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Rank #13 in Fashion & Beauty category

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The Beauty Brains

Updated 3 days ago

Rank #13 in Fashion & Beauty category

Arts
Fashion & Beauty
Science
Natural Sciences
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Real scientists answer your beauty questions

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Real scientists answer your beauty questions

iTunes Ratings

547 Ratings
Average Ratings
396
118
11
14
8

Awesome

By dpgp3 - Jan 07 2020
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You two are great, very informative! The best skincare podcast!!

Very informative

By Xftcdr - Nov 20 2019
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This podcast does a great job of using scientific evidence to discuss beauty products.

iTunes Ratings

547 Ratings
Average Ratings
396
118
11
14
8

Awesome

By dpgp3 - Jan 07 2020
Read more
You two are great, very informative! The best skincare podcast!!

Very informative

By Xftcdr - Nov 20 2019
Read more
This podcast does a great job of using scientific evidence to discuss beauty products.
Cover image of The Beauty Brains

The Beauty Brains

Latest release on Jan 22, 2020

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Real scientists answer your beauty questions

Rank #1: Why isn’t everyone exfoliating with AHAs? Episode 159

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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 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.”

Mar 21 2017

33mins

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Rank #2: Are beauty products from Amazon the real thing? Episode 164

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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 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

Sep 29 2017

19mins

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Rank #3: Are Micellar Water makeup removers the real deal? Episode 150

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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 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

Link

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

Link

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.

Link

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.

Please support the Beauty Brains by signing up for a free audio book at Audible.com.

Click here to get your free audio book.

Sep 13 2016

37mins

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Rank #4: Collagen for skin, tea tree oil for acne and other beauty questions – episode 199

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The Beauty Brains answer questions about…

  • Should you take collagen supplements?
  • Is there a difference between men & women’s hair care?
  • Is tea tree oil is as effective as benzoyl peroxide
  • Can Vitamin C change color?

Beauty News

Natural cosmetic act is introduced in congress (in the US)

The purple hair challenge is going viral – I have no idea why

Beauty Questions

Question 1: KH says – Hi. Is there any difference in the formulas besides fragrance? Suave Professional Men Daily Clean Shampoo says “Refreshing Shampoo made specifically for men’s hair”  Is this BS? Thanks.

Question 2: Kristin – Is tea tree oil as effective as benzoyl peroxide at removing blemishes? You don’t have to dilute it in a carrier oil as with other essential oils?  How true is this?

Question 3:

Hello BB,  I am a new subscriber to your podcasts and have been learning so much from binge-listening to past episodes. I wonder if you can look at the information in the following link and comment on some of the claims made. I take supplements sporadically – usually when in winter (we’re getting into that season in England now). I have tried collagen supplements in the past but found it made no difference to my skin. I continue to take vitamin c, d and sometimes a multivitamin as an ‘insurance policy’. Am I wasting my money?  Thank you.

Question 4: I recently came across an… interesting product from Farmacy, a brand known for its honey-based salve and mask. The product in question is the Bright On Massage-Activated Vitamin C Mask. In the description, amongst other things, they state the following: “As you massage it into your skin, the vitamin C capsules burst, turning the mask from lavender to green, so you know it’s working to bring out your brightest, most perfect skin.” I have personally never heard of Vitamin C changing color in such a manner to indicate efficacy or activation. How/why does this supposedly work, or is it just a gimmick?

Link to show notes

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
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Thanks again for listening and remember Be Brainy about your Beauty

Nov 12 2019

40mins

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Rank #5: Is Charlotte Tilbury Multi-Miracle cream really miraculous? Episode 149

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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 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?

Sep 06 2016

33mins

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Rank #6: Are super foods good for your skin? Episode 137

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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? 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

Support the Beauty Brains by writing an iTunes review

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/

Jun 14 2016

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Rank #7: Should you be worried about aluminum in deodorants? Episode 134

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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 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.

Support the Beauty Brains by writing an iTunes review

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.

May 24 2016

33mins

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Rank #8: Jade Rollers – Micellar water – and more – Episode 171

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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, 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.

Jan 28 2019

44mins

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Rank #9: Are cosmetics safer in Europe than in the US? Episode 101

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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 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!!

Mar 05 2019

38mins

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Rank #10: Your hair care questions answered – episode 180

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

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

Beauty Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Curl Immersion Triple Treat Deep Conditioner Ingredients:

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

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

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

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

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

Hi Beauty Brains,

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

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

Tips for minimizing hair damage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Journal of Society of Cosmetic Chemists


Google Scholar

Cosmetic Chemists on Twitter

Next time

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

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on Instagram we’re at thebeautybrains2018

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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

Apr 23 2019

47mins

Play

Rank #11: How can I tell if a product will cause acne? Episode 155

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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.

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

Link

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.

Oct 18 2016

30mins

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Rank #12: Does an anti-aging skin cleanser really exist? Episode 148

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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 notes.

Aug 30 2016

36mins

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Rank #13: Natural ingredients for hair and skin – what works? episode 187

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

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

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

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

Kitchen Cosmetics

Will lemon juice lighten up darkened armpits?

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

Beauty Questions

Question 1 – Water Hardness

Question 2 – What natural hair ingredients are effective?

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

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

Transcript of show can be found here

Follow the Brains

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

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Thanks again for listening and remember Be Brainy about your Beauty

Jun 24 2019

53mins

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Rank #14: How to test beauty products yourself – Episode 121

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How to investigate a cosmetic product

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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?

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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.

Feb 23 2016

37mins

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Rank #15: Can the Think Dirty app really protect you from dangerous cosmetics? Episode 145

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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.

Aug 09 2016

31mins

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Rank #16: Why do women pay more for beauty products? Episode 117

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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

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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?

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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?

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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

Jan 26 2016

33mins

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Rank #17: Is aloe vera lotion really good for skin? Episode 156

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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 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?

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/

Oct 25 2016

32mins

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Rank #18: Are boar bristle brushes better for your hair? Episode 138

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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 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.

Beauty Science News

Waste foods as beauty ingredients

The Pope likes beauty bloggers

Denmark may ban micro-beads

App that maps the wrinkles on your face

Chicken-Flavored Nail Polish

Tattoos can improve your immune system

Home remedy beauty product destroys a woman’s face 

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!

Jun 21 2016

54mins

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Rank #19: The Curly Girl Method – what’s the science? episode 170

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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? 

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.

Jan 21 2019

44mins

Play

Rank #20: Clean beauty, oil cleansing and more – episode 194

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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 On today’s episode we answer your questions about  

  • Is oil cleansing better for your skin?
  • How should you treat seborrheic dermatitis?
  • What do you think of the Active Beauty products?

Special guest brain, Sarah Bellum!

*Sorry about the sound quality. We had a different setup for this episode.

Beauty News

Allure starts it’s own clean beauty certification

Beauty Questions

Question 1 – Katherine says Hi, I just wanted to get your opinion on this product (Glossier Body Hero Daily Oil Wash). They have an Instagram post which doesn’t make any sense to me from a scientific perspective, so I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Question 2 – Stephanie says – I’m not a chemist and I need some direction on properly incorporating liquid tinctures into my rice water. I have low porosity curly hair but my scalp suffers from chronic seborrheic dermatitis.

I’ve been using rice water for several months. I love the results and I would like to safely incorporate onion, garlic, cayenne and ginger tinctures into my rice water regimen.

My question is, what number of drops of the tinctures would be safe as well as effective to add to the rice water? Any guidance that you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Question 3 – Luke says – Hey there beauty brains, I came across this new ‘next generation’ skin care product called face gym. I’m kind of sick of brands creating new products and boasting so wildly about the benefits without any research or evidence to back it up. They use terms like ‘scientifically formulated’, ‘medical grade’, ‘stem cells’, ‘detox’… really grinds my gears hearing all this marketing talk. Can you shed some light on whether or not there is any truth to these claims with new and innovative products?

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.

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Sep 20 2019

30mins

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Does Diet Affect Acne – plus SkinMedica serum and hair damage – episode 207

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On today’s program we are going to talk about a couple of beauty industry news stories and answer your questions about…

  1. Is an expensive skin serum worth the money even it if is from a pharmaceutical company?
  2. Which is more damaging, hot water or hot styling devices?
  3. Do nutrition pads work to deliver actives?
  4. Can a shampoo or conditioner make your hair grow faster?

Beauty Science News

New York is putting limits on 1,4 Dioxane
What does this mean for shampoos and body washes?

Gweneth Paltro is at it again – Vagina candles

Beauty Questions

Question 1 – Paula asks – Skin Medica – TNS essential serum and recovery complex. Do these products do what they claim? It can strengthen sagging skin through anti-aging peptides + growth factorIs the product worth the money? Do the ingredients do what they claim?

Wow!  $281 for a one ounce product!  That’s amazing. I wonder how many they actually sell. I’m just blown away.  

Skin Medica essential Serum

Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media, Water/Aqua/Eau, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Unsaponifiables, Alpha-Arbutin, Isoceteth-20, Arachidyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Ethoxydiglycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Dimethicone, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Ergothioneine, Hydrolyzed Sericin, Phospholipids, Ubiquinone, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Leaf Extract, Saccharomyces Ferment Lysate Filtrate, Aminobutyric Acid, Phytosterols, Tocopherol, Tocotrienols, Squalene, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax (Oryza Sativa Cera), Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Alcohol, Steareth-10, Steareth-20, Butylene Glycol, Maltodextrin, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Aminomethyl Propanol, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Parfum/Fragrance, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool, Coumarin, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Geraniol, Isoeugenol

Question 2  

Does hot water damage hair more than hot styling devices?

Both are damaging but from a heat standpoint, the styling device are worse. But really, these are two different types of damage on the hair that can’t compare.

Question 3  

Ingredients by Louise shared a post with us via Instagram about a brand called Le-Vel. They are selling “wearable nutrition” as part of their Thrive product portfolio. The patches, featuring Derma Fusion Technology, promises that technology meets premium nutrition. The patches are placed on the arm to deliver – over an extended period of time – ForsLean, Green Coffee Bean Extract, Garcinia Cambogia, CoQ10, White Willow Bark, Cosmoperine, Limonene, Aloe Vera and L-Arginine. 

It’s unlikely you’ll get any noticeable benefit out of using this product.

Classic MLM marketing tactic! 

Question 4   

One Drink Bona asks, I’m a hairdresser that loves listening to ya’ll. I have clients that always want to grow more hair or make their hair grow faster. Some have always had finer hair and some have gone through chemo. Is there a shampoo and conditioner or topical solution that does actually do this? Is there one that is the best? Thank you so much!

If your hair is slow growing or not growing due to a deficiency, taking a vitamin that addresses that deficiency may help, but if you’re not deficient, you’ll just urinate them out. 

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

Jan 22 2020

48mins

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How do cosmetics impact the environment? episode 206

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Beauty Science News stories

On today’s program we are going to talk about a couple of beauty industry news stories and answer your questions about…

  1. Aluminum hydroxide in topical products
  2. Whether lip scrubs are worthwhile
  3. The environmental impact of cosmetics
  4. And what the differences are between bentonite and charcoal in a facial mask

Beauty Science News

Talc is not linked to cancer – I wonder if that will affect the court cases

Regenerative beauty: Aussie skin care brand sees luxury potential in horse placenta

There is a challenge with using ingredients that are derived from animal protein, fat, tallow, placenta, etc, and that is transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, also known as TSE when speaking about animals in general, or BSE when speaking about cattle. 

Recall Alert

Say Yes To Recalls their Yes to Grapefruit VITAMIN C GLOW-BOOSTING UNICORN PEEL-OFF MASK

Pictures of complaints

Ingredient list: Water (Aqua), Ethyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Algin, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Mica, Ascorbic Acid*, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Tin Oxide (CI 77861), Ethylhexylglycerin, Chlorphenesin, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene. *Vitamin C

Beauty Questions

Question 1 – Jodi from LA – What is aluminum hydroxide and is it bad if it is in a diaper rash cream?

Aluminum hydroxide is an approved active ingredient to treat diaper rash. It has been approved as safe and effective at a level of up to 5%. This means that the product has gone through medical trials and been proven to be safe & effective. It has an absorbant effect which makes it work. It also has no known skin toxicity so there isn’t anything to worry about.

However, people hear the word “aluminum” and they automatically get scared. There is no reason to be scared but unfortunately, fear-marketers have made people afraid of anything with aluminum, especially antiperspirants and products that are applied to the skin of babies. But these ingredients have been tested and they are safe. I don’t know how to convince people that think otherwise though. 

Question 2  – Ben A La Mode (Instagram) – I feel that lip scrubs and masks are all the rage these days, and I am not sure if they have long term benefits. I know that a scrub may make lips feel soft in the moment, but will they make my lips feel and look younger over time? Which ingredients are good for these scrubs and moisturizers to have?

Question 3  Wahde was wondering if we could help with a paper he wanted to write on the impact of cosmetic use and the environment. He says, can you please help by providing info for contributing factors that identify cosmetics as an environmental health problem?   And consequences that would arise if the problem is left unsolved or unsolved. Anything will help! Thank you so much!

There are a few ways in which cosmetics impact the environment. They include…

  1. Chemicals getting into our waterways
  2. Toxic chemicals
  3. Microplastics 
  4. Air pollution
  5. Plastic going into landfills

What can consumers do? I don’t really know. I saw the advice that people should make their own cosmetics but this isn’t such a great idea. If you are going to use stuff in your kitchen to make cosmetics they aren’t going to work as well as a standard product. Now, you can buy cosmetic ingredients from home crafter suppliers but if you add up the environmental impact of making it yourself, that’s also not going to be better for the environment. I guess the best that you might be able to do is to buy fewer products and buy from companies that have transparent sustainability programs. And just remember, just because a company says they are environmentally friendly doesn’t automatically mean they are. Cosmetic companies are still in the business to get you to buy more and more product. Even the environmentally friendly ones.

Question 4   – Ravi asks, What are the differences between the mechanism of charcoal and bentonite when they work on your face in cosmetic products?

I couldn’t find any literature about which had more absorbing capacity, but in general, you would use a higher percentage of bentonite in a formulation so I would imagine that you have more absorption capacity. Additionally, I couldn’t find any literature about topical application of charcoal and the adsorption benefits, just the ingestion. However, suppliers of bentonite have done studies about sebum reduction and removal of iron from the skin, while adding beneficial trace minerals like magnesium and silicon.

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

Jan 15 2020

50mins

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Do you need to reapply sunscreen indoors? episode 205

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It’s a special episode with Perry and Sarah Bellum. On today’s episode we’re going to be answering your beauty questions about 

  1. Do you need to reapply sunscreen if I’m indoor all day?
  2. Why is ferulic acid used with vitamin C?
  3. Are vampire facial good for your skin?
  4. Why isn’t there more recycling?
  5. Does Revitalash really work?
  6. Are cosmetician brands really better?
  7. What other podcasts do you listen to?
  8. What are some trends you see in new technology for beauty products?

Beauty News

How accurate are those beauty product DNA tests

This article was title How accurate are those beauty product DNA tests and it was posted on the Huffpost. They were pondering whether beauty products formulated with your DNA profile in mind were effective. They gave examples of the company Strands Hair Care which gets your DNA profile from a sample of your hair to formulate hair products for you and ORIG3N which offers beauty product advice based on beauty DNA tests.

They did the standard two sides thing where the expert in favor of the technique was, of course, selling products and DNA consultations. She used a lot of “sciencesplaining” and concluded that it definitely worked. The article also offered a reference to a 2018 paper published in the Journal  Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology and suggested that research supported the use of individual DNA testing for cosmetic application. I read the article and that was not the conclusion. The authors merely said it might be possible.

At present, I don’t think it is possible. There are a lot of things going against DNA testing for your skin or hair but the main one is that we formulators have no idea what to do with the information. Formulating is not a high-precision activity. We find ingredients that generally work and make educated guesses to how much should be included in a formula. Even if a formulator knew everything about your DNA sequence we don’t know what specific genes matter for your skin or hair, how they interact to produce collagen, elastin, or to grow hair. And it says nothing about the external environmental effects on your skin and hair. Identical twins might not respond the same to identical treatments. For example, if one twin got their hair bleached and the other didn’t, their genetics would not tell you what type of hair products were best for them.

No doubt these types of products will continue to gain in popularity. Or at least more companies are going to be launching them.  But it’s still just a marketing gimmick and you aren’t going to get any significant benefit by having a product designed specifically for your skin or hair DNA.

Question 1 (Audio question)

If sunscreen isn’t exposed to the sun can it last all day? Do I need a product to reapply sunscreen if I’m inside all day?
The idea of reapplying sunscreen is not primarily because the sunscreen breaks down. In fact, sunscreens mostly do not break down upon exposure to sunlight. According to Dr. Steven Q. Wang, the director of dermatology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center the advice to reapply sunscreens every two hours was mostly because people don’t put enough on initially. This was a way to get people to apply closer to the right amount. I also think that when you’re at the beach and you’re sweating and going in the water, the sunscreen film can get broken so it makes sense to reapply.  

It is probably not necessary to reapply if you are just going to be indoors however. Sunscreen is pretty stable when not exposed to UV light and even then the sunscreens are stable. Zinc oxide certainly isn’t going to stop working.  So, I don’t think you really need to worry about reapplying sunscreen if you are just going to be indoors. I highly doubt you will notice any difference especially if you are in a standard office building and don’t have any exposure to UV light.

Question 2
Ayu asks – What is the science behind the claim that Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid stabilize Vitamin C (L-ascorbic Acid)? And is there ever a shelf-stable formulation of L-ascorbic Acid?

There was a paper published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology in 2005 titled “Ferulic Acid Stabilizes a Solution of Vitamins C and E and Doubles its Photoprotection of Skin.” It claimed that a 15% solution of Vitamin C and a 1% solution of Vitamin E were stabilized and the photoprotection of skin was improved by adding 0.5% Ferulic acid. They showed some interesting results when the product was applied to the skin of weanling white Yorkshire pigs. Animals that got the treatment the combination of three antioxidants experienced less sun burn than animals that didn’t. So, there is some synergistic effect with ferulic acid and Vitamin C+E. 

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that products on the market with these three ingredients in them are more shelf stable. It wasn’t clear but the researchers likely made the solutions right away and applied them to the test subjects. Any product that you can buy in the store has been sitting for a number of weeks or maybe even months. By the time you get it, the Vitamin C no doubt will have broken down and the fact that Ferulic acid is in there probably won’t have much impact. There are companies that claim they have shelf stable l-ascorbic acid formulations but I’m skeptical. Especially if the product has water in it and is not in an opaque container. Both water and UV exposure can break down ascorbic acid. In fact, I read in one paper in the November 2019 issue of Food chemistry that showed a significant amount of vitamin C broke down within 1 hour of making the aqueous solution. 

Question 3

Vampire facials and using your blood in creams… Is this really a good thing? No, it’s a terrible idea. It’s unregulated and potentially dangerous.

Question 4

Recycling – from your episode with Sarah a while back I got the impression that recycling isn’t that common in the States. Here in the UK we recycle everything, it’s ingrained into us to recycle as much as possible. And when you both mentioned paper straws on holiday this has been the case for a while in the UK, it’s been widely accepted. I just wondered if the cultures are very different.  

I think the difference is just based on the cultural norms of where you are. Recycling is done more in some places, less in others. In Chicago, we don’t really have a good recycling program. Unfortunately, even the stuff that is recycled is often not getting recycled. It used to be that China would take garbage and sort it for recycling. But these days, that doesn’t happen much. So all those shampoo bottles and skin lotion containers mostly just end up in landfills (at least in the US). 

Question 5

Products like revitalash- eyelash growth serums, how do they work, what is the magic ingredient? Is this a good long term solution? The story behind how this brand came about is incredibly touching but could it really be recommended to those not in surgery? 

We covered eyelash growth products way back in episode 149. The quick answer is the only one that is approved (and proven) to work is the product from Allergan called Latise. 

Question 6

What is your opinion on cosmetician brands as opposed to the big beauty brands? For example DCL, skinceuticals, zelens Vs Estée Lauder, clarins, elemis etc. – With big company brands you will find products that will work for most people. Cosmetician brands are more niche targeted so there might be some consumers who like them more but they might not appeal to a typical consumer. I always say when in doubt, stick with the big beauty brands. 

Question 7

Which other beauty or scientific podcasts do you listen to?

Fat Mascara
The Eco Well
The Skeptics Guide to the Universe
The Reality Check
Science for the People
Science Magazine podcast
Mintel Little Conversations

Question 8

What are the latest advancements in cosmetic technology? I know 2019 was a trend year of retinol and biomes, what else are scientists working on? What are the big cosmetic brand scientists working on?
Sustainability
New anti-aging actives
Stabilizing ingredients
New preservatives

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

Jan 08 2020

33mins

Play

Year end wrap up – episode 204

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Happy New Year!

We take a look at some of the hottest trends in the beauty industry in 2019 including clean beauty, CBD, Indie beauty and waterless beauty. Then we give our predictions for the hottest trends coming in 2020.

We’ll get back to answering beauty questions in our next show.

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

Dec 31 2019

36mins

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Are high quality cosmetic ingredients a thing? #203

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

  1. Quality of ingredients versus price of the product?
  2. The Curly Girl Method and Parabens?
  3. What it’s like to work in the cosmetics industry
  4. Do you have to wait after applying Vitamin C?

Beauty Science News stories

Is your old makeup is contaminated? 
Here’s an interesting story which should be a wake up call to anyone who uses products that say “no preservatives” or preservative free.  It turns out even products that don’t contain water have been found to be contaminated with potentially harmful microbes.  

In this study publish in the October issue of the Journal of Applied Microbiology, researchers wanted to investigate the nature and extent of microbial contamination in five categories of used cosmetic products (lipstick, lip gloss, eyeliners, mascaras and beauty blenders) and highlight the potential risk posed to consumers in the UK.

The got samples of used products donated by consumers and analyzed them for the microbial contents.  This was done by taking a sample, plating them on microbial culture plates and then letting them grow.  Surprisingly, they found that anywhere from 79–90% of all used products were contaminated with bacteria, with bacterial loads ranging between 102 and 103 CFU per ml, beauty blenders contained an average load of >106 CFU per ml. Presence of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Citrobacter freundii were detected. Fungi were also detected in all product types, and were prevalent in beauty blenders (26·58 and 56·96% respectively). Ninety‐three per cent of beauty blenders had not been cleaned and 64% had been dropped on the floor and continued to be used.

The researchers concluded that significant levels of microbial contamination occur during use of cosmetic products and presence of pathogenic organisms pose a potential risk to health.

Now, I suppose most of these products passed microbial challenge tests or were not tested because the manufacturer has the mistaken notion that products that don’t contain water do not need preservatives. But this is not true.  Don’t listen to marketers who say preservative free or even paraben free.

You should only use cosmetics that have preservatives. It is the much safer option as this study demonstrates.

Survey Says – Our Eyelids are Itchier Than Ever
According to research published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Americans are typing in the keyword “itch” to the tune of more than 18 million—with the skin on the eye/eyelids appearing at the top of the list with 3 million hits.

Two dermatologists were interviewed, where one dermatologist advocated one should avoid touching their eyelids if they’re irritated, and one should apply Aquaphor sparingly. If it gets too bad, there are prescription topicals available to ease the itch. The other dermatologist stated that you should buy his balm, which contains 1% hydrocortisone and NO irritating ingredients that other OTC hydrocortisones contain, like alcohol and petrolatum. 

While the dermatologist is in his rights to recommend hydrocortisone cream, and it’s convenient he recommends his own, he should know better that petrolatum is not an irritating ingredient. Petrolatum is actually recommended and approved by the FDA as a skin protectant. Furthermore, most creams don’t contain alcohol, as in isopropyl alcohol. They contain fatty alcohols that help structure the product to make it a cream. These are not drying and not irritating.

Beauty Questions

Question 1: Charolette – My esthetician tells me that price difference is due to the quality of the ingredients. Is that due to the quality of the ingredient?  Is that true?

No, it’s not true and let us tell you why.

Question 2: Helen asks – Hi beauty brains! I’ve started following the curly girl method, and while i’m not sure if all of the claims are well founded, but  i will say that it has sorted my itchy flakey scalp out, so i will stick with it either way. I know that we are to avoid silicones that can’t be washed out without SLS, and we shouldn’t use drying alcohols and SLS, but i’ve never heard what hair benefit avoiding parabens is meant to bring. Are they just on the ‘we hate parabens’ train? What is the claim here and is the claim correct?

Question 3: I am 28 and am considering going back to school to study chemistry and enter the cosmetic chemistry field. This would be my second B.S.  (the first being in Textiles and Apparel). I was hoping I could ask you a few questions to get an idea of what the industry is like. In your experiences, is a masters needed or will a bachelors in biochemistry or general chemistry be enough to secure a job in the industry? What are the daily tasks of a cosmetic chemist like? Is it extremely competitive to place with a company or is there a lot of opportunity? Any advice you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Looking forward to the next show!

Question 4: Love your podcast — I wish I’d known about it when I first started exploring skincare! My question is about whether it is necessary to wait 15-30 minutes after applying vitamin C. I tend to wait for at most 5 minutes due to being in a rush. Have I been diluting the effect of the vitamin C, or is the wait time a myth? Online resources seem to differ on this, and I’d really appreciate your input from a scientific perspective! Thanks so much, Sonia

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

Dec 24 2019

46mins

Play

CBD in cosmetics – Waterless products – and hair dye cancer scare – episode 202

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On today’s episode we just felt like ranting!

Today we cover 3 beauty science topics that have affected the beauty world. Here you’ll get the cosmetic chemist and formulator take on the following topics:

  1. Hair dye and a link to cancer
  2. Waterless formulas and whether they are superior
  3. CBD – is it really linked to smoking weed?

Beauty Science News stories

Hair dye linked to cancer – should you be worried?

Waterless beauty products – are they better?

CBD in cosmetics – why is this ingredient linked to drugs? Also, does it do anything?

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

Dec 11 2019

32mins

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Will meadowfoam seed oil help your face? episode 201

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

  1. Is meadowfoam seed oil making skin less itchy?
  2. Can rinse off conditioner give you acne?
  3. Does Este Lauder own Bobbie Brown?
  4. What is Indie Beauty?
  5. What’s the deal with oils and hair?

Beauty Science News stories

What do you make of these “waiting lists” ?  

Why Tata Harper Put 72 Active Ingredients into 1 Glowifying Super-Serum

Beauty Questions

Question 1: Dear beauty brains I have keratosis Polaris on my cheeks and I have tried many products over my 50 years currently the best night time moisturizer is a pricey product by fresh called cram in seeing that contains metal foam seat oil as the first ingredient the hype of the production is noted I also use clearance gentle day cream but it is not as good as the fresh product what is it about meadow foam seed oil that helps with keeping my skin from itching and becoming inflamed? thank you so much and I really enjoy this podcast

Product discussed:  https://www.sephora.com/product/creme-ancienne-P42592

Question 2: KH wants to know – Can Rinse Out Conditioner Give You Acne?

Question 3: Hello The Beauty Brain! I have been listening to your podcast for 2 years now and I so enjoy learning the true FACTS. Hard to find the true facts at times these days. I have a question regarding Bobbie Brown 50SPF primer. I think Estée Lauder owns BB? True? Not True? Also I am wondering where else I can find another less expensive brand of primer at a 50 SPF level out there? Elf has one but it is waaayyy too light for my olive skin. Thank you for your great show! Gerry

Question 4: Deepa asks – in (a previous) episode you talked about clean beauty. I agree about the vegan or clean brands not being that much different from the bigger brands. What is an “indie” brand? I’ve heard this term but don’t really understand how it differentiates from vegan, clean, organic etc.

Question 5: Kinskihair from Instagram asks, Hi there! I’m a current hairstylist. With all the YouTubing, are oils beneficial to healthy hair and hair growth? I see a lot of DIY products and love the idea of using natural products, but is this wise? I try to promote healthy hair and want to use what is best, especially when it comes to relaxed or natural hair. The beauty business has become so overly saturated with products. It’s overwhelming.

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

Dec 04 2019

43mins

Play

Stem cells in cosmetics – Beauty Brains rewind episode 166

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Covered on this episode:

Beauty Science stories:

Cruelty free products are free from cruelty.

EWG on the Kardashian’s show

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?

Shereen asks Does silicon damage curly hair?

Remember to check out our new Instagram account.

Follow us on Twitter.

Nov 26 2019

39mins

Play

Fragrance free hair care and No-BS skincare – episode 200

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The Beauty Brains answer questions about…

  • Why can’t I find more fragrance-free hair products?
  • Living Proof hair care (is the price worth it?)
  • What’s the deal with No-BS Skincare
  • Can magnesium be used for cleaning?

Beauty News

Skin care in the dairy aisle – will probiotics help strengthen skin and hair? There isn’t a lot of evidence to say it will.

Tom’s launches toothpaste tube that’s recyclable – will the other brands owned by Colgate follow suit?

Social media

On this Instagram post we debated the idea that parabens are perfectly safe for cosmetics. There is ample evidence they are safe and not much evidence that they are unsafe. What do you think?

Beauty Questions

Question 1: Karyn – I have allergies to fragrance and I can’t find a good shampoo or conditioner that works well but doesn’t have fragrance. What are your thoughts on this?

Question 2: Hello Perry and Valerie (The Beauty Brains!).  I really enjoy your podcast – thank you for all you do to keep me and all of your listeners informed. I was wondering whether you could do a review of the hair care brand Living Proof. I currently use their color care line, and I like it, but all of their products are so pricey. Do any of their claims justify the expense? They are now owned by Unilever and I’m wondering whether there is a less expense Unilever option (or any other brand) you could compare Living Proof products. To add to the above, can you comment on whether colored or highlighted hair needs special products at all? Thanks again! Thäis.

Question 3: Carissa says – there is a new line of beauty products, called No B.S. Skin Care, and I was wondering what your take on it was.  They claim to only use ingredients that work, and that are not harmful. It would be wonderful to hear your thoughts on these products, and a podcast on it would really make my day!  Thanks for your time and consideration! Have a great day!

Question 4: Jas asks, There’s a new detergent replacement in the market from japan called Terra Wash Mg. It’s magnesium enclosed in a package and supposedly can be used for 365 washes. I wonder if it’s true and effective? Would appreciate your thoughts.

Link to show notes

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

Nov 19 2019

51mins

Play

Collagen for skin, tea tree oil for acne and other beauty questions – episode 199

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The Beauty Brains answer questions about…

  • Should you take collagen supplements?
  • Is there a difference between men & women’s hair care?
  • Is tea tree oil is as effective as benzoyl peroxide
  • Can Vitamin C change color?

Beauty News

Natural cosmetic act is introduced in congress (in the US)

The purple hair challenge is going viral – I have no idea why

Beauty Questions

Question 1: KH says – Hi. Is there any difference in the formulas besides fragrance? Suave Professional Men Daily Clean Shampoo says “Refreshing Shampoo made specifically for men’s hair”  Is this BS? Thanks.

Question 2: Kristin – Is tea tree oil as effective as benzoyl peroxide at removing blemishes? You don’t have to dilute it in a carrier oil as with other essential oils?  How true is this?

Question 3:

Hello BB,  I am a new subscriber to your podcasts and have been learning so much from binge-listening to past episodes. I wonder if you can look at the information in the following link and comment on some of the claims made. I take supplements sporadically – usually when in winter (we’re getting into that season in England now). I have tried collagen supplements in the past but found it made no difference to my skin. I continue to take vitamin c, d and sometimes a multivitamin as an ‘insurance policy’. Am I wasting my money?  Thank you.

Question 4: I recently came across an… interesting product from Farmacy, a brand known for its honey-based salve and mask. The product in question is the Bright On Massage-Activated Vitamin C Mask. In the description, amongst other things, they state the following: “As you massage it into your skin, the vitamin C capsules burst, turning the mask from lavender to green, so you know it’s working to bring out your brightest, most perfect skin.” I have personally never heard of Vitamin C changing color in such a manner to indicate efficacy or activation. How/why does this supposedly work, or is it just a gimmick?

Link to show notes

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

Nov 12 2019

40mins

Play

Is Paw Paw ointment different than Vaseline? Episode 198

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On today’s episode we answer your questions about  

  • Is Lucas’s Paw Paw ointment different than vaseline?
  • What does the term cosmeceutical mean? Are the products different?
  • Does nail polish help your nails to grow better?
  • Are copper peptides an effective anti-aging ingredient?
  • Shakaki DIY recipe for hair. Does it have any effect on hair? And is it safe?

Correction: We do want to make a correction on Episode 195, where we were discussing the methodology that is used in the United States to measure sunscreen efficacy. It was stated 2g/cm2 of sunscreen application are needed, that was a mistake. It’s 2mg/cm2. 

Beauty News

Are anti-aging products going to become illegal? – Two court cases may signal the end of anti-aging claims in the beauty industry.

How to Get Rid of a Hickey: 7 Easy Hacks That Actually Work

These mostly won’t work but here’s what they claim…

  1. Reduce swelling with a cold spoon.
  2. Speed up the healing process with aloe vera.
  3. Soothe your skin with a banana peel.
  4. Promote circulation with a warm compress.
  5. Apply a vitamin C cream.
  6. Eat vitamin K-rich foods.
  7. Promote blood circulation with a toothbrush.

Beauty Questions

Question 1: Sarah asks about Lucas’s paw paw ointment.  It seems like a petroleum jelly product. Is there any research that says paw paw does something that petroleum jelly doesn’t?

Yes, it’s mostly vaseline.

Question 2: What does the term Cosmeceutical mean? Is it just marketing? What is the difference between cosmeceuticals and standard products?

Mostly, just marketing. Here’s what the FDA says about cosmeceuticals.

Question 3: Does keeping nail polish on your nails help them to grow? I’ve heard that nail polish keeps the moisture locked in on your nail bed, helping nails grow faster, longer. Also do the gel nail polish that helps to strengthen and fortify your nails actually work?

Nail polish is good for coloring your nails, not making them grow.

Question 4: Charlotte says – Are copper peptides an effective anti-aging ingredient?  Should I include it in my skin care regimen? Copper peptides uglies? Can they have the opposite effect making skin appear more aged?

There is some evidence copper peptides can improve the appearance of skin but not much better than a well formulated moisturizer.

Question 5: Misty – Shakaki DIY recipe for hair. Does it have any effect on hair? And is it safe?

Safe, but doesn’t do much good.

Link to the show notes

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

*The dogs in the picture are Valerie’s who can be heard a little bit on the show

Nov 06 2019

51mins

Play

Is vaping bad for skin – episode 197

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On today’s episode we answer your questions about  

  • Is vaping bad for your skin
  • Is there any benefit to inverse hair conditioning
  • Do you need to worry about emulsifiers in skin products?

Beauty News

Sunday Riley – has practically no consequences to posting fake reviews.

J&J baby powder recall –  Company can’t catch a break

FDA Recall Roundup – 

Microbial contamination warning letters

Beauty Questions

Question 1 – Hi Beauty Brains! I was wondering about the “inverse hair conditioning  device” it’s kind of like a reverse hair straightener with ice and if it actually works? 

Question 2 (audio) – Is vaping as bad as smoking for your skin?

Question 3 – Do I need to worry about emulsifiers in my skin products?

Link to the show notes

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

Oct 28 2019

26mins

Play

Hydroquinone creams, Vitamins in hair and more – episode 196

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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 On today’s episode we answer your questions about  

  • Are there any benefits in putting vitamins on hair?
  • Does anything work better than hydroquinone for age spots?
  • Do shave minimizing products work?
  • Are film forming ingredients easy to wash off?

Beauty News

The Rise of Fancy Face Cream—for the Rest of Your Body

High end skincare companies are making powerful skin care creams for the body, not the face. 

Dermatologist rant! – Not everything you hear from dermatologists online can be trusted or is true. This misinformation really harms consumers. Remember, dermatologists are not necessarily formulators or know which are the best, most effective ingredients to use. They also are not unbiased, especially when they are pushing a product.

Cloud 10 – transparencyIt’s laughable that a company who sells a product that has no proven benefits is calling for transparency.

Beauty Questions

Question 1 – We need a beauty brain for vitamins !  Can you guys talk about vitamins for hair etc or any vitamins that are recommended for beauty benefits Years ago companies claimed that THEIR vitamins would break down (digestion) and other vitamin brands would not. Thank you I so enjoy your podcastGeraldine

There are not any proven benefits of vitamins in hair products. They are added because consumers like vitamins and they make them feel like the products are better.

Question 2 (audio) – Is hydroquinone effective and why don’t you see more products with it? Also, is niacinamide as effective?

Hydroquinone has been used for depigmentation since the 1960s and its use as a skin lightener is highly controversial. A widely accepted mechanism for how hydroquinone works is that it inhibits synthesis of the enzyme tyrosinase, which is an enzyme responsible for melanin production. Melanin is the molecule that gives skin its color. Additionally, melanocytes, the cells that make melanin, and organelles that contain melanin, can be destroyed. It’s pretty effective! 

However, the safety of this ingredient is a little controversial. Hydroquinone has been banned in cosmetic products in Europe since 2000. In the United States, depigmentation products are considered as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. In Over The Counter drugs, the FDA generates a monograph that dictates what ingredients can be used and at what levels. Typically OTC products are products that induce a physiological change. Historically, since 1982, the level concluded to be safe was between 1.5% and 2.0%. However, the FDA recently withdrew the monograph listing hydroquinone as an ingredient. The FDA determined that it could not rule out potential carcinogenic risk from topically applied hydroquinone in humans, nor make a final determination on hydroquinone’s potential to impair fertility. 

The Cosmetics Ingredient Review board, which we often refer to, has been studying the safety of hydroquinone since the early 1980s and has created several reports over the years recommending restricted use in cosmetics. The CIR says they believe hydroquinone is safe at concentrations of less than or equal to 1% in formulations that are designed for discontinuous, brief use, followed by rinsing from the skin. It is unsafe for use in leave-on cosmetic products, other than in nail adhesives. 

Niacinamide does not lighten the skin, but it has shown to be effective in studies to visually help improve the appearance of fine lines and improve skin’s tone.

Question 3 – Elizabeth asks – Do topical products that claim to minimize the need for shaving work? Like this one or this one. They always suck me in because I hate shaving, but I have no idea if they’re actually worth the money. What is the ingredient in them that’s supposed to be having this effect, and how does it work, if it actually does?

No, shave minimizing products do not slow hair growth. But they can make it feel like you don’t need to shave as much. Essentially, the products are conditioning your hair which makes it feel softer and that makes you think you don’t need to shave.  Then when it says it’s clinically tested this is true. But this isn’t like real science. It’s sciency but the data is not really reliable. 

But if you like the products and it makes you feel less inclined to shave, you might like it. But it is not having an impact on the speed at which your hair grows.

Question 4 – I’ve recently been trying to eliminate silicone from my routine, but found other film-forming substances like carbomer, acrylic acid copolymer, and ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/vp copolymer in many of my products. Will they be easily washed off with soap and water? Do you think these other substances are better than silicone? Thank you!Suzy

We’ll answer the question presuming you’re eliminating silicone from your routine because you think it’s a film-former, and are looking at other polymers as film formers. 

Carbomer, Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer are polymers that thicken aqueous systems. They work by being hydrated in water, tightly coiled up, then become extended upon neutralization. When they extend their polymer arms, they build a network and thicken the system. Carbomer is famous for forming clear hair gels in the 90s like LA Looks or the green aloe gel you buy at WalMart when you have a sunburn. They are relatively “senseless,” meaning you won’t feel a tacky or sticky film on the skin. In fact, I think you can barely feel they’re there.

They are thus very different from silicones; silicones are a very generic term for a class of molecules, and not all of them stay on the skin. For example, cyclopentasiloxane and certain dimethicones are extremely volatile and volatilize from the skin and hair into the atmosphere. Other dimethicones are not volatile and can form an emollient layer on the skin. 

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

Oct 16 2019

38mins

Play

More on clean beauty, supplements, baking soda and mineral oil – episode 195

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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 On today’s episode we answer your questions about  

  • Color cosmetics for protection from the sun?
  • Is it ok to apply baking soda to your skin?
  • What’s up with mineral oil in other fillers in cosmetics?
  • Do beauty supplements really help improve your looks?

Beauty News

Clean beauty is not safer

Small cosmetic companies vs big companies

Beauty Questions

Question 1 – If I put sunscreen BB cream with sun protection, then some powder with sunscreen too, is that enough? Or should I put sunscreen on the face before hand? Does it make sense to buy BB creams or foundations with SPF?

Question 2 – Hi Beauty Brains!  I am Elli from Germany and I like to listen to your podcast!  I’ve been using the Greendoor cream deodorant for several months now. I am very convinced of it, because I have no armpit odour at all since then. If I understood it correctly, the effect is that the ingredient baking soda increases the pH of the skin so that no odour-producing bacteria can grow. So it doesn’t work against sweating, but that doesn’t bother me at all. I am very satisfied with the product. 

Now I have heard in the episode 177 from Perry that it is not good to apply baking soda to the skin. Can you elaborate on that? Should I stop using this deodorant cream?

Question 3 – Hi Perry & Valerie! This is Sydney, I’m from Florida. I was wondering if it’s just a filler that does nothing, if it is bad for the skin, or if there are any benefits to it at all. I’ve read a lot of mixed things online and I can’t tell if it’s good, bad, or just kind of done nothing and is a filler. 

Question 4 – Hello, I am an avid listener of your podcast and wanted to update you on beauty supplement news. To my surprise, Paula’s Choice now sells them. In my opinion, Paula’s Choice has reached an all new low as supplements do absolutely nothing except deplete your wallet.

Thanks for letting me vent. Jennifer

——-

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

Oct 09 2019

46mins

Play

Clean beauty, oil cleansing and more – episode 194

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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 On today’s episode we answer your questions about  

  • Is oil cleansing better for your skin?
  • How should you treat seborrheic dermatitis?
  • What do you think of the Active Beauty products?

Special guest brain, Sarah Bellum!

*Sorry about the sound quality. We had a different setup for this episode.

Beauty News

Allure starts it’s own clean beauty certification

Beauty Questions

Question 1 – Katherine says Hi, I just wanted to get your opinion on this product (Glossier Body Hero Daily Oil Wash). They have an Instagram post which doesn’t make any sense to me from a scientific perspective, so I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Question 2 – Stephanie says – I’m not a chemist and I need some direction on properly incorporating liquid tinctures into my rice water. I have low porosity curly hair but my scalp suffers from chronic seborrheic dermatitis.

I’ve been using rice water for several months. I love the results and I would like to safely incorporate onion, garlic, cayenne and ginger tinctures into my rice water regimen.

My question is, what number of drops of the tinctures would be safe as well as effective to add to the rice water? Any guidance that you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Question 3 – Luke says – Hey there beauty brains, I came across this new ‘next generation’ skin care product called face gym. I’m kind of sick of brands creating new products and boasting so wildly about the benefits without any research or evidence to back it up. They use terms like ‘scientifically formulated’, ‘medical grade’, ‘stem cells’, ‘detox’… really grinds my gears hearing all this marketing talk. Can you shed some light on whether or not there is any truth to these claims with new and innovative products?

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

Sep 20 2019

30mins

Play

Monistat for hair growth – does it work? episode 193

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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 On today’s episode we answer your questions about  

  • Yeast infection medicine to treat hair loss 
  • Is an organic facial mask worth buying?
  • What’s with mineral oil, is it bad, good or indifferent?

Beauty News

Walmart Launches New Range of Clean Beauty Products – Has the Clean Beauty trend jumped the shark?

A win for the little guy?  – Olaplex wins lawsuit against L’Oreal

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

Weleda, a natural skincare company founded in 1921, recalls a product that’s produced in two sizes and is part of one kit because specific ingredients do not appear in the ingredient list of the labels for the products. The product is Weleda Comforting Baby Oil, 6.8 fl. oz., the travel size 0.34 fl. oz., and Baby Starter Kit. FDA has no authority under the FD&C Act to order a recall of a cosmetic, although it can request that a firm recall a product. Once the brand makes the decision to recall the product, the FDA oversees the progress of the recall and ensures destroyal of the product.

See the FDA Recall site for youself

Beauty Questions

Question 1 – Grace says – I normally only buy Paula’s choice products but got a facial as a treat recently and was talked into this product by the esthetician. (Product is Eminence Organic Skin care Masque) Are there any redeeming qualities in this product or could it potentially be hurting my skin because of the essential oils? I have seen no irritation, I’ve been using it once a week just on blind faith. I realize products in jars are unstable, so I keep it in its box when I’m not using it.

Question 2 – Will Monistat on your scalp make your hair grow?

Question 3 – Sydney asks…What’s the deal with Mineral Oil?

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

Aug 26 2019

46mins

Play

Do oxygen facials work & more beauty questions – episode 192

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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!

Beauty News

Is showering daily necessary?

Showering daily — is it 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

Aug 14 2019

50mins

Play

Cosmetic brands and big companies – Who owns that – episode 191

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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

Aug 06 2019

49mins

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Skin microbiome and cosmetics – peppermint oil and hair growth – episode 190

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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

Jul 28 2019

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Henna hair color and hygral fatigue – episode 189

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

Beauty Questions

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

Beauty News

Nature’s Truth Recalls Wintergreen Essential Oil

Do consumers really care about sustainability? 

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

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

Nature’s Truth Recalls Wintergreen Essential Oil – RECALLED

Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture CC Creme – RECALLED

See the FDA Recall site for youself

Beauty Questions

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

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

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

Source of the outrage

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

Transcript of show can be found here

Follow the Brains

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

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

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

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

Thanks again for listening and remember Be Brainy about your Beauty

Jul 15 2019

50mins

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iTunes Ratings

547 Ratings
Average Ratings
396
118
11
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8

Awesome

By dpgp3 - Jan 07 2020
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You two are great, very informative! The best skincare podcast!!

Very informative

By Xftcdr - Nov 20 2019
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This podcast does a great job of using scientific evidence to discuss beauty products.