How to Get Soft, Kissable Lips (and Keep Them That Way)!

Airdate: 3/14/14

Paula reveals her secret to getting and keeping lips enviably smooth, plus you’ll discover why so many lip-care products actually make chapping worse! After listening to this show you’ll have Paula and team’s best advice for ensuring your lips stay kissably soft and beautifully smooth all year long!

Paula Begoun: Hello. I’m Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, here with my co-writer and research director for Paula’s Choice, Bryan Barron. We’re the best-selling authors of Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me. And actually in its many editions, in its nine editions, we’ve been best-selling authors for all nine of those. We’re here to keep 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.
00:00:31 And we’ll tell you the truth about it. We’ll tell you what the research says and take your questions on our Facebook page, too. So, come visit us there, “friend” us, and we’ll see what we can do. We’re actually going to post right now. So, well actually, that’s - I mean, this is taped, so if you don’t go there right now, but go there and then stay with us for getting in on our taped, when we tape our podcast, or - I have - I don’t even know what I’m saying, Bryan, because I don’t understand Facebook.
00:01:07 What do we do? Explain to the people how they can ask us questions. I don’t know!
Bryan Barron: We tape a bunch of shows in one day and we’re getting to the point where maybe we’re getting a little punchy. But we will post on our Facebook page at the beginning of the taping day that you can submit your questions on our page and we may select them to answer. And then you wouldn’t get the answer right away.
00:01:32 You would have to listen to the shows so it’s kind of a nice way to get you to listen to our shows.
Paula Begoun: That’s exactly what I meant to say!
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
Paula Begoun: Oh my gosh! Is that what it sounded like had I made sense?
Bryan Barron: Yes. Pretty much!
Paula Begoun: So, today we’re talking about how to get soft kissable lips and keep them that way. There is, you know, there are a lot of things about skincare and skin that’s uncomfortable and difficult to deal with, but perhaps one of the more pervasive problems is dry lips. Cracked, dry, uncomfortable lips. And the reason for that is because the skin of the lips on the face is completely different from skin on almost any other part of the body.
00:02:20 And that’s what makes them so difficult to take care of. So, here’s what’s interesting. The skin on the face and the body generally has about 16 layers and the thickest layer is the stratum corneum, the top layer of skin, the dead layers of skin. The lips are thinner. They actually only have three to six layers of skin and their outer layer, the lip stratum corneum is actually very thin. So, when they get damaged there’s not like a lot of layers of cushioning.
Bryan Barron: Sure.
Paula Begoun: And when they get sun damaged it’s not like there’s a lot of layers of collagen and elastin. They take the hardest hit when there’s lack of moisture in the air, the results of sun damage.
00:03:12 Shows up there often first with little lines around the mouth or lips getting thinner and receding. It’s hard to keep moisture in the lips. Lips are difficult to keep particularly when it’s dry or you’re in a dry environment to keep them from getting cracked, and chapped, and uncomfortable. So, how do you be the person who doesn’t have to apply ChapStick every three seconds and still have chapped lips? Because that’s one of the -
Bryan Barron: Actually, stop using ChapStick would be a good place to start.
Paula Begoun: Well, and use something that works.
00:03:49 Because obviously ChapStick doesn’t work because you keep applying it and keep applying it. And yet you still have chapped lips and the goal is to not have to keep applying it and keep applying it, so that you don’t have chapped lips. It’s tricky because there isn’t anything you can really do to change the thinness of skin on the lips, unlike skin on the rest of the body that with certain moisturizing ingredients and certain special ingredients you can help prepare the outer layer and get it thick and dense enough to where it used to be when it was younger before it was sun damaged, to have it behave better, respond better to the cold, the environment, to dryness, to help protect it from sun damage.
00:04:37 The lips, it is almost impossible to do that just because there’s no place for those ingredients to grab onto because the outer layers are so thin. And also because it’s hard to remember that the lips also need sun protection. We tend to forget that. We’ll put the sunscreen on all over and, of course, the lips are just naked to the world. So, you’ve got to protect your lips and keep them covered wither with emollients at night -
00:05:07 You can’t forget your lips at night, and during the day, sunscreen, an emollient lip product with sunscreen.
Bryan Barron: What do you mean for those who aren’t familiar with the term emollient? What are some emollient ingredients?
Paula Begoun: So, the difference between, so one of the reasons ChapStick has so much limitations and why you’re constantly rubbing it on is because it’s really just wax. It isn’t - it doesn’t have -
Bryan Barron: Kind of like rubbing a candle across your lips.
Paula Begoun: Actually, pretty much like rubbing a candle across your lips. It doesn’t have much in the way of emollients that stick to the lips, that stay on, fatty acids, rich ingredients like Lanolins and petrolatum and -
Bryan Barron: Triglycerides.
Paula Begoun: Triglycerides. And Lecithins and other ingredients that stick to the lips and protect it and give the lips what it would have if it was thicker and not sun damaged and younger. Basic, basic skincare except it has to for the lips be even richer and more tenacious.
00:06:12 It has to actually stick to the lips. It has to be difficult to wear away. One of the problems with ChapStick, separate from that it is a very waxy ordinary formula, it doesn’t stick very well, it easily breaks down and leaves the lips, and it doesn’t leave anything behind. It doesn’t absorb very well so you don’t get anything into the thinner layers to even give the lips a chance to stay moist.
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
00:06:37 It kind of makes me think of going back to the candle example, remember one of the things that I used to do as a kid with a candle is you’d let some of the wax drip.
Paula Begoun: Yeah. Yeah. Like when you get some manicures have you dip your hands in wax.
Bryan Barron: Right. And you think about how that wax looks on the skin once it sets and how fragile it is.
00:07:00 And how easily it cracks and how you can just kind peel it right off.
Paula Begoun: Well, and that’s true with ChapStick. It actually does have a peeling, depending on how much you put on, it actually does - you really have to spread it around to keep it from looking plumped up and chipped.
Bryan Barron: Right. So, I like the example of what you were saying earlier about how emollient ingredients work better on the lips, that you really need something substantive, something that’s going to stick.
Paula Begoun: Right.
Bryan Barron: I think that’s the reason that the Paula’s Choice Lip and Body Treatment Balm is such a customer favorite, and a staff favorite.
00:07:33 I remember awhile back we did a little poll around the office where we said what is the one Paula’s Choice product that would be your desert island favorite. And we thought people would say, “Oh, the Resist this, or, oh, my BHA.” Almost everyone said the Lip and Body Treatment Balm.
Paula Begoun: Having dry lips is so uncomfortable and there are so few products out there that either don’t contain anything that would make lips feel smooth and soft and restore lips to some degree.
00:08:04 And when I say restore I’m not talking that they’re all of a sudden never going to get chapped again. One of the things about these kind of products is you do have to reapply them. You just shouldn’t have to reapply them every 15 minutes, or every 30 minutes, or every hour. It should stick around for awhile. I just lost my train of thought. Where was I going?
00:08:26 Bryan, you always are better at my thoughts than I am! Wait, where was I going? I hate this! Oh, I know, well, it doesn’t matter - I’ll go off in this direction.
Bryan Barron: Okay.
Paula Begoun: So, one of the things about reapplying is that you have to be dedicated to applying it at night. Sunscreen during the day, with an emollient lip balm of some kind, without irritants, and we’ll talk about no irritants in just a second, during the day with sunscreen because lips are more vulnerable, well, the whole body is vulnerable to sun damage.
00:08:59 But the lips because of how thin they are are the most easily damaged quicker than the rest of the face. And then at night you’ve got to put stuff on your lips, too. You’ve got to put our body balm, or look at our reviews and find another great balm that doesn’t contain irritants and absolutely put that on your lips at night. Don’t go to bed with naked lips. You will wake up with dry, cracked lips, especially when it’s cold out.
Bryan Barron: And speaking of irritants, watch out for sneaky irritants in lip balms, anything minty, menthol, camphor.
00:09:34 A classic example of a lip balm that you see sold everywhere that has a ton of bad ingredients in it is Carmex.
Paula Begoun: What is that about?
Bryan Barron: Carmex in the little pod.
Paula Begoun: No, I know.
Bryan Barron: Well, I was differentiating because they do have some other formulas in a tube and I haven’t looked at those closely to know if they follow. Nathan, do you know if the Carmex products in a tube have the same problematic ingredients?
Nathan Rivas: You know, actually I sort of kind of wrote Carmex off. I know that’s terrible to say, but there are so many better formulas now at the drugstore. Even Aquaphor is a better alternative than Carmex.
Bryan Barron: Aquaphor has a couple of very nice lip balms, including one with sunscreen.
Paula Begoun: Burt’s Bees created one that didn’t have irritants in them, because Burt’s Bees tends to be so notorious.
Bryan Barron: They do.
00:10:19 And I think they discontinued it. I’ll bet the people were like, “It doesn’t tingle. It doesn’t smell like strawberries. I don’t like it.”
Paula Begoun: “Where’s that natural smell we were hoping for?”
Bryan Barron: Yes.
Paula Begoun: It is hard to find lip balms that don’t contain irritants. And especially during the day it’s hard to find lip balms, or lipsticks for that matter, that don’t contain sunscreen. They leave the sunscreen out. Let me mention, if you’re wearing - and dare I say this, but I feel strongly about it - if you’re wearing a very opaque, matte lipstick that isn’t creamy you can actually, because it’s like having a blanket on the lips where the sun won’t get through, you can count that towards being your sunscreen.
00:11:09 And I know Bryan is probably gulping and going how dare she say that. I should mention that I always put my sunscreen over my lips, even though I do wear a very opaque lipstick. And if your lipstick, because you’re not putting it around your mouth, right, your lipstick is just in your lips -
Bryan Barron: On the lips itself, right.
Paula Begoun: You want to make sure you get your sunscreen as close to around your mouth as you can possibly get.
00:11:33 Those lines are going to show up around the outside of the lips first and then they do tend to go down into the regular lip area, the vermilion area is what’s it’s called. And that absolutely will make a difference when you start wearing sunscreen because as thin as the lips are, sun damage makes the skin of the lips thinner, breaks down collagen, dries out and damages the barrier of which is needed.
00:12:03 You need a great barrier to help keep moisture in. And the lips, when they get damaged, they lose their moisture fastest. So, one other thing that’s interesting about the lips separate from being thinner than skin on the rest of the body, lips also don’t have any oil glands or sweat glands or hair glands -
Bryan Barron: Hair follicles.
Paula Begoun: Hair follicles. So, they don’t have -
Bryan Barron: Which is kind of good.
00:12:29 Kind of nice if you think about it!
Paula Begoun: Well, it is. But what’s nice when they -
Bryan Barron: “Dear Paula, I have hairy lips!”
Paula Begoun: Ooh, actually thank god nobody has that problem. But by not having any of those things, yeah, sweaty lips, that would be not pretty.
Bryan Barron: Ooh, yeah.
Paula Begoun: But what you end up not getting is what those body, whatever you want to call them, secretion glands/body structures provide.
Bryan Barron: Apocrine and eccrine glands.
Paula Begoun: Eccrine glands. Very good.
00:13:04 Is what they provide is moisture. They provide oil, because the hair follicle releases oil. The sweat gland releases oil. And the oil gland releases oils. So, even though we don’t like it when it releases too much of it, what those skin structures give to the rest of the body skin is emollients. It protects it to some degree.
Bryan Barron: Yes. A natural lubrication.
Paula Begoun: Natural lubrication for the body that the lips don’t get.
Bryan Barron: So, where were you going to -
Paula Begoun: Oh, so what I was going to say is I’m just, you know me, I can’t stop repeating myself.
00:13:41 You have to put an emollient balm on at night that is tenacious, that has lots of emollient ingredients, and lots of skin restoring ingredients. And then during the day the same thing but with sunscreen. And you’ve got to be good about it. If you’re wearing lip gloss that’s thin and you can’t find one that has sunscreen in it, because they are hard to find, then just put your moisturizer with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, not the synthetic sunscreen ingredients, on your lips and then put your lip gloss over it.
00:14:11 That’s a fine way to do it. But you need sunscreen or you’re going to have a rough time keeping moisture in your lips because the sun damage just rips apart the skin on the lips.
Bryan Barron: It does.
Paula Begoun: On the face. Anywhere. But particularly on the lips.
Bryan Barron: So, what about lip scrubs as a means of helping with, especially we’re coming up on the winter in Seattle, the humidity drops. The air gets drier. It’s cold.
Paula Begoun: The flakies.
00:14:38 Well, so, we’re assuming, you know, I’ve got to tell you I do think using a lip scrub as long as it’s gentle and doesn’t have hard edges where it literally feels like you’re using an abrasive.
Bryan Barron: Right.
Paula Begoun: Sandpaper is not the goal.
Bryan Barron: No.
Paula Begoun: If it’s gentle, a soft toothbrush. I know some women like using that.
00:15:00 I do think with a gentle cleanser that can be an option. But, you know something? I got to say this, if you do what we’re recommending, and I’m just going to push my Paula’s Choice Lip and Body Balm, because if you use it at night and then you use our lip, what’s the one that we have with SPF? Oh, never mind. I’m not remembering names of products. But if you use one -
Bryan Barron: We have the sheer - the only lip product we currently sell with SPF is the Sheer Cream Lipstick.
Paula Begoun: Right. With SPF 15.
Bryan Barron: Yes.
00:15:36 And then we do have - that is a lipstick meaning you are going to get color, but we do have a “shade” called Invisible -
Paula Begoun: Which is clear.
Bryan Barron: Which is clear. Men like that one. It’s kind of asking a lot of the guys, though, to get past the fact that it’s in a lipstick tube.
Paula Begoun: It does look like a lipstick. Well, it is a lipstick tube, right. So, I think that, but I mean, there are other products. And you can put your, as I said, your sunscreen on and then put your lipstick on over it. But for a guy he’s got to find some kind of lip balm or our Paula’s Choice one, Invisible, with SPF 15.
00:16:15 I never have dry, cracked lips. Never. Not since the day I invented that product. I wear it every night and I put a lot of it on. And during the day I put sunscreen on my lips and I always have lips - you have never seen me without lipstick. I always have lipstick on. I have lipstick on at the beach, because I know what -
Bryan Barron: She does. She really does.
Paula Begoun: An opaque lipstick protects the lips from sun damage.
Bryan Barron: That is why men have a much higher incidence of skin cancer on the lips than women do.
00:16:46 Lipstick.
Paula Begoun: Lipstick. And even with the best sunscreens, when you put sunscreens on the mouth, because of the way we drink and eat and use our lips, it’s hard to keep it on. I see my lipstick going down. It is the clear evidence that it ain’t there anymore and I reapply it. So, I am absolutely fanatic about keeping my lip balm next to my bed.
00:17:10 If I’m done kissing, that lip balm goes straight back on. I’m not going to bed without my lip balm on. And then in the morning and during the day I pay attention to sun protection on my lips. And I don’t think you’ve ever seen me, or if you’ve ever heard me complain about having dry, cracked lips.
Bryan Barron: No.
Paula Begoun: And I know it’s because of what I do.
Bryan Barron: I recently had a bout, and I know this is a common complaint in the winter, where the sides of my lips, or my mouth, got very cracked.
00:17:45 And painful. Then it started getting red. And it was just going from bad to worst. And the natural inclination when you feel that cracking there is to stick your tongue over there and moisten it.
Paula Begoun: Right. Lick your lips. Exactly.
Bryan Barron: Lick your lips.
Paula Begoun: Don’t do that.
Bryan Barron: And so what I started doing was I became fanatical or what’s the word you use?
Paula Begoun: I usually say obsessive or dedicated.
Bryan Barron: Obsessive. Dedicated.
Paula Begoun: I try to put a positive spin on it.
Bryan Barron: I was keeping literally like a glob of lip balm in both corners, and it probably looked silly for awhile, but I’ll tell you in like two days it was all healed up.
Paula Begoun: Right. If the [fishers] get particularly bad for some people, and again this goes into people who tend to have rashes or eczema or something like that, and then you do want to talk to a doctor about a topical cortisone cream that you can potentially use nearer your mouth area or you can use the Hydrocort 10, what is that called?
00:18:43 The Hydrocortisone over the counter one with - the one we recommend because it’s so gentle.
Bryan Barron: Well, there’s one from Aveeno that we like.
Paula Begoun: Yeah. Yeah.
Bryan Barron: And then the Cortizone 10 Hydratensive.
Paula Begoun: That’s it. Ooh, you’re so good. What would I do without your brain? I just love that brain. Brian and Brain. That’s it, the BB. Brian is the - never mind. Sorry.
00:19:03 You’re just so smart. He is just the smartest person. Thank god I get him. So, I don’t want to lose my train of thought. I was just going to go off on expounding and extolling Bryan’s virtues. But, for some people the rashes around their mouth can get so bad that you do have to consider a cortisone cream to calm it down. Sometimes it’s because you’re using products that just make the situation worse.
00:19:34 ChapSticks. And you keep applying the ChapStick and complaining that you have dry lips, the ChapStick isn’t working. You need to take a look at our recommendations and try something else.
Bryan Barron: Would toothpaste be a factor? Like some of the flavoring agents in toothpaste?
Paula Begoun: Well, you could just be allergic to fluoride. If you’re finding that particularly if you’re getting rashy on your chin and it hasn’t been diagnosed as Rosacea and it’s not just around your mouth but also kind of away from your mouth, kind of like where toothpaste tends to dribble down.
Bryan Barron: Sure.
Paula Begoun: One is you could be allergic to some of the additive ingredients in toothpaste.
00:20:14 But you could also be allergic to fluoride. If it’s a potential of being allergic to fluoride then you do have to talk to your doctor, your dentist, about options other than fluoride because -
Bryan Barron: There are fluoride-free toothpastes.
Paula Begoun: Right. But you want to check with your dentist to make sure that then you’re not going to end up with cavities. You’re going to definitely want to make sure it’s with your dentist. I don’t want to suggest anybody go without fluoride toothpaste and then cavities aren’t pretty either.
Bryan Barron: The dermatologist, or not the dermatologist, the dentist may suggest a fluoride-free toothpaste but then maybe you’d be using a fluoride mouthwash or rinse.
Paula Begoun: A rinse.
00:20:52 Or the fluoride-free toothpaste has ingredients that aren’t fluoride that you wouldn’t be allergic to that also would flight plaque and tarter buildup and cavities.
Bryan Barron: Okay.
Paula Begoun: So, yes, you could absolutely be allergic to fluoride. That’s a good catch. So, back to the scrub thing.
Bryan Barron: Yes.
Paula Begoun: I think that you can actually have smooth, beautiful lip skin and not have any flaking following our recommendations. If you feel that - and you have indeed followed what we’re recommending and you still have a little bit of flakiness, then yes, a gentle scrub, not sandpaper. Not those gritty ones with the nuts and the little pumice stones.
Bryan Barron: Apricot bits.
Paula Begoun: That actually tear into skin and make matters worse.
00:21:33 But, yes, a soft scrub absolutely can help. But I’m telling you, with what we’re recommending you will see beautiful, soft, kissable lips. Yes, we can make a difference. Follow the recommendations -
Bryan Barron: And they’ll look fuller, too.
Paula Begoun: This winter and summer you will have the lips - yes, and they will look fuller because dry cracked lips look tighter and tighter and not full and moist.
Bryan Barron: Shrivel in.
Paula Begoun: Yes.
Nathan Rivas: You, actually, just a quick question that we do get a lot on Facebook is should you be using your BHA or AHA over your lips?
Paula Begoun: No. Not enough skin. No, don’t do that. There’s not enough skin to exfoliate.
00:22:15 So, the reason you wouldn’t want to put a BHA or AHA over the skin of your lips is because remember what we were saying earlier is the face and the body has a very thick external upper layers of skin that are dead and built up called the stratum corneum. It is where the skin exfoliates. The lips only have about three to six layers, far less thickness, and the stratum corneum is small. It’s tiny. There isn’t enough skin there to exfoliate. So, do not use an AHA/BHA. That won’t get you the benefit you’re looking for.
Bryan Barron: Let’s take a few more questions from our Facebook page as we wrap up this show on lip care.
00:23:02 Judy wants to know what can be done about thinning eye lashes. She finds herself applying more mascara only to get the tarantula look. It’s almost as if one or two coats of mascara doesn’t even show up.
Paula Begoun: Well, ugh, I can relate. So, some of what happens as you get older or sometimes just for various reasons your lashes get thinner and less dense and less thick. And, yeah, more mascara just makes them clumpy and heavy looking. So, my strong recommendation is consider Latisse and some of the other lash enhancing -
00:23:36 Well, not enhancing. I hate that word. That actually do stimulate eye lash hair growth. Revitalash, is that the other one on the market that we often recommend? Is that the right name, Bryan?
Bryan Barron: Yes. There’s Revitalash and then the original formula of Rapid Lash, which I’ve heard from some people that they’re seeing a different formula in stores now that doesn’t have the prostaglandin analogue like ingredient.
Paula Begoun: Oh, so maybe they -
Bryan Barron: I’m still seeing the original formula.
00:24:06 When I checked on that in our area stores last time, which was maybe a week or so ago, they’re still selling the one that we recommend on our site. So, we haven’t changed the review or our recommendation as of yet. But, prostaglandin analogues are a type of a class of ingredients that are what cause the growth cycle of the eye lashes to extend. So, rather than that lash falling out in a pre-programmed manner, the prostaglandin analogues send a message to the lash that you need to keep growing and stick around longer than you would.
00:24:37 So, that is how such products give you the appearance or literally give you more lashes and the lashes that you have stick around longer. And they’re growing longer in much the same way. Your hair will continue to grow if you don’t keep getting it cut.
Paula Begoun: Without those ingredients that we just mentioned in an eye lash product they will not cause your lashes to grow longer. The number of products out there saying they will grow lashes are lying. The ones we recommend on our site, you’ve got to take a look at The prescription drug Latisse does absolutely. The Revitalash and the other one, Bryan, I’m sorry, I’m just blanking out on the one you just said.
00:25:23 Revitalash and…?
Bryan Barron: Rapid Lash.
Paula Begoun: Rapid Lash. Other than that, we just haven’t seen other ones that just make cosmetic claims but make it sound like it’s actually something like Latisse. Those are the only three ones we have run into. There are negatives. There are side effects to using those. But in terms of actually getting lashes to grow, that’s pretty much what you’re looking at.
Bryan Barron: So, Suzanne asks, “How on earth do you figure out what type of skin you have. I know this sounds silly but I’m 47 and it seems like my skin is some anomaly. After washing, no matter if I use cleaning oil or a foaming wash, or anything in between, I am dry, dry, dry and tight. But, my nose is one big blackhead covered in flakes.
00:26:09 If I use products geared toward dry skin I end up with my blush sliding off my face from the oil. Products for combination skin leave me dehydrated. I use CeraVe’s gentle cleanser, Paula’s Choice serums, Vitamin C and Antioxidant Concentrate for Combination skin,” so that would be our Skin Balancing.
Paula Begoun: Right.
Bryan Barron: “CeraVe Moisturizer for day.” So, that’s her SPF 30 product. “Resist Retinol with Vitamin C at night. And I use AHA and BHA to exfoliate depending on what I think I need. Now, add pre-menopause to the mix and I have clogged pores on my chin. Ugh. I find myself staging at women’s faces, judging their skin, wanting to ask if they have the same issues.”
Paula Begoun: Wow. Oh geez. This one is not easy.
00:26:55 So, she’s saying that she has tight dry skin -
Bryan Barron: After cleansing, no matter what she uses to wash with.
Paula Begoun: Even when she’s using an oil. But then she’s complaining about that - I’m not exactly clear. Is she saying that she has dry skin as well, or once she put these products on the dry skin goes away? It’s hard to - it’s kind of a long - I’m not exactly following.
Bryan Barron: I think, from what I gather, she sounds like one of those people that has the extreme combination skin.
Paula Begoun: Yeah.
00:27:31 That is what it sounds like. I just can’t quite tell, yeah. So what we’re going to have to do with this one, this one is very complicated. So, Nathan, will do you me a favor and let’s get an email and then I can try to help this lady out, because she’s got incredibly tricky skin. And she doesn’t really have an anomaly. I know women often think, “Well, I’m the only person in the world.”
00:28:03 She’s hardly the only person in the world to have a complicated skin type where some areas are dry, some areas are oily, some areas have blackheads, some areas don’t. She breaks out in some areas. That it’s really not combination skin. It’s really complicated skin. And often what the answer is is you have to segregate how you clean your skin and how you then take care of it. And I hate to say it, but sometimes what you have to do is not put the same products on all over.
00:28:38 And that’s the tendency. You buy a product and then you want to put it on all over. So, you’re putting the AHA on all over. You’re putting the vitamin C product on all over. You’re putting the retinol product on over. You’re kind of throwing everything at your face and your face isn’t the same all over. So -
Bryan Barron: Yeah. My initial thought based when I took another look at the products she mentioned is that she may also be using too many active products at once.
Paula Begoun: That is what it sounds like, which would make the skin feel dry as opposed to maybe alternating them, or spot treating them.
Bryan Barron: It could also cause some of the flaking.
Paula Begoun: Right.
Bryan Barron: So, she’s dry on top and oily underneath.
Paula Begoun: It is tempting.
00:29:29 I know…I know Paula’s Choice sells a lot of products. And I’m excited about the ones. Well, you know, I’m part of the formula. I mean, they’re my formularies, so I’m excited about them, but I know how tempting it is to want to use everything and not all skin types can use everything. So, we’ll help her pare down and figure out where to put what where and when.
Bryan Barron: Okay.
Paula Begoun: I wish I could have had a faster answer, but that’s her skin type is - tell me again who we were just talking to? I forgot her name.
Bryan Barron: Suzanne.
Paula Begoun: Sorry. Suzanne.
00:29:55 It’s a little too complicated for a quick answer on our radio show.
Bryan Barron: Let’s do one more. This is a hair themed question from Tanya on the Paula’s Choice Facebook page. “Hi there. Love Paula’s Choice products. Thanks for taking such beautiful care of my skin.”
Paula Begoun: Ooh, you’re welcome.
Bryan Barron: “Now, about my hair, I swim four to five times per week and my hair pays the price.”
Paula Begoun: Yeah, it would.
Bryan Barron: “Any tips on how to keep my mane healthy. My hair is dry and also wavy and curly.”
Paula Begoun: Do we know if she dyes her hair or bleaches it? We don’t know. Yeah, it helps to have more -
Bryan Barron: Jen, another one of our fans on Facebook chimed in order to try to help Tanya and this kind of cute. She says, “Not that I think I’m Paula, but I have very long, very dyed hair. I load it up with conditioner when it’s dry before I get in the pool. Conditioner rinses out. I don’t seem to pick up any pool funk.”
Paula Begoun: So, what would be better than conditioner because conditioner does easily rinse off of hair in the… -
00:30:58 I mean, that’s not actually a bad idea, to load up hair with conditioner before you go in the pool. Wearing a shower cap - a shower cap - a bathing cap, even though nobody likes wearing a bathing cap anymore as I did when I was a girl, but a bathing cap would help a lot, particularly in keeping hair from being tangled and getting oversaturated. But by far using a silicone serum would get you far better results than a conditioner.
Bryan Barron: That’s what I was thinking.
Paula Begoun: The way silicone works and those kind of ingredients in a hair care product, but you really want the serum, literally the fluidy, thick-looking serum.
00:31:37 The way silicones, dimethicone, cyclomethicone, phenyl trimethicone.
Bryan Barron: Cyclopentasiloxane. Dimethiconol.
Paula Begoun: Ooh, you’re good with the big words. So, the way those ingredients work is that they don’t wash away easily with water. They really take a cleanser, a shampoo really, to get them off. So, they really layer the hair.
00:32:01 It feels silky. It doesn’t feel oily. And they stay on and they whisk water away from hair. It’s really kind of incredible how silicones work and it’s one of the reasons silicones are, I mean, they’re in over 90% of most every hair care product on the market. Even when a hairstylist tells you, “Oh, our products don’t contain silicone, oh, silicones are so bad,” you look at the ingredient list and sure enough there’s a silicone there.
Bryan Barron: And they’re there.
Paula Begoun: It just doesn’t say silicone.
00:32:28 So, that, wearing a shower cap, loading up your hair with a silicone serum, and if you’re dyeing your hair blonde, if you have dark hair and you’re dyeing your hair blonde -
Bryan Barron: Yeah, or highlighting.
Paula Begoun: Over-highlighting. And you don’t have short hair. Short hair is okay because you’re cutting away the damage all the time, but long hair, that is just going to have an incredible time of it to fight off dryness in general, more or less if you’re swimming all the time.
00:32:58 So, you might want to consider - in fact, I used to have very blonde highlights in my for awhile.
Bryan Barron: Yes, you did.
Paula Begoun: Remember those days? And the dryness, even though I do admit I like that blondie kind of look, the dryness, fighting the dryness was just impossible. I could never get my hair to be as smooth and silky. Well, once I stopped doing that and that dyed blonde hair was gone, my hair is healthier. I always get comments on how healthy my hair is. And I know that, I mean, I dye it, but I know that there is a huge difference between making hair a shade of brown in a range of browns versus making hair blonde.
00:33:41 What it takes to make any hair color blonde is damaging, because you’ve got to rip it apart. No matter what they say, if it’s ammonia-free or a gentle, whatever they say, what it takes to make hair blonde is damaging to hair. So, when you’re swimming, the less blonde, less dyed - not that you can’t dye your hair, but the extreme changes in hair color are just going to be even that much harder to keep your hair healthy.
00:34:08 Load up your hair, the length of your hair, with silicone serum. And wear a shower cap. A shower cap, wear a bathing - I can’t even say bathing cap because it’s such a - do they even sell those anymore? They must.
Bryan Barron: Or they’re called swim caps.
Paula Begoun: Swim caps.
Bryan Barron: When you watch swimming during the Olympic games.
Paula Begoun: Oh, they’re all wearing swim caps.
Bryan Barron: They’re all - that’s exactly what we talk. It’s like a rubber cover for your head. They are fairly good at keeping water out.
00:34:38 They do not feel good, but you do get used to it. I wore them when I was on the swim team in high school.
Paula Begoun: Right. And they’re just better for your hair. And it will keep the silicone serum from getting washed out and the hair getting tangled.
Bryan Barron: Right.
Paula Begoun: Yeah. Better way to go.
Bryan Barron: One last comment on silicone serums. You can find some excellent ones at the drugstore for around $5 or $6.
Paula Begoun: Absolutely.
Bryan Barron: You do not need to go to a salon and think that you’re spending so much money on silicone serum.
Paula Begoun: Oh, so don’t do that.
Bryan Barron: L’Oreal, Pantene, Got2be, probably Suave, Garnier, which is a L’Oreal brand.
Paula Begoun: Oh Garnier, absolutely.
Bryan Barron: They all sell nice, affordable - the Citre Shine line.
Paula Begoun: Actually John Frieda has -
Bryan Barron: John Frieda.
00:35:16 Of course.
Paula Begoun: but that line at the drugstore is actually more expensive than all the other ones we just said. So, they do have silicone serums, but it doesn’t have to be the -
Bryan Barron: The original Frizzies, yes.
Paula Begoun: Right. It doesn’t have to be the John Frieda brand that charges more than all these other brands. There really isn’t a reason to get a silicone serum... - I mean, $5, $6, $7 for a pretty good size container.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. Yeah. And the silicone should be the first ingredient, not water.
Paula Begoun: Right.
00:35:46 Well, unless you have thin hair.
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
Paula Begoun: Because then you want - well, not for swimming. Sorry. Not for swimming.
Bryan Barron: For the swimming, though, you really want that straight silicone.
Paula Begoun: Right. Right. Sorry. I was thinking about hair styling. But, yes, you’re right. You do want that straight silicone on your hair. Yes, great point.
Bryan Barron: Okay.
Paula Begoun: Is that it?
00:36:03 Are we done?
Bryan Barron: I think that’s great for this show.
Paula Begoun: Good. Because my voice is going. I’m Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop, here with my co-writer and research director for Paula’s Choice, Bryan Barron. We’re the best-selling authors of Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me - Without Us. Actually, we should change it to “Us.” We’re here to keep you beautifully informed, so do come back to Paula’s Choice. Find our radio shows. Visit us whenever you can at Thank you for listening.
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