what’s going on but apparently it has something to do him getting robbed on the way back to the hotel. I thought for sure we’d be back in the country by now but before we could board the plane Perry was detained by the police. I’m still not sure what’s going on but apparently it has something to do him getting robbed on the way back to the hotel.   Don’t worry though, you can still listen […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 35:28 Are fragrance allergies all in your head? Episode 146 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/08/are-fragrance-allergies-all-in-your-head-episode-146/ Tue, 16 Aug 2016 05:01:41 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4784 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/08/are-fragrance-allergies-all-in-your-head-episode-146/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/08/are-fragrance-allergies-all-in-your-head-episode-146/feed/ 9 I thought we’d be flying home from our tropical vacation today but it turns out Perry lost our plane tickets in a poker game last night. Looks like we’ll be flying stand by. Until we get this all sorted out, please enjoy this encore episode on fragrance allergies. You an find the original show notes here. […] I thought we’d be flying home from our tropical vacation today but it turns out Perry lost our plane tickets in a poker game last night. Looks like we’ll be flying stand by. Until we get this all sorted out, please enjoy this encore episode on fragrance allergies.images

You an find the original show notes here.

Image credit: http://www.blossomofhealth.com/
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I thought we’d be flying home from our tropical vacation today but it turns out Perry lost our plane tickets in a poker game last night. Looks like we’ll be flying stand by. Until we get this all sorted out, I thought we’d be flying home from our tropical vacation today but it turns out Perry lost our plane tickets in a poker game last night. Looks like we’ll be flying stand by. Until we get this all sorted out, please enjoy this encore episode on fragrance allergies. You an find the original show notes here. […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 36:34
Can the Think Dirty app really protect you from dangerous cosmetics? Episode 145 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/08/can-the-think-dirty-app-really-protect-you-from-dangerous-cosmetics-episode-145/ Tue, 09 Aug 2016 05:01:28 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4780 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/08/can-the-think-dirty-app-really-protect-you-from-dangerous-cosmetics-episode-145/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/08/can-the-think-dirty-app-really-protect-you-from-dangerous-cosmetics-episode-145/feed/ 7 I was planning on coming back to work today but Perry just ordered another picture of margaritas. That means today’s podcast has to be another rerun. Check out our discussion of the Think Dirty app. Click here for the original show notes. I was planning on coming back to work today but Perry just ordered another picture of margaritas. That means today’s podcast has to be another rerun. Check out our discussion of the Think Dirty app.

Click here for the original show notes. ]]> I was planning on coming back to work today but Perry just ordered another picture of margaritas. That means today’s podcast has to be another rerun. Check out our discussion of the Think Dirty app. Click here for the original show notes. I was planning on coming back to work today but Perry just ordered another picture of margaritas. That means today’s podcast has to be another rerun. Check out our discussion of the Think Dirty app. Click here for the original show notes. Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 31:56 Do you smell different when you ovulate? Episode 144 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/08/do-you-smell-different-when-you-ovulate-episode-144/ Tue, 02 Aug 2016 05:01:54 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4775 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/08/do-you-smell-different-when-you-ovulate-episode-144/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/08/do-you-smell-different-when-you-ovulate-episode-144/feed/ 2 Perry and I are still at the beach but don’t worry he’s constantly rubbing me down with sunscreen. While we’re gone please enjoy this encore episode of our podcast about the odors of ovulation.   Click here to read the original show notes. Thanks and see you soon! Perry and I are still at the beach but don’t worry he’s constantly rubbing me down with sunscreen. While we’re gone please enjoy this encore episode of our podcast about the odors of ovulation.  woman-546103_960_720

Click here to read the original show notes.

Thanks and see you soon!

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Perry and I are still at the beach but don’t worry he’s constantly rubbing me down with sunscreen. While we’re gone please enjoy this encore episode of our podcast about the odors of ovulation.   Click here to read the original show notes. Perry and I are still at the beach but don’t worry he’s constantly rubbing me down with sunscreen. While we’re gone please enjoy this encore episode of our podcast about the odors of ovulation.   Click here to read the original show notes. Thanks and see you soon! Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 33:20
Is it safe to use antibacterial soaps? Episode 143 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/07/is-it-safe-to-use-antibacterial-soaps-episode-143/ Tue, 26 Jul 2016 05:01:40 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4770 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/07/is-it-safe-to-use-antibacterial-soaps-episode-143/#respond https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/07/is-it-safe-to-use-antibacterial-soaps-episode-143/feed/ 0 Perry and I are on summer vacation.  While we’re gone please enjoy this encore episode of our podcast about antibacterial soaps. Click here to read the original show notes about antibacterial soaps. Thanks and see you soon! Perry and I are on summer vacation.  While we’re gone please enjoy this encore episode of our podcast about antibacterial soaps. maxresdefault

Click here to read the original show notes about antibacterial soaps.

Thanks and see you soon!

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Perry and I are on summer vacation.  While we’re gone please enjoy this encore episode of our podcast about antibacterial soaps. Click here to read the original show notes about antibacterial soaps. Thanks and see you soon! Perry and I are on summer vacation.  While we’re gone please enjoy this encore episode of our podcast about antibacterial soaps. Click here to read the original show notes about antibacterial soaps. Thanks and see you soon! Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 27:22
Do you really need 3 kinds of conditioner? Episode 142 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/07/do-you-really-need-3-kinds-of-conditioner-episode-142/ Tue, 19 Jul 2016 05:01:20 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4759 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/07/do-you-really-need-3-kinds-of-conditioner-episode-142/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/07/do-you-really-need-3-kinds-of-conditioner-episode-142/feed/ 5 Do I really need to use 3 kinds of conditioner? Dev asks… Is it absolutely essential to use a leave in, a rinse out, and a deep conditioner? I’ve been washing my hair and appling a regular rinse out conditioner and then I leave it in until the next time I wash my hair about […]

Do I really need to use 3 kinds of conditioner?Shower_gel_bottles

Dev asks… Is it absolutely essential to use a leave in, a rinse out, and a deep conditioner? I’ve been washing my hair and appling a regular rinse out conditioner and then I leave it in until the next time I wash my hair about a week later. Am I damaging my hair this way or do I really need to use a leave in, a daily and a deep conditioner?

No Dev, don’t be ridiculous. you don’t need to use a leave in, a daily rinse out and a deep conditioner. But you DO need to use a pre-wash treatment, a rinse out conditioner, a deep repair restructrurizer, a dry damaged masque, a hot oil treatment, and a leave in detangler. EVERY SINGLE DAY.

You have to keep in mind that a lot of these conditioner products overlap and that they only reason they exist if because marketing wants to sell more products.

Yeah, these deliver the same primary benefits, to different degrees, or they may just offer different ways to deliver that benefit. To give you some context let’s talk a little bit about talk about conditioners work.

Most conditioners work by lubricating the hair to smooth the cuticle. That’s the outer layer of the hair which consists of overlapping scales called cuticles. These cuticle are like the shingles on the roof of your house – they protect what’s beneath it. As your hair is damaged from washing and drying and combing and brushing and perming and coloring, the cuticle starts to wear away. When this happens your hair is broken more easily.

By smoothing the cuticles, conditioners make hair feel softer, look shinier and, most importantly, reduce breakage from brushing and combing.
This is the essential function of almost all leave ins, rinse outs, and deep conditioners. A rinse out and a deep conditioner or a mask that you leave in your hair for 3 to 5 minutes don’t really do anything different. They can deliver lubrication using different ingredients but they all do essentially the same thing to the outside of your hair.

Now, SOME conditioners can work on the inside. There are a few ingredients that have been proven to penetrate hair and strengthen the inside. Panthenol is one of those ingredients although you rarely see it used at high enough levels to make a difference. Coconut oil is another although again, the level has to be high and it has to be left on hair for hours to allow it to penetrate and to water proof your hair from the inside.

Also, there are some speciality products that have added benefits. Most split end menders are just hype. But there are a couple of technologies that can actually bind splits back together and keep them that way for several washings. We’ve written about this a few times.

Most color protect products are hype as well. We have seen a few technologies that can lock color in hair. Tresemme Color Revitalize is one of these.

Dev asked about using a rinse out as a leave in? In many cases, you should not. That’s because some ingredients are not intended for long term contact with the skin. For example, cetrimonium chloride is limited to 0.2% in a leave on product but it can be used at much higher levels in a rinse out product. If you’ve been doing this without any adverse effects you may be fine but if you try this with a different rinse out conditioner you may find your skin reacting differently.

The bottom line is that at the end of the day it’s really about your personal choice. If you like the way your hair feels after layering it with multiple conditioners there’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s also very unlikely that you’re getting much additional benefit and you’re probably wasting money.

Can you get addicted to body lotion?

Courtney asks…Is it possible for your skin to become dependent on lotion? In the winter, I got in the habit of putting it on every time I showered because my skin was dry. I’ve kept it up into the warm weather and I’m wondering if it’s helping my skin, hurting it, or neither.

This reminds of the question about becoming addicted to lip balm. In some cases, what you do to the surface of skin, which is dead, does affect the living cells below. But, no, your body can’t get physically addicted to lotion.

Your skin does have different needs in different seasons. In the winter, your skin needs moisturizer because the humidity is low and water evaporates from your skin more easily. In the summer, the humidity is typically higher but exposure to sunlight can dry out your skin so using a moisturizer in warm weather is not a bad idea.

The bottom line is: Your skin won’t “get addicted” to it but you may also find that you don’t need to use it as much in the summer. If your skin feels dry, use lotion!

Does silicone build up on skin?

RJ says…I’ve noticed that you’ve oft touted silicones as excellent hair conditioners. However, you haven’t talked much about the impact of silicones on skin, more specifically the face. I assume they carry similar pros and cons to hair application; the pros being excellent occlusive properties and the cons being potential buildup. Is this a correct assumption?

I’ve never seen anything to suggest that silicones build up on your skin. First of all, cleansers will do a good job of removing silicones. Even on hair there’s not much evidence of buildup. The problem with hair is that the surface area is so great because each hair is tube shaped and there are so many of them. We figured that if you could take each hair and cut it open and flatten it out, the hair from one person with average length would cover a small living room (about 100 sq ft.) If silicones do build up on hair, the problem is even worse because of all that surface area that you have to clean.

By comparison, the surface area of the average face is less than 1 square foot. Plus it’s a lot easier to scrub your face with a wash cloth, a sonic cleanser brush, or whatever. Your face it just easier to clean.

Also, remember that unlike hair, your skin is constantly shedding its outer layer. That shedding process will help slough off any product residue.  The bottom line is that you really don’t need to worry about silicone buildup on skin.

Is Sodium PCA a good anti-aging ingredient?

Ramsey asks…Does anybody have any additional information on this ingredient? I’ve been using TwinLabs Na-PCA spray for over 10 years but I believe it’s been discontinued. I personally think it works great but it’s more of an aging prevention product as opposed to an aging reversing product.

I’m always surprised to find that NaPCA is not more widely recognized. It stands for Pyrrolidone Carboxylic Acid and it’s a component of the skin’s own Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF).

Yea, 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 bunch of other stuff. NaPCA is really important because it helps the skin hold onto moisture.

You don’t see it used all that frequently anymore but in the 90’s it showed up in a lot of anti-aging products. It doesn’t take the place of occlusive agents that lock moisture in skin but it is effective in helping the skin to hold onto moisture.

Regarding aging prevention vs aging reversing: I sort of agree. When it’s part of your skin it can be aging prevention. When applied topically it’s really just another way to moisturize.

Beauty Science News

No difference between men’s and women’s razors

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I found an article that explains the difference between razors for men and women. According to their research, there are differences in the quality of razor blades between brands but within a brand there’s no functional difference between the blades used for men’s products and women’s products. As proof of this, they point to a press release issued by Gillette a few years ago in which they stated that the blades used in products for both genders “are both using the same “blade technology”.”

That doesn’t mean there are NO differences. Women tend to shave a much larger surface area than men (about 18 times more, according to some estimates) so women’s razors may have larger, more rounded head pieces.

Also, women tend to shave longer hairs than men do so some women’s razors include guide bars to align the hairs to provide a better cut. Finally, some women’s razors include lubricating ingredients again, because of the larger surface area. These things can all add to the price even though the blade itself is the same. So it sounds like in some cases a higher price may be justified but if you’re just comparing the most basic model of men’s and women’s razors there may not be much difference. I’ll put the link in the show notes so you read the rest of the discussion. By the way, there are a ton of scientists at work on this. At just one Gillette facility they have 100 PhD working on shaving products. Wow.

Pleasant smells increase facial attractiveness

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Want to make yourself look better? Well, here is some research out of the Monell Chemical Senses Center which suggests that perfumes and scented products can alter how people perceive you.

Previous research had shown that you could change the perception of facial attractiveness by using pleasant and unpleasant odors but scientists didn’t know whether that was actually changing the visual perception or just an emotional response. This study involved having 18 young adults evaluate the attractiveness and age of 8 female faces. The images varied in terms of natural aging features like lines and wrinkles.

While evaluating the images the subjects were exposed to different odors, one pleasant (rose oil) and one unpleasant (fish oil). Then the subjects rated the age of the face in the photo, the attractiveness and the pleasantness of the odor. The result was that odor pleasantness directly influenced rating of facial attractiveness suggesting that odor and visual cues independently influence judgements.

One downside to using pleasant odors is that visual age cues were more strongly influenced when people smelled a pleasant odor. That means that people judged the photos to look older than they were and younger than they were. The unpleasant odor made you appear closer to your real age.

Beauty is in your genes (and here’s why)

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We’ve often said that how you age is determined by your genes but there’s new research has discovered exactly which genes are responsible for which aspects of aging.

This comes to us from the fine folks at P&G who researched how changes in gene expression changes affect the appearance and quality of women’s skin as they age.

Most interesting, they looked at women who look extremely young for their age and found they share some unique genetic characteristics.

They found these women have a “unique skin fingerprint” that’s driven by about 2,000 genes. We all have these genes but the degree to which they’re expressed is what keeps these women looking younger later in life. The researchers believe there are several key biological functions controlled by these genes including “cellular energy production, cell junction and adhesion processes, skin and moisture barrier formation, DNA repair and replication, and anti-oxidant production.”

In the far flung future, if we learn to control gene expression reliably, this research could really impact antiaging. But for now it at least it may help us improve some of our compensating treatments like better use of antioxidants.

Skin treatment experiment

Link

There was an article on New Beauty in which an author Courtney Leiva experimented with a skin treatment over the course of a week and she reported on how it went. I applaud her for making the attempt but it was really lackluster in terms of scientific rigor. The beauty treatment she was trying was liquid chlorophyll. According to the purveyors of this product, using liquid chlorophyll is supposed to oxygenate and refresh your skin.

For seven days she added chlorophyll to her water. She first found the liquid chlorophyll at a health food shop. That seems like a problem to me right away. How would you know that something is actually chlorophyll and not just green, flavored water? Anyway, she drank the chlorophyll and didn’t see any immediate improvements to her skin. Not surprising. She said it tasted pretty awful.

There was no effect after 2 days, then none after 3 or 4 or 5 or even after a week. So, if you tried something for a week and saw no difference, what would your conclusion be? Well, hers was that she’ll keep it up for another week. I wonder how long it takes before people give up on products?

Paramela oil: Yet another exotic natural beauty ingredient

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I just read about a new exotic oil, Paramela. It comes from a evergreen sort of plant that is native to Argentina and it’s noteworthy because it can reportedly help soothe rosacea. The good news is that its benefits were established in a research study that was published in Cosmetics & Toiletries. The bad news is that research study is crap.

I think this was one of those vendor sponsored studies and it wasn’t very well-designed. There were no control whatsoever. They put the the oil in an emulsion and tested it on 10 people. TEN PEOPLE. They rated the panelists’ skin before and after treatment.

They found that people had less redness and less transepidermal water loss after using the product. But what does that mean? You can’t tell if the people just got better over time because the weather changed or whether the emulsion itself was helping – any lotion could provide this kind of effect. There’s no reason whatsoever to believe that this oil is anything special.

The reason I making such a big deal about this is this is why it’s so important to really read the research when you’re looking at products that use fancy exotic ingredients that are probably going to ask you to spend more money on them. Even if they can point to a scientific study that still doesn’t mean that the product does anything special which means you shouldn’t be tricked into spending more money on it!

Squeezing the last drops out of a shampoo bottle

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Here was some cool technology I saw in a story about shampoo bottles. Since so many people are working on all the really big problems of the world, it’s nice to know that we still have people working on some of the more mundane problems. In this case, researchers at Ohio State University have come up with a solution to that problem the has bothered people for decades, leaving the last few drops of product in your shampoo, body wash, or skin care product bottle.

Inspired by the Lotus leaf, they created a slippery surface in which the surfactants in personal care products like shampoo will not stick to. Rather, they just slide out. The technology involved creating a surface that had tiny pockets of air and then adhering that special surface to a polypropylene plastic bottle using a silicate particle.

It sounds complicated. Anyway, the shampoo just slipped right off the surface. The video is pretty cool. Unfortunately, they said that over time the effect didn’t work as well so there is still more work to be done. I don’t know why they don’t just tip the bottle upside down like I do.

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Do I really need to use 3 kinds of conditioner? Dev asks… Is it absolutely essential to use a leave in, a rinse out, and a deep conditioner? I’ve been washing my hair and appling a regular rinse out conditioner and then I leave it in until the next tim... Do I really need to use 3 kinds of conditioner? Dev asks… Is it absolutely essential to use a leave in, a rinse out, and a deep conditioner? I’ve been washing my hair and appling a regular rinse out conditioner and then I leave it in until the next time I wash my hair about […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 33:46
Can Coca Cola give you a better sun tan? Episode 141 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/07/can-coca-cola-give-you-a-better-sun-tan-episode-141/ Tue, 12 Jul 2016 05:01:17 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4753 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/07/can-coca-cola-give-you-a-better-sun-tan-episode-141/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/07/can-coca-cola-give-you-a-better-sun-tan-episode-141/feed/ 14 Can Coca Cola give you a better tan? Nanda asks…Will Coca Cola give you a better sun tan?
 When I first head this I thought it was an obscure, ridiculous rumor. But I was wrong. it turns out it’s a very pervasive, ridiculous rumor. Yeah, if you Google “using coca cola to tan” you get […]

Can Coca Cola give you a better tan?

Nanda asks…Will Coca Cola give you a better sun tan?
lghr16825+even-the-sun-drinks-coke-coca-cola-poster

When I first head this I thought it was an obscure, ridiculous rumor. But I was wrong. it turns out it’s a very pervasive, ridiculous rumor.

Yeah, if you Google “using coca cola to tan” you get THOUSANDS of search results from people raving about the tanning powers of Coke. People all over the world say that you can get a darker tan if you apply Coke to your skin. My favorite is…Top ten myths about Coca Cola which just happen to be true. But all the article does is repeat the myth – there’s not a hint of evidence.
 Another website explained it this way…Imagine this, your body is the skillet, the sun is the fire, and the sugars and caramels are burning on you!

I don’t think that’s QUITE right. Even a high tech mechanism like that doesn’t convince me.

What about the Coca Cola company? Have they weighed in on this controversy?

The only official response from Coke I could find was on their UK website where they said “As much as we love Coca‑Cola, we really wouldn’t recommend using it in this way. There is no sun protection factor in it at all – it’s a drink!”

And that’ s exactly what I’d expect them to say regardless of whether it works or not. if they said it does work then someone could try it, get sunburned or skin cancer and sue them. Better to deny, deny, deny. So is there any science here?

First of all, some versions of this myth say to mix Coke with baby oil before tanning. So if you did this how do you know it’s not the baby oil giving a darker tan? There is evidence that oils can darken tans by reducing the amount of sunlight that’s reflected from the skin.  (Ref: Phototherapy treatment of psoriasis today) In this version of the myth it could just be the effect of the mineral oil.

But let’s take a look at the ingredients in Coke to see if there’s anything ELSE that could be accelerating the tanning process. The product is pretty simple it just consists of Carbonated Water, Sugar, Caramel coloring, Phosphoric Acid, and Natural Flavourings Including Caffeine.

The water certainly won’t do anything. I suppose in THEORY the sugars could dry on your skin and form a layer that reduces the reflection of sunlight (just like mineral oil does) but I don’t believe sugar has the right optical properties to do that.

Could the caramel coloring be staining the skin? Caramel does have staining properties but I doubt that as well because the concentration is so low. The viscosity of Coke is so low that you can’t really apply a thick layer to concentrate it either. So that doesn’t appear to be the answer.

Yeah, just about the worst application properties you can imagine. Phosphoric acid would have no effect it’s just there to control the pH.

Okay, so what about the natural flavors and caffeine?

Well, according to the text book Sunscreens by Nadim Shaath, insert reference] one way to boost a tan (which is actually increasing melanogenesis) is to increase the amount of an enzyme called tyrosine present in the melanosomes. One researcher demonstrated that a chemical known as theophylline may directly increase the rate of tyrosinase synthesis. (Of course this was done on cell cultures in the lab…) Theophylline is chemically related to theobromine which is found in the leaves of the cocoa plant so it COULD be a part of the “ natural flavorings” used in coke but since the exact recipe is secret we’ll probably never know.

Caffeine is another related chemical so the combination of the two THEORETICALLY may be able to boost melanogensis.

Of course, as I said a second ago, this has only been shown possible in cell cultures and NOT when applied topically. So you’d also have to prove that these chemicals penetrate skin and that there’s enough present to cause an effect.

Yeah. If there is Theobromine is Coke there’s not very much. since it’s only slightly water-soluble (about 330 milligrams per literhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine.) BTW, theobromine has also been identified as one of the compounds that may contribute to chocolate’s alleged aphrodisiac properties.

The bottom line: There doesn’t appear to be any scientific mechanism to explain how Coke could accelerate a sun tan.

How do sugar sprays texturize hair?

Allie asks…How do sugar sprays texturize your hair? There’s a Sugar Mist product, Cake Beauty has one and Bed Head has Sugar Shock. How do they work?

To answer this we took a look at the ingredients in these sugar sprays. The Sweet Definition Texturizing Sugar Mist product does contain a sugar extract. It also contains a classic styling polymer called VP/VA copolymer which is what’s actually responsible for it holding hair/providing texture.

I guess the name “Sweet Definition Texturizing VP/VA Copolymer Mist” just didn’t have the same ring.

The sugar may help a little but if too much is used it will make hair sticky because sugar is hygroscopic (meaning it can absorb water from the air.) Again, the polymer is really doing the work.

For the Cake Beauty product I couldn’t find ANY ingredient list. The website and their press release information only tells me what’s NOT in the product. I HATE when that happens. It’s impossible to tell WHATS in this thing. If it doesn’t contain a true styling polymer then it’s probably more of a texturizer than a holding product.

Finally, the Bed Head product has sucrose as well as PVP which is another classic styling agent. Most old school gels are PVP based.

I guess the bottom line is that if these sugar sprays are based only on sugar, they can give your hair texture (and some stickiness.) If the contain sugar but also have a true styling polymer then they can actually provide some hold.

Bed Head Sugar Shock Bodifying Sugar Spray ingredients

Water, PVP, Magnesium Sulfate, Sucrose PEG-17, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Polysorbate-20, Phenoxyethanol, Oleth-20,PEG-40, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Aminomethyl Propanol, Methylisothiazolinone, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citral, Coumarin, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool.

I don’t really understand how the salt and sugar will provide much benefit because the sugar (as well as the glycerine and to some extent the propylene glycol) will attract moisture to your hair. That means stickiness. The salt will provide texture if it’s “dry” but the other ingredients around it will probably plasticize it to the point there you don’t get a good feel in your hair.

Can you use less of mineral sunscreen?

Kit Kat says…a well-known dermatologist says the recommended 1/4 tsp on face and 1/4 tsp for the neck isn’t applicable for physical sunscreen and you don’t have to use that much to get the proper protection. Is this correct?

I’ve never seen any data that suggests this is true. All sunscreens require a relatively thick coating to ensure appropriate protection. Skimping on how much you apply is not a good idea.

But with claims like this it’s always a good idea to check out the source material. I did find a link to the source of the Kit’s question. It was Dr. Neil Schultz on Derm TV.

I saw that video. First, I gotta say it really bugs me that he refers to mineral sunscreens as “chem-free.”

He does advocate using use less mineral sunscreen. His reasoning is that mineral sunscreens are micronized so that the particles are so small that a given number of particles will cover a larger amount of surface area.

That much is certainly true. But it seems to me proper coverage also depends on the exact concentration of the mineral sunscreen active and the spreadability of the formula. Does he offer any more proof?

In the video, he says “on the basis of personal experience and the use of chem free sunscreens by many thousands of patients, using less chem free than traditional carbon based sunscreens still results in the effective sun protection as well as a cosmetically  acceptable experience.”

I certainly respect his opinion as a professional but his personal experience and the uncontrolled observation of patients still sounds like anecdotal data to me.  This MAY be true but I still can’t find any credible source that backs this up so I’m very skeptical. So, why would you take the chance?

Beauty Science News

How cosmetics affect how people perceive you

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Here’s a study published in the Journal Perception that looks at the influence of cosmetics on people’s perception of other people. In the study they had people look at pictures of other people wearing makeup and not wearing makeup. They had to rank them for things like attractiveness, dominance and prestige. The researchers were attempting to find out how makeup affects perception of social status. They found that men and women both thought people looked more attractive when they wore makeup. big surprise. However, women perceived people who wore makeup as more dominant while men thought they looked more prestigious.

Skin lightening ingredient approved in EU

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Here’s another update on cosmetic ingredient safety from Europe: The SCCS says that alpha-arbutin is safe to use in skin lightening products. (Remember that hydroquinone has some side effects that can make it dangerous so this may be a good alternative although it’s not as effective.) In the EU HQ is allowed but only in prescription products so it’s more tightly controlled.

Magic powder turns beauty products into sunscreens

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This story published in New Beauty sounded pretty scary. There’s a company who came out with a product called MOSS Halo Sun Protection Powder. They claim that you can mix this powder into your favorite skin care product to get SPF protection. The powder is made up of zinc oxide and then some other BS ingredients like willow bark, bamboo, and green tea extracts. They claim you can get an SPF of about 15 – 20. This seems like a terrible idea to me because sunscreen actives are very difficult to disperse.

Lo-Wash your face (Lotion Washing)

This isn’t really a news story but rather just some speculation I’d like to share with you and our listeners. It was triggered by another article I saw about No-poo for hair where you “wash” hair with conditioner. There’s also the “Low Poo” version where you use products with just a touch of surfactants. But it made me wonder if there’s an analogous beauty hack for skin: If you can wash your hair with conditioner, why can’t you wash your face with lotion? I call it “Lo-wash.”  The analogy holds up pretty well – both conditioners and lotions contain some emulsifying surfactants and a lot of lubricating materials like fatty alcohol and silicones. I don’t expect that lotion would deep clean your skin so it may not remove heavy makeup but if you’re just trying to remove sweat and oil and you don’t want to risk drying out your skin, it seems like something that might be worth a try. Let’s make Lo-Wash a thing!

Female smokers should time quitting with their menstural cycle.

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I know that people spend millions, maybe billions of dollars trying to fight the signs of aging, but in reality there are pretty much only two lifestyle choices you can make that will have the most significant impact on the way your skin looks. Number 1 is to always use sunscreen when going out in the sun. And number 2 is don’t smoke. Smoking and sun cause wrinkles, skin discoloration and other signs of aging.

The problem is that once you start smoking many people find it hard to stop. Well, we don’t have any advice for men but for women, this latest study published in the journal Biology of Sex Differences suggests that women who want to quit smoking can have better success by timing their quit date with optimal days during their menstrual cycle.

It turns out estrogen and progesterone modulate addictive behavior. These ingredients fluctuate over the course of the menstrual cycle so they hypothesized that there would be a time during the cycle where the progesterone-to-estrogen ratio is high and addictive behaviors would be thwarted.

The women in the study were separated into two groups — those in their follicular phase (the time when menstruation begins until they ovulate) and those in their luteal phase (the time after ovulation). Results revealed that during the follicular phase, there was reduced functional connectivity between brain regions that helps make good decisions and the brain regions that contain the reward center, which could place women in the follicular phase at greater risk for continued smoking and relapse.

Which is a complicated way to say, if you want to quit smoking and improve your skin and overall health, you should do it after ovulation but before you have your period. That will give you a better chance of successfully quitting, according to this research.

Anti-pee paint

Finally, here’s a story…I’m not sure how it related to beauty science but researchers have invented a paint that repels urine. It’s being used on the outside of night clubs and bars where people tend to relief themselves. With the new paint the urine just bounces off the wall and sprays all over the perpetrator. Our female listeners may want to use this at home for their husbands and boyfriends.

Support the Beauty Brains by writing an iTunes review

Shadowdancer says…These guys are great at cutting through the BS and getting to the truth of how beauty products work. Sometimes they do seem to know more about the science than about current trends; I wish they put the same effort into googling trends as looking up studies and journal articles.

i4Imagine says…One of the best! They provide such honest, straight forward information backed with science. It has definitely piqued my interest in skincare!

 

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Can Coca Cola give you a better tan? Nanda asks…Will Coca Cola give you a better sun tan?
 When I first head this I thought it was an obscure, ridiculous rumor. But I was wrong. it turns out it’s a very pervasive, ridiculous rumor. Yeah, Can Coca Cola give you a better tan? Nanda asks…Will Coca Cola give you a better sun tan?
 When I first head this I thought it was an obscure, ridiculous rumor. But I was wrong. it turns out it’s a very pervasive, ridiculous rumor. Yeah, if you Google “using coca cola to tan” you get […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 35:24
Is fabric softener a good hair conditioner? Episode 140 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/07/is-fabric-softener-a-good-hair-conditioner-episode-140/ Mon, 04 Jul 2016 05:01:38 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4743 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/07/is-fabric-softener-a-good-hair-conditioner-episode-140/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/07/is-fabric-softener-a-good-hair-conditioner-episode-140/feed/ 10 Does blotting oily sunscreen reduce SPF? Emma asks in Gmail…I don’t like the oily skin I get from using sunscreen so I blot off the excess with an oil absorbing sheet. Is this reducing the SPF of the sunscreen? Yes, blotting some of the sunscreen off your face will reduce the UV protection, to some […]

Does blotting oily sunscreen reduce SPF?laundry-149854_960_720

Emma asks in Gmail…I don’t like the oily skin I get from using sunscreen so I blot off the excess with an oil absorbing sheet. Is this reducing the SPF of the sunscreen?

Yes, blotting some of the sunscreen off your face will reduce the UV protection, to some degree. That happens for two reasons:

First, most UV absorbers are not water soluble so they’re dissolved or dispersed in an oil phase. That means a high percentage of the active ingredient is in the oil that you’re removing. And less of that active ingredient means less sun protection.

Second, good sun protection depends on having a relatively thick, even film of the sunscreen on your skin. In fact, dermatologists specifically talk about sunscreen being wiped away as one of the main reasons to reapply.

Apparently this is well studied because I found a paper titled “Effect of Film Irregularities on Sunscreen Efficacy” in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Science. The researchers tested how well different sunscreen films worked and they found “Nonuniform distribution of sunscreen films on skin…account for large discrepancies between naively predicted efficacy and that observed clinically.” In other words, regardless of how good the sunscreen is, if the film isn’t uniform it won’t work as well.

The bottom line is that blotting off excess oil is one way to disrupt the film so if you want good sun protection, then you shouldn’t do it.

Is it safe to use fabric softener on hair?

Chloe asks…is it safe to use fabric softener on your hair?

I guess this qualifies as another of those DIY beauty hacks that we’ve been talking about lately. I’m not sure WHY you’d want to do this – to save money? To get better conditioning? Regardless of your rational here are 3 reasons this isn’t a good idea:

1. Beware of build up

Fabric softeners have a stronger charge then many hair conditioners. That means they may stick to fabric providing long-lasting softness. This is a good thing when it comes to your close which you wash rather infrequently. However in the case of your hair repeated, frequent use of fabric softer could result in horrific buildup.

2. You want the best for your hair

The ingredients are designed to stick to fabric but they can also stick to your hair after rinsing which is why they work so well. But that’s where the similarity ends. A good conditioner will include some sort of agent to add shine to your hair, for example a silicone. You will not find this in a fabric softener since “shine” is typically not desirable of clothing. The types of quats used in hair conditioners are fine-tuned to deliver the best aesthetic experience possible. The ingredients that are good at softening fabric may leave here feeling heavy and limp with a notable waxy coating. Fabric softeners are also heavily fragranced you may find yourself choking on the scent of Downey or Snuggles compared to your typical salon brand.

3. Skin safety

Of course the biggest concern is one of safety. Cosmetics (despite what other people may tell you otherwise) are formulated and tested to ensure they are safe for prolonged contact with skin. There are multiple regulations which control what may and may not be used in cosmetics.

Not surprisingly the laws that govern fabric softeners are different than the ones that control cosmetics. That’s not to say that fabric softeners are necessarily dangerous but they certainly aren’t intended to be used in direct, prolonged, contact with skin. Let’s look at the ingredients in Downy which is probably the most popular brand.

DEEDMAC: The main ingredient, which provides the conditioning, is diethyl ester dimethyl ammonium chloride (or DEEDMAC). The good news is that studies have found this is NOT a sensitizer on skin. Similar And similar ingredients are used in cosmetics.

Formic acid: which is a skin sensitizer and can produce allergic reactions. Not used in cosmetics.

Benzisothiazolinone: The preservative is a cousin of MI and it’s known to cause allergic reactions in some people. One research paper talked about population allergic to this somewhere between 2% and 23%.  This is not used in cosmetics.

Colorant: Liquitint® Sky Blue Dye is a color molecule attached to a couple of polymers. Not approved for cosmetics but needed here to prevent your white towels from staining. Showed that typical water soluble blue dye stains more. This colorant is NOT allowed in cosmetics.

Finally, a word about pH is 4 which is typical for a cationic conditioning product like this. That’s because at a slightly acid pH the conditioner has a positive charge which means it will stick to the damage areas of hair or fabric which have a negative charge.

The bottom line is why would you risk messing up your hair and damaging your skin with a product that’s not designed or tested for personal care use?

What’s a non-irritating alternative for shaving cream?

Peter asks…All regular shaving creams/gels I tested have pH values between 8.5 and 10 and use surfactants like sles or cocamide mea these products leave my skin itchy, red and dry. A dermatologist recommended substituting face wash with a regular emmolient cream and to also shave with it. I tried it with a couple of basic cleansing milks and moisturizers, and my skin is less dry, but it doesn’t really give the same barrier/slip most of the times. So I wonder is it wise to substitute your shaving cream with an emollient moisturizer, and what ingredients have a slippery feeling and give a barrier on skin so that the blade glides easily over your skin?

(Most) shaving creams are true soaps which means they’re formulated with saponified fatty acids (stearic acid usually) and some kind of alkaline agent like triethanolamine (hence the high pH.)

The benefit of this type of formula is that it does a good job of wetting the hair and it provides a lot of lubricious slip. The disadvantage is that it can be irritating to some people. As you pointed out, shaving with an emollient cream is a great idea if you have sensitive skin but, depending on the formula, it may not provide the same level of slip.

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy just telling you which ingredients have a slippery feel because it depends on how those ingredients are formulated into the finished product. For example, many silicones provide a lot of slip but if they’re formulated into a cream with cetyl or stearyl alcohols then the finished product can feel draggy.

This is one of those cases where you’ll have to use trial and error to find an emollient cream that gives you the right level of slip for your personal taste. Having said all that, I do have one off-the-wall suggestion for you. You might try one of those anti-chafing bikini gel products like Monistat product. It’s almost pure silicone so you might like the way it feels. (But it certainly won’t wet the beard hair so maybe it will be harder to cut? I don’t know it’s just a thought.

What’s the deal with ionic hair dryers?

Marta says…How do ionic hair dryers work? I’ve read one website that says they cause H2O molecules to divide into smaller particles that evaporate faster. Another website says the ions themselves offer some benefit to your hair. Could you explain it?

I can’t explain it because it’s not true! We’ve heard this claim for years but I haven’t seen a scrap of evidence showing that blowing ionized hot air at your hair provides any benefit.

Don’t get me wrong – ions do have their place in hair conditioning. Specifically, that’s how certain types of conditioners can stay on your hair after rinsing. One end of the molecule has a positive charge and that sticks to the negatively charged spots on your hair which is where the most damage is. So one end is the “anchor” but the other end of the molecule is a long chain of carbon atoms. This “fatty” part lubricates the hair like a thin coating of oil. If you blow ionized air onto your hair you’re just getting water ions which don’t have the same properties.

Want to learn more about beauty ingredients? Visit Cosmetic Composition.

We’re working on a project with another chemist, Paige DeGarmo, who runs the website www.cosmeticcomposition.com. She does a great job of explaining the science behind beauty products. If you like the Beauty Brains you’ll enjoy her website too. Here are a few of my favorite articles:

What is Micellar Water?

How does product order affect skin penetration?

What’s the difference between antiperspirant and deodorant?

Support the Beauty Brains by writing an iTunes review

Teelovespods says… I listen to this when I do my morning routine. I enjoy the matter-of-fact explanations, witty banter, and concise information.

Anonymous59724 says… This is helpful information, presented in an engaging way, definitely accessible for those of use without any more than high school chemistry knowledge. My only complaint is that it’s a little slow-paced, and that occasionally the hosts talk about beauty news articles that aren’t really  at all interesting.

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Does blotting oily sunscreen reduce SPF? Emma asks in Gmail…I don’t like the oily skin I get from using sunscreen so I blot off the excess with an oil absorbing sheet. Is this reducing the SPF of the sunscreen? Yes, Does blotting oily sunscreen reduce SPF? Emma asks in Gmail…I don’t like the oily skin I get from using sunscreen so I blot off the excess with an oil absorbing sheet. Is this reducing the SPF of the sunscreen? Yes, blotting some of the sunscreen off your face will reduce the UV protection, to some […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 33:07
Can hair really be sensitive to protein? Episode 139 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/06/can-hair-really-be-sensitive-to-protein-episode-139/ Tue, 28 Jun 2016 05:01:22 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4738 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/06/can-hair-really-be-sensitive-to-protein-episode-139/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/06/can-hair-really-be-sensitive-to-protein-episode-139/feed/ 2 Is the NIOD brand really “ultra-scientific?” Saania says…I have a question about a skincare brand that’s gained a cult status amongst serious skin care junkies. The brand NIOD, under the umbrella brand Deciem, claims to be “skincare for the hyper-educated”.  Their star product is called Copper Amino Isolate Serum. I wanted to know what you […]

Is the NIOD brand really “ultra-scientific?”3144190133_14d3bd4d15_b

Saania says…I have a question about a skincare brand that’s gained a cult status amongst serious skin care junkies. The brand NIOD, under the umbrella brand Deciem, claims to be “skincare for the hyper-educated”.  Their star product is called Copper Amino Isolate Serum. I wanted to know what you thought about the science behind this serum, as well as some of their other super sciency sounding products and claims.

I was not familiar with this company so I had to do a little research on Deciem. The first thing I found was the company tagline which is…

“WE ARE ABNORMAL.
NO, SERIOUSLY. WE ARE REALLY NOT KIDDING.”

I also found out that Deciem was started in 2013 and that now the company owns 10 different brands, one of which is NIOD which stands for “Non-invasive Options in Dermal Science.” The others include Hylamide, Grow Gorgeous (proven to make hair visibly longer, fuller and thicker), Inhibitif (all about hair removal), and White Rx (which is “ultra-scientific leader in skin care pigmentation.)

I’m not sure what their credentials are but I’ve never seen any leader in the industry refer to themselves as “ultra-scientific.”

But you asked specifically about their Copper Amino Isolate serum so let’s talk about that. Here are some of the claims from their website:

“This product contains 5.0% pure Copper Tripeptide-1 (GHK-Cu) to be mixed with a specialized activator before first use.

“This extraordinary concentration …help to prevent and reverse largely all aspects of visible skin aging…. including textural damage, uneven pigmentation, loss of elasticity, lines, wrinkles, enlarged pores and general lack of a…radiance…”

“In short, the skin will act and look younger starting within 5 days with continued improvements over time.”

“Superb award-winning technology to stabilize and enhance the activation of copper peptides.”

Okay, let’s break this down. First of all, peptides are quite commonly used in anti-aging products. We’ve talked about peptides as anti-aging ingredients back in Episode 55 where we explained there are 4 basic types. Copper Tripeptide belongs to the type known as “Carrier Peptides” which deliver trace elements, like copper and magnesium, which help with wound repair and enzymatic processes. These trace elements have been shown to improve pro-collagen synthesis, elasticity of skin, and overall skin appearance.

I don’t see anything in their claims that seem highly unreasonable. The product probably does what they say it does but there’s no indication that it works any better than any other product containing copper peptide at a similar concentration. I should also mention that the product costs $200 for 15 mls and you’re instructed to use it twice daily. I wonder how long that bottle will last…3 or 4 weeks? That’s $200 per month!

What about the “superb award-winning technology?” Have they received some sort of “Nobel Prize” for their “ultra-science?” Not quite. We contacted to ask them about the award and we were specifically told that this product won “Tatler’s Best Serum” award. Tatler, in case you didn’t know, is a UK based website published by Conde Nast. I couldn’t tell if the website just picks the winners or if they have consumers vote. Either way it’s just a popularity contest of sorts, which is fine, but this is not any kind of independent validation of their technology.

Finally, what about this notion that the product can “stabilize and enhance the activation of copper peptides?” The product is a two part system that requires mixing to “activate.” We also asked the company about this and here’s their response:

“Copper Peptides on their own are very reactive to even the smallest variations in pH. Since they are only soluble in water, even the most precise formulations will lead to pH variations once water is present abundantly enough to solubilize the peptides. The activation step involves saturating the pure peptides with sufficient water for complete solubility (the activator contains a very high percentage of low-molecular hyaluronic acid as well to draw the water in quickly upon application) at time of use. There’s near 95% stability after 6 months of use but we encourage use within 3-6 months of mixing.”

Two phase systems are commonly used to stabilize ingredients which may not be compatible. Typically you need to mix the two parts together right before using the product but in this case the mixture is stable for up to 6 months. That sounds good but it doesn’t quite make sense chemically. If the peptides are that sensitive to pH changes then you’d need to use the product right away. I don’t really understand this.

The bottom line is that this product uses an active anti-aging ingredient that does have SOME data showing it works. This may be a great product but unfortunately I don’t see anything that would indicate it’s worth the high price.

Copper Amino Isolate Serum ingredients

COPPER CONCENTRATE
: Glycerin, Copper Tripeptide-1, Aqua (Water), Methylglucoside Phosphate, Copper Lysinate/Prolinate, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol.

ACTIVATOR: 
Aqua (Water), Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Ethoxydiglycol, Decapeptide-22, Ogliopeptide-78, Palmitoyl Decapeptide-21, Zinc Palmitoyl Nonapeptide-14, Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Pentylene Glycol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Phenylpropanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol.

Is the Makeup Eraser cloth worth it?

Babis asks..I wonder if you guys know what is the technology behind Makeup Eraser – that towel that promises to remove makeup only by soaking it in warm water and rubbing in the face? Is it true and how can a simple watered towel be as efficient as a regular remover?

As Babis points out, this is essentially a towel that removes makeup without the need for additional cleansers. Here’s what the website says:

“The MakeUp Eraser removes 100% of your makeup with water only.  Just wet the cloth and remove your makeup. This includes waterproof eyeliner and mascara, HD makeup and much more. The best part is…it’s reusable. Throw it in the wash and no stains remain. The MakeUp Eraser will last up to 1,000 washes and eliminates the need to buy disposable product to remove your makeup.”

Is there any special technology at work here? I contacted the company and a representative told me…

“the cloth is a proprietary blend of 100% polyester. The fibers are so fine that they pull makeup away from the face.”
“So it’s all in the fibers! No added chemicals. All you need to do is add water to activate the fibers and the MakeUp Eraser removes all types of makeup.”

This does make some sense – a wet towel does have some cleansing efficacy and to some extent that can be optimized by configuring the fibers on the cloth.

Babis wanted to know how can it be as efficient as a regular remover. The company doesn’t say that it is, as far as I can tell. When I specifically asked how the cloth compares to conventional cleansers they said that “it’s reusable. Throw it in the wash and no stains remain. The MakeUp Eraser will last up to 1,000 washes and eliminates the need to buy disposable product to remove your makeup.”

So it’s “better” because it’s more convenient or because it saves you money. I’m curious if anyone has tried this thing to see how well it works. But regardless, if this convenience appeals to you it may be worth a try.

How do you get bubbles in hair gel?

Bobbi asks…I’ve been using a clear hair gel with bubbles. How do they get the bubbles to stay in there?

It’s funny – we’ve worked on products that needed to be absolutely clear with no bubbles and other products that have to filled with bubbles!

Creating the bubbles is the easy part – the basic way is to stir the batch more vigorously which incorporates more air. But the more controlled process is to introduce an air line that shoots a steady stream of compressed air into the batch.

The real trick is getting the bubbles to stay there. Part of it has to do with the thickness of the formula – obviously thicker products don’t flow as easily and they trap gas bubbles better. But you also need to add a special type of rheology builder that gives the gel more structure without making it too thick. These are typically based on acrylic polymers.

What’s the deal with protein sensitive hair?

Ryan in Forum…Hello, I’ve heard that too much protein can be bad for hair and cause it to become dry and eventually break off. I have a conditioner called Abba gentle conditioner that has protein but when I use it my hair looks and feels great. So is there any truth to this?

This notion that too much protein is bad for your hair comes up quite often. I’ve even heard the concern raised that you can have “protein sensitive hair.” But when you look at the science there’s no mechanism for topically applied protein causing hair to break. So what’s going on here?

I think this myth got its start from the relaxed hair community. People with African-American hair often relax it which can be VERY damaging. The relaxation process breaks the disulfide bonds in hair which makes the hair more porous. Hair that is extremely porous can soak up too much of the quats, fatty alcohols, and silicones from regular conditioners. This over-absorption makes hair feel mushy. So, special conditioners where developed for relaxed hair that contain LOWER levels of these ingredients. These are often referred to as “protein conditioners” because they contain (sometimes high) levels of proteins. Since the proteins don’t provide as much conditioning, it’s possible that the lower level of conditioning agents (not the higher level of protein) could result in more breakage because the hair wasn’t as lubricated.

This appears to be the origin of the “protein conditioners cause hair to break” meme. From there it spread to the general population so know we have a lot of people believing this and asking the same question. There is one area where proteins MAY be of legitimate concern and that’s where it comes to skin allergies. But that’s a different story.

For what it’s worth, I took a look at the Abba ingredient list. It’s a fairly standard formula based on fatty alcohols and cetrimonium chloride. It does contain several proteins but they appear to be below the 1% line so I doubt they’re really contributing much.

Abba Gentle Conditioner ingredients
Aqua (Water) (Eau), Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Propylene Glycol, Hydrolyzed Barley Protein, Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Bark Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Citric Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Parfum (Fragrance), Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Salicylate, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hydroxyisohexyl-3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Limonene, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Beauty Science News

A recent scientific study has concluded that get this there are too many scientific studies.

Burger King sauna

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EU approves old sunscreen, catches up with US

Second skin could erase wrinkles

Support the Beauty Brains by writing an iTunes review

Louise A says…These guys are cosmetic scientists who truly understand what they are talking about. I feel very empowered in using this acquired knowledge. But it’s quite funny hearing them talk about popular culture and social media, it reminds me of my dad (… they kinda get it, but not quite).

Bruiser68 from United Kingdom says…As the owner of a day spa in Birmingham I have learned so much that I can pass on to my clients from these guys. Their knowledge helps to cut through the cosmetic company marketing hype and identify the facts. I just love it – even the cheesy bits!

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Is the NIOD brand really “ultra-scientific?” Saania says…I have a question about a skincare brand that’s gained a cult status amongst serious skin care junkies. The brand NIOD, under the umbrella brand Deciem, Is the NIOD brand really “ultra-scientific?” Saania says…I have a question about a skincare brand that’s gained a cult status amongst serious skin care junkies. The brand NIOD, under the umbrella brand Deciem, claims to be “skincare for the hyper-educated”.  Their star product is called Copper Amino Isolate Serum. I wanted to know what you […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 31:50
Are boar bristle brushes better for your hair? Episode 138 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/06/are-boar-bristle-brushes-better-for-your-hair-episode-138/ Tue, 21 Jun 2016 05:01:13 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4731 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/06/are-boar-bristle-brushes-better-for-your-hair-episode-138/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/06/are-boar-bristle-brushes-better-for-your-hair-episode-138/feed/ 3 Are boar bristle brushes better for your hair? Georgina asks…Are boar bristle brushes better for your hair? I’m looking at a Mason Pearson brush that’s about $100 and I want to know if it’s worth it. It’s tough to give a definitive answer because as you might imagine there aren’t many double blind, peer reviewed […]

Are boar bristle brushes better for your hair?It_means_no_worries

Georgina asks…Are boar bristle brushes better for your hair? I’m looking at a Mason Pearson brush that’s about $100 and I want to know if it’s worth it.

It’s tough to give a definitive answer because as you might imagine there aren’t many double blind, peer reviewed scientific studies comparing different hair brushes. But we DID find a couple of studies that may be helpful.

The first study, “A Statistical Analysis of Hair Breakage,” pointed out the something that seems obvious: different combs and brushes will affect your hair differently depending on their structure. The researchers say that the spacing between teeth or bristles has a big influence. They also noted that “different comb or bristle materials may also have a different tendency for abrasion.” Unfortunately, the research didn’t provide any data on the differences in abrasion which would have been really helpful to answer your question!

A second study compared brushes to combs and confirmed the importance of the configuration of the brush bristles (or comb teeth.) It compared hair breakage resulting from use of three different styling implements:

  • A Goody flat paddle style brush with featuring plastic bristles with bulbous tips with a bristle bulb diameter of 0.2134 cm.
  • A cylindric Prive styling brush also containing plastic bristles with a smaller bristle bulb diameter of 0.1118 cm.
  • An Ace comb of unspecified dimensions.

Their results showed that both brushes and combs cause hair breakage because hairs become “looped” around individual bristles. Once they are looped, the friction increases and the hair can be pulled out or broken.

Interestingly the data showed that brushing causes more long hairs to break while combing causes shorter hairs to break. Apparently this has to do with how brush bristles are configured in multiple rows and columns.

The other interesting finding of this study is that brushes tend to distribute hair over a wider area than a comb which tends to confine the hairs to a narrow path. That means that in terms of oil distribution a brush could provide a better opportunity for even oil spreading than a comb.

Finally, although we couldn’t find any data to back this up, we hypothesize that boar bristles MAY do a better job of spreading scalp oils throughout the hair.

That’s because boar’s hair brushes would have a greater affinity for oils than plastic or nylon brushes. If the boar’s hair does act as a natural reservoir of oil it could lubricate hair better. Again, that’s just a guess.

So the bottom line is that we don’t have a definitive answer but it LOOKS like the configuration of the bristles is more important than what material they’re made from. Based on what we’ve seen it may be best to use a combination of a wide tooth comb to detangle and a natural fiber bristle brush (like boar’s hair) to distribute oils through your hair.

However, even though there MAY be some slight advantage to boar bristle brushes it’s hard to say how much money that difference is worth. You also have to consider the overall quality of the brush, how long it will last, and how it feels in your hand and so on. Even if there’s no clear scientific benefit sometimes it’s just nice to splurge on nice stuff.

Reference 1:
J. Cosmet. Sci., 61, 439–455 (November/December 2010) A statistical analysis of hair breakage. II. Repeated grooming experiments. Trefor A. Evans and Kimun Park.
Reference 2:
J. Cosmet Sci., 58, 629-636 (November/December 2007) Hair breakage during combing IV: Brushing and combing hair. Clarence Robbins and Yash Kamath.

Can you use  Magic Eraser to remove spray tan?

Marilyn says…I read that you can use a Magic Eraser sponge to remove spray tan. Will it work and is it safe? 

First of all, what is a Magic Eraser? It’s a brand name for a P&G household product under their Mr. Clean line. It’s made from a spongey like material called Melamine foam and I think it’s an interesting product because of how it came about.

Melamine foam is actually a formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer. It’s been used for decades as as insulation for pipes and ductwork, and as a soundproofing material for studios, sound stages, and so forth. At some point, an enterprising chemist figured out they could incorporate a surfactant into this stuff, make it into hand sized blocks, and sell it as a household cleanser that “erases” stains from hard surfaces.

Will it help get ride of spray tan? Probably pretty well. The DHA used in sunless tanners reacts with the upper layer of stratum corneum to stain the protein in skin. If you scrub that upper layer off you’ll make the tan go away faster. In fact, that’s one test used for exfoliation efficacy – you stain several spots on the skin, measure the color on each spot, then apply a different type of exfoliator to each spot and remeasure the color. The lightest spots are the most effective exfoliator because they removed the most stained skin cells.

Is it safe? That’s a different question. As a general rule it’s never a good idea to use a household product on your skin. That’s because they’re not subject to the same safety testing requirements as personal care products. It may contain some free formaldehyde but that’s not likely to be a problem unless it’s present at a fairly high level. But there may be other issues. For example, there could be small amounts of unreacted polymer that could elicit an allergic reaction. It’s one thing if you are just holding one of these in your hand as your scrubbing your kitchen counter. It’s another thing if you’re rubbing it all your body to scrape off a tan.

Is Milk of Magnesia a good makeup primer?

We blogged about this a few years ago but we haven’t discussed it on the show. This is one of those internet skin care hacks that just won’t die. I still see it pop up on Pinterest and YouTube. Milk of Magnesia is a common over-the-counter laxative. Technically speaking, it’s a solution of magnesium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite and it works by drawing water into the intestine so you can poop.

Can this stuff do anything for skin? Well, the ability to drive water absorption into the intestines MAY make it capable of tightening skin and leaving a smooth surface for make up. And it may also have some mild antibacterial properties. And since it’s such an effective absorbent it may get rid of excess oil. (Another rumor is that it’s good for acne.) So there’s enough here that you can sort of see how this idea got started. But is it safe?

Not really. Since it has a high pH (about 10.5) it can disrupt the natural acid mantle of skin which means it can dry it out, leave you open to skin infections, etc. If you use this stuff on a regular basis, ESPECIALLY if you leave it on your skin like you would a makeup primer, I think it’s far more likely to do damage than it is to help. Why wouldn’t you just use a product specifically formulated to be used on your face instead?

Are sheet masks better moisturizers?

Frances wants to know…I’ve recently gotten into skin care products from East Asia, mainly Korea, & sheet masks are a BIG trend over there. My question is, do they actually deliver superior hydration to the skin?

Sure, while the sheet is on your face it’s very good hydrator. These things cover a lot of surface area, they’re larger reservoirs of product and they’re quite occlusive which means they’ll trap moisture against your skin. If it’s a foil backed mask it’s even better because nothing will evaporate through that.

But… once you remove it what happens? These things don’t leave a lot of product behind. Compared to a cream or lotion a mask isn’t likely to provide much benefit after it’s removed. Of course it depends on if it contains the proper amount of an active ingredient but just from a hydration perspective masks are not the ideal delivery system. They also don’t allow your to fine tune the delivery like a cream does (you can use your fingers to apply exactly where you want it around your lips, eyes and nose.) Sheet masks aren’t that precise.

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Support the Beauty Brains by writing an iTunes review

We’ve reached our 100th review!! Meanie says… I am 65, obviously beyond anti-aging, and I love these boys. They are smart, funny and, I’m sure, so so handsome. I enjoy their bantering and foul language!

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Are boar bristle brushes better for your hair? Georgina asks…Are boar bristle brushes better for your hair? I’m looking at a Mason Pearson brush that’s about $100 and I want to know if it’s worth it. It’s tough to give a definitive answer because as yo... Are boar bristle brushes better for your hair? Georgina asks…Are boar bristle brushes better for your hair? I’m looking at a Mason Pearson brush that’s about $100 and I want to know if it’s worth it. It’s tough to give a definitive answer because as you might imagine there aren’t many double blind, peer reviewed […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 54:15
Are super foods good for your skin? Episode 137 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/06/are-super-foods-good-for-your-skin-episode-137/ Tue, 14 Jun 2016 05:01:36 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4720 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/06/are-super-foods-good-for-your-skin-episode-137/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/06/are-super-foods-good-for-your-skin-episode-137/feed/ 7 Are super foods effective beauty ingredients? Jana asks…What are your thoughts on super foods in skin care? Ingredients like acacia, coconut, grapeseed oil, berries, green tea, avocado, turmeric and resveratrol. What the heck IS a super food? There is no scientific or medical definition. Typically you’ll see them described like this: “superfoods are nutrient powerhouses […]

Are super foods effective beauty ingredients?superfoods

Jana asks…What are your thoughts on super foods in skin care? Ingredients like acacia, coconut, grapeseed oil, berries, green tea, avocado, turmeric and resveratrol.

What the heck IS a super food? There is no scientific or medical definition. Typically you’ll see them described like this: “superfoods are nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals.”

Jana’s question comes at a good time because I was just asked this same thing by a reporter from R29. She asked about things like Kale, Spirulina, and Chia seeds.

First of all, this isn’t a surprising trend. Edible ingredients are a common source of inspiration for cosmetic products and it usually takes a few years for ingredient to “catch on” in the food industry before they become popular in personal care. We’ve seen this with things like Pomegranate, Açaí Berries, Kiwi, and Dragon Fruit. Why does this happen? First these things just SOUND like they’d be good for you. They’re very tempting.

Second, the food industry certainly has more stringent research requirements than cosmetics so there’s a lot of data on nutritional value. That kind of data does make for a good story which is one of the reasons you see so many food ingredients make their way into cosmetics.

What do we think about this trend? I think there are 3 reasons why super foods in beauty products are more marketing than science:

  1. The goodies in superfoods may be nutritious but they aren’t necessarily good for skin. Just because something is good for you when you eat it doesn’t mean it will do anything when you slather it on your skin. For example, kale is rich in iron which does nothing for skin.
  2. Even if the superfood does contain an ingredient that benefits skin that ingredient may not be effective when applied topically. There has to be a proposed mechanism for how the ingredient would work when applied to skin AND it has to penetrate skin to get to where it needs to work. Green tea is a good example. The active component EGCG is water soluble so it is not well suited for skin penetration.
  3. Even if the superfood contains a beneficial ingredient and that ingredient works when applied topically, t’s STILL unlikely to provide any benefit because there’s just not enough their. Most products contain an extract of the super food and they use that exact at very low levels. Vitamin C really works for example but it needs to be used at levels around 10 to 20%. Super foods contain very small amounts.

If you want the benefits of a goodie that’s in a superfood then why wouldnt you just use that ingredients like vitamin C?

Can I mix VO5 hairdressing with hair gel?

Scott says…I’ve read really great reviews about VO5 Conditioning Hairdressing and I’m curious to try it. I was wondering, will I be able to mix a dab of it with hair gel? I want to be able to add the products to my hair when it’s still wet and then leave it to air dry and set properly, before I brush it out.

VO5 hairdressing is a classic hair care product and one that we had the honor of working on for several years. It consists of a mix of oily materials like petrolatum, mineral oil, isopropyl myristate and some waxes. (Back in the day is used to contain lanolin too.) It’s good for giving hair shine and a little bit of hold. Hair gels, on the other hand, are typically water based. They include a thickening agent and some kind of hold or conditioning polymer.

Since the hairdressing is oil based and the gel is water based the two won’t mix very well. That means you won’t be able to pre-mix a bunch of it together. (Even if you could pre-mix it, that’s not a good idea because the preservative system could be compromised.) If you just want to mix a little dab together in the palm of you hand, that’s less of a problem. It won’t hurt your hair but it may have kind of a funky consistency and it may not dry properly. But if you want to experiment, go for it!

Should I use soap or shower gel – part 2

Back in Episode 134 we answered a question from Lil’ Tabby who wanted to know whether it was better to wash with shower gel or soap. We pointed out that a good alternative could be syndet bars (which stands for synthetic detergent bars) which are very popular in the US.

But our British buddy Colin Sanders from Colin’s Beauty Pages has a bit of a rebuttal to our answer. Listen to the show to hear him explain in his own words but I’ll summarize his key points:

  1. Syndet bars are not very popular in Europe.
  2. European soaps are richer because they’re based on palm oil.
  3. Cleansers always involve a tradeoff between mildness, cleansing power, and foaming.

How does semi permanent eyebrow makeup work?

Yimmy from Thailand says…My question is about the semi-permanent makeup trend that is buzzing in Asia right now.  There’s an eyebrow tattoo gel which you apply thick gel layers on your brows for a night & peel them off in the morning & poof! You get eyebrows that last for a week. Are such products safe & how do they work? 


I looked at the Etude House product you asked about and I was surprised to see that it is in fact a very clever formulation. Instead of relying on standard eyebrow colorants (which would wash off) this product uses DHA the same active used in sunless tanners. Essentially you’re tanning (or more accurately, staining) the skin underneath your eye brows. No wonder it lasts for a week!

As long as you don’t get the product in your eyes it should be safe. We’ll have to wait and see if it catches on as a trend.

Ingredients: Water, Alcohol, Butylene glycol, POLYVINYL ALCOHOL, Dihydroxyacetone, PVP, 1,2-hexanediol, Yellow 6 (CI 15985), POLYSORBATE 80, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, RED 33 (CI 17200), Citric Acid, Blue 1 (CI 42090), Disodium EDTA, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Lilium Tigrinum Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract

Beauty Science News

Consumers sue bogus over anti-aging serum

Link

Reviva Labs is in trouble over their “Stem Cell Booster Serum with Swiss Apple Stem Cells.” It turns out that they’ve been claiming that the product uses apple stem cells to prevent aging. Sounds like a nice natural alternative to all those nasty synthetic chemicals. There are just two problems with that, according to the article I read…”there is no scientific evidence that plant stem cells can be used on humans” and the product is a “hoax which is being sold illegally as a cosmetic instead of as an unapproved drug.” Details, details.

To make a long story short, they company is being sued for $5M in a class action law suit. It’s one thing when companies are sued for safety reasons but I love the idea of them being held accountable for misleading claims.

Old Spice deodorant irritates consumers

Link

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Nikkypoo says..This podcast is such a great combination of entertaining and educational. There are so many harmful myths going around social media today and these guys do a great job at addressing these myths from a scientific perspective.

Bestinbreed says…Love you snarky guys! As a professional pet groomer I have learned so much about not only what I use on myself but what I use on dogs as well. Thanks guys!

Image credit: http://www.fithealthy365.com/top-10-ultimate-superfoods/
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Are super foods effective beauty ingredients? Jana asks…What are your thoughts on super foods in skin care? Ingredients like acacia, coconut, grapeseed oil, berries, green tea, avocado, turmeric and resveratrol. What the heck IS a super food? Are super foods effective beauty ingredients? Jana asks…What are your thoughts on super foods in skin care? Ingredients like acacia, coconut, grapeseed oil, berries, green tea, avocado, turmeric and resveratrol. What the heck IS a super food? There is no scientific or medical definition. Typically you’ll see them described like this: “superfoods are nutrient powerhouses […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean
Can I use clay to shampoo my hair? Episode 136 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/06/can-i-use-clay-to-shampoo-my-hair-episode-136/ Tue, 07 Jun 2016 05:01:21 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4713 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/06/can-i-use-clay-to-shampoo-my-hair-episode-136/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/06/can-i-use-clay-to-shampoo-my-hair-episode-136/feed/ 9 Can I use clay to shampoo my hair?  Joneen says…I have a question about rhassoul clay. I’ve heard great things about using it as a shampoo. My concern, though, is mineral buildup. This is one of the results of hard water that has a negative impact on hair, and something I am currently experiencing and […]

Can I use clay to shampoo my hair? Clayface_Tiny_Titans_001

Joneen says…I have a question about rhassoul clay. I’ve heard great things about using it as a shampoo. My concern, though, is mineral buildup. This is one of the results of hard water that has a negative impact on hair, and something I am currently experiencing and want to avoid in the future. I know rhassoul is largely silica and aluminum, but it does have some calcium and magnesium in it, the very same minerals that hard water contains that are so problematic. So it seems to stand to reason that these would also get deposited on the hair from using rhassoul. Is there a scientific reason why it may not cause mineral buildup – i.e. does the large amount of silica somehow prevent the calcium and magnesium from binding to the hair? I will be mixing it with aloe vera juice to create a consistencey that is easy to apply.

We touched on this once before when we talked about an article published on a blog called “The Natural Haven.”  It’s written by a scientist who goes by the name of “JC” and she posted a very interesting piece on evaluating different types of mild cleansers.

She did an experiment where she collected her own shed hair which she divided into several groups: a negative control group that was left dirty and oily. A positive control that was washed with regular shampoo, and several test groups which she washed with different types of cleansers. then, and here’s the cool part, she took micrographs of group to determine how well the test products cleaned.

Check out her website for pictures of the results but here’s what she found:

  • 
Best cleansers (all of the oil removal): Shampoo, oat water (oats boiled in water to release natural saponins), natural soap bar.
  • Good cleanser (most of the oil removed): Hair conditioner (cowash), liquid castle soap, clay
  • 
Poor cleanser (little to no oil removal): Baking soda, Shikaki (crushed acacia pods) and the worst of all apple cider vinegar.

So back to Joneen’s question…will rhassoul clay cause mineral buildup? Rhassoul clay comes from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. (It’s also known as Moroccan lava clay.) It’s primarily composed of a mineral called stevensite and another clay called montmorillonite. It can also contain impurities such as iron, potassium, Al, and other metals. So in part it depends on how purified it is.

Mineral buildup is a huge problem when the metal ions in hard water combine with soap and form insoluble “gunk” that’s hard to get off your hair. To a lesser extent you get mineral deposits when hard water dries on your hair. But this only occurs when you have the metal ions in the water in the first place. In rhassoul and other clays most of the metal ions are tied up in the molecular complex so their less likely to deposit on your hair. Again, this depends on how purified the clay is.

It’s interesting to note that there’s a patent covering the use of this clay combined with aloe vera.

It seems unlikely that this would cause a big problem but unfortunately the best answer is that just have to try it and see.

She said she’s already having this problem I presume from rinsing her hair in hard water. Won’t she still have an issue when she rinses her hair after this treatment?

Finally, remember these alternate cleansers like clay won’t do a good job of removing residue from heavy conditioners or styling products.

Why is Redken Pre-Art so good at removing hard water?

Nicole who asks… Why is Redken Pre-Art so good at removing hard water buildup?

She says she has well water which makes her blonde hair turn green. She color treats her hair and the areas that turn green are the more porous, highlighted sections. She’s tried everything to keep the green out and the ONLY thing that’s worked is Redken Pre-Art. She puts the product on her hair under a shower cap waits 30 minutes and then shampoos it out – she can “literally see the green sliding out of my hair.” She wants to know what makes it work like a true miracle?

I looked at the ingredients not expecting to see anything remarkable. But I was surprised to find this really is a unique product. The first four ingredients are: Water, Trisodium HEDTA, citric acid, and PEI-35. It also includes some conditioning agents.

It looks like the magic ingredient is Trisodium HEDTA (if you’re keeping score at home that stands for Trisodium Hydroxy-ethyl-ethylene-diamine-triacetate) which is a chelating agent. That means it’s able to grab onto certain minerals and prevent them from binding to your hair. In this case it’s chelating the copper which is responsible for the green tint. I haven’t seen this ingredient used very much but any product that has it high in the ingredient list should work the same way.

It’s also interesting that it contains PEI (polyethyleneimine) which is an ingredient we’re familiar with from VO5 Hot oil. It’s note worthy because of its high charge density which makes it attracted to hair. In fact, we co-authored a paper titled “Solid‐state Polyelectrolyte Complexes of Branched Poly(ethylenimine) and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate” which was published in the Journal of Macromolecular Science. I’ll put a link in the show notes just in case any of our listeners are BORED OUT OF THEIR MINDS.  Seriously, there’s no way you’d want to read this.

This combination really is unique and it’s got some science behind it so I can see recommending this to anyone who’s got a problem with hard water buildup.

Can I use body lotion to condition my hair?

Grasielle asks…I ran out of hair conditioner, so I used a bit of my body lotion instead, my hair didn’t feel bad afterwards and the lotion smells great. Is it safe to use body lotion on the hair? Or conditioner on the skin? I feel that these products are similar but I have very curly hair and I wouldn’t use my body lotion as a detangler because it’s not slippery enough and conditioner tends to leave a soapy feel on the skin. But what if a want to use lotion on my hair once a while after shower, are there any ingredients that are harmful for the hair?

It’s certainly SAFE to use body lotion as a hair conditioner. Whether it works well or not is really up to your personal preference.

Lotions contain emollients, humectants, and occlusive agents that moisturize skin. These are similar to ingredients in leave in conditioners although I’d expect they’d be too heavy/greasy for most people’s hair.
Lotions are less likely to work as a rinse out hair conditioner because the ingredients are not designed to stick to hair after rinsing.

She also asked if it’s safe to use hair conditioner on your skin. In some cases, no. That’s because rinse out conditioners sometimes use higher levels of quaternium ammonium compounds can be irritating if left in contact with skin. These ingredients don’t pose a problem when rinsed out. Leave in conditioners should be safe to leave on your skin but these formulas don’t usually contain the kind of moisturizing agents that your skin needs.
The bottom line is that products are optimized for their intended purpose. It’s usually not a good idea to use something for a different part of the body than it’s meant for.

Is horse oil good for skin?

Wendy says… I’m making my way through the podcasts but I wonder if you’ve gotten to the more… shock-inducing ingredients like snail mucus, bee venom, and horse oil?

We have talked about snail slime and bee venom before but I thought surely this must be a typo. There’s no such thing as horse oil, right? I asked her and she responded: “It’s literally oil that comes from horses fat! It’s one of those ancient chinese remedies for skin-related problems like eczema, skin burns, bug bites, aging). Recently it’s caught on as a current asian beauty trend with some Korean actresses actively endorsing it. The science bit that I see tossed around the most is that the lipid composition of horse oil is similar to human sebum so it’s better absorbed.”

Wow. I can’t believe in this day and age that anyone would market a product with oil from horses. What’s next? Keratin from mashed up kittens? But setting the ethical issues aside for the moment how can we find out if there’s any science behind horse oil being good for skin? It’s easy you just read this technical paper I found: “Composition of horse oil in relation to the fats of other pasture fed animals.” (It’s from a 1949 biochemistry journal, by the way.)

Anyway, it turns out that horse oil consists mostly of a blend of oleic and linoleic acids with some palmitic acid thrown in. Is this really “similar to human sebum so it’s better absorbed?” Well, human sebum does contain a good slug of these fatty acids (about 20 or 30%) but it also contains glycerides, wax esters and cholesterols. So it’s similar-ish but if you really want to use a skin identical oil why wouldn’t you just use one of the many products that contain oils rich in linoliec acid. We did an entire show about rose hip oil for example. There’s no need to hurt a poor little horsey.

By the way, is this one of those examples we’re always hearing about how Korean beauty industry is so advanced compared to the US?

Beauty Science News

Robots that can wash your hair and brush your teeth
Link
It seems like the industry is obsessed with smart phone apps that can help with your beauty routine but I say screw that. I want to jump right to robots that do my personal care tasks for me.

Ridiculous you say? Then you haven’t seen the work of Swedish robotic pioneer Simone Giertz who’s calls herself, get this, the ”Queen of Sh*tty Robots.” Simone has invented a robotic tooth-brushing helmet and a hair-washing robot made from “a bottle of shampoo, a rubber hand, and a bunch of servos.” The article described as these inventions as “hilariously futile.” There are, of course, YouTube videos of these in action. I think these were tongue in cheek but I’d love to see some enterprising beauty company go into robots big time.

Bad cosmetic advice

Deodorant Limes

New Zealand cosmetic chemist quack 

Support the Beauty Brains by writing an iTunes review

Hanne15 says…This is the best new podcast discovery I’ve made since Serial! Why is it not better known in the beauty blogosphere? Going through the back catalogue now! Thank you!

CageyKid says…These guys are so funny and informative; they really know their stuff (obviously!) and they help their listeners understand the oh-so-confusing world of beauty. They cut through the bs so common in the beauty community with science and humor. Their advice has really helped me cut through the marketing hype and fear mongering I encounter when researching products. Keep up the good work, Randy and Perry!

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Can I use clay to shampoo my hair?  Joneen says…I have a question about rhassoul clay. I’ve heard great things about using it as a shampoo. My concern, though, is mineral buildup. This is one of the results of hard water that has a negative impact on h... Can I use clay to shampoo my hair?  Joneen says…I have a question about rhassoul clay. I’ve heard great things about using it as a shampoo. My concern, though, is mineral buildup. This is one of the results of hard water that has a negative impact on hair, and something I am currently experiencing and […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 34:20
Do anti-aging patches really work? Episode 135 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/05/do-anti-aging-patches-really-work-episode-135/ Tue, 31 May 2016 05:01:03 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4698 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/05/do-anti-aging-patches-really-work-episode-135/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/05/do-anti-aging-patches-really-work-episode-135/feed/ 9 Do anti-aging patches really work? Julia asks…Can micro needle patches really work to deliver anti-aging ingredients like hyaluronic acid? Coincidentally I just read a study about a new technology for lightening age spots that involves, get this, Dissolving Micro Needles. This research was published by a Korean team in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology and here’s […]

Do anti-aging patches really work?

Julia asks…Can micro needle patches really work to deliver anti-aging ingredients like hyaluronic acid?patch-147001_960_720

Coincidentally I just read a study about a new technology for lightening age spots that involves, get this, Dissolving Micro Needles. This research was published by a Korean team in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology and here’s what they did…

They developed a patch containing 4-n-butylresorcinol an active ingredient which is able to prevent melanocytes from producing melanin (the pigment in hair and skin.) They had 45 panelists use the patch for 8 weeks and then they measured the amount of melanin in skin.

Best of all, this study was done the right way… a double blind, placebo controlled trial. That means the active ingredient was tested against a control and neither the subjects nor the researchers knew who was receiving which treatment.  The results showed that the patch with 4-n-butylresorcinol was twice as effective as the control. (I wonder why the control was effective at all?)

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of DMN – we talked about a similar technology made of collagen needles in a previous show. But this is the first study I’m aware of that shows these needles really can boost efficacy. If this technology is compatible with other anti-aging ingredients it could open up a range of possibilities for enhanced product performance.

Julia asked specifically about HA I haven’t seen any data that these needles will work with that ingredient. It certainly won’t deliver it to the same degree that an injection would but it might deliver enough to boost moisturization.

Does Crepe Erase skin cream really work?

Chloe asks…What do you think of “Crepe Erase” cream. I was hoping to get your opinion on the ingredient list. Do you think it could really diminish crepey skin?

Crepey skin gets its name because it looks like tissue paper or crepe paper – the skin is loose and saggy and may have little bumps or ridges. It’s thought to be caused by a reduction in the collagen bundles that exist in dermis. Collagen loss occurs through the natural aging process but crepey skin can also be caused by massive weight loss or topical steroid use which thins the skin. There is no topical cure for this condition although if you can boost collagen production it could certainly help.

If you review the copy on their website you’ll see the typical “weasel wording” that companies use to avoid making direct claims. For example…

“Crepe Erase™ is designed to improve the look of dry, wrinkly, crepey skin”
“it’s proven to reveal visibly firmer, younger-looking skin.”

What is visibly firmer skin? It’s not the same as saying it makes the skin firmer.

They include before and after pictures that look impressive but I see they include the disclaimer “Results will vary” which gives them a lot of wiggle room.

How does this stuff work? They tell us it’s “powered by a triple complex of skin-restoring plant extracts.” Based on the ingredient list, it primarily consists of moisturizing agents like shea butter and coconut oil. The only potentially “active” ingredients that I see are the humid acids and ursolic acid. Humic acids are similar to coal tar derivatives that can treat dandruff and related conditions but I’m not aware of any evidence showing they can boost collagen production.

Ursolic acid comes from natural waxy coating we find on fruit. It SUPPOSEDLY boosts collagen production but the only evidence I could find was from so called “natural remedy” websites and from the supplier. I couldn’t find any peer reviewed scientific literature that says this stuff really works. (Ref: Ursolic acid  Humid acids)

The process of ordering this stuff seems to be a bit sketchy – here’s what the website says:

“Approximately 12 weeks after your first order is shipped, and then approximately every 12 weeks thereafter, you will be sent a new full size supply… Each shipment will be charged to the card you provide today, in three installments, approximately every 4 weeks at the guaranteed low price of $59.95 per installment, unless you call to cancel.”

So it looks like you’re on the hook for about $60 every month unless you remember to call them.

This may be a perfectly fine product but it makes me nervous because it has all the danger signs of a potential rip off:

  • The products are only sold on the internet.
  • It doesn’t contain any ingredients that are proven to provide any special benefit.
  • And, you have to sign up for “pay every month” program that could really screw you over if you forget to cancel it.

Crepe Erase ingredients
Water (Aqua), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-6, Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Butylene Glycol, Polysorbate 60, Tocopheryl Acetate, BHT, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract, Peucedanum Graveolens (Dill) Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Maltooligosyl Glucoside, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Humic Acids, Ursolic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Ceteareth-20, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Fragrance (Parfum), *Citral, *Geraniol, *Hexyl Cinnamal, *Limonene, *Linalool.

Can I really scrape conditioner residue off my hair?

Sherry says…I have a very dear friend who’s a stylist. She showed me the leavings on the knife from scraping Pantene buildup off some hair. I have used Pantene for years and I love it. Yes I scraped my hair and got the same white flakey substance…so then I thought wait a minute…I will check my husbands hair. He does not use any conditioner at all…ever…and I got the same white flakey residue when I scraped his freshly washed and dried hair with a knife. I don’t know what the white flakey residue is from scraping hair…maybe it is the outer part of the hair shaft. Just in case of further damage, I won’t be scraping my hair anymore!

Well done Sherry! You’ve stumbled across the truth behind an old stylist trick. When I started in this industry lo those many years ago, I remember that one of my bosses who had developed products for salon brands, explained to me how stylists can demonstrate “build up” by scraping hair with a knife. In case you’ve never seen this it’s just as Sherry describes – it’s a white residue that certainly looks like it could be left over conditioner that didn’t rinse off of the hair.

But, as you point out, you can generate the same white flakey stuff on hair that’s never been treated with conditioner. So what’s going on? A clue is that you get a LOT of this residue when you scape the hair backwards from tip to root. That’s important because the cuticle of hair (the outer layer that looks like over lapping shingles) grow such that the edges of the scales point to the tip end of the hair. So when you’re “back combing hair like that you’re essentially prying up the cuticles and scraping them off. AND, in case you didn’t know, the cuticles are clear. When you scrape them off this way they look white. (All the color is on the inside of the hair shaft.)

I say this is a stylist’s “trick” but I don’t know how many stylists are aware of what’s going on and they’re being deceptive or how many have been told this myth and truly believe it. In any case this is NOT an indication of conditioner buildup and it IS a practice that can damage your hair.

Will coconut oil catch fire in my microwave?

Lindsay Girl asks…I have used extra virgin coconut oil in my hair as a deep conditioning treatment once a week for several years now. I melt the oil in the microwave. This morning I was reading in an article on the naturallycurly.com website that the author of the article “heard” that you shouldn’t warm coconut oil in the microwave because that will “alter the bonds” in the oil. What say the Brains? Can I safely put the coconut oil in the microwave to melt it? Or is there a better way?

Remember that coconut oil penetrates hair because of its size and the configuration of its carbon chain. But some grades of coconut oil are solids at room temperature so you need to heat them up before using them. Unless you’re heating it above the point where it will decompose, microwaving coconut oil should cause no problems. In other words, “melting” it is just fine. BUT you need to be very careful when using this approach. Here’s why:
Microwave ovens work by exciting the bonds between atoms, causing them to vibrate. The motion of the molecules vibrating and bouncing around generates heat. Different substances will absorb microwave radiation differently depending on a property called the “dielectric constant”. Water molecules have a high dielectical constant; they are very mobile and will bounce around a lot. Oil molecules are larger and more fixed. Their dielectric constant is smaller so and they will take longer to heat up. HOWEVER, the specific heat capacity of oil is less than water which means that oil will hold about twice as much heat as water will. And that means that it’s easy to over heat oil to the point where it could burn you.

(If you really want to geek out on dielectrical constants and specific heat capacity we’ll put a link in the show notes to an article about microwave absorption by oil in the Physics Forum.)

So the bottom line is that melting coconut oil in the microwave is unlikely to hurt the oil but you could accidentally over heat it and give yourself a nasty burn. To be safe you might want to melt the oil in a bowl of hot water instead.

Scary skin stuff

Link 1 Link 2

Let’s take a moment to talk about skin allergies and infections. I have not one but two stories that kind of scared the crap out of me. The first one involves a woman in Florida who is allergic to her own sweat.

It’s a condition known as cholinergic urticaria that causes her to break out in hives in response to her own sweat. I don’t know if this is over her entire body or just where you would have a lot of sweat like your armpits. I had never heard of this and given how incredible this sounds I assumed it was quite rare. But, research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (“Prevalence of cholinergic urticaria in young adults”) said it’s as high as 20% of the population depending on age group. That just blew my mind. Most people who experience this have very mild symptoms and don’t need to seek medical attention. But for the Florida woman it’s a VERY serious problem.

The second story about skin irritation is even scarier because it could happen to any of us. An Australian woman was paralyzed in fact she was nearly killed just because she used her friends make up brush. Unfortunately her friend had a staph infection on her face and that was transferred through the make up brush so the woman contracted a drug-resistant strain of staph called MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). The infection damaged her spine and she may never walk again. She’s lucky she’s not dead. So when we say be careful about sharing cosmetics we are not kidding around. Now back to you Perry for some lighter news.

Beer makes you beautiful

Link

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Serikaya says…Informative and witty. I love how much it educates consumers on their beauty purchases. Their banter is pretty amusing too, haha.

Usava85 says…This the greatest source of information for the cosmetic formulator as well as for anybody who uses cosmetics. It’s run by the unbiased cosmetic scientists who have tremendous industry experience. These scientists are available to answer any questions that you might have.

Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com.

Click here to get your free audio book.

 

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Do anti-aging patches really work? Julia asks…Can micro needle patches really work to deliver anti-aging ingredients like hyaluronic acid? Coincidentally I just read a study about a new technology for lightening age spots that involves, get this, Do anti-aging patches really work? Julia asks…Can micro needle patches really work to deliver anti-aging ingredients like hyaluronic acid? Coincidentally I just read a study about a new technology for lightening age spots that involves, get this, Dissolving Micro Needles. This research was published by a Korean team in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology and here’s […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 32:23
Should you be worried about aluminum in deodorants? Episode 134 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/05/should-you-be-worried-about-aluminum-in-deodorants-episode-134/ Tue, 24 May 2016 05:01:42 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4694 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/05/should-you-be-worried-about-aluminum-in-deodorants-episode-134/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/05/should-you-be-worried-about-aluminum-in-deodorants-episode-134/feed/ 23 Should we be worried about aluminum in deodorants? Erin asks…Should we be worried about aluminum in deodorants? First of all don’t get confused between anti-perspirant and deodorants. Anti-perspirants contain aluminum salts that help plug your pores so you don’t sweat as much. Deodorants do not contain aluminum and they don’t stop you from sweating. They […]

Should we be worried about aluminum in deodorants?

Erin asks…Should we be worried about aluminum in deodorants?anonymous-438427_960_720

First of all don’t get confused between anti-perspirant and deodorants. Anti-perspirants contain aluminum salts that help plug your pores so you don’t sweat as much. Deodorants do not contain aluminum and they don’t stop you from sweating. They only reduce body odor. (By using fragrance or anti-bacterial compounds.) This started around 1985. Researchers found that Alzheimers patients had high levels of aluminum in their brains. There have been a number of studies since then – at least one, done in 1990, did suggest a link. Researchers tracked aluminum exposure of 130 Alzheimers patients BUT the study has been discredited because it relied on other people to provide data for the patients. It just wasn’t reliable.

More reliable studies have indicated that this is NOT a problem. For example, a 2002 studied evaluated over 4000 people over the course of several years and found no increased risk of disease (whether the patients used APs or even ate antacids which also contain Al salts.)

The current hypothesis is that the high aluminum content in the brains of patients with Alzheimers is a RESULT of the disease, not the cause. It has to do with how the brains cells eliminate toxins. Ref: NY Times. So, the bottom line despite all the fear mongering you hear about aluminum in cosmetic products the best evidence to date shows that there are no significant health concerns. (Other than the fact that some people experience skin irritation from anti-perspirants.)

The flip side to this is the popularity of so called natural deodorants. We’ve continue to get questions about these. In one discussion thread in our Forum, Kiri said that “crystal deodorants are soo good!”  Just remember that crystal deodorants may contain Alum crystals which contain aluminum. Also, Allure recently asked about using coconut oil as a natural deodorant. I looked into and found that coconut oil does have some mild antibacterial properties so it’s not inconceivable that it could act as an underarm deodorant. However, I couldn’t find any evidence in the scientific literature that it’s been tested against Staphylococcus hominis which is the bacteria species primarily responsible for producing underarm odor. That means that even though it MAY work theoretically it may not work very well. In reality, it seems like a very impractical solution due to its greasiness. It also has a low viscosity at body temperature which means it will drip down your arms and chest. An ordinary deodorant or antiperspirant will do a much better job.

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Should I wash with shower gel or soap?

Little Tabby says…I saw these 2 articles about Shower Gel versus bar soap – 1 article states that shower gel is a waste of money and the other one mentions that Bar soap is less drying to the skin compared to shower gel. I’ve had severe issues with washing my hands frequently when using these gels but not with soap. Please give your opinion on what is the better option. 


It depends on what you mean by “soap” and on what kind of detergents are used in your shower gels. TRUE soap (saponified fatty acids) has a higher pH which can (temporarily) impair skin’s natural acid mantle. Shower gels don’t have this problem but they are made with detergents (like sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate) that can degrease the skin.
Perhaps the best compromise are syndet bars which are milder detergents (like sodium cocoyl isethionate) which are extremely mild and don’t have the issue with low pH.

You mentioned “severe issue” after frequent hand washing with shower gels. The problem MAY have nothing to do with the cleansing system and more about the preservative system. If those products use Methylisothiazolinone (MI) as a preservative, you might have developed a sensitivity.

Is “lauryl” a bad ingredient in my shampoo?

Alessandra asks…Can you please check the ingredients of this Lenor Greyl Bain shampoo? I bought it in Italy and it makes my (oily) hair stay clean longer, but I see “lauryl” as opposed to my usual sodium laureth, is it too harsh?

Lauryl is just the name for the carbon chain. It can appear in a number of different detergents. It seems to have gotten a bad name because it’s used in SLS but it’s not the lauryl part that causes the problem. I’m more because it’s a sulfate salt.

This Lenore Greyl product doesn’t contain ANY SLS but it does contain there other detergents that use Lauryl as a backbone: Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Sodium Lauryl Glucoside, and Sodium Lauroyl Oat Aminoacids. These are, in fact, very mild surfactants and won’t be as harsh as SLS can be.

Ingredients: Water, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate (and) Sodium Lauryl Glucoside, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Sodium Lauroyl Oat Aminoacids, Glycereth-2 Cocoate, Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride, Cocamide Mea, Wheat (Triitcum Sativum) Extract, Polyquaternium-70 (and) Dipropylene Glycol, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Sacchoromyces Cerevisiae Extract, Propylene Glycol, PEG-15 Cocopolyamine, Nelumbium Speciousum Flower Extract, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Iris Florentina Root Extract, Daucus Carota Extract, Fragrance, Tocopherol, Polysorbate 20, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Metylchloroisothiazolinone (and) Methylisothiazolinone.

Can you suck your way to plumper lips?

Krunce asks…What’s the deal with products like Liptiful and Fullips?

In case you’re not familiar with these products they’re another variation on the “sucking lip plumper” trend. They’re like little plastic cup that you press against your lips – you suck on them to create a vacuum which pulls fluid into your lips. This hydraulic pressure provides a temporary plumping effect. After a while the fluid gets reabsorbed into the tissues and the lips go back to normal. That’s why you have to repeat it every day.

If you just did this occasionally it’s probably not a big deal but I found an article quoting Dr. Dendy Engelman who’s the director of dermatologic surgery at New York Medical College. He says that the suction from this process causes “vessel engorgement” (BTW if your vessel engorgement lasts more than 8 hours please call your physician.) but anyway… all this extra blood in your vessels sets off an inflammatory response (histamine release.)

If you suck hard enough you can even break these blood vessels which will result in bruising. This is especially a problem for fair skinned people. So, these products are not a great way to plump your lips on a regular basis. 

Ref: Fusion.net

New hair repair technology

Over the years we’ve written a number articles about split end mending. For the most part conditioners and other hair care treatments can do very little to actually repair a split end – which by the way is one of the biggest of hair problems. We have talked about the Poly Electrolyte Complex that’s used in Tresemme, Nexus, and a few other brands because it actually can mend a split.

Well, this webinar introduced another technology that really works. This one is called “Kerabeads” or “Vegabeads” (that’s the trade name so don’t look for that on the label.) The come from a company called “Earth Supplied Products.”  These are capsules made from natural materials alginate polymers which come from seaweed. The presenter used an interesting analogy – he likened the structure of the capsules to a paper bag. The inside wall of the bag is positively charged and the outside wall is negatively charged. This dual charge allows the capsules to attracted to damaged hair (which has a negative charge) as well as other capsules. The capsules are small enough to get inside the split end of hair and when the capsules dry they actually pull the split shut. There’s a great video on the company’s website. Apparently, the capsules also work to help smooth the raised edges of cuticles so they can benefit from hair that hasn’t even split yet. And, as a bonus, they can deliver oils and other materials which is something the PEC technology isn’t designed to do.

I’m always skeptical about these vendor presentations but knowing how well the PEC technology works it seems very feasible that there’s really something to this. If we identify any brands using this technology we’ll be sure to let you know.

  • One ‘N Only Argan Oil Split End Mender
  • COMPLETE HAIR TREATMENT by HBL
  • Perfectly Posh has several products that contain it.
  • Living Proof Perfect hair Day (PhD) Fresh cut split end mender

The Nivea app “nose” when you have body odor

Link

Nivea Men collaborated with Happiness FCB to to come up with a smartphone app called Nose which will tell men when they smell bad and need to use a deodorant. It’s actually more than just an app. It’s a phone case that has the electronic nose sensors in it plus the app. You hold the phone up to your arm pit and it will tell you if you stink. The ad is certainly tongue and cheek but it looks like this is a real thing that Nivea is testing world wide. They say it will launch onto the consumer market next year.

The personal care industry hires a lot of women!

One of our loyal fans asked me to share this study for the Personal Care Products Council. Do you want to explain to our audience who that is? (Founded in 1894!) So the PCPC has found that not only is the personal care products industry is a major contributor to U.S. Economy. In 2013, the industry added nearly $237 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), and supported 3.6 million domestic jobs. But the really interesting finding of this research is that women, including women with diverse backgrounds, are at the heart of the industry. The share of management positions held by women in the personal care products industry is higher than the U.S. average. Women and those with diverse backgrounds account for nearly 74 percent of all industry employment and 61 percent of management positions. Yay! We’ve lamented that aren’t more female cosmetic scientists but they are represented well across the industry as a whole.

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Leec23 says…Such great information. For example, I love how you explain the difference in alcohols, for many years you hear things like “stay away from any products with alcohol, they just dry everything out” Now I understand what alcohols to avoid and what alcohols are good. (I’ll drink to that….)

Madame Broccoli Cupcake says…I love these guys! They’re smart, honest, and the best kind of nerdy. I personally love Randy’s snark, and really enjoy learning about Perry’s various OCD idiosyncrasies.
Personalities aside, I’ve learned so much from this podcast like what types of beauty “hacks” to not waste my time on.

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Should we be worried about aluminum in deodorants? Erin asks…Should we be worried about aluminum in deodorants? First of all don’t get confused between anti-perspirant and deodorants. Anti-perspirants contain aluminum salts that help plug your pores so... Should we be worried about aluminum in deodorants? Erin asks…Should we be worried about aluminum in deodorants? First of all don’t get confused between anti-perspirant and deodorants. Anti-perspirants contain aluminum salts that help plug your pores so you don’t sweat as much. Deodorants do not contain aluminum and they don’t stop you from sweating. They […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 33:57
Will silicone ruin a coconut oil hair treatment? Episode 133 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/05/will-silicone-ruin-a-coconut-oil-hair-treatment-episode-133/ Tue, 17 May 2016 05:01:35 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4686 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/05/will-silicone-ruin-a-coconut-oil-hair-treatment-episode-133/#respond https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/05/will-silicone-ruin-a-coconut-oil-hair-treatment-episode-133/feed/ 0 Is the “Remedy” hair treatment by Rita Hazan really magic? Lizzy asks…Does the Rita Hazan Remedy have any magic in it? My hair feels soft and shiny after I use it, but it didn’t do anything for my sister. I must say I’ve never seen a product quite like this before. It’s a two part […]

Is the “Remedy” hair treatment by Rita Hazan really magic?

Lizzy asks…Does the Rita Hazan Remedy have any magic in it? My hair feels soft and shiny after I use it, but it didn’t do anything for my sister.

I must say I’ve never seen a product quite like this before. It’s a two part system involves something like 60 different ingredients. (See below.) Just having a lot of ingredients doesn’t mean it’s a better product (a lot of the ingredients are just botanical extracts that are primarily there for show) but the product is packed with a LOT of different conditioning agents. Some of these are very standard (like Behentrimonium Chloride, Cyclopentasiloxane, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride) and some of which are rather uncommon (like Cystine Bis-PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Polysilicone-15, Hydrogenated Ethylhexyl Olivate.)

By the way, Silanetriol apparently helps reduce breakage when incorporated into relaxer systems. Another unusual addition is Inulin lauryl carbamate which is best known for stabilizing products with a high powder content.

The products are also formulated with a lot of emulsifiers which seems strange to me. You don’t usually see so many surfactants used to combine ingredients like this and I’m curious why the formulator took this approach. These ingredients may also contribute to the unusual feel of the product.

It’s also interesting that it’s a two part system. According to their website, Step 1 “treats and opens the hair cuticle.” I doubt this is really how it works because lifting the cuticle is damaging and most of these ingredients are surface conditioners which don’t need to penetrate. Step 2 supposedly seals the cuticle.

So, the bottom line is that I don’t see anything in this product that’s proven to have extraordinary efficacy but it is an unconventional combination of ingredients and that could account for why you thought it felt so different. HOWEVER, before anyone in the audience rushes out to try this stuff be warned that it’s expensive – $42 for 2-2 oz tubes.

“Remedy” Ingredients:
STEP 1: 
Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Quaternium-87, Cetyl Alcohol, Amodimethicone, Hydrogenated Ethylhexyl Olivate, Glycerin, Isododecane, Fragrance (Parfum), Silicone Quaternium-22, Cetyl Esters, Panthenol, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Unsaponifiables, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polysilicone-15, Quaternium-95, Hydrolyzed Ceratonia Siliqua Seed Extract, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Seed Protein, Cynara Scolymus (Artichoke) Leaf Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Cystoseira Compressa Extract, Hydrolyzed Linseed Extract, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Propanediol, C11-15 Pareth-7, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Keratin, Sucrose Laurate, Polyquaternium-7, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polysorbate 60, Laureth-9, Trideceth-12, Octocrylene, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Steareth-21, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Phytic Acid, Aminomethyl Propanol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Methylisothiazolinone, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene.

STEP 2:
Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Ethylhexyl Olivate, Isododecane, Glycerin, Fragrance (Parfum), Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetyl Esters, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Amodimethicone, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Prunus Insititia Seed Oil, Panthenol, Hydrogenated Olive Oil Unsaponifiables, Jojoba Esters, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cystine Bis-PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Cynara Scolymus (Artichoke) Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Linseed Extract, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Seed Protein, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Stearamine Oxide, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polysorbate 60, Steareth-21, Dimethiconol, Polysilicone-15, Propanediol, Quaternium-95, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Keratin, Octocrylene, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Phytic Acid, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Sucrose Laurate, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Citric Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Methylisothiazolinone, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene.

How do Enzyme hair dye developers work?

Lana B Star asks…Trionics is an enzyme based line of hair color developers that claims to be faster and much gentler than traditional peroxide developers. I don’t understand how their developer is gentler/faster/better/softer on the cuticle.

In her original questions Lana included a quote from their website. Let me read it to you now:

“Deep within the planet’s oceans lives a vibrant marine ecosystem—seaweeds and algae that secrete natural enzymes rich with minerals and antioxidants. When isolated in the right combination, they infuse hair with health, strength and vitality.”

To which I respond…huh? Here’s a little more detail: from the FAQ section of Trionics site:


”Trionics developers gently lift the cuticle scales enabling solutions to be inserted directly into the hair shaft…Trionics developers are free of ammonia, dyes, sulfates, parabens, 1,4-dioxane, phthalates, glutens, neurotoxins, aluminum compounds, formaldehyde donors, propylene glycol, DEA and carcinogens.”

This sounds like marketing hype to me. I’m not aware of any enzymes that be useful in the hair coloring process and in fact if you read the website carefully they don’t directly say that the enzyme is responsible. They just say enzymes “infuse hair with strength” and they say their developer “gently lifts the cuticle.” As far as the enzyme lifting the cuticle is concerned I’m not aware of any enzyme that would specifically just attack 18 MEA (the “glue” that holds down the cuticle. ) The only thing that makes sense AT ALL is some sort of keralytic enzyme could degrade/soften the hair to provide enhanced penetration but I don’t see how you could do this without causing overall damage. Even then, most enzymes won’t be stable in a high peroxide system. It’s funny that they proudly state that their developer doesn’t contain sulfates, dioxane, glutens, neurotoxins etc. No developers use those kind of ingredients.

So what’s really going on here? It’s hard to say for sure because I can’t find an ingredient list ANYWHERE. My guess is that is uses something besides ammonia to raise the pH like an alkanolamide. Or even sodium hydroxide. There are other ammonia free products on the market that use this approach.

Will silicone ruin a coconut oil hair treatment?

Kat from Berlin asks….Something really strange happened to me today at the salon, and I’m still flabbergasted. At home I use coconut oil for the ends to combat frizziness (it’s the best thing I’ve ever used for my hair.) Anyway, everything was fine until the hairdresser applied generous amounts of silicone based products. Mostly Cyclomethicone and Dimethiconol . She couldn’t even comb through my lengths any more, especially the parts that had been in contact with coconut oil a couple days earlier. The hairdresser couldn’t even finish my cut because my hair was completely unmanageable. Do you know of any cross-reaction between coconut oil and silicone based finishing products? She swears she sees it everyday.
I’ve never heard of this problem and I can’t think of any solid explanation for what happened. The only GUESS I can make is that the coconut oil made the ends of your hair very hydrophobic and so the silicone tended to deposit in larger amounts. The “over-dose” of silicone made your hair feel draggy. Like I said, that’s just a guess. I’m curious if anyone else has experienced this problem.

I wonder if the hair dresser used any strongly cationic materials on her hair. If her ends where super damaged they would have a stronger negative charge which would make any positively charged conditioning agents deposit to a great extent. So maybe it was the combination of products not just the silicone treatment.

Can you help me find a cheaper primer?

Nicole asks…I love this YSL primer but is there a cheaper version?

Let’s take a quick look at the ingredients…It’s primarily a mix of silicones and hydrocarbons. The main two ingredients are Poly-methyl-sil-sesqui-oxane. and dimethicone.

I Googled the ingredients and found one with the first two ingredients are identical and two other ingredients are similar. The product is called MALLY BEAUTY Face Defender. It’s probably not identical but it’s close enough to merit checking out. Especially if you can get your hands on a tester before you buy it. 
 
Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PCA Dimethicone, Silica.

The YSL product sells for $55 for .33 oz or $167 per oz. The Mally product sells $40 for .46 oz. or $87/oz. So just by listening to this podcast you’ve gotten a savings of over 50%. (That’s an $80 value if you bought an entire oz.)
Of course, you may find other options if you web search those ingredients and look for the first 5 to be as similar as possible. If you do find some options send them to me and I’ll take a look.

Ingredients:

Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Dimethicone, Isononyl Isosonanoate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, C30-45 Alkyldimethylsilyl Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Caprylyl Glycol, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Paraffin, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Silica, Magnesium Silicate, Tin Oxide, [ /- May Contain: Mica, CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491 / Iron Oxides, CI 75470/Carmine], (F.I.L. C165606/4)

iTunes Reviews

We have about 240 ratings but for actual reviews we’re only at 98 – just 2 short of 100! Come on! Please write a review for us!

Neefzilla says…This podcast is one of my favorites along with This American Life, Criminal, and Radio Lab. The science is faultless and fascinating, always understandable by a layman yet never in any way condescending and it’s funny, sometimes outright hilarious. The Chemists have fabulous personalities and even if your not fascinated by cosmetics, makeup and skin and hair care, they’re just so fascinating that you’ll find you’ve developed an interest.

P Teach says…This podcast will make you Brainier and more beautiful. Most of what we hear about beauty products is bunk. But Perry and Randy explain it all with humor and clarity. A bonus is that they explain the scientific method. The Internet can make you smarter or it can make you dumber. Let the Beauty Brains make you smarter and more beautiful!

Beauty Science News

Dry shampoo danger

Link

It’s getting tougher and tougher to be a marketer of beauty products, especially in this age of social media. It used to be that if a consumer used your product and they were unhappy about it, they might send a letter to your company or complain to the store. But nowadays, they take pictures and post it to social media. This has actually led to lawsuits as in the case of EOS lip balm and Wen hair care. Now, the people who make dry shampoo are under fire.

A Facebook post has gone viral in which a UK consumer claims that her Batiste dry shampoo caused blisters and sores on her scalp which eventually led to widespread hair loss. She claims to have visited her doctor who told her that she had triangular alopecia and would need a scalp biopsy.

She stopped using the dry shampoo and her blisters and sores were gone after 6 weeks. This suggested to her that the dry shampoo was the cause. She wrote “…dry shampoo caused me to have this bald patch on my head and have a terrible scalp for ages.”

The post was shared over 30,000 times and received a lot of press. Somehow the Batiste dry shampoo people managed to dodge the really bad press and the articles I’ve seen focus on dry shampoo in general.

Now, I don’t really know what’s going on in this particular case. Most likely she had a reaction to one of the ingredients in the product (or it could have been something else that she just isn’t connecting). But the damage that stories like these can do to brands in incredible. And on some level it’s pretty unfair. True, this lady may have had a reaction to the product (or maybe not) but there are now thousands of people around the world who will be afraid to buy dry shampoo when it is perfectly fine for them.

The moral of this story for me is that just because a post goes viral on social media or even gets picked up on the Internet, that does not mean it is true or representative of what will happen in the vast majority of cases. Don’t decide on whether to buy a product based on scare stories you read on the Internet!

Why Donald Trump thinks hairspray doesn’t work

Link

The headline in the NY times: “Donald Trump Says Hair Spray Is ‘Not Like It Used to Be’ He said…

“You know you’re not allowed to use hairspray anymore because it affects the ozone. you know, hairspray’s not like it used to be. It used to be real good. Today ya put the hairspray on and it’s good for twelve minutes, right? So if I take hairspray and I spray it in my apartment which is all sealed, you’re telling me that affects the ozone layer?’ Yes? I say no way folks. No way.”

In reality, hairsprays don’t contain CFCs any more which was the ingredient that was bad for the ozone. However, many brands these days do contain water which can affect the product quality. So he’s sort of right but not completely.

Bull sh*@ shaming

Last week we answered a sunscreen question from Eva that was actually posted as a comment on the notes for our show on sunscreen shaming. That was back in Episode 85, remember That?

Anyway, that got me thinking that this idea of “shaming” is all over the place – fat shaming. Body shaming. Slut shaming. Even drink shaming. (A barista got into trouble for writing “Diabetes here I come” on someone’s Starbuck’s drink cup.”

So if you’re critical of someone for just about any reason you can be seen as shaming them. It occurs to me that’s exactly what WE do when we bash all the pseudo scientific info we see on other beauty blogs or magazine articles or on product claims.

We’re really shaming them. So I came up with a name for what we do. Ready for this? I call it Bull Sh*$ shaming. If you’re spreading beauty B.S., we will shame you!

Image credit: http://prominentoffers.com/coconut-oil-hair-treatment/
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Is the “Remedy” hair treatment by Rita Hazan really magic? Lizzy asks…Does the Rita Hazan Remedy have any magic in it? My hair feels soft and shiny after I use it, but it didn’t do anything for my sister. I must say I’ve never seen a product quite like... Is the “Remedy” hair treatment by Rita Hazan really magic? Lizzy asks…Does the Rita Hazan Remedy have any magic in it? My hair feels soft and shiny after I use it, but it didn’t do anything for my sister. I must say I’ve never seen a product quite like this before. It’s a two part […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 31:39
Can I mix my own sunscreen? Episode 132 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/05/can-i-mix-my-own-sunscreen-episode-132/ Tue, 10 May 2016 05:01:49 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4665 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/05/can-i-mix-my-own-sunscreen-episode-132/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/05/can-i-mix-my-own-sunscreen-episode-132/feed/ 7 How do I find a sunscreen that doesn’t cause acne? Allison asks…What’s the difference between a sunscreen and a sunblock? Also, what ingredients should I look for in a product that will not contribute to acne? And, when’s the best time to apply sunscreen in my morning skin care routine? Sunscreens use UV absorbers to protect your […]

How do I find a sunscreen that doesn’t cause acne?

ugly-drawing

Allison asks…What’s the difference between a sunscreen and a sunblock? Also, what ingredients should I look for in a product that will not contribute to acne? And, when’s the best time to apply sunscreen in my morning skin care routine?

Sunscreens use UV absorbers to protect your skin while sunblocks use minerals like zinc and titanium compounds to scatter the sunlight and prevent it from reaching your skin. (Actually, the regulations in the US have changed recently and companies are not allowed to call their products sunblocks anymore.)
Both types of sun protection products are classified as drugs by the FDA which has determined that they are safe and effective. That doesn’t mean, however, that they’re without controversy. Some people find the so called “chemical” sunscreens to be irritating and there is concern that some of these ingredients may be endocrine disruptors. On the other hand, some of the physical sunscreens (which have long thought to be very inert) may interact with sunlight in such a way to damage skin.

Should you worry about which type of sunscreen ingredient to use? For now, I’d continue to go with the FDA’s recommendation on what’s safe and effective and not pay too much attention to all the rumors you might hear about these ingredients.

When it comes to acne, it’s impossible to tell you for sure which sunscreen ingredients to look for and which ones to avoid. I say that for a couple of reasons. First, in addition to the sun protection ingredient there are many other ingredients used in the formula. Sometimes a carrier oil a product can make another ingredient more likely to cause acne. (A classic example is red dye. As a powder it doesn’t cause acne but when combined with certain oils it does.

You might have luck looking for a sunscreen that’s labeled “noncomedogenic.” But, that brings me to the second reason which is that comedogencity testing is not an exact science. That kind of test has historically been done on rabbit ears and it just doesn’t extrapolate very well to people.
Finally, in terms of when to apply sunscreen in your morning routine – typically sunscreens should be applied first so they can soak into the skin and form a protective film. You should do this about 30 minutes before being exposed to strong sunlight.

Can I mix my own sunscreen?

Mindy asks…So the sunscreens in moisturizers that I use has only small amount of ZO, 3%. I usually use it first thing in the morning. I would like to put some sunscreen on before driving home in the afternoon.

I don’t want to put on moisturizer over my makeup, and I don’t like the off the shelve sprays because they feel oily. I was thinking if I put 5% ZO and 5% TiO each (or 10% if 5% is not enough) in witchhazel as a spray, would it work as a sunscreen? I use Thayers Witch Hazel Alcohol-Free Rose w/Aloe Vera. I know it would not be water proof. I just need something to top off my sunscreen in the afternoon.

I hate to tell you this Mindy, but this NOT a good idea for several reasons. First, the physical sunscreens you asked about are not soluble water or even water-alcohol solutions. That means whatever you put in which just settle to the bottom of the bottle.

Now, I know what you’re thinking…can I just shake it up really good before I spray it? NO! These materials, especially TiO2, tend to aggregate if they’re not properly dispersed. That means the little particles come together to form larger particles. Not only would this make it hard to spray but it reduces coverage on your skin and impacts the product’s efficacy.

And don’t even THINK about trying to mix them into a different product form like a cream or lotion. You can make a stable dispersion in a cream but to get them to mix properly you have to sheer these things like a mother f*c&@r! Finally, even if you could get the particle size small enough, I don’t think these materials are safe to inhale. Not used in spray sunscreens to my knowledge.

The bottom line is don’t screw around with making your own sunscreen.

 

Are mineral sunscreens more stable?

Eva asks…Do I really have to reapply physical sunblock (zinc based) every 2 hours? (Assuming my skin don’t perspire or sunscreen doesn’t get physically rubbed off.) Also, for zinc based sunblock, does the 3 year expiration date really apply?

First, the so called “chemical sunscreens” or the UV absorbers (as opposed to the UV blockers) actually get used up over time. It works like this: a molecule of sunscreen absorbs a photon of UV light and then remits the light at a different frequency that doesn’t damage your skin. But every time it goes through this “absorption/re-emission” cycle, it fatigues the molecule a little bit and eventually it will break down and stop working. That means you need to reapply more.

That’s NOT the case with the mineral sunscreens because they reflect the UV light instead of absorbing it. So it is reasonable to ask if physical sunscreens can be applied less frequently.
But the problem is these mineral sunblocks WILL be physically removed from your skin – either by sweating or from rubbing against your clothes or from jumping in the pool. You CAN’T make the assumption that you don’t perspire or that it won’t get rubbed off because it will. Even just touching your face unconsciously a few times will remove some of the lotion. So if you want to make sure your skin is protected, yes, you have to reapply.

You also asked if expiration dates apply to zinc based sunscreens and the answer is yes because the emulsion in which the zinc/Tio2 is suspended may not be stable for that long especially if it’s left in the sun, hot trunk of a car, etc. The particles of the physical sunscreen can agglomerate and they wouldn’t be as effective.

Beauty Science News of the Week

Color changes at Kraft

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Here’s an interesting announcement by the Kraft company about their mac and cheese product. How does this relate to beauty products? Well, I’ll get to that in a moment.

Kraft just announced that it reformulated it’s classic Mac and Cheese product by removing artificial preservatives, flavors and dyes from it’s products.

To do this they replaced standard food colorings with spices like paprika, annatto and turmeric. For preservation they probably rely on a low level of water and high level of salt. In fact an entire box of the stuff contains 72% of the recommended salt intake.

The interesting part of this story is that they made the change back in December of 2015 and they are just telling people about it now. They’ve sold 50 million boxes and apparently no body noticed the changes.

This kind of thing actually happens a lot in consumer goods industries like food and cosmetics. In fact, your favorite products are being changed right under your noses pretty frequently.

Now, Kraft claims that they made the changes because of requests from parents. I’m a bit more cynical and I think this was a marketing ploy to trick consumers into believing that Mac n Cheese will now be more healthy for people. I should say that there is no evidence the changes they made (removing artificial dyes and flavors) made the product more healthy. Indeed with a 72% of the level of recommend salt intake it still doesn’t seem like much of a health food.

So, marketing reasons is one reason a formula might be changed.

Another big reason is cost savings. We spent a lot of time coming up with formulas that would perform the same but be less expensive. For hair products maybe you change the fragrance level or the detergent level or make other minor tweaks. Consumers are surprisingly bad at noticing differences.

Another reason to change formulas is because of regulatory reasons…

Finally, when a big company buys a small company they often have to change formulas to get economies of scale.

When companies do change formulas they go through consumer testing to do their best to ensure that people don’t notice a difference. This is what Kraft no doubt did before launching their new reformulated macaroni and cheese. Mostly, people didn’t notice. And since the product is eaten mostly by children it doesn’t surprise me much. Even if a kid noticed a subtle difference I doubt they would say anything to their parents.

One thing about these formula changes is that while they aren’t typically noticeable by a population, individuals might notice more. So, if you have a product that you’ve been using forever and it seems to not be working the same, there’s a pretty good chance that the formula has been changed.

Writing about beauty science may enslave rather than empower

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You may be familiar with the website “Realize Beauty” which is written by Amanda Foxon-Hill who’s a cosmetic chemist in Australia. She recently published an article that really resonated with me and I wanted to get your thoughts and also see what our listeners think about it. I’ll put a link in the show notes so you can read the entire thing, but I’ll quickly summarize it here. The gist of the article is that she’s asking herself if writing about beauty science actually empowers people.

After some reflection, she says that no, it doesn’t and that that in some cases “the scientific discipline that I am a part of has contributed to a dumbing down of the very thing I was trying to promote.” She explains by saying that “Anyone can blog about cosmetic chemistry and these days anyone does.” She says at first, bloggers who wrote about beauty science were industry experts who wanted to help people better understand how products work and so forth. (That certainly describes us!) But now she says that “people with very little or no experience of how the industry works or what procedures, guidelines or laws are in place in the global marketplace are now happily sharing their pearls of wisdom out onto the general public and passing it off as gospel.”

As that has happened, she feels that people are becoming more paralysed by all this information – they may “FEEL they’re getting the right answers but in reality they “are often completely lost.” In addition, she says when people realize they don’t know whether or not they can trust the answers to these endless questions about what’s true and what really works, they become frustrated and even angry. There’s so much conflicting advice, which on the surface seems reasonable, that people don’t know where to turn. So, it’s gotten to the point where she’s believes that writing about beauty science has the “POTENTIAL” to empower people but sometimes it just ends up enslaving them.

What do you think about that? I say look for real credentials!

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Asher1132 from the UK describes us as…A double act that always manages to lift my mood and educates me so I am able to argue with the glowing orange woman who pounces on me in the shop trying to sell me some rancid crap face cream made with bull semen. ]]> How do I find a sunscreen that doesn’t cause acne? Allison asks…What’s the difference between a sunscreen and a sunblock? Also, what ingredients should I look for in a product that will not contribute to acne? And, How do I find a sunscreen that doesn’t cause acne? Allison asks…What’s the difference between a sunscreen and a sunblock? Also, what ingredients should I look for in a product that will not contribute to acne? And, when’s the best time to apply sunscreen in my morning skin care routine? Sunscreens use UV absorbers to protect your […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 33:52 Do silicones really melt on your hair? Episode 131 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/05/do-silicones-really-melt-on-your-hair-episode-131/ Tue, 03 May 2016 05:01:46 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4663 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/05/do-silicones-really-melt-on-your-hair-episode-131/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/05/do-silicones-really-melt-on-your-hair-episode-131/feed/ 10 Cosmetic Questions Do silicones melt on your hair? Kylie asks…I am attempting to remove years of black hair dye and came across Scott Cornwall and his product Decolour. He makes a claim that if it doesn’t work likely cause is hair plasticised due to using heat over 220 deg cel. Quote “If you use heated […]

Cosmetic Questions

Do silicones melt on your hair?bad_hair_day_by_ohsnapstephanie-d54vu6z

Kylie asks…I am attempting to remove years of black hair dye and came across Scott Cornwall and his product Decolour. He makes a claim that if it doesn’t work likely cause is hair plasticised due to using heat over 220 deg cel. Quote “If you use heated styling products such as hot irons you can seal this build up onto the hair, gluing down the cuticle layer, trapping in the silicone and making it difficult to remove. Is there scientific merit to this? Can silicone boil, coat the hair shaft and remain there plasticised for ever?

To answer this, I spoke with one of the most top experts in the chemistry of silicones used for hair care. This person has over 100 patents on the subject, expertise in development and scale up of silicones for personal care. dozens if not hundreds of publications on the subject. Long story short – this guy knows what he’s talking about. Here’s what he had to say…

The difficulty in answering your question is it is very vague. Silicones cover a variety of compounds smog of which can polymerize, like bath tub sealer, and if applied to the hair could cost the hair, but I assume your audience has the sense not to put bath tub caulk on the hair. The silicones one finds in the personal care do not work that way. They are liquids not solids and do not polymerize on hair. As far as boiling, if they at temperatures that hair processing would experience, they do not polymerize. I suspect the high temperatures of hair treatment exists for a very short period of time. In short the thesis is without any known support.

You might find it interesting to know that nail polishes do work this way. The cross linking catalyst can even be heat or UV light

Is it safe to hack your foundation with food coloring?

Sea horseshoes asks…As a lot of folks with a yellow undertone to their complexion know, it can be really had to find foundation that matches your skin colour. I found quite a number of blog posts and youtube videos suggesting that mixing foundation with a few drops of food colouring would be a good way to alter it. The proportion would be very small; food colouring is quite strong, after all. But I was wondering if this is a practice? It seems to me like it should be, since food colouring is obviously food grade, but are there other risks I’m overlooking, since it’s being applied topically instead of ingested?

It depends on which colorants you’re talking about. As we mentioned in a previous show, some ingredients are safe to eat but can irritate your skin (e.g., cinnamon, peppermint.) The safest thing to do is check to see if the food colorant that you want to use is also approved for use in cosmetics. You can do that by checking the FDA’s approved colorant list.

Also keep in mind that just because something is safe for skin doesn’t mean it can be used all over. For example, there are lots of colorants that are approved for skin but not for use around the eye.

Finally, as you mentioned, food coloring is so concentrated so you’d have to do this very carefully. I would think this would be VERY hard to reproduce. Also, if you add too much of a water based food color to an oil based foundation it could affect the stability of the product.

How does “Hair Print” hair color work?

Zenity asks…Do you know about this product called Hairprint? It is a mystery to me how it “restores one’s natural color” as they claim.

Hairprint IS an interesting product. It comes from a small California based company called The Nature of Hair, LLC. Here’s how they describe the technology:

“Hairprint is not a dye. Think of it as a Hair Healing System that just happens to reverse gray hair to its natural color” “Hairprint creates a process whereby the natural pigment in your hair called eumelanin is recreated in the hair shaft.”

Wow! That sounds pretty incredible – a natural way to restore hair color without dyes. The product itself is relatively simple: it contains Water, baking soda, mucuna pruriens (which is the scientific name for Velvet bean extract), sodium carbonate, carbomer, hydrogen peroxide, diatomaceous earth, manganese gluconate, and ferrous gluconate.

So what’s the deal? To find out, I once again checked with an expert in the field, – this time a cosmetic chemist who’s specialized in hair dye chemistry for over 30 years. Here’s what he had to say…

As you probably know, the type of pigment that gives hair and skin their color is called melanin. There’s a related complex called “dopamine-melanin” which is thought to be the pigment in brain tissue (gray matter.) Dopamine-melanin can be made by oxidizing L-DOPA which is a precursor to dopamine. Got all that?

It turns out that “Velvet Bean” has a high concentration of L-DOPA. It looks like the hydrogen peroxide in the formula may oxidize the velvet bean which MIGHT create the dopamine-melanin which might add some color to the hair.

The ferrous gluconate and manganese gluconate would also cause some color (similar to the lead acetate used in Grecian Formula That’s by reacting with sulphur in hair to create a pigment.)

The bottom line, according to our expert, is that “this is just another way of putting color back into the hair. It must work to a degree, but the price is crazy and I’m sure it doesn’t work as well other products.”

How do rinse off products work?

Harper asks…How do in-shower self-tanners and lotions work? How do they sink in so quickly and not wash off. For example, St. Tropez has a new gradual self-tanner that you apply to wet skin, wait 3 minutes, then wash off; Jergens has a wet skin moisturizer. Are these less effective than other methods and if so, why?

In shower self-tanning products work the same was as leave on products – by using DHA to react with skin protein to give the tan color. Rinse off products like this may contain a higher level of DHA to compensate for the amount that’s rinsed off but in both cases the DHA is in contact with skin long enough to react and form the tan. A leave on product can use a lower level that is in contact with the skin longer, rinse off products can use a higher level that is in contact with skin for a shorter time. In this way, rinse off products can be used a couple of times to achieve a “gradual tan.”

In shower moisturizers work by suspending a water insoluble moisturizing agent (Jergens uses mineral oil.) When the lotion is applied to wet skin the emulsion “breaks” and the mineral oil is deposited on the skin. BTW, if you read the directions, you’ll see that the Jergens product is applied to wet skin but it’s NOT rinsed off. Some in shower moisturizers (like Olay) use a similar system that deposits moisturizers on the skin during the rinsing process.

As a general rule, rinse off products are never as effective at delivering active ingredients as leave on products but I’ve never seen data for these specific products.

Beauty Science News of the Week

The Honest Company may not be so honest

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Boy the class action law firms are really active this year in the beauty business. There was the J&J suit, the Wen suit, the EOS lawsuit and now, ironically, the Honest Company is being sued for not being honest.

Here’s what happened.

A few months ago there was a report published in the Wall Street Journal that suggested a claim made by the Honest company was false. The company was claiming that their liquid laundry detergent, dish soap, and other cleaners were “free of sodium lauryl sulfate.” In the Wall Street Journal article, they had independent labs test the Honest detergent and found high levels of SLS.

The Honest company insists that are not misleading consumers. In fact, they claim that they don’t use SLS, but rather Sodium Cocoyl Sulfate.

It makes some sense to explain the difference here. Both SLS and Sodium Cocoyl Sulfate are detergents. It’s a little complicated but the important parts to consider are the Lauryl and the Cocoyl. Lauryl refers to the part of the molecule that has 12 carbon atoms. So, most of SLS is a detergent that has that 12 carbon atoms. Cocoyl refers to a blend of hydrocarbons with different lengths. It comes from coconut oil. So it will have some 10 carbon detergents, 14 carbon detergents, 16, etc. It just so happens that it mostly contains detergents with 12 carbon atoms. You know, what we chemists refer to as Lauryl.

The Honest company argues that they don’t put any Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in their products. However, they put a blended detergent that contains about 50% sodium laurel sulfate. That’s how it can show up in the test.

This is a classic case of greenwashing. Essentially, they are using sodium laurel sulfate but they don’t want to put it on their label so they use the less refined sodium cocoyl sulfate. They claim SLS free even though it isn’t. I don’t know how their chemists let this one go through. Or their legal department for that matter.

We’ll see what happens with this lawsuit.

It’s good to see that companies like this are being called out for their BS.

The dangers of mineral oil in lip products

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Our friend Colin Sanders recently published an article on this very subject. He reviewed a paper from the International Journal of Cosmetic Science which addressed the issue of long chain hydrocarbons in lip products.

Remember that Mineral oil is really just long chains of carbon atoms surrounded by hydrogen atoms. It’s used in lip products to provide slip and shine and overall it’s quite safe for use in cosmetics as long as it’s properly purified.

But here’s the issue for lip products: Our bodies aren’t equipped to break down mineral oil like they are other fats and oils. That means that most mineral oil will just pass through our body (in fact it’s been used as a laxative) but some will be retained. And research on rats has shown that high intakes of mineral hydrocarbons may have some harmful health effects.

Of course, this is where it gets tricky – there’s no indication that it’s harmful in humans but better to be safe than sorry so the scientific body in the EU that looks into this sort of thing has published a new recommendation that says “Cosmetics Europe recommends to use only those mineral hydrocarbons in oral and lip care products, for which an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) has been identified.” In other words, only use mineral hydrocarbons for which there is clear data that it’s okay to ingest a certain amount.

As Colin points out, this is probably much ado about nothing BUT the good news is that there are plenty of vegetable oil alternatives to mineral oil so it shouldn’t be a problem for you to find mineral oil free products if you choose.

The tricky part is that these same concerns apply to waxes that are used in lip products and those are potentially harder to replace. (Things like microcrystalline wax, ozokerite, ceresine, and paraffins.)

Follow the link to read his original article where he provides references to the specific studies.

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Miss Edgeley from Australia says…Condescending men talking about women’s beauty products 2 stars. Really disappointed as it’s a couple of guys making fun of women’s beauty websites and pontificating about beauty products which are mostly for women. Pretty boring.

The Age Fix by Dr. Anthony Youn

For more evidence-based beauty advice, check out the latest book by plastic surgeon and friend of the Beauty Brains, Dr. Anthony Youn. Click here to learn more about The Age Fix. ]]> Cosmetic Questions Do silicones melt on your hair? Kylie asks…I am attempting to remove years of black hair dye and came across Scott Cornwall and his product Decolour. He makes a claim that if it doesn’t work likely cause is hair plasticised due to us... Cosmetic Questions Do silicones melt on your hair? Kylie asks…I am attempting to remove years of black hair dye and came across Scott Cornwall and his product Decolour. He makes a claim that if it doesn’t work likely cause is hair plasticised due to using heat over 220 deg cel. Quote “If you use heated […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean Do anti-aging hair care products really work? Episode 130 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/04/do-anti-aging-hair-care-products-really-work-episode-130/ Tue, 26 Apr 2016 05:01:29 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4658 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/04/do-anti-aging-hair-care-products-really-work-episode-130/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/04/do-anti-aging-hair-care-products-really-work-episode-130/feed/ 5 Hair and skin have some things in common but there’s one big difference: skin is alive and responds to so called “anti-aging” ingredients while hair is DEAD. Check out this encore episode where we give you the straight scoop on hair care products that claim to make your hair younger.   Click here for the our […] Hair and skin have some things in common but there’s one big difference: skin is alive and responds to so called “anti-aging” ingredients while hair is DEAD. Check out this encore episode where we give you the straight scoop on hair care products that claim to make your hair younger.The_Bocksten_Bog_Man_1

 

Click here for the our anti-aging hair care show notes. ]]> Hair and skin have some things in common but there’s one big difference: skin is alive and responds to so called “anti-aging” ingredients while hair is DEAD. Check out this encore episode where we give you the straight scoop on hair care products that ... Hair and skin have some things in common but there’s one big difference: skin is alive and responds to so called “anti-aging” ingredients while hair is DEAD. Check out this encore episode where we give you the straight scoop on hair care products that claim to make your hair younger.   Click here for the our […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 30:37 Are you sick of greenwashed cosmetics? Episode 129 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/04/are-you-sick-of-greenwashed-cosmetics-episode-129/ Tue, 19 Apr 2016 05:01:11 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4654 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/04/are-you-sick-of-greenwashed-cosmetics-episode-129/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/04/are-you-sick-of-greenwashed-cosmetics-episode-129/feed/ 7 In this encore episode we discuss why cosmetic companies STILL make so many fake natural products. There are a few main reasons: True natural consumers are still a small market segment All-natural cosmetics do not work as well Consumers don’t know the difference Greenwashing keeps costs down There are no required standards Formulating natural cosmetics […] In this encore episode we discuss why cosmetic companies STILL make so many fake natural products. There are a few main reasons:2674778713_8fc9a93f77_o

  • True natural consumers are still a small market segment
  • All-natural cosmetics do not work as well
  • Consumers don’t know the difference
  • Greenwashing keeps costs down
  • There are no required standards
  • Formulating natural cosmetics is still profitable

Click here to read the show notes. ]]> In this encore episode we discuss why cosmetic companies STILL make so many fake natural products. There are a few main reasons: True natural consumers are still a small market segment All-natural cosmetics do not work as well Consumers don’t know the ... In this encore episode we discuss why cosmetic companies STILL make so many fake natural products. There are a few main reasons: True natural consumers are still a small market segment All-natural cosmetics do not work as well Consumers don’t know the difference Greenwashing keeps costs down There are no required standards Formulating natural cosmetics […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 33:37 How can I tell if my product contains natural or synthetic colors? Episode 128 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/04/how-can-i-tell-if-my-product-contains-natural-or-synthetic-colors/ Tue, 12 Apr 2016 05:01:30 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4647 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/04/how-can-i-tell-if-my-product-contains-natural-or-synthetic-colors/#respond https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/04/how-can-i-tell-if-my-product-contains-natural-or-synthetic-colors/feed/ 0 Just about everyone has been puzzled about how “natural” certain products are. This is especially true of color cosmetics because not very many of the colorants used in makeup are truly natural.  In today’s encore presentation, we discuss a quick history of cosmetic colorants, tell you where colorants come from, and explain the difference between […] Just about everyone has been puzzled about how “natural” certain products are. This is especially true of color cosmetics because not very many of the colorants used in makeup are truly natural. bubles_in_happy_colors_by_martadesign

In today’s encore presentation, we discuss a quick history of cosmetic colorants, tell you where colorants come from, and explain the difference between organic, inorganic, and synthetic colors.

 

Click here for the show notes. ]]> Just about everyone has been puzzled about how “natural” certain products are. This is especially true of color cosmetics because not very many of the colorants used in makeup are truly natural.  In today’s encore presentation, Just about everyone has been puzzled about how “natural” certain products are. This is especially true of color cosmetics because not very many of the colorants used in makeup are truly natural.  In today’s encore presentation, we discuss a quick history of cosmetic colorants, tell you where colorants come from, and explain the difference between […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 31:13 Are cosmetics really unregulated? Episode 127 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/04/are-cosmetics-really-unregulated-episode-127/ Tue, 05 Apr 2016 05:01:51 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4643 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/04/are-cosmetics-really-unregulated-episode-127/#respond https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/04/are-cosmetics-really-unregulated-episode-127/feed/ 0 Is it true that cosmetics are unregulated and that companies can put anything they want in beauty products? Find out as Perry and I talk about the laws that govern the cosmetics industry.  This is an encore presentation of an important episode that most of our audience hasn’t heard yet. Please click here for the […] Is it true that cosmetics are unregulated and that companies can put anything they want in beauty products? Find out as Perry and I talk about the laws that govern the cosmetics industry. Law3

This is an encore presentation of an important episode that most of our audience hasn’t heard yet. Please click here for the show notes

 

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Is it true that cosmetics are unregulated and that companies can put anything they want in beauty products? Find out as Perry and I talk about the laws that govern the cosmetics industry.  This is an encore presentation of an important episode that mos... Is it true that cosmetics are unregulated and that companies can put anything they want in beauty products? Find out as Perry and I talk about the laws that govern the cosmetics industry.  This is an encore presentation of an important episode that most of our audience hasn’t heard yet. Please click here for the […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 34:24
Everything you need to know about fragrance allergens – Episode 126 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/03/everything-you-need-to-know-about-fragrance-allergens-episode-126/ Tue, 29 Mar 2016 05:01:46 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4637 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/03/everything-you-need-to-know-about-fragrance-allergens-episode-126/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/03/everything-you-need-to-know-about-fragrance-allergens-episode-126/feed/ 8 This week you’ll learn all about fragrance allergies – what they are and how to avoid them.  Would you like to ask YOUR question on our Show? Here’s how to submit an audio question to the Beauty Brains. Question of the week Nicole’s question: I was recently diagnosed with orris root allergy. My doctor says […] This week you’ll learn all about fragrance allergies – what they are and how to avoid them. 

Would you like to ask YOUR question on our Show?
Here’s how to submit an audio question to the Beauty Brains.

Question of the week

Nicole’s question: I was recently diagnosed with orris root allergy. My doctor says it is not often listed and that it falls under the category of general fragrances. Am I safe if I use fragrance free products or do I need to look for hypoallergenic products? Also, are there any other ingredients I should avoid?”

Disclaimer: We’re not doctors and we can’t give you medical advice. But we can explain how fragrance allergen labeling works and what hypoallergenic really means.

What is orris root and why is it used in personal care products

Apparently “orris” is a variation on the name “iris” so orris root comes from the root of certain iris species. It’s also related to the lilly. Its official INCI name is “Iris Florentina (Orris) Root Powder” but it’s known by many other names: such Yellow Iris, Flag Lilly, Myrtle Flower, and Poison Flag.

The root of the orris plant is used to make herbal medicines and can be found alone, and in combination with other herbs, in homeopathic dilutions and tea preparations.  It can supposedly purify the blood and do all other sorts of things that are completely unsubstantiated.

It does have a nice, light violet scent and so it is prized as a perfume ingredient. Actually it’s multipurpose because in addition to adding the floral scent it also can “fix” the scent of other fragrance oils. It helps to slow their evaporation and binds them to the skin so the fragrance is longer lasting. It used to be commonly used in face powders – until it was discovered that it can be irritating. But is still used today as a fragrance component and apparently it’s quite common in potpourris and sachets (because of staying power.)

As Nicole’s doctor rightly pointed out, since it’s a fragrance ingredient it doesn’t have to be listed as part of the ingredients. That’s because fragrances are composed of hundreds of different chemicals and it’s just not practical to list ALL those individual chemicals. The exception to this rule is for fragrance components that have been identified as known allergens – THEY have to be listed.

What is a fragrance allergen?

Because fragrances are composed of so many chemicals and because these chemicals tend to be reactive, it’s not uncommon for a small percentage of people to have a reaction to some of these compounds. Depending on which study you believe the numbers are as low as 1 to 3% for Europe or as high as 10% for parts of Scandinavia.

The two most common reactions to fragrance are skin allergies and skin irritations. Even though people will say “I’m allergic to this fragrance” most of the time they are having an irritant reaction and not a true skin allergy. The difference is that allergic reactions typically take about a day or so to develop while irritation occurs almost immediately. Once you’ve developed a true allergy it’s a life long problem and every time you’re exposed to that chemical you may experience redness, swelling and pus-filled vesicles. Regardless of where you apply the product, the reaction may show up on your face, hands or armpits.

If a certain ingredient irritates you then you’ll only have a reaction on the spot where you applied the product. Also, the irritation may not occur every time you’re exposed to the chemical because the effect also depends on the irritation potential of the other ingredients in the product and their concentrations. So just because “lavender” irritates you in one product doesn’t necessarily mean that every lavender product will bother you.

But regardless whether it’s irritation or allergy you’ll want to avoid fragrance chemicals which bother you. Fortunately, the fragrance industry has worked out a way to label these allergens.

How to tell if a product contains fragrance allergens

A number of industry organizations (including The Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-food products (SCCNFP) and the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM)) have developed an official list of allergens. If a product contains any of these materials, they must be disclosed on the label. Typically they are presented at the end of the ingredient list.

Right now in the US there are 26 allergens which require labeling . The EU started with 26 but now has expanded that to 127 (not sure if these are proposed for labeling of already ratified and what is the US status.)

There are three lists of allergens, follow the links for some scintillating reading:

Surprisingly, orris root is NOT listed on any of these lists. The list is re-reviewed every so often so new allergens can be added as they are identified so hopefully if orris root is a common enough allergen (and it appears that it is) it will hopefully be added to the list.

Is hypoallergenic helpful or just hype?

Unfortunately, looking for hypoallergenic products doesn’t really guarantee you very much. Here’s what hypoallergenic means: First, companies typically try to formulate using mildest ingredients possible. However, there is no mandated list of ingredients that you have to use or, have to exclude, to be considered hypoallergenic.

Second, beauty companies send their product to a testing company for what is known as “patch testing.” Essentially this involves putting some of the product on the skin of volunteers, covering the product with a patch, and then evaluating the panelists skin over time for a reaction. If there is little or no reaction to the product then the company can say it is hypoallergenic.

This is a marketing claim and is it basically it means “won’t cause an allergic response in most people.” But here’s why the test doesn’t mean much – if the product being tested contains orris root and no one on the test panel has an orris root allergy, then the product could pass the hypo allergenicity test. Just passing this test doesn’t certify that the product is free from every possible allergen. So that’s why, in this case, looking for fragrance free products is better than looking for ones that have been labeled “hypoallergenic.”

The bottom line

The good news is that Orris root is used almost exclusively as part of a fragrance. Using fragrance free products AND double checking the label to make sure orris root is not added as a separate ingredient for some other reason should be sufficient to protect you. Hypoallergenic products could theoretically still contain orris root since that term is more for marketing.

References:

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-645-ORRIS.aspx?activeIngredientId=645&activeIngredientName=ORRIS

http://seasonalitybylogovida.blogspot.com/2011/08/orris-root-perfume-and-preservative.html

http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/opinions_layman/perfume-allergies/en/index.htm#4

 

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This week you’ll learn all about fragrance allergies – what they are and how to avoid them.  Would you like to ask YOUR question on our Show? Here’s how to submit an audio question to the Beauty Brains. Question of the week Nicole’s question: I was rec... This week you’ll learn all about fragrance allergies – what they are and how to avoid them.  Would you like to ask YOUR question on our Show? Here’s how to submit an audio question to the Beauty Brains. Question of the week Nicole’s question: I was recently diagnosed with orris root allergy. My doctor says […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 33:37
Should I use antibacterial soap? Episode 125 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/03/should-i-use-antibacterial-soap-episode-125/ Tue, 22 Mar 2016 05:01:07 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4628 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/03/should-i-use-antibacterial-soap-episode-125/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/03/should-i-use-antibacterial-soap-episode-125/feed/ 4 The FDA has announced that it’s going to take a closer look at antibacterial soaps. In today’s show (an encore presentation from 2013) we discuss everything you need to know. What is an antibacterial soap? Soaps that contain antimicrobial or antibacterial agents are actually drugs that are controlled by the FDA (in the US). Since […] The FDA has announced that it’s going to take a closer look at antibacterial soaps. In today’s show (an encore presentation from 2013) we discuss everything you need to know.

What is an antibacterial soap?maxresdefault-2

Soaps that contain antimicrobial or antibacterial agents are actually drugs that are controlled by the FDA (in the US). Since these drugs don’t require a prescription, they are called Over the Counter drugs just like aspirin and antacids. These OTC drugs, as they’re called, are defined in a FDA document called a Monograph which specifies which active ingredients you can use, how much you can use and so forth. OTC drugs are classified in 3 ways:

  • Category I = GRASE. (Generally Recognized As Safe and Effective.)
  • Category II = Not GRASE. (Denotes that an active ingredient has been shown to be unsafe, ineffective, or both. You can NOT use these.)
  • Category III = GRAS or GRAE.

Triclosan is Category IIISE which means they’d like to see both safety and efficacy data.

Starting in 1978 and ending in 1994 the FDA developed what it calls a Tentative Final Monograph on Antimicrobial products which said only Povidone-iodine at 5 to 10 percent was Category I, several were Category II and some were Category III. Since Triclosan is relatively cheap and easy to formulate with, it became the favorite. So the FDA said as long as you use this ingredient at these levels, you can make these claims but we’re going to keep looking at these ingredients in case there’s any new evidence that indicates there are any issues with safety or efficacy.

Soap vs sanitizer and consumer use vs professional use

There are two special cases to be aware of:
Soap vs hand sanitizer – the regulations are specific to “wash” products which means they are to be used with water (in other words they are rinsed off.) Alcohol is allowed in leave on products (hand santiziers) but NOT washes because they are rinsed away.

Consumer vs healthcare – Also note that the law treats consumer products differently than health care products. Different classes of ingredients are allowed for products used in hospitals, for example.

Why is Triclosan a problem now?

The FDA isn’t kidding when they say they want more data on Category III ingredients. They’ve been looking at Triclosan and there’s two new pieces of data that is making them rethink the drug status of this ingredient. First, some new evidence that bacteria may be becoming immune to Triclosan and therefore we maybe creating super bugs by over use of this ingredient. Second there’s some new data that suggests Triclosan may be an endocrine disrupter.

What’s the FDA doing?

FDA is doing three things:
First, they’ve put out a call for more data on Triclosan, asking manufacturers of antibacterial hand soaps and body washes to demonstrate that their products are safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections.

Second, they’re redefining what kind of products are allowed to use antibacterial ingredients. They’ve introduced a new categorization calling antiseptic washes and products we are now calling antiseptic rubs. Back in 1994 the TFM just called everything “soaps.” They’re also creating a distinction between consumer and health care products – the 1994 TFM did not distinguish between consumer antiseptic handwashes and rubs and health care antiseptic handwashes and rubs. This proposed rule covers consumer antiseptic washes only and does not cover consumer antiseptic rubs.

Essentially, back in ’94 the regulations were written for “soaps” which meant bar soaps since they were the primary cleansing product. Now there are hand washes, body washes, foaming hand washes, and so on. So the dosage and exposure dynamics may have changed – that’s one reason the rules are being revisited.

Third they’re looking at the other ingredients from the ’94 TFM as well and decided to change a few categories – to be more conservative. For example, Povidone-iodine is changed from Category 1 to Category 3.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

We have to wait for the latest data and see what the FDA’s final assessment is. The good news is, that if you’re concerned, it’s very easy to avoid personal care products with Triclosan – just check the labels on your hand washes, deodorant soaps, toothpastes, and anything else you have that claims to be “antibacterial.”

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The FDA has announced that it’s going to take a closer look at antibacterial soaps. In today’s show (an encore presentation from 2013) we discuss everything you need to know. What is an antibacterial soap? Soaps that contain antimicrobial or antibacter... The FDA has announced that it’s going to take a closer look at antibacterial soaps. In today’s show (an encore presentation from 2013) we discuss everything you need to know. What is an antibacterial soap? Soaps that contain antimicrobial or antibacterial agents are actually drugs that are controlled by the FDA (in the US). Since […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 33:37
Should farmland be used to grow organic beauty ingredients? Episode 124 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/03/should-farmland-be-used-to-grow-organic-beauty-ingredients-episode-124/ Tue, 15 Mar 2016 05:01:14 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4623 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/03/should-farmland-be-used-to-grow-organic-beauty-ingredients-episode-124/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/03/should-farmland-be-used-to-grow-organic-beauty-ingredients-episode-124/feed/ 1 In another lost episode Sarah Bellum and Left Brain discuss… Will my 3 year old bottle of shampoo still work? Is there a standard definition for organic or natural? The first organic perfume line launched in France The Clinique counter beauty app The danger of bath salts and…Left Brain’s trip to China   In another lost episode Sarah Bellum and Left Brain discuss…maxresdefault

  • Will my 3 year old bottle of shampoo still work?
  • Is there a standard definition for organic or natural?
  • The first organic perfume line launched in France
  • The Clinique counter beauty app
  • The danger of bath salts
  • and…Left Brain’s trip to China

 

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In another lost episode Sarah Bellum and Left Brain discuss… Will my 3 year old bottle of shampoo still work? Is there a standard definition for organic or natural? The first organic perfume line launched in France The Clinique counter beauty app The d... In another lost episode Sarah Bellum and Left Brain discuss… Will my 3 year old bottle of shampoo still work? Is there a standard definition for organic or natural? The first organic perfume line launched in France The Clinique counter beauty app The danger of bath salts and…Left Brain’s trip to China   Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 33:37
Can bedtime products really help your baby sleep? Episode 123 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/03/can-bedtime-products-really-help-your-baby-sleep-episode-123/ Tue, 08 Mar 2016 06:01:35 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4619 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/03/can-bedtime-products-really-help-your-baby-sleep-episode-123/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/03/can-bedtime-products-really-help-your-baby-sleep-episode-123/feed/ 3 Skin care and the sound of music Link Cosmetic marketers are always trying to innovate but sometimes I think they take it a bit too far. This new innovation from Shiseido seems to be one of those times. According to a report in Cosmetics Design, Shiseido has developed some music software that supposedly enhances the power […]

Skin care and the sound of musicbaby-869259_960_720

Link

Cosmetic marketers are always trying to innovate but sometimes I think they take it a bit too far. This new innovation from Shiseido seems to be one of those times. According to a report in Cosmetics Design, Shiseido has developed some music software that supposedly enhances the power of touching the skin. They call it Acoustic Beauty Care. They say that when sound is introduced to the process of treating skin, it improves the experience and allows the customer to appreciate the comfort of skin care and the feel of cosmetics even more keenly. So I guess that would mean if you listen to music your cosmetics will work better?

To be fair it doesn’t seem like they are claiming that. They just say that they can improve your overall experience by listening to certain types of music while getting a treatment. This doesn’t sound like any great big surprise. I mean if you go to a spa and they are playing death metal music, you’re going to have a different experience than if they were playing soothing water droplets with soft violin undertones. The lesson we can all take from this is that if you want to have a better experience while applying cosmetics, you should play some music. And that sparked an idea. How about we release our own Beauty Brains cosmetic application music? So feel free to play that song any time you apply your cosmetics and it will make them work better. Our lawyers tell me that we need a disclaimer that this claim hasn’t been verified by the FDA.

An iPhone beauty app that really works

Link

I loves me my smart phone. But when it comes to beauty apps for smart phones we haven’t seen many that really provide a benefit. The one that always comes to mind is the mole detecting app that could actually be downright dangerous.
 But I found one that may really be helpful for your health.

Like the pump packaging I talked about two weeks ago, this one also comes to us from the fine folks at L’Oreal who has developed a UV radiation detecting patch that works with your smart phone.
 It’s called, cleverly enough, My UV Patch and it’s a tiny, thin, stretchable patch that contains photo sensitive dyes with a built in layer of electronics. As the patch absorbs UV throughout the day it changes color. When you want to know how much UV you’ve been exposed to, you snap a picture of the patch with your phone and the app decodes your total UV exposure. I presume it gives you some sort of context like…you’ve accumulated enough exposure to begin damaging your skin. Or maybe it gives you some indication that it’s time to reapply sunscreen?

We’ve seen color change used as an indicator of UV exposure before (on a bottle? I’m not sure). It’s tough to do this accuralty because the reading a color shift can be subjective. Maybe the electronics help calibrate the camera somehow to give you more consistent readings? 
 At this point it hasn’t been determined if this will be a stand alone product that you can buy or if it will come free with purchase of another skin care product. It’ll also be interesting to see how they make this kind of wearable fashionable so people don’t feel like an idiot wearing it.

The top beauty power brands (according to WWD)

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Here are the top 10 power beauty brands according to Women’s Wear Daily.

10. Lancome – a prestige beauty brand ranked number two in sales in the US.

9. Dove – This brand increased value 10 percent in the last year.

8. Estee Lauder – An oldie but still growing. Third largest prestige brand in the US.

7. Benefit cosmetics – They are one of the best on social media.

6. Maybelline New York – Another old brand but somehow they have remained youth-oriented. They apparently are really strong with search engine optimization & rank #2 on the digital ranking index.

5. Urban Decay – They killed it last year with their Naked series of palettes

4. Neutrogena – Here’s a surprise but beauty editors love this brand. They are winning in the mass market skin care market.

3. Chanel – Just goes to show that old doesn’t mean irrelevant. This brand has been around forever and is still the number one fragrance player in the US.

2. MAC – Makeup reigns supreme and MAC is the king. They are the toped ranked prestige color brand in the US.

1. L’Oreal Paris – They have top 10 sellers in 13 different categories. Hair, skin, makeup, they’ve got it all and that’s why they are number one.

Some other brands lower on the list.
Where’s Pantene?

Blackberry and Dill – a natural anti aging breakthrough?

No link

If I told you that blackberry and dill extracts are effective anti-aging ingredients, what would you say? That’s what I would have said…until I saw this study published by J&J that shows these materials may actually increase elastin in your skin. First some background – Remember that elastin (along with collagen) is responsible for creating the scaffolding of your skin. It’s the fiber that gives skin structure, holds it up so it doesn’t collapse and form wrinkles.

Creating new elastin is complicated and involves three key processes:
1.) Increasing the production of the components that make new elastin fibers (these are things like tropo-elastin and microfibrils)

2) increasing the levels of enzymes that promote cross-linking of the elastin fibers so they set up the proper matrix in the dermis and

3) decreasing the enzymes that break down elastin. If you can do those three things you should have more elastin and therefore younger looking skin.

J&J researchers hypothesized that Blackberry Leaf extract could decrease the “bad” enzymes AND boost the production of tropo-elastin (wasn’t that the mouse on the Ed Sulivan show? There are about 3 people in the audience who will get that joke.)

And that dill extract could increase LOXL1, an enzyme that cross links these pieces into functional fibers.

Then they did some tests on human cells in the lab to validate this hypothesis:
They showed that Blackberry Leaf extract does inhibit the “bad stuff” that breaks down elastin (human leukocyte elastase Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). It also promotes new elastin formation.

They cited other in vitro test results – not sure if theirs or not – which showed that dill extract does increase both the good enzyme and actual elastin production.

So there’s the data that appears to validate the mechanism.

Next they did a clinical study on real people. They applied a combination of the extracts to the subjects’ arms for 12 weeks and then looked for increased elastin under actual use conditions. These were measured two ways: they looked at tissue samples to see if more elastin fibers are visible and they measure skin elasticity which is an indirect measure of elastin. The results were positive in both cases.

This is about as robust as it gets in the cosmetic world – they have a theoretical mechanism for how it works, in vitro data to demonstrate the theoretical efficacy and clinical data to show it works when applied topically.

There are a few questions/issues:
First, all the clinical data appears to come from a single study that’s fairly small (n=49.)

Second, in the data I saw they didn’t always show whether or not the results were statistically significant. In for the case where they did show statistical significance, only one of the two results (net elasticity) reached the 95% level. (The other gross elasticity was 90%) That means we’re less sure that the results are reproducible and not just a fluke.

Third, there’s no context for these results. Was the degree of improvement consumer perceptible in any way? Also, there’s no indication of how these results compare to other elasticity-boosting ingredients. Are blackberry and dill any better than peptides? Are they worse? It’s always nice to have a natural alternative but we would want to know that we’re not sacrificing efficacy just to get a natural claim.

Finally, it’s hard to say how this might translate into a finished formula. The levels of extracts that showed impactful results was higher you typically find in creams and lotions. They tested different levels but saw best results at 20% and higher (Your run of the mill product with a pinch of blackberry and dill would not provide these results.) But then again maybe this could be optimized.

Overall I’d say this is very interesting!

Rainbow freckles

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Have you seen the hot new trend sweeping the nation? Rainbow-freckles. While women used to try to hide their freckles, some are now embracing and enhancing them with colorful version. They use pencil eyeliner to create faux freckles with all the different colors of the rainbow. And you know the trend is catching on because model Kendall Jenner posted pictures of herself with them on Instagram. You can see what I’m talking about by searching Instagram for #rainbowfrackles and #coloredfreckles. I think we need a Beauty Brains rainbow freckle picture up on our Instagram channel. Randy, can we get you to do that? It’s good to see kids experimenting with cosmetics.

Can bedtime products really help your baby sleep?

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In what seems now to be a regular segment for the show, I’ve got story about another lawsuit against a cosmetic company. This one comes from right here in Illinois and it’s against the Johnson and Johnson company – a woman is suing them for NOT putting her baby to sleep.

According to the article, this woman has filed a suit claiming that J&J’s Bedtime Bath and Lotion products are making misleading claims. She says that she bought these products after seeing ads that claim they are “clinical proven to help babies sleep better.”

This benefit was so important to her that she was willing to pay a higher price for these products (they’re priced $1 more than other J&J baby products). But, after following the products’ instructions she found that they did NOT help her baby sleep better. So of course, the next logical step would be to sue. BTW, there’s a proposed class action lawsuit in NJ for this same reason. I don’t want get bogged down in the legal issues here – I just want to talk about the claims. At first I couldn’t even believe they would make claims about improving baby’s sleep. But actually, they do. Here’s what their website says:

“Sometimes babies have trouble sleeping. This 3-step nighttime baby bath routine is clinically proven to help your baby go to sleep easier and sleep better through the night in just 7 days.*
*With a bath using JOHNSON’S® baby BEDTIME® bath, a gentle massage using JOHNSON’S® baby BEDTIME® lotion, and a few minutes of quiet time, you can let your baby drift off to a better night’s sleep. Make bathtime a gentle and calming time, with NATURALCALM® essences that blend aromas to soothe your baby.”

That wording is very important – they’re not directly claiming there’s anything about the product itself that is sleep inducing. Rather, they’re saying that following a specific routine (which by the way uses these products) improves sleep. That seems much more reasonable than having a product with some kind of narcoleptic fragrance effect. BTW, the ingredients are very standard.

SO, I figured someone must have done a study of the effect of bedtime routine on baby’s sleep and sure enough I found one referenced on WebMD. It was a study involving 405 mothers with babies between 7 months and 36 months old which showed that “babies who followed a nightly bedtime routine went to sleep easier, slept better, and cried less during the night.” The study is all about standardizing activities – Steps include playing quiet games, make every activity peaceful and calm, bathe right before bedtime, and so on. It has nothing to do with using specific products.
Maybe J&J ran their own version of this study using their own products but there’s nothing to suggest that one product would work better than any other – and they’re not claiming their products work better than any other.

So from a claims support standpoint I think they’re in good shape. EXCEPT for ONE word: Clinically proven to help YOUR baby go to sleep easier vs clinically proven to help babies go to sleep easier. The specificity that comes with “your” could make the claim seem more misleading.

It’ll be interesting to see how these lawsuits are resolved.

Ingredients: Water (eau), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Polysorbate 20, PEG-150 Distearate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Chloride, Parfum

J&J lose lawsuit over baby powder

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It’s a tough time to be J&J. Not only did they get sued for their baby products that aren’t making babies sleep better, they recently got slapped with a ruling giving saying they have to pay $72 million in a case that linked their baby powder to ovarian cancer.

A Missouri jury awarded the money to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer. She had brought the suit claiming that using J&J baby powder was the cause.

Her son, who took over the case after she died, said that his mom used the baby powder ever day for decades. And even though there is no scientific evidence supporting the notion that talc can in any way cause cancer, the jury still reached a conclusion that it had.

This is so frustrating! Why are juries who have no background in science being asked to make judgements about science?

Anyway, if this holds up it could be huge for J&J since they have more than 1000 similar cases country wide. No doubt they will appeal.

One of the key pieces of evidence that was introduced in the trial was an internal memo from a J&J medical consultant who suggested that “anybody who denies the risks” between hygienic talc use and ovarian cancer would be publicly perceived in the same light as those who denied a link between smoking cigarettes and cancer. “Denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary.”

Which I guess goes to show that even medical consultants can be misinformed.

Incidentally, talc is a natural material. What does this do to the idea that “natural” is automatically good for you?

Anyway, there must be something more to this because the science is on J&J’s side. There is no evidence that talc can cause cancer.

This will have to be appealed and overturned. Can you imagine what would happen to the industry if it isn’t? Anyone with cancer can bring a lawsuit against any company and get a settlement. I just don’t see how any company could make cosmetics any more. It is so easy to convince an non-scientifically educated populace that any ingredient could be implicated and any company could be sued.

iTunes reviews

Mashville says…These guys have helped me see past all the “hype” to make my own informed decisions. Yay science! Many people mention the banter isn’t so great. They aren’t the Tappet brothers, but not everyone is. They make an effort, and I applaud them for it.

Gabtract says…I’m in school at the moment studying to be cosmetic chemist myself and this show was a great find. I love how informative and fun these guys are and they make me excited about my future career

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Skin care and the sound of music Link Cosmetic marketers are always trying to innovate but sometimes I think they take it a bit too far. This new innovation from Shiseido seems to be one of those times. According to a report in Cosmetics Design, Skin care and the sound of music Link Cosmetic marketers are always trying to innovate but sometimes I think they take it a bit too far. This new innovation from Shiseido seems to be one of those times. According to a report in Cosmetics Design, Shiseido has developed some music software that supposedly enhances the power […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 33:41
What’s the best way to get rid of bed head? Episode 122 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/03/whats-the-best-way-to-get-rid-of-bed-head-episode-122/ Tue, 01 Mar 2016 06:01:08 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4609 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/03/whats-the-best-way-to-get-rid-of-bed-head-episode-122/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/03/whats-the-best-way-to-get-rid-of-bed-head-episode-122/feed/ 11 Does this bed head product really work? Sasha asks…Can Ma Cherie Perfect Shower fix your bed better than regular water? Is this worth the money or is it nothing more than water mixed with leave in conditioner? Let’s begin by talking about what causes bed head. First, you have to realize that there are two different […]

Does this bed head product really work?Lautrec_in_bed_1893

Sasha asks…Can Ma Cherie Perfect Shower fix your bed better than regular water? Is this worth the money or is it nothing more than water mixed with leave in conditioner?

Let’s begin by talking about what causes bed head. First, you have to realize that there are two different kinds of bonds that control the shape of your hair. There are the disulfide bonds – these are very strong chemical bonds (kind of like the rungs of a ladder that keep the proteins in your hair locked in shape. These are very tough to break – think relaxer or straightening treatment. Then there are hydrogen bonds – these are very weak bond that only temporarily affect the shape of your hair. As soon as your hair comes in contact with water, these hydrogen bonds are broken. As you sleep your head sweats and the moisture is absorbed by your hair. Then, as you toss and turn your hair is twisted and pushed into a jumble of fibers. Once, the sweat dries, new hydrogen bonds are formed and your hair is “locked” into this new configuration.
Note that this is especially problematic if you have short hair because long hair is less effected. Partly because it has more weight to counter act the effect and partly because only the hair close to the scalp is directly in contact with all that sweat.

Fortunately, this problem is easy to fix – as soon as your hair comes in contact with water again the hydrogen bonds will reset and your hair will return to it’s normal shape. So if you wash your hair in the morning this isn’t a problem at all. BUT if you don’t wash your hair what do you do? You can just wet your hair with water but here’s the problem with that – hair is fairly hydrophobic (especially if it’s oily) so you really have to saturate your hair with water to over come the hydrogen bonds. And if you’re going to get your hair THAT we you might as well wash it.

That’s where these anti-bed head products come in – they facilitate the process of wetting your hair with as little water as possible so you can control the shape without having to spend a lot of time drying your hair. THAT’S how these products are better than just plain water.

How do they do this? They reduce the surface tension of the hair so it wets faster. This Ma Cherie product does that by using alcohol (and other ingredients – see below.)

Ingredients

Water, alcohol, glycerin, diphenylsiloxy phenyltrimethicone, PEF/PPG-14/7 dimethyl urea, sodium lactate, steartimonium chloride, hydroxyethyl urea, lactic acid, inositol, honey, wine extract, propylene glycol, PEG-10 dimethicone, PEG-20 glyceryl isostearate, dimethicone, isopropyl alcohol, ammonium lactate, butylene glycol, tocopherol, fragrance.

I do see two issues with this product however: and those are: how efficiently it works and how convenient it is to use. I should mention this is actually a Shiseido product. It sells for about $15 US for 250 mls.

First, like I said, it contains alcohol (ethanol) that will help lower the surface tension of hair. But just from looking at the ingredients it appears to be a bit over-engineered. 5 or 6 different conditioning agents is probably overkill even when used at low levels. Glycerin can make hair sticky. It should do a pretty good job of getting rid of bed head some people may find it leaves too much stuff in your hair it leaves it feeling weighed down.

I expect this will work better than plain water because of the alcohol and other ingredients that will help lower the surface tension of hair. I personally think this kind of product is a great idea!

Second, the product comes in a a pump bottle with a trigger sprayer – never understood how you spray the back of your head with a dispenser like that. Remember that you have to pretty much saturate your hair for this to work – wet it pretty well. Doing that with a spray seems like a) you’ll use a lot of product and b) the overspray and dripping will be messy.

If you’re interested in this kind of product you might consider another version. You can formulate products like this using a small amount of a very mild surfactant will do a good job of breaking the hydrogen bonds and probably won’t leave as much gunk in your hair. Plus, it can be delivered from a foam dispensing pump which is much easier to apply than a spray. Less mess and fuss. There are a few on the market.

Does Beverly Hills MD really lift and sculpt your face?

PW Vancouver says…I recently watched a long infomercial online by Beverly Hills MD and was convinced to buy their lift and firm sculpting cream. I liked it a lot, but I don’t know if it “lifted” so much. I bought the product because their sales pitch focused on their proprietary ingredients and technology. Is it true or do other manufacturers use the same things?

First of all, no cream will truly “lift and sculpt” your face so beware of products that imply that they do. Having said that, let’s look at the claims they make:

“Beverly Hills MD Lift + Firm Sculpting Cream’s exclusive formula contains select natural extracts and high-tech amino acids that work together to give skin a firmer, more lifted look. When combined, these active ingredients form a complex that can significantly reducing the appearance of loose, sagging skin by enhancing the skin’s internal support structure.”

You’ll note that they actually say the product will give your skin a more lifted LOOK. This is just another appearance claim which is common for cosmetics.
What about the ingredients? Basically this is a moisturizing cream with some peptides (Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester, Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide.) There are plenty of other peptide containing creams on the market.

The website says this product is different because it doesn’t use “harsh” ingredients, it doesn’t rely on collagen and elastin which don’t penetrate skin, and it “enhances skin’s support structure by facilitating its natural rebuilding process, providing gentle results that last.” (The peptides again.) That doesn’t really sound all that different to me.

I couldn’t find any clinical test data that might indicate how the product performs although the website does include before and after pictures (which don’t prove anything by themselves.)
At $120 per bottle this stuff isn’t cheap! I don’t see anything that would indicate it’s worth that much but that, of course, is up to you. If you like it and can afford it, then go for it but I wouldn’t recommend any spend so much money on this product.

Ingredients for Beverly Hills MD Lift and Firm Sculpting Cream
Water, Aloe Vera Butter (Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil + Aloe Vera Extract), Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester, Isononyl Isononanoate, Sorbitan Laurate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Lecithin (Phospholipids Derived From Soy), Linum Usitatissimim Seed (Linseed) Extract, Glycerin, Cyathea Cumingi (Tree Fern) Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Silk, Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide, PVM/MA Copolymer, Dextran, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Avena Sativa (Oat) Extract, Allantoin, Camellia Sinesis (Green Tea) Extract, Caviar extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Copper Gluconate, Magnesium Aspartate, Symphytum Officinale Extract, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Zinc Gluconate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Fragrance (Parfum).

Egg in skin care

Priyasha asks…I just came across this article about Korean skincare trends. A lot of these products have egg-derived ingredients. Does egg actually have any benefit when applied topically to the skin or is this a marketing gimmick? Could a DIY egg mask be just as effective?

We’ve written about eggs but I don’t think they come up on the podcast before. Many people believe that an egg facial mask will get rid of wrinkles. That’s a myth that got its start because eggs contain albumin protein which is a good film former. This film makes skin skin temporarily feel tighter which may make you THINK your wrinkles have been reduced.

But, despite this myth, it turns out that eggs really do contain a chemical that’s quite good for your skin: cholesterol. That’s right the same waxy gunk that can clog your arteries is actually one of the main natural moisturizing agents in skin. So should we skip the expensive skin lotions and just rub egg on our faces? Well it’s not quite that simple. Applying eggs directly to your skin is not a good idea for several reasons:

  1. They’re messy. Eggs have that… well… “eggy” consistency that makes them unpleasant to spread on skin. They’re just not as aesthetically nice as a well formulated moisturizing product.
  2. Eggs are prone to spoilage. I seriously doubt if anyone out there once their face to smell like rotten eggs. (Although some dandruff shampoos will make your hair smell like rotten eggs.)
  3. Cholesterol is only one component of the egg so you have to put quite a bit on your face to gain a significant benefit.
  4. And lastly some people have an allergy to the proteins contained in eggs which would make applying them to their face potentially risky.

I have seen that some cosmetic suppliers offer an egg extract which captures just the good stuff. This ingredient is known as “egg oil” and it’s a concentrated version so there’s plenty of cholesterol to do its moisturizing job. And it doesn’t contain any of the other eggy ingredients which makes it a sticky mess and prone to spoilage. Finally, it is stripped of the proteins that can cause some people to have an allergic response. But why not just add cholesterol at that point?

Should I worry about endocrine disruptors in my skin care?

Suzanne asked…What do I tell my client who insists that any ingredient in product that has been reported to have an endocrine disruptive effect will cause her to have hormonal symptoms. Her argument has been that hormone replacement therapy is often given in a topical cream for delivery into the bloodstream. Please help me answer this!

We have talked about endocrine disruptors before on the show. (Episode 39) We also pointed out that, for the most part, fear of endocrine disruptors in cosmetics is overblown. But, regardless of the science, if your client is that concerned about having “hormonal symptoms” maybe you shouldn’t try to convince her otherwise. I would hate to see her develop some sort of medical condition that she then blames you for.

Having said that, here’s how I would explain it to someone.

In the case of cosmetics you’re applying LOW levels (a few tenths of a percent) of chemicals that don’t penetrate skin very well and that MAY mimic the effect of hormones to disrupt the endocrine system.
In the case of a hormone replacement cream you’re applying HIGH levels (2% or more ) of a pure hormone that DOES penetrate the skin and which DIRECTLY affects the endocrine system.
If cosmetics caused the same type of hormonal effects as a drug cream wouldn’t that be obvious to medical professionals by now?

Why are the conditioners in hair coloring kits so good?

The next question comes to us from our good friends at Allure magazine. They recently asked me about the conditioners in hair coloring kits. you know how you’ll get a little tube of intensive conditioner you’re supposed to use after you color your hair? Well, apparently some people are raving about them – to the point where they’re hoarding these little samples. So, allure wanted to know what’s so special about the formula – specifically they asked me about Nice and Easy CC Colossal Conditioning Gloss.

I’ll post the full ingredient list in the show notes but I think the “magic” of this product is the BIS-HYDROXY/METHOXY AMODIMETHICONE (not to be confused with it’s cousin “regular” amodimethicone.) I say this for two reasons:

First, the “bis” version is rated as a more intensive conditioning agent by the manufacturer. (Its primary benefit is to retain color, especially red shades.)
Second, It looks like this product is using it in the recommended range of 1 to 3% (maybe higher?) given that it’s the first ingredient
after water and before stearyl alcohol.
Most conditioners don’t use such an intensive conditioning agent at such a high level. By the way, not all hair coloring kit conditioners are that special. Some are just regular conditioners that are thickened up. You have to look at the ingredient of each one.

I don’t know if you’d want to use this as your everyday conditioner because it might be a bit too heavy but for hair that’s been damaged by chemical processing it should be quite good.

Nice and Easy CC Colossal Conditioning Gloss
WATER/EAU, BIS-HYDROXY/METHOXY AMODIMETHICONE, STEARYL ALCOHOL, CETYL ALCOHOL, STEARAMIDOPROPYL DIMETHYLAMINE, GLUTAMIC ACID, DICETYLDIMONIUM
CHLORIDE, FRAGRANCE/PARFUM, BENZYL ALCOHOL, CITRIC ACID, EDTA, HISTIDINE, SODIUM CHLORIDE, TRIMETHYLSILOXYSILICATE, METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE, METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE

Can I be allergic to goat milk soap?

J asks…Can goat’s milk soap cause an allergic reaction?

According to the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology, yes, this may a problem. Milk, not only goats milk but cows milk as well, contains proteins that some people can become allergic to. A study published in the Journal of allergy and clinical immunology reported on a case where this exact problem occurred.

A woman experienced severe anaphylaxis immediately after eating a salad containing goat’s cheese. She was not previously allergic to goat milk but her doctor discovered she had been using a moisturizing cream with goat milk that had over time made her skin increasingly itchy and irritated. Blood tests confirmed that she had high levels of allergy antibodies to goat’s milk. And even more important, they were able to directly show that the goat milk proteins in the moisturizer was what triggered the response. The hypothesis is that when these allergens are applied to skin that is somehow damaged the allergens can penetrate deep enough for the body to mount a defense against them and you can become sensitized. So yes it appears that applying a skin lotion which contains skin allergens like milk can lead to the development of food allergies.

The good news, if there is good news here, is that you don’t have to worry about lactose intolerance. That works by an entirely different mechanism.

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Does this bed head product really work? Sasha asks…Can Ma Cherie Perfect Shower fix your bed better than regular water? Is this worth the money or is it nothing more than water mixed with leave in conditioner? Does this bed head product really work? Sasha asks…Can Ma Cherie Perfect Shower fix your bed better than regular water? Is this worth the money or is it nothing more than water mixed with leave in conditioner? Let’s begin by talking about what causes bed head. First, you have to realize that there are two different […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 27:41
How to test beauty products yourself – Episode 121 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/02/how-to-test-beauty-products-yourself-episode-121/ Tue, 23 Feb 2016 06:01:44 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4602 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/02/how-to-test-beauty-products-yourself-episode-121/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/02/how-to-test-beauty-products-yourself-episode-121/feed/ 9 How to investigate a cosmetic product Link I’m going to give you a headline that I saw on a beauty blog and then you tell me what you would expect to read about in the article with that headline. “The Gloss investigates: does radiant foundation primer really make a difference?” When I saw this I […]

How to investigate a cosmetic productdetective-152085_960_720

Link

I’m going to give you a headline that I saw on a beauty blog and then you tell me what you would expect to read about in the article with that headline.

“The Gloss investigates: does radiant foundation primer really make a difference?”

When I saw this I was intrigued because I wanted to see how another beauty blog went about investigating whether a product really works or not. This is something we do all the time but you don’t really see it a lot from other beauty blogs. So I read the article and essentially what it said was this:

The author had read about a certain foundation primer that was supposed to make your skin more radiant and she wanted to know if it really worked. So she applied the make up primer (which happened this happen to be a Laura Mercer Radiance Foundation Primer. Next she applied the rest of her regular make up and then she took a selfie. Then, and I presume this was on a different day based on the way the article was written, she applied the same make up while wearing the same clothes and took another selfie at the same time of day in front of the same background to try and make things as consistent as possible. After this test she concluded that she liked the product but if there was a difference with and without it , it was slight.

Ya got all that?

I looked at the pictures I couldn’t tell any difference at all except that the exposure was different or at least the white balance was different between the two pictures and when she had her hair down in the other she had her hair up what you think might of had the made the camera expose a little bit differently.

So this is fine but taking a single picture of one application of make up really isn’t much of an investigation. Now I’m not bringing this up just to bust on the Gloss. I think this is important to talk about for two reasons. First of all it’s kind of a heads up to our readers just because you see the headline like this doesn’t mean that’s really what you’re going to get.

Secondly and this is for the editors at the gloss or anyone else investigating beauty products, if you really do want to do an investigation and be a bit more thorough about it here are some tips on how you might have gone about this same exercise. The intent is not necessarily to make this a peer review level type of study but just to give them a couple of fairly easy to execute tips that would have made the test much stronger.

Blind the study

First of all she could have blinded the study. In this case she showed the first picture with the primer in the second picture without the primer and said can you guys tell a difference. You’ve biased the results right there because people know which is which. What she could’ve done is just shown the two pictures without identifying them and then asked which one do you think has the primer?

Control for photo variations

Of course that still leaves the problems of the photos themselves being intrinsically different. It’s very difficult to exactly duplicate lighting and exposure conditions. One solve for that would have been to do a half face test that would have controlled for the conditions of the photograph itself. In other words put the primer on half her face, leave it off the other half, take a picture, see if you can tell which is which.

The half face approach also takes some other variables out of the equation like if your skin is more flushed one day versus another because you washed or used another product, or the weather was different or whatever.

Gather multiple data points

If you want to make the investigation better still you could do this half face test on a number of different individuals so you’re taking your own skin type out of the equation by testing on multiple faces.

Remove application bias

And to go even one step further you could have had the same person apply make up on both sides of the faces to remove handedness as a variable. Let’s say you apply the primer on the right side when you’re right-handed your right hand may not apply to the left side of your face exactly in the same way, if that makes sense. Having a second person apply the products removes that variable.

So if you’re sincerely interested in finding out whether a product works or not these are some things you can do to be a bit more rigorous in your evaluation.

EOS lawsuit update

Link

Remember a couple shows ago we talked about the Wen hair care brand who was facing a class action lawsuit because people claimed the product was making their hair fall out?

Well, it looks like this class-action lawsuit filing may be a trend in the beauty industry because there is another popular brand facing a class action lawsuit. This time it is against the new lip balm brand EOS. According to news reports the lawsuit was filed by people claiming that the product caused sever lip damage and breakouts.

Here in the US EOS lip balm is getting a flood of advertising and endorsements by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus. It has also been a hit with the kids with over 1.3 million followers on Instagram. EOS which stands for Evolution of Smooth has been around since 2009 but they are just starting to take off. And the complaints were starting to pile up before the lawsuit.

However, unlike the Wen brand, the EOS brand did what it could to quickly settle the lawsuit. According to the company, the fact that they settled the case demonstrates that their products are safe. They say the products are “hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and made with the highest quality ingredients…”

The attorney who brought the lawsuit now says that “EOS has demonstrated through data that their lip balms are hypoallergenic…”

Beyond some undisclosed monetary award the company has also agreed to clarify it’s product labeling to help consumers determine if the balms are safe for them. I wonder how they are doing the?

It seems weird to me that the case was settled so quickly and amicably. It makes you wonder what was going on with these formulas. I mean, I don’t think the people were lying right?

I think what happened is that when companies make claims that their products are “hypoallergenic” consumers mistakenly believe that they won’t have a reaction. When they do, then they complain. It’s surprising that the consumers went to a lawsuit right away. I wonder if the company didn’t respond in a satisfactory way at first.

We were discussing this on my cosmetic science forum and looking at the ingredient list it is not surprising that some people had a reaction. Included in the formula is Limonene, Linalool, and peppermint oil. All of these are known allergens. It’s strange they would claim “hypoallergenic” and yet include known allergens in their products.

Oh well, looks like this was just a bump in the road for them. And for you consumers out there, just because a product claims “hypoallergenic” doesn’t mean you won’t have an allergic reaction to it.

Control your smart phone with your hair

Link

New Scientist has an interesting article about “Hairware” do you know what this is? It’s a “switch” that allows you to control an app on your smart phone just by stroking your hair. Imagine by brushing your bangs off your forehead you could tell your phone to take a picture. Or…running your fingers through your hair a certain way could trigger a call to 911. It’s kind of cool.

Here’s how it works: Your hair can naturally store static electricity – that’s what causes fly aways. Katia Vega at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro figured out how to put this static electricity to good use. She designed a hair extension that contains metal-ized fibers and a hair clip that contains a sensor and bluetooth connection. When you manipulate your hair a certain way it changes the electrical conductivity which is picked up by the sensor and relayed via bluetooth to your phone which then interprets the signal as an action for an app.

It’s very James Bond like. And it’s not her first invention – in 2013 she came up with conductive eye make-up that can launch a drone just by blinking.  She sees this kind of technology as a safety feature for women who could secretly broadcast an emergency message when they feel threatened. Or it could be helpful to the intelligence community. Spies would be all over this stuff. And I haven’t figured it out yet but there must be some application for the porn industry. BTW, she’s working on a version for men that would be triggered by stroking their beard.

Of course, if you’re using a good conditioner that gets rid of static flyways I think it would deactivate the signal but I guess that’s a problem that some enterprising cosmetic chemist could try to solve. Maybe you should work with her on custom hair care products to work with Hairware.

New app lipstick color

Link

Here’s another beauty app that is worth talking about. It seems like a big part of innovation in the beauty industry are new apps. Anyway, this app claims to allow you to create your own lipstick color.

The app is called Flawless Makeup and it is a color matching app that lets you take a picture of a color from a magazine or on your skin and tells you what brands would have a match.

Is sweat activated perfume a beauty breakthrough?

Link

Let me read you a headline from one of my favorite cosmetic science websites, Cosmetics Design:

“Scientists develop first ever perfume that makes you smell better the more you sweat”

According to the article, researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have developed a unique new perfume delivery system which makes you smell nicer when you sweat. It does this because “more of its aroma will be released when it comes in contact with moisture.”

What a great idea! Can you imagine if you put this fragrance in an anti-perspirant? The more your body heats up the more you sweat the more fragrance is released. An anti-perspirant that actually works better the more you sweat would revolutionize the industry, right?

It would but it already exists.

Listen to this commercial for Degree APD from 1993: Play commercial  Degree claims that “your body heat turns it on.” Of course, as your body temperature rises you sweat more…the moisture from the sweat triggers the release of more fragrance which makes you smell better..

So as far back as 1993 we products claiming to make you smell better when you sweat.

BTW, these claims are not just advertising fluff you really can make products like antiperspirants and deodorants work better by using delayed release fragrance technology.

I was just amused that either the person writing the article or whoever at press release for Queens University was naive enough to think that this really is the “first ever” perfume technology that is moisture activated.

There are dozens if not hundreds of patents already on file about ways to delay the release of fragrance some of them rely on moisture, others rely on pressure release or a change in pH. But this is a VERY well researched area.

Maybe this technology from Queens University is a new twist on it perhaps they figured out some way to improve upon it but by no stretch of the imagination can you say they’ve developed the first ever product in the space.

The reason I bring this up is partly because the headline amused me but mostly because it’s important for our listeners to realize that if you are interested in fragrance that releases over time, especially in an anti-perspirant, there are products on the market that really can deliver this benefit that maybe you haven’t thought to try. So there’s an APD tip for you.

Is seltzer water bad for your teeth?

Link

You know I’m a huge fan of soda pop and I used to drink a ton of the full sugary stuff. But then I switched to the no calorie option because I figured it was better. I hated diet sodas but after you drink them for a few months, you get used to them. Now, the full sugar ones are way too sweet for me.

Anyway, I did that for a few years but then switched to seltzer water because I figured it might be even more healthy. I mean, it was just water and carbon dioxide. Not that I think there is anything wrong with diet sodas, I just thought I’d switch to something even closer to water.

I think a lot of people are making this choice but it turns out, that seltzer option might not be the best idea for my teeth. According to a story in The Atlantic, seltzer water contains carbonic acid which can gradually wear away your tooth enamel. That makes your teeth weaker, more prone to staining, and even more temperature sensitive.

The dentist they interviewed says it’s even worse when you’re drinking a sparkling water that is flavored. He says that it is worse than even orange juice for your teeth and oj is considered very erosive to teeth.

So the recommendation is to reduce the amount of seltzer you are drinking to protect your teeth. It’s better to have just plain old water. Oh yeah, they also mention that you know when people put a dash of lemon juice in water? That is even worse for your teeth so don’t do that too often either.

These dentists are such kill joys.

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How to investigate a cosmetic product Link I’m going to give you a headline that I saw on a beauty blog and then you tell me what you would expect to read about in the article with that headline. “The Gloss investigates: does radiant foundation primer ... How to investigate a cosmetic product Link I’m going to give you a headline that I saw on a beauty blog and then you tell me what you would expect to read about in the article with that headline. “The Gloss investigates: does radiant foundation primer really make a difference?” When I saw this I […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 37:11
Do bath soaks really detox your skin? Episode 120 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/02/do-bath-soaks-really-detox-your-skin-episode-120/ Tue, 16 Feb 2016 06:01:27 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4592 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/02/do-bath-soaks-really-detox-your-skin-episode-120/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/02/do-bath-soaks-really-detox-your-skin-episode-120/feed/ 18 Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. Do bath soaks really detox your skin? Allison says… I have a question about bath soaks. I’ve heard a lot of buzz about mustard seed baths, epson salt baths, Dead Sea mineral baths, […]

Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com.

Click here to get your free audio book.

Do bath soaks really detox your skin?bath-988502_960_720

Allison says… I have a question about bath soaks. I’ve heard a lot of buzz about mustard seed baths, epson salt baths, Dead Sea mineral baths, etc. Can taking a bath with any of these ingredients really help with detoxing your skin or absorbing nutrients?

Thanks for the question Allison first of all let’s get one thing clear: taking a bath in anything is not going to detox your body. That’s because your body doesn’t cleanse itself of toxins through the skin. That’s a popular misconception but it just doesn’t work that way.

Now having said that let’s look for evidence that a bath soak provides any benefit to your skin.

Let’s start with mustard seed oil. Mustard seed oil is rich in some essential fatty acids that are good for moisturizing skin. But A bath soak is a pretty poor way to deliver these kinds of ingredients. First, all that bathwater just dilutes them down and second the bath and only provides temporary exposure. That may not be enough time for the ingredients to penetrate into your skin. Essential fatty acids like the ones found in mustard seed oil would be more effective when delivered from a leave on cream.

So what about salts? Actually, this is a case where soaking in a tub MAY be best. At least according to a paper titled “Dead Sea Bath Salt for the treatment of psoriasis vulgarism.” The researchers treated 30 patients with psoriasis vulgaris, a condition involving rapidly dividing, over active cells that causes patchy, scaley skin. The patients were first evaluated using the Psoriasis Area and Serverity Index (PASI), a scale that indicates the intensity of the condition.
The patients were then divided into two groups: The control group were treated with common salt and the test group were treated with a Dead Sea salt mixture. The treatment for both groups involved soaking in warm, salty bath water for 20 minutes each day for a period of 3 weeks. At the end of the treatment, patients were assessed using the PSAI scale again.

The results showed that both types of salt water baths significantly reduced the extent and the severity of the psoriasis. However, the Dead Sea salt soak reduced the psoriasis a bit more. (However, the researchers point out that not all measurements reached a statistically valid level.) Still, this is some evidence that the Dead Sea salt mixture is better at reducing the effects of psoriasis. Why is this the case? No one knows for sure, but it apparently is related to proportion of magnesium, bromide and other counter ions contained in Dead Sea salt.

So, the bottom line is that soaking in bath salts can benefit certain dry skin conditions, such as psoriasis. But it won’t “detox” your skin.

Is this BB cream a good sunscreen?

Sarah says…I discovered a BB cream that’s a tinted primer with SPF 30. It would save me a step because I could use it as sunscreen and makeup in one. Do you think it could cover me enough for UVA damage?

The good news is the SPF for this product is based on titanium dioxide and zinc oxide so it will provide broad spectrum coverage and protect you from UVA. The issue is whether or not you would apply enough of the product to get the full SPF effect.

Most recommendations for sunscreen use that come from legitimate sources, like dermatologists, say you should use about an ounce to cover your entire body. This value is an extrapolation of the FDA’s guideline which says to use 2 mg per square centimeter of skin. Actually in 2011 the FDA revised their guideline and now they say to use two applications of 0.75mg of sunscreen per square centimeter of skin. But, everyone I’ve seen still references the single application of 1 ounce. If you break down that 1 ounce over your entire body it equates to about 1/4 tsp just for your face. (You’ll need to use about 1/2 tsp if you’re covering your ears and neck as well.)

This BB cream that Sarah asked about sells for $34 for 1 ounce. There’s about 30 mLs in an ounce and about 2.5 mLs in a 1/2 tsp. That means you’ll get somewhere between 10 and 20 applications out of a tube depending on if you’re covering your neck as well as your face. That breaks down around $1.75 to about $3.50 per use. That sounds really expensive to me! But if you really like the product that much, go for it as long as you apply enough.

Should you buy a hair steamer?

Meteor asks….I was looking online for a hair steamer. I did some research and found a site that said there are not many studies for hair steaming. Is this true?

In case you’re not familiar with that this process, hair steaming it is exactly what it sounds like. You apply steam to your hair because it supposedly makes it smoother, softer, and more moisturized. The practice is especially popular for natural hair. Typically this is done with a bonnet like device into which steam is pumped or from a handheld device that puffs steam directly into your hair as you comb through it. I assume the practice goes back much further but I remember seeing hair steaming units for the first in the 1970s .

This has such a commonsense kitchen logic to it that I’m surprised the beauty industry hasn’t exploited this idea more. There really aren’t very many hair steamers on the market. Why is that? Probably because it doesn’t work as well as expected. The idea that “injecting” your hair with steam is good for it doesn’t hold up scientifically. If you’re trying to moisturize your hair, just soaking in water works perfectly fine. Steam doesn’t provide any additional benefit in terms of getting moisture to penetrate more deeply.

In fact, too much exposure to high temperature steam can actually damage hair. There’s some classic research done by the hair care ingredient company Croda that showed when you apply a flat iron to wet hair you get little blisters or bumps in the hair shaft from, presumably from the steam evaporating. Granted, flat irons provide a higher temperature than just exposure to steam but still this could be an indication that heat and steam are not friends of your hair.

 

There hasn’t been very much written about hair steaming in the scientific literature but The Natural Haven blog does reference one study from 1934 that looked at the effect of steaming on wool fibers. (X-Ray Studies of the Structure of Hair, Wool, and Related Fibres. II. The Molecular Structure and Elastic Properties of Hair Keratin) In case you didn’t know wool is a pretty good surrogate for testing human hair. It’s not exactly the same but there is some overlap. http://www.leeds.ac.uk/heritage/Astbury/bibliography/Astbury_and_Woods_1934.pdf

Anyway, the study wasn’t focused on hair care benefits but rather on manipulating the fiber for using it in fabrics. In particular they look at fiber stretching. The researchers found that if you take a wool fiber put a weight on the end of it and then expose it to steam, the fiber will stretch it out longer than its original length and it won’t shrink back afterwards. In other words the fiber was permanently straightened and lengthened. They hypothesized that the combination of heat and stress severed some of the disulfide bonds that control the structure of hair.

This might lead you to think that steaming hair could help provide a straightening fact help straighten out your curls however there’s two problems with that. First of all the time of steam exposure in the study was something like 15 hours. There’s no way you’ll be able to expose your hair to steam for that period of time. And secondly they only saw a straightening result when weight was applied to the fiber. Even if you’re brushing or combing your hair while you steam it it’s difficult to reproduce the effect of applying the force of a weight to each strand of hair. Also, I would think that since you’re not re-oxidizing the bonds to lock in the new straight configuration, there could be some reversion. Hard to say, again this isn’t very well studied.

My assessment is that steaming can’t replace chemical relaxing but that it may be enough to provide somewhat of a softening effect for tightly curled hair – maybe that’s it’s so popular in the natural hair community.

Is this tumeric-papaya mask good for skin?

Dafna asks…Have you heard of turmeric and papaya being good for your face? According to my facialist if you mix turmeric with yogurt and apply it as a mask you can get a good exfoliation. Papaya by itself, she says, also works well, in particular for comedones. Is any of this true? Should I listen to her or should I get a new aesthetician?

The answer is…some of it’s true. But not much.

Let’s start by talking about turmeric which actually comes from a plant that’s part of the ginger family. The commercial variety that’s used as a spice is extracted from little nodes on the root of the plant.

This extract is rich in compounds such as turmerone and curcumin and I did find some evidence that it has anti inflammatory properties. This could explain why traditionally it’s been applied to skin to help with wound healing. There’s also data which indicates that turmeric has antibacterial properties but I couldn’t find any evidence that it’s effective against p. acne which is the bacteria that cause comedones to become infected. http://220.227.138.214:8080/dspace/bitstream/123456789/255/1/Chemical+Composition.PDF.

There’s no theoretical mechanism that I’m aware of that would make us believe that Turmeric is good for exfoliating. And the other thing to consider is that we really have no idea how these active components hold up over time and how much are still going to present in the jar of Turmeric you get at the store. If you were going to use this in some kind of do it yourself product you may be better off getting fresh roots and grinding them yourself.

Ok, so what about Papaya? Actually, papaya could be an effective exfoliant. That’s because it contains an enzyme called papain which does have a keralytic effect (meaning it will help loosen the adhesion between skin cells.) I found one study that tested papain at 1% and found that it’s quite effective at breaking down the dead skin cells of the stratum corneum.
http://journal.scconline.org//pdf/cc1973/cc024n08/p00493-p00500.pdf

The problem is that the papain is only present in significant quantities in green, unripe papayas. There’s not much in the ripe fruit. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2874931/. So it’s tough to know if the fruit contains enough papain to do any good. You can buy powdered papain which would be much more potent but you have to be careful because the enzyme can be irritating to skin.
So assuming you could get enough papain on your skin, would it be effective against comedones? I can’t find any specific research on this but it does makes sense because papain sort of does the same thing as salicylic acid which does help keep pores from getting clogged.

Also, papayas cost a couple of bucks each (at least here in the US) and maybe you’d get a couple of mask treatments out of each fruit. That means at best maybe you’d be spending about $1 per application. A sal acid cream is certainly more cost effective.

What’ s the bottom line for this turmeric and papaya mask? At best you have some folkloric stories and a weak theoretical mechanism for either of these ingredients really being good for your skin. It seems like a lot of work, and expense, to go through when there are alternatives that have been proven to work.

Is it safe to use phenyl on your hair?

Christy says…I came across RAVING reviews for Naissant Argan Oil Elixir on YouTube. There is an ingredient in this called Phenyl that I haven’t been able to find much information…aside from the fact that I’m guessing it MAY be Phenol and Carbolic Acid??? Everything about that states it is horribly dangerous. Can you please help me know about the ingredients regarding these ingredients?

One of the problems of podcasting is that it can be confusing to discuss homonyms. So I have literally spell somethings out for you.

First of all there when Christy says this product contains phenyl, you might think we’re talking about the herb “fennel” but she’s actually asking about phenyl which is a benzene ring minus a hydrogen atom. Phenyl doesn’t exist on its own – it’s always attached to something else. So she guessed that the ingredient is actually phenol which is a phenyl group bonded to an OH group. That’s also known as carbolic acid and it’s very dangerous to put that on your skin because it can cause chemical burns.

Ingredient list: Phenyl, Timethiconee, Cyclopentasiloxane/Dimethiconol/Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Argania Spinosa Kernet Oil, Oley Erycate, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Triticum Vulgare Germ Oil, Dicapryl Carbonate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Parfum(Fragrance).

Actually there’s a typo mistake on the ingredient list. The chemical is actually “phenyltrimethicone” and it has nothing to do with phenol.

I don’t know if the mistake is just on the website or on the product itself but it just goes to show you the importance of proof reading your work. Also, if you see an ingredient list that just doesn’t make sense for some reason – it could be that it’s just wrong.

Do silicones build up on skin?

RJ says…I’ve noticed that you’ve often touted silicones as excellent hair conditioners. However, you haven’t talked much about the impact of silicones on skin. I assume they carry similar pros and cons to hair application; the pros being excellent occlusive properties and the cons being potential buildup. Is this a correct assumption?

First a point of clarification: silicones aren’t necessarily good for hair because of their occlusive properties. Your hair is going to equilibrate to the humidity around it. It’s not like your skin where you need to to seal in the water to keep it moisturized.

On hair, conditioning is more about smoothing the surface and evening out the cuticle to reduce friction, provide a smooth feel, and increase shine. On skin, on the other hand, it is all about occlusion. Silicone, dimethicone in particular, is such a good barrier agent that it is actually approved as an over-the-counter drug active in skin protectant products. But while we’ve all heard the complaint that silicones build up on hair I’ve never heard anyone raise that concern about skin.

I think the reason for that twofold. First I’m not convinced that silicones are as resistant to wash off as people seem to believe. I’ve looked into this in the past and never really found data showing that silicones are that hard to get off of your hair. Second, skin, unlike hair, is constantly shedding its outer layer. As the dead skin cells flake off you’re also getting rid of any thing that might have stuck to the surface.

So the quick answer is, I really don’t think this is a problem.

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Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. Do bath soaks really detox your skin? Allison says… I have a question about bath soaks. Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. Do bath soaks really detox your skin? Allison says… I have a question about bath soaks. I’ve heard a lot of buzz about mustard seed baths, epson salt baths, Dead Sea mineral baths, […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 36:38
Does wearing makeup give you better grades? Episode 119 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/02/does-wearing-makeup-give-you-better-grades-episode-119/ Tue, 09 Feb 2016 06:01:00 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4580 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/02/does-wearing-makeup-give-you-better-grades-episode-119/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/02/does-wearing-makeup-give-you-better-grades-episode-119/feed/ 11 Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. Why you should listen to your toothbrush Link Here’s an interesting study that comes to us from the International Journal of Arts and Technology. Two Japanese researchers found that certain types of toothbrush noises […]

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Click here to get your free audio book.

Why you should listen to your toothbrush4020584983_650058eea4_o

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Here’s an interesting study that comes to us from the International Journal of Arts and Technology. Two Japanese researchers found that certain types of toothbrush noises will help you brush your teeth better. At first I just thought this was another one of those musical toothbrushes – you know, you usually see these for kids – it plays a song for two minutes so you brush for two minutes that’s worth it. But this is not that at all.

Instead the researchers hypothesized that people don’t brush their teeth very well because there’s no immediate reward involved. There’s the long-term reward of not getting cavities or having whiter teeth but that’s not something you get right away.

So they looked at immediate positive reinforcements. One of the things they considered in the research was the tooth tunes I just mentioned but they also came across some strange technology I don’t quite understand which involves a virtual aquarium. The more you brushed your teeth the more it feeds the fish and they grow up and you get more happy virtual fish.  I don’t understand. But the approach they eventually settled on involves noises that the toothbrush itself makes.

First, they connected toothbrushes to microphones to record the sounds that people make while brushing. Then they digitally played around with the sound files to alter the volume, pitch and frequency. Finally, they had the volunteers wear headphones so they could listen to the altered sounds while they brushed.  They found that with the right kind of sounds people were “more comfortable and accomplished after brushing” and they were convinced that their teeth were cleaner.

So the sounds that the toothbrush plays makes it sound like your teeth are clean – if that makes sense. It seems to me this only helps if you brush longer or better. If it just makes you THINK your teeth are cleaner but they’re not then it doesn’t really provide much real benefit.

It’s sort of gives a whole new meaning to those sonic toothbrushes doesn’t? I know you don’t put a lot of stock in the studies but it does make me wonder if there’s some version of this for body wash or shampoo. Can you make can a product make a sound to indicate that it’s working better?

Face transplants are aging faster

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Here’s an interesting story about a mystery about face transplants. It turns out face transplants are inexplicably aging faster than they should.

Let me back up and talk a little about face transplants. Believe it or not, there have been more than 30 face transplants performed around the world. They are primarily done for people who’s faces have been destroyed by cancer or burns. They continue to be pretty dangerous and approximately 10% chance the transplantation doesn’t take. Incidentally, the source of face transplants is the same as most other transplant organs…cadavers. It’s also not like the movie Face Off where your face looks exactly like the person you got it from. The face looks significantly different because it adheres to the patient’s particular bone structure.

Anyway, researchers followed three face transplant recipients for three years to see how their faces were holding up. It looks like the faces are aging faster than should be expected and the scientists don’t exactly know why. It could be a sign of inadequate blood supply or some kind of ongoing organ rejection. They are now looking for countermeasures to stop the aging. I imagine if they are able to find out ways to stop this, it could lead to new ways to stop aging in non-transplanted faces.

Of course, this research is just laying the groundwork for where I think the technology will be moving. 3D printed faces.

Imagine a world where when your face gets too old looking you can just print a new face mask made from your own skin stem cells. That could really have a significant impact on future cosmetics. We wouldn’t need anti-aging creams any more.

Do you make your own cosmetics? Follow these tips to stay out of jail.

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I know a lot of our listeners like to make their own products either for personal use or for sale on Etsy or what have you. If are a cosmetic Do It Yourselfer, then listen up because I’m going to tell you how to stay out of jail. All you have to do follow these simple tips published by the FDA for small cosmetic manufacturers. I’ll read a few of these and I’ll put the link in the show notes to the rest.

Hopefully everyone who listens to our show already knows that the FDA does regulate cosmetics. Go back and listen to Episode 16 where we explained all about regulations which cover the cosmetic industry. Specifically, they are covered specifically under the food drug and cosmetic act. The big takeaway of this law is that YOU are responsible for ensuring that your product is safe to use.

By the way keep in mind that there are additional regulatory concerns outside of what the FDA covers. For example…if you sell products in stores or through the mail or even by going door to door, you must meet the ingredient labeling under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. (Spa and salon products are exempt from this if they are only used by professionals and not sold to consumers.)
But here are additional tips you may NOT know…

1. Before you sell your product to someone do you have to have it approved by the FDA?

No you don’t. (unless the product is actually an over the counter drug.)

2. Speaking of drugs…how do you know your product will be considered to be a cosmetic or a drug?

Long answer to this one but basically it depends on the claims you make about the product. Go read the article that explains how the claims you make determine whether it’s a cosmetic or drug.

3. Do I need to register my cosmetic firm or product formulations with FDA?

No you do not. There is a voluntary registration program that most big manufacturers follow but there are no requirements to do this especially for smaller companies or individuals.

4. Can I manufacture cosmetics in my home or salon?

Yes you can! In fact you can make your products wherever and however you want as long as they are safe. So if you’re mixing it at home in your bathtub and it gets contaminated because the baby peed in the bathwater or whatever then you’re liable for selling a misbranded/ contaminated product. The FDA does publish guidelines for Good Manufacturing Practices on their website.

5. Do I have to test my own products before I sell them?

No. The FDA does not have a list of tests required for any particular cosmetic product. BUT, as we said, you are responsible for making sure your product is safe. You also responsible for supporting any claims you might make – you’re probably not advertising but you may have a website or copy on the bottle. You have to be able to prove that what you say is true. (Not under the FDA.) Here’s a great quote:

“Newcomers to cosmetic manufacture sometimes think that because they have used a product themselves with no apparent problems, or because the ingredients are “natural,” “organic,” or “botanical,” the product must be safe. This assumption is not correct.”

By the way, if you do make your own products, I have a new product idea for you. At the risk of making a reference that will make the show sound dated in the future.  Remember the news story about El Chapo, the drug lord, who was recently captured after he gave an interview to Sean Penn? Well here’s the product idea…
El Chapo-stick. It’s a lip balm that glues your lips shut to keep you from talking to Hollywood stars. (Get it, Chap stick?)

Preservative-free shampoo can kill you

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One of the most alarming things I see in the cosmetic industry is companies that are switching away from standard, effective preservatives to ones that are less proven and less effective or getting rid of preservatives all together. Some marketers and consumers seem to think preservative-free cosmetics are a good thing.  They aren’t and this story I read about a shampoo marketed in Saudi Arabia demonstrates the potential danger.

According to the story the Saudi Food and Drug Authority has issued a warning to the public not to use Rolana Baby Shampoo after one baby died and 13 others became ill after using the product. The problem…harmful bacteria in the product.  They say it is polluted with serrate marcescens which is a microbe that can cause toxemia, meningitis, inflammation of the urinary system and in this case…death.They said the source of contamination could have been the water used in making the shampoo. Clearly, the product was not properly preserved.

It really is dangerous not to use preservatives in cosmetics. When consumers see claims like “paraben free” or “formaldehyde donor free” they should think twice about buying those products. Especially, when you are talking about baby products.  It’s just really difficult to create a robust preservative system without using parabens or some of the other standard cosmetic preservatives.  I know people are afraid of them but those fears are unfounded.  What is not unfounded are the fears of contaminated products killing you.  That can actually happen.

The problem with pump packaging

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Remember back in the episode 106 we we warned you about using beauty products in open mouth jars? That kind of packaging is more likely to lead to product contamination. We recommended using pump packaging because the pump dispenser separates the product from the outside world and therefore protects it from the coming contaminated. Well it turns out that pumps are not the perfect solution that we thought they were over and most of the industry has overlooked a major issue:

While the pump does protect the product that is inside the container there is a possibility that the residual product in the pump nozzle (which may be exposed to the environment) may become contaminated. That little plug of product that’s the remains in the nozzle after you push down on the pump, if that is close enough to the pump opening it can be exposed to moisture, to contact with your skin and certainly to contact with the air – all of which can introduce bacteria. Once the bacteria get a foothold there they can grow what is called a biofilm which is a thin layer of bacteria that is extremely difficult to remove.

What all this means is that the product inside the package maybe uncontaminated but as it moves up and goes through the pump you can pick up the bacteria can sort of be self colonized by the pump head.

But wait there may be a happy ending to the story. L’Oreal has done some research (published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science) that shows a new way to measure the protection provided by pump packaging. They’ve actually figured out a way to measure what they call dose protection, as well as the ability to protect the rest of the product in the package. They found that some packaging does a good job of protecting the bulk product and other types of packaging does a better job protecting the dose. Now that they have a reliable test method expect it’s will be much easier for them to develop packaging it’s optimized to provide the best all-around protection. It’ll be interesting to see if there are any new packaging patents in this area which may benefit only Loriell or if this kind of technology will be broadly used across the industry.

Do pretty girls get higher grades?  Science says yes

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Here’s an interesting study reported on by NPR about a link between attractiveness and performance in school.  What I conclude from this work is that cosmetics can actually help you get better grades.

In this study published by researchers at Metropolitan State University in Denver, they found that attractive female students earn higher grades than unattractive ones.  This advantage disappears when the students take an online course where the instructor is not able to see them.

In the study they compared the students class grades to ratings of their physical attractiveness as judged by outside observers from the student ID card photographs.

They found women judged as least attractive earned significantly lower grades (after controlling for their ACT scores).  The best-looking women earned higher grades.  And, surprise surprise, male professors were more likely than female professors to give better-looking women higher grades.

This research supports other studies which demonstrate that better looking people have lots of advantages including making more money, being liked better and being more trusted.  As superficial and troubling as it is, attractiveness has it’s advantages.

So I guess if you wanted to give yourself the best chance you can at getting a good grade, make yourself as attractive as possible.

iTunes reviews

RS Ali Ag Ag says…LOVE these guys, smart and funny! 5*

PR Alicia Cintora says “This is an informative podcast! I’m currently a grad student and this has fueled my interest to go into the same industry after I finish.” Maybe she should sign up for that online course that you offer for budding cosmetic scientists…

RS Derp+ says…Too much “fluff” — 3 stars. The information is good, but the hosts waste too much time with “fluff” and not-really-funny humor. Just get to the point!

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Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. Why you should listen to your toothbrush Link Here’s an interesting study that comes to us from the International Journal of Ar... Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. Why you should listen to your toothbrush Link Here’s an interesting study that comes to us from the International Journal of Arts and Technology. Two Japanese researchers found that certain types of toothbrush noises […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 30:19
Is quinoa the next super-food beauty breakthrough? Episode 118 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/02/is-quinoa-the-next-super-food-beauty-breakthrough-episode-118/ Tue, 02 Feb 2016 06:01:38 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4572 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/02/is-quinoa-the-next-super-food-beauty-breakthrough-episode-118/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/02/is-quinoa-the-next-super-food-beauty-breakthrough-episode-118/feed/ 7 Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. Do hand creams stop your skin from regenerating? Julia from Germany asks…I have very dry skin so I use hand cream a lot. I read an article that said if you use too […]

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Click here to get your free audio book.

Do hand creams stop your skin from regenerating?6672474921_a934edfb11_o

Julia from Germany asks…I have very dry skin so I use hand cream a lot. I read an article that said if you use too much hand cream the skin on your hands can not regenerate properly anymore because it becomes dependent on the hand cream. Is this true?

I wish Julia had included a link to the article so we could get more details but without further information we have to say this sounds like a misunderstand. There’s nothing about the chemistry of hand creams or other skin moisturizers that would stop skin from regenerating. In fact, some products actually speed up regeneration by promoting cell turn over. Products like AHA’s and exfoliators which help slough off the upper dead layers of skin which triggers the production of fresh skin cells. Now, there is one aspect of the process of cell turn over that could account the article that Julia read. Let me explain…

As we just said, when you remove the upper, dead layer of skin it triggers the production of more, new skin cells. The opposite is true to some extent – when you hydrate the upper layers of skin you actually slow down the sloughing off process by a little bit. That means there’s less of a call for new skin cells to be produced. So, in that sense, lotions can slow down skin regeneration. But, slightly slowing down the skin regeneration is not the same as stopping it all together!

Is quinoa the next super-food beauty ingredient?

Leslie says…Quinoa is everywhere! Since I started eating Panera’s Quinoa bowl I notice it popping up in beauty products all over. I know it’s good to eat but does it have any beauty benefits?

Quinoa is one of the “ancient grains” that are popular right now. It’s rich in fatty acids, minerals, antioxidants, and proteins and there’s no doubt that it can be part of a healthy diet. But does it do anything when applied topically? That’s another question. First, we have to look at the versions of quinoa that are available for use in cosmetics because there are two different kinds and they don’t deliver the same beauty benefits. There’s hydrolyzed quinoa and quinoa seed extract.

The first, “hydrolyzed quinoa”, is the form used in most hair and skin-care products and it only contains the protein from the grain and those proteins have been chopped up into tiny bits to make them water soluble.  There are lots of kinds of hydrolyzed proteins and they’re typically used because in cosmetics they’re film formers which means they can help moisturize skin and strengthen your hair. These types of proteins provide some benefit from a leave on product but they don’t do much of anything from a rinse out product because they’re not chemically modified to stick to skin or hair. They just rinse down the drain.

An example of a product that uses this version is Paul Mitchell’s Ultimate Color Repair Shampoo. According to Paul’s website quinoa was “Discovered by the Incas thousands of years ago” and it…is “rich in amino acids that penetrate into the hair and bond like a magnet, creating a protective shield.” That’s not exactly true but it does make for a good story.

Paul Mitchell’s Ultimate Color Repair Shampoo
Aqua (Water, Eau), Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Polyquaternium-7, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Trimethylsiloxyamodimethicone, C11-15 Pareth-7, C12-16 Pareth-9, Glycerin, Trideceth-12, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Butylene Glycol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Cinnamidopropyltrimonium Chloride, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Extract, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Pyridoxine HCI, Maltodextrin, Silica, Sodium Starch Octenylsuccinate, Panthenol, Aminopropyl Phenyl Trimethicone, Glycol Distearate, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Polyquaternium-10, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Cassia Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Phenethyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Propanediol, Tris (Tetramethylhydroxypiperidinol) Citrate, Ethanol, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, CI 19140 (Yellow 5), CI 16035 (Red 40), Parfum (Fragrance), Benzyl Salicyla, Hexyl Cinnamal.

The second version of this ancient grain is “quinoa extract.” The extract comes the seed oil which makes it a better moisturizer and potentially a scavenger of free radicals. An example of a product that uses this version is Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel which supposedly “penetrate the gentle eye area, preventing dryness and protecting from external aggressors.” My favorite claim for this product is that also contains “Miniscule particles of hydro ionized mineral water.” That’s much better than those big chunky pieces of regular water.

Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel
Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane Chenopodium Quinoa Seed Extract, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Chloride, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit/Leaf Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polyacrylate-13, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Pca Dimethicone, Peg-100 Stearate, Cyclomethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Polyisobutene, Dimethiconol, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polysorbate 20, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Tromethamine, Disodium Edta, Fragrance.

So the bottom line on quinoa is that it probably doesn’t really provide that much extra benefit and it’s certainly not worth spending a lot more money on. However, of the two forms the seed extract is probably the most effective so look for the words “quinoa extract” on the label.

Can this Lithuanian skin cream cure cold sores?

Ramune from Lithuania asks…I am from Europe, Lithuania to be exact, and here we have a local cosmetic company O.D.A (in Lithuanian it means “skin”). Recently they released a new product – a skin balm. It supposed to cure wounds, regenerate skin and it has a strong anti-inflammatory effect. I’ve tried it on small cracks on my hands and it kind of helped. I also tried to cure a runny nose with it and the next day it was gone. It’s also suppose to help to stop cold sore spots becoming bigger and to cure pimples on your face too. Could you please review ingredients and explain the magic?


I looked at this product and found that it contains triethylene glycol, ethycarbitol, lanthanum oxide, and glycerol. The active ingredient appears to be the lanthanum oxide which, according to at least one source, can suppress bacteria and viruses. I’m guessing that’s why they claim it works on pimples and cold sores (as well as the common cold virus that can cause a runny nose.) I think the other ingredients are just the delivery vehicle.

The article I read says there’s not much safety data for this ingredient (at least in nanoparticle form) which makes me a little nervous. I don’t know about Lithuania, but I expect that Lanthanum oxide would NOT be allowed as an ingredient here in the US.

Is Moringa oil the new Argan oil?

Sheila Marie says…My Auntie bought me Infusium 23 Miracle Therapy shampoo and conditioner with Moringa Oil. I know that you guys have talked about argan oil, rose hip oil, sesame seed oil, coconut oil, etc. But can you talk about Moringa oil and the perceived benefits that it has? 


Moringa oil comes from the seeds of the Moringa oleifera, also known as the Drumstick tree.  It’s hard to keep track of all these oils – it seems like every couple of months someone is touting the latest and greatest. I suspect this is mostly a case of companies trying to make their products sound more exotic because when you look at the composition of some of these rare tropical oils they’re not all that different than some of the more conventional ones.

Moringa oil is largely similar to olive oil. Both have oleic acid as their primary constituent. 75% oleic in the case of Moringa and about 71% in the case of olive oil. Moringa also contains 5 to 10% of palmitic acid and 5 to 10% of behenic acid (in it’s some times called “Ben Oil” for this reason.)
Argan oil aka Moroccan oil, just to compare to another tropical oil, is has about half as much oleic but it has a good slug of linoleic which is an EFA that’s good for skin. It also contains palmitic.

So, all these oils will moisturize skin to some extent but their chemical composition does vary from oil to oil. Because Moringa is so rich in oleic I’d expect this material to behave like olive oil (which does not penetrate hair like coconut oil does.) What does that mean for this Infusium product that Sheila Marie asked about? Not much!

Why do I say that? First, it’s not the primary active ingredient (both the shampoo and conditioner appear to be typical P&G formulas. Did you know Infusium is a P&G product?) Second, these are both rinse out products so an oil like this won’t really deposit on the hair. And third, I suspect that Infusium only contains a token amount of the material. If you look at the ingredient list you’ll see it’s after the stearalkonium chloride (which is typically used at about .5& to 3%) and before panthenol and propyl paraben (which are probably well below 1%). If I had to guess I’d say there’s a little less than 1% in the formula.

Infusium 23 MIRACLE THERAPY
 CONDITIONER
WATER, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, CETYL ALCOHOL, BEHENTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, CETYL ESTERS, AMODIMETHICONE, CETRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, TRIDECETH-12, FRAGRANCE, STEARALKONIUM CHLORIDE, MORINGA OLEIFERA SEED OIL, PANTHENOL, PROPYLPARABEN, PEG/PPG-18/18 DIMETHICONE, GLYCERIN, POLYQUATERNIUM-11, SODIUM PCA, BETAINE, SORBITOL, GLYCINE, ALANINE, PROLINE, SERINE, THREONINE, ARGININE, LYSINE, GLUTAMIC ACID, PEG-8/SMDI COPOLYMER, LINOLEIC ACID, PALMITIC ACID, OLEIC ACID, STEARIC ACID, ARACHIDIC ACID, BEHENIC ACID, HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE, PALMITOYL MYRISTYL SERINATE, DMDM HYDANTOIN, METHYLPARABEN, PHENOXYETHANOL
Shampoo
WATER, AMMONIUM LAURETH SULFATE, AMMONIUM LAURYL SULFATE, COCAMIDE MEA, GLYCOL DISTEARATE, DIMETHICONE, CETYL ALCOHOL, POLYQUATERNIUM-10, PANTHENOL, MORINGA OLEIFERA SEED OIL, CITRIC ACID, PANTHENYL ETHYL ETHER, POLYQUATERNIUM-11, AMODIMETHICONE, CETRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, TRIDECETH-12, PEG/PPG-18/18 DIMETHICONE, GLYCERIN, SODIUM PCA, BETAINE, SORBITOL, GLYCINE, ALANINE, PROLINE, SERINE, THREONINE, ARGININE, LYSINE, GLUTAMIC ACID, PEG-8/SMDI COPOLYMER, LINOLEIC ACID, PALMITIC ACID, OLEIC ACID, STEARIC ACID, ARACHIDIC ACID, BEHENIC ACID, HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE, PALMITOYL MYRISTYL SERINATE, SODIUM CITRATE, SODIUM BENZOATE, DISODIUM EDTA, FRAGRANCE, AMMONIUM XYLENESULFONATE PEG-7M, METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE, METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE, SODIUM CHLORIDE

Are 90% of nail product ingredients untested?

Sarah in Forum asks…did you guys ever talk about the video that was going around last year that nail salon workers are exposed to a lot of dangerous fumes and that 90% of nail product chemicals haven’t been evaluated for safety?

We’ve talked many times about the idea of “the dose makes the poison” and it’s tragic that nail salon workers may be exposed to dangerous levels of chemicals. However, it’s not true that 90% of nail product ingredients haven’t been evaluated for safety. You can prove this to yourself: Just look the ingredient list for any nail polish and then pick a few of those ingredients and Google their names with “safety assessment.” You’ll find safety data.

Is DIY glow in the dark nail polish safe?

Anonymous asks…Is it safe to make your own glow-in-the-dark nail polish by mixing regular nail polish with the chemicals from a glow stick? I found this on wikihow

It always amazes me that people are so afraid that Big Cosmetics are selling unsafe, toxic products but if they’re doing it themselves at home, they’ll throw together what ever household or industrial chemicals they want and slather it all over their bodies and it’s perfectly fine. Remember a few months ago we talked about using fabric softener on hair or skin, now this nail polish hack. Come on!

Here’s why this is a bad idea: A glow stick contains a small inner tube of hydrogen peroxide suspended in a chemical known as diphenyl oxalate. When you bend the stick the inner tube cracks open allowing the two chemicals to mix. The resulting reaction forms an unstable compound that quickly breaks down to release energy which is absorbed by the pigments in the stick causing them to glow.

None of these chemicals (except maybe the hydrogen peroxide) are intended to meet the same safety testing requirements as those used in cosmetics. This is especially concerning since you may inadvertently ingest some of these chemicals as you eat, touch your fingers to your mouth etc. Of course there is always the potential for allergic reactions on your skin as well. The bottom line is that this is NOT a good idea.

Itunes Reviews

NerdyDrummerGirl says… This is a beauty podcast with a major difference: they’re based on science instead of hype. It’s so refreshing to hear someone talk about the beauty industry in a way based on evidence instead of either fear or marketing. They aren’t trying to sell you any makeup, they just want to teach listeners how to think critically about the things they hear about beauty. I can’t read some of the beauty blogs I used to anymore because I can now see where they are just spreading hype.

LinRP says…Smart, Informative, Hugely Useful and Fun. If you are tired of being a makeup skin-care-buying rube, you have come to the right place. The information in these podcasts and on their blog can save you hundreds of dollars.

 

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Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. Do hand creams stop your skin from regenerating? Julia from Germany asks…I have very dry skin so I use hand cream a lot. Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. Do hand creams stop your skin from regenerating? Julia from Germany asks…I have very dry skin so I use hand cream a lot. I read an article that said if you use too […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 30:53
Why do women pay more for beauty products? Episode 117 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/01/why-do-women-pay-more-for-beauty-products-episode-117/ Tue, 26 Jan 2016 06:01:14 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4557 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/01/why-do-women-pay-more-for-beauty-products-episode-117/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/01/why-do-women-pay-more-for-beauty-products-episode-117/feed/ 31 Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. South Korean beauty innovation Link Japan has long been the source of beauty trends for European and American countries but more and more that is shifting to South Korea. Recent trends out of […]

Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com.

Click here to get your free audio book.

South Korean beauty innovationface-985960_960_720

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breakthrough acne treatment

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

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

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

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

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

What’s living on your face?

Link

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

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

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

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

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

Should we be free from “free from” claims?

Link

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

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

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

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

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

Why do women pay more for beauty products?

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

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

You know which category had the greatest discrepancy?

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

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

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

Science proves you shouldn’t tightline your eyeliner

Link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

iTunes reviews

The ANDRSN Family says…Love the Show Thanks so much for all you do and share!

Boofacebookboomessenger from Australia says…I binge-listened to over ten episodes in one go! I can’t get enough. Thanks guys for telling it like it is.

Lizzie CAM says…This podcast helps me see through the haze that is called beauty. Marketing and bull words don’t stand a chance against these renegades.

Image credit: https://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2015/10/13/11/41/face-985960_960_720.jpg
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Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. South Korean beauty innovation Link Japan has long been the source of beauty trends for European and American countries but mor... Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. South Korean beauty innovation Link Japan has long been the source of beauty trends for European and American countries but more and more that is shifting to South Korea. Recent trends out of […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 33:25
Can you exfoliate your feet with Listerene and vinegar? Episode 116 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/01/can-you-exfoliate-your-feet-with-listerene-and-vinegar-episode-116/ Tue, 19 Jan 2016 06:01:27 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4549 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/01/can-you-exfoliate-your-feet-with-listerene-and-vinegar-episode-116/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/01/can-you-exfoliate-your-feet-with-listerene-and-vinegar-episode-116/feed/ 27 Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. Randy was interviewed on a radio program called “American Made Beauty” which is run by Patty Schmucker, who’s been in the industry for over 35 years. She interviews different experts to give a behinds the […]

Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com.

Click here to get your free audio book.

Randy was interviewed on a radio program called “American Made Beauty” which is run by Patty Schmucker, who’s been in the industry for over 35 years. She interviews different experts to give a behinds the scenes look at the beauty biz. And she wanted to hear all about the Beauty Brains! It was fun and here’s a link to the Beauty Brains on American Made Beauty where you can listen to the show for yourself.  We talked about…

  • What is Beauty Brains and why is our message important
  • Funniest product claims and wacky ingredients
  • Upcoming innovation for cosmetic chemistry
  • We even talked about the 3 Kligman questions which we use to determine if anti-aging ingredients really work

Do salon products use higher quality ingredients?7981947_873602b326

Becky asks…I was once told that there is difference in quality level in the ingredients used in salon brands vs grocery store brands. Is this true?

This question comes up a lot – I think the myth that salon brands use better quality ingredients was probably started by someone selling salon products. We used to just hear that “salon products use better ingredients” but people have gotten savvier about reading the back of the package, and now they realize that the ingredient lists for salon products look a lot like the ingredient lists for mass market brands.

So the myth has evolved to be essentially what Becky is saying…the ingredients may LOOK the same but the salon products actually use a higher quality version of the ingredient that happens to look the same on on the label. This isn’t true either.

How do we know that? Because we spend the last 20+ years buying hair care ingredients from the biggest suppliers in the beauty industry for both grocery store and salon brands. They do NOT have a different level of quality for salon ingredients. That’s not to say that all products are alike – you can use BETTER ingredients. But the notion that the ingredient list can look identical and the only difference lies in the “quality level” of the ingredient itself is simply not true.

If you think about it, even the ice cream example that Becky used doesn’t completely hold up. It’s true that “Vanilla extract” does have different quality levels depending on whether it’s made directly from vanilla beans or from vanilla flavoring. But the ingredient list for cheap ice milk would list “milk” whereas the list for expensive Haagan-Dazs ice cream would show “cream.” And of course, “eggs” would be the same across both products. So even in food products the ingredient lists could look different.

Can you exfoliate your feet with Listerene and vinegar?

Liz asks…DIY recipes on Pinterest say to mix equal parts Listerine, vinegar, and water, and use it as a foot soak. After 15 minutes, you can wipe your feet with a washcloth to remove calluses. The crazy part is it actually works! I tried it out without getting any irritation (and am really hoping it’s not bad for me!). I’d love to get your take on the DIY, including:
1. Why does the mixture help remove calluses, and which ingredients make this recipe work?
2. Why do you need both Listerine and vinegar? Would one remove calluses on it’s own, or does the combination do something special?
3. Are there potential negative side effects, or any reason not to try this out?

To be honest I’m surprised this works because the active ingredients are present at such low concentrations but here’s how it theoretically COULD work: 
Vinegar is made of diluted acetic acid (about 3 to 9%). Concentrated acetic acid is a known keralytic agent (in other words, it can loosen dead skin cells.) 
Listerine contains benzoic acid which, at high enough concentrations, is also a keralytic agent. However, it’s used in mouthwash at very low levels to help control pH. Listerine also contains alcohol which could help these ingredients penetrate skin.

So theoretically there’s a mechanism but again I’m surprised if it really provides much benefit.
Again why would you use a hack like this when proven products are available for reasonable cost that are optimized to work.

What does the “slash” mean in a cosmetic ingredient list?

Pilgrim asks…When an ingredient is listed with forward slashes, does that mean it was whichever ingredient was available for the manufacturer at the time? For example, “aqua/water/eau” is just H2O and not one choice of the three. But an ingredient what about “styrene/acrylates/ammonium methacrylate copolymer?” Would those be 3 different options and the manufacturer could use whichever version was available? Or, like H2O, is it just different name for the same compound? Or, if it is a slightly different ingredient, would it affect the end result product differently?

It’s confusing because the slash is used for different reasons. In the case of aqua/water/eau the slash means the ingredient name is aqua or water or eau. In the case of styrene/acrylates/ammonium methacrylate copolymer the slash means the copolymer is made from styrene and acrylates and ammonium methacrylate.

iTunes reviews

Samantha from scotland says…I’ve saved so much money and become so much more informed thanks to this podcast. The hosts are endearing, smart, and nerdy- a perfect combination!

Unitedstates35 says…Love your podcast and I look forward to every new episode that comes available. I must say that I have to fast forward a lot to get to hear you talk about the show’s title 😉 ( sorry… I do love your show but …) however once you get to the information and you get to talk about the title of the podcast, it’s amazing and informative. PS. Can you please talk about this trend of dry oils and facial oils in general.

Siouxzilla says…I’m so glad I found this podcast. I have worked in the beauty industry for several years and have always been curious about the inner workings of products. I am also cynical when it comes to product claims. Thank you for keeping it real! P. S. My question would be why is animal testing still being done in this day and age? Why doesn’t every company use in vitro testing?

Is it dangerous to use 20 year old makeup?

Margaux asks…Is it okay to use 20 year old makeup?

But here’s the deal – you’re not doing any “secret harm” to yourself by using old makeup. It’s not like years from now you’ll notice that you have more wrinkles or something because you used expired cosmetics.

BUT the problem is that you do use an old product that has a compromised preservative system, and that product has become contaminated with bacteria, then you could open yourself to infections of your skin, your eyes, or even your gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes that kind of contamination will be obvious because of appearance or odor but other times it’s not.

This depends on the product type – she mentioned lip gloss. That’s an issue. Mascara is certainly problematic for eye infections. Powdered products may be less of an issue.

Why do facial products come in such small bottles?

Anita Porpoise… I was curious if there was any chemical reason for why facial moisturizers come in small (small being anything < 6oz) bottles. My boyfriend wants to start using a facial moisturizer with an SPF, but believes that the small bottle with the high price is all marketing and profit driven. He’s seen reasonably priced facial lotions that get expensive when SPF is added. I realize that this might be more of a marketing question, but any insight you can offer would be helpful.

The answer is part science and part marketing. 
Some anti-aging ingredients (like UV absorbers, retinol, and niacinamide to name a few) are expensive. Selling lotions with these ingredients in small bottles helps keep the cost down.

On the other hand, there’s lots of money to be made in an industry where many people believe that “more expensive is better.” If a special anti-aging potion is sold in a small, yet expensive, bottle it MUST be great, right? (The answer is not necessarily.)

Tell your boyfriend he needs to…

  1. 
Identify what benefits he’s looking for. (Just moisturizing? Moisturizing with SFP? Or is he trying to get rid of existing wrinkles.?)
  2. Look for ingredients that are proven to deliver those benefits.
  3. Shop for products from reputable companies which contain those ingredients until he finds one he likes and can afford.

How does John Frieda Go Blonder shampoo lighten hair?

Emma says..While shopping the hair care aisle I was intrigued by the new John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder line. The shampoo and conditioner bottles claim to make hair two shades lighter. At first I assumed that the shampoo and conditioner would be like a ‘bleach wash’ (a hairstylist technique of lightening hair by mixing powder bleach and developer with shampoo). But unlike other comparable products that gradually lighten hair (Sun In or L’Oreal Sunkiss Casting Jelly) the shampoo and conditioner contain neither ammonia nor hydrogen peroxide. How can John Frieda make such claims without including bleaching agents?

In her email, Emma gave us ingredient lists for all the products she asked about (see below.) She even went so far as to speculate what bleaching agents the product COULD be using to make it really effective. She noted that none of the products contained “standard” bleaching agents like peroxide based (hydrogen peroxide, sodium percarbonate, sodium perborate), chlorine based (sodium hypochlorite, calcium hypochlorite, chlorine dioxide), or reducing (sodium hydrosulfite). So she REALLY did her homework and she was genuinely puzzled how the product could claim to lighten hair. Let’s take a closer look at that claim, shall we? You’ll see that this is deceptively simple.

Here are the claims from the bottle and/or the website

  • 
Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo and Conditioner gradually lighten blonde hair for a year-round sun-kissed look while restoring moisture and healthy softness.
  • The formula, containing a natural Lightening Complex, gently reduces the color pigments in the hair
Ammonia and peroxide-free
  • The claim on the front of the shampoo bottle says “Now 2 shades lighter*”

The “*” points you to the back of the bottle where they inform you that you have to use the shampoo, conditioner and lightening spray to achieve those results. And guess what? The lightening spray contains HYDROGEN PEROXIDE. 
It seems more than a little shifty to put that claim on the shampoo bottle (which tells you that the shampoo is ammonia and peroxide free!) and then make you use a peroxide containing product to get the promised results. But that’s how it works!

Ingredients:

Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo

WATER, SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE, SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE, LACTIC ACID, GLYCOL DISTEARATE, CETYL ALCOHOL, BETAINE, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA (MATRICARIA) FLOWER EXTRACT, CITRUS MEDICA LIMONUM (LEMON) PEEL EXTRACT, CURCUMA LONGA (TURMERIC) ROOT EXTRACT, CROCUS SATIVUS FLOWER EXTRACT, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED EXTRACT, VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) JUICE EXTRACT, VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) SEED EXTRACT, GLYCERIN, BENZYL ALCOHOL, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, GUAR HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, COCAMIDE MEA, PEG-40 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, GLYCINE, ALCOHOL, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, SODIUM CHLORIDE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, SODIUM XYLENESULFONATE, MALIC ACID, TOCOPHEROL, DISODIUM EDTA, METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE, METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE, FRAGRANCE, YELLOW 10
Go Blonder Lightening Conditioner
WATER, GLYCERIN, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, DIMETHICONE, BEHENTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, FRAGRANCE, DIMETHICONOL, PEG-14M, AMODIMETHICONE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, DIAZOLIDINYL UREA, TRIDECETH-12, GLYCINE, MALIC ACID, CETRIMONIUM CHLORIDE, YELLOW 5, BENZYL ALCOHOL, LACTIC ACID, IODOPROPYNYL BUTYLCARBAMATE, VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) JUICE EXTRACT, ALCOHOL, CITRUS MEDICA LIMONUM (LEMON) PEEL EXTRACT, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED EXTRACT, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA (MATRICARIA) FLOWER EXTRACT, TOCOPHEROL, PEG-40 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL, VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) SEED EXTRACT

Go Blonder Lightening Spray

Water, Hydrogen Peroxide, Polysorbate 20, Disodium Phosphate, Phosphoric Acid, Fragrance, VP, VA Copolymer, Polyquaternium-47, Polyquaternium-55, Propylene Glycol, Ext. Violet 2, Vitis Vinifera Juice Extract (Grape), Chamomilla Recuitita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum Peel Extract (Lemon), Helianthus Annuus Seed Extract (Sunflower), Glycerin, Alcohol, Vitis Vinifera Seed Extract (Grape), Tocopherol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil

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Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. Randy was interviewed on a radio program called “American Made Beauty” which is run by Patty Schmucker, Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. Randy was interviewed on a radio program called “American Made Beauty” which is run by Patty Schmucker, who’s been in the industry for over 35 years. She interviews different experts to give a behinds the […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 39:50
Does WEN conditioner make your hair fall out? Episode 115 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/01/does-wen-conditioner-make-your-hair-fall-out-episode-115/ Tue, 12 Jan 2016 06:01:18 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4540 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/01/does-wen-conditioner-make-your-hair-fall-out-episode-115/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/01/does-wen-conditioner-make-your-hair-fall-out-episode-115/feed/ 19 Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. Update from the Secret Society of Cosmetic Chemists Perry was in New York for a meeting of the Secret Society of Cosmetic Chemists where he was installed as the organization’s Vice President Elect. He also […] Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com.

Click here to get your free audio book.

Update from the Secret Society of Cosmetic Chemists

Perry was in New York for a meeting of the Secret Society of Cosmetic Chemists where he was installed as the organization’s Vice President Elect. He also attended an red-41695_960_720interesting talk about new anti-aging ingredients. The idea was to talk about how happy products make you rather than focusing on how they work or what they do. Another lecturer discussed that just because something is safe to eat doesn’t mean it’s safe for your skin. For example, cinnamon, peppermint, lime…these are all things that can irritate your skin but are perfectly fine to eat.

Finally, the keynote speaker was neuroscientist Dr Helen Fisher who gave an interesting talk. Essentially, she collected data from people at Match.com and was able to classify people by their dominant brain chemical system including dopamine, testosterone, estrogen and serotonin. It was like a more science version of the Meyers Briggs study. Seemed sketchy to me but she was able to make predictions of a person’s brain chemistry based on their responses to a questionnaire. And she had like 14 million data points. If you wanted to find out more about how brain science affects your personality you can check out their website http://www.neurocolor.com/

Would you sleep in moisturizing pajamas?

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This is kind of a follow up from a story we talked about two episodes ago – remember the anti-aging lingerie? Well here’s another item of cosmetic clothing – a UK company is marketing moisturizing pajamas. These come to us from London based Matrix APA. They make a line of pajamas called Hydra Active.

Just like the lactic acid lingerie we talked about, these pajamas uses micro-encapsulation technology. Specifically they contain aloe vera which “lightly moisturises the skin during sleep.” I know I’m being negative but I see these kinds of products as just a fad. I say that for a couple of reasons.

1. I can’t think of any technical rational that these would work very well. There are basically two ways to moisturize skin: you can add a dose of water from the outside or you can occlude the skin to seal in moisture from the inside. Aloe vera won’t do either of these very well.

2. It’s really hard to deliver ingredients to the skin from clothing. You’ll get over dose at crease points, like armpits and inside of elbows, and an under dose where the fabric loosely comes in contact with you body like on the sides. At BEST it would give some very light effect.

3. No matter how good this is the encapsulation will wear out especially after laundering. Then you’re just left with regular pajamas which are presumably more expensive.

Interestingly, they’re targeting the airline industry because the humidity on a plane drops from “80% to 10 to 20%” during flight. Wow! That sounds REALLY low but I checked it out and that’s true! The reason humidity in planes is so low is because if you just pumped moisture into the cabin it would freeze at high altitudes and then melt during landing which would cause it to rain in the plane! You need a humidifier for the cabin and then a dehumidifier for the fuselage.

Is WEN causing your hair to fall out?

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Here’s a recent story that demonstrates one problem with developing novel cosmetic products. Wen hair products are being sued by more than 200 women who claim that Wen hair products has led to significant hair loss, bald patches, hair breakage and rashes.

While the creators of Wen say that their cleansing conditioner product (which based on the ingredient list is merely a rinse-out conditioner) is a gentle replacement for shampoo, conditioner and leave-in conditioner, an attorney in Dallas says different.

This attorney hired a chemist to evaluate the ingredients and “discovered” there are no cleansers in the product. No kidding. They further claim that it is more of a lotion that is blocking hair follicles.

So I took a look at the ingredients. This certainly isn’t like a hand lotion. It is actually a hair conditioner containing ingredients like Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Staramidopropyl Dimethylamine, Amodimethicone, Cetyl & Cetearyl Alcohol. Then it is filled with a bunch of natural extracts which aren’t doing much of anything.

There are no obvious ingredients in the formula that would cause significant hair loss. They do include Menthol in the product which can cause irritation in some people and maybe some of the extracts cause some weird allergic reaction but these are all pretty standard ingredients used in hair care products. I don’t see anything that could cause hair loss. Especially if people are rinsing the product out of their hair.

In researching this story I saw a write-up at the Daily Beast. They were wondering what ingredient could be causing the problem and they listed the first four ingredients. “water, glycerin, cetyl alcohol and cetearyl alcohol” They they said well, alcohol can be drying. Cetyl and Cetearyl alcohol is not the same as ethanol! They are not drying.

I doubt there is anything to this lawsuit but if you were to see the pictures shared on twitter about this product it would certainly be disconcerting.

It does make you wonder what is going on and I have thought of a few possibilities. Any or all of these could be right or wrong.

1. Mistaking correlation and causation. People lose hair for a number of reasons unrelated to the products they use. But it just happens to coincide with whatever product they are using at the moment and they blame the product. That’s why a popular brand like Pantene also gets blamed for hair loss when there’s no evidence that it causes it. This is the most likely reason.

2. Allergic reactions – This product has a long list of natural extracts and oils which are more likely to cause allergic reactions which could be causing some hair loss. This would seem an extreme result and would probably require the consumer to be keeping the product in the hair for a long time. I find this hard to believe but possible.

3. People are just making it up. When a dissatisfied Wen user heard about the hair loss lawsuit they may have convinced themselves that they were losing hair too. I can imagine some people who use Wen hair cleansing conditioner would be unhappy with the way their hair feels. And they’d be really unhappy they spent $30 for a product that leaves their hair feeling bad. This might prompt them to jump on the lawsuit bandwagon.

If the further claims in the suit are to be believed, Wen didn’t do themselves any favor by removing negative comments about their product online. This does tend to make it look like they are trying to be manipulative. Although as a website owner I can understand the reluctance to let people write scathing comments about your product on your own website. This is why people should never take the reviews of products written on company websites too seriously. Look for independent reviews.

Anyway, while this lawsuit has gotten Wen some bad publicity I doubt they will be paying out unless they want to quickly settle it. The ingredients in their formula would not be reasonably expected to cause significant hair loss.

WEN Ingredients

Water, Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Pomegranate Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Chamomile Extract, Marigold Flower Extract, Wild Cherry Fruit Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Cetyl Alcohol, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Sweet Almond Oil, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Menthol, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, Polysorbate-60, Fragrance, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Citric Acid.

Are eye liner patches the next makeup miracle?

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Remember a few weeks ago we talked about the spray on nail polish? How it sounded like a simple solution for simple way to quickly apply polish? And it turned out it wasn’t such a simple solution? It’s an eye liner patch from Dior. Instead of just taking out your eyeliner and carefully applying the look that you want now you can pop open a little box of stickers in the color that you choose and just apply it to your eyelid. 
This sounds like another one of those products that are too good to be true. Oh my gosh I don’t have to worry about painting the line on straight or poking myself in the eye or taking too much time to do it I just slap on a sticker and go.
In reality I think this is another gimmick product that will quickly fade away and I say that for several reasons:

1. There are limited color choices. Know how many matter how many stickers they make they still can’t match every shade of liquid eyeliner that’s available so you’re going to have to make some compromises in the colors that you get to use.

2. The cost – it’s $61 for a kit of these things which is quite an investment just to find out whether you like it or not.

3.  A sticker won’t contour to your eye as well as a regular eyeliner that consists of oils and powders.

4. There’s the problem of the sticky stuff on the back of the patch. Adhesives are notoriously difficult to stick on skin unless you’re talking about something that has the adhesive strength of a bandage and I don’t think anybody wants that on their eyelid. That means these patches may become dislodged over the course of the day.

Oh, one more thing. We know that adhesives are some of the most potentially irritating ingredients because of the residual monomers in acrylate type polymers. That is not necessarily the case with this product because we don’t know what type of adhesive they use but it certainly is an additional risk that you don’t have with a conventional eyeliner.

So the bottom line is I’m calling gimmick on this one and I expected to be about around as about as long as spray on nail polish

Clever new cosmetic packaging – changes color and looks like a phallus

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Here’s a pretty cool new packaging for a line of skin care products. It’s a light, flesh colored package that turns pink when you touch it. It was designed by Stas Neretin who is a Russian package designer and is used in a brand of products called Naked. The way the package works is that it is covered with a thermochromatic paint. When your warm hands touch the package the paint reacts and changes color. This reminds me of that liquid crystal technology from Hallcrest.  This is pretty cool technology and all but you know I’m certain I had this idea about 15 years ago. I think I even presented in one of those innovation breakfasts. That just goes to show you, ideas aren’t worth anything if you don’t do something about them. We’ll see if this kind of thing ever catches on. It is cool but seems like a novelty that might wear off pretty quickly.

iTunes Reviews

RabikaRen says…I love the discussions on the podcasts AND I also like that its written out and reviewed on their website. TheBeautyBrains.com

Mar-red from Canada says…If you’re interested in product ingredients, this is the podcast for you. I trust these guys because they’re talking about formulas and efficacy from a scientific perspective, and they aren’t trying to sell me products. In fact, their separation from the marketing/PR world is refreshing. You need to listen to these podcasts.

Nazzy06 says…Great content, source their information well. Just wish they would talk about the products/science a little bit longer (rather than their fake beauty product/how-to-pronounce different products games). What they’re missing is a statement that they don’t accept money/gifts etc. from any beauty companies. I am new to the podcast so I may have missed it but I want to know that there’s no conflict of interest or power of influence.

Is caffeinated toothpaste a good idea?

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I don’t get this fascination with putting caffeine in cosmetics. There’s caffeinated shave cream. A couple of years ago we wrote about caffeinated soap. And we did the math to show that you’d have to sit in the shower for about 2 hours for your skin to absorb the same amount of caffeine you’d get from a cup of coffee. But now…there’s a new contender….caffeinated toothpaste!

It’s called Power Toothpaste and it’s said to be the world’s first caffeinated oral care product. You can read all about it in the link but one of my favorite parts of the article is where Dan Meropol said ““At Power Toothpaste we believe a big part of this is that oral care hasn’t been exciting for decades, and the products that Big Toothpaste is offering just aren’t good enough.” I just love that he used the phrase “Big Toothpaste.”

Anyway, Dan goes on to say that…”The products are boring. They aren’t cool. But Power Toothpaste is about to change that. With Power Toothpaste, you get a rush while you brush.”

So is that true? Can you get a caffeine buzz from brushing your teeth? To find out…we’ll have to do some MATH! We’ll be a little fast and loose but close enough so you get the idea. First of all, an 8 oz cup of coffee contains about 100 mg of caffeine. I don’t know anyone who drinks just 8 ounces so your typical caffeine jolt is probably in the range of 150 to 200 mg.

We also know that when you brush your teeth you use a pea sized amount, or a little bigger, which is about 1/20 of an oz or approx 1.5 grams. Let’s just call it 2 grams. Therefore to get toothpaste that would provide a coffee-level of caffeine would require about 10%. Now since this will be absorbed through your oral mucosa vs your digestive tract, maybe it could be a little less. I’m not sure. But anything in the 5 to 10% range would give the toothpaste a very bitter flavor. But it’s certainly possible.

I think the real hurdle here, however, is the exposure time. How much of that caffeine will be absorbed into your blood while you brush your teeth?

We know that you’re SUPPOSED to brush your teeth for 2 minutes. I don’t know how many people adhere to that – I know I brush mine for about…8 seconds.
But let’s say you’re dedicated and you do brush for a couple of minutes – is that long enough for caffeine to be absorbed through the lining of your mouth?

I had to do some digging to get that answer. By the way, just in case you think this job is glamorous, I had to look through the following article in the course of doing the research for today’s show: “Pharmacokinetics of Caffeine of Oral Coffee consumption vs a Single Administration by Coffee Enema.” Yuck!

According to this paper on caffeinated gum…”When you chew caffeine gum, the caffeine is released into the saliva and absorbed through the tissues in the mouth (the buccal cavity) which leads the caffeine directly into the bloodstream. Through this method of absorption, the effects of the caffeine reach the brain within approximately three to five minutes; caffeine in the liquid form can take up to 30-45 minutes.” Ref: THE EFFECTS OF CAFFEINE GUM ADMINISTRATION ON REACTION TIME AND LOWER BODY PAIN DURING CYCLING TO EXHAUSTION 

So, this may not be quite as crazy as it sounds. IF the product contains a high enough amount of caffeine and IF you brush your teeth for 2 or 3 minutes (which is a long time) then, yes, you could get a caffeine buzz from your toothpaste. It’s certainly better than caffeinated soap or shaving cream.

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Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. Update from the Secret Society of Cosmetic Chemists Perry was in New York for a meeting of the Secret Society of Cosmetic Chemi... Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. Update from the Secret Society of Cosmetic Chemists Perry was in New York for a meeting of the Secret Society of Cosmetic Chemists where he was installed as the organization’s Vice President Elect. He also […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 34:27
Why are some fragrances so long lasting? Episode 114 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/01/why-are-some-fragrances-so-long-lasting-episode-114/ Tue, 05 Jan 2016 06:01:36 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4536 https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/01/why-are-some-fragrances-so-long-lasting-episode-114/#respond https://thebeautybrains.com/2016/01/why-are-some-fragrances-so-long-lasting-episode-114/feed/ 0 While we’re recovering from the holidays, you guys get to listen to another lost episode from 2010 with Sarah Bellum and Left Brain. Today they discuss… Why some fragrances are so long lasting Whether natural ingredients are better than synthetics How home microdermabrasion works While we’re recovering from the holidays, you guys get to listen to another lost episode from 2010 with Sarah Bellum and Left Brain. Today they discuss…brain-20424_960_720

  • Why some fragrances are so long lasting
  • Whether natural ingredients are better than synthetics
  • How home microdermabrasion works
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While we’re recovering from the holidays, you guys get to listen to another lost episode from 2010 with Sarah Bellum and Left Brain. Today they discuss… Why some fragrances are so long lasting Whether natural ingredients are better than synthetics How ... While we’re recovering from the holidays, you guys get to listen to another lost episode from 2010 with Sarah Bellum and Left Brain. Today they discuss… Why some fragrances are so long lasting Whether natural ingredients are better than synthetics How home microdermabrasion works Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 32:15
Should you buy Organic Botox from Kim Kardashian? Episode 113 https://thebeautybrains.com/2015/12/should-you-buy-organic-botox-from-kim-kardashian-episode-113/ Tue, 22 Dec 2015 06:01:05 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4529 https://thebeautybrains.com/2015/12/should-you-buy-organic-botox-from-kim-kardashian-episode-113/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2015/12/should-you-buy-organic-botox-from-kim-kardashian-episode-113/feed/ 12 Should you soak in Vitamin C? Mindy says…I have read about vitamin C being good for your face. What about putting it in the bath water? I heard something about it neutralizing chlorine. What I want to know is if it will give you the same benefits that it does for your face, if I […]

Should you soak in Vitamin C?kim_kardashian_2015_caricature_by_karisean-d92yjb1

Mindy says…I have read about vitamin C being good for your face. What about putting it in the bath water? I heard something about it neutralizing chlorine. What I want to know is if it will give you the same benefits that it does for your face, if I put L-Ascorbic Acid Powder in my bath water. I know the concentration will not be exact and will be lower.

I think putting ascorbic acid in your bath water is a waste of money compared to using a good vitamin C lotion. I say that for several reasons:

1. For the most part the benefits provided by vitamin C are related to fighting the aging affects on your face. That’s not to say you wouldn’t benefit at all from applying it all over your body but it’s not like you’re trying to fight fine lines and wrinkles on your arms or legs. At least not usually.

2. The organic “stuff” in the bath water (either surfactants or gunk off your body) will “use up” the vitamin C’s antioxidant capacity.

3. Soaking in a bath tub for a few minutes won’t deliver very much Vitamin C compared to applying a lotion that stays on your skin for much longer.

4. You’ll have to use a LOT. Maximum skin absorption occurs at 20% AA which is quite high and can be irritating. Some sources, like our friend Paula B says use between 0.3 and 10%. Let’s choose a modest 1%. If your bathtub is average, it can hold about 75 gallons of water. 75 gallons is about 280 L which or 280 Kg is about 600 pounds. To make your bathtub a 1% solution of AA it would take about 6 pounds.

Is Colour Pop eyeshadow breaking the law?

Anna asks…I recently discovered a new online American cosmetic company, Colourpop (www.colourpop.com). I was shopping on their website and noticed several products that are sold with their eyeshadows and liners that have the disclaimer “not for use around the eyes.” It looks like Colourpop is using red lakes that are not FDA approved for use around the eyes. I contacted the company and they said that the “usage is up to consumer discretion” and people are using these shadows on the eyes with no problems. Is Colourpop breaking the law? What are the dangers of using this product around the eyes?

I’ll just read what their website says, then we’ll look at the ingredients, and then review the FDA’s regulation on colorants for cosmetics.

The website says…“For maximum coverage: Use fingertip and tap shadow onto EYE lid…use a flat synthetic brush…throughout the crease of the EYE… and finally, ***not intended for the eye area”.

According to the ingredient list the colorants are…

[+/- TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891), MICA (CI 77019), RED 28 LAKE (CI 45410), BLUE 1 LAKE (CI 42090), RED 7 LAKE (CI 15850)].

Red Lake 28 and Red Lake 7 both of which are on the FDA’s list of colors that can be used in drugs and cosmetics. (If you’re so inclined, you can click here to review the FDA’s color additive list for yourself.)

BUT, according to the FDA, “None of these colors may be used in products that are for use in the area of the eye unless otherwise indicated.”
 I don’t see any indication to the contrary so it looks like these two lakes are NOT allowed in products to be used around the eye.
 What doesn’t make sense to me is why ColourPop would sell an eyeshadow that has the warning “not intended for the eye area.” WTF!?!
 I’m not a toxicologist but my understanding is that using unapproved ingredients around your eye can cause problems ranging from eye irritation to blindness.

Do AHA serums make you sweat?

Pazzaglia says…For the last two and a half weeks I’ve been applying a 12% Glycolic Acid Cream at night, and I’m just beginning to see fantastic results (clear skin, less acne, no more blackheads). I haven’t had any negative reactions BUT, one thing I noticed is that immediately after I apply the creme, I get small pearls of “sweat” on every pore. Is this normal? Is this dehydrating my skin?


I’ve never heard of this “sweating” problem and I’m not aware of any technical rationale for how glycolic acid, or any other AHA, would stimulate sweat glands. These acids work by loosening the “glue” that holds cells together. That means their effects should be limited to the stratum corneum which are in the epidermis, the outer layer of skin. The sweat glands are located much deeper, in the dermis.

There is one other possibility…Glycolic acid is hygroscopic which means it can attract moisture from the air so maybe that’s the cause? We asked her if that could be what’s happening and she responded that she lives close to the Mediterranean Sea and it’s very humid in the summer. She recently wrote back and said: “I just wanted to confirm that it doesn’t happen in the fall – so it was definitely the cream’s reaction to the atmospheric humidity!!”

Allure magazine asked…Should you buy Organic Botox from Kim Kardashian?

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Our next question comes to us from Allure Magazine. They asked me about this recent story regarding Kim Kardashian purchasing the licensing rights an anti-aging product called Biotulin, which is described as quote “an organic botox gel.”  So, I took a look at the technology and here’s what I found out. This product claims to work based on 3 ingredients:

  • Spilanthol – which is an extract of a flowering herb. They say is an anesthetic that relaxes wrinkles.
  • Blady Grass extract – they say moisturizes skin.
  • Hyaluron – also binds moisture.

Hyaluron – sounds good right? That’s because it’s just another name for hyaluronic acid which you can also get in a lot of other products. Brady Grass moisturizes? So what. So do a lot of things. Spilanthol…this seems like the “magic”. And guess what? According to peer reviewed articles I found in PubMed it DOES really have topical anesthetic properties. It also may have some utility as an anti-malarial drug. But to compare this ingredient to Botox makes NO sense. Do you know how botox works? It paralyzes muscles so it makes your skin more taught and stretches out the wrinkles. What does anesthetic do? It relaxes muscles. If anything, Muscle laxity CAUSES wrinkles it doesn’t reduce them.

How well does it really work? Who knows? The mode of action they describe makes no sense but they say they have clinical test data that proves it works similar to Botox. I don’t believe that AT ALL because I’ve never seen ANY topically applied product that can work as well as an injectable. But, to be fair, I haven’t seen their data. And I doubt if we ever will…but if they have robust clinical studies that they’d care to share with us, I’d gladly retract all my snarky comments.

One more thing. Allure asked if this product is safe. We haven’t reviewed their safety test data so we really don’t know but I do know that Spilanthol has been assessed as a penetration enhancer for other ingredients. That means it may be cause other ingredients that you DON’T want in your skin to penetrate.

Improbable Products

Can you guess which of these tattoo products is fake? (Listen to the show for your answer.)

  • Skin ink subscription – 
A custom mail order tattoo subscription service that sends you personalized temporary tattoos in the mail.
  • Skin scanner
 – A tattoo parlor’s skin scanner app that let’s you scan other peoples tattoos and upload them so they can give you the same ink.
  • Tattoo taxidermist
 –  A tattoo taxidermist who will save your ink art by taking the skin off your body when you die.
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Should you soak in Vitamin C? Mindy says…I have read about vitamin C being good for your face. What about putting it in the bath water? I heard something about it neutralizing chlorine. What I want to know is if it will give you the same benefits that ... Should you soak in Vitamin C? Mindy says…I have read about vitamin C being good for your face. What about putting it in the bath water? I heard something about it neutralizing chlorine. What I want to know is if it will give you the same benefits that it does for your face, if I […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 32:43
Should you wear anti-aging lingerie? Episode 112 https://thebeautybrains.com/2015/12/should-you-wear-anti-aging-lingerie-episode-112/ Tue, 15 Dec 2015 06:01:13 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4519 https://thebeautybrains.com/2015/12/should-you-wear-anti-aging-lingerie-episode-112/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2015/12/should-you-wear-anti-aging-lingerie-episode-112/feed/ 2 Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. Do supplements improve skin? Link I saw this story published on the cosmetic surgery times website asking the question whether nutricosmetics is real science or scientific rhetoric. Or as we called it a […] Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com.

Click here to get your free audio book.

Do supplements improve skin?Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 1.39.03 PM

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I saw this story published on the cosmetic surgery times website asking the question whether nutricosmetics is real science or scientific rhetoric. Or as we called it a few shows back “sciencesplotation”.

First a definition of nutricosmetics. These are supplements that supposedly can help support skin, hair and nail health. It is a group of products that play into the old saying, you are what you eat. In cosmetic industry marketing speak it’s referred to as the “beauty from within” trend. So we’re talking about pills, probiotic foods, vitamin water and things like this that you are supposed to invest to get a beauty benefit.

The thing about the supplement industry is that they are much less regulated than food, drugs or cosmetics so the claims and quality are much less reliable.

Anyway, this article looked at whether these products can actually help your skin or hair in general. And for their experts they talked to a few dermatologists. Here is what they said.

Dr Jeanette Jacknin wrote a book called Smart Medicine for Your Skin and she says that nutricosmetics don’t work alone but instead work together with a healthy diet, sun protection and avoidance of environmental pollutants, stress reduction and topical antioxidants. Of course if you’re doing all that how would you ever see any benefit from a nutricosmetic?

Dr Joel Schlessinger cautioned that since supplements are not highly regulated there are fringe products that don’t contain what they claim and don’t work as they claim. Unfortunately, consumers have no way of knowing who is reputable and who is a fringe product.

Dr Jacknin is convinced that many of these supplements have documented skin repair and anti-oxidant properties but she says companies don’t want to share the results because if it was shown that something had an effect, it would be considered to be a drug by the FDA and would be more highly regulated. It’s important to note that the more “highly regulated” means that the company would have to conduct two types of studies, efficacy studies to prove that it works (and quantify the effect) and safety studies to prove that the product is safe to use. It’s scary to think that consumers could be taking products that have an unknown effect and unknown safety profile.

Then the doctors gives some advice which I think is strange. Dr Jacknin says that nutricosmetics are right for people who are otherwise generally healthy and don’t have internal issues like gastrointestinal, kidney or liver problems. And Dr Schlesinger says that despite the fact that some supplements have clear negative effects (like causing acne in teenagers) he thinks that there are still benefits to taking them.

I call this advice strange because given the information we know, it’s doesn’t seem reasonable. Consider this about these supplement products.

1. The FDA does not regulate product safety so there is no guarantee what’s listed on the bottle is what is in the bottle or that the product is even safe.

2. The FDA does not regulate claims so there is no assurance that amy testing has been done to show that what the company says the product can do, it does.

3. And finally, there is scant published evidence that these supplements have any positive effect under real use conditions.

With these facts in mind, I don’t know what convinces these dermatologists that using supplements for improving skin and hair is a good idea. I certainly don’t.

Hair needs antioxidants just like skin

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Here’s a story that touches on a pet peeve of mine: I hate when companies say you need skin care anti-aging ingredients like Collagen or vitamins or whatever in hair care products. It’s not like hair is alive. If you would have told me that your hair needs antioxidants I would have laughed at you. But, now there’s evidence that antioxidants may actually help hair. Here’s how it works…

Hair absorbs copper ions from water and I suppose some of it could be produced by biological processes. The problem is that copper can participate in free radical formation especially when exposed to UV light. We know that in skin, free radicals are damaging to certain biological processes but they can also damage the non-living protein in hair. It’s not like it’s going to give you hair cancer or anything like that but it certainly could weaken some of the protein chains which would result in increased breakage more frizzy hair less shine, etc.

So how do we stop this problem? Well for skin you slather on lotions with antioxidants so when the free radicals are produced the antioxidants quench /them grab them up and take them out of the equation. For hair, researchers at P&G have come up with a different approach. They take the copper out of the equation so the free radicals aren’t formed in the first place.

So the question becomes how do you get rid of copper? Their solution is to grab it up with a compound called a chelating agent. The use of chelating agents in hair and skin care formulations is certainly not new in fact there is one called EDTA that is used in many many formulations because it helps strengthen the preservative systems. The clever scientists at P&G may even have a better alternative because they’re using something called EDDS which is Ethylenediamine-N,N’-disuccinic acid it’s a biodegradable alternative to EDTA. Anyway they have done a ton of research on women across the world to measure copper levels in their hair and they’ve shown they can reduce those copper levels so it seems they have done their homework. (Which is why you see Pantene talking about “antioxidant technology.”)

There’s just one thing that bothers me about this. How much of hair damage is caused by free radical generation compared to the amount that’s caused by daily washing and drying and brushing and combing and chemical processing like coloring and straightening? I’m just wondering if free radicals are a cause of a significant portion of her damage or if their effect is real but it’s actually overwhelmed by all the other sorts of damage that is done to your hair.

Can your beauty routine boost your love life?

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Can your beauty routine boost your love life? This recent study from Fordham University, sponsored by Revlon, says it can, at least for women. In fact, this study found that in just four days of following a beauty ritual a variety of things happened to women in the study.

  • 97% felt a positive change in themselves
  • 71% reported they wanted more romance
  • 69% felt more open to the possibility of love
  • 77% felt more outgoing and social
  • 85% of women noticed a positive change in how others reacted to them
  • 56% of women said others flirted with them more

So, what was this beauty routine or ritual that got these amazing results?

The ritual involved having subjects take time to appreciate themselves by looking in the mirror, applying fragrance and eye makeup, enjoying a mint or chocolate, applying lipstick, taking a deep breath and smiling. So if you start doing that each day it’s going to make you feel better about yourself.

No kidding. I can’t believe this kind of thing gets passed off as a “study”.

My biggest problem is that there is no control, there is no quantification, there is no definition for terms, and this is just feel good news meant to convince people that they are supposed to use more makeup. What’s most troubling is that this isn’t science and it gets reported as if it were.

Yes, having a beauty routine will make you feel better (at least for a little while). So do it. But don’t expect it to have any long lasting impact on yourself or lead to any significant boost in your love life. It won’t.

Can this skin lotion keep you warm?

Link

Remember way back in episode 42 we talked about Neutrogena marketing a standard sunscreen product as a “Cloud Guard” that’s meant to protect your skin from the sun on cloudy days. A few weeks after that we talked about “Tattoo Guard” which is sunscreen just for tattoos. Well, I found another unusual “guard” product this one protects your skin from the cold!

The product is actually called “Cold Screen” and it comes from a start up company called U°Thermic. The founders, who are out of New Zealand, are crowdfunding to raise money to develop the product. They claim

“Coldscreen works by creating an ultra light film over the skin to help keep your body’s natural heat in, while allowing the body to still function at its optimal levels. It creates a warming feeling by interacting with receptors just under the skin that tell the brain that you are experiencing the sensation of warmth. This occurs naturally in the body anyway, Coldscreen simply allows this same bodily function to occur at a lower temperature allowing you to feel warm in colder environments.”

They also say…

“no harmful chemicals and a high percentage of safe, healthy and also natural raw ingredients”
It lasts “Anywhere from 2 – 4 hours depending on outside ambient temperature and activity levels.”

How realistic is this? I can think of two approaches to deliver warmth from a body lotion.

1. “HELPS keep your body’s natural heat in” – well, your body cools itself through evaporation so I suppose that any occlusive agent could in theory help keep the body’s natural heat in. Two problems with this – the degree of heat your body loses is substantial and I would imagine it would take a very thick insulate layer to have any effect. Second, it’s only going to work where you apply it – you lose a lot of heat through the top of your head, for example.

2. “Creates a warming feeling by interacting with receptors”
Offhand, I know of two technologies that could do this. There are certain materials, most notably glycols, that react exothermically with water. In other words, when they mix with water heat is released. This product could contain such a glycol which would give you a warming sensation when it comes in contact with the moisture in your skin. I think this would be faint at best.

OR it could contain something like a capsacian which is the active ingredient in hot peppers, which can react with skin sensors to give a chemically-induced sensation of heat. The problem is that can also be irritating to skin.

Bottom line is: I think this could work to some extent. It would be rather unbelievable to think it could work well enough so you didn’t need to “wear bulky layers of extra clothing to stay warm” which is something else that they claim on their website.

Bill Nye the skin care guy

Link

Here’s a quick piece I saw reported widely a couple weeks ago, it’s Bill Nye’s beauty routine. You remember Bill Nye from Billy Nye the Science Guy fame?

Well, the beauty website Fashionista did an interview with him and got his “secret” to having good looking skin. His advice…use an eye cream twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. He says he used Ponds just like his grandmother. But he also likes Olay and the Art of Shaving. In reading the interview what strikes me most is at times he is not skeptical. He talked about a Moroccan Oil product and how a neuroscientist friend of his who used that product had great hair. And even the advice that because he uses eye cream that must have had an effect.

Would you wear anti-aging lingerie?

Link

Remember some time ago we talked about the development of a wearable cosmetic product? I think it was last year some time. At that time this was just a potential product. Well, it’s not a potential product any longer. In Japan you can now get a wearable cosmetic product.

Textile maker Teijin Limited will now sell a lingerie that can help moisturize and soothe the wearer’s skin.

According to them the products will be made with a fabric infused with magic acid. They say it will help the skin retain a low acidity level even when the person is sweating or the air is dry. This will help prevent rashes and the growth of microbes.

Additionally, they have created the product in such a way that the magic acid does not get washed out. It remains effective even after 50 washes.

Now, I know malic acid is classified as an Alpha Hydroxy Acid and these can have beneficial effects on skin exfoliation but it seems weird to me that this technology would work. I especially don’t see how it can work over the long term. Think about how it’s applied to the skin. The surface layer of the acid will get used up….

Anyway, this is interesting. I’d love to see a real study done with this technology comparing skin wearing the garment rather than not. And while the first application is to women’s lingerie that is going to have only a minimal appeal to men. I would see this technology being of more interest to men than women and men seem less interested in having to apply products to get a beauty benefit than women. I would certainly wear products like this if they worked and were easily available.

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Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. Do supplements improve skin? Link I saw this story published on the cosmetic surgery times website asking the question whether ... Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com. Click here to get your free audio book. Do supplements improve skin? Link I saw this story published on the cosmetic surgery times website asking the question whether nutricosmetics is real science or scientific rhetoric. Or as we called it a […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 35:37
Is Hoof Maker cream for horses really good for your nails? Episode 111 https://thebeautybrains.com/2015/12/is-hoof-maker-cream-for-horses-really-good-for-your-nails-episode-111/ Tue, 08 Dec 2015 06:01:05 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4513 https://thebeautybrains.com/2015/12/is-hoof-maker-cream-for-horses-really-good-for-your-nails-episode-111/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2015/12/is-hoof-maker-cream-for-horses-really-good-for-your-nails-episode-111/feed/ 5 Support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free trial at Audible.com Is Dr. Varon’s skin bleaching system safe? Sarah asks…I have some questions about Dr. Varon’s skin bleaching system. It uses 2% hydroquinone. Is it safe to keep using? First let’s talk about skin bleaching actives. Hydroquinone, like many other actives, HQ ,like many […]

Support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free trial at Audible.com

Is Dr. Varon’s skin bleaching system safe?high_hoof__by_rainbowplasma-d5kqgwh

Sarah asks…I have some questions about Dr. Varon’s skin bleaching system. It uses 2% hydroquinone. Is it safe to keep using?

First let’s talk about skin bleaching actives. Hydroquinone, like many other actives, HQ ,like many skin lightening ingredients, is a phenolic compound. That means it contains a 6 carbon ring with an OH group attached. This structure allows it to inhibit melanin synthesis by acting as a substrate for tyrosinase.

Tyrosine, an amino acid, is acted upon by the enzyme tyrosine to form melanin. These phenolic compounds “interrupt” this reaction by giving the tyrosine something else to attach to. That way the tyrosine never makes melanin particles. Based on the research we’ve seen, nothing works better than HQ – it’s considered the gold standard for skin lightening. You can find more details if you go back and check out Episode 35.

Is HQ safe? There have been studies that raised cancer concerns but they were based on oral or injected application and there have been no clinical studies or cases of skin cancer related to topical HQ use. Therefore, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) considers hydroquinone as “not classifiable” as to its carcinogenicity in humans. It can, however, cause a skin discoloring condition known as Och-ron-osis and that’s one of reasons that regulatory bodies in other countries have banned HQ for over the counter use. It has has to be prescribed by a doctor which helps prevent the kind of long term abuse that can lead to that permanent discoloration.

In the US The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has even proposed banning over-the counter skin bleaching agents containing hydroquinone but as of right now it’s still available.

This is a very important point – it’s a myth that’s it’s “banned” in other countries, it’s really just restricted to prescription use. Europe and Asia currently allow hydroquinone at 2-5% concentration by prescription. The drug is valued worldwide but is regulated to protect against misuse and bad formulations.

So, what about Dr Varon’s product? We were intrigued when we read about his Skin Bleaching system which claims to be “the first and only skin care system to remove blemishes and dark discolorations from the skin.” It’s inconceivable how they can make such a claim since HQ is an over the counter drug. That makes me very suspicious.

The system actually includes three products:

  • Step 1 Brightening Lotion (1 oz.)
  • 
Step 2 Dermal Treatment (1 oz.)
  • Step 3 Liquid Microdermabrasion (1 oz.)

The system costs about 20 bucks which isn’t too bad until you realize you only get one 1 oz tube of each product. But you don’t use them up at the same rate. You’re supposed to use the Brightening lotion twice per day, the Dermal Treatment you use once a day and the Liquid Microderm product you use 2 or 3 times per week. So very quickly you’ll run out of the main product and you’ll have to buy the entire kit to get more. You’re probably better off buying another 2% HQ cream and then using other products.

Is it safe? Yes, aside from the concerns we just discussed. Is it the best product to buy? Probably not.

Active Ingredients: Hydroquinone (2%) Purpose: Bleach
Inactive Ingredients:
Step 1: Water, Isoproply Palmitate, Glycolic Acid, Cyclomethicone, Azelaic Acid, Kojic Dipalmitate, PEG-100 Stearate, Arbutin, Potassium Hydroxide, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Myristyl Myristate, Sorbitol, Xanthan Gum, Sodium PCA, Butylene Glycol, Simethicone, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Calcium Pantothenate. Extracts of: Chamomile, Comfrey, Echinacea, Fenugeek, Garlic, Lemon Peel, Propolis, Sage. White Oak Bark, Yarrow, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Lactic Acid, Corn (Zea Mays) Oil (and) Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate) (and) Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate), Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyetanol, Trisodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea.
Step 2: Water, Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Stearic Acid, Octyl Dimethyl PABA, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Cetyl Acetate (and) Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Mineral Oil, Isopropyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate), Dimethicone Xanthan Gum, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Sulfite, Sodium Bisulfite, Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea.
Step 3: Aloe Barbadensis Gel (Aloe Vera Gel), Propylene Glycol, Isopropyl Palmitate, Sorbitol, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Squalene, Laureth-4 PEG-100 Stearate, Glycolic Acid, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Lactic Acid, Marine Collagen, Hydrolyzed Mucopolysaccharides, Sodium PCA, Sugar Cane Extract, Dimethicone, Polyethylene, Simethicone, Revitalin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Xanthan Gum, Triethanolamine, Trisodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Fragrance.

Is Hoof Maker cream for horses really good for your nails?

Kim’s question…Is Hoof maker for horses really good for finger nails? If it’s just a good moisturizer can you recommend another product that would work as well?

I checked out the Hoof Maker website and found that it’s made by the same company that makes Mane and Tail. The theme is the same across all these products and it goes something like this “we originally made these products to take care of horses but amazingly people put them on their hair and skin and found out that they are incredible.”

It’s certainly an interesting backstory but when you look at the specific claims they make for this Hoof Maker product it’s really not that remarkable. Here’s what they say:

“Now you can discover the mystery behind luxuriously soft skin and beautiful nails. The exclusive combination of intensive protein enriched ingredients enables your hands and body to achieve a natural feel while moisturizing dry and cracked skin. Originally developed for horses to moisturize dry, cracked, brittle hooves. Since applied to the hoof by human hands, over time many of those using Hoofmaker on their horses noticed dramatic improvement in the condition of their hands and nails.”

Here are some of their specific claims:

  • Moisturizes dry, cracked skin on hands, feet and other areas of the body
  • 
Fortifies nails and protects them against damage, maintaining their strength and flexibility
  • Softens and conditions, deeply penetrating rough, callused areas
  • Restores vital nutrients and essential moisture to dry skin and nails in a greaseless formula
  • 
A manicure and pedicure in a bottle

I took a look at the ingredients and expected this to be just another typical moisturizing formulation. However, I was surprised to find that it uses some fairly unconventional ingredients.

In a standard moisturizer you’d expect to find occlusive agents like petrolatum or mineral oil along with perhaps some hydrating agents like glycerin or hyaluronic acid or some other humectant. This product doesn’t use any of those occlusive agents. Instead its main ingredient is a chloride Quat, specifically distearyldimonium chloride.

This approach actually makes sense since it’s designed for nails rather than skin. Skin can be hydrated by locking in moisture but nails are a little bit different. So, rather than using an occlusive , the main ingredient is a fatty chloride quat, distearyldimonium chloride. I’ve seen this used before because it has a positive charge and can stick to skin. The product also appears to contain a good percentage of glycerin which should help bind moisture to the nail.

Coconut oil is also high on the ingredient list. We know how coconut oil is good for hair because it can penetrate into the keratin protein of hair I’ve never seen any data that shows it can penetrate into nails in a similar way but certainly has potential.

And lastly it contains a lactate salt which is good for nails in the same with lactic acid is good.

The only ingredient that seems to be missing that could make this product even better is some form of urea.

So all things being considered this is substantially different than a typical skin was to rising lotion. But to Kim’s question then how can you find a similar product that has a different scent. We did find a couple of other products that use a similar matrix of ingredients. Here they are.

Curel’s Youth-Defense Moisture Lotion
Water, Glycerin, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Petrolatum, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Hydrolyzed Collagen, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Corn Starch Modified, Dimethicone, Polypropylene, Beeswax (Apis Mellifera), Capric/Caprylic Stearic Triglyceride, Glyceryl Dilaurate, Alumina, Stearic Acid, Acacia Gum (Acacia Senegal) Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Gelatin, Disodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Titanium Dioxide, Fragrance

Gold Bond Ultimate Restoring Skin Therapy Lotion
Water, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Jojoba Esters, Petrolatum, Glyceryl Stearate, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Cetearyl Alcohol, Methyl Gluceth 20, Behentrimonium Methylsulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum (Shea Butter) Extract, Ubiquinone, Ceramide Complex 2, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Cocodimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Niacinamide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Retinyl Palmitate, PEG 10 Rapeseed Sterol, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Polysorbate 60, Stearamidopropyl PG Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Propylene Glycol, Steareth 21, Diazolidinyl Urea, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, EDTA (Ethylenediamine-Tetra-Acetic Acid), Propylparaben, Butylene Glycol, C12 15 Alkyl Benzoate, Tribehenin, Potassium Hydroxide

Hoof maker Ingredients
Water/Aqua/Eau, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine Lactate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Steareth-20, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, DMDM Hydantoin, Fragrance (Parfum), Methylparaben, Lanolin, PEG-150 Stearate, Propylparaben, Hydrolyzed Collagen Protein, PEG-25 Castor Oil, Sodium Chloride, Allantoin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Yellow #5 (CI 19140), Yellow #6 (CI 15985), Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Limonene, Linalool, Hydroxyisohexyl-3-Cyxlohexene Carboxaldehyde

Is Hexinol the latest anti-aging miracle?

Priyasha says…I was curious about this “Hexinol” technology range that the ROC brand has been marketing. They say it’s a brand new anti-aging technology they discovered. What exactly this hexinol technology is, and if in fact its just a silly anti-aging “ingredient” gimmick or if there is something substantial here. 


Here’s some info from the website for RoC which, by the way, is owned by J&J…

“After 7 years of research, RoC® Skincare scientists discovered a molecule that would impact signs of aging skin. This was the birth of HEXINOL® technology…it targets skin concerns associated with aging in a different way than other anti-aging ingredients.”

Here are some specific claims they make:

  • Restore elasticity and firmness
  • Improve radiance
  • Hydrate dry skin
  • Smooth the look of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Lighten the look of discoloration

Even though they say that Hexinol works “in a different way than other anti-aging ingredients” these are pretty standard claims that sound just like most other anti-aging ingredients!

We reviewed the ingredient lists for a couple of the ROC products and found that Hexinol is really just their trademarked name for the ingredient Hexylresorcinol.

(BTW, scientists must have HATED this because of the name. First of all hexinol sounds almost exactly like “hexanol” which is a different chemical, the alcohol made from hexane, which has nothing to do with anti-aging. Second, the “hex” name makes it sound like magic.)

So, what the heck is hexylresorcinol? You might be familiar with it because its been used for a long time as an antiseptic in products like mouthwashes and throat lozenges. But recently it’s also been shown to have skin lightening properties.

I don’t know if HR was discovered by J&J because other companies use this stuff, most notably Clarins. It’s sold by a company named Sytheon and I don’t believe there’s anything proprietary about it. Their trade is Synovia HR and their website does document three clinical tests that indicate the molecule has anti-aging properties:

First, in vitro testing shows HR inhibits the production of melanin (36% intercellular and 75% extracellular.) However, the test didn’t compare it to anything so I don’t know what that means.

Second, another in vitro test measured inhibition of the enzymes that convert tyrosine to melanin. This was done against other proven skin lightening actives and the results showed that HR is better than hydroquinone, licorice and kojic acid.

Third is a human clinical study comparing HR at 0.5% to hydroquinone at 2%. The tests measured two kinds of results.

The first result showed a higher ITA which stands for Individual Typography Angle. A higher ITA indicates better skin brightening. HR showed an improvement that’s about equivalent to HQ but since it only took 0.5% HR to get the same effect at 2% HQ they get to claim that HR is “4x more effective than HR.” That seems a bit misleading to me because it implies that it makes skin 4 times lighter than HQ and that’s not the case at all.

The second result was labeled simply as “% improvement in skin brightening” which doesn’t tell us anything about how the test was done. In any event, HR did about as well as HQ.

When looking for evidence of how an ingredient works you never want to exclusively rely on information from the supplier so we found that HR has been reviewed by other evidence-based beauty blogs like the Cosmetic Cop and Truth in Aging. Here’s what Paula Begon says…

“Hexylresorcinol is a synthetic ingredient that has been shown to have skin lightening ability in cell cultures but there is very limited research about it on skin. It is mostly an antioxidant, antiseptic and anesthetic.”

She also cited a study published in a 2013 edition of Journal of Drugs in Dermatology and said that…

“This study is often quoted as saying it worked better than or as well as 4% hydroquinone but 4 weeks is not long enough to judge that and again, and this was not about hexylresorcinol itself .”

Finally, the website Truth in Aging says…

”HR’s ability to target pathways in the skin that lead to hyperpigmentation has propelled it into the skin lightening ingredient category. There is also thought that Hexylresorcinol has more benefits as well, including an ability to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, increase protection against UVB and UVA rays, and improve the skin’s barrier against pollution and sun exposure.”

Unfortunately, the link to a source of their information didn’t work so I’m not sure where that info came from. (But I see that the supplier’s website makes some of these same claims.)

What’s the bottom line about HR? It appears to be a promising ingredient but we haven’t seen enough evidence to suggest that it’s better than other proven alternatives. If you’re looking for something new to try and you don’t mind the price, then I don’t see any reason not to give Hexinol a chance.

Ingredient lists for ROC products
Water, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Nylon 12, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Stearate, Hexyldecyl Stearate, PEG 100 Stearate, Sorbitan Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Hexylresorcinol, Titanium Dioxide, Isohexadecane, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Polysorbate 80, Acrylates/C10 30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Tocopheryl, Sucrose Cocoate, Ascorbic Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hydroxide, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract

Water, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Nylon 12, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Stearate, Hexyldecyl Stearate, PEG 100 Stearate, Sorbitan Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Hexylresorcinol, Titanium Dioxide, Isohexadecane, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Polysorbate 80, Acrylates/C10 30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Tocopheryl, Sucrose Cocoate, Ascorbic Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hydroxide, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract

iTunes Reviews

Abcfg says… Informative, funny, and relevant!

Kublakaan says….I love their nerdy, scientific, non-biased way of explaining the good and bad of beauty products. They obviously have a firm grasp on statistical analysis, data analysis, and obviously chemistry.  Despite all the hard science, they’re is easy to understand, and even funny. I’m a much wiser and selective consumer now that I can better spot the marketing traps that beauty companies use to milk us of our money!

Improbable Products

I read an article on 6 crazy spa treatments but they just weren’t crazy enough. So I made up one of my own. You guys have to guess which is the fake.

Chicken soup sauna
One Spa chain in the southern US will soak you in warm chicken soup which is rich in fats and proteins that nourish the skin.

Fire facial
This Chinese treatment uses a cool burning alcohol flame to stimulate skin and fight signs of aging.

Butter bath
In Ethiopian spas, women moisturize skin by rubbing butter all over your body and then melting it away with smoke.

Listen to the show for the answer!

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Support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free trial at Audible.com Is Dr. Varon’s skin bleaching system safe? Sarah asks…I have some questions about Dr. Varon’s skin bleaching system. It uses 2% hydroquinone. Is it safe to keep using? Support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free trial at Audible.com Is Dr. Varon’s skin bleaching system safe? Sarah asks…I have some questions about Dr. Varon’s skin bleaching system. It uses 2% hydroquinone. Is it safe to keep using? First let’s talk about skin bleaching actives. Hydroquinone, like many other actives, HQ ,like many […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 35:10
Why is Moroccan oil such a big deal in hair and skin products? Episode 110 https://thebeautybrains.com/2015/12/why-is-moroccan-oil-such-a-big-deal-in-hair-and-skin-products-episode-110/ Tue, 01 Dec 2015 06:01:16 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4510 https://thebeautybrains.com/2015/12/why-is-moroccan-oil-such-a-big-deal-in-hair-and-skin-products-episode-110/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2015/12/why-is-moroccan-oil-such-a-big-deal-in-hair-and-skin-products-episode-110/feed/ 7 Support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free trial at Audible.com Perry and I are taking a little time off to celebrate the holidays. In the meantime, please listen to this LOST EPISODE to hear Sara Bellum and Left Brain talk about Moroccan oil in beauty products.

Support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free trial at Audible.comOlive_oil_from_Oneglia

Perry and I are taking a little time off to celebrate the holidays. In the meantime, please listen to this LOST EPISODE to hear Sara Bellum and Left Brain talk about Moroccan oil in beauty products.

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Support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free trial at Audible.com Perry and I are taking a little time off to celebrate the holidays. In the meantime, please listen to this LOST EPISODE to hear Sara Bellum and Left Brain talk about Moroccan oil i... Support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free trial at Audible.com Perry and I are taking a little time off to celebrate the holidays. In the meantime, please listen to this LOST EPISODE to hear Sara Bellum and Left Brain talk about Moroccan oil in beauty products. Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 37:37
Would you use spray on nail polish? Episode 109 https://thebeautybrains.com/2015/11/would-you-use-spray-on-nail-polish-episode-109/ Tue, 24 Nov 2015 06:01:25 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4504 https://thebeautybrains.com/2015/11/would-you-use-spray-on-nail-polish-episode-109/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2015/11/would-you-use-spray-on-nail-polish-episode-109/feed/ 13 Support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free trial at Audible.com Would you use spray on nail polish? A company called Nails, Inc has launched the first spray on nail polish. The line is called “The Paint Can” and it just launched in the UK (coming soon to the U.S.). It’s not on the company’s US […]

Support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free trial at Audible.com

Would you use spray on nail polish?spray-315164_640

A company called Nails, Inc has launched the first spray on nail polish. The line is called “The Paint Can” and it just launched in the UK (coming soon to the U.S.). It’s not on the company’s US website yet but according to an article published by The Gloss….

“The revolutionary nail polish is different than anything you have used before. It promises pigment that cannot be replicated in a regular nail polish and a faster drying time. Plus, it claims that you can paint your nails in seconds.”

We can’t test this yet because it’s not available here in the US but here’s what we think about it based their claims and on our understanding of the science of nail polish formulations.

The key claim is obviously the time savings. They say it allows you to paint your nails in seconds. It almost sounds like a miracle but there’s no mention of any trade offs in polish appearance or durability.

But there’s simply no way this type of product (which we are told is water-based) will provide the same degree of hardness and chip resistance as a conventional polish. That’s because the types of polymers that are required to form a very hard nail finish require solvents. A water-based product requires some degree of compromise when it comes to how hard the nail finish will be. Apparently that’s why they tell you you have to use a topcoat with this product.

Which brings me to my next point – how much time will product really save you First you have some preparation to do which involves laying down old towels or whatever on the surface that you’re going to spray on. Then there’s the spray part – actually that is very quick since it takes only about 20 seconds. (By the way if you’re really spraying 20 seconds worth of product out of such a small can I wouldn’t expect to get very many uses which means it’s likely to be more expensive than a conventional polish.)

Then you have to clean up the overspray. At the very least you have to carefully wash your hands and presumably you have to clean the towels you just sprayed on or whatever else the spray came in contact with. Finally you have to apply a topcoat.

Also doesn’t it seem strange that the color options are so few? Colorants or one of the most regulated ingredients in all of cosmetics. It strikes me as odd that this product’s claims to use colors “that cannot be replicated in a regular nail polish.” If they’re using FDA approved colorants how can they be unique to this product?

Finally, do we have a good reason to believe that this company has done inhalation testing on this formulation? When considering the safety of any formulation you have to consider the routes of entry. In other words if it’s on your skin is it likely to penetrate skin if it’s on your lips is it likely to be accidentally swallowed. In the case of an aerosol product like this then you have to ask about inhalation. Inhalation testing is some of the most expensive and complicated safety testing that you can do. To some extent it’s also still dependent on animal testing. If this were coming from one of the larger companies I would have a high degree of confidence that it was properly tested. I don’t know this company very well so it’s hard to make that assessment but it is a question that should be asked.

So what’s the bottom line here? This overall this feels like a gimmick to me. It may be a fun to use product just because of its different motive application but it certainly doesn’t seem like it’s going to capture the market. I predict we may see a brief popularity of this sort of delivery form but it will not last in the long run because it doesn’t really provide that much of a consumer benefit.

The Internet makes people think they know more than they do.

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You know I love the Internet and on balance I think it helps society more than it harms. However, here is some new research that suggests the Internet can give a person the illusion of knowledge which makes people think they are smarter than they really are. I know I have a couple of siblings who suffer from this.

According to researchers who are investigating how the Internet affects our thinking, they found that just having access to the information on the Internet gives you the illusion that you know it and therefore an overconfidence in your own knowledge.

This is how people with no background in toxicology can “know” that synthetic ingredients like parabens, formaldehyde donors, phthalates, and all the other vilified ingredients in cosmetics are dangerous. It’s always amazed me that people with no scientific background are so completely sure of themselves about the impact of quote toxic un-quote ingredients.

Well this study might shed more light on what I call the University of Google effect. In research published by Matt Fisher of Yale University, they asked people to provide answers to fact-based questions. For example “Why are there time zones?” Half the participants were instructed to look up the answers on the Internet before answering and the other were told not to look up the answer. Then they were asked how confidently they could explain the answers to a second set of questions, like How is Vinegar made?

It turns out people who had used the internet to search for the answers to the first set of questions felt more confident about their ability to answer the second set of questions than the people who didn’t look up the answers. There was something about the act of looking answers up on the Internet that made people feel smarter about all other topics than they otherwise would.

There was another article the suggests a cure to this problem. In this research they found that if someone gave an answer and you said you were going to actually look it up, people’s confidence in their answers went down. So if you have the ability to check the accuracy of someone’s knowledge, they have much less confidence in it.

So, the next time you hear someone say that some ingredient is a miracle cure or another ingredient in a cosmetic will cause cancer, just pull out your phone and look it up on the Internet.

And if you’re looking for answers about beauty products, there are few other places to go than to The Beauty Brains. Of course, we probably suffer form the same overconfidence in other areas of knowledge but we really do have the experience and knowledge when it comes to beauty products.

Another split and breakthrough?

We’ve talked before about split end mending products and how most of them don’t do anything more than split and prevention. That’s because any good conditioner that smooths the hair and reduces friction will help prevent split ends from forming.

We’ve been aware of just one technology that actually works. It’s something we developed for the Tresemme line, although it is found in a few other hair care products. This is the PolyElectrolyte Complex or PEC. It works by getting into the split and then shrinking it shut. The material sticks around through multiple washings and it also provides an unusual slick feel which some people really love. What’s most amazing about it is that it can do this from a rinse out product. Up until now this is the only ingredient that we have seen proven to work this way but it appears there’s a new kid in town.

One of the premier hair care ingredient companies in the world, Croda, has developed a complex that they call Crodabond CSA. That’s their brand name for a mixture of Hydrogenated Castor Oil and Sebacic Acid Copolymer.

According to Croda, this material sticks to lifted cuticles and cements them down. I’m not exactly sure what the mode of action really is because just cementing the cuticle won’t seal a split end. You have to get inside the fragmented remains of the cortex and weld that back together. But Croda does know a LOT about this area because we’ve seen other research they’ve done. Apparently CSA also has a high refractive index which means it improve the shine of hair. Best of all it also works from a rinse out product.

Croda efficacy tested the complex in ways that were similar to ones we’ve used. You take hair tresses and artificially generate split ends by flogging them. You count the splits under a microscope, treat the tresses with the product and a control, then recount the splits. Then, you wash the tresses and repeat the count to see how many split ends stay glued shut and how many popped open again. In addition they used consumer testing which established that the difference was not only technically valid but was consumer perceivable. Seems like a valid approach because they combined lab and consumer data.

Now here or things to watch out for: All this testing was done by the supplier under what I assume was optimal conditions. We don’t know how this ingredient will perform in any given formula when used properly (right concentration, optimized for delivery.)

These kind of ingredients tend to be touchy to formulate with because they require a carefully balanced system to deposit appropriately. Some companies who don’t do their homework simply throw the ingredient in a stock formula and then assume it will work. The bigger companies have more R&D dollars so they will take the time to optimize the formula and then test it to confirm it works.

Right now, since this is fairly new, I’ve only seen a few product that use this ingredient and none of them are from large R&D departments. Instead they’re from salon brands:

  • Alterna Bamboo Smooth Anti-Frizz Conditioner
  • ALTERNA BAMBOO Color Hold & Vibrant Color Conditioner
  • Sexy Hair Concepts Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Milk Daily Conditioner

So is this “new kid in town” really a beauty breakthrough? That remains to be seen but if split ends are really a problem for you and you want to try something that is backed by some science then it looks like products with Hydrogenated Castor oil/Sebacic acid copolymer maybe worth a try.

Can acupuncture reduce pimples?

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We here on the Beauty Brains like to keep an eye out for alternative treatments because you never know what interesting new technology might work. For example the fragrance that repels insects.

But there are a lot of people out there who make up fake products and try to separate you from your money without actually helping your problem. Here is one such technology.

I read this article with the headline “can acupuncture reduce pimples?” I scoffed of course but then was appalled to read that it was written by a medical doctor who’s conclusion was that “yes” it can.

According to this doctor “acne is caused by intense Lung Heat or Stomach Heat, Damp–Heat with Blood Stasis, and Qi (vital energy) Stagnation. Thus, Acupoint stimulation for acne relieves Heat toxicity, eliminate Dampness, regulate the Qi and Blood, and enhance immunologic function. It might balance androgen levels to inhibit excess oil secretion of the sebaceous gland.”

And this doctor goes on to say that 12 weeks of acupuncture treatments helps reduce acne.

This story really bothers me.

First, it’s been studied thoroughly and the conclusion is that acupuncture has no effect beyond being a placebo. Some people might disagree and point to studies showing it helps reduce pain in certain circumstances but this evidence is weak, improperly controlled, and not compelling. And you know why it’s not compelling? Because acupuncture is not real. Qi and energies and all that is not real.

And it certainly not going to help stop your acne. If you want to stop acne use a treatment that has been proven to work. Salicylic acid, or Benzoyl Peroxide or Tetracycline. Don’t be fooled into wasting money on things that do-not-work!

It’s so frustrating! And this guy is a doctor. That just makes it worse. Alright, let’s move on. I think I made my point.

Do you love your fave fragrance because of the bottle shape?

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I read an interesting article about the impact of the shape of a perfume bottle on your olfactory perception of how much you like the way it smells. The basic idea is that an exotic looking package that connotes high-quality can subconsciously influence people to assume the fragrance smells better. It’s not all that surprising when you think about it because we’ve seen similar studies – for example, you can put the cheap wine in a bottle from expensive brand and people will think it taste better.

Here are some examples of unusual perfume bottles:

  • Mark Jacobs Decadence looks like either a little black purse or a lunchbox.
  • Victor and Rolf Spice Bomb literally looks like a hand grenade which is one of the reasons you don’t see flight attendants wearing it very often.
  • Thierry Mugler’s Alien looks like one of the Infinity Gems from the Avengers movies.
  • Donna Karan’s Cashmere Mist looks a little like some kind of sex toy.

But my point is…there’s more innovation in fragrance packaging than almost any other area of cosmetics. Why is that? Really it comes down to two reasons.

First, perfume has to be packaged in the glass. That’s because the fragrance oils are so aggressive they will soften most types of plastic. Not only does that potentially make the fragrance smell funny but it can actually weaken a plastic bottle. Glass is much more inert so it’s almost exclusively used for fragrance. And glass, unlike plastic, is rigid enough to support a greater variety of unusual shapes. So it makes sense that there are more design options.

Second, and this is probably even a bigger driver packaging innovation, the profit margins on fragrance are huge compared to other products. It’s not unusual for a bottle of perfume to cost 75 or $100. The cost of the raw materials are not that great so that allows more money to be spent on packaging marketing and advertising.

Also unlike other cosmetic products there really are no claims that can be used to sell the product. So an unusual bottle can be used to attract people’s attention rather than flashy claims.

Victoria’s Secret fragrance repels bugs

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According to research published in the October issue of the Journal of Insect Science, the fragrance called Victoria Secret Bombshell showed a modest mosquito repellency effect. Unfortunately, other things that have been traditionally touted as alternatives to DEET had little to no effect.

Let me digress. In the insect repellency world there are a limited number of things that have been proven to work. The main tool for formulators is N,N Diethyl-meta-toluamide or DEET. Now, DEET works and this research demonstrates that it does. But many people have safety concerns about the side effect of DEET and this has created a market for “natural” DEET-free insect repellents. I know growing up my mom would give us the Avon Skin-so-Soft product and burn citronella candles. I thought that skin-so-soft smelled awful and it didn’t seem to work.

In this study, researchers looked at a variety of products to see how well they repelled mosquitos. Here’s what they found.

DEET worked. It provided protection for 240 min or more.
And it was dose dependent. More DEET, better protection.

The Cutter product with oil of lemon eucalyptus which has a high concentration of p-methane-3-8-diol also worked. This would be a good alternative for people afraid of DEET.

Other products like Avon Skin-so-soft bath oil and skin-so-soft with bug guard had practically no effect. Neither did the EcoSmart organic insect repellent which is made up of different oils like rosemary oil, lemongrass oil, and cinnamon oil. The Cutter natural repellent made with geraniol and soybean oil didn’t work either. And the mosquito skin patch was useless too.

But the Victoria Secret Bombshell fragrance showed good protection for 120 min. In fact it was as good as DEET products over that time period. So maybe there is something in that fragrance that could be used as an alternative.

The bottom line is that if you are looking for a product to keep mosquitos away, pick something with DEET but if you want to smell nice, then the Victoria Secret Bombshell fragrance might be the way to go.

Will 3-D printed hair change the world?

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In Episode 104 we played a game of Improbable Products with frozen hair, pixelated hair and 3d printed hair extensions. It turns out printed hair is real!

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania figured out how to do exactly that. Here’s a quote from the webpage that summarizes their research:

“We introduce a technique for furbricating 3D printed hair, fibers and bristles, by exploiting the stringing phenomena inherent in fused deposition modeling 3D printers.”

Apparently they were inspired by using a glue gun. You know how you get the little thin wispy filament of glue after you touch the end of the gun to what ever you’re applying glue to? They modified a 3-D printer to mimic that effect. The effect is a bit crude right now but they demonstrate that they can print little hair tresses in different colors. Another cool thing is that they can actually print that here is part of a larger object. For example they could print a toy horse with a tail.

There’s a video on their website that shows all this along with a couple other examples that include the troll, a wizard, and inexplicably a finger with hair on it. How did THAT become the poster child for this technology? It makes no sense.

The hair can be put in the braided although I’m not sure if it can be curled.
Imagine how cool it would be to scan a lock of your own hair and then instantly print hair extensions in the exact colors to match.

iTunes Reviews

I’m a beauty brainiac says…5 stars I have been overspending on my face cleanser that actually worked for me. Upon listening to your podcasts, I recently discovered a generic version with the same ingredient list for 1/3 of the price. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. I too have become a beauty brainiac.
Golden ears 1983 from the UK says…The Beauty Brains podcast is quite simply a must listen show. Years ago I purchased products mostly based on marketing claims, fancy packing and scent. Since listening to the show and reading the blog posts, I’ve learned a tonne of useful and eye opening information. I can now see past the gimmicks and hype and make informed choices based on the information that matters… The ingredient list!

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Support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free trial at Audible.com Would you use spray on nail polish? A company called Nails, Inc has launched the first spray on nail polish. The line is called “The Paint Can” and it just launched in the UK (comi... Support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free trial at Audible.com Would you use spray on nail polish? A company called Nails, Inc has launched the first spray on nail polish. The line is called “The Paint Can” and it just launched in the UK (coming soon to the U.S.). It’s not on the company’s US […] Discover the beauty and cosmetic products you should use and avoid clean 37:58
If Pantene is so good why isn’t it sold in salons? Episode 108 https://thebeautybrains.com/2015/11/if-pantene-is-so-good-why-isnt-it-sold-in-salons-episode-108/ Tue, 17 Nov 2015 06:01:40 +0000 http://thebeautybrains.com/?p=4498 https://thebeautybrains.com/2015/11/if-pantene-is-so-good-why-isnt-it-sold-in-salons-episode-108/#comments https://thebeautybrains.com/2015/11/if-pantene-is-so-good-why-isnt-it-sold-in-salons-episode-108/feed/ 39 Support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free trial at Audible.com. Question of the week: Why isn’t Pantene in salons? Tyler asks…I would just like to say if Pantene is sooo amazing and works so well them why isn’t it sold in a salon when the company could make way more money if they […]

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Question of the week: Why isn’t Pantene in salons?05dc98d24d0e8507e7e34903fa9bf1fe-d5kgmjf

Tyler asks…I would just like to say if Pantene is sooo amazing and works so well them why isn’t it sold in a salon when the company could make way more money if they sold it in a salon. I’m a hairdresser and every time someone uses pantene I can feel a build up on there hair and there hair is in terrible shape. But everyone is different so if you like Pantene then fine. But ask yourself if this product line is suppose to be so good why isn’t it in a salon?

Now that you’ve heard the question let me give you a little bit of background information. The Pantene brand is the source of a long standing controversy, not only on our website but across the internet. Essentially the debate is over whether or not Pantene is good for your hair. There are those who say it makes your hair fall out, others say that it coats your hair with plastic and suffocates it, others (and this is my favorite) is that it makes your hair FEEL healthy but it’s actually making it worse/break, etc.

People are so passionate about this. We even had one fan of ours who is a hairdresser volunteer to do a blind test to see if she really could tell if hair had been treated with Pantene or not. We washed hair tresses with two different sets of shampoo and conditioner when was Pantene and another was a salon brand selected by her. The tresses were washed and dried in multiple cycles and then I even masked the scent by putting a little fragrance on the tresses so she couldn’t smell which one was which and then I sent her the tresses and had her record her guesses. The results were… she scored less than chance but unfortunately the exact details were lost in our server crash of 2013.

So despite our best attempts to refute these rumors the controversy rages on. But before we explain exactly why Pantene is not used in salons, let’s review the history of this iconic beauty brand.

By the way before somebody accuses us of being shills for Pantene, that’s not the case.