5 Must-Have Products to Treat Aging Skin

Airdate: 6/30/11

Skin-care products really can do a lot to minimize signs of aging, but you can't believe everything that cosmetics companies tell you!

Paula Begoun: Hi, I'm Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, and I am hoping I am on air. Desiree, can you hear me?
Desiree Stordahl: You are on air.
Paula Begoun: You know, I am so confused, oh my god. Hi, I'm Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop. And I have had computer problems like you wouldn't believe.
00:00:30 I'm all psyched up to do the show today and my Wi-Fi went down. You can't do a BlogTalkRadio show and not be on the – well, actually I could do it. I was looking for my landline. Okay, I will calm down. Well, actually I can't calm down because I have moved into my new home so I am already anxious and my back hurts and organizing and moving and up and down stairs.
Desiree Stordahl: Not to mention you just got back from London on Monday, Monday night, at that.
Paula Begoun: Oh yeah.
00:01:08 Oh yeah, and then I moved on Tuesday. I am. I'm a crazy woman. I am an insane woman. I look. You know, my nails, and I am neurotic about my nails – I have no nails left. They are – if there was anything left to break, it's gone, because it is now down to skin. It's terrible. And my hair. I just – but my skin looks great.
00:01:36 We have a new – oh, Bryan, are you there? Bryan, you are in the suburbs somewhere at home?
Bryan Barron: I am, yes. I'm here.
Paula Begoun: You are doing a very suburban thing, you are calling in from home because you have a suburban – I tease you about living in the suburbs, like I'm such a city person.
Bryan Barron: Well I do.
Paula Begoun: But you have a condo – you are not in a condo, it's a home owner's association meeting.
Bryan Barron: Right, right.
00:02:05 We own a home in a neighborhood in suburban Seattle, and yes, we have our annual home owner's association meeting where a bunch of big decisions for the next year are going to be made. And, I really want to go there because there are certain people that I don't want to be on the board if I have any say in it. And I do.
Paula Begoun: Oh, you are so political. I'm so impressed Bryan.
00:02:31 Are you going to be on the board? You should be on the board?
Bryan Barron: I might actually, depending on how that shakes out. But, yeah, I think it would be a challenge so it is really the time commitment. But, I'm super excited to see your new house.
Paula Begoun: Yeah, it's great. I'm very excited. But what I was going to say is, no, I couldn't be on the board of anything because nobody would like me enough to put me on the board. That is why I have been self-employed for 32 –
Desiree Stordahl: Oh stop.
Paula Begoun: No, really.
00:03:05 I don't play nice with others. I've been working on my own, first as a makeup artist, I owned my own business since 1979/1980 and it has grown into what it is today with Paula's Choice and the books and being distributed in 44 countries around the world which is one of the reasons I was in London and Amsterdam doing some media, meeting some Paula's Choice users. They ran a contest in London and Amsterdam.
00:03:41 I guess I was the prize. I got to have high tea – oh my gosh, I have never had high tea like this in my life – with some of the fans that won, the Paula's Choice customers that won. It was wonderful. The high tea in Amsterdam was just outrageous.
00:04:03 And the three lovely people from Amsterdam who joined us, and there was all of this leftover food – cakes and chocolates and sandwiches and little Focaccia sandwiches. It was a parade of food and when I said let's pack it up, let's get a doggy bag and take it home, and they said the Dutch don't do that. I said, what do you just let this go to waste? I made them pack it up and take it home.
00:04:32 They were astounded. They were astounded. Can you believe it? Who doesn't take a doggy bag? Okay, so I do have to apologize, I am a little loopy. Is that the dogs, Bryan? Bryan, is that Timmy and Satine running around?
Bryan Barron: It's just Satine, yeah.
Paula Begoun: It's just Satine. So even at home, Satine, I thought she just did it in the office. But, okay, I am loopy, I am just so distracted.
00:05:03 But let me get to a couple of things that are really important. So when I said my skin looks great, what I have been using, and I know I say this and I need to always watch out when I say something like this because Kate, my product development director, gets upset. But we have come up with a prototype of a 9% beta hydroxy acid solution to work on Sebaceous hyperplasia and I don't know, it's pretty impressive so far.
00:05:37 It's only the third day, second day – second day? – yes, second day that I have used it. But this is the first time I have seen an improvement and I don't have any redness or irritation which I am kind of waiting –
Desiree Stordahl: Wow.
Paula Begoun: Yeah, I know, I know. Bryan, have you been using it?
Bryan Barron: Yeah, actually Kate gave me a little sample of it last week.
00:06:00 And coincidentally just under my orbital bone or under the eye area I got my first whitehead in a long time. I mean, thank goodness I rarely get those because they can be incredibly stubborn. And I had been treating it with our 2% BHA liquid and getting okay results but, you know, kind of slow.
Paula Begoun: Not good.
Bryan Barron: She gave me the 9% product – within two days it was gone. Gone. Not a trace of it.
Paula Begoun: No! No!
Bryan Barron: And I had no redness, no peeling.
00:06:36 I imagine if I had kept using it for a few more days, just to be safe, I probably would have gotten some flaking from the kickback because normally I can't use our 2% BHA liquid, it's a bit too potent for me. But, wow, I was impressed, no question. I could not believe how fast it worked.
Paula Begoun: Now did you spot use it? I have just been spot using it. I just put it right over the –
Bryan Barron: Yes. I was a little nervous about applying it to the whole face so I just treated that one bump.
00:07:06 And it was – you would not know I had one just three days ago.
Paula Begoun: Ha. Okay, so we just had a little impromptu Paula's Choice product development meeting. But that's been pretty – if this works, this would be great.
Bryan Barron: Yes. Our customers are going to love this product once, assuming everything goes okay with testing and what not.
00:07:36 But, I mean, wow – if our early experience is any indication, we are going to be making a lot of people with these stubborn bumps and Sebaceous hyperplasia really happy.
Paula Begoun: God, I can't wait until we panel test this. All right, on that note, so that is very exciting and it came back to Kate's little development with this new product – well, potential new product.
00:08:04 We haven't put it through its paces yet. But, it is looking hopeful. Yeah, exciting. And then – the other thing I came back to – this is kind of the agony and ecstasy of television. And it has been this way, the talk shows from the days when I did Oprah Winfrey till Dr. Oz. There are just limitations to what talk shows can do.
00:08:30 And when they do it, when they do stuff on skincare and makeup that is helpful and fact-based, it is wonderful. And then they do stuff that just drives me nuts and I want to take the television and throw it through the window, but the house is new so I didn't do that. So on the Rachael Ray Show there was a doctor, Anthony Youn, with a supposed to be a miraculous before and after picture.
00:09:03 They did a before and after thing with the camera. And sure enough when you looked at the before and after the person looked smoother. Now, first of all, smoothing something on and looking smoother, as if that has anything to do with any long-term effect – it is kind of like lighting up a cigarette and going, oh, I feel so relaxed, as if that has anything to do with any part of being healthy or taking good care of yourself, or eating a piece of chocolate cake and going, oh, this tastes so wonderful. Oh, it makes me feel so good. As if that helps anything.
00:09:43 So, this momentary looking smoother got huge play-up on the Rachael Ray Show with Dr. Anthony and his – oh, and he is a board-certified plastic surgeon so of course he is quitting his day job and just selling these products he was carrying on about.
00:10:00 But when you look at the products, what you are actually buying – I mean the DermaSilk 90-second eye lift is $39 for a quarter of an ounce. That makes it [$240] an ounce. And it is nothing. And, the second ingredient is a phthalate. It is illegal in Europe – not that being legal or illegal is necessarily good or bad.
00:10:36 But they are trying to make it illegal all over the world. Phthalates are bad stuff for the human body. That is the stuff from plastic and nail polishes that leach out. And they are not supposed to be good for you. The research is actually pretty clear that phthalates can be a problem. In skincare, whether or not they are actually absorbing and doing something, that is probably controversial and I am not so clear about it one way or the other.
00:11:07 But at least it's – what is it doing as the second ingredient in a skincare product?
Bryan Barron: What does it do?
Paula Begoun: It's supposed to tighten just like nail polish. And then the other one, this just – then they have the Sudden Change Under Eye Firming Serum. This one is cheaper; this one is $12 for one quarter of an ounce.
00:11:33 So it is actually not cheap because really when you add it up you are looking at a $40 to $50 an ounce product. And the first ingredient is water. The second ingredient is egg whites. It is egg whites. And the third ingredient is alcohol which causes – am I yelling? I sound really loud, don't I? I do, I get passionate. Okay, I will calm down. The third ingredient is alcohol which causes free radical damages.
00:12:05 It hurts skin in every which way but loose. It even has a formaldehyde-based preservative system. That is not necessarily horrendous. But this is like a dated formula. Oh, and the fourth ingredient is water softener, is a fabric softener ingredient. I don't know what the heck that is doing in a skincare product.
00:12:33 I mean I could go on. You know, Rachael Ray didn't call me, so maybe I've got an ego thing that she didn't have me on and I'm just giving this doctor a hard time. But really, looking at the formulary and looking at the claims, you know, it's sad to me that a lot of women watch that show and I'm fairly certain probably called up to get that before and after and they ended up buying egg white and alcohol.
00:13:10 And the second ingredient in the other product, that's a phthalate. It's not the best. Not the best, not the best. But, let's talk about what is the best, because that is really important and that is what we are going to do right now before we get to callers.
00:13:30 So, in looking at my face a lot and thinking about what I do to take care of my skin, and the best part of my day is when younger people – young is just about anything that is younger than me – and they compliment me on my skin. And, oh, it looks so good. And I'm thinking, what is it about my skincare routine that would account for – let's be clear, it's not like I haven't done things like Botox and dermal fillers.
00:14:07 But I know that there is a way that my skin looks that is different, that is smoother, and that is what they are complimenting on, because that is what I often hear is that my face looks smooth. And I love it. I mean that kind of compliment, it makes my life. I mean it is just that ego rush of thinking, oh wow, I look good.
00:14:30 And I know that is what women want. That's what the skincare industry and the cosmetic industry is all about. That's what I based my entire career on. So, as I was thinking about what I think are the must-haves that women need to take the best care of their skin to fight wrinkles, to fight aging, is five basic things. I think if every woman could follow then they would love their face, they would look younger, they would feel younger. And they wouldn't have to spend a fortune because nothing I am about to recommend has anything to do with expensive.
00:15:10 It just has to do with products being well-formulated. The first thing – the most critical thing is you can't do anything that irritates the skin. You can't do anything that irritates the skin. Inflammation in the body, inflammation from the inside out, inflammation from the outside in is a killer. It absolutely causes wrinkling, it damages skin and that is an – it's one of those situations –
00:15:48 The sun is the most clear example of inflammation that we know of in terms of skin's reaction. We know that when you go out in the sun on a sunny day and you are there and you have medium-to-white skin and you go out and you are there for 30 minutes and you get a sunburn. And we see that inflammation and we know that is bad.
00:16:12 That is damaging. It hurts. It's bad for skin. But what we now know because of science is that a lot of things inflame the skin that you don't necessarily see that cause the same damage underneath the skin without seeing it visibly on the surface.
00:16:29 And one of the clear examples of that is the UVA damage from the sun – the rays of the sun that are present all over. They come through windows. They are the sun's silent rays. You don't feel them, but they kill skin. They absolutely kill skin. They are carcinogenic. They cause wrinkles. They cause inflammation. That is how it causes their – it's [cascade] damaging effect.
00:17:00 So we know that skin can be inflamed and being damaged and you don't see it. Now obviously the UVA rays and the sun's rays are titanic in terms of its impact on skin. But on a clear level, on a similar level, especially when you consider that you might be irritating your skin day in and day out are things like hot water, scrubs – over-scrubbing the skin is a problem, irritating ingredients – all of the ones I have been nagging about forever: menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, lime, on and on and on.
00:17:36 Essential oils – fragrance in general, synthetic or natural. If you irritate the skin you are damaging skin. And, alcohol, alcohol is absolutely – excuse me. God, I am losing my voice. I'm yelling and screaming, I'm losing my voice. So gentle. You have to be gentle. The next thing – excuse me. Oh my gosh, sorry, I really am – sorry – the next, and I think this next one is pretty self-serving because Paula's Choice is a cosmetics company as my skincare line.
00:18:16 We have many exfoliants in the line in my product line that contain either beta hydroxy acid which the active ingredient is salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acid and the active ingredient is glycolic acid. Other companies might use lactic acid as well.
00:18:34 Those three ingredients are the best exfoliants we know of. There is no question about it. The research is abundant. When you get a well-formulated, either glycolic or lactic acid-based alpha hydroxy acid product, or salicylic acid-based, that is what a BHA is, beta hydroxy acid, the only ingredient is salicylic acid. When you get a well-formulated one either in lotion, gel, liquid form that has no irritants in it, no irritants, just a well-formulated product, that exfoliation is probably one of the most dramatic things you can do that when you use it and you wake up at night and you wake up the next morning, your face will look smoother. What happens with sun damage and getting older just in general, the outer layer of skin gets thick and the underlying layer of skin gets thin.
00:19:32 You exfoliate off that surface layer of skin, you help it do what it can't do normally and skin looks smoother. It's just like getting a pedicure. You get off all of those dead skin cells on your heel. Now, you can't do that to your face and I will explain why in a second why you can't scrub away skin on your face like you can your heels. But when you get those dead skin cells off on your heels and you put a moisturizer over it, the wrinkles are gone, the heel is smooth, it looks brand new, baby new.
00:20:06 The face is the same way, you just can't scrub at it like you can the heel because that scrub action on the surface of skin on the face just hammers away at the face. And all of it – you know, scrubs kind of come and go. It's an interesting thing in the industry. The Microdermabrasion scrubs that came around for awhile, Bryan, are those pretty much gone off the market? I haven't seen any as I have been shopping around. Those were a big hoopla.
00:20:36 I think people ripped their face up with them and then they just went away, kind of like Biore Strips?
Bryan Barron: Biore Strips are still around, if you want to use that for your blackheads, even though they don't really work as well as they are supposed to. Actually, they can't work as well as they are supposed to because they don't go deep enough and address the source.
Paula Begoun: Bryan, wait, wait, wait, what I was saying is, not that Biore Strips work or don't work, what I was saying is remember the days when Biore Strips first came out and then everybody else came out with their own strips?
00:21:16 And then they went away, right, and then the only one that has kind of hung around is Biore. But everybody else's is gone. Every company came out with them and then they went away. And now with, so we are kind of seeing the same with the Microdermabrasion – everybody came out with their version of – you can buy a Microdermabrasion scrub and now you have to scrub and you are going to have the Microdermabrasion effect. And that is what I am asking. Have those gone away?
Bryan Barron: Basically, yeah. You will find them at some lesser known lines, but none of the big guys – maybe Neutrogena. They have so many products. So they are certainly not being as promoted and they are not being lauded as new anymore.
00:22:01 I think the facial cleansing brushes have taken their place.
Paula Begoun: Right, and then I think those will go the wayside, too. I mean my experience and some of the reviews is it just hard on skin to scrub at skin. And that is the problem with those brushes is it is just – and Microdermabrasion, too, those scrubs in honey and almond, it is just so easy to tear at skin.
00:22:30 You tear at skin, you get inflammation. It's a problem. Anything that irritates is a problem. The best way you can exfoliate your skin is with a gentle alpha hydroxy acid product or a gentle beta hydroxy acid product that is well-formulated. By the way, everything I am recommending right now, we have so many reviews on Beautypedia. You can get there from PaulasChoice.com or CosmeticsCop.com. We have so many reviews of gentle cleansers and gentle alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid products.
00:23:07 So nothing you do irritates your skin. Same thing with toners. Every product has to be gentle. And then when you exfoliate you get such an incredible benefit, literally overnight. And, there is research that shows that a well-formulated alpha hydroxy acid or beta hydroxy acid product also improves collagen production. So you not only get that smoothness of removing the layers of skin that need to come off but can't because of sun damage and age, but you also get some collagen reformation which is great.
00:23:44 So sunscreen, we all know about sunscreen. I don't have to belabor it. But I will tell you, when I see the statistics that only 10% of us are wearing sunscreen as we should on a regular basis, it just makes me cringe.
00:24:00 All of the anti-wrinkle creams in the world, everything we are using, and women put on five and six different anti-aging and anti-wrinkle and anti-sagging products, and rarely use a sunscreen. Rarely use a sunscreen. It's a problem. You can eat 50 healthy foods a day and if you smoke cigarettes and don't exercise, it's a problem. It's not going to get you what you want. Sunscreen, please, 365 days a year. And you put it on before you go outside.
00:24:40 It's too late, I mean especially in the summer when you are going out to the beach, to put on a sunscreen when you get there is just silly. I guess it is better late than never, but you put it on before you go out and you don't put it on – I love the questions we get when a woman will say, well, what sunscreen can I use that I can still get a tan?
00:25:07 A tan, it's like saying, how do I get into a car accident but not bang my head? The car accident is the problem? The tan is that problem. Bad analogy, but I'm over tired. But you get my point. It's just that it is a problem to get a tan. The tan itself is just the physical manifestation of the damage that is taking place underneath.
00:25:32 You need a treatment product. You need a skincare product that is loaded, and I mean loaded, with antioxidants. And we explain on PaulasChoice.com and CosmeticsCop.com what antioxidants and cell communicating ingredients and skin identical ingredients are, but you need a product loaded with those wonderful ingredients. There isn't one miracle ingredient.
00:26:02 Let go of looking for some exotic plant up in the Himalayas or from some place in the Amazon or some country somewhere that is never your backyard because there isn't one ingredient that skin needs. Skin is complicated. Skin needs a cocktail of brilliant ingredients. The best products that we rate on Beautypedia have these incredible blends of the ingredients skin need to replenish itself, to restore itself, to actually be younger because it will have the substances it would have had if it was younger but it can't produce them now – skin can't produce those on its own, one because of age or mostly because of sun damage. So you give your skin those substances and then your skin actually is younger.
00:27:02 And eat antioxidants. Eat, eat, eat antioxidants. There is a lot of research showing that from the inside out the antioxidants make a huge difference in skin. If you have dry skin, now this doesn't apply so much to women with – actually it doesn't apply really at all to women with oily or combination skin, but if you have dry skin, you really do need a beautiful emollient, creamy, silky moisturizer that isn't just wax and water.
00:27:40 The days of Lubriderm and the days of Eucerin and the days of Derma whatever, silk, what was that called, or the Jergens – those products, it's not that they are bad. I mean they will take care of dry skin. But they are not elegant. They really are kind of just wax and water.
00:28:00 And maybe some silicon thrown in. You really need an incredibly well-formulated moisturizer loaded with great ingredients and it has to be rich and emollient. It doesn't hurt to put some plant oil like olive oil or flaxseed oil or evening primrose oil or borage oil over your moisturizer at night, just a little bit to get that emollient, healthy emmoliency to your skin. For dry skin, that can make a huge difference in your face.
00:28:33 And then this is one of those recommendations that I worry making because it is going to sound like one ingredient is the answer, but because retinol, the vitamin A, retinol is the technical name for the entire vitamin A molecule, because it has such unique properties, it is so well-researched as a cell communicating ingredient.
00:28:58 I would actually throw niacinamide in there but we don't quite know as much about niacinamide. Niacinamide is part of the vitamin B molecule. But we do know a lot about retinol, in the prescription form that would be Tretinoin, in the form of Retin-A, Renova. There is a generic version of that. So what makes it so intriguing to use a retinol product, and there are several out on the market – I prefer retinol precuts that aren't just retinol, but RoC has one and Roche-Posay has one.
00:29:36 And they are not that pricey. I mean you can get them where they are expensive, but there are inexpensive ones. As a cell communicating ingredient, meaning it is an ingredient that actually can tell a skin cell to behave better, retinol is a fascinating ingredient. The vitamin A molecule has incredible receptors that it can talk to a cell, tell a cell to make better cells.
00:30:04 It's really something. So although it is not the only ingredient skin needs as a unique cell communicating ingredient that is so well-researched, it is definitely one to keep on your radar. And, did I get it all? I got it all. That's everything.
Bryan Barron: Well what about hydroquinone?
Paula Begoun: Oh, skin lightening. Oh, I knew I missed something.
00:30:29 You know, skin lightening is an interesting thing to talk about because the brown discolorations that are almost exclusively from sun damage make skin look older. It's really surprising for me when I look at a young person's hand and I look at mine and I see my little – and I fight my brown spots like a crazy woman. I mean I am neurotic about them. And it just makes skin look old. Separate from the wrinkles and everything else. So, yes, anything you can do to fight those brown discolorations of which the first thing is sunscreen.
00:31:11 Bryan and I both feel strongly that the best sunscreen for fighting brown spots are the ones that have either titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide as the only active or if you are there with other synthetic actives, there are a lot of the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
00:31:32 You would have to look at the back of the label of your sunscreen and make sure that on that active list titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are there either as the only sunscreen active ingredients or with synthetics, but still, a lot of the titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. If you use that regularly, that is one of your best options for fighting skin discolorations by far. And then from there it is a hydroquinone product.
Bryan Barron: So Paula?
Paula Begoun: Yes.
Bryan Barron: I know that some people who are listening to the show may end up asking this question.
00:32:09 So, when you say to look for a lot of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide in a sunscreen that has other active ingredients like Octinoxate, how much is a lot? What is the number they should be looking for? I mean I know there isn't an exact science behind that, but what is your instinct?
Paula Begoun: That's a really good question.
00:32:30 But I am so neurotic about titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Well, first of all in the United States you are not going to get zinc oxide with other synthetics. So it is really about titanium dioxide. And then I would say 5%? I wouldn't to go under 3%, that's for sure. 5% -- I wouldn't go under 5%. And it is really better if it is just titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide.
00:32:59 And then of course hydroquinone which is a state-of-the-art ingredient for inhibiting melanin production. It is controversial. Some people think it is terrible for – it is a complicated little ingredient but there is no question that with regular use it absolutely inhibits melanin production. Products loaded with vitamin C, but there is not many of those products that actually have enough vitamin C to inhibit melanin production.
00:33:31 Products loaded with antioxidants just inhibit melanin production because they help reduce inflammation from the sun that stimulates brown discoloration. So, yes, skin lightening by sun protection is by far the best and you go a couple of days without sunscreen and it can set you back to square one; that's how vital sun protection is because the sun is so omnipresent.
00:34:03 You know when I say sun protection, I hate using that word because it really isn't about the sun. It is about daylight. People think if they don't see the sun they are not getting damaged and if you see daylight, daylight is seeing you and the parts of your body that are protected, it's a problem. Desiree, let's take the first caller.
Desiree Stordahl: Our first caller is Dawn from Maine.
Dawn: Hi, thanks for having me on and I am totally enjoying your show.
00:34:33 And I have been reading your books and I have a daughter that is in college now who does all of her checking with you, with the Cosmetics Cops first, before she does anything.
Paula Begoun: Oh, I love your daughter. That's great.
Dawn: She uses sunscreen and everything. And she and I both love your best buys and with the kids getting ready to go to college we really count our pennies. So we have fun, we have a really good time. So thank you very much.
Paula Begoun: You are welcome, thank you dear.
Dawn: Well what I was wondering about is I have used many of your products for many years and I also supplement with some things I can pick up at the local grocery store or at the drugstore.
00:34:15 But what I am starting to notice is I am getting those lines around my lips where I am seeing feathering with lipstick. And I have used liner –
Paula Begoun: I know.
00:35:31 Dawn, how old are you?
Dawn: 47.
Paula Begoun: 47, yeah, well I know. I know. I hate this question. I got to tell you, I hate this question. Well, actually I don't hate the question, you are going to hate me. You are not going to like me anymore. I'm the most unpopular kid on the block because I am going to tell you that even an exfoliant is not going to help –
00:36:02 The reason you are getting the lines around the mouth, the shrinkage of the muscles and the skin around the lip area because of the unique nature of the skin around the lips – it is not responsive to skincare. I mean it doesn't hurt to – I mean I definitely use my BHA around my lips neurotically. I sometimes get sensitized and so I only every other day or I mix it with my moisturizer or Paula's Choice has a lip and body balm and I will mix it with that and put it on.
00:36:42 But even doing that, and sunscreen, by the way, I can't say enough about sunscreen. But even having said all of that, those lines around the mouth other than getting lip fillers from a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, it's just a bitch. I don't have – I'm sorry, say you love me anyway.
Dawn: I do, I do. And honestly, knowledge is power. So I know it is best not to just waste my time worrying, hmm, well I wonder if I do this or that. But obviously I am really neurotic about looking for all of the different types of sunscreens, my lip balms.
00:37:30 I mean I don't' even know really – I tend to bite my lips a lot. So I try to keep, obviously stretching muscles and things like that, or pursing your lips, and I try to be aware of that.
Paula Begoun: Exactly. That's well said. I'm not one to bite my lips, but absolutely it's what you [unintelligible].
00:37:59 One of the things in terms of sagging skin in general around the eye because the eye area, there is no bone structure underneath it, it is already hanging off of the bone anyway. When you pull it tucked to wipe up your makeup on a daily basis, that over time it is like stretching out a rubber band, so it would be the same thing with your mouth, tugging at it. Obviously I am not going to tell you not to kiss – kiss your lip gloss, the whole smile, but anything else you do around it in terms of pulling and wiping – yeah, if you can stop doing it.
00:38:38 Let me send you, speaking of sunscreen, I'm going to send you one each of my Paula's Choice Lip Screen Lipstick and give you a little selection of that. I'm also – let me make a recommendation. This isn't my product; I'm going to recommend somebody else's product. But one of the things about bleeding lipstick is feathering into the lines is the greasier the lipstick the faster it is going to feather, even through a lip liner.
00:39:10 So Estee Lauder has their – Bryan, is it Estee Lauder's Double Wear Lipstick? What is their?
Bryan Barron: Are you referring to the lipstick that you like?
Paula Begoun: Yeah, the one that I live on. I invested in it.
Bryan Barron: Yes, you bought stock in the company. Yes, it is Estee Lauder's Double Wear Stay-in-Place Lipstick. It is a remarkably long-wearing lipstick. Paula swears by it. When I let her try some she was at Macy's the next day buying six of every color.
Paula Begoun: It's awesome.
00:39:47 Not everybody is going to like it. Test it before you buy it or take it back if you hate it, because it is matte. It doesn't move. And if you put a lip gloss over it, you want to just put –
Dawn: It slides?
Paula Begoun: Well, you lose its matte-ness. But you just put a little itty bitty bit. But I'm telling you, this lipstick, if I could send you one I would. So, Dawn, which products of mine are you using? Can I give you a refill?
Dawn: Oh, wow. It was my birthday, and thank you very much. It was at the end of the month and I use a lot of your Resist. So, of course, I kind of waited until the end of the month, like what am I going to buy. And I got a little – you sent me a little birthday thing in June so I just loaded up on a bunch of the –
00:40:36 Actually there is a new Resist moisturizer. I think I called in and I talked to one of the gals. I got that. And you know the one thing – oh my gosh, and the serum is amazing.
Paula Begoun: So let me do this, as long as you have just loaded up, let me just send you a $25 gift certificate for the next time you need to load up on Paula's Choice.
00:41:05 And take good care of those lips, okay?
Dawn: Well thank you very much. And keep your good work going on. And I appreciate it very much. Have a good night.
Paula Begoun: Thank you, Dawn, you too. Desiree, next caller.
Desiree Stordahl: We have Mary Jo from California on the line.
Paula Begoun: Hi Mary Jo.
Mary Jo: Hello. Oh, I ‘m so happy to talk to you. I have been listening for a long time and following you forever. And my question is about Retin-A. I am 51 and I have had a prescription for Retin-A Micro 0.04 I guess it is for five or six years.
00:41:36 And I have been using it. Well now my insurance isn't going to pay for it anymore. So I'm wondering is it really worth the out-of-pocket expense to buy it myself, or can I get kind of the same level of maintenance that I am receiving now using a good mixture of over-the-counter less expensive products?
Bryan Barron: Good question.
Paula Begoun: Yeah, I hate – God, not that I hate these questions. It's a great question. I don't have an easy answer I guess is what I am really saying.
Bryan Barron: I have a suggestion.
Paula Begoun: Go for it. Bryan, go for it.
Bryan Barron: Now, Mary Jo, it's not the same as Retin-A Micro, so if it is a texture issue, this might be something you have to get used to.
00:42:22 But Tretinoin, the active ingredient, is available now as a generic. So you can consider asking your physician if they could just write you a prescription for generic Tretinoin cream. It is available in a couple of different strengths. And see how much that costs you versus the Retin-A Micro. Because I am thinking you might be able to get a tube of that for around $75, $80. So that is pretty much what you would spend if you were looking for a retinol product at the department store or you could try one of the Paula's Choice serums with retinol and see if you will get benefits from that.
Mary Jo: Okay. And, you talked about --
Paula Begoun: I'm sorry, Mary Jo.
00:43:08 Let me just reiterate what Bryan is saying. I do think that the Tretinoin which is the prescription version of the vitamin A molecule retinol – retinol is what you find in a cosmetic, in a skincare product when it is well-formulated, I think is unique enough that if your skin tolerates the prescription form, I would stay with the prescription form.
00:43:38 It is unique in what it does. It isn't the only ingredient your skin needs, but if your skin tolerates it I think it is an important ingredient to use if your skin can take it. So, I agree with Bryan, a generic version. And I'm going to say this. I'm going to throw caution to the wind. But my mother does it.
00:44:03 She orders her medication online from Canada and gets incredibly inexpensive mediation. I have never done it personally. But, I know a lot of people who do and I know it is an inexpensive way to get Tretinoin as an ingredient, as a product. And it lasts a long time because you don't need a lot of it. But I am going to send you a few of my Paula's Choice products that have retinol in it. I still think for your skin – for people who can't tolerate Retin-A, a lot of people can't tolerate the prescription version, then I absolutely suggest retinol as an alternative.
00:44:45 So I am going to send you some of mine, but I would try to find a cheap way to get some, maybe go down to Mexico or something and pick up some there. Am I supposed to say that? Can I say that? Well, you can get it in Mexico. Of course I can say that.
00:45:00 So, yes, try to stay with it if you can.
Mary Jo: Okay, all right. Well I appreciate the recommendations.
Paula Begoun: So we are going to send you some Paula's Choice Resist products and a couple of our products that have retinol that you can experiment with.
Mary Jo: Okay, and I can use those together, right? Or should I not double dip?
Paula Begoun: Bryan, can she use – double dip, that's good. Bryan, can people double dip? I don't know about that one. Is that overkill?
Bryan Barron: I have never seen any, and I have looked, so I am not just pulling this out of a hat.
00:45:35 But I have never seen any research indicating that the combined use of retinol in a cosmetic product with the prescription form Tretinoin is a problem. They have similar effects. They should have a complementary action. The only thing to watch out for is if you notice when you double up on them if you are starting to get signs of flaking, irritation, if your skin starts feeling like it has a mild sunburn, anything like that, that is your skin telling you, “Okay, hold back a bit.”
00:46:06 And then maybe you want to separate the application so you would use the retinol product in the morning underneath a very good sunscreen and then use your Tretinoin at night.
Paula Begoun: Or just go back to your Tretinoin.
Bryan Barron: Exactly. Yes.
Mary Jo: All right, great. Well thank you so much.
Paula Begoun: Thank you, Mary Jo. Desiree, next caller.
Desiree Stordahl: We have Nikki from Michigan on the line.
Paula Begoun: Hi Nikki.
Nikki: Hi Paula.
Paula Begoun: Hi.
Bryan Barron: Nikki, what part of Michigan?
Nikki: I'm a huge fan. I just want to let you know.
00:46:34 I have been following you for years and I love your radio show so thank you for having me on.
Paula Begoun: Thank you. But Bryan was just asking you where you are from in Michigan.
Nikki: I am from Grand Rapids.
Bryan Barron: Oh, I love Grand Rapids. I grew up in Lansing.
Nikki: Oh cool.
Paula Begoun: Bryan is a Michigan guy.
Nikki: Well my question is, I have really sensitive skin. I cannot tolerate retinol and I have heard that mixing certain plant oils like evening primrose oil and sweet almond oil can help anti-aging and I just wanted to know if that was true?
Paula Begoun: No, it's not true.
Nikki: Okay.
Paula Begoun: I love a really easy question.
00:47:15 I love it. I love it. So, plant oils – what is an anti-aging are the things we just talked about which is gentle and no irritation; sunscreen; eating antioxidants; loading your face up with antioxidants, cell communicating ingredients, skin identical ingredients; gently exfoliating skin; and potentially using a retinol product.
00:47:46 There isn't any single plant oil that I would say is the anti-aging. There isn't any single – even retinol, as good of an ingredient as the vitamin A molecule is, isn't the ingredient. Skin still needs all of this other great stuff, all of these other great ingredients. The analogy I always use is about diet. Green Tea is great and healthy and wonderful but if you only drank Green Tea you would get malnutrition and die.
00:48:17 It wouldn't be good for you. So there isn't any oil or any combination of oil. If anything, it takes a much more elegant formula. It is not something you can really do yourself. It's really a well-formulated cosmetic with these great ingredients. It's the best way to go.
  But if you have dry skin, having said all of that, if you have very dry skin, putting a little olive oil, a little flaxseed oil, a little evening primrose oil – I don't know so much about almond oil but almost oil is probably good, too – over your moisturizer that is loaded with all of these other ingredients, that's a great way to take care of dry skin.
00:49:04 But by itself, there is nothing about plant oils that are anti-aging.
Nikki: Okay.
Paula Begoun: Does that make sense?
Nikki: Yes it does, thank you.
Paula Begoun: Can I send you some Paula's Choice products? What are you using?
Nikki: Sure. I'm using the Clear line.
Paula Begoun: And you have sensitive skin and you can use the Clear line? Is it working well?
Nikki: I can. It's mainly the retinol that I can't tolerate.
Paula Begoun: Oh, oh, that makes sense. So let me send you –
00:49:34 Are you using the extra strength or regular strength products from my Clear line?
Nikki: The extra strength.
Paula Begoun: You know, so Nikki, let me send you another set of the Clear Anti-Acne products. But let me mention something about not being able to use retinol and Retin-A. So even though I am carrying on quite a bit tonight about using retinol and Retin-A, I can't. I have a terrible reaction.
00:50:06 I mean I actually have more sensitive skin as I am getting older than I had when I was younger. But even when I was younger I tried to use, well, because Retin-A was the drug of choice, the topical thing you were supposed to do when you had acne. And I tried it every which way but loose and I always ended up with red, inflamed skin.
00:50:32 So that is one of the things about Retin-A, Renova, the active ingredient Tretinoin, even retinol for that matter can cause an irritant reaction. Bryan, when he uses retinol, he is very sensitive and if he goes over just a small percentage like a 0.1 percentage, he gets an irritant reaction. So, it is a potent ingredient, it is really doing something on skin which is why you can get a reaction.
00:51:04 So, it is not unusual, a lot of people can't use Retin-A, the prescription medication, and can't use retinol. Most people can tolerate retinol, but there are still those that can't. It's doing something on the skin and the skin can react. So, I'm not surprised you are sensitive, you can be sensitive to it.
Nikki: Definitely.
Paula Begoun: All right, Nikki, thank you for calling.
Nikki: Thanks, Paula.
Paula Begoun: All right, take care dear. Desiree, next caller.
Desiree Stordahl: We have Deborah from Minnesota.
Paula Begoun: Deborah, how are you doing?
Deborah: Hi.
Paula Begoun: Hi, what's going on?
Deborah: I'm curious about what the advantage of the alpha hydroxy over the beta hydroxy exfoliant might be?
00:51:58 If the beta hydroxy has the anti-inflammatory, why would you choose an AHA over a BHA?
Paula Begoun: Oh, I love this question. If I had my druthers, everybody would use a beta hydroxy acid. However – I think beta hydroxy acid is a phenomenal. Look, well, obviously I think it is a great ingredient. My little cosmetic company has over 10 beta hydroxy acid products. Nobody else in the world has that many – actually, nobody else in the world has a product line with even three or four salicylic acid products, more or less one. And I've got 10 or 11 going.
00:52:42 So I obviously feel very strongly about salicylic acid. However, having said that, the thing about alpha hydroxy acids is not everybody can use beta hydroxy acid. And there are things you can do with alpha hydroxy acid that you can't do with salicylic acid. So, it is one of those situations where alpha hydroxy acid plays a role in skincare for lots of women, particularly women who don't need the kind of deep exfoliation that beta hydroxy offers.
00:53:16 So personally, I would recommend beta hydroxy acid all the time but I know just from the research and from our own panel testing that AHAs, you know the feedback that we are getting on our Resist smoothing and resurfacing – what is our Resist treatment called? Somebody?
Desiree Stordahl: Resurfacing Treatment.
Paula Begoun: Oh, that's it. The 5% and 10% AHA. We are getting incredible feedback on it. And AHAs play a role, I think this is one of personal preference more than anything else. But, yes, I would always –
00:54:03 Are you using any of my, Deborah, are you using any of my 2% or 1% BHAs?
Deborah: Yes. I'm using a BHA lotion. I think that is 1%.
Paula Begoun: And is it doing fine for you? Have you thought of trying a higher concentration or is it just doing great?
Deborah: It seems to be working well for me. But I guess the thing that really prompted my question was the fact that the newer Resist line has the AHA which made me thing, oh, should I be trying that?
00:54:36 Because I love so many of the other Resist products.
Bryan Barron: I think a lot of our customers have had that same question. And a lot of them have switched over to the Resist AHAs and found that they like them either just as well or even better. So, maybe it's just one of those things you have to test out.
Paula Begoun: I agree. And also keep in mind that as a cosmetics formulator, you are getting a lot of –
00:55:05 When I give you my opinion, it doesn't necessarily, like Bryan was just saying and what I think I was explaining poorly is I have my own preference but I know what the research is about alpha hydroxy acid. And I would be remiss as a formulator and a product developer – somebody who is trying to develop products that are brilliant for a range of women to not have beautifully formulated alpha hydroxy acid products.
00:55:33 So having said that, I am going to send you the smoothing and the weekly – why can't I remember the name of my product? Wait, Desiree?
Desiree Stordahl: Resurfacing Treatment and the Daily Smoothing Treatment. The Weekly, the 10% and the Daily, the 5%.
Paula Begoun: I have to get some sleep. That's what we are going to send to Deborah. Deborah, did I answer your question? I realize I am rambling tonight.
Deborah: You did, you did.
00:56:04 I love the range of products that you have, it's great.
Paula Begoun: Thank you, dear. Thank you, I appreciate it. Take care.
Deborah: You too.
Paula Begoun: So do I have time for? Desiree, you hate when I –
Desiree Stordahl: Mary from New York has a question I can read to you really quick. Can you mix an AHA with retinol?
Paula Begoun: Mix it, probably she doesn't mean mix it together in her hand but means.
Desiree Stordahl: Let me get her on the line. Mary, are you there?
Mary: Yes, I'm here.
Paula Begoun: Okay, real quick. You mean applying them at the same time or mixing them in your hand and applying it?
Mary: Applying them at the same time.
Paula Begoun: Yeah, there's no problem. Yes, you can. Now, this is one of those situations where have to judge how your skin responds. So, somebody like me who can't use Retin-A or retinol-based products, it doesn't help me at all to do it with or without a BHA. And then some people absolutely love the extra penetration they get from using the BHA and then the retinol goes that much deeper into the skin because you are getting the dead layers of skin off.
00:57:16 So it tends to help penetration. So there is no reason not to try it and then just pay very close attention to how your skin does. What you will notice when your skin is having a reaction is that you will notice right away that you are getting a little bit or redness or flakiness right around the corners of the nose and the corners of your mouth. That is a clear way to know that your skin wasn't very happy with your decision.
Mary: Okay, great. Okay, thank you.
Paula Begoun: All right, Mary, take care. So, that was pretty good. I never get the last question in. I'm so impressed. Did I make sense tonight?
00:57:57 I just, I'm in my new office –
Desiree Stordahl: You did.
Bryan Barron: Yeah, we went on a couple of tangents but we got back on track.
Paula Begoun: Not too bad. Because I'm sitting here in my new office looking at stacks and stacks of books that I need to put away and artwork that needs to be hung and my little teddy bear collection. I actually did put the teddy bear collection up first because I need to see my little teddy bears.
00:58:28 So, I'm Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop. And I'm thrilled to – I was in Europe the last two weeks and now I am back in Seattle. I should be here all summer. And hopefully Seattle will eventually get summer because we haven't had it yet.
Bryan Barron: It is supposed to happen on the 4th of July.
Paula Begoun: Oh, the sun is supposed to come out on the 4th of July?
Bryan Barron: Yes, as is our tradition here. When the fireworks go off, the sun comes out, and then we are good for about six weeks.
Paula Begoun: Okay, I won't hold my breath because I don't want to be disappointed. Desiree, what is our show next week? I don't have my list. I'm sure it is in a book somewhere.
Desiree Stordahl: Next week we have the secrets to finding the perfect foundation.
00:59:13 And then the following week we have Dr. Baumann back on who is going to do a show all about looking younger without surgery.
Paula Begoun:td> Oh, Dr. Baumann who is a very well-known and respected cosmetic dermatologist. But the foundation, oh, that's great. That is going to be hot. I'm telling you, I'm done with women getting screwed around at the cosmetic counters on foundation. We are going to get you the best way to find the best foundation.
00:59:44 No more foundation mistakes. Get your foundation on beautifully. I'm Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, and I am with Desiree Stordahl, my producer and assistant, and Bryan Barron, who has been doing work with me for years. Come visit us at PaulasChoice.com. Take care.
Bryan Barron: Good night.
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