«The Beauty Brains Book.indb 1 2/6/2008 12:14:12 PM The Beauty Brains Book.indb 2 2/6/2008 12:14:12 PM Real Scientists Answer Your Beauty Questions ...»
Remember, food and health supplements are NOT REGULATED. They can say ANYTHING they want, even if it is a LIE, and no one will likely do anything about it. So, when it comes to supplements the first reaction for every Beauty Brainiac should be one of skepticism.
What’s Imedeen’s story?
So, what about Imedeen? Imedeen is basically a skincare supplement that includes proteins, polysaccharides, vitamin C and other “free radical scavengers”. According to the company…
And after just 2 to 3 months of use, you are supposed to SEE results. Hope in a bottle is finally here! Yeah, right. Although, in the event that you don’t notice anything after a month of use, they include this disclaimer…
Which basically means if it doesn’t work for you, then there must be something wrong with YOU.
First, the notion that what you eat affects the condition of your skin may make sense but few, if any studies have shown any link between diet and skin conditions. Unless you are malnourished, there will not be any noticeable difference in your skin. It’s highly unlikely that using this supplement will have any noticeable effect.
But there’s very little supportive data What do these claims really mean? The first claim sounds compelling but it doesn’t really mean that much. “Instantly begins?” Why doesn’t it “Instantly neutralise”? And notice how they don’t spell out what the “skin-degrading processes” are? What could they possibly mean? They are hoping you’ll make up something that you believe is “skin-degrading” and believe that this stuff stops it.
The second claim doesn’t make much sense either. What is the “skin’s moisture balance”? The only factors that can affect this are the condition of your skin
What about the rest of the claims? Reduce fine lines and wrinkles? These claims come from their scientific data. But a study that they reference as proof clearly concludes that after 3 months there are “NO SIGNIFICANT EFFECTS detected.” It is only after 9 MORE MONTHS of an uncontrolled study that the Imedeen shows any effect. Unfortunately, with an uncontrolled study there is no way to tell what caused the positive results they saw. This is extremely weak data!
The Beauty Brains bottom line Imedeen has some slick marketing and even a couple of “studies” to back up what they say. But with the prices they charge, the weakness of their data and the fact that you’ll still have to apply sunscreens and moisturizers, this doesn’t seem like a smart purchase at all. You’d be better off saving up your money for plastic surgery. And as far as collagen, bird’s nest soup or ginseng giving you better skin…I don’t think so.
The Right Brain Responds:
Aspirin masks seem to be all the rage these days, but we can’t find any evidence
that they’re worth the effort. Here’s why:
What is aspirin?
The active ingredient in aspirin is the drug called Acetylsalicylic Acid. After you swallow an aspirin tablet it travels to your small intestine where this ingredient is broken down to create to Salicylic Acid. Salicylic Acid, or Sal Acid as it’s referred to, is the form of the drug that actually reduces pain, fever, etc.
Now, Sal Acid also belongs to the class of chemicals known as Beta Hydroxy Acids, or BHAs. BHAs are similar to AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids). Both BHAs and AHAs are known for their ability to help slough off dead skin cells when applied topically. Are you beginning to see the connection between aspirin and facial masks?
Why aspirin isn’t good for your skin In theory, crushing aspirin tablets and rubbing them on your face COULD be beneficial because you’re delivering a skin smoothing BHA, right? Well, not exactly.
You’re really delivering Acetylsalicylic Acid to the skin - NOT Salicylic Acid, which is the active BHA. And just rubbing the Acetyl verision on your skin won’t make it convert to the Sal Acid version. Ok, maybe SOME of the acid
Margaret and Betty are inquisitive about Definity:
Margaret says Definity works great for her but she wants to know if all the roducts in the line are basically the same; Betty is worried that Definity’s not safe because she heard it contains hydroquinone.
What Does Definity Do?
According to P&G, Definity “fights what ages you most: discoloration, dullness, brown spots, and fights wrinkles.” The fighting wrinkles stuff is pretty standard in beauty creams. If you’re hydrating the skin (especially if you’re using a film forming agent that helps hide fine lines) you can support anti-wrinkle claims. The interesting aspect of Definity is that it claims to make the skin more luminous because it gets rid of darkness and dullness.
How Does Definity Make Skin Luminous?
Skin lightening claims like these normally involve hydroquinone, a skin bleaching agent that’s come under fire for safety reasons. Fortunately,
Sound too good to be true? Check out the multiple clinical test results that show glucosamine effectively prevents dark age spots. And if dark spots are reduced, skin will look lighter and more luminous.
Of course, the question is, how MUCH improvement will you really see.
The only way to tell for sure is to try the product. But at least Olay has done their homework and formulated a product line that’s based on science, not snake oil.
The Beauty Brains bottom line Definity does contain an ingredient proven to lighten skin. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee that you’ll notice a difference yourself. It’s a bit expensive at $22 for 1.7 ounces, but at least their claims are based on real science.
In Part 1 we explained how Olay’s Definity is based on real science that, at least theoretically, can reduce dark age spots and make skin look more luminous.
In Part 2 we examine the different products in the Definity line. There are six altogether: Definity Foaming Moisturizer, Foaming moisturizer with UV absorber, Correcting Protective Lotion (or is that Protecting Corrective Lotion?); Intense Hydrating cream; Illuminating Cream Cleanser; and Pore Redefining Scrub.
1. Providing solutions to multiple skin care problems Four of the products are moisturizers; two of those contain a UV absorber.
The other two products are cleaners. By offering different benefits across their product line, they appeal to women seeking solutions to different skin care problems.
3. Creating a stronger shelf presence Let’s face it, cosmetic companies are in business to sell products. To sell products they have to make them available to consumers, which means getting their products onto store shelves. And the more products on shelf, the easier it is for consumers to find them. This is a strategy known as “brand blocking.” Companies put as many of their products together on shelf as possible to create a more impactful impression. So one of the reasons there are six different Definity products is that it makes good business sense.
Ok, to be fair to Olay, they don’t say that you have to use all six products.
They recommend using a cleanser, a moisturizer and a sunscreen moisturizer.
But wait. That means you’re using two moisturizers. One of which Protects and Corrects and the other Perfects and Deflects. Or is that Detects and Reflects? Connects and Rejects? Arrrrrh!This is confusing!
Yes, it’s true, according to Anthony J. Mancini M.D., an associate professor at Northwestern University’s School of Medicine Children`s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Dr. Mancini says he uses duct tape as an inexpensive and relatively painless way to treat warts. He has his patients apply the duct tape over the wart, leave it on for about a week, remove the tape, and then file the wart with an emory board. It’s that easy.
How does it work?
But how can such a simple household item treat a sustained viral infection?
No one knows, at least not for sure. But theoretically the tape could be debriding, or stripping the dead skin from the wart and carrying the wart virus along with it.
That’s kind of how other wart therapies work. (Like the Compound W or Kryoderm freezing technique). Another possible mechanism is that occluding skin with duct tape somehow triggers the patient’s immune system to fight the virus.
There’s no solid data to support this theory but doctors do use immunotherapy
What’s The Right Way To Apply Sunscreen?
My question is about sunscreen: On the bottle, it says to apply 15-30 minutes before sun exposure so the product can absorb. Say I apply sunscreen to my hands, wait half an hour, then wash them. Will the skin on my hands still be protected from the sun? Or do I need to apply again, and wait another 30 minutes?
The Right Brain’s Solar-Powered Reply:
Kim, your question reminds us of the recent comment from Marcy who’s husband believes that the big sunscreen companies tell us we have to apply more sunscreen just to boost sales. You haven’t been hanging with Marcy’s husband have you? We didn’t think so, but we just had to ask.
First of all, if you’re washing off the sunscreen you’ve already put on, it doesn’t matter if you wait the 30 minutes or not. You’ve got to leave it on or it won’t work. But if you’re just concerned about protecting your hands, we wouldn’t worry too much. You can apply sunscreen to your hands and then just carefully wash the palms so they don’t feel greasy. That way the backs of your hands will be protected and there’s little chance that your palms will get enough sun to cause a problem. But if you’re still worried about it, you could always wear gloves at the beach like the Left Brain does!
Still confused about how to apply sunscreen? We’ll pass on these sunscreen application tips from the American Academy of Dermatologists
Why is this last item so important? First, because the UV absorbing molecules can wear out over time so your protection level drops off. Second, because sweating, swimming, and towel drying can remove sunscreen from your skin’s surface. Do you really have to put more on after only 2 hours?
Apparently yes. Studies have shown that people who wait 2 and a half hours instead of 2, have a 5 times greater chance of burning.
Yes, this means you might go through an entire bottle of sunscreen during a day at the beach. But that’s still cheaper than a visit to your friendly neighborhood dermatologist to have a spot of melanoma removed!
Catherine’s Concerned About Sunscreen Efficacy: I’ve heard that when sunscreen/sunblock separates, it’s no longer good. That shaking it up to remix it is basically wasted effort and applying it will do no good at all. Is this true?
Can sunscreen go bad?
The Left Brain Concurs:
Sunscreen formulations are very sensitive creatures. Most UV absorbers are oil soluble, which means they have to be carefully emulsified to form stable mixtures with water. If the oil and water in the formula are not properly coupled together, the whole formula can go to hell pretty quickly. Here are 3 warning
signs that your sunscreen has gone sour:
1. Weird consistency The consistency of the product has changed over time and now it’s too thick or too thin to spread properly. The spreadability of sunscreens is crucial to proper application and coverage. If it doesn’t spread right, it won’t work right.
2. Crystalization The active ingredient has crystallized out, making the lotion feel gritty. When this happens the product is completely worthless. You can’t fix that by shaking.
The Beauty Brains bottom line Given the importance of good UV protection, don’t take chances with a bottle of sunscreen that you think may be bad. Most manufacturers of sunscreen products like Coppertone, Himaya, Ocean Potion, and even Jack Black, should gladly refund your money or offer you a replacement if you have a problem.
The Left Brain Educates:
Since the goal of the Beauty Brains is to educate our community, we thought we’d share the results of a study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science (2006, 28 389-395). Researchers at the University Hospital of Liege, Belgium determined that there actually four distinctly different types of wrinkles that you’ll (eventually) have to face.
Unfortunately, wrinkles are a reality of life. Gravity, natural UV radiation and genetics all conspire against us to create them. There is only so much you can do with cosmetics to remove them which is why so many people turn to surgery when they are really desperate. Perhaps the best thing you can do is learn to accept how your body looks. At least until scientists can figure out better solutions.
The Right Brain’s Reply:
Unfortunately, none. At first glance, you may think that pore control products offer to make your pores smaller, but if you read the label carefully you’ll see that in most cases they just claim to reduce the appearance of large pores.
That may sound like a subtle distinction but it’s really not. There’s not much you can do to physically make your pores smaller but you can avoid making them look larger. Instead of looking for “shrinking” products, try avoiding these
factors that can make pores look plump: