Crazy Things Beauty Magazines Say

Airdate: 1/24/14

Cosmetics Cop Paula Begoun and Senior Research team member Nathan Rivas pair up to discuss one of Paula’s favorite topics! In this fascinating show you’ll hear the truth about some of beauty’s biggest and most recent lies—and also learn why dermatologist recommendations aren’t as ironclad as they may seem.

Paula Begoun: Hello. I’m Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop. And I’m here with my senior research specialist, Nathan. Nathan, I can never pronounce your last name, so you’re going to have to pronounce. That’s because I always call you Nathan.
Nathan Rivas: That’s true. It’s Nathan Rivas.
Paula Begoun: Rivas! Not Re-vas. Not Rev-is
Nathan Rivas: Hello everybody.
Paula Begoun: Did I say it right? Rivas?
Nathan Rivas: Rivas, yeah.
Paula Begoun: Rivas! See, even after you say it I’m not going to get it right. But what I am going to get right is that he is our senior research specialist, our social media specialist. I
00:00:32 If you are visiting us on Facebook or any of our community pages, on Pinterest, Twitter, Tweeting, whatever it is we do, it’s Nathan who is there keeping you beautifully informed. And we’re here now, keeping you beautifully informed, so you can make the best decisions about everything from skincare to makeup, hair care, Botox, cosmetic surgery. You name it, we’ll discuss it. Tell you the truth. And take your questions on our Facebook page.
00:00:59 Today we’re going to be talking about, this is my favorite topic. I’ve been talking about it forever. Are the crazy things beauty magazines say. And aside from what the crazy things the cosmetic companies say, the cosmetic salespeople say, the crazy things dermatologist say, and that they often say and get quoted in fashion magazines, it really is the over 1,000 fashion magazines - and there’s probably more, but that’s an average I’ve heard of fashion magazines published around the world that women read on a regular basis that pound us over the head with really crazy information.
00:01:37 So that’s what we’re going to do. I mean, we could talk about this every day, every year, every minute.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely.
Paula Begoun: With the crazy things we read, but we’ve pulled some of our current favorite ones. And I’m going to let Nathan start with some of his favorite ones.
Nathan Rivas: Oh gosh.
Paula Begoun: This is his top list.
Nathan Rivas: My top list.
00:01:58 And this comes from - a lot of these come from a few different sources. Some of them come from Allure. Some of them come from Elle Magazine. They’re kind of all over the place. Some of these just really stood out as just the nuttiest things I think I’ve ever read in a magazine. The first one had to do with skincare shortcuts. You could say the lazy person’s approach to skincare, I think, was the overall theme of the article. But this one - so, if you do get facials, and you know what we say about facials. Some of them are good, some of them are bad.
00:02:29 You know, they can have their benefits. But, you know, maybe you just don’t have time for a facial. So, allure had a very helpful suggestion that if you don’t have time to make an appointment for a facial, or just show up, you don’t have to go to a facialist to get a steam. You can just steam from anywhere. You can steam - get a nice blast of steam from your dishwasher, for example, or from a boiling pot of water. And it will just open up those pores right away and you’ll get a nice healthy glow, which is this, of course, one of the craziest things I think I’ve ever read.
00:03:00 And I wish you could see the picture for this, because it was so comical. You know, in Allure Magazine, this model in this ball gown, and she’s opening this dishwasher.
Paula Begoun: A ball gown. We all do our dishes in ball gowns.
Nathan Rivas: Exactly. Yes.
Paula Begoun: That is what we wear.
Nathan Rivas: Just opening up this dishwasher and this huge plume of steam coming out of there. And she’s just closing her eyes and just taking it all in. And, of course, you know that steam is very harmful to skin in general, but especially for the face, things like broken capillaries and irritation. It can make acne, it can worsen acne.
Paula Begoun: Because of the inflammation it causes.
Nathan Rivas: Exactly. Yeah.
Paula Begoun: Actually, it is phenomenally damaging. One of the things about chefs, and there’s many articles written about this, is that chefs because of their hanging out over a hot stove and boiling pots, and dishwasher steam, is they have a terrible problem with broken capillaries.
00:03:52 And worsened Rosacea. It is a bad recommendation, whether you’re doing it over your stove, or your dishwasher, or a facialist is insulting your skin, assaulting your skin with steam. It’s bad skincare. Whether you do it at home, or you do it from a facialist and waste money. So, yeah, bad, crazy, ridiculous information that’s harmful for skin and just silly in general.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely. And I do have to comment on that topic, a lot of questions we get from people about broken capillaries on Facebook especially, or in social media, a very common element is that they used to take a lot of steam baths or they used to get a lot of steams from facialists.
00:04:34 So, as just a tag that area, it absolutely is a very real thing that you should really, really avoid doing.
Paula Begoun: Oh, so much. And hot - and in the day, many a moon ago, it used to be a huge recommendation to splash your face with hot water. The hotter the better. In fact, Laszlo, the original Dr. Laszlo, the original Dr. Laszlo, and actually Laszlo, the skincare line, actually kept this going for awhile was that you washed with bar soap and splashed your face with the hottest water possible.
00:05:04 You might as well just, I don’t know, just slap, you know, put fire on your skin. The damage to skin from that kind of heat, any amount of high heat, is just ridiculous. There is no way about it that it is inflammatory, it breaks collagen, it damages the skin’s barrier. Uh-uh, no way. Don’t do it. Not hot water. Not hot steam.
00:05:29 Even saunas, even dry saunas, that kind of exposure to high heat on a regular basis, it might be good for your muscles, but if you are prone at all - well, not even if you’re prone. It will break surface capillaries over time if you do it repeatedly. It’s just a fact. Can’t do anything about the facts. Don’t blame us for the facts. Our job is to tell them to you.
Nathan Rivas: And then the opposite, also, I think is very true. Very cold temperatures, you know, can be just as harmful.
Paula Begoun: That was the next one. Yes.
Nathan Rivas: A nice segue.
00:06:02 So, the other thing that in the same skincare shortcuts article was that, you know, if you have a puffy face, you wake up in the morning or you’ve had a late night, or maybe you’re just eating too much salt or what have you, you have puffy eyes or puffy cheeks, what have you, the recommendation here was that you can just grab anything cold. You can just grab a cold Diet Coke. You can just grab some ice cubes and just put them directly on your face and it will just be this magical de-puffing action, especially around the eye area. “De-puffery” was the theme for that.
00:06:32 And it’s - very, very cold temperatures, especially putting something like ice or a frozen can, or a frozen bottle, what have you, directly onto skin is also every bit as harmful in terms of getting burns from those cold temperatures.
Paula Begoun: Inflammation.
Nathan Rivas: Exactly. So, that’s also, very cold temperatures, not a very good thing to do. And I think I remember seeing, what was that movie, it was Mommie Dearest, where she would dunk her head into the bowl of ice cubes.
Paula Begoun: Oh, I don’t remember that one!
Nathan Rivas: Like in the beginning, in the credits.
00:07:03 I think that was part of it.
Paula Begoun: Well, it didn’t serve her well those last years. No, I don’t want to be mean to Joan Crawford. But, let me just mention that puffy eyes, when you use ice, it’s not that using ice - indirect ice for traumas, swelling when you’ve sprained an ankle, slammed yourself against something. That has a place for a short period of time and not done on a regular basis.
00:07:34 You will never see anywhere that you’re supposed to ice any part of your body repeatedly. That if you did that in the long run, you would actually eventually hurt the muscle, hurt the skin. So, it’s not recommended on a regular basis, even if you get punched in the face it’s not recommended on a regular basis. Plus, puffy eyes isn’t about a bruise. Puffy eyes is about water retention. It’s about water swelling in the eyes.
00:08:01 Cold does nothing to reduce water in collecting around the eyes. Stand up and walk around and you know something, the puffiness will go down. In fact, sitting upright, sleeping upright, as upright as you can, because you still need to get a good night’s sleep, will reduce the puffiness you see in the morning. The ice is a waste of time. Get up and walk around! Get a cup of coffee. You know, go out into the fresh air. Breathe in. Exercise.
00:08:31 But wasting your time with the cold stuff, one is it’s damaging in the long run, and two - for the purpose of reducing puffiness, which is water retention, it actually just doesn’t work.
Nathan Rivas: And the same thing true with any type of topical eye cream, or eye gels, or eye treatments. Those sorts of things cannot address the reasons that we get puffiness around the face, for what you just said.
Paula Begoun: Yes. Absolutely.
Nathan Rivas: So, okay, skip the ice. Skip the bowls of ice.
Paula Begoun: Get up. Walk around.
00:09:00 Sleep upright. Yeah. Those are the things that can make a difference.
Nathan Rivas: So, I know sometimes we all want to kind of - there are moments when we want to streamline our skincare routine. And sometimes it can be appealing, especially if you’re in a rush in the morning, if you just want to shortcut all of those little steps as much as possible at times. So, this next helpful suggestion from Allure was - you know, instead of using an anti-aging serum, instead of using a moisturizer, all these sorts of things, just pop a vitamin C supplement.
00:09:28 You know, 500mg of vitamin C every day is as effective as applying an anti-aging treatment topically.
Paula Begoun: What can we say? Allure, I don’t even know. Who did they get? What did they - they must make these things up.
Nathan Rivas: Deadlines. Deadlines is the mother of invention.
Paula Begoun: Do you want to - okay, go. I just, I’m stuttering. When I start stuttering and stammering it’s because I don’t have enough words to express how insane a comment that is. Do you want to - I’m sorry.
00:10:00 Just I don’t want to interrupt too much.
Nathan Rivas: You know, of course, we know that vitamin C is an important nutrient in the body. You don’t want to end up with rickets or what have you, but we actually just did an article about this in the Expert Advice section about how supplements work with in terms of their anti-aging claims. And as far as, there’s a difference between having a malnourished system and getting supplements to bring yourself up to what your average healthy person would be, and that does have some benefits.
00:10:30. But, I mean, as far as taking supplements, extra supplements beyond that, and vitamin C supplements, there’s no - the research in terms of showing that has an actual anti-aging benefit comparable to using a topical vitamin C serum or a topical retinol or even a topical well formulated moisturizer.
Paula Begoun: Or sunscreen for that matter.
Nathan Rivas: Exactly. Or sunscreen. There is no research that…
Paula Begoun: What a joke.
Nathan Rivas: …corroborates that statement. So, I’m going to chalk this one up to just there’s a deadline, it’s 4:50, and I need to have something into my editor in 10 minutes. You know?
Paula Begoun: The problem with the advice where women think that this kind of - well, first of all, given these fashion magazine advertise three million products, we know nobody is listening to this, and at least we hope they’re not listening to this.
00:11:15 And they’re advertisers are like, okay, I guess we can go out of business now. But the point is is that first of all even if vitamin C, and it is, it’s a great antioxidant, if you only ate vitamin C you would die and have wrinkles and you wouldn’t look great. You’d be dead.
Nathan Rivas: It would be an unpleasant death.
Paula Begoun: Because you would be malnourished.
00:11:35 You would be terribly malnourished and not live long. Skin and the body needs a far more complex array of ingredients and substances and diet to be healthy. Vitamin C by itself isn’t going to be good for you, and it is not just going to be anywhere near enough for skin. Diet alone has, I mean, yes, there is some research showing that diet can help skin. A healthy diet of - you know, the Mediterranean diet, antioxidants.
00:12:06 Ah! Antioxidants and what’s the other thing that’s in a healthy diet? Oh, Omega-3.
Nathan Rivas: Yeah, I was going to say olive oil. Ha!
Paula Begoun: Right. The sources of Omega-3, Omega-6 fatty acids, absolutely are - and first of all, actually the research isn’t even about vitamin C. The research actually that relates to skin is about antioxidants and Omega-3, Omega-6 fatty acids. But there is not a drop of research that suggests that means you can forgo the topical products that repair the barrier surface, reduce inflammation, reduce sun damage.
00:12:37 The need for sunscreen, it’s - okay, all right, I think we’ve said enough. Okay, let me do one of mine.
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely.
Paula Begoun: Let me do one of mine. Because I’m busting over here. So, let’s see, oh gosh, I don’t even know. So, “bristles are a magnet for bacteria, dirt and oil.” This is from Glamour Magazine. “Unless you clean your brushes religiously, that mix of icky stuff on your brushes can cause a zitty situation,” meaning it can cause breakouts. “After every use, wipe the brush down with a makeup remover wipe.
00:13:15 And wash your makeup brushes weekly,” which will destroy your brushes in short order. Doesn’t say that. I’m saying that. This includes the little ones in your compact, so says this dermatologist. “Soak your tools in a mixture of warm water and gentle shampoo, then rinse and let them air dry.” So, let me be clear. First of all, you would have to reinvest in brushes every few months, because that will break down the glue that holds the brushes together, that keeps the bristles in the grip. And you will be spending your money on new brushes.
00:13:46 Even so, let’s say you were, okay, it’s making me break out, ergo I don’t care, I’m washing my brushes all the time. The bacteria that causes breakouts cannot live on a brush. It can’t even live or exist on the surface of your skin. The bacteria, the p-acnes bacteria, that’s what it’s called - p-acnes bacteria, Propionibacterium bacteria. So, I’m going to say it for the short, which is p-acnes bacteria is what they call anaerobic bacteria, meaning that it can’t live in air.
00:14:24 So, any of the stuff, icky, sticky, you might not like the icky stick stuff, and you might want to wash that off your brushes, but if you’re doing it out of some paranoia that it’s causing breakouts, you might as well go back to believing that chocolate and greasy foods cause breakouts, because it’s as big a myth as that one was back in the day. There is no anything about any kind of bacteria on the surface of skin that causes acne, because acne bacteria doesn’t like air. It can’t survive in air. It is stuck deep naturally inside the por.
00:14:59 And if you tend to have more oil in the pore genetically, then that little bacteria that doesn’t like air and can’t live on the surface of skin, or on the surface of brushes, will multiply and run the risk of causing blemishes. Such nonsense. Then, okay, second one…
Nathan Rivas: They said clean your brushes religiously. Like Hail Mary. A couple Hail Marys at it.
Paula Begoun: Yeah, no, it’s so not going to do anything. So not going to do anything. What a joke.
00:15:27 I mean, it’s such bad - it’s not factual. Okay, never mind. And from a dermatologist. Maybe they quoted the dermatologist wrong. Okay, so your bike helmet, this is from another dermatologist in Glamour Magazine, so “those innocent looking straps on your bike helmet are actually common culprits of Acne Mechanica, a type of acne caused by friction, heat, or constant pressure. Before and after your bike ride, bust out your anti-bacterial.” Oh, “before and after your bike ride, bust out your anti-bacterial wipes and give the straps a good cleansing.”
00:16:00 So, let me say how contradictory that is.
Nathan Rivas: I was just going to say, “Wait, what does that solution have to do with…?”
Paula Begoun: First of all, we’re back to - well, first of all, wiping off your helmet straps won’t prevent acne mechanica. Yes. friction, mechanica refers to a manual action, a mechanical action against the skin. A rubbing that can cause inflammation and create a blemish.
00:16:29 That is true. There is something called acne mechanica, like resting your hand or your phone against your face, and that pressure - sometimes you do tend to break out in those areas, like when we’re wearing these ear phones during the radio show, to get some breakouts around the area where that comes in contact. There is something that’s actually called acne mechanica. However, you’re still going to - I don’t care how you wipe off the strap, that doesn’t change the rubbing you get from wearing the helmet. You got to wear your helmet. I’m not telling you not to wear your helmet.
Nathan Rivas: That’s true. Wear your helmet.
Paula Begoun: But the trick, this thing about wiping off the bacteria, what does that have to do with the rubbing and the pressure?
00:17:08 It’s just, who was that editor? That’s just a ridiculous contradictory statement. So, yes, the bike helmet straps pressure, the phone rubbing against your face, the earphones on our heads right now. Resting your hand against your face. That pressure and that rubbing can generate an irritant response that can trigger acne.
00:17:28 Has nothing to do with bacteria. And it doesn’t change anything. Okay, all right. So, one more. Oh god, there’s so many more. I don’t even know where to go. Okay, so let’s do - I guess I’m on an acne - I’m always on an acne…I just hate the misinformation acne. Acne is such an emotional thing for so many people. It is disfiguring and embarrassing. I lived with acne for so many years.
00:18:03 And then this doctor, there’s a product from a Dr. Dennis Gross, his line called Skincare Correct and Perfect, containing colloidal sulfur. I don’t even quite know where to go with this because one is it’s…okay, I know, I haven’t said anything!
Nathan Rivas: It’s very frustrating. It’s very upsetting.
Paula Begoun: I haven’t said anything!
00:18:30 So, the problem with colloidal sulfur in an acne product, or any skincare product, is it raises the pH of skin. Sulfur is a pH of 14. Acne actually increases in products with a pH of 8 or higher. So, that’s number one. That’s a problem. It actually makes acne worse. Research about it, it’s right out there. Don’t know why this company didn’t know that. The other thing is they showcase an ingredient called Willow Herb extract. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory, and it is.
00:18:58 It’s a great anti-inflammatory. We use it. However, if you’re going to use an anti-inflammatory, why then stick irritating ingredients like eucalyptus and menthol in your product…
Nathan Rivas: Oh geez.
Paula Begoun: …to increase inflammation and irritation. I just... - And the other thing about this is it ends up primarily being a mask. It’s really water and clay and a lot of titanium dioxide, which actually be somewhat - I mean, titanium dioxide is a sunscreen ingredient, it’s great. But actually it can run a risk of being pore-clogging.
00:19:38 You want to be careful with an ingredient like that, especially if what you’re doing is trying to treat acne. And then there’s coloring agents in this. What is that about skincare? But the claim about colloidal sulfur reducing acne blemishes and absorbing oil, it actually is a high pH ingredient which has research showing it can actually make acne worse.
00:20:00 And it’s one of the reasons it’s not used very much in skincare products anymore. It used to be, but the research about it has changed that knowledge base. The willow herb is an anti-inflammatory. That’s great that it’s in there, but then don’t add ingredients that increase inflammation. I mean, and I can go on, but this is just a mistake waiting to…
Nathan Rivas: Looking at the quote here, it’s so frustrating looking at this, because you’re right, acne is a very, very frustrating, very emotional condition. People will try anything to get rid of their breakouts. And then looking at this endorsement from Allure.
00:20:32 It says, “How it feels, smells, looks…” it’s fragrance-free is what they’re claiming.
Paula Begoun: How? It has a ton of…excuse me, it has a ton of fragrance! Argh!
Nathan Rivas: And then “it’s a brilliant spot-treatment for pimples.” Apply it at night. It will leave your zits considerably less red by morning. It’s best for bedtime thought. This mixture is a little thick for day.”
Paula Begoun: Yes! It’s the amount of titanium dioxide in there that’s thick for day.
Nathan Rivas: It’s crazy.
00:20:58 This is not a brilliant spot treatment. For the most part you can’t spot-treat acne anyway unless you have some incredible treatment like BHA 9 or something along those lines. But really just the whole approach to this is just disgusting.
Paula Begoun: It’s sad. It’s sad.
Nathan Rivas: It’s gross.
Paula Begoun: There’s a little play on words. Yes, it is. And, you know, okay, all right. One more from me and then we’ll go back to yours. So, Zelens Stem Complex Rejuvenating Overnight Treatment and this is supposed to be for all skin types, including sensitive skin, dermatologist - dermatologically, I’m sorry.
00:21:29 Dematolog - there’s a way of getting around dermatologists. “Dermatologically tested” which I have no idea what that means. There is no category regulated any place in the world.
Nathan Rivas: Derma-schmalogist.
Paula Begoun: Derma-schmalogist. What a made up that is. So, separate from the fact that it’s actually a pretty average formula that is really mostly thickeners and water and flavoring - flavoring? I don’t know why it contains flavoring.
00:22:11 And preservatives. And pH balancer. And it claims it’s natural. It’s about as natural as polyester. It’s in a jar! On top of everything else, it’s in a jar. And any of the so-called ingredients, the ones that it does contain that can be helpful, which isn’t very much given the price, $287 for a 0.5oz in a jar. Badly formulated. Well, I don’t want to say badly. Poorly formulated.
00:22:45 Very little of the specialty ingredients you want to your skin and they won’t stay stable in a jar package.
Nathan Rivas: Is this a stem cell, like a plant stem cell…
Paula Begoun: They’re making claims about it stimulating stem cells. It doesn’t contain stem cells. Even if it did contain stem cells, stem cells to have benefit have to be alive. And in a skincare product they’re dead. They’re long dead. Drop dead. Dead. So, that’s all meaningless.
00:23:09 But the ingredients, the good ingredients, there’s barely any in here. And those that are in here, there’s more fragrance, more preservatives than any of the good stuff. It’s a joke. $287.
Nathan Rivas: You know what I think is funny is that - is you see products in jars pushed regularly in beauty magazines, of course, especially Allure Magazine. I’ll see those kind of prominently advertised as being like the next big anti-aging thing.
00:23:39 We love it because this, because it’s fragrance-free, and it’s great for your blemishes, or what have you. And then you’ll see another article from Allure who someone will say, “Oh, look for a product that’s not in jar packaging because the chances are the ingredients can deteriorate and there’s bacteria,” and all the other things. And it’s funny to see them push products like that, like products in jar packaging.
Paula Begoun: And then contradict themselves all over again.
Nathan Rivas: It’s upsetting!
Paula Begoun: Wait, what did you just say?
00:24:05 Something about frustrating?
Nathan Rivas: Apathy is frustrating?
Paula Begoun: No, no, I lose it. Never mind. Okay. It’s something about fashion magazines. See, you know me, I go off when I get upset. Okay, do your next one. Sorry!
Nathan Rivas: So, you know, we always stress the importance of sunscreen. And we always say that you really want to make sure you’re wearing sunscreen every day, every time you go out, rain or shine.
00:24:29 During the daytime it’s important to protect your skin from aging and skin cancer, that sort of thing. But, you know, more SPF tends to be better. So, this helpful hint here is - this is also from Allure Magazine.
Paula Begoun: Oh, I don’t want to be so hard on Allure because they’re all…
Nathan Rivas: Just don’t shoot the messenger!
Paula Begoun: All of them. Yeah, but also, just to be fair to Allure, although I don’t know why I want to be fair to Allure, but you know, it’s not like Vogue, or Glamour, or InStyle, or Elle, or Mademoiselle, or Marie Claire, and on, and then, and then, and then.
00:25:04 All don’t have, Redbook, you know - they all have crazy information. I don’t want to make it, Allure just tends to have more because their specialty area isn’t fashion as much as it is skincare and makeup. So, I’m sorry. Go. Go, go after Allure! Go for it.
Nathan Rivas: It is true. It is true. I mean, a lot of magazines do have the kind of unbalanced information, but Allure I think, at least in this instance, tended to be more Girl Interrupted than just imbalanced.
Paula Begoun: Girl Interrupted!
Nathan Rivas: This is straight nut job advice here.
00:25:37 Because this recommendation is to preload your sunscreen.
Paula Begoun: Ooh!
Nathan Rivas: Yeah. This quote here, and think about who is making this quote, and then at the end I’ll tell you who is making this quote. “Before a beach vacation, I wear sunscreen on my body every night. I do it for two to three weeks ahead so that the sunscreen builds up in my stratum corneum,” so you know that it’s legitimate because she’s using the fancy medical word there.
Paula Begoun: For the outer layers of skin.
Nathan Rivas: Exactly.
00:26:07 For the outer layer of skin. “…so that the sunscreen builds up in my stratum corneum and it makes my skin less likely to burn,” says Jeannette Graf, assistant clinical professor of Dermatology. So…
Paula Begoun: Let’s hope they quoted her wrong.
Nathan Rivas: Let’s hope it was maybe her assistant or someone who just - maybe they just got the wrong Jeannette Graf in the phonebook.
Paula Begoun: Ha!
Nathan Rivas: And they just thought they would just prank Allure Magazine.
00:26:32 Because that’s absolutely just terrible advice.
Paula Begoun: Terrible advice.
Nathan Rivas: There’s no, I mean, other than you just not getting your sunscreen off at night, you know, when you apply it, you there’s really no - there’s no research showing that this is a reliable method to preload your skin with sunscreen.
Paula Begoun: Well, not only…okay, let me say it this way. This is actually disturbing, because it’s so dangerous for skin. According to all regulatory boards that regulate sunscreens, that if you get wet - first of all, you can’t use a sunscreen that isn’t water resistant - any sunscreen that isn’t water resistant and trust it in water.
00:27:14 When you get wet or sweat, it goes away. So, one, I don’t know what sunscreen she thinks she’s loading up her skin with at night, but when you’re washing - what, are you not taking a shower for three weeks?! Are you not washing your body or using soap? That breaks down sunscreen. Just the exfoliation process alone of the outer layer of skin, if you were loading it, it would go away because skin sheds. And sunscreens stay in the surface. They wash away. They exfoliate away in the shower with a washcloth, or just down the drain.
00:27:46 And especially if they’re not water-resistant, and if you’re using water-resistant you still have to reapply after being wet for 40 to 80 minutes. It is a bizarre, totally physiologically impossible recommendation.
Nathan Rivas: Two to three weeks ahead of time!
Paula Begoun: It doesn’t do…you can’t load even... - The only time you could load is an hour before you go outside in the sun. You want to put a ton of sunscreen on an hour or 15 minutes, you don’t even have to wait. Load it up before you walk outside. That’s the only way to load your skin. You can’t do it overnight. You take a shower, it’s gone.
Nathan Rivas: And then just the sunscreen that you’re wearing throughout the day is going to be breaking down from UV exposure, so I don’t understand what’s going on in this person’s - what they’re thinking of.
00:28:35 I just hope it was a wrong number.
Paula Begoun: Right. We’re just going to rank it up to the reporter got the quote wrong, at least that’s what we’re…
Nathan Rivas: They called the wrong Jeannette Graf. They dialed the wrong phone number.
Paula Begoun: We’re hoping that must be it.
Nathan Rivas: So, this next one was de-stressing, de-stressing….you know, after a long day, you’ve had a lot of things happen at work. You dropped your phone, it cracked. All these other stressful things that can happen in our daily lives.
00:29:05 And wouldn’t it be great if you could just find a way to de-stress quickly and also prevent wrinkles at the same time? That sounds like a fantastic bit of advice.
Paula Begoun: If only stress caused wrinkles.
Nathan Rivas: Exactly!
Paula Begoun: That would be so great.
Nathan Rivas: If only stress caused wrinkles! Then just Xanax and you would be young forever.
Paula Begoun: Ha!
Nathan Rivas: So, this piece of advice actually is from Elle Magazine, spreading out the blame here.
00:29:29 It said, this is the quote, “So the best news of all, depending on where de-stressing and preventing wrinkles falls in your list of priorities here is that you can also get anti-aging and de-stressing benefits from lavender.”
Paula Begoun: Ah!
Nathan Rivas: Absolutely. Just lavender. That’s the whole secret.
Paula Begoun: Not putting it on. But this is smelling, right?
Nathan Rivas: This is just smelling it!
Paula Begoun: At least it’s not applying it on the skin. You’ve got to give them a little credit for not telling you to put a skin cell destroying ingredient, which lavender is, on the skin.
00:30:04 You’ve got to give them a little credit for that. But, okay, putting it on the pillow to smell?
Nathan Rivas: Yes. Add a few drops of lavender oil onto the pillow and then put your face on top of it. But, just smelling lavender, apparently according to Elle Magazine will have some anti-aging benefits. Will help to reduce wrinkles. They don’t say why. And, of course, I don’t know why I’m asking, because there really is no…
Paula Begoun: There is no way.
Nathan Rivas: I’m more just fascinated what their explanation would be at preventing wrinkles.
00:30:32 But, you know, there’s of course no benefit for anti-aging as far as just smelling something. You know it’s not - it’s just ridiculous.
Paula Begoun: It’s ridiculous.
Nathan Rivas: There’s not really much to say.
Paula Begoun: There isn’t. And stress - and lavender, if you as a recommendation - I wouldn’t put it on my pillow and wreck my sheets. If you wanted to keep a bouquet of lavender scent or incense next to your bed, I am open, you can smell anything you want, any time of day. You want to put a little lavender in a corner behind your ear in the crook of your arm.
00:31:00 If you want to put it on the partner your sleeping with, and so you can cuddle up close to that person. I’m open. But in terms of skincare, lavender is deadly for skin. And smelling it, being de-stressed, whatever you choose to smell. I like the idea that people aren’t stressed. It’s overall healthy. It won’t change a wrinkle any place on your body. Physiologically, stress is not what causes damage to the skin. No research showing otherwise.
Nathan Rivas: It reminds me of a question we got on Twitter which was given our position on having no fragrance, added fragrance in products, how do we feel about perfume?
00:31:37 And you mentioned it, applying little dots of perfume here and there. And absolutely we’re fine, you know, applying a nice perfume is always a good thing. Just don’t put it all over your face.
Paula Begoun: It’s not skincare.
Nathan Rivas: It’s not skincare.
Paula Begoun: It’s for your nose. It’s not for your face.
Nathan Rivas: Exactly. No for your face.
Paula Begoun: Yes. Exactly. So, people think - I haven’t actually heard that one.
Nathan Rivas: Oh, you haven’t?
Paula Begoun: In the years I’ve been doing this.
00:31:57 So people wonder because I don’t like fragrance in skincare products, because of the irritation it causes, that I don’t like fragrance in general? Really?
Nathan Rivas: Apparently. Apparently some people, I think, it’s some kind of across the board we’re just, “No fragrance at all.”
Paula Begoun: Oh no. No, hardly.
Nathan Rivas: Exactly.
Paula Begoun: If anything I do think there’s research - in terms of olfactory, your sense of smell, there is research showing that fragrance can do all kinds of positive things for the psyche and the emotions.
00:32:29 And, I mean, I’d be the last person to suggest that smelling something nice is better than smelling something bad. But, the idea that that has any effect on wrinkles is just bogus. I mean, it just doesn’t exist. And don’t mess up your pillows, for god’s sake. That’s just, I mean, talk about…
Nathan Rivas: I know, there’s oil…and I don’t want oil on my clothes. I don’t oil on my feet.
Paula Begoun: Oh, it’s like you live in the laundry. Okay, one more, and then we’ll take questions. Do we have some questions from Facebook, Bryan? Okay, then we’ll take some questions from Facebook with one more crazy things the beauty magazines say from Nathan, our everything, our Facebook specialist, our research specialist, our grand [koobah] of everything.
Nathan Rivas: So, this next one was, sorry, it’s from Allure Magazine.
00:33:17 So, this next one was anti-aging ingredients for every ethnicity was the topic of this article. And it’s so disappointing that a lot of these quotes were from dermatologists. But it was, oh, okay. So, first let’s start. If you are African American, your problem is that according to this dermatologist is that “skin cells become sticky and don’t shed properly” explains Susan C. Taylor, founding director of Skin of Color Center in New York City.
00:33:47 “You get uneven skin tone such as dark patches on cheeks and forehead. So, because of that, because of your problem, your top treatment is really going to be a chemical exfoliant like AHAs, glycolic acids, lactic acid, because they break down the bonds between skin cells and they help to provide a smoother, nicer appearance. “
Paula Begoun: Okay.
00:34:28 The other thing she says, or is that somebody else, about no harsh - who said the thing about no harsh..? Is that somebody else?
Nathan Rivas: That is also the same person, yes.
Paula Begoun: Okay, so would you quote that one, too? Is that the same magazine?
Nathan Rivas: It is the same magazine. So, “For East and Southeast Asians, studies have shown,” and this is the quote, “studies have shown that Chinese and Koreans have a large number of skin growths.” Seborrheic keratosis is what she’s referring to, “…which look like raised brown spots on the face, Taylor explains, and the only way to get rid of them is to have a doctor remove them. It’s as simple as removing a mole.” Well, her recommendation is one treatment, one study showed that women who protected their skin from the sun had fewer growths.
Paula Begoun: Well, okay.
00:34:59 Let me back up, because I thought you were going to say something else.
Nathan Rivas: Oh, you’re thinking about the…
Paula Begoun: The gentle…
Nathan Rivas: The skin pigmentation?
Paula Begoun: Oh, the gentle products.
Nathan Rivas: Oh!
00:35:07 Actually, yes. That is for the, at the top…
Paula Begoun: Is that the same quote or somebody else?
Nathan Rivas: It’s the same. It doesn’t actually attribute that quote, but it is actually related to African American skincare.
Paula Begoun: Right. So, just to go back, actually the one about the South Asian. Actually, who’s South Asian? Koreans aren’t South Asian. They’re East Asian. But nevertheless, forget the grouping of people. So, the issue that skin cells become stick for people of color, dark skinned people, you know, dark tone skin, African Americans.
00:35:38 Africans. Haitians. Wherever they reign from. The issue is that all skin tends to, because of sun damage, the outer layer of skin becomes thick. There are many, many reasons why exfoliation is beneficial for all skin types, not just people of color.
00:36:00 Even if the sticky skin cell issue is true, and it could be actually, I’m not all that familiar with that research. AHAs are not the best way for somebody of color or somebody with sticky skin cells to get exfoliation. Because the sticky skin cells tend to be a combination of oil and other aspects of the skin, a BHA, a salicylic acid based product actually would be better.
00:36:29 In fact, if acne and blackheads are the concern, BHAs are absolutely the better choice, because BHAs in of themselves have a built in anti-inflammatory property. And that’s what the other quote was saying is that because of inflammation, that’s a problem for people of color. It’s actually a problem for everybody. So, an exfoliant that removes built layers of skin cells, either because you have them because you have oily skin, you have naturally thick skin, which can be true for other people besides people of color.
00:37:02 Because of sun damage. And you also have a problem of blemishes and blackheads - an anti-inflammatory based exfoliant like BHA, salicylic acid, is probably your best choice, and is true for any skin color with those specific problems. In terms of that Asian comment, first of all I don’t know, I’m not exactly sure where this research is coming from, because one of the things about East Asians in general is that they avoid the sun like crazy.
00:37:35 They actually have a very low incidence of skin cancer. They don’t - I haven’t heard that they have this type of build up that you were talking about, that they have these raised brown spots on the face. I mean, let’s say that the Seborrheic keratosis, let’s say that that really is out there. I wish she would have quoted the research, because I just haven’t seen that…
Nathan Rivas: Compared to who? Who are these people compared to in this study?
Paula Begoun: And, you know, having traveled extensively in China and Korea for at least the past six years, I sure haven’t seen it. I haven’t heard any Chinese or Korean women ask me about it. We don’t get, I mean, we have thousands and thousands and thousands of customers in these countries. I don’t get it. I just…
00:38:30 But nevertheless, the recommendation that the only way to deal with them is to get them removed by a dermatologist - actually I’m not sure that I believe that 100%. I think that you could start with a BHA and see how you do with it. That, combined with sun protection. But absolutely you need to get it evaluated. But it’s a problem from my experience for white people with sun damage than it is for East Asians.
00:38:59 But, again, I wish they would quote. “Studies have shown.” I love when they say that. Just give me the study. Just give me one study. But, yes, if you have a funny growth on your face, I don’t care what skin color or what country you’re from, you do need to get it evaluated by a physician. Let’s do questions from Facebook.
Nathan Rivas: I actually have quite a few things here. One, Nadia has this question. A dermatologist told me that swimming was good for acne because Chlorine dried out the skin. True or false?
Paula Begoun: Okay.
00:39:31 All right. So, I never know. First, you know what the problem is with these questions is I have - I get beside myself. I don’t - first I have to get over my reaction of what an insane comment that is. First of all, drying skin hurts acne. Dry skin is less able to heal. Dry skin gets inflamed. The barrier of the skin is broken down, so red marks get worse. When you do have a blemish it won’t heal as well.
00:39:57 There is nothing about drying skin that improves acne. Acne is a disease - well, actually it’s not a disease. It’s a disorder of hormonal production and the presence of a bacteria that doesn’t like air sitting in the pore. And a mal-shaped or badly shaped pore that doesn’t exfoliate and let the skin cells and the oil flow through naturally, or just there’s too much oil.
00:40:26 I mean, on and on. It has nothing to do with skin being dry or not dry. If anything, dry skin is a problem which is why you always have to treat skin gently regardless of your skin type. You have to give it ingredients that repair the barrier, not break down the barrier of skin. You don’t want to put for acne-prone skin you don’t want to put emollients on skin, but you want to put antioxidants and you want to put skin repairing ingredients on it and anti-inflammatories to help heal acne.
00:40:57 Water. Salt water. Chlorine water hurts skin. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t swim and be healthy, but expecting it to take care of your acne is just sad. It’s just said advise.
Nathan Rivas: Well, it kind of goes into this whole belief where you have to just hammer skin into submission if you’re prone to breakouts. Or you have to just use these incredible harsh treatments and that’s just the only way to go in order to really have any sort of benefit. And it’s just not true. It increases the inflammation in your breakouts. It can trigger them even more.
00:41:25 I mean, you might temporarily feel like, oh, you know, this alcohol-based toner makes my skin feel so matte and smooth…
Paula Begoun: Actually, even the research.
00:41:32 I mean, I’ve been complaining and carrying on about the damage to skin and the risk to skin from irritating ingredients, and it was a long time before I felt vindicated for making those recommendations when the research started actually concurring and showing that what I had long recommended was actually - there was a lot of research showing that it was true, that irritation makes acne worse.
00:41:58 Drying out skin makes acne worse. Drying soaps make acne worse. Irritating harsh cleansers make acne worse. It’s great for your health. You want to swim, but you’re going to have to do things to your skin afterwards to repair it from the damage that the swimming and the chorine cause, not think, oh wow, this is really helping my skin. It’s hurting your skin and then you have to add things to your skin like products that contain and are loaded with antioxidants and skin repairing ingredients to recover from it so that you don’t break out more.
Nathan Rivas: Elaine has a good question here.
00:42:32 This question is more about why - her original question was she had a dermatologist who prescribed a product for her eczema that had an alcohol base to it. So, her question is pretty much why dermatologists recommend products or prescribe products that have alcohol bases to them.
Paula Begoun: Well, most likely if she had eczema and the doctor was prescribing a product like probably a cortisone-based, actually would only be a cortisone-based product for the eczema.
00:43:04 It wouldn’t the kind of alcohol you have to worry about. There are words that sound like - ingredients that sound like they’re the kind of alcohol you have to worry about and they’re not. Cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol are fatty acids. They just happen to - I wish they didn’t have the word alcohol in them, but unfortunately these types of fatty acids, these types of emollient suspending ingredients are not the kind of alcohols you have to worry about.
00:43:34 The kind of alcohols you have to worry about are benzyl alcohol, SD alcohol, alcohol-alcohol, ethyl alcohol, which - and only if they’re at the top half, really the top third or top half of the ingredient list. If it’s at the bottom of the ingredient list it’s not a problem. It’s probably just part of the preservative system. And in such a trace amount you don’t really have to worry about it for your skin.
00:43:59 Those other ingredients, in an eczema product, a cortisone-based product is not a problem for your skin. However, the dermatologist do sometimes still recommend and prescribe products for acne that contain alcohol. The antibiotic, the topical antibiotic is suspended in alcohol. But that is happening less and less. More and more dermatologists are aware that the kind of alcohol you have to worry about, the SD alcohol, the ethyl alcohol, the benzyl alcohol, alcohol-alcohol is a problem for skin and you see less and less skincare products for acne with those kind of ingredients.
00:44:38 So, it’s important to separate the kind of alcohols that are a problem, the SD alcohols, the alcohol, the benzyl alcohol, and the alcohols that are fatty acids like cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, or cetearyl alcohol. And on and on. So, most likely she got a product from her dermatologist for her eczema that was just fine and she doesn’t need to worry about it.
Nathan Rivas: Yeah.
00:45:01 That’s the confusing topic we hear a lot is like what are the good alcohols, what are the bad alcohols? You can actually find under just the definition of alcohol in the Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary on our website. You can find a good breakdown of those. And also some more information about alcohol tends to be such a problem.
Paula Begoun: Such a problem. Bad. Bad. Naughty ingredient.
Nathan Rivas: Yeah. Do we have time for…?
Paula Begoun: Sure
Nathan Rivas: Yeah, okay, great. So, this next question is - actually this is more of just a general question which was whenever she wears mineral sun block, which she likes, for her sensitive skin, that it tends to show up in pictures as being like a white kind of reflected on her face.
00:45:40 Like she’s wearing a mask.
Paula Begoun: Well, she has to try our new one.
Nathan Rivas: Oh, yes, the Resist Super…
Paula Begoun: Oh my gosh!
Nathan Rivas: …SPF 30. Yeah.
Paula Begoun: So, it is a problem. The sunscreens that are titanium and zinc oxide based, which are, I do - it’s not that the synthetic based sunscreens aren’t good, and don’t have a place for the face if your skin can tolerate.
00:46:05 Some people who are prone to breakouts and blemishes and blackheads and oily skin don’t like sunscreens with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. I find them for the face the better option, not only just for the blockage they offer, but also because they’re so gentle. They run no risk of irritation. And synthetic sunscreen ingredients, while they do protect from the sun, have an increased risk to some degree of irritation.
00:46:30 Having said that, they also - the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide based sunscreens can have a white cast to them. That they show up in pictures, it’s just the white cast in general that shows up. Because you look white even in person. But then there are sunscreens - ours, the new one we launched in our Resist line. And I know you know names of products of my line better than I do. What is it called?
Nathan Rivas: It’s the Resist Super Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30.
Paula Begoun: That’s because the names are so long.
00:46:58 So, what we did with that one, and it is - it’s a remarkable - I strongly suggest that you try it. Get a sample from our customer service. We put a light tint that blends into skin and reduces, if not eliminates entirely, the white cast so you can get a high titanium dioxide/zinc oxide protection for the face in a light matte finish base. And not have that white cast.
00:47:28 There’s other products that do that as well. SkinCeuticals has a very good one that does that. It’s more expensive than mine, but it has a very good one that does the same thing. There are a handful of those out there that will take care of that problem for you.
Nathan Rivas: You can also experiment with if you have like a tinted moisturizer or a BB cream that’s also a mineral sunscreen, you can also add a drop or two of that into your, whatever mineral sunscreen you have.
Paula Begoun: Oh, that’s a good recommendation. Or your foundation.
Nathan Rivas: Yeah. Exactly. Absolutely. So, that can kind of help counter some of that.
00:48:00 But, yes, the Resist Super Light SPF 30, that’s an amazing formula. And the tint is just quite natural, just sort of prevents that white cast that you mentioned. So, that’s a great product.
Paula Begoun: So, I’m Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, here with my social media director and my senior research specialist, Nathan…
Nathan Rivas: Rivas.
Paula Begoun: Rivas! Rivas! I hate myself. You know, it’s amazing what I can remember and what I can forget. I’m often struck by my own personal insanity.
00:48:32 We are here keeping you beautifully informed. Everything you need to know about skincare, to makeup, everything. Telling you the truth. Telling you what the research says. Absolutely it’s about facts. And telling you what you need to know to take the best care of your skin, to feel the best, look the best. Stay listening. We’ll take care of you.
Nathan Rivas: Bye everyone.
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