Get the Skinny on Cellulite

Airdate: 7/10/2012

Is there a cure for cellulite? World-renowned beauty expert and best-selling author Paula Begoun discusses the causes of cellulite and the products that claim to make it disappear and what you can really do about it.

Paula Begoun: Good evening. It's Thursday so I must be on the radio. Although I feel like I'm just making a personal call to all of my friends. Really, it's emotional, although I should tell you who I am. I'm Paula Begoun. I'm the Cosmetics Cop. I'm keeping you beautifully informed every Thursday evening at six o'clock in Seattle where I live, where Paula's Choice resides, and where I reside.
00:00:33 And it's nine pm in New York and different times all over the world. Thank you for joining me. Thanks for my phone connection to keep you beautifully informed every Thursday evening. I have my Cosmetics Cop Team, Desiree Stordahl – Desiree, you there?
Desiree Stordahl: I'm here. Hello everyone.
Paula Begoun: Hi Desiree. Desire, you were going to remind me about Facebook and Tweets because we need to get to more questions.
00:01:01 And I actually remembered. I am reminding you!
Desiree Stordahl: Good job. Yes, we can take questions from Facebook and Twitter, so people log on and get on there and ask your questions.
Paula Begoun: Very nice. Yes. we want to answer questions. Oh, and every question we take this evening we will be giving away a Slip Into Silk body lotion and a Beautiful Body Butter from my product line called Paula's Choice at
00:01:29 And before I start talking a little bit about cellulite, Bryan – Bryan is my Cosmetics Cop team leader. He is El Primo. He is the man. He is…I love you, Bryan. Where are you? Are you there?
Bryan Barron: I'm here.
Paula Begoun: There's Bryan. So, you know, we were talking about the show earlier and sometimes I think I just do these shows because it's all about me, and in this case it's all about my thighs. So, and I keep – everything around the world of skincare, when it's a topic on acne, wrinkles, sun damage, it all relates to me.
00:02:05 And I just delve deeper and deeper and I love doing the research. But, the thing about cellulite is this is – I take cellulite very personally. I am very aware of the cellulite on my thighs. I wouldn't be caught in a pair of shorts. I mean, when I go swimming I'm wearing jogging pants that come down to my knees.
00:02:30 I was saying, I wouldn't show my thighs to anyone. I run with my boyfriend – I run into bed. I'm like hiding my thighs. Don't look! Don't look! It's dark. Don't look, like he's never seen. But I see it. It's worse when I see it. And I was saying earlier that you know how in, I don't know about any of you, but when I was growing up you always heard, you always had to wear clean underwear because if you had a car accident, god forbid you were raced to the hospital.
00:03:03 What a strange thing for parents to tell you. If you were raced to the hospital it would be terrible to have – I don't know, where did that come from, to have, you know, to not have clean underwear? And I'm thinking, damn the clean underwear, I just don't want my cellulite showing. Cover my thighs up; before you bandage my wounds, do me a favor and wrap a stretchy bandage around my cellulite for god's sake.
Bryan Barron: Triage my thighs!
Paula Begoun: I hate cellulite.
00:03:35 I hate it. I don't know, I try to weigh out the things I obsess about when it comes to beauty. You know , my gray hair, wrinkles, cellulite, brown spots showing up on the back of my hand that are just driving me crazy. And I'll tell you the cellulite is the worst, especially when it's hot out because I won't wear shorts. So we're talking about cellulite tonight. We're gonna go over all the facts, all the myths.
00:04:02 What you can and can't do. I have some good news for you and some bad news for you. But overall we are going to cover it because the major thing is that you don't waste money. I don't want any of you wasting money on the scams and shams and…
Bryan Barron: Because they are everywhere.
Paula Begoun: It's amazing. Hundreds of products. Hundreds of products over the years. Bryan, there was an ad; I think Desiree gave me this ad for a Dior product. We're gonna move off of the subject of cellulite just for a few moments. I want to go over some stuff.
00:04:42 So, Desiree, I think you gave me this ad from Dior. Oh, no, Bryan, you did. Dior is selling a product called Capture Total One Essential. This is one expensive product. So first of all it contains, I think the second or third ingredient is alcohol. So even if it was brilliantly formulated, alcohol, you know, I've said this to you guys before, not cetyl alcohol, not sterile alcohol. All of those are benign fatty acid alcohols…it's actually pretty good for skin.
00:05:17 I'm talking about the SD alcohol, the denatured alcohol, the benzoyl alcohol, the ethanol alcohol. When it is high up on the ingredient list it's bad for skin. It generates free radical damage. It causes cell death. It's irritating. It causes inflammation. Decreases collagen. I mean, it's bad. Period. And I am struck by how many expensive products, particularly the serums, particularly the French – Lancôme, Chanel – alcohol is high up in the ingredient listing. But the thing I noticed that it said on the ad plugging it and it shows all these beauty women, beauty directors, and editors who use it.
00:06:01 The thing down at the bottom that it says, in red, in bold, one sold ever y minute around the world. And it made me think of the line that's attributed to P.T. Barnum where he says, “One sucker is born every minute,"or something like that. “A sucker is born every minute."I'm thinking, didn't Dior notice it? I mean, one sold every minute, I'm thinking, one sucker is buying it every minute because they don't listen to us on our show Thursday evenings, or on, or
00:06:37 We could be saving women's skin. They need to listen. Oh, okay, so I'm off that one. I'm done. That drove me crazy. One sold every minute. A sucker born every minute. Poor...women…women, ugh, what do we do for beauty? We need to do good things. Okay, CoverGirl has a new ad out with Drew Barrymore for their Lash Blast Fusion Mascara. And I love Drew Barrymore.
00:07:03 I've loved her forever. I mean, “ET come home."I love her. She's gorgeous, stunning, intelligent, producer/director, I mean she's – but she's also my favorite before and after. I mean, no one could look…well, I mean, every woman has her before and after, but Drew Barrymore, the pictures of her when she's not wearing makeup and then when she's done up is just striking. And in this ad it is particularly striking; she looks magnificent.
00:07:28 Boy, when she has her makeup on and she's dressed up she is just one of the more –
Bryan Barron: All of her ads for CoverGirl, her makeup has just been beautiful. And it's working out well. I certainly pay more attention to the ads. And I think, “Is that Drew Barrymore? Oh my goodness."
Paula Begoun: Beautiful. And she's wearing this gorgeous purple…this is a stunning ad. But, the reason we're mentioning it separate from that she's gorgeous, she's advertising, she's there as a spokesperson for CoverGirl and she's representing Lash Blast Fusion Mascara, which we actually rated highly.
00:08:05 It's actually a decent mascara. But as I have said a million times before, the ads for mascara, the models are always wearing false eye lashes. And this is the first ad where it actually says, “Lash inserts were applied,"I guess that means false eyelashes were applied, “to ad lash count to Drew's lashes before applying Lash Blast Fusion Mascara."
00:08:32 It's a very long sentence to say that she's wearing false eyelashes. And I believe, Bryan says check out the fine print in this ad, so what's happening is in Europe, and I guess they don't want to shoot different ads and change ads in different magazines around the world. In Europe, particularly England, you have to declare what's going on in a picture, sometimes even declare photo retouching, which I mean, clearly she is beautifully photo-retouched.
00:09:00 But, yeah, false eyelashes, ladies. It is not the mascara, even though this happens to be a great mascara. But check out the ad; she's just gorgeous. Okay, so no more alcohol in skincare products. You're gonna pay attention to ads when they're fibbing to you. And then one of the things that somebody, was it Facebook? Desiree, somebody emailed…no, Facebooked us. How do you say that?
Desiree Stordahl: Yeah, you can say “Facebooked us."They comment on our Facebook page.
Paula Begoun: They posted on Facebook information about an oral sunscreen pill.
00:09:43 That you take this pill and it protects from the sun. The two that this woman mentioned –
Desiree Stordahl: It was actually a gentleman. Andrew.
Paula Begoun: It was a guy? I love when we have guys. Hello, Andrew, if you're listening. Heliocare and Firm Block. And he said, not she said, he said that his mother was all excited because now she has sun protection in a pill.
00:10:08 But, what a lot of people are misunderstanding about these pills is that they absolutely do not replace in any way, shape, or form the use of a sunscreen. And, separate from the fact that these pills do have some amount of information that when you take them they reduce some amount of sun damage, it didn't compare taking these pills to a diet high in antioxidants which in essence a diet high in antioxidants, just like putting antioxidants on the skin, when you eat them also help to reduce sun damage.
00:10:44 So, be careful about these pills if you choose to take them. They're not dangerous. Actually, they do have some side effects. Some of the plant extracts in them have some risk of some tummy problems and stuff like that. But, yes, they absolutely just like any well saturated diet in antioxidants reduces sun damage to some extent, these pills will do that.
0:11:08 They absolutely do not replace sun protection with an SPF 15 or greater. Greater is better. Liberal application. So, it's not a terrible product. It's a bit of a waste of money. A healthy diet would do you far better. And let's go to best and worst products. Bryan, we're going to do the best and worst of –
00:11:34 Oh, I know, there was one other thing I wanted to talk about, one other thing. So, Bryan, you know how I'm really stubborn about using powder under the eyes for when your concealer and makeup creases?
Bryan Barron: Yes.
Paula Begoun: Do you remember? You do? Really? I feel, and I see it in the mirror, when you put powder on, traditionally put powder on, either patting it on or using a powder brush, one is it can be sloppy with a powder brush.
00:12:02 Patting it on with a pad, like a traditional makeup powder puff kind of pad that it just makes it look dry and more wrinkly. The makeup and concealer doesn't crease but it just doesn't look as good, I think, in the long run. However, I finally, I don't know, can you believe it's taken me this long to give it a try? So, what I've been doing that is so working brilliantly is I take our – I use Paul's Choice Healthy Finish Pressed Powder.
00:12:37 It has sunscreen in it. And then I take an eye shadow brush and I dip a little bit, I rub the powder, the eye shadow brush across the powder, knock the excess off, and then I very carefully in the opposite direction of the creases go over the concealer and smooth out the concealer with the powder, very little, with a little eye shadow brush. And it's been working great. I don't look any more wrinkled, right? Guys? Anybody notice…?
Desiree Stordahl: I haven't noticed.
Paula Begoun: You have to say – no, you can actually say if I look more wrinkled, but it's astounding.
Bryan Barron: Well you tell us.
Paula Begoun: I do. I'm so cruel.
00:13:24 But it's working great. So, you know, check it out in a good magnifying mirror so you can see exactly what you're doing after you get your concealer and foundation on. Make sure you just dab out with your makeup sponge. Make sure you take off the excess that's underneath the eye and then with a small eye shadow brush, a little bit of pressed powder. I particularly like any pressed powder during the day with sunscreen, which is why I use my Healthy Skin Pressed Powder with SPF 15 and then just against the grain, against the movement of the crease going in towards the nose area , I put a little bit of powder and it's been holding back the creasing beautifully.
00:14:08 Okay, Bryan, your turn. The best and worst products of the week.
Bryan Barron: Well our best product is not a cellulite product, sad to say, because we haven't found one that we've rated the best.
Paula Begoun: Yeah. They all suck.
Bryan Barron: So what we did choose is a toner from the Merle Norman brand which we recently reviewed on Beautypedia thanks to very consistent subscriber requests, so we're happy to oblige. It is their Luxiva Brilliant-C Toner.
00:14:38 And it contains some excellent ingredients for those with normal to dry skin. It includes several antioxidants and a soothing plant extract. Some of the extracts in the toner have some in vitro research in terms of their skin lightening ability. Merle Norman's Brilliant-C line is all about making your discolorations go away. But the amount in this toner is likely not going to get you much benefit if you have dark spots. But that is no reason to not consider the toner as an adjunct to your moisturizer. It is $16 for 6oz.
00:15:12 A little on the expensive side, but given that a well-formulated toner is hard to come by --
Paula Begoun: Hard to come by.
Bryan Barron: This is one you might want to check out.
Paula Begoun: Well good for Merle Norman. And, you know, some of the products weren't as bad, I mean, because we, the line has improved. I was surprised. I mean, there are definitely problems. You definitely don't want to go to a Merle Norman store without checking out our review on
00:15:36 But that was surprising. We rarely find decent toners out there. So, that was impressive. And, Bryan, the worst of the week?
Bryan Barron: Is from Nivea. It is their Goodbye Cellulite Fast Acting Serum. A lot of women would love to say goodbye to their cellulite, and if they could do it quickly all the better. However this water-based blend of silicon and slip agents won't have you saying goodbye to your dimples.
00:16:03 But you will be inducing your skin to a lot of irritation which is pretty much par for the course with cellulite products. According to Nivea this formula is ultra concentrated with the amino acid L-Carnitine and Lotus Plant extract because there's always a miraculous plant out there that can take care of whatever we don't like about our skin. Looking at the formula of these two ingredients, not only is there hardly any in there but there's also no research to be found, not even from Nivea, that either one of them does a thing for cellulite.
00:16:35 So it's just a marketing story plain and simple. The research that Nivea did do on the product to show results was not peer reviewed or published. It was not tied with the ingredients and more than likely the short-term benefit that women noticed from this product was from the irritation it causes. You irritate your skin in a concentrated manner it's going to cause some inflammation and swelling. And that can temporarily make your cellulite appear less obvious.
00:17:06 It's back to normal within a brief period of time, but that's how these tests are done they slap the stuff on. They wait for the irritant response and then they immediately do the measurements and what not and say, “Oh, wow, we noticed a 12% or a 25% improvement and we're gonna put that in our ad copy."
Paula Begoun: And of course the people doing the measuring are not independent, and especially because it's not published we can't review how it was done. We're trusting their statistics about who saw improvement or just anything about it. But more importantly, there's nothing about these ingredients that have anything to do with changing how cellulite is caused or what makes cellulite look like it looks. In fact, the sad thing about cellulite products, I mean, there is no –
00:18:00 First of all, in terms of formularies there is no consistency. There are over 30 ingredients showing up…actually there's probably more now, that's actually an old statistic, that show up in varying – a wide range of different cellulite products. Absolutely no research for any of those combinations that show that they change or improve the way cellulite looks. It is astounding how many of these there are.
00:18:33 Each one comes out the next time saying this new formula does it. Every summer there's a horde of them showing up. You throw your money at them. Your cellulite does not go away. If these products worked your cellulite would eventually go away and it doesn't. That isn't one of the ways to deal with cellulite. The products on the market are fibbing to you out and out.
00:19:00 The only thing you are going to be saying goodbye to is your money. Here are the facts about cellulite. Here's what you need to know. First of all, 85% of us, meaning 85% of women have cellulite. And then one of the myths I've heard is that Asian, a lot of people wonder if Asian women don't have cellulite. Asian women do have cellulite. They have skin, their skin structure is the same. The reason that it is less noticeable is because many Asian women are either normal weight – well, actually, vastly they're normal weight, you know, size zero, size one, size two.
00:19:36 Maybe, I mean, there's some negatives. They're normal body weight or very thin. The thinner you are the less adipose tissue you have, the less fat cells you have or fat globules you have to show through your skin. The less fat, the less evidence cellulite is, but it doesn't mean that it's not there to some extent. You just don't see it when you have almost zero or less than 10% or 15% body fat which is the case for many women from Asian ethnicity/backgrounds.
00:20:15 So 85% of us have cellulite. And the worst statistic, I hate this statistic, is only 5% of men have cellulite. It is clearly by far a hormonal genetic issue about women, about estrogen, about how and why we're women and guys are guys.
Desiree Stordahl: It's so not fair.
Paula Begoun: It is so…I hate this. My boyfriend has…
Bryan Barron: I'm looking down at my chair.
Paula Begoun: You do have great legs, Bryan. But my boyfriend has legs that I would kill for. I was just saying that. Unfortunately we do get carried away here in the office sometimes and I was watching Beyonce's new…
Bryan Barron: Single Ladies video.
Paula Begoun: Well not video…
Bryan Barron: Yup. The video for her song Single Ladies.
Paula Begoun: Oh, that is, oh my god.
00:21:08 You would kill for thighs like that. You would take her thighs if you could. Well, actually, all three of those women, just stunning. Stunning. Talk about an anti-cellulite, I mean, you want to do whatever those women are doing. Their legs were gorgeous. I swear my boyfriend's legs look like that. Harsha, I'm not talking to you tonight. Okay, so, women have unique skin structure on their thighs which causes cellulite to form.
00:21:32 They think that's because, the researchers think that that's because of estrogen because we make babies. We get to have babies. You gotta have skin that can stretch and grow to make room for babies, so women tend to gain weight from the waist down; men tend to gain weight from the waist up. The other thing that is very unique about women's skin in comparison to men's skin is that women have – their skin on their thighs, and the lower part of their body, the connective tissue, what makes up the structure of the skin is uneven, is bumpy, isn't smooth.
00:22:15 The technical term for it is discontinuous connective tissue. Immediately just underneath the surface of skin. But that is not true for guys. Guys, the way their skin is structured, from the waist down is it is smooth. They have smooth skin. So even when they're overweight, when they have fat buildup under the skin it doesn't show through. Think about it like a girdle. You've got a girdle on and you hold the fat back you have a loose, you know, nothing on, and the fat pooches through. That's kind of the difference between a guy and a woman is that guys have their skin on thighs are a better girdle to hold back whatever fat they have. But they also don't build up much fat from the waist down anyway.
00:23:04 Women have discontinuous or uneven skin on their thighs, and whatever fat they have therefore will show through more. We know that fat content actually has very little to do with why cellulite shows up. We know that it has more to do with skin. However, when you get more fat it's more obvious, and especially when you have, you know, you're a woman and that uneven skin tissue, it's just going to dimple and pooch through because of the nature of how the skin is on the thighs.
00:23:40 By the way, I always say hello to my girlfriend Claudia but tonight I have to say she doesn't have an ounce, not a dimple of cellulite anywhere on her thighs. Claudia, tonight you're not my friend. I'll have to wait until tomorrow when I get over my cellulite jealousy. The last thing that you might – I love you, Claudia, even now.
00:24:03 So, the vascular changes you might be hearing about and inflammatory conditions affecting cellulite, very few researchers believe that that's the case. So, that one just almost no research about it, and even so, what are you going to do about it anyway. So, let's go over some of the myths real quick. Drinking water helps. Drinking water doesn't help. You can drink a gallon of water. It doesn't affect fat. If you only had to drink water to reduce fat or change your skin structure, you know, drink a gallon of water –
00:24:35 Well, don't drink that much water, I mean, but drink whatever amount of water. If you want to test that out do it for a couple of weeks and see if it looks better. Of course it won't, but that's okay. That myth just doesn't go away. You know, if you don't overdo drinking water it's not going to be dangerous, but it's an easy test for you to do yourself. And ironically while much – you'll see information on the internet or in fashion magazines saying drinking water helps, ironically you also see information that says water retention gets – having too much water causes cellulite.
00:25:12 It's silly. Drink more water. But water retention causes cellulite. Talk about a push-pull. It turns out that fat cells only contain about 10% water. Whatever water you might sweat out, it just goes right back the next time you take a sip of water. You can't eat a specialized diet. Not being overweight helps a lot, but in terms of special foods that may have something to do with changing the way your cellulite looks – doesn't happen.
00:25:47 The less fat you have the less you have to show through skin. And you might when you reduce your bodyweight reduce the depth of the cellulite. But it doesn't – there's no food that has anything to do with changing cellulite. Cellulite you might have seen on the internet that cellulite fat is different from the rest of the body. There are almost no researchers who feel that that's true. Fat is fat. Again, it has to do with how fat congregates in different parts of the body. Again, that tends to be about gender: Men from the waist up, women from the waist down.
00:26:27 And it's about the connective tissue, the structure of your skin, not so much about fat as opposed to if you have more fat. It's just going to show through more. Exercise can help only – not because it strengthens anything in terms of your skin, but if you make bigger muscles, if you have bigger thigh muscles then it's kind of like building up a girdle from the inside out. It also means if you are exercising and eating better you have less fat; that's going to look better. So exercise can help but it doesn't do anything about whether or not you will or won't have cellulite.
00:27:05 Again, 85% of women have cellulite. That means chubby, thin, small woman have cellulite. It will reduce the appearance to be healthier and exercise but it doesn't change that you will or won't. Detoxifying the body – you know, I don't even want to talk about that. I hate that one. What toxins are we getting out of the body? Nobody tells me. I hear that term all the time but I don't know what they are. Cellulite…
Bryan Barron: Well, more important that professionals that talk about this, they can't tell you either.
Paula Begoun: Right. Right.
00:27:38 Nobody has any answer for what they want you to get out of your body, but darn they want you to get it out anyways. You know, you can't sweat it. Whatever it is about these unknown toxins, they don't have anything to do with the structure of your skin or with fat content.
00:28:00 If the toxins you're talking about are free radicals because of skin breaking down and collagen breaking down because of free radical damage, okay, I buy that one. But then that isn't about the detoxifying anything; that's about eating a healthy diet of antioxidants and using skincare products that contain antioxidants. Let's talk about what can work. Oh, you know, I just – sorry, this is a bit of an aside, so Daisy Dukes, I never had heard the term Daisy Dukes, because we were talking about that – I would never wear shorts unless – I can't even imagine a nuclear disaster and I wouldn't wear shorts.
00:28:38 The last day on earth I'm not wearing shorts. So Daisy Dukes are short-shorts. So when I heard they were short-shorts I can't get the song out of my head, “We wear short-shorts. Who wears short-shorts?"I gotta get that out of my head.
Desiree Stordahl: That's the old Nair commercials?
Paula Begoun: I think it was an actual song.
Desiree Stordahl: Oh, okay.
Paula Begoun: Bryan, you know all this stuff.
00:29:01 Was it an actual song? “We wear short-shorts. Who wears short-shorts?"
Bryan Barron: Yeah. It was. I believe it was a song from the ‘50s, kind of like one of those malt shop classics that in the 1970s Nair adopted, or adapted, not adopted for use in their commercials.
Paula Begoun: It's a great song. I can't get it out of my head. I'm still not wearing short-shorts. So liposuction. Liposuction, because it reduces the amount of fat, can help somewhat, but I mean somewhat. Because the problem is that it doesn't address the structure of the skin and when you quickly remove fat, if you don't have the elasticity in your skin to bounce back it actually can in a lot of women who spend a lot of money on liposuction actually make cellulite look worse.
00:29:55 The biggest problem with liposuction is it really only removes somewhere between 2 to 5 pounds of fat on the, total on the thighs. And big Thanksgiving dinner and holiday season can put it right back on. Women tend to gain weight from the waist down, so when you gain your weight back you will gain it right where that liposuction was done and the problem is coming right back.
00:30:23 But, yes, there is some amount of research that liposuction can have some amount of benefit, but it can be fleeting. It can be fleeting. So we said exercise could help. Caffeine is probably one of the most consistent ingredients that shows up in skincare products claiming to be good for cellulite. If you want to see, it's not, but if you want to see if it is, you don't have to buy a product that puts in a little itty bit of caffeine. Just take your leftover coffee in the morning, stick it in a container, put it in your bathroom, and use it as a toner over your legs. It's not going to change anything but if you want to see if caffeine makes a difference, give it a try.
00:31:06 There are no supplements – they're selling them all over the place – there are no supplements that have any research showing that they impact cellulite Endermologie which is you're supposed to, they take this machine and roll it over your body and roll it over your body. And supposedly that helps the appearance of cellulite. The only research showing that that works is from the companies selling the cellulite, the Endermologie, what they call lymphatic drainage machines.
00:31:42 Highly unlikely you're gonna get any benefit, but you know, they do have some research but it's just not supported by any independent research. Mesotherapy is kind of interesting. I know I'm running long; I've got to hurry this up because I want to take questions. Mesotherapy, over the years this is about injecting different substances into the skin to deplete the fat content of the adipose cells, the fat cells in skin, particularly along the thigh.
00:32:18 Over the years it's been lots of different types of substances. Sometimes you don't even know what they're – in fact, a lot of times you have no idea what they're injecting, research showing that women walk away with necrotic skin and infections, all kind of things. However the derm world has gotten into the act and they're now doing a procedure called Lipo Dissolve which uses phosphatidylcholine – I know I'm pronouncing that wrong because I always pronounce technical names wrong. And they inject it in skin and then there's mixed research about it to break down the fat cells. There's mixed research about it. Some say it absolutely doesn't work. And some say maybe it does.
00:33:03 So it's – overall I would say there is some belief that it can be a non-surgical treatment for fat deposits. For sure there is research about laser light radio or sound wave laser machines, like intense pulse light or radio waves or Thermage and all these machines that dermatologists use that do have some pretty good research about having improvement.
00:33:32 Nothing is permanent. God, I wish I had better – I hate when I have bad news. This is a stubborn problem that has very little evidence of improvement. You can also try Retin-A, Renova, any of the retinoids prescription. A little bit of research showing that it improves skin structure because it does improve skin structure. How much that can actually hold back fat is maybe a 20% improvement but that's better than no improvement with rubbing some of these cellulite cosmetic creams all over your thigh and getting no results.
00:34:08 So, that is the skinny on cellulite. Desire, let's take some questions.
Desiree Stordahl: All right. We have Lauren from Texas on the line.
Paula Begoun: Hi Lauren.
Lauren: Hi Paula. How are you?
Paula Begoun: I'm good. How are you? What can I do for you?
Lauren: Well actually I had a couple of questions for you. My first one is about foundation.
00:34:29 I recently went to the Prescriptives counter and they color paletted me or whatever you call that. And I'm a blue/red skin tone, and only 20% of the world is a blue/red skin tone.
Paula Begoun: No, you're not blue/red. Nobody is blue/red. That's okay. By the way, Prescriptives is gone. You must be at a store where Estee Lauder hasn't taken down their Prescriptives counter.
Lauren: Oh, they're gone now?
Paula Begoun: Yeah, they're gone. But the way they tested you for – Bryan, I guess they are slowly but surely taking down their Prescriptives counters around the world?
Bryan Barron: My understanding was that it was going to be a mass exodus at the end of February.
00:35:11 It's certainly gone from our department stores here in Seattle. And I haven't been to every store in the country; it's possible that maybe certain department stores are selling out of their stock or, I don't know.
Paula Begoun: Or maybe Estee Lauder hasn't told them that it's all over and close up shop.
Bryan Barron: That might be.
Paula Begoun: Yeah, might be.
00:35:30 So, Lauren, the technique they used on you to stripe the foundations, they take like four shades and stripe it to see which one matches, and then they say this one is the best one. And it's actually a nice technique. But the blue/red, those foundations that they have, they almost all got an unhappy face when we reviewed Prescriptives because those foundations are just too orange looking on skin.
Lauren: Right. Well I have absolutely no yellow in my skin.
00:36:00 I actually had them make it for me when they were doing that. I guess they're gone now so they don't do it anymore. But they would make it for me and say, “Can I add some bronzer for summer?"And I said, no, add more of the white whatever in that bottle because they needed to lighten it even more. And I was paying for them to make it for me and it still didn't match me.
Paula Begoun: Oh, you're that light skinned.
Lauren: Yes. I'm probably whiter than Nicole Kidman. I'm extremely fair.
Paula Begoun: So, Bryan…do you need a recommendation for us for an ultra-white foundation?
Lauren: Well I don't know that I want white paint on my face.
Paula Begoun: Oh, I know. God knows I know. We would never do that to you. We would never do that. Bryan, you got a recommendation?
Bryan Barron: Well typically when someone is really super fair like that and you have a very porcelain skin tone, it is really tough to find a foundation that doesn't make you look completely ghostly. And just kind of you put it on and it sort of drains the color from your face.
00:37:02 So, what I have found works best, because I have worked with women with very fair skin in my days as an artist at the counters, and I would actually forgo foundation and instead look for a concealer, either a liquid or a cream concealer which are available in shades that will go lighter than foundation. More than likely you could find a concealer that's as light as your skin tone. And then you can apply that as usual to your trouble spots under the eyes, maybe around the nose, and then mix a tiny dab of the concealer with a little bit of moisturizer, one that's right for your skin type, and then apply that over your skin as you would a foundation.
Paula Begoun: Does that make sense, Lauren?
Lauren: Yes, it does.
Bryan Barron: Okay.
Paula Begoun: All right, so Lauren I'm going to give you a Slip Into Silk Body Lotion from Paula's Choice and a Beautiful Body Butter. It's not going to change your cellulite but I promise you'll have smooth, silky legs, and heels, and knees the rest of the summer.
Lauren: That's great. Well I do have one more quick question if you could.
Paula Begoun: Okay. Quick question.
Lauren: An SPF 30 that's for sensitive skin? Paula Begoun: So for sensitive skin what you want to make sure is that you use one that only has titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as the active ingredients. That is for absolutely sure the best.
00:38:25 Do you have dry skin or oily skin?
Lauren: I've been using mineral foundation, so it makes me look shiny, but I don't think I'm a true oily skin. I may be more normal combination.
Paula Begoun: So that's a little trickier. So, one of the things you can do is use a foundation with sunscreen. But I'm going to send you our Skin Recovery Moisturizer and see how you do with it. It has titanium dioxide as the active ingredient and I'm also going to send you one of our foundations.
00:39:00 I'm skeptical that it will be the right color for you but it's the one we have that just has titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in it. And you can give that a try and see if it works for you because it's so sheer – it just goes on, almost disappears into skin. So we're going to send you all of that and see how much that…
Lauren: SPF 30? I'm sorry.
Paula Begoun: Oh, did you ask for SPF 30?
Lauren: Yeah.
Paula Begoun: I'm sorry. I totally blew that out. Sorry, Bryan, bad recommendation on my part. Any suggestions? Who did we just run into that had an SPF 50? Is that SkinCeuticals?
Bryan Barron: Well, there's two. There is a very expensive one from SkinCeuticals that is not really worth the splurge. What you might want to look at is a newer one from Neutrogena. It is $15 for 1.7oz. It is their Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 50. And they use their Pure Screen which is what they're labeling their blend of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
00:40:04 It is a fragrance-free formula and it is a great option for sensitive skin.
Paula Begoun: All right. So you're going to get some gifts from us and you can also check out the – Bryan, that's a great recommendation, that Neutrogena recommendation. All right, Lauren, thank you. Enjoy the stuff we're going to be sending you. Desiree, next caller.
Desiree Stordahl: Our next caller is Donna from Georgia.
Paula Begoun: Hi Donna.
Donna: Hi Paula.
Paula Begoun: Hi, what can I do for you?
Donna: I actually have two quick questions. And the first one is about a skin condition that I have been told I have called, and I don't know if I'm pronouncing this correctly or not, it's Poikiloderma. Have you had any…?
Paula Begoun: No. I don't know it at all.
00:40:47 Can you spell that for me?
Donna: Yes. P-O-I-K-I-L-O-D-E-R-M-A. It's not raised or above the skin. It's all broken blood vessels and capillaries under the skin. And it supposedly occurs on the neck as a result of fragrances or cosmetics.
Paula Begoun: No kidding. I've never heard of it.
Donna: Well I hadn't either until they told me I had it and my neck is just very, very bright red with like a white center, it looks like a triangle or a baseball field in the middle.
Paula Begoun: So what did the – and your question for me is?
Donna: I'm having trouble concealing it and getting it to blend in with the color on my face when I wear makeup. Because when people look at me it's like they see the color of my face, then my neck has two different colors. And I've got so many different colors going on.
Paula Begoun: So has your dermatologist recommended any – again, I don't know this problem, but you mentioned that they are surface capillaries that are creating this red blotching under the skin.
00:42:10 Has your dermatologist, did you ask about whether or not any laser treatments could be…?
Donna: They recommend laser.
Paula Begoun: So they did recommend laser?
Donna: Right. And they were saying that is the only thing that will help.
Paula Begoun: Yeah. That is the only thing. I kind of thought so. Again, I don't know the disorder, but once I hear surfaced capillaries and that kind of, you know, whether it's from Rosacea or sun damage, or trauma.
00:42:40 And in this case a skin disorder. One of the only ways to deal with it is IPL, Intense Pulse Laser, or some other forms of laser that dermatologists can use to zap them. And they work brilliantly. Now, unfortunately the reason that they are there can come back, but you can get them zapped a few times and then maybe come back occasionally for maintenance. But I would really look into splurging on that if it's bothering you.
00:43:12 The problem with putting makeup on your neck is it's going to get on your clothes. And no matter how much foundation you put on, that redness when it's that intense, particularly when you get warm, is going to pop through. That's why you're having problems with it. So, it's like any other kind of problem where it's hard to cover up. You don't cover it up. It's just, you know, one of those things.
00:43:37 You wear a scarf around your neck or you just let it be red. Wear sunscreen over it, for sure. You always wear sunscreen on your neck when you're outside.
Bryan Barron: Actually, Paula, I just did a quick check in a dermatology book that I have and this one dermatologist does have a brief blurb on this condition. And it is very common in women. It most commonly shows up on the neck and upper shoulders. And it is most often seen in women with a long history of sun exposure.
Paula Begoun: Oh, so it is related to sun damage.
Bryan Barron: Yes.
00:44:10 And the tendency to develop it is believed to be inherited. But it is caused and worsened by sun exposure.
Paula Begoun: All right. So, Donna, we're going to send you Paula's Choice Slip Into Silk Body Lotion, our Beautiful Body Butter, and also Paula's Choice Moisturizing Sunscreen with SPF 30 that you can use. Well, you can use it from the neck up or neck down to make sure you're covered.
00:44:40 But I would definitely look into the laser option for dealing with the surface capillaries. What was your other question, Donna? Because I really can't – I don't have any recommendation for foundations that won't transfer to your clothes. Bryan, that foundation that they recommend, the Derma Cover, is that what it's called that used to be sold at JCPenney? Dermablend?
Bryan Barron: Dermablend?
Paula Begoun: Dermablend. So you might want to search, although I'm not advocating this, but they pretty – Bryan, Dermablend has some pretty heavy duty…?
Bryan Barron: They do. The last time I looked at them, and you can find Dermablend at some Ulta Boutiques.
00:45:24 The problem with their foundations, even though they provide a lot of coverage, they're very creamy and emollient, and so they don't use that silicon technology that really gives them good tenacity on the skin. So, there's a company called Exuviance. Paula, you remember like Exuviance their PHA and AHA products?
Paula Begoun: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Bryan Barron: That NeoStrata brand.
Paula Begoun: Right.
Bryan Barron: So they have a small makeup line and I believe it's called Cover Blend by Exuviance.
Paula Begoun: Right. Right.
Bryan Barron: And it's a full coverage foundation that does use the newer silicon technology. And I won't promise it won't rub off on your clothes, but it's definitely more impervious to moisture and perspiration. And you can swim in the stuff and it would stay on.
Donna: Okay.
Bryan Barron: And it has sunscreen in it, unlike Dermablend.
Paula Begoun: It has a high sunscreen, right?
Bryan Barron: Well, SPF 20.
00:46:18 But the amount of titanium dioxide that they use to get the sun protection and then that enhanced coverage, I think they underrated the SPF. Because I think it's about 20, but in real world testing I would not be surprised if it was a 50.
Paula Begoun: Oh wow. But go by the SPF on the label and maybe Donna you could give that one a shot. So it's Exuviance Cover Blend. If it's not in your – you can always look it up online. Donna, real quick, what was your other question?
Donna: And this one, there's an ingredient that is in a foundation that I'm considering using, I can find this ingredient in any of my cosmetic dictionaries. And it's E-R-T-H-U-L-O-S-E.
00:47:04 It's like a self-tanning ingredient.
Paula Begoun: Yes, can you pronounce that, Bryan? I never pronounce.
Bryan Barron: I usually pronounce it as Erthulose. But…
Paula Begoun: Oh, Bryan always knows this stuff.
Bryan Barron: That's just me being phonetic. I don't know if it's right.
Paula Begoun: I can never pronounce anything.
00:47:20 So it's a self-tanning ingredient. It's not used very often in sunscreen, in self-tanners.
Bryan Barron: Because it's slow.
Paula Begoun: It works, dihydroxyacetone is the most typical ingredient found in self-tanners. In fact, 99.9% of all of them use dihydroxyacetone. And then a few of them use this ingredient that Bryan can pronounce and I can't. Say the name again, Bryan.
Bryan Barron: Erthulose. And for our listeners, that is one of hundreds of ingredients that Paula and I have covered in our online cosmetic ingredient dictionary at
Paula Begoun: That we are updating all the time, so you know you're putting on your face.
00:48:03 So, Donna, that ingredient, the reason it's not used very often is because it tans so slowly. Dihydroxyacetone when you apply it to show up a color takes just a few colors. Actually, and when there's a lot of dihydroxyacetone in the product it can actually take an hour. Erthulose takes, oh, I just pronounced it, takes about three days to show up color. So you put it on and you don't know what the hell you did.
00:48:28 So it works, it just works slow – to self-tan skin but it just works slowly.
Donna: Well why would they put it in a foundation though?
Paula Begoun: I have no idea. It sounds very…
Bryan Barron: That's interesting. I've never seen that before. I would call the company and say, “What the heck?"
Donna: Well I have and they can't give me an answer.
Paula Begoun: Well, they usually don't. They definitely don't answer our questions. That sounds odd.
Donna: If I fall asleep or I keep it on all day and study all night or something, am I going to wake up with a tan?
Paula Begoun: I don't know how much they've stuck in it. It could be that it is in there at a trace amount. Just like dihydroxyacetone it is considered a coloring ingredient. It actually isn't an active ingredient, it's considered a coloring agent.
00:49:20 Maybe for some strange reason it's in there for that. But in my years of doing reviews I've never seen that in a foundation. But most likely it's in there in a trace amount. Because if it was in there in any other amount you would, yeah, you would wash off three days later you'd have some amount of brown skin. I mean, not much but it would grow with time as you used it. So, yeah, it would be a problem. But, again, I doubt that there is that much in there, or it would be strange. So I doubt there's any problematic amount in there.
00:49:59 But you can always find another foundation that – Desiree, let's give Donna a free subscription to so she can go on and look for some other foundation choices that don't have such a strange ingredient list. Donna, thank you for calling. Thank you, dear. Desiree, let's if we can get a couple more callers in.
Desiree Stordahl: All right. We've got Elaine from New Jersey on the line.
Paula Begoun: Hi Elaine.
Elaine: Hi. Several questions, but I don't know how much time we have. One, can you recommend a very good sunscreen that either with a foundation that is lightweight and is high.
00:50:41 I'm going to Europe on Tuesday and I need something that I can rely on that doesn't feel like I'm putting on mud.
Paula Begoun: Are you talking from the neck up?
Elaine: Face.
Paula Begoun: Oh, for the face, because it's a foundation. So, I'm gonna send you our SPF 20 foundation and our pressed powder with SPF 15. I think that combination works brilliantly, especially when it's hot and you want to touch up your makeup. You'll be adding sunscreen.
00:51:13 So we'll send you a few options from the Paula's Choice products for the face, foundation and pressed powder, from our Healthy Finish line and our SPF 20. And, Bryan, do you want to make a recommendation from another product line that we can give Elaine some options for?
Bryan Barron: Probably a nice foundation that really is going to feel light and is going to hold up well, go the distance. You can wander around Europe not having to worry about whether or not you're shiny or your makeup is streaky is Revlon's ColorStay Active Light Makeup with SPF 25.
Paula Begoun: Oh, that's a good option.
Elaine: Revlon's ColorStay?
Paula Begoun: Active. Active Wear. Revlon ColorStay Active Wear.
Bryan Barron: Active Light, Paula. Sorry.
Paula Begoun: I'm sorry, Active Light.
00:52:02 And then you're going to use the Paula's Choice Healthy Finish Pressed Powder. And I'll give you one other question, Elaine. What's the next one?
Elaine: Do you have a product or can recommend one that has a combination of necessary products that are in small quantities to take with? Because I'm going to be traveling a lot this summer and I hate to buy bottles and separate stuff. Like a travel pack?
Paula Begoun: So we actually used to sell a travel pack that we have improved and are bringing back this winter.
00:52:41 But that's too late for you. What I recommend and this is about Paula's Choice, so it's – well, it's definitely self-serving. But what we do and what I travel with around the world and I'm on the road 60% of the time, because I like making sure I have all my skincare with me on the plane because god forbid I should land and my luggage not be with me, I can wash my face which is very important to me.
00:53:09 So, we have travel packets for almost every single one of our skincare products. And I can't promise you that it will get through security. But I've had travel packets for all my skincare products for at least seven years and I have never had a problem getting it through security. Again, I can't guarantee that. Some security people can be strange.
00:53:33 But it has always gotten through. And I travel with, like if I'm gone for a month I'll take 30 of each of the products I use, 30 travel packets. It's on the plane with me. It always gets through. Especially on long hauls when you're traveling overseas, 12 hours; you want to get up and wash your face and brush your teeth. So I take a little itty bit tube of toothpaste, put that in that quart container, my little lip gloss, and whatever else.
00:54:03 I always have a tie pin. Actually, I should do a show just in how I travel. I mean, I'm on the road 60% of the time all over the world, so, but take a look at my travel packs. What kind of skin type do you have Elaine?
Elaine: Well I have Rosacea. It's very sensitive skin.
Paula Begoun: We're going to send you five each sample packets and let's get it to Elaine right away. Let's send it overnight and get her five each packets of our Skin Recovery products. You can at least take them with on the plane and experiment with them.
00:54:38 And I think they might be something you want to consider in the future. Elaine, have safe travels to where you're going. Really quick.
Elaine: Well, we're going to Paris and then we rented a house in Aix.
Paula Begoun: Aix-en-Provence! Oh, you devil you. You got to write a book afterwards. Elaine, have a safe flight. Paris, my favorite city other than Rome. Favorite. Enjoy.
Elaine: Thanks. And do a show on that. That would be great. A travel one.
Paula Begoun: You know, I will Elaine.
00:55:09 I am definitely a traveler and I definitely have my techniques that get me around the world. So I will. Thank you, Elaine. Have a safe trip. We'll take one more call, Desiree, real quick. The fastest question you've got.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay, we'll go to Kaitlin from Texas.
Paula Begoun: Hi Kaitlin, what do you got for me?
Kaitlin: Hi Paula. I
00:55:27 I just got this new SPF 30 from Bascia or Boscia, I'm not sure how you say that.
Paula Begoun: Bryan knows. Bryan, how do you pronounce that?
Bryan Barron: I've heard it pronounced Boscia.
Paula Begoun: Boscia. Terrible product name. But go on.
Kaitlin: I just got it and I've been kind of trying it with different things. It feels a little light. Do I need to use like your antioxidant serum underneath it or another moisturizer or booth?
Paula Begoun: So, you have dry skin?
Kaitlin: It just feels a little kind of gritty if I don't have something underneath it.
Paula Begoun: It feels gritty or your skin feels gritty?
Kaitlin: No, the product.
00:56:09 As soon as I apply it. But if I put like your serum or a moisturizer underneath it it helps a little bit. But is that good?
Paula Begoun: Okay. It's silly. It just sounds like a product you should return. There's no product, not mine or anybody else's that you put on your face should feel gritty. So, I'm sorry, I don't mean to laugh, but often women get bad products and blame themselves as opposed to blaming the product.
00:56:34 I would return that product. No sunscreen should feel guilty. I'm glad my antioxidant serum is working for you. Kaitlin, tell me what kind of skin type you have?
Kaitlin: I don't think it's oily, but it's not exactly dry either. It's somewhere in the middle.
Paula Begoun: Somewhere in the middle. So we're going to send you our Skin Recovery sunscreen. And I'm also going to send you our Skin Balancing sunscreen so you can play with either of them and see how it works for you.
00:57:02 But, yeah, the Boscia or B-O-S-C-I-A, whatever you call it, it sounds like it's not a good sunscreen just in general, but definitely not for your skin type. It shouldn't feel gritty. Yes, an antioxidant serum under sunscreen is great to use. You can't load your skin up with enough antioxidants and as long as the sunscreen goes on last you won't be diluting it. We're also going to be sending you Paula's Choice Beautiful Body Butter and Slip Into Silk.
00:57:28 And I've got to go, Kaitlin. Thank you for calling. And thank you for being beautifully informed with all my other listeners who tune in, 6 o'clock Pacific Time, to the Cosmetics Cop team. So I want to tell you about the shows coming up. Next week we're doing seven hair care secrets you need to know. This is stuff even your hairdresser doesn't know. So you absolutely have to listen next week. This is the stuff – well, wait till next week because I don't have time to tell you what they are right now. But, oh, I'm so excited about that show.
00:58:03 The week after that we're going to stay on hair and we're going to do hair dye dos and don'ts. I think we have to stick in the travel show that Elaine suggested because this is travel season. But on the first we're doing makeup tricks to look – July 1st makeup tricks to look younger, healthier, and vibrant. On July 8th we have expert Jamie Schrabeck. She's going to teach us about the perfect manicure and pedicure.
00:58:32 I think on the 15th we have to do, I'm going to change our 15th show. I think we absolutely have to do a travel show. How to pack skincare! How to get on the plane. And I'm also going to do some of the other tricks I do. So, I want to thank everybody for calling in who did and got Paula's Choice products. We do that every week for Being Beautifully Informed with the Cosmetics Cop. I'm Paula Begoun and I own
00:59:00 They're my products. I make them. I'm proud. I'm proud enough of them to also be able to recommend other people's products because my only goal is that you get the best products for your skin that make you beautiful, make you feel and look beautiful, and take the absolute best care of your skin possible. So, for Desiree Stordahl, my producer assistant, thank you as always. She puts these shows together. She's wonderful.
00:59:25 Bryan Barron who has been writing books and researching with me about skincare and makeup for – I don't even want to say how long, but he's gorgeous. He hasn't aged an hour. And I'm Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop. To my Cosmetics Cop team, to all you wonderful women out there, and Claudia I love you. Call in next week. Give away more products. And learn about hair care secrets. Take care. Have beautiful weekend everyone. Good night.
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