Splurge vs Steal - Identical Cosmetics for Less!

Airdate: 3/3/11

Tune in as we reveal which inexpensive makeup and skin-care products are identical to (or better than) their pricey department store rivals.

Bryan Barron: Well, good evening everyone. I'm sorry about the delay. This is Bryan Barron. I'm the assistant to Paula Begoun and you are listening to BlogTalkRadio's "Be Beautifully informed with Paula Begoun and her team." Paula and our producer, Desiree, are in Thailand right now. They are in Bangkok.
Kate Mee: This is Kate. Can you hear me?
Bryan Barron: Oh, hi Kate.
Kate Mee: Hi, sorry to butt in. I just got a call from Paula and Desiree and they are trying to connect to the show. So, we will get started and hopefully they will be joining us soon.
Bryan Barron: Alright, well that is good news. Hopefully they can get it worked out. I know that they have been really busy down there. We are working on setting up a Paula's Choice distributorship in Thailand and we are also, Paula and Desiree have been meeting with our Australian distributors and apparently I hope that she can get on the line and tell you guys about some of the stuff they have been doing down there because it sounds like it has just been a fascinating trip so far.
00:01:08 And of course they are keeping very busy. So, we are going to be talking about cosmetic splurges and steals; those products where you can find better values at the drugstore for comparable products that you may already be using from the salon or from the department store. And while we are waiting to see if Paula and Desiree can connect, I'm just going to go ahead and get started with the topic.
00:01:36 So, here is what you need to know. Overall, when it come's to certain categories of products, there are certain ingredients that are pretty much – the cosmetics industry has access to the same pool of ingredients.
Paula Begoun: So, we are here and I think we are online, the wonderful city of Bangkok. We are up on the 24th floor of the – what hotel are we at?
00:02:04 The Shangri La Hotel overlooking the river that runs through Bangkok with the boats going up and down like crazy and we met with bloggers, Paula's Choice bloggers last night and all of the Asian distributors were here from Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand.
00:02:29 It has just been a phenomenal experience, really life changing to be in Bangkok and Paula's Choice in Southeast Asia. And I just learned that we did find a distributor in the Philippines to distribute Paula's Choice products there. We are becoming more and more international…just blows me out of the water. And we also have a South African distributor now which actually has nothing to do with Southeast Asia but I just thought I would throw that in.
00:03:00 So, we are here and I think we are online and we can actually talk to everybody around the world and I am Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop. Desiree Stordahl is sitting here with me in Bangkok, the producer. And my assistant, Bryan, is somewhere still preparing for his wedding in Seattle. And Kate, my Product Development Director, who has stepped in to rescue us. You guys still there?
Kate Mee: Yes, we are here.
Bryan Barron: We are still here. And Paula, I was just going into a little bit of detail on tonight's topic but I expected that you would reconnect and have some updates of your own to share.
00:03:36 So, I am glad that you are back on.
Paula Begoun: Well, actually, Bryan, you are the brilliant one who put this list together. Bryan and I for 10+ years have been writing, "Don't go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me," together along with our team of researchers and we have been providing year over year that expensive doesn't mean better in the world of skincare and makeup.
00:04:07 In fact, wasting money on skincare or makeup just is ridiculous. I know it is tempting to want to believe that the expensive stuff is better, but all the expensive stuff does is waste your money. So, just…in fact somebody mentioned that they remembered here. It is kind of amazing. I actually ran into an Australian customer who just happened to be on vacation where I was speaking yesterday, just walking by.
00:04:36 That was just an outstanding moment. And he reminded me, it was a guy, he reminded me that the reason he first became interested in my work was because he remembered seeing me on an Australian talk show talking about how Crème de la Mer's cleanser for $65 almost ingredient for ingredient wasn't any different than several cleansers you could have gotten at the drugstore for $10 or $15.
00:05:06 Can you imagine? I mean the industry is crazy. We are here to unveil it. So, Bryan, do you want to start with the first one you have which is another cleanser from Lancôme and how we can do better?
Bryan Barron: Yes, absolutely. And I just wanted to let our listeners know that all of the products that we are mentioning as the pricier options, it is not that they are bad products.
00:05:29 In fact I think all of them got fairly good if not wonderful reviews on which, it has to be said again, is now free, free, FREE for everyone! Free for all-time! So, anyway, bear that in mind that we are not comparing a really bad expensive product with a really good inexpensive one. It is just that you don't need to spend the extra money. And often when you do spend the extra money all you are paying for is either, A, fancier packaging, or B, the company's marketing and prestige which of course always comes with a higher price point.
00:06:08 So, without further adoo, in turn we are going to start with skincare and we have a Lancôme cleanser up first. It is their Gel Radiant Clarifying Gel-to-Foam Cleanser. And it is $25 for only 4.2 oz. So, right off the bat you are getting a size of cleanser that is roughly about a half to two-thirds of what most other companies are giving you.
00:06:34 So, instead of using that one, a great one to try instead, especially if you are fan of foaming cleansers is Neutrogena's Fresh Foaming Cleanser. That only runs $6.59 for about almost 7 oz. So, you are saving over $18. Right away we are saving you money.
Paula Begoun: My favorite. And of course I have to put in a little plug for Paula's Choice given, well, it has my name and I made the products.
00:07:00 They are my formularies. What I used in that category because that is my skin type, I use our Skin Balancing Cleanser. But you are right, Neutrogena's rates up there and it is a great price. And you also have a product from Kate Somerville. We often are very critical of Kate's products, not my Kate, Kate Mee, my product development director, but Kate Somerville.
00:07:25 But she does have a really good anti-bacterial product. Bryan, do you want to explain that one?
Bryan Barron: She does. She offers a topical disinfectant for acne and the acting ingredient is benzoyl peroxide which is widely considered at least among dermatologists and of course the Cosmetics Cop team as the gold standard for killing…the one ingredient that does not become resistant like some topical antibiotics. It works quickly to kill acne causing bacteria.
00:07:56 So, Somerville's line offers a product called Anti-Bac Clearing Lotion and it is going to set you back $39 for only 1.7 oz. So, you are not getting a whole lot of product there for your money. Instead when you are at the drugstore, if you are battling breakouts, take a look at Clean & Clear's Persa-Gel 5. It is a very simply formulated fragrance-free sheer gel that contains 5% benzoyl peroxide. That is a good amount to look for if you are really struggling with acne, you have more stubborn blemishes.
00:08:28 The Persa-Gel costs $5.89 for an ounce.
Paula Begoun: That is amazing. And the next one…
Bryan Barron: It saves you $33.
Paula Begoun: The next one is even…this is one of my favorites. Go on, Bryan, with Peter Thomas Roth, that is just unbelievable.
Bryan Barron: Peter Thomas Roth is an aesthetician/spa line sold in many Sephora stores and the line has a lot of good products.
00:08:59 It is also one of the only lines out there where most of the products are fragrance-free which is always better for your skin. So, they have a product in their UnWrinkle line called UnWrinkle Day SPF 20. It is a nicely formulated sunscreen. It is going to give you broad spectrum protection but it is $90 for a little over an ounce of product. And one of the things that Paula always likes to say about expensive sunscreens is…Paula?
Kate Mee: Oh, I know this one.
Paula Begoun: I'm sorry. I'm having trouble hearing. We are not having the best luck technically today. I'm sorry. You are going to have to go on unless you can hear me really good.
Bryan Barron: I can hear you really well but what I was trying to get you to say is that one of the things that we always mention about expensive sunscreens, even the ones that are well-formulated is…
Paula Begoun: That they are dangerous!
Bryan Barron: They are because…and they are not dangerous because they are not going to give you protection. They are dangerous because most consumers who are spending this much on sunscreen are more than likely not applying it liberally which is essential to getting the SPF stated on the label.
Paula Begoun: As a matter of fact, when you go to the…
Kate Mee: I think we might have lost Paula.
Bryan Barron: Paula, we lost you. Yep. It sounded like she was on speaker for a moment.
Kate Mee: So, Bryan you have a great point.
Bryan Barron: Right, it just doesn't make sense to spend a lot of money on sunscreens. We have a less expensive alternative for you that is easier to find. It is by Olay. Instead of the Peter Thomas Roth UnWrinkle Day SPF 20, you can go to your drugstore and pickup Olay's Complete Ageless Skin Renewing UV Lotion SPF 20. I know that is a long name. It is $14.99 for 2.5 oz. So, not only are you saving $75 but you are getting almost twice as much product.
Paula Begoun: Right. Bryan, I'm back. Can you hear me now?
Bryan Barron: Yeah, we can hear you. We just [unintelligible] with the skincare and the expensive sunscreen discussion.
Paula Begoun: Well, you know it is interesting. One of the things that happens when you go to the cosmetics counter with these really expensive product, just in general, but especially for sunscreen and you will say, "Well, it is so expensive," and they will say, "Oh, just use a little, itty, bitty bit. You just don't have to use much." And they will say that for sunscreen products and that is a huge problem. That is a huge problem.
00:11:32 Because if you use a little, little bit of a sunscreen, you are getting a little, little bit of its protection. You have to apply sunscreen liberally. Expensive sunscreens are always a mistake. Of course I love my Paula's Choice sunscreens but there are on we recommend other ones, but Paula's Choice, it has to be in a price range where you can apply it liberally. Of course I prefer when the product is loaded with antioxidants, which sometimes raises the price a little bit, but it doesn't have to raise it a lot.
00:12:04 It doesn't have to raise it a lot. You shouldn't be spending more than $25, $30 tops on any facial sunscreen. But Geez Louise, we are going to stop hurting our skin with expensive sunscreens for the face that you are not going to ever apply correctly. Bryan's next lineup, we are going to move to makeup and he has Stila's Natural Finish Oil-Free makeup which is…actually it is a beautiful makeup.
00:12:33 It is $38. But I would put it up against Bryan' recommendation, Cover Girl True Blend Liquid makeup. Bryan, you save $28. The colors are beautiful, it goes on beautiful. It says. It has a soft matte finish. Bryan gave this a huge happy face rating. And the colors really are incredibly natural.
Bryan Barron: Yeah, there are a few to watch out for. Cover Girl likes to sneak in a few of those pink and rosy shades, and I have my theories as to why they do that, but by and large the True Blend line from Cover Girl is an example of their foundations becoming much more neutral, much easier to work with, and Procter & Gamble, the company that owns Cover Girl and Olay and countless other brands, they really have put some amazing pigment technology into these foundations.
00:13:33 Technology that a lot of pricier brands can't even begin to approach yet.
Paula Begoun: So, I am going to move on to mascaras. Bryan has Lancôme Definicils. Lancôme which is owned by L'Oreal and L'Oreal has a ton of wonderful mascaras, and Maybelline has a ton of wonderful mascaras, just like Lancôme does, but for half the price. And so Bryan is recommending L'Oreal's Voluminous Full Definition Volume Building mascara.
00:14:01 Not the Great Lashes one, that pink and green one has sucked. It has sucked for years. Don't buy that one.
Bryan Barron: [Don't buy] Great Lash.
Paula Begoun: What is that, that just never fails to go away. It is a piss-poor mascara. But by the way I have to tell you, Bryan, I have been trying a lot of mascaras out there lately and I keep going back to our new one. I have to tell you I am in love with our new one. But, again, there are a lot of great ones, you just don't have to spend a lot of money. MAC has…
Bryan Barron: That is saying something, Paula.
Paula Begoun: That is saying something, I know, because I am a mascara-holic. I can never get my lashes long and thick enough and I keep getting seduced back to mine and I have to tell you I am feeling very proud these days. Bryan found MAC powder eye shadow. And ever since we stopped selling eye shadows, and I used up all of the ones I had, I have been at Sephora which is just a trippy experience being at Sephora, and the cosmetic counters looking at MAC and NARS and Bobbi Brown and Stila.
00:15:08 And a lot of them have great eye shadows, but I'm telling you Bryan, I'm thinking of going back to our eye shadows. We had some brilliant eye shadows, I have to say. Our texture eye shadows were really wonderful but Bryan is recommending, and MAC does have some great eye shadow, there is no question – incredible color range, shiny and matte.
00:15:30 But then you found these Wet N Wild Color Icon Singles. Wet N Wild, you would never believe it, $1.99 and they are good.
Bryan Barron: Yes, actually I have to credit my co-worker, another member of the Cosmetics Cop team or the Paula's Choice team which we are transitioning to. Daynah got some comments about this from some of our Beautypedia users and we decided to check them out. And what the early buzz was, people were saying that the eye shadows perform as well as or in some cases better than MAC's.
00:16:06 And we thought, yeah, there are expensive eye shadows out there, but come on, two bucks and they are as good as MAC's? And low and behold, the shade selection isn't as enormous as MAC's by any stretch of the imagination, but dang, they really do equip themselves beautifully for two bucks a pop. You really can't beat it at the drugstore.
Paula Begoun: You know the problem is it is not always easy to find Wet N Wild well stocked at drugstores.
00:16:35 But this is absolutely worth traveling to the next drug store, Bartells, Walgreens, Rite Aid to find the one that is carrying enough of the Wet N Wild eye shadow colors. It is really worth it to just stock up, buy all of them and try them out. They are an incredible bargain and they do, they go on beautifully. Bryan, you mentioned NYX Cosmetics at Ulta stores, and that is $550 each.
Bryan Barron: Well, 550 pennies or $5.50.
Paula Begoun: $5.50! You know what it is…
Bryan Barron: You just took us to a whole other show topic. Are we talking about the most expensive products ever?
Paula Begoun: You know what it is, here in Thailand the currency is the Baht, B-A-H-T. And it is like…I forget how many hundreds to the American dollar. So, I think I just have hundreds on the brain. So, yes, I'm sorry, it is $5.50 a pop for the NYX Cosmetics eye shadows Bryan is recommending that you find at Ulta. What do you like about them, Bryan?
Bryan Barron: They…I wish that they didn't have as many shiny shades as they did or I would be bringing some in and asking you to try them, Paula. Out of all the eye shadows out there they are probably the closest in texture and blendability to what we used to sell.
Paula Begoun: Oh my.
Bryan Barron: They have a nice shade range. There are some matte shades but they are pretty much relegated to the ivory/bone color, cream shades that kind of go all over or just for the under brow. But the shinier shades, they have a range of finishes so you can find those shades that are sort of like MAC's satin eye shadows in that they have just a little bit of shine but it is not sparkly, it is not going to accent the wrinkles too much. But their performance for the dollar is great and NYX Cosmetics also has several eye shadow trios where you can get a nice little slim palette.
00:18:37 And they have them in really nice shade combinations with those. And those are $7.50, $8.00.
Paula Begoun: Right. So, one of the things, just to remind everybody that the problem with shiny eye shadows is that if you have any crepey or wrinkly skin on your eyelids, shiny eye shadows will make them look more evident.
00:19:02 There is no way around it. You just have to do your own test on the back of your hand or take a matte eye shadow you own and a shiny one and if you have crepey lids or wrinkly eye areas, the shiny eye shadows just make the wrinkles pop. The other thing that Bryan and I and the team were talking about when we were going over and examining and then analyzing our reviews is that one of the things to be cautious about is that even when you buy these dual sets of colors and trio sets of colors, eye shadows and four sets of eye shadows –
00:19:38 That as much as that often looks like a bargain, often the color combinations suck! They are just so difficult to work with. They are just extreme shades or way too colorful shades. Now that can have a place for some women, but if you are going to work in the morning and you are going to the bank or you are going to the grocery store –
00:20:02 You are an attorney or you are an executive something or other, you are going to really want to watch out looking like a rainbow with some of the way these trio and quad colors are put together. So, you want to be very careful. So, even though we are making recommendations for some of these products, keep in mind that color choice – you need to be careful with – the more colorful the design, obviously, the less conservative it is. The more obvious your eye color design becomes where I am not looking at you, I'm looking at your eye shadow.
00:20:37 And of course eye shadow/eye design always need to be about your eye not the product on your eye. And then, Bryan, let's go on to the Natural, the Philosophy, the Super Natural/Super Beautiful, what a name, SPF 20 tinted moisturizer.
Bryan Barron: Yeah, so this is a very nice tinted moisturizer from the Philosophy range. It is going to give you broad spectrum protection. It is a general formula. Philosophy is kind of known for sneaking in a fragrant plant oil. They didn't do that with this product which is really nice of them because those oils are irritating to your skin and that is not good. It costs $30 which for a department store tinted moisturizer isn't too bad. But Paula's Choice Barely There Sheer Matte Tint also has SPF 20. It has the gentle mineral active sunscreens and it is $14.95. It is a customer favorite.
00:21:30 It costs half as much as the Philosophy's Super Natural/Super Beautiful and if one of our shades works for you, and they should because they are quite neutral, you are going to look just as super beautiful with this on as you will with the Philosophy and you will have $15 more in your budget.
Paula Begoun: You know Neutrogena has a good tinted moisturizer with sunscreen, but their colors, for some reason they went really peach on those colors.
00:21:59 And even though they are sheer, it is hard to find these tinted moisturizers that go on with a little bit of coverage and still look natural and they didn't kind of try to skew it to make you look like you got a little peachy tanny kind of color which always ends up being risky for most skin colors. And there is hair care. Oh I love hair care. Hair care, Bryan, you have Aveda's Smooth Infusion Shampoo.
Bryan Barron: Yes, and this is, again, Aveda…it is hard to fault them for their hair care formularies. One of the things that they get right, at least that we appreciate looking at different formularies, is that they do not recycle the same shampoo or conditioner formula into all of their sub-brands. So, a person that has fine hair is essentially getting the same product as the person with thick and coarse hair. They differentiate between their categories quite nicely and it is not just the fragrant plants that change.
00:23:00 Smooth Infusion Shampoo though, as good as it is, you don't need [spend] this much on a hair care product. We have a much better option if you don't want to spend $21 on shampoo which is just way over the top for only 8.5 oz. At the drugstore you can pick up Neutrogena's Triple Moisture Cream Lather Shampoo which is six bucks for 8.45 oz. So, the exact same amount of product you are getting from Aveda.
00:23:29 And having personally used this Neutrogena shampoo, even though it is not the best for my hair type, it is luxurious. I mean this is an elegant shampoo at the drugstore. Now the Triple Moisture Cream Shampoo is best for thicker, coarser hair like Paula has, but if you have normal to fine and thin hair like I do, Neutrogena also makes the Triple Renewal Volume Boosting Shampoo which costs around the same amount. So, there are options at the drugstore. Inexpensive.
Paula Begoun: So, one of the things about hair care that I have said more times than I can account, I wish I can infuse this into women's brains all over the world is there is absolutely no reason for much more than 8 oz to spend over $10 on a hair care product, whether it is a hairspray or a styling product or a moose or a cream or a shampoo…whatever it is, if it is 8 oz it absolutely should not have a price tag over $10.
00:24:35 And especially when you get down to smaller sizes. Products for hair, they are not rocket science. It's not like skincare; skincare is rocket science and that is incredible complicated formulas. But when it comes to hair care, hair is dead and what it takes to clean it, condition, hold it in place and style it are not miracles.
00:24:58 How much are [Alterna], is that one of the more, or the most expensive hair care products is Alterna, Bryan?
Bryan Barron: You know Alterna is pricey, especially their Caviar line which they sell for aging hair. And they actually have this sub-brand of products that their marketing is that it is supposed to make aging hair look young again. We are not going to get into that discussion. Just wanted to bring that up.
But really one of the pricier lines that I have seen lately is Pureology.
Paula Begoun: Oh yeah. So, not worth it.
Bryan Barron: They came to prominence as having this solution for preventing color from fading and never really produced any convincing research to back it up. Nobody else has adopted that technology. L'Oreal owns them now. So, I would say along with L'Oreal-owned Kerastase which you will find at high end salons, the Pureology line takes the prize for one of the most expensive hair care lines. $37 for a shampoo. $45 for a styling gel. It is off the charts.
Paula Begoun: You know you always have to wonder. We talk about this all the time that when a company like L'Oreal owns an expensive salon line like Kerastase or owns Pureology and then they own the inexpensive drugstore lines like their own L'Oreal brand or Fructis and you think they don't even believe themselves. If they believed themselves why would they have the expensive stuff and the inexpensive stuff all making the same claims. Like they can't get their own company straightened out.
00:26:32 Oh, there is a good pun. "Straightened Out." We are talking about hair. So, the thing about hair care is it absolutely doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, Bryan, I think that we need to, Desiree we need to do a show on aging hair, which is actually hormonally aging hair, or just hair that is a problem. It is such an important topic for women – bad hair days. Especially here in Bangkok with the humidity like you wouldn't believe. We absolutely have to schedule a show on hair care problems and how to solve them.
00:27:06 Oh, we need to get to callers. We have some good acne questions I want to take. We have the Sebastian Shaper Hairspray which is right on point to what we were just talking about.
Bryan Barron: Yes, shaper hairspray is a perennially popular choice. Every time I go into Ulta they always have a huge display of it. And it is a great aerosol hairspray, not knocking it whatsoever. But it is expensive.
00:27:29 $16 for almost 11 oz. At the drugstore you can pick up Dove's Damage Therapy, Unscented Extra Hold Hair Spray for $5 for 7 oz.
Really quick just wanted to mention that despite unscented being in the name, this hairspray actually does contain fragrance. They snuck a little bit in. So, if you are looking for a fragrance-free hair spray, that is not it.
Paula Begoun: So, one more, Bryan. We have Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment, $21 for 3.3 oz.
Bryan Barron: Yes, another very popular product that Clarins has had in their line for years. A lot of women love it. And it is not that it is a bad product, but you don't need to spend $21 on a hand cream. And if you do, it should at least contain sunscreen so that you are protecting your hands from sun damage because they show signs of aging right along with the face. Instead of that though, check out St. Ives Intensive Healing Hand Cream. Not only is it fragrance-free, not only does it only cost $3.99 for 3 oz.
00:28:31 But it also is a much better formula than the Clarins product or a lot of the other hand creams that you are paying big bucks for at the department store. So, that is our list ladies and gentlemen.
Paula Begoun: So, Kate Mee, my Product Development Director, we are actually working on a…funny you should mention that Bryan. I know you know this but we have been working on a, hopefully will be a gorgeous, beautifully formulated hand cream with sunscreen.
00:29:01 So, we are actually trying to get that one done. It is actually a part of the industry where there aren't a lot of choices. There are a lot of hand creams, they are just not particularly well done. So, Bryan, thank you. Your list was brilliant. I love this topic. This is what Bryan and I have been doing with "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me." It has been my career. Expensive doesn't mean better in the world of skincare, hair care or makeup. Wasting money isn't pretty.
00:29:29 Let's take our first call Desiree. Who do we have?
Desiree Stordahl: Mary from DC.
Paula Begoun: Mary from DC. Mary are you there? Mary? Mary?
Mary: Can you hear me?
Paula Begoun: I can now. How are you doing?
Mary: I'm good, how are you?
Paula Begoun: I'm good. We are thousands of miles apart. What can I do for you, Mary?
Mary: I know, it's crazy. I need to know, can I exfoliate the eye area like the skin above my eyes at the crease and in the inner corner is always dry.
00:30:02 And all the products that I have like the Retinol products or the exfoliants that I use, they say don't put it in the eye area.
Paula Begoun: Well, yeah, Retin-A. Well, actually, you know something, this is a whole discussion. So, let me tell you on the record that it is problematic to put products like Retin-A and Renova and exfoliants with alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids around the eye.
00:30:29 Off the record I see absolutely no reason why not to do that. I personally do it. I think it makes my area around my eye look much better. What we know about exfoliants and Retin-A and Renova is that it builds collagen, improves cell production. Same thing with alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids, build collagen, improves cell production, gets built up dead skin cells off. However, for Retin-A and Renova products like that, you absolutely must check with your dermatologist. I'm not going to even on or off the record. It is a medication and it is something that you should check with your doctor.
00:31:08 In terms of AHA or BHA, my team and I go back and forth on this one. What I have been doing or quite some time, is taking my salicylic acid, one of my BHA products, you can either use the 1% lotion all by itself. I am a 2% freak of my 2% formulated beta hydroxy acid products. I just love and I mix it with my Moisture Treatment moisturizer and I put that on very carefully, because you don't want to get it in the eye.
00:31:36 So, you have to be very careful how you put it on. But yes, I don't see any reason to not give it a try. If you can't be good about not getting in the eye, then you need to not do it. And you will know if you get it in the eye. But I think there is every reason to consider it. Mary we are going to send you my 2% and 1% BHA lotion. I'm also going to send you my Moisture Boost Treatment. Even though it doesn't say it is for the eye you absolutely can and should use it around the eye.
00:32:02 I have been using it around my eye for years. And I think you will be thrilled. Give it a shot.
Mary: Thank you.
Paula Begoun: Okay, thank you Mary. Take care. Next caller, Desiree.
Desiree Stordahl: Next caller is Layla from Florida.
Paula Begoun: Layla from Florida. Oh, that is warm, too. How you doing Layla?
Layla: I'm really good. How are you?
Paula Begoun: Good. Are you staying out of the sun?
Layla: Yes, actually I am.
Paula Begoun: And you are wearing sunscreen. You are being good about sunscreen?
Layla: Yes. Definitely. Sometimes I am not, but sometimes I am.
Paula Begoun: Okay, try to be more "am" than "not." You will love me for it as you grow up. I promise you, your skin, you will look younger than your friends and it is always fun to look younger than your friends. So, Layla, tell me what I can do for you.
Layla: You are funny. I struggle with acne and I wanted to know what products you recommend that are…
Paula Begoun: Layla, tell me how old you are?
Layla: I'm 35.
Paula Begoun: You are 35. And what acne products, what skincare products have you been using for your breakouts lately? Are you using any of Paula's Choice products, any of mine?
Layla: I'm not, I have Free & Clear. I don't know if that is any good.
Paula Begoun: So, what cleanser…Free & Clear. Bryan, Free & Clear, why does that sound familiar. I'm sorry Layla…Bryan, Free & Clear? Tell me, Bryan? Why does that sound familiar. Have we reviewed that?
Layla: I got it at Costco.
Bryan Barron: It is a stop smoking program.
Layla: I think it is called Acne Free.
Bryan Barron: Oh, yes, yes, yes. I have seen those three-step kits in drugstores. You know we haven't officially reviewed that yet, so I can't comment on the products.
00:34:00 But if it is not working for you, if it is not getting you're the results that you were expecting, or if it is making your acne worse, chances are it is probably a lot like…
Layla: When I put it on, it kind of burns my face. And it also dries me out really bad, so I don't like it.
Paula Begoun: So, you are going to stop using those.
Layla: I have stopped using it.
Paula Begoun: Okay, good, so here is what we are going to…so what I suspect Bryan, because I think we have looked at those. Actually we really need to get those up on Beautypedia; let's add that to our list of products to get up reviewed next month.
00:34:33 But I am almost certain the toner has alcohol. The cleanser uses one of the more drying cleansing agents. Can't remember if that last product contains Benzoyl Peroxide or is just an oil observing product. But Layla, what –
Layla: It's a 10% Benzoyl Peroxide. The last thing is called Maximum Strength Repair.
Paula Begoun: 10%. No wonder your face burns. You would only go to 10% Benzoyl Peroxide.
00:35:03 In fact the research from the American Academy of Dermatology is that you really don't want to go over 5%. You get diminishing returns with Benzoyl Peroxide after 5%. And does that toner contain alcohol, Layla? Do you have it in front of you?
Layla: Actually I threw it out. I threw it all out. I had a very angry moment and I said "screw you" because my face was kind of almost bleeding so I was very sad about that product.
Paula Begoun: Well, believe me I have to sympathize. One of the reasons I started in the world of skincare was because the acne products I was using as a young girl was making my face red and raw and terrible. So, here is what I am going to do. Let me just give you the basics. The basics are you have to be gentle. Anything that irritates the skin will make acne worse, not to mention it will make skin redder. Acne is already red. You don't use products that make it redder.
00:36:04 That is the same for ingredients like alcohol, peppermint, eucalyptus, menthol, citruses, lemon – none of that is good for skin and it is terrible for acne skin. You want to be gentle. The two gold standard ingredients for acne are salicylic acid as an exfoliant and benzoyl peroxide as an exfoliant. I'm going to send you our regular strength Clear line which is 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. The exfoliant is a 2% salicylic acid product. And the cleanser is a gentle cleanser with a small amount of bacterial agent to kind of get the process going on your face.
00:36:41 I'm also going to send you our Skin Balancing Cleanser, just so you can experiment to see which one works for you. Some people might find the Clear cleanser…well, you have to experiment. You always have to experiment. This will be a very good starting point and Layla I want you to take a look on at the article we have on breakouts and treating acne.
00:37:06 I think it will give you the information you need so you can stay taking care of your skin always. But I think Paula's Choice Clear products will give a leg up. And of course you can always go to It's free now and take at look at how we review products.
Layla: Yeah, that's part of why sometimes I don't wear sunscreen is because it breaks me out, so it is like a Catch 22.
Paula Begoun: So, do you wear foundation?
Layla: No, I just wear sunscreen.
Paula Begoun: So, you don't wear foundation at all? You never wear foundation?
Layla: No.
Paula Begoun: So, what I am going to do is I am going to send you a couple of my foundations with sunscreen and pressed powder with sunscreen. I'm going to send you a few shades. You can experiment with which one you like and then you will email Desiree and if you do decide you like them we will send you the full size one.
00:38:00 But the problem with lotions on acne skin as somebody who personally breaks out, is that lotions and creams are designed to absorb into skin, foundations and pressed powders stay more on the surface. They are les s likely to clog pores. So, for me my sunscreen is my foundation and my pressed powder. So, I would like you to experiment with that. I'm also going to send you my Skin Balancing SPF 15.
00:38:28 We have an incredible amount of success from people who have normal to oily combination skin tend to break out with that sunscreen, so I will give you that one as well and you can experiment with it and then you will let us know how you are doing.
Layla: Oh, thank you so much. Wow.
Paula Begoun: Thank you, Layla. Stay in touch with us so we know how you are doing, okay?
Layla: Thank you. Thank you.
Paula Begoun: Thank you. Stay warm. Next caller Desiree. Frank. How are you doing Frank?
Frank: I'm doing great. And a lot more local than Thailand.
Paula Begoun: Definitely more local than Thailand, that is for sure. But you are staying warm, where are you in California?
Frank: Definitely keeping warm down in Southern California. Had tough weather last week, but you know a cold little blur during winter doesn't hurt anyone.
Paula Begoun: No, not really. But you are wearing sunscreen. You are being good about sunscreen, Frank?
Frank: Yeah, I learned that from you. I started listening to you back when you were doing talk shows. I think when I first started discovering what acne was and before I ever knew what a wrinkle was.
Paula Begoun: Well, you will never…if you feel good about sunscreen you won't know wrinkles like the other people in your life, so I am proud of you.
Frank: Right. Now that I am in my early 40s I definitely started using sunscreen and I learned that from you. And actually got involved working with department stores into a senior executive and then my friends became buyers and then VPs for some of the cosmetic companies we mentioned. So, all of a sudden I got a bunch of gratis from very well known doctors and so on for a couple of hundred dollars an ounce.
00:40:00 While I working it was nice to spend that money. But then I find out from you that it definitely doesn't do much as far as what the ingredients other than smell good. And let me tell you, there is nothing better than your serum. I love that stuff.
Paula Begoun: I'm so glad we are talking to Frank. We love Frank. Thank you dear. I appreciate that.
Frank: Both for the way it feels and quite honestly for the ingredients. And bang for your buck as well, that sunscreen, the SPF 45 for my combination skin is excellent.
Paula Begoun: My god, we should hire Frank. What is Frank doing working for other cosmetic companies. We need Frank. So, tell me what I can do for you, Frank. What is your question, dear.
Frank: I was calling about enlarged pores or blackheads in the T zone, especially in the nose area.
Paula Begoun: Oh god, isn't that the worst?
Frank: Yeah. And especially it gets to be a little sensitive the nose area does and you can damage it. So, trying a couple of things.
00:41:01 I do have the beta hydroxy and the 2%. So, I tried that. Tough to kind of manage it so I started using for my heals like you recommended as well.
Paula Begoun: How is it doing on your heals? Isn't it great?
Frank: Yeah, it works, especially once you put the socks on it, it really helps out. And really I was considering starting to use maybe the salicylic acid toner.
Paula Begoun: The 2%.
Frank: The 2%, right. Because I was just finding it tough with the texture of the gel and mixing it with lotions it was almost like too many steps for me.
Paula Begoun: And it is. So, here is what I want you to try. We are going to send you…blackheads around the nose, even with what I am going to tell you right now is incredibly difficult. I mean really, really difficult. They are incredibly tricky to get rid of and control
41:58:00 2% salicylic acid is about the best the industry has for dealing with blackheads around the nose. I'm going to send you the 2% salicylic acid products from my Clear line, the regular strength exfoliating toner. It almost no feel to the skin whatsoever. And I want you to give that a try. I am also going to send you the 2% liquid from the Clear line that has a little bit of a slipperier texture. People aren't quite as nuts about it.
00:42:32 It really only is something you should use at night. Both of them have 2% salicylic acid, but the one, the extra strength version has a more penetrating base to it. So, it gets in better. I'm addicted to my 2% liquid but the regular strength 2% salicylic acid product is worth trying it. And you need to use it regularly.
00:42:57 However, I am going to encourage you to consider this, and this is disgusting, I hate this topic…but you want to take a look online or at the drugstore at, I think Tweezerman has it or Revlon has it. It is called a Comedone Extractor. C-O-M-E-D-O-N-E Extractor. It is a cute little tool. It doesn't really extract. But when you run it over the blackhead area or blemish for that matter and you take off the top of the blemish, you take off the top of the blackhead and you press slight.
00:43:28 You don't try to get through the skin. You press slightly. And then you put the 2% on. You will be surprised the difference in how the pores look around the nose. It is really the only way I know of that I have ever seen research on in terms of treating it. So, take a look at getting a Comedone Extractor. We are going to give you the two toners, exfoliating toners from the Clear line.
00:44:00 We will give you a couple of extra of our SPF 45 sunscreens from Paula's Choice. What else do you use…you said you use one of our serums. Which serum do you use Frank?
Frank: The Resist Antioxidant.
Paula Begoun: Okay, so we will send you a couple of those so you can take the…make sure you have enough or you can give one to one of your buyer friends who are wasting their skin on expensive skincare products that don't work. You will let us know how all of this stuff is working for you, Frank. That's a lot.
Frank: I have one more question. When I was using this salicylic acid because I did purchase that from you as well, I found that there was some drying around the eyes and so on around the area. Do you think it is…
Paula Begoun: When you used the 2% near your eye area, is that what you are saying?
Frank: Right.
Paula Begoun: So, how close to your….you were using it all over your eye area?
Frank: Over the nose. I just found the area really getting dry from the nose to the eye.
Paula Begoun: Really, for the 2%? Which one were you using?
Frank: Your original one. The little white bottle. The liquid gel.
Paula Begoun: Oh damn. What to do if you can't use that. So, what cleanser…were you using my cleanser? Whose cleanser were you using?
Frank: Skin Balancing.
Paula Begoun: Okay, let's try my…I'm going to send you my Resist cleanser. Let's see if you are using a more gentle cleanser if that helps.
00:45:31 Do you use the moisturizer around your eye area? Or are you just using the serum right now?
Frank: I was just using…when I am using the gel, the 2% gel right now, I use the serum and the moisturizer around the eye. But when I am using the gel, then I am really just using the gel.
Paula Begoun: And it is drying out your eye and your nose area. Ugh, god. Bryan, any thoughts? What do you…oh damn, if you can't use salicylic acid for blackheads, should we have him try the AHA products?
00:46:06 Or do you think…what do you think Bryan? Did we lose Bryan?
Frank: You know, I think it just might be…that's okay…the beta hydroxy does work. I think it just might be the area in between where it is not really the nose, between the nose and the eyelids call it.
Kate Mee: It would be worth trying the 10% AHA that we have, Paula.
Paula Begoun: Well, I think Frank is saying that it is…
Frank: That's true.
Paula Begoun: Well, we are going to send it to you so you can play with it. Just try to be careful about keeping…if you can't tolerate a BHA around the eye area, then just be really careful about avoiding it in areas where you don't have the blackheads and you don't have the blemishes. So, for example, for my skin type where I can put the AHA, I'm sorry my BHA around my eye mixed with my moisturizer, it doesn't work for me at the back corner of my eye. I have to really avoid that area or it gets irritated.
00:47:03 So, you have to experiment with it. So, really concentrate on using the 2% BHA around the nose area and see how that does for you and keep it away from the eye area where you feel it is drying you out. Give that a try.
Frank: Excellent. And that is probably what it is because I have never had anything but success with your products so it is worthwhile.
Paula Begoun: Oh, you doll. Alright, see how this all works for you.
Frank: Thank you.
Paula Begoun: Play with 10% and see what happens, the new weekly exfoliating system. Thanks dear.
Frank: Thank you, Paula.
Paula Begoun: Take care. Amy from Seattle. Amy.
Amy: Hi Paula, how are you?
Paula Begoun: I'm good Amy, how are you?
Amy: I'm okay. I'm a little chilly but that is okay.
Paula Begoun: I bet. Now what part of Seattle are you in?
Amy: I actually live in Bellevue.
Paula Begoun: Okay, over the water there. So, what can I do for you, Amy?
Amy: I have a question for you about my hair. It is fine, very kind of limp, and I use your shampoo and conditioner and I am having a hard time finding something that can give it body without weighing it down.
Paula Begoun: I know…you need to stop using…go on.
Amy: Well, I only use conditioner on my ends and I am down to only washing my hair twice a week.
Paula Begoun: So, would you say your scalp is normal to dry, normal to oil? How would you define your scalp?
Amy: I'm just normal. If I do too much I get oily. If I don't do enough I get dry. So…
Paula Begoun: That's pretty normal.
Amy: Exactly. I just find my face and my head is normal.
Paula Begoun: So, here is what the problem is when you have finer, thin hair. And even though I would love to tell you you can use my conditioner, you can't.
00:49:02 You would have to use so little, itty bit of it and dilute it a little bit with water and that is just tricky to do. It is very tricky with the way I formulated my conditioner for the kind of fine, thin hair you were describing. I would encourage you to experiment with a conditioner from L'Oreal's line or even better is the Fructis conditioner for fine, thin hair. And still keep it on the ends.
00:49:35 The major thing with fine, thin hair is the haircut. There is no way around it. Without seeing you, if you don't layer that hair and make sure the ends aren't blunt, you are not going to get the kind of volume you want. The other trick is that when you blow your hair dry on medium heat for fine, thin hair, not high heat, bend your hair over.
00:50:02 Right…bend your hair over…sorry bend your body over so your head is hanging down and blow dry your hair with the root literally going up. Just absolutely throw your head forward and blow dry your hair so it is absolutely up, the ends are just up. And then flip your hair back and smooth out the ends. But leave that root fluffed up and blown dry straight up from the root.
00:50:33 And you will find that that technique…and you can also throw in a few hot rollers. It really is…I mean that is kind of the big technique that a lot of the celebrity hair stylists use is they use big hot rollers or they use those Velcro rollers so that right when you are done blow-drying it, you stick in a few of those big Velcro rollers just at the front of the hair and you leave it in while you are putting on your makeup.
00:51:00 And you will be surprised at the amount of volume you will get. So, you might give that a try. I'm still going to send you some more shampoo and conditioner from Paula's Choice. Share the conditioner with somebody in your family but I am going to encourage you to try the…
Bryan Barron: Or even to shave.
Paula Begoun: Oh, not your face. Your legs.
Amy: I actually placed an order and there are four of us who went in on it.
Paula Begoun: We will send you two each so you don't run out for a very long time because they are pretty big containers.
Amy: Yes, they are.
00:51:39 And I have quick question about the dry shampoos.
Paula Begoun: Bryan, do you want to take that? I have very strong opinions about dry shampoos. Bryan, do you want to take that one?
Bryan Barron: Sure. I don't necessarily…my opinion probably isn't quite as strong as Paula's.
00:52:01 But honestly having experimented with dry shampoos in the past, I think that they are really only helpful for those times when you just can't get to water and are able to use a regular shampoo. I think that they build up on the hair very quickly. They make the hair feel dry. They completely dull down any shine you might have. And then when you go to put something in like a silicone serum or a styling cream to add more shine, you look like you didn't wash your hair at all.
Paula Begoun: And it gets lumpy and bumpy and thick and sticky. It is a mess. One of the reasons you kind of see the dry shampoos come and go is because they don't clean very well, if at all. They minimally absorb oil. And for the oil they do absorb they just get all over the hair and make it a mess.
Try the blow-drying technique, the Fructis conditioner, keep it off the roots, and blow that hair dry upside down and you will be surprised the difference.
Amy: Great. I will give it a try.
Paula Begoun: Stay dry. So, do we have time for one fast quick caller, Desiree. Candice from Chicago. Real quick Candice. What can I do for you?
Candice: Well, I was on your Web site. I am a Resist line user. But I was looking for a deep wrinkle filler and didn't seem to find one Paula. And I looked in Beautypedia and I didn't find a deep wrinkle filler recommendation necessarily.
00:53:34 I don't want to have the facial surgery and simply want to lessen the impact of what is there as I am aging. Just lessen it. I know it is not going to go away.
Paula Begoun: No, not only isn't it going to go away…I am going to recommend one that I think will give you very temporary results. But there is absolutely nothing on the market. Let me say that again. Nothing on the market despite the claims that is going to work like dermal fillers or anything a dermatologist can do. Not even remotely.
00:54:07 What you can do…is it [Triactin], Bryan? What is the name of the wrinkle filler we have been passing around the office?
Bryan Barron: We have been passing around the office….it's funny.
Kate Mee: It's by Good Skin. Is the brand. It is sold at Kohl's.
Paula Begoun: Good Skin has one as well. Actually Good Skin's is really good. But Bryan we were going to mention another one.
Bryan Barron: Right, no, Paula what Kate was getting out was that the product we are going to mention which is called [Tri-Aktiline] Instant Deep Wrinkle Filler is made by Good Skin.
Paula Begoun: Oh, right. Right.
Bryan Barron: You have to look at the fine print on the packaging to see it, but yes it is made by Good Skin and as the Kohl's salespeople love telling you, the Good Skin products are owned and formulated by Estee Lauder, which is true.
Paula Begoun: Right, but keep in mind. Now you will like the way it works on your skin in the beginning and it doesn't last all day. But it absolutely smoothes out the lines. It is impressive. But for somebody like me, I had a terrible, horrible allergic reaction to it. So, test it out before you use it. And we have to say goodbye. We are running out of time.
00:55:28 So, I am Paula Begoun, the Cosmetics Cop. Oh my god, I need my sheet here. I'm sorry, this has been a technically challenging show all the way from Bangkok, Thailand. Desiree and I are here on a media tour meeting all of the Paula's Choice Thailand distributors and Southeast Asia distributors for Paula's Choice is in 45 countries around the world. It is just thrilling. Next week we are going to be talking about Ten Skincare Tips to Transform Your Skin Now. You are going to love us.
00:56:00 We not only saved you money this week, next week we are going to give you some of our best how-to's. Although that Good Skin tip is a really good one. The 17th Bryan is getting married, I'm coming back from Southeast Asia and so the show will be rerun, but it will be Dr. Brandon Irwin who will be talking about all of the cosmetic surgery procedures you can do that make sense that don't cost a fortune. And on the 24th, the Real Way to get Rid of Red Marks from Breakouts. Those red marks that drive you crazy. We will help you heal them.
00:56:34 So, I am Paula Begoun the Cosmetics Cop with my Paula's Choice Team, Desiree Stordahl, Bryan Barron, Kate Mee, my brilliant Product Development Director. Can't wait to talk to everybody next week. I will still be in Thailand. Desiree will be back in Seattle. Thanks for putting up with the challenge of the show. Come visit us at We have some beautiful new products coming out.
00;56:58 We have some great new articles. Bryan and I and the team have been reworking a lot of the Paula's Choice information on all kinds of issues from acne to cellulite. Come take a look at that information. New products on Beautypedia, and Beautypedia is free. Free. Free! It is going to be free now for everyone. Tell your friends. You can take a look at the best products, take a look at the products you are currently using, if they are not Paula's Choice, although we do have our own products up there, and see what we have to say. Take great care of your skin. Stay beautifully informed. And we will talk to you next week. Bye-bye.
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