7 Extraordinary Beauty Products that Really Work!

Airdate: 7/21/2011

With an ever-changing cosmetics market, how do you know which skin-care products really work and which are merely a marketing gimmick? Let The Cosmetics Cop team do the investigative work for you as we unveil the breakthrough skin-care products that really work!

Paula Begoun: Good evening. I'm Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, with my Paula's Choice team, Desiree Stordahl and Bryan Barron. And we are here keeping you Beautifully Informed again as we do once a week live on Thursday evenings here in Seattle, Washington. It's six o'clock here by the way. And, of course, lots of times all over the world and you can always listen to us archived, all of our past shows, and you can connect to the shows on www.paulaschoice.com.
00:00:36 You can hear some of the crazy and some of the great things we have been telling you and sharing with you over the past – actually, how long have we been doing our Beautifully Informed radio show, guys? Desiree or Bryan, do you know?
Desiree Stordahl: It started in January of 2010, so probably a year and half-ish.
Paula Begoun: A year and a half? Whoa.
00:01:01 All right, so we will have some champagne in another few months here then and celebrate the New Year. Oh, that's right, we started right around the New Year. Okay, all right. Well here we still are. We will still be. And tonight's topic is "7 Extraordinary Beauty Products that Really Work!" And we mean really, really, really, really work.
00:01:26 And some that are shocking and some that are ordinary but definitely any which way you shake it, what we are going to give you are without question the things you can consider doing where there is – the benefit is clear. There's almost no argument out there. There's definitely no argument on our end in terms of what the potential results will be and what we think and find the research is very clear about. But before we do that we always have few things we have to get off our chest or get you caught up in particularly because of last week's – there were a few questions left hanging before the show ended.
00:02:10 And one of them was we talked to, I think it was Jennie. Desiree, am I right, Jennie –
Desiree Stordahl: It was actually Genie.
Paula Begoun: Genie. Well we were close. I was close. So Genie had told us, lovely gorgeous woman Genie, said that she had gorgeous highlights that her hairdresser was doing for her that didn't have peroxide. It was no-peroxide and that was making her hair look so much nicer because it didn't contain peroxide.
00:02:39 And what I said at the time was that, well wait, because whenever I hear something where someone is saying something that I know just sounds absolutely beyond the pale of physics that, you know, hold on, wait, you can't get highlights. You can't actually do much dyeing of hair of any kind to change your hair color where it actually stays for any amount of time if it doesn't contain some amount of peroxide.
00:03:07 And even if it doesn't say "hydrogen peroxide" directly on the label, it probably contains an ingredient that releases peroxide. Sodium borate I think is one of those ingredients that can release peroxide that sometimes shows up in hair dye products that say they don't contain peroxide. So, we haven't heard back from Genie. Genie, if you are out there, if you had a chance to talk to your hairdresser we would love to know what she is using.
00:03:36 Because if I am wrong and I have to get a another physics class going here, I'm more than willing to get up to speed on something I don't know about. But you know the thing to mention about these no-peroxide claims and I was thinking when Genie was describing what was going on with her with the lowlights and the highlights is that I think what happened is when she stopped going all light and she started getting lowlights put in, isn't that what she described, Desiree?
00:04:06 That she stopped getting just all highlights and started putting lowlights in. Is that your recollection?
Desiree Stordahl: Yes. She was doing lowlights as well.
Paula Begoun: So I think when you stop over-bleaching hair, because I have the same thing. When I just was putting in highlights, way too many highlights, I was getting that dried out frizzy blonde look. And when I stopped going all blonde and started just doing more of the normal hair color –
00:04:34 Because the less you alter your hair color, the less peroxide you need, the less damaging it is. So it could be because of the lowlights that she felt her hair was feeling healthier. But then again, we don't know, because I haven't heard back from Genie. Oh, the other thing I wanted to mention is the no-peroxide claim reminds me of the no-ammonia claim.
00:04:56 That was a big thing with hair dyes was that it was no-ammonia. And so it might not contain ammonia, and that's fine. But ammonia as an ingredient just smells bad. As an ingredient in hair dye, what it did and does you still need, which is it raises the pH of the product. You need a high pH ingredient to allow the physics of hair dye to take place.
00:05:25 You need peroxide to lift some of the color out of your hair so you can put new color in and you need some amount of ammonia to swell up the hair to get the dye molecules in and then you've got to shut them down so the dye molecules stay. So products can say they don't contain ammonia, but they will contain ingredients that do the exact same thing ammonia does that just doesn't smell like ammonia but does the exact same thing. So not containing ammonia doesn't mean your hair is going to be any better or worse. Your nose is just going to appreciate not having that acrid smell around.
00:05:58 But the effect of what ammonia does in the product is still there because they are just using a different ingredient, typically in hair dyes they are using Triethanolamine which is a very good ingredient for raising the pH and it doesn't smell as bad as ammonia. So we still need more information. I'm sorry, it reminds me of the claims about perms, particularly perms aimed at young African American girls that say no lye. This product contains no lye. And indeed it might not contain any sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide, but for certain it still contains ingredients that raise the pH to a pH of 14 which is at the absolute highest – you can't get any higher than a pH of 14 in the alkaline range.
00:06:45 So whether it is potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide, it still contains an ingredient that sends it to that high end range of damage. It just isn't that scary sounding ingredient so you don't know that it could still potentially be a problem for young skin to have that kind of a strong ingredient on it.
00:07:06 I hate crazy claims. But again, Genie, we are waiting for you. The other question that kind of got left was somebody asked about the PaloVia Skin Renewing Laser that is being sold – I think it is being sold on QVC, right? I think so. QVC? Am I right about that? Guys, anybody there?
Bryan Barron: I just saw it on their website but I could do a quick search here.
Paula Begoun: I think it is QVC. Desiree, are you there?
Desiree Stordahl: I'm there, but I'm not sure; I'm looking up right now.
Bryan Barron: There is a forum, community, they are talking about it on QVC's chat boards. Oh, PaloVia.com.
Paula Begoun: So they are.
Bryan Barron: Yes, they are.
Paula Begoun: So whoever is selling it –
Bryan Barron: $500.
Paula Begoun: Well, they are selling it for a lot of money.
00:08:01 So, this little PaloVia Skin Renewing Laser that claims that it is the same output as what you can get from a similar device at a dermatologist office – it does seem to be a 1410 nanometer device that is within the range of what a dermatologist might use one your skin. And we are still looking into it.
00:08:26 I'm skeptical about it. Even if it works I am skeptical that you should be doing it at home yourself but then again there is always the TRIA that is an at-home laser hair removal device. It is an 810 nanometer out and it works. I mean there is no question that that is exactly the same wavelength that doctor's offices use or spas use to do laser hair removal. So whether or not this works, whether or not you should use it, we have a call in to a few of our favorite dermatologists that we use.
00:08:59 So right now we can't tell you – we still can't update you on it, whether or not you should run out and dump out $500 on this or whether or not there is any risk to it. But it is definitely out there and we are working on getting you the information because that is what we love to do. The other thing, the other update, this was a Bryan rant. We are just finishing up reviews of a line of skincare products, sunscreens from Australia called Invisible Zinc which is a line of sunscreens that the only active ingredient in the sunscreen is zinc oxide.
00:09:44 So first of all, it is not invisible. That claim we just have to – I mean from the get go it is just not invisible. It absolutely looks white and it is one of the negatives about a very wonderful sunscreen ingredient, zinc oxide or titanium dioxide in this case, it's zinc oxide. And it is wonderful. There is no question about it. Invisible Zinc, zinc oxide is a great ingredient, but it is so not invisible.
00:10:10 And for certain Elle Macpherson who is the spokesperson and very big on their website, with one of the most magnificent bodies ever, is tan. She is so tan. I mean she is without question tan-tan. And as a matter of fact when you look at – if you go and look at Elle Macpherson and you search for images of her in Google, I mean mostly this woman is tan. And she has clearly been tanning a good deal of her life.
00:10:40 This is, in all due respect, Elle Macpherson you are one incredible gorgeous, beautifully bodied woman – I don't know if that is a word being "Beautifully Bodied" but she has a beautiful body. But she is photo retouched up the kazoo here which is fine – it's the beauty industry. But the major thing is that she is tan and it drives me crazy.
00:11:03 When I see sun products advertising their products as if it is okay to get a tan and use their product. That their product will help you get a healthier tan. It's a lie. I don't think this is exactly what they are saying, I don't think they are putting words to it, but visually when you look at this, this is Elle Macpherson in a skinny, teeny, tiny little barely-covering bathing suit with a tan.
00:11:34 It makes you think that you can get a tan and use their product and be safe. Bryan, I'm sorry, I cut you off. You were going to say something.
Bryan Barron: You said it. Normally we don't comment on the photos a website chooses to use, but this one – there is information all over Invisible Zinc's site about the dangers of sun exposure and how not getting a tan is the way to go and then you see that giant picture of Elle Macpherson frolicking on the beach and you are like, "Uh, okay, disconnect."
00:12:11 They could have taken a shot of her sitting under a beach umbrella, maybe wearing a cute little cover-up top that they sell for use on the beach. They could have shown her wearing sunglasses or a broad-rimmed hat. But they didn't.
Paula Begoun: No, not at all. And she is tan.
Bryan Barron: She is visibly tan.
Paula Begoun: Right, on so many levels it is a problem.
00:12:34 And what's funny, there was another model that isn't showing up on my screen right now who is – oh, Georgia May Jagger. Is that Mick Jagger's daughter, is that who that is? She is appropriately not tan. She is anorexic looking. But she is appropriately not tan. I wonder if that is Mick Jagger's – Georgia May Jagger visits Australia to launch new product from Invisible Zinc.
00:13:02 So Invisible Zinc is very busy. They are good products. As far as sunscreens go, if you know how to use a sunscreen, they are smart about the sun. I am not dinging the product. What I am dining are the claims that it is invisible because it isn't and do not ever be misled when you see somebody with a tan saying that you could get a tan and use a sunscreen and that combination is protecting you. It's not.
00:13:33 Women ask all the time, "Well if I am using a sunscreen, can't I still get a tan?" Well, you can, but don't. So the other thing is – is that it, is that all I had to get off my?
Desiree Stordahl: FYI, Georgia May Jagger is Mick Jagger's daughter. She is the daughter of Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger.
Paula Begoun: She looks like Jerry Hall.
Bryan Barron: There you go.
Paula Begoun: She does. Hopefully she won't look as bad as her father did when I saw him at the theater – what was that, last year, last spring, when he was sitting across from me – well actually not across from me, just a row over.
00:14:08 I was seeing "FELA!" in New York and Mick Jagger – you can't miss him, it was clearly Mick Jagger sitting there. Wrinkled old guy. Maybe a size zero. I mean he is thinner than – I couldn't even imagine what he was sitting on because he had no rear end. It was very distracting because there is Mick Jagger, how can you – and the musical was spectacular but there was Mick Jagger.
  00;14:31 And wrinkled. Oh my God. Oh my God I am thinking, "Boy, he didn't listen to me." Whatever, he's not listening to me. I think he is my age…is he my age? He must be my age.
Bryan Barron: No, he's older. I think he has a good 10 or 12 years on you. But you know, he has had a rock star life and it shows.
Paula Begoun: Oh it shows. But his daughter, she is looking very good and not as tan as Elle.
00:14:57 Okay, so let's talk about the "7 Extraordinary Beauty Products" and this is in no particular order. These are just some of our favorites that we can recommend wholeheartedly and want to encourage you to consider. And actually I am going to start with Desiree because you did – we had heard from many people that the Shellac Gel Manicures, the new Shellac Gel Manicures that many salons and spas are doing and can cost anywhere between $25 and $45 making claims about long your manicure can last, that it is incredible that it really holds up.
00:15:39 And Desiree, you put it to the test.
Desiree Stordahl: I put it to the ultimate test. Over the weekend I got my manicure on Saturday and then on Sunday I was in this race called Warrior Dash. And if you want to see what Warrior Dash is, go to www.warriordash.com. But essentially it is obstacle courses, you are climbing over things, you are going through mud puddles, you are climbing under barbed wire. So every tough situation I could put my nails in, they were in.
00:16:06 And to get home and have to get all the mud off myself and soak my nails to get all the mud off, my manicure was perfect still. There was no chipping. It is still ultra shiny. I mean I really put this to the test as much as you could. So I would absolutely say it is great for a manicure that lasts longer than usual and can withstand tougher conditions.
00:16:29 I have heard, and I haven't experienced this yet myself because I haven't had to get it removed, but I have heard that the removal process is difficult. You have to go to the salon or you have to soak your nails in acetone and from one of our coworkers here actually she soaked it in acetone herself and she said that it kind of wrecked her nails.So, I wouldn't advise it if you already have weak, brittle nails. And I would advise going to the salon at least the first time you are getting it removed just to make sure you see what they are doing and see what product they are using and make sure you are doing it as safe as you can.
00:17:04 But if you are looking for something that can hold up, say you are going on a vacation somewhere and you don't want to mess with getting a manicure while you are there, I would absolutely say this works great.
Paula Begoun: But Desiree, it is supposed to last two to three weeks. What are you supposed to do about your cuticles? Because I noticed your manicure held up beautifully, you nail polish looked brand new, the cuticles looked a little raggedy, so do you just work around them?
Desiree Stordahl: You just work around them.
00:17:37 You could go in and get it touched up if you want. It is almost like getting your nails filled. It is not that intensive of a process. But you could go in for a weekly touch up if you really wanted to shell out the money for that. But it is just kind of like a regular manicure – when it grows out it grows out and you just deal with it.
Paula Begoun: Because you didn't have a chip. After you told me about that mad dash crazy – I have no idea why you did that this weekend thing – did you do that with your husband?
  Desiree Stordahl. Yes.
00:18:06 And it was a blast. I think it said like either 23,000 or 36,000 from Seattle showed up and did it between Saturday and Sunday. It was a really fun event.
Paula Begoun: Not 36,000!
Desiree Stordahl: I will Google how many people went to it, but it was a really big event. And people were dressed up in costumes, business suits to –
Paula Begoun: Wait, this was here in Seattle?
00:18:28 How did I miss that?
Desire Stordahl: It was in North Bend. It was a big event, yeah.
Paula Begoun: Did you take pictures of yourselves when you were done?
Desiree Stordahl: I did. I will show you the pictures.
Paula Begoun: Can we get it up on Facebook so everyone can see you all dirty and gorgeous.
Bryan Barron: Aw!
Paula Begoun: Aw! I will have to see if I can convince her, or at least send it to me and then I will see if I can convince Desiree to get her little Shellac Nail Polish and her little after mad dash pictures up on our Facebook page.
00:18:59 So my number one extraordinary beauty product that I don't think gets enough play is an anti-itch product like the one we have been talking about a few times on this show is Hydratensive Cortisone 10 Anti-Itch Lotion for Hands and Body. Now this particular formula, it is a 1% Cortisone over-the-counter product. It doesn't require a prescription is a beautiful formula. It far outpaces any of the Lanacort's or Cortaid's.
00:19:35 This is a very elegant well-done moisturizing, soothing with 1% Hydra Cortisone. The thing is that the number of times we get little rashes and little itches, I'm thinking particularly when you sleep in your makeup and it gets a little itchy. Or your hands get a little itchy from too much detergent and cleansing and too many dishes.
00:20:04 Just those little itches that come up and we don't take care of them. I think of the number of times just above my eye lids that I get rashy little patches that with a little bit of Hydra Cortisone – you can't use Hydra Cortisone repeatedly. You use Hydra Cortisone repeatedly you can get skin thinning. But for emergency situations to calm the skin down, to soothe it, there is nothing like this product. And obviously if you have, well not obviously –
00:20:35 But if you have more severe or more acute or chronic eczema or rashes, then you would want to see a dermatologist and talk about options around other types of Cortisone products. But for over-the-counter, for once in awhile to reduce those swollen puffy top lids or those little rashes on your cheeks or corners of your nose or on your hands or little rashes that I get when I am exercising and the band is too tight at my back
00:21:07 Once in awhile using the Cortisone 10, this Hydratensive formula, I'm telling you it will make a difference. Your skin will feel more comfortable, looks smoother and healthier. The makeup will go on better. When you reduce those skin reactions it can be – well, it is, it can be a Godsend.
00:21:29 Retinoids. We talk about retinoids a lot on this show. But when you talk about extraordinary skincare products to not talk about vitamin A and all of the vitamin A derivatives both that you can get in skincare products like retinol or that you can get in prescription-only products like Renova or Retin-A or Tazorac or on and on and on. The list is endless. Retinoids, vitamin A, retinoids simply refer to all of the different forms of vitamin A out there.
00:21:59 Vitamin A is an incredible skin ingredient in its medical form, tretinoin, Tazorac, on and on, or pure retinol in a skincare product. You have incredible benefit. It isn't the only skincare ingredient your skin needs. But it is beautiful at improving cell function. There is something about the way vitamin A works when it absorbs into skin that it can tell skin cells to make better skin cells.
00:22:28 Now there are other ingredients that can do that, that we know about. But the amount of research about retinol is what makes it so interesting is that it is pretty universally understood as having that benefit for skin, telling skin cells to make healthy skin cells. It is not an exfoliant. Women often ask us, well, if I am using Retin-A or Renova or Tazorac, do I also need an exfoliant? Isn't it already exfoliating?
00:22:59 It improves cell turnover but it is not an exfoliant. That is not the benefit you are getting from using a retinoid. So a well-formulated alpha hydroxy acid or beta hydroxy acid product doesn't replace anything when you are – retinoids do not replace the need for a really nice. Sorry, I just lost my train of thought because for some reason a quick little note came up – caller Diane from Oregon. How come that happened?
00:23:36 Desiree, I got a little cute popup from –
Desiree Stordahl: Don't worry about it. We are all good.
Paula Begoun: Is she good? Hello Diane. I don't know, she just popped up – big blue name Diane. Okay, I will ignore that. Sorry. I get so easily distracted in life. What was I saying? Oh, I know, no, I don't know. Where was I?
Desiree Stordahl: The retinoid doesn't replace your need for…
Bryan Barron: An exfoliant.
00:24:00 I think where you were leading is talking about what benefits you will get if you use them at the same time.
Paula Begoun: Ah-ha. You were listening! You guys do like me! Okay, thank you. So, yes, the benefits that you get from using them at the same time is that what you get with a well-formulated alpha hydroxy acid or beta hydroxy acid product is exfoliation, surface exfoliation. And that is important because one of the things about sun damaged skin is that the surface of skin gets thick and unhealthily doesn't do what it is supposed to do.
00:24:34 And you exfoliate it off. It's a better way than just scrubbing skin because it does it smoother and more evenly. What a retinoid does is it improves cell function. Now that does help cell turnover but it doesn't mean it will change that severe thickening, particularly if you have severe sun damage. Now some people can easily just use a retinoid and some people can just easily use an alpha hydroxy acid, beta hydroxy acid product, but together if your skin can handle it, you get a synergistic benefit that you need to consider.
00:25:03 But retinoids, forms of retinol, in skincare products are great. There is a particular product from Good Skin which is – actually, Bryan, where is Good Skin sold? Is that still only at Kohl's? Where is Good Skin?
Bryan Barron: Yes, it's only at Kohl's department store. Although you can also order the products on Kohl's website which is Kohls.com if you don't have a store in your area. But they are pretty widespread across the states and I think they are up in Canada to some extent as well.
Paula Begoun: So the product we are talking about from Good Skin –
00:25:38 Good Skin is an Estee Lauder brand. Estee Lauder has many brands under their belt. Good Skin has some good products but the one that is unique that really doesn't have much competition out there in the world of skincare is they have a Spackle Wrinkle Filler called Tri-Aktiline. Now what Tri-Aktiline is, literally, it's an okay skincare product, it's actually a good skincare product.
00:26:09 But you would never just use it as a skincare product. It does smooth out wrinkles when you put it on. I don't quite get how it works. I know the formula, I know the ingredients. I can't quite explain how when you put it on your skin it smoothes out the wrinkles. You can apply it, depending on how you apply your makeup and what kind of makeup you are wearing and if you are careful about application, you can actually put it on over makeup by dabbing it on but you can also wear it under makeup.
00:26:39 Just when you apply your makeup over you just have to be careful to not wipe it off as you are wiping on your makeup. But as far as spackles go, whatever that word means, it does look pretty darn smooth and convincing. It is not going to erase anything; it doesn't replace anything in terms of good skincare.
00:27:00 But for a temporary smoother look, now I have to say, having tested it and actually personally working on a product that I think will be better for Paula's Choice, I actually did have an allergic reaction to the Tri-Aktiline but that is just me personally; that might not apply to anybody else. But it really is something to consider. I would give it at the very least a test run. Number four – self-tanner, that just doesn't get a lot of attention.
00:27:31 And self-tanner when you can learn, it takes experimentation to learn how to get it right, but you know, in comparison to just about anything else, in fact you don't have to use a self-tanner straight out. Like Bryan, weren't you just mentioning that you sometimes take a couple of drops of self-tanner or was that bronzing gel – what did you say you did today?
Bryan Barron: It's bronzing gel because I love the mineral-based sunscreens, especially for use from the neck down on a long day outdoors. And I have fair skin that burns and then tans, but I don't like the white cast a lot of the mineral sunscreens leave on my skin.
00:28:08 I'm white enough, thank you very much. So what I do is a little trick, so to speak, is I will take half a teaspoon or so of a tinted bronzing gel. I use the one from L'Oreal's Sublime Bronze Range which you can get at any drug store that sells L'Oreal. And mix that with the mineral sunscreen and put the whole thing on arms, chest, what not and it offsets that white cast and actually gives me a little bit of extra color, too.
Paula Begoun: Oh! That is a good trick.
Bryan Barron: I haven't yet experienced a situation where doing that – it probably breaks down the sun protection a little bit but I'm certainly not getting any color.
Paula Begoun: No, no.
00:28:52 And again, a lot of it is not overdoing it. You are using more sunscreen to bronzing gel, right, obviously?
Bryan Barron: Oh, absolutely. Because it doesn't take much of the bronzing gel to tint it. Now somebody with a darker skin tone than me might want to, or need to use a bit more but you would have to experiment to find out.
Paula Begoun: Right. So it is really about these bronzer products, whether it is self-tanner, bronzing powder, bronzing gel. And Desiree is our little bronzing queen. There is something about that glow that you can get from a self-tanner or a bronzer when you apply it right that adds a certain richness and certain warmth that I don't want you getting from the sun because it is killing your skin when you get it from the sun.
00:29:42 But you can add with a little bit of makeup or a little bit of self-tanner and give your skin that incredible glow that is that bronzy glow. And it really doesn't matter what skin color you are. That little bit of bronzy glow for African American skin, Indian skin, whatever the color, that little bit of bronzy glow really can make a huge, that healthy vibrant difference.
00:30:08 It gets overlooked but when you get the knack down of doing it, it makes a huge difference. The next one is Rapid Lash or Latisse in terms of growing lashes. And I have to tell you guys, I have started using – I have been using Latisse because I ran out of my Jan Marini stuff finally. I have been using a Latisse-like product or Rapid Lash-like product that grows lashes, contains a type of glaucoma medication that they found when people with glaucoma were using this medication, that it made their lashes grow.
00:30:43 It really does grow. And I started losing – I love my full eyebrows. I like having full eyebrows. And one of the lovely things about growing older is you do start losing hair in lots of different places, of which one of them is my eyebrows. And so I actually started using Latisse on my eyebrows.
00:31:04 This is just recently, I decided, ah, what the heck, when I do my eye lashes I will just do the rest of me. I will just do my brows and my hair line. And so Latisse works, Rapid Lash works. They really do grow lashes. There are side effects that you need to be aware of. You can get bluing underneath the eye. You stop, it goes away. But if you don't catch it, it actually can be more permanent. So you have to be careful. You have to watch what you are doing.
00:31:33 Definitely causes redness and irritation for a lot of people but sometimes just redness and if you don't mind the redness it covers up with makeup anyway. For me, I definitely do get redness and I can get bluing under my left corner, the outer corner of both my eyes, lower eyes if I am not careful about it. But without question it grows lashes. Those claims are true and the Rapid Lash is cheaper by far than Latisse.
00:32:00 Latisse is at $100 or so and Rapid Lash is at $50 or I think you can get on sale on some websites at $35 or –
Desiree Stordahl: Right, anywhere from $30 to $50.
Paula Begoun: And even though they say it is not – whatever you read about any of these products, you do have to – when they work there really are side effects that you have to pay attention to. There is way too many of these lash growing products that don't do anything, which is fine, you don't have to worry about them then. But, they are not doing anything other than wasting your money.
00:32:34 Of the ones we know on the market, Rapid Lash and Latisse are definitely the two that have this glaucoma type medication in them. Rapid Lash, a version of it; Latisse is the actual glaucoma medication and it works. It grows lashes. And I will let you know in a few weeks if I get some of my eyebrow hair back.
Desiree Stordahl: You should take a before and after picture for us.
Paula Begoun: Oh yeah. Oh, right, if I'm going to make you put up your pictures on the website, I could put my brow before and after. Okay, I will take a picture of my eyebrows.
00:33:05 That would be good. So the last one because I could just go on and on and I want to start taking calls – well this is my product. This is Paula's Choice Weightless Body Treatment with 2% beta hydroxy acid. I've got to tell you for Keratosis pilaris, red bumps on the arms and legs, it is one of the – it is a wonder product. There just isn't really – I don't know. I don't think there is any competition.
00:33:26 There is KP Duty from DERMAdoctor does have a Keratosis pilaris product called KP Duty. But it is a glycolic acid-based product. And 4oz costs $36 – what did we say?
Bryan Barron: Yeah, $36.
Paula Begoun: $36 for 4oz. My Weightless Body Treatment for 7oz – what is it? What do we sell this for?
Bryan Barron: $22.95.
Paula Begoun: Oh, boy!
00:34:08 So I feel strongly that for Keratosis pilaris on the arms and legs it is not that alpha hydroxy acid can't work, and people have used my 10% alpha hydroxy acid body lotion – the Skin Revealing – I can never remember my product names, and found success. But by far I think the Weightless Body Treatment with 2% beta hydroxy works better.
00:34:33 Mostly because of the kind of disorder that Keratosis pilaris is a beta hydroxy acid product works better in the pore.
Bryan Barron: Yes, and it is worth mentioning right now to anybody who is listening and considering the Weightless Body Treatment with 2% BHA, it is on sale now. We are running a 25% off special for one week on all of our exfoliants. So you can actually purchase it within the next week for $17.21. And honestly if you haven't tried this product and you have those red bumps that show up on your upper arms or on your thighs or in your bikini area, you will love this product.
00:35:09 It is amazing.
Paula Begoun: Yes. Okay, Desiree, let's take our first call.
Desiree Stordahl: We have Michael from Connecticut on the line.
Paula Begoun: Hi Michael.
Michael: Hi Paula. How are you?
Paula Begoun: I'm good, how are you?
Michael: I'm so great. I'm honored to talk to you actually. You are truly my idol. I just turned 22 and I actually went to aesthetics school to learn more about skin after reading your book that I picked up in the bookstore one day.
00:35:38 And I suffered from severe acne since I was 12. But as far as my question, I was wondering about mineral vs. chemical sunscreens. I know that as long as they are both well-formulated they can block the harmful sunrays, but in your book that I have you stated that since you made the switch to a mineral-based sunscreen you have gotten better results.
00:36:03 I wondered if you could elaborate on that for me.
Paula Begoun: So first of all, everything is a chemical. Water is a chemical, everything is a chemical. We have to get over this thing about chemical-free in the world of skincare. I don't care if it is a plant or you can stick a tree in a skincare product, it's in there, it's a chemical. But what you are really talking about are the mineral-based sunscreen agents which the only two are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide or synthetic-based sunscreen agents.
00:36:36 And you are right. I do feel strongly that mineral-based sunscreens, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide by far if your skin can tolerate them are better. They are just better. It doesn't mean that the synthetic ones aren't good. They work. But what the mineral ones, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, have over the synthetic ones is no risk of irritation.
00:37:01 And as I know Michael you have heard me say for a very long time that irritation is bad for skin in any form. If you can avoid irritating ingredients, that's better for skin. So in this case, since titanium dioxide and zinc oxide – it's more gentle. Unfortunately, when you get up into the higher numbers, SPF 30 particularly and over, if you just use titanium dioxide or zinc oxide and you don't stick a tint in there, you are just going to look white. It is like the Invisible Zinc products out of Australia. They say it is invisible…it isn't!
00:37:38 So you get a negative and a positive. You get really great protection but you do get a white cast. You are not going to look as brown by far as Elle Macpherson on that front page. So that's really the issue primarily. And then there is just the fact that the way they work is just easier on the skin, because there is no reactivity. So that is why I prefer mineral-based sunscreens to synthetic-based sunscreens.
00:38:07 But you know, not everybody gets good results or wants the whiteness or the feel because that is the other thing about titanium dioxide and zinc oxide-based sunscreens is they can feel thick and heavy. Not everybody is nuts about that. So those are the issues why one versus the other and often sometimes you can get a combination. But that is my preference. I try to use personally the mineral-based sunscreens whenever I can.
00:38:33 It's not always easy. I do sometimes layer up because like I said, much over an SPF 30 and you are just looking sick and white and cakey.
Michael: Right. Yes, I feel the same way. And I have pretty much bought almost every single one of the products you sell. I love them all. I have been using them for over a year now and my skin has just done a complete 180 since using your products and I can't thank you enough for all that you do.
Paula Begoun: Oh! So Michael you said you are 22?
Michael: Yes.
Paula Begoun: You are 22.
00:39:04 And are you using any of my titanium dioxide or zinc oxide-based sunscreens and having luck with them?
Michael: Yes, my typical morning routine is I use your Skin Balancing cleanser, and then the Resist Toner, and then I would layer the Sheer mineral for my body SPF 15 and then the Skin Recovery for my face and then if I wanted to put any powder over or sunscreen foundation I would just do that.
Paula Begoun: So Michael what I am going to send you, because actually I just took one off of my counter.
00:39:39 I'm going to send you our Resist Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer with SPF 25. I would like for you to give that a try and see how you like it in comparison to the Skin Recovery version. It is just titanium dioxide. I think it is a very light, fluffy formula. Will you use it and email Desiree and let us know how you like it once you get it and give it a try?
Michael: All right.
00:40:12 And I actually do have it and I actually also got your newly launched Clear Hydrator. And I absolutely fell in love with it within the first application. I know you really shouldn't go by the first application, but really it was just amazing. So I definitely have to pick up more of that.
Paula Begoun: Okay we officially love Michael. I'm going to send you a Cellular Defense Daily Moisturizer anyway and Michael I would like you to get on one of our panel tests so Desiree will let you know the link of where you can go on www.paulaschoice.com and get in on one of our panel tests. I would love to get your feedback on stuff. Thank you Michael.
Michael: Okay, great. Thank you so much.
Bryan Barron: Paula, we have some really, really amazing and vocal male customers. And I think that that is great. Especially someone like Michael who is so young.
00:41:00 I wish I was taking that good of care of my skin when I was that age. And I know I wasn't.
Paula Begoun: I wish I was taking that good of care of my skin at that age. Oh my God! Yes, I love that we are reaching younger and younger people – men, women, kids, because the difference we can make – even if it isn't our products, although I love when it is my products. But to not waste money and to get great skincare, I mean it is just so important to so many of us.
00:41:33 So, yeah, Bryan, I appreciate that. And Michael, it was great. Thank you. Desiree, next caller.
Desiree Stordahl: We have Yolanda in California.
Paula Begoun: Yolanda, how are you?
Yolanda: Hi, doing good.
Paula Begoun: What can I do for you?
Yolanda: Yes, I need to find out – I'm 45 years old and I have been dealing with stubborn Melasma on my face. And I was wondering what would be the best thing for African American skin to get rid of it or to at least lighten it some.
Paula Begoun: Oh, African American skin. That's tricky.
Bryan Barron: Hydroquinone is an option.
Paula Begoun: It is.
00:42:14 Well actually that is really the only option. But you would really want to test it out first before you just jumped in. And sunscreen. But, yes, Bryan is right. The reason I was being hesitant is because African American skin for hydroquinone can get a kickback effect, can get hypo-pigmentation or a darkening. So you really need to test it. Well actually, anybody can get darkening or irritation from it.
00:42:46 So you need to patch test it first to be sure that it works for you. But hydroquinone does something to skin. It reduces melanin production but for some reason some people get something called a contra-indicated effect. So a hydroquinone product and it could be something you would want to discuss with your dermatologist before you jumped in.
00:43:10 The other thing, Yolanda, is that you have to use sunscreen. I know that a lot of women of color think they don't need a sunscreen, but darkening of the skin, patchy darkening of the skin is one of the signs of sun damage. And it happens to women of all color. And as a result if you are not using sunscreen, just about anything else you do won't help.
00:43:36 I'm going to send you a couple of my products that are loaded with antioxidants that I think are particularly helpful. But nothing is going to be – some of my Resist products. And I'm going to send you my 2% skin lightening hydroquinone product. It is a lower strength than what a dermatologist would prescribe for you to experiment with. And sunscreen. You've got to use sunscreen. You got to, you got to use sunscreen.
00:44:02 Unfortunately because you are a woman of color, the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide-based sunscreen can show up not the best so I am going to send you --
Yolanda: It's kind of chalky.
Paula Begoun: Yeah, not convincing. So I am going to send you some of my other sunscreens to experiment with and see if you can get some lightening from that. But when you get the hydroquinone product I do want you to patch test it for awhile before you jump in. But I think you will be surprised the combination of hydroquinone with sunscreen.
00:44:37 It's just, you know, state-of-the-art out there and of course you can always check with your dermatologist before you jump in with a prescription…well you would have to, prescription-strength hydroquinone product. But it is state-of-the-art in the world of dermatology for any skin color.
Yolanda: Okay, that will be great.
Paula Begoun: Okay, Yolanda, you will let us know how you do with the products we send you.
Yolanda: Okay, I sure I will. Thanks.
Paula Begoun: All right. Take care, dear.
00:45:04 Desiree, next caller.
Desiree Stordahl: Next up we have [Shoreh] from New York.
Paula Begoun: Shoreh?
Shoreh: Yay, I'm so excited to talk to you.
Paula Begoun: Hi, Shoreh, my niece's name is Shoreh. What a beautiful name. What can I do for you?
Shoreh: I'm 22, too, and I am also a huge fan for the last couple of years. And I'm just a little confused now because I have started using Clindamycin with Retin-A in it for acne.
00:45:30 Kind of mild but I still don't want any pimples on my face so it seems to be helping. But my doctor when I went, he told me don't use any BHA products which I was using your products, and I was like, okay, you are the doctor, you know. And he offered me bar soap and I was like, "No, Paula doesn't like that; it's not good." But, so I am just wondering – I guess I want help on my skincare routine.
Paula Begoun: So you are using – did I hear you say you are using a product that has Clindamycin and Retin-A combined in one product?
Shoreh: Mm-hmm.
Paula Begoun: What's it called, Shoreh?
Shoreh: I can go upstairs right now and find out for your while we are talking.
Paula Begoun: I love portable phones.
00:46:18 So Bryan, have you heard of this, a Clindamycin that also has Retin-A in it?
Bryan Barron: I haven't, no. I know of BenzaClin which is called –
Shoreh: It's called Ziana.
Bryan Barron: I have heard of Ziana, I just didn't make the connection.
Paula Begoun: Z-I-A-N-A?
Shoreh: Yes.
Paula Begoun: Ziana.
00:46:42 So it is Clindamycin with Retin-A and the doctor said don't use any BHAs with it? Did he say why or just?
Shoreh: No, he was like, you don't need that, you are fine. And I don't know, I wanted to have some exfoliation so I thought that was good.
Paula Begoun: So did you give up the BHA? Tell me what you are doing Shoreh right now to take care of your skin.
Shoreh: So right now I am using your – I don't remember exactly which face wash, but one of the normal skin ones. And I'm using right afterwards I put on the Skin Balancing toner.
00:47:17 And then I put on the Ziana. Just when I get waxing and stuff I use a skin release treatment like my eyebrows. And then I know it is bad, but I am not really wearing sunscreen.
Paula Begoun: But I understand why you are not wearing sunscreen. Because until you get your skin cleared up you are not going to be happy with sunscreen. Believe me, I get it. So let me just ask, when you started doing this, I take it you were using my BHA and stopped.
Shoreh: Yes, I was.
Paula Begoun: And so how long have you been off of the BHA?
Shoreh: Right now probably like 5 weeks.
Paula Begoun: And how is your skin doing with the Skin Balancing cleanser, toner and the Ziana?
Shoreh: My skin was never awful, like honestly.
00:48:00 It's just everyone notices their flaws much more highlighted. But it definitely has been clearer. It's not perfect but I look pretty much clear if you look at me.
Paula Begoun: Okay. So I think that what you are doing sounds fine. Do not follow your doctor's comment about the bar soap.
Shoreh: Never, ever, ever.
Paula Begoun: He is so wrong about this.
Shoreh: I know.
Paula Begoun: I want you to know there is even research now.
00:48:29 This used to be just my opinion but now there is even research backing me up in the dermatology journals saying that you have to stop recommending bar soaps to your patients. He is out of step. It's old information. The ingredients that put bar soaps in their bar form clog pores hands down. That is just what they do. And they are irritating. They are drying and irritating. Irritation makes acne worse.
Shoreh: Yeah, I told him that for eczema it was probably like the worst.
Paula Begoun: And he knows you have eczema?
Shoreh: Yeah.
Paula Begoun: All right, don't get me started.
Shoreh: You need to start reviewing dermatologists, too.
Paula Begoun: Yeah, lord knows they love me as it is.
00:49:10 Okay, so, his information about bar soap is completely wrong. In terms of the BHA, there really is no reason to not use a BHA. There is nothing about the skincare routine you are doing where a BHA wouldn't fit in. However, I'm not one to like to upset the cart. And if what you are doing right now is working –
00:49:38 Are you using the Ziana twice a day or once a day?
Shoreh: Just once at night.
Paula Begoun: So here is what I am going to suggest. Shoreh, which of my BHAs were you using that you stopped?
Shoreh: Well I actually was pretty confused by the time I was finishing because I had just stopped using the 1% lotion and then I tried the 2% lotion but it was like so thick and creamy. It was a lot for me. So then I tried the gel.
00:50:05 Then I went back to the 1%. So I am not really sure.
Paula Begoun: So here is what I would like you to try. And just experiment with it. Stay doing your routine at night, Skin Balancing cleanser/toner, Ziana, and then in the morning the Skin Balancing cleanser and toner and then I am going to send you from my Clear line my regular strength 2% BHA – Desiree, what is the name of my regular strength Clear?
Desiree Stordahl: Targeted Acne Relief Toner.
Paula Begoun: Yes, Targeted Acne Relief Toner with 2% beta hydroxy acid. It is a gentle acting 2% beta hydroxy acid because of the vehicle, because of the type of ingredients.
00:50:51 So even though it is 2%, it sounds like it is stronger, well obviously 2% vs. 1%, but the way it is delivered to the skin is gentle. And if you want to give it a try during the day so that your daytime routine has the cleanser, the toner and then the BHA, and your nighttime routine is the cleanser, the toner and the Ziana, give that a try and see how you do. And your skin will tell you if that is a good idea or a bad idea in terms of breakouts.
00:51:22 In terms of sunscreen, are you wearing foundation at all, Shoreh?
Shoreh: In the summer my face sweats a lot, it's kind of gross, so I never wear makeup in the summer really. Only my eyes. And my foundations and my bronzers, they all have SPF in it but I am honestly not wearing them. The only place I wear sunscreen in on my body.
Paula Begoun: At least tell me you are wearing sunglasses and a hat.
00:51:47 But even separate for that, I am going to send you a couple of my foundations. My foundations are very lightweight. They all come with sunscreen, particularly my Barely There Sheer Matte Tint. I want you to give that a try with my pressed powder, my Healthy Finish Pressed Powder.
Shoreh: Cool. I always wanted to try that.
Paula Begoun: And I would love to see you get at least some sunscreen to your face.
00:52:10 But let's see if we can't calm down your acne with this routine and try these foundations with sunscreen. I think a lot of people find, I know personally I do with my normal to oily blemish-prone skin that when I use foundation with sunscreen and pressed powder with sunscreen, it just does not make me break out the way, if at all, the way a moisturizer with sunscreen does.
00:52:32 Shoreh, thank you for calling. You will let us know how you are doing.
Shoreh: Thank you so much. You are awesome. Thank you.
Paula Begoun: Thank you, dear. Take care. Desiree, do we have time for one more? We do, don't we?
Desiree Stordahl: We do. Let's go to Holly from Kentucky.
Paula Begoun: Holly!
Holly: Hi Paula. It's nice to talk to you.
Paula Begoun: Nice talking to you. The blue hills, isn't that your part of the world?
Bryan Barron: The Bluegrass State.
Holly: Bluegrass.
Paula Begoun: That is, Kentucky is the Bluegrass State, right?
Holly: That's right. Yes. It is very hot down here right now.
Paula Begoun: Yeah, we are not coming now for sure. It's cold up here.
00:53:05 What can I do for you, Holly?
Holly: Well I have been a fan for a long time, also and I have used your products. I have been using the Skin Recovery products and they have been great for adding moisture to my skin. I turned 43 this year and I'm starting to see I am entering into a new phase of life. And I am seeing my skin in a different way.
00:53:25 So I have been thinking what else I need to do to help. I'm not getting the same glow I used to get. I tried a retinoid maybe ten years ago and it irritated my skin a little bit so I was thinking that maybe a retinol…so I wanted some advice should I try retinoid again or should I go with retinol and give that a chance to work?
Paula Begoun: So Holly, let's back up a little bit. Tell me again how old you are?
Holly: 43.
Paula Begoun: You are 43. And what are you doing to take care of your skin?
Holly: I use your Skin Recovery program.
Paula Begoun: All of it? All the steps including the serum and everything?
Holly: I don't use the serum. I don't think I have that. I use some of your exfoliants. I use some of those.
Paula Begoun: Which exfoliants of mine are you using?
Holly: I have the AHA and the BHA.
Paula Begoun: Oh, so you have been using both of those kind of alternating every now and then?
00:54:27 Is that the idea?
Holly: Every now and then. Yes.
Paula Begoun: Are you using any of them regularly like the BHA regularly or just using them, alternating them regularly?
Holly: Alternatingly regularly.
Paula Begoun: That sounds a little strange, but I get exactly what you are saying. So, it sounds to me like you are doing everything I would recommend you to do, but I am going to send you the super antioxidant concentrate from my Resist line. I do think that what that does for your skin in the morning when you put it on at night or under makeup, I think you will be impressed.
00:55:09 I think what you are commenting on in terms of your skin, I think you will like the results you see. I'm also going to send you my Resist Resurfacing and Smoothing Treatment. It is a 10% AHA that you use once a week and then a 5% that you can use daily, especially for dry skin, the 5% is an alpha hydroxy acid, a glycolic acid-based moisturizer that is different than the 8% AHA gel that my line has.
00:55:44 So I would like you to give those a try and see how your face does. In terms of using a retinoid, absolutely there is never – you can try a retinol product or you can try a prescription Retin-A or Renova product, talking to your physician actually, you can even talk to your pediatrician. They write prescriptions for that all the time.
00:56:07 Not your pediatrician but your kid's pediatrician. Even dentists. I have seen dentists write prescriptions for Retin-A or Renova, and add that in. If you were irritated by it 10 years ago without knowing if you were using my skincare products or –
00:56:27 I personally can't use Retin-A or Renova no matter what I tried in terms of putting a skincare routine together. I am always irritated by it. Bryan is particularly sensitive to even retinol in regular skincare products. So some skin types just – it's just very sensitive to it. But there is no reason not to try it and see if maybe with kind of products you are using now or if you just use it every other day or every three days to get Retinol to your skin, prescription or in regular skincare products is absolutely worth a consideration. And it probably doesn't hurt to try Renova and see how your skin does with it this time around.
Holly: Okay. And the Resist has retinol in it?
Paula Begoun: The Resist has retinol in it.
00:57:21 But not that much. It is a small…Bryan, do you know off-hand? Is it 0.01? I don't remember my own percentages. We are working on a retinol product that has a higher concentration. And, Bryan, the current one it is the Resist one Desiree?
Bryan Barron: The Barrier Repair Moisturizer?
Paula Begoun: No, the serum that has the –
Desiree Stordahl: The antioxidant concentrate actually doesn't have retinol in it.
00:57:53 Not the Resist version. The Skin Balancing and Skin Recovery versions have retinol in them.
Paula Begoun: That's what it is. Damn, I make way too many products. Holly, we are going to send you the Skin Recovery Antioxidant Concentrate. That does have retinol in it. But that still isn't quite the same thing as trying Renova. So play with those things and see if your skin is glowing the way you want it to. I think you will – definitely with the Weekly Resurfacing, I think that will get you close.
00:58:23 I know using the serum will make a difference. And I have to take a crash course in my products. Thank you! I've got to go. I can't believe – how does the time go so fast. I know, because I talk so much. All right, I'm Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, keeping you Beautifully Informed on Thursday evenings live here in Seattle with Desiree Stordahl, my assistant, and Bryan Barron, my co-author and long-time writing pal for everything that Paula's Choice and Beautypedia produces. And he is the best.
00:59:03 So next week we are going to be talking to Dr. Arthur Perry, cosmetic surgeon, about sagging and bagging treatments. Lifting. Really lifting and not just telling you stories about it, but how to really do it. On the fourth, August 4, how do you tell if a product is working. It's perfect for what we have been talking about today, but now we are going to get down into the nitty gritty about it on the fourth. On the 11th we are going to be talking to Dr. Nase. He is a Rosacea specialist. It has been a passion of his for years. And then on the 18th, "Seven Hair Care Secrets You Need to Know." Listen in.
00:59:37 We will keep you looking beautiful and beautifully informed. Talk to you next week. I'm Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop. Come visit me at www.paulaschoice.com.
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