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Where The Response Occurs Irritation: The effects are usually limited to the part of the skin that was contacted by the chemical.

Allergy: Because you’re producing antibodies, the effect is not limited to the contact point. The effects may be worse in the contact area, but you can develop symptoms any where on your body.

How Long It Takes For The Response To Develop Irritation: Symptoms develop after a single exposure. They usually appear in a few minutes, at most within a few hours, after contact.

Allergies: After the first exposure, you typically have no symptoms. That’s because your body hasn’t developed an antibody response to the agent yet.

After subsequent exposures, Symptoms may take 24 to 72 hours to develop.

Source: Dermatotoxicology, 6th edition. Edited by Hongbo Zhai and Howard I. Maibach

–  –  –

Chapter 6 Marvelous Makeup Are You Addicted To Lip Balm?

Chris is Curious:

Is it really possible to be addicted to lip balm?

The Left Beauty Brain’s Lips Respond:

Fascinating question, Chris. And you can find an equally fascinating, but a little over-analyzed, discussion on the addictive properties of lip balm at Lip Balm Anonymous. The post is a bit outdated but we found it to be an interesting reference, nonetheless.

But the one argument that we did NOT see discussed was, in our opinion,

the most scientifically valid one. It goes something like this:

84 - Marvelous Makeup Skin signals for new cells Skin is a very complicated organ with multiple layers. The top layer, the stratum corneum, consists mainly of dead, dried up cells. As those cells die and flake off, they send a signal to a deeper layer skin (called the basal layer) to produce fresh skin cells. This is a very simplified description of the process called cellular turnover. (Contrary to what you might have thought, “cellular turnover” does NOT refer to switching your mobile phone plan.) Lip balm slows down the signal When you apply lip balm, you’re creating a barrier layer that prevents, or at least retards, the evaporation of moisture from the inner layers of skin. Since the top layer isn’t drying and flaking off as much, the basal layer never gets the signal to produce new cells.

Your skin has to catch up But when you stop using the lip balm, all of a sudden your lips dry out and your basal layer has to hurry up and start producing new cells. But since your lips already feel dry again, you add more lip balm which once again tells the basal layer “hey, everything’s fine up here on the surface - we don’t need any more new skin cells.” The cycle repeats But of course, once that application of lip balm has worn off and there are no new plump, moist skin cells to replace the ones that are drying out, your lips feel dry again and you have to add more lip balm. Etc. etc. etc. Get the picture? That’s why you feel addicted to lip balm - you’ve “trained” you body to rely on it!

This theory provides a more scientific explanation for the mysterious Lip Balm Addiction and it seems to make sense for most balm users.

–  –  –

Lucy Longingly Asks:

I just bought Eyecon from Benefit, but I’m not sure if it’s really doing anything.

What are eye creams and is their claim of reducing under eye circles and puffiness at all valid? What ingredients should I look for in an eye cream for these things?

The Right Brain Strikes An Optic Nerve:

Do eye creams really do what they say they’ll do? Well, the answer is a little bit yes, a little bit no. All skin creams (should) moisturize. But eye creams have some added responsibilities.

1. Moisturization They’ve got to moisturize without adding a lot of heaviness or greasiness.

After all, it’s likely that you’ll be apply some kind of make up around your eyes and you don’t want an eye cream to interfere with your foundation, for example.

2. Mildness They need to be extra mild, since the area around the eye is particularly sensitive to irritation. Fragrance free is best.

3. Tightening Perhaps most relevant to your question, they should tighten the skin around the eyes since they claim to reduce wrinkles. While they can’t work miracles, they can do this to some extent by adding polymers that form a film on the skin as they dry. This film can make the skin look and feel a little bit tighter.

The Eyecon product you cited seems designed to do just that. It contains ingredients like Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, and Sodium Polyacrylate. These are all film forming agents that can help eyes feel less puffy and look less wrinkled.

86 - Marvelous Makeup Of course the effect varies from person to person; even in best case scenarios it may not be dramatically noticible; and even if it does work it’s only a temporary fix at best. But if you notice enough difference you might want to continue using the product.

Want another opinion? Paula Begoun, the Cosmetic Cop, has a much harsher opinion of eye creams. She says that they are no different from facial moisturizers and that they are “a whim of the cosmetics industry designed to evoke the sale of two products when only one is needed.” Meow!

The Beauty Brains bottom line Eye creams are essentially moisturizers that are modified for use on the thin skin around the eyes. While they don’t work miracles like they claim, they do contain ingredients that may offer some temporary benefit. We say: try it and see what you think. But as always, let the buyer beware.

–  –  –

Jessie Just Wants To Know:

I recently tried a lip plumper while browsing in Sephora. I was skeptical, but then as I walked around the store, I really did notice my lips feeling slightly fuller and very tingly. Is this my imagination? What are lip plumpers and how do they work?

The Right Brain Responds:

Lip plumpers work by temporarily irritating lips and causing them to swell slightly. That tingly feeling is not your imagination, it’s your lips reacting to a menthol type chemical that most plumpers use. The effect is slight and temporary - don’t expect to look like you’ve had a collagen injection. And while these products really do have this effect, the bad news it’s not really good for your lips to use them on a regular basis because it can be damaging to the skin.

Look for menthoxypropanediol on the ingredient list if you’re not sure the product will really plump or not.

Why Smashbox Should Be Ashamed of O-Glow Blush

Tamara’s Intrigued:

Smashbox’s O-Glow gel claims to generate a natural blushing effect by stimulating skin circulation. I’m intrigued, but the thought of intentionally inflaming my cheeks with a foreign substance strikes me as a bit weird. Does this really work?

The Right Brain Blushes:

Let’s take a look, shall we? According to Smashbox: “This revolutionary silicone-based clear gel works on every skin tone and is microcirculating and skin energizing to keep cheeks naturally flushed for hours.” O-Glow 88 - Marvelous Makeup does change to a pink color, but not for the reasons Smashbox gives us.

We captured our evaluation of this product in the following pictures:

Every picture tells a story If you follow the link to our blog (http://thebeautybrains.com/2007/07/10/ why-smashbox-should-be-ashamed-of-o-glow-blush) you’ll see three pictures that tell O-blush story. The first one shows that O-Glow is a clear, colorless gel when it comes out of the tube. The second shows that when rubbed on your cheek, it does turn from colorless to a lovely shade of pink. But is a “micro-circulatory effect” really causing the color? The third picture has the answer: the product changes color even when it’s applied to a piece of white paper. Since paper doesn’t have blood vessels, it’s obvious that the effect has nothing to do with the circulatory system.

How does it really work?

So how does it change color? Could it be the Red Dye #27 that’s listed as one of the ingredients? Yep. I’ll spare you the gory chemical details but essentially the red dye is colorless when dissolved in a waterless base. When it comes in contact with moisture, the change in solubility and pH causes the dye to turn bright pink. That moisture can come from your skin, or even just the humidity in the air. So really, this product uses a dye to stain your cheeks just like any other blush.

The Beauty Brains bottom line While we appreciate the clever formulation work required to make a color changing product, we say shame on Smashbox for presenting it in such a misleading way. It’s a cool gimmick, but this product does NOT do what they say it does. Considering how they’re blatantly lying to us about this blush, Smashbox should be the ones with the red face!

–  –  –

A while back we reported a story about how a fragrance can make it look like you’ve lost weight. Well, Omega Tech Labs has introduced a lip gloss called Promise that is supposed to have weight loss benefits.

Appetite suppressant in lip gloss According to the company, the lip gloss contains a blend of botanical oils (castor oil, coconut oil and evening primrose oil) that work as appetite suppressants.

Experts say that these ingredients can work but they don’t believe you will get enough exposure from the lip gloss to make much difference.

Smells can help you slim While this Beauty Brain is highly skeptical, there is some science backing up the product concept. Researchers at the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation have done studies showing that odors can actually help people lose Marvelous Makeup weight. If Promise lip gloss contains appetite suppressant oils and odors that help curb your appetite, it might have an effect.

Could be too tasty On the other hand, the flavor could actually stimulate your appetite and have the opposite effect! Since the company offers no clinical study, we can’t know for sure whether it works. But it’s probably worth a try. It will certainly be a good lip gloss and if it has the added benefit of helping you lose weight without taking another spinning class, how cool is that?

90 - Marvelous Makeup How Mascara Makes Lashes Look Lovely We’ve had several readers ask how mascara is made and how it works, so

here’s the sciencey scoop:

History of mascara First a quick bit of background - we know that mascaras have been around since at least 4000 BC because historical records show that Egyptians used charcoal and other minerals to darken their lashes and eyelids. In modern times, mascara first appeared in the form of a pressed cake that was applied by wetting a brush, rubbing it on the cake, and than applying it to eye lashes.

The cake consisted of a mixture of black pigments and soap chips. The next innovation in mascara involved a lotion like version of the soap cake that was packaged in a tube and squeezed onto a small brush to apply. Mascara as we know it today was created in the 1960s with the invention of a grooved brush that could apply a consistent amount. This is the basic form that’s still used today.

Common ingredients The primary ingredients in mascara are pigments - the chemicals that provide color. Because U.S. Federal regulations only allow certain colorants to be used in area of the eye, only natural colors and inorganic pigments are used.

Carbon black and iron oxides provide black, brown, and red colors; chemicals Ultramarine blue provide blue and green shades. Manufacturing, Mixing, and Packaging: These pigments are mixed together in a cosmetic base that is an emulsion of oils, waxes, and water. For examples of these waxy ingredients,

let’s look at an example formulation from Maybelline Great Lash:

Water, Beeswax, Ozokerite, Shellac, Glyceryl Stearate, Triethanolamine, Propylene Glycol, Stearic Acid, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Methylparaben, QuaterniumQuaternium-22, Simethicone, Butylparaben, Iron Oxides (may contain), Titanium Dioxide (may contain), Ultramarine Blue Marvelous Makeup - 91 The Beeswax, Ozokerite, Stearic Acid, and Shellac provide the main body of the mascara and give it it’s waterproof and smudge proof properties. Glyceryl Stearate and Triethanolamine are added to make sure the mascara can be washed off. The Propylene Glycol, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, and Simethicone, added as processing agents and help control the consistency of the product while Methylparaben, Quaternium-15, Quaternium-22, and Butylparaben are preservatives that keep the mascara free of “bugs” Finally, the Iron Oxides Titanium Dioxide Ultramarine Blue are the pigments.

How mascara is made These ingredients are mixed together in large metal kettles. Typically, the waxes and emulsifiers are mixed together and melted in one vessel and the water soluble ingredients are mixed in another vessel. Once the waxes are completely melted, the pigments are added. When both portions are sufficiently heated and mixed, they are blended together to form the final product. A device known as a homogenizer is used to make sure all the pigment particles are properly dispersed. Once the mascara is finished mixing, it is transferred to a filling machine that pumps a metered amount into each glass or plastic mascara bottle. The brush or wand is inserted into the tube and a capping machine automatically twists it shut. The tubes are then packaged for shipping.

How mascara works This is really the simple part - when you stick the brush into the mascara tube and pull it out, a metering ring built into the orifice scrapes off the excess mascara so the brush has a controlled dose on it. So, when you brush your eye lashes, just the right amount gets delivered to each tiny hair fiber. The waxy nature of the mascara helps form a relatively thick coating that, due to the high wax concentration, is very water proof. That’s how a good mascara can resist smudging and bleeding. The result - your eye lashes get a nice splash of color and they look much plumper.

92 - Marvelous Makeup Is Your Lip Plumper Making You Sick?

Melanie is miserable:

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