Worst Beauty Tips We've Ever Heard

Airdate: 4/10/12

Toothpaste for blemishes? Elmer’s Glue for blackheads? Hot steam to unclog pores? Tin foil facial masks? We’ll debunk the silliest beauty advice around and let you in on beauty shortcuts that will truly help your skin instead of wasting your time.

Bryan Barron: Hello everybody. Welcome to "Be Beautifully Informed with the Paula's Choice Research Team." I'm Bryan Barron, hosting the show tonight with Desiree Stordahl, my intrepid coworker. Hi Desiree.
Desiree Stordahl: Hello. Good evening everyone.
Bryan Barron: So, very excited about tonight's show, accepting for the fact that I seem to have a frog in my throat, but we will get over that.
00:00:33 We are going to be talking about the worst beauty tips we have ever heard, and what to do instead. Beauty tips are - they can be interesting. They can be funny, because some of them are just so out there or so strange that you can't imagine somebody actually doing it. But a lot of times they do and then almost all the time they find that it was just a waste of time. So, we are going to be talking about some of those.
00:01:00 We picked the ten that we either have read about or have been asked about the most. So, if we don't get to one that you have heard of, and if you are wondering about that, or if you want to just let us know some of the worst tips that you have had, tell us about what you tried. You know, it sounded like a good idea at the time, you read about over a magazine or a good friend told you about it. And it just didn't work for you. We invite you to call in and share that with us at 347-426-3783.
00:01:32 Definitely want to hear about some of the worst beauty tips that you have encountered after you hear our list. Before we get to the list, we haven't done a rant in a little bit. At least Desiree and I haven't. I know Paula was hosting last week and was talking about some of the latest research. And I'm sure that there was a little bit of getting off-topic there. But that's always an interesting course with Paula. So, Desiree has been experimenting with a couple of new hair care products, some of which we have been asked about these products.
00:02:07 We are not reviewing hair care products anymore as a general rule. That's why you are not seeing those reviews on Beautypedia. We are not doing another edition of the "Don't Go Shopping for Hair Care Products Without Me" book. We are really focusing on skincare and makeup. That takes up more than enough of our time. And to be honest, as Paula has said before, writing about hair care just isn't that exciting.
00:02:30 There's so much repetition. And it really is hard to find a bad product.
Desiree Stordahl: Well, I did find one, Bryan. I did find a bad product.
Bryan Barron: Desiree found one. But more often than not, if you find that a product doesn't work for you, chances are it just wasn't for your hair type. Maybe you were using it incorrectly. Or, you - this is probably the biggest reason - you believed the claims on the label. There is a ton of misinformation out there for hair care. Not as serious as the misinformation for skincare, because hair is dead.
00:03:05 The unusual hair care products will damage your hair. There's a lot more that we do to our hair on a daily basis that causes damage, and products usually aren't the culprit. But Desiree, tell us about what you have been using.
Desiree Stordahl: Well that is one of our privileges of part of the Paula's Choice Research Team is that we still get to do behind the scenes experiments for you guys and tell you about them. So, I tried L'Oreal's Ever Crcme Cleansing Conditioner, which is basically trying to be a knock off version of the WEN hair care system. WEN by Chaz Dean - it's huge on infomercials.
00:03:38 You can hardly be on television at late night and not come across the commercial for WEN hair care. But what it is - it's supposed to be a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner. And it is supposed to give this soft, luxurious feel. And it is supposed to be this wonder one-step product that's ultra gentle. Really what it comes down to is this is a low, low, low lather conditioner. It has no later.
00:04:09 So it is not really like a shampoo at all. There is nothing that is giving you that clean feeling of your hair. It is more or less a conditioner. And so trying to wash your hair with a conditioner, just imagine how that is going to work out. And in this case, it didn't work out great. My hair felt weighed down. It seemed to be oilier by the end of the day. I do have to admit that the very first time I used it I did feel like immediately afterwards my hair did feel a little softer.
00:04:34 It was kind of a nice feeling. But throughout the day it definitely seemed to be oilier and it just didn't have that nice voluminous look that my hair usually does. And I have thick, full hair, so to weigh down my hair kind of takes a lot. And on the second day that I used it, the second day in a row, it felt downright dirty and gross. It felt like I had been putting product in my hair for days without washing it.
Bryan Barron: And Desiree, your hair was looking progressively worse.
00:05:02 And Desiree's hair almost always looks flawless. I mean, she's got that kind of shiny, healthy, smooth straight hair that you see in the hair care ads. And when she was using these products, and I didn't know she started using them, but I noticed and kind of kept it to myself that your hair was looking kind of limp and piecey, almost as if you really hadn't washed it, or that maybe you had gotten a bit lazy about it.
00:05:28 So I was kind of wondering to myself what were you doing.
Desiree Stordahl: I wasn't not showering. It was just that I was using this EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner, so definitely not a recommended product. You know, with the thick and full hair as I have, I can't even imagine what it would do to somebody who had fine, limp hair. It would completely just soak it down.
Bryan Barron: Oh my gosh.
Desiree Stordahl: The other big thing that they make, the other big claim that they make is that this is sulfate-free, but you know the whole sulfate-free bandwagon that a lot of companies are going on right now is just another marketing buzz way of selling products.
Bryan Barron: Absolutely.
Desiree Stordahl: And there are good sulfates and there are bad sulfates.
00:06:07 And you don't need to completely eliminate them. For example, sodium laureth sulfate is fine. Sodium lauryl sulfate you might want to stay away from.
Bryan Barron: You know, even sodium lauryl sulfate in a shampoo isn't the best, and it is certainly one of the more drying cleansing agents, but if you are a guy and you have got short hair, and you are getting your hair cut often, and you have got the shampoo on your scalp for all of 30 seconds - that's fine.
00:06:36 Are there better shampoos that don't use sodium lauryl sulfate, yes, but if you find yourself using one that has it, it's not the end of the world.
Desiree Stordahl: Right. So, to round out this experiment, I'm actually going to try the WEN hair care cleansing conditioner next. And I will give you guys a report back on that later and let you know how it worked out. But it should be interesting. I'm expecting similar results, but I'm going to go into it with a clean open mind and see what happens.
Bryan Barron: Yup.
00:07:05 And the whole concept of the cleansing conditioner, what's interesting about that is that these products don't have standard cleansing agents or surfactants in them like a classic shampoo or body wash or a face wash does. They use fatty alcohols which is either, what I have seen is either cetyl alcohol or cetearyl alcohol. These aren't the drying alcohols that we warn about in skincare products; different type of ingredient.
00:07:33 These are benign ingredients. But, our research revealed that these particular fatty alcohols that are showing up in the "cleansing conditioners" have some inherent cleansing ability. The problem is they just don't cleanse as well as a surfactant cleansing agent, which does include the sulfates and the sulfate-free type cleansing agent. And by the way, L'Oreal is making the sulfate-free claim for these products Desiree was talking about, even though most of their other shampoos still contain sulfates.
00:08:05 So, clearly L'Oreal doesn't think they are that big of a problem, or why are they still selling all of the hair care that has the sulfates in it.
Desiree Stordahl: Right.
Bryan Barron: You know. It's like I don't know how many people notice that. I think some of our more astute fans absolutely do, and they will have the same questions that we do, but anyway. Wanted to mention, since just kind of ranted about that, that there is a hair care product that we found that we really liked.
00:08:32 Kate, our product development director, and another coworker of ours, recently we were at the Cosmetic Executive Women's Show in New York City, and a few of the Paula's Choice products were actually finalists to be one of the winners. They do this award every year and they assign multiple awards to products in various categories. So, one of the ones that they really liked was a new conditioner from Dove.
00:09:00 And Kate brought back that, and a ton of other products, and I was looking through them and I was like, "Eh, yeah it's okay; I don't want to try that; this isn't as good as the Paula's Choice product that I have been using." The Dove conditioner looked intriguing. I wanted to try it and see what it would do. And I really, really liked it. It is called Nutritive Therapy Nourishing Oil Care Treatment, Daily Treatment Conditioner. That is an incredibly long...
Desiree Stordahl: Their names are as long as ours are.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. It's a very long name. It is sold in a tube. Retails for around $5.99. And when you dispense it, it is almost as thick as a toothpaste, and it is super, super creamy. So, for somebody with my hair texture which is in the normal to fine range, I only use like a dime sized amount. Desiree, I know you experimented with it, too. Did you find that you had to use more?
Desiree Stordahl: Oh yeah.
00:09:55 I used quite a bit more, but that is just because I have a lot of hair to work with.
Bryan Barron: Okay. So wanted to tell you about that one, because it not only has a good value, it is a great option for dry, damaged, or coarse, curly, or thick hair. But it's a more innovative formula than what we typically see for conditioners.
00:10:14 Most of Dove's regular conditioners, regardless of what it says on the front of the bottle, and regardless of the hair type it says it's for, it is pretty much the same type of thing. So, if you have got normal hair that is slightly dry, you can't go wrong with any of Dove's "regular conditioners" that come in the big bottles. But this one in the tube is something different and it is worth seeking out.
00:10:35 So, all right, let's get into our list. Are you ready? The worst beauty tips we have ever heard. And we are going to tell you, when it is applicable, what you can do instead. What we know works based on the research that we do here every day. So, Desiree is going to get the list started.
Desiree Stordahl: Number one is cold water or an ice cube rubbed over skin to close pores. And then hot steam to open pores. And this is one you hear about in magazines.
00:11:04 When you go to get a facial there is steam involved. And the truth of the matter is you can't open and close pores. There are certain steps that you can take to minimize the appearance of pores, and we will talk about that in a minute, but steaming skin, especially with the really hot steam like you might get with a facial can actually worsen redness. It can result in broken capillaries. Overall it is just irritating to your skin and shocking the skin in a non-healthy way. Also, icing the skin is no better, and you are definitely not going to make your pores disappear, not to mention that it can also cause irritation.
00:11:38 So instead, just be doing all the things that you should be doing like using a gentle product, avoid products that can clog pores which means anything that is overly greasy and thick for your skin type. But the really interesting part of research that is promising in this arena is that certain products with cell-communicating ingredients, things like retinol and niacinamide, those can help to reduce the appearance of large pores. They are not going to shrink pores to anything smaller than what you were born with.
00:12:09 But they can bring pores back to a healthier state which might help. And then also another good little tip is to use a BHA which is a chemical exfoliant which is oil soluble so it can penetrate into the pore lining and rid the pores of that built, clogged sebum or blackheads which is what is going to help your pores get back to their normal size.
00:12:35 Because if you have gunk stored up in there, it is going to be stretching that pore lining out. So getting it back, opening it up, is really going to help out a lot.
Bryan Barron: Exactly. And the whole notion of using - what's particularly bad is the notion of using cold...an absolutely bad idea to rub an ice cube on the skin, especially if you are applying an ice cube straight to your skin, you can cause a different type of burn-like response. Obviously not the same as if you were to burn your skin with some sort of heat source, but cold really shocks the skin.
00:13:11 And I have a feeling that this tip is one that kind of won't go away because the initial reaction to cold is that you are going to get some constriction. So, it can help to a certain degree to make pores look smaller, but it is a very short response. As soon as your skin warms back up to its normal temperature, your pores are going to be right back to where they were, and then you are dealing with the underlying damage that that shock of cold caused.
00:13:39 So don't do that. Okay, next on the list is the tip that a blemish needs to be dried up in order to go away. And then kind of piggy-backing on that is apply toothpaste to a zit and then leave on overnight. That is one that we have seen repeatedly. We are asked often about it. People write in and say, "I read this is supposed to be really effective, but what toothpaste do I use?"
00:14:05 Don't use any toothpaste on a zit! First of all, there is nothing healing about putting any sort of toothpaste over a pimple. Fluoride has no anti-acne ability. It's not anti-bacterial. It helps re-mineralize the teeth; it does nothing for skin. Also, the flavoring or the coloring agents that are used in most toothpaste can be irritating.
00:14:32 I mean think about what most toothpaste tastes like. They are minty. Or some of them have more of a cinnamon flavor. But both mint and cinnamon are potent skin irritants. They make your mouth feel great and give you that clean feeling, and that's fine, but they don't do your skin any favors. So, you are putting something like that over a blemish that is already raised and red and swollen, and it's only going to make it worse and prolong healing. And even if it does have a drying effect, a blemish isn't about your skin being wet.
00:15:01 You can't dry up a zit. Yes, making a zit drier will make it look smaller, but almost always you are left with that kind of scabby, dry-looking, flaky skin, which is no better than a pimple. And for sure if you try to cover that with concealer, it is going to look cakey and gross. So, the best approach, even though it may take a little bit more patience is to gently cleanse the skin, apply a beta hydroxy acid, active ingredient salicylic acid exfoliant. If you have stubborn blemishes you can go for a 2% version like the Paula's Choice 2% BHA liquid.
00:15:41 And then follow with a medicated product that contains at least 2.5% benzoyl peroxide. That is going to go in and kill the acne causing bacteria, and to some extent help reduce that inflammation. Anything to add to that, Desiree?
Desiree Stordahl: No, well, kind of. When I was a teenager I do remember trying the toothpaste on a zit trick. And, no, it did not work.
Bryan Barron: Oh, I did, too.
00:16:08 And when you are struggling with breakouts, whether it is that occasional one that always seems to crop up before a big social event, or a job interview, you are pretty much desperate and willing to try anything. And if you search around for these tips you are going to find this really stupid toothpaste trick. So, don't make the same mistake Desiree and I did.
00:16:30 Keep the toothpaste on the toothbrush and use it in your mouth.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay, speaking of stupid mistakes that people make, the next one is rubbing coffee ground on their thighs thinking it is going to get rid of cellulite. This doesn't work. You are just going to end up with dirty looking thighs. And, I know why people do this. They are willing to try anything. I would try anything to get rid of my cellulite. But the fact of the matter is I know that this doesn't work. And I also know that caffeine, which shows up in cellulite creams time and time again, you know, there isn't any reliable research out there saying that it works.
00:17:03 And if it really did work, we would all be using it. None of us would have cellulite. So, kind of right then and there you know that that kind of stuff doesn't work. You know, things like Latisse where it can really grow lashes - your girlfriends will tell you about that if that stuff works. And you don't hear about anything working for cellulite. So...
Bryan Barron: Yeah, you will hear about, women will talk about the products that they have tried. You know, "This promises to get rid of cellulite, and I used it for awhile, and I don't know - I didn't really see any difference. But at least I am doing something."
Desiree Stordahl: Right.
00:17:36 If you want to know more about this, we actually have an article on our website, and we have devoted an entire show to cellulite in the past. It was called "The Skinny on Cellulite," so you can look it up on iTunes, on BlogTalkRadio, or on CosmeticsCop.com in our archived episodes.
Bryan Barron: That was a fun show.
Desiree Stordahl: That was. And, Bryan, your next point, actually Susan H., or sorry, Susan from Washington is following along with asking about this beauty tip, so go ahead. It's the Preparation H to reduce eye puffiness.
Bryan Barron: Right. Either cucumber slices on the eye or Preparation H to reduce puffiness. The cucumber slices on the eye, let me address that first.
00:18:15 There's nothing special about cucumbers in terms of reducing puffiness. There is antioxidant ability from cucumbers, and they are a minor source of certain vitamins for your skin, but a cucumber is mostly water. And almost always they tell you to use a chilled cucumber, and then you slice it really thin, and you place it over the eye.
00:18:35 You know, a cucumber got this reputation because, A, it's natural, and people love whatever is natural. And there is good reason for that, and then, eh, you can get yourself into trouble if you are going with the wrong natural ingredients. But, the cucumber slice fits nicely over the eye contour area, and then they almost always tell you to use it cold. So, what happens is it is not the cucumber that is reducing the puffiness and the swelling - it's the coldness of it.
00:19:01 So, if you find that you wake up in the morning with puffy eyes or allergies are making your eyes a little puffier, first in regard to allergies you need to be treating that with oral or intranasal antihistamines that you can talk to your doctor about. But if the puffiness is an issue, you can just use any sort of a cold compress, whether it is a cold washcloth. I have heard people using the backs of teaspoons that you can put in your freezer and then wrap it around a dry towel and then kind of press and roll that under the eye area.
00:19:34 Some of the roller ball eye area products that are in a gel form can help out. It's because of the massaging action of that roller ball to help break up the fluid retention. It's not because there is anything special in that gel or serum that is deflating the bags or the puff. It is all about the mechanical action of massaging that puffiness away. Preparation H got this reputation because years ago, back in the early to mid ‘70s there was a mercury-based compound in Preparation H that did have a constricting effect on puffy skin.
00:20:11 So just like it worked on your backside to help with hemorrhoids, it had that same constricting effect on under eye circles and kind of became this cult tip that models use and passed on to a few in their beauty elite circle, and then it got press and so it got this reputation for being the fix, the unconventional fix for puffy eyes.
00:20:32 The company that makes Preparation H took that ingredient out of the product years ago, and what they replaced it with, while apparently it still effective for hemorrhoids, it doesn't do a thing for puffy eyes. And, in fact, you are risking irritation around your eyes by using it which can make puffy eyes worse.
Desiree Stordahl: Oy. Okay, next up is using lemon to lighten your skin. And this is so wrong for a couple different reasons. First of all, lemon is a potent skin irritant, so you don't want to be putting that on your skin.
00:21:02 Just think of the way it feels if you were to get it in a paper cut or any sort of cut. It stings. It burns. Not to mention that it is not going to lighten your skin. To target dark spots, whether it is from sun damage, hormone changes with pregnancy, whatever it may be, the most effective ingredient to use is hydroquinone. That is because it is able to inhibit the excessive melanin production. So you can get hydroquinone in over-the-counter products in percentages up to 2%, and that is the most effective over-the-counter.
00:21:33 We have two products in the Paula's Choice line, our Resist Remarkable Skin Lightening Lotion, and our Resist Clearly Remarkable Skin Lightening Gel. The first one, the lotion is better for dry skin. The gel is better for oily or acne-prone skin. But both are excellent options to consider. They have AHA in the lotion and BHA in the gel. And if you try those and it doesn't work for you, for whatever reason, at the pharmacy you can also get a 4% concentration of hydroquinone, and sometimes even higher. But those are available by prescription only.
00:22:09 Now the key thing with trying to lighten dark spots is that not only treating that area, but also it is imperative to use a sunscreen to prevent further damage from happening and to protect the skin that you are trying to treat. Treating dark spots without using sunscreen is pointless, because sun exposure is just going to bring the problem right back. So those are the two things you need to use. Don't use the lemon; it's not going to work.
00:22:33 It's just going to irritate your skin.
Bryan Barron: Absolutely. And there is an irony, too. A pretty bad irony if it happens to you about using lemon juice or lemon oil to lighten your skin. One of the main ingredients that creates the refreshing citrus scent of lemon is a chemical called Limonene. Limonene, when it is on your skin, and you are not protecting your skin with a good sunscreen, it can cause what is known as a phototoxic reaction.
00:23:05 It reacts with the UV light and you can end up with brown discolorations. So, the very natural ingredient that you are using in the hopes of fading those freckles or those brown spots - and I always think of that old Brady Bunch episode. Do you remember this, Desiree, with Jan Brady? She hated her freckles and so she cut up a bunch of lemons and was rubbing them all over her face.
Desiree Stordahl: Ooh. Jan Brady.
Bryan Barron: One of those episodes where poor Jan Brady, the middle child, and her ongoing self-esteem issues. She was the one with the braces, and the one with the glasses, and the one with the freckles.
00:23:39 Hey, I had two out of three of those. Anyway, it can really come back to bite you. And it is the same issue, if not more so, with lime juice or lime oil. So, if any of your skincare products contain those ingredients and you are wearing them during the day without sun protection, especially if you live in a sunny climate, you are putting your skin at risk for discolorations, whether you see them now or down the road.
00:24:07 Next one we are going to talk about, this is actually the tip that made us start thinking we need to do a show about some of the worst beauty tips we have ever heard. And this was, in order to reduce facial puffiness, use a chilled aluminum foil mask. So, this tip came from the e.l.f. Cosmetics website, and we like a lot of the e.l.f. products, you can check out the reviews on Beautypedia, and no question a lot of them are a really great bargain, but when it comes to their beauty tips, oh my.
00:24:41 Stay away. This one took the cake though. Because you are supposed to take aluminum foil, stick it in your fridge or freezer for a few hours, pull it out, tear off a sheet that fits over your face. And you poke out little holes for your eyes, and nose, and mouth, and then you can form the foil to your face and the chill is supposed to take down swelling. It's a problem for much of the same reasons as we discussed earlier with using cold water or an ice cube rubbed over your skin.
00:25:12 It's that the cold is just too shocking. And aluminum foil and most metals are great insulators of the cold. I mean, think of - those of you who live in a wintry climate, and you have a metal fence, or you touch a metal post when it is sub-zero temperatures out, it is freezing. It feels colder than the surrounding air even from the snow on the ground. It's because metal traps that cold.
00:25:36 So, that is just one of the - it is just an asinine tip. It's just so...don't do that one. Keep the foil for cooking and baking and storing food, but not for use as a facial mask. Not even if you want to scare your significant other.
Desiree Stordahl: Well, I have a beauty tip that is almost as bad. And it's to use Elmer's Glue to rid skin of blackheads. This one is so wrong. You won't pull the blackhead out. It's going to be an ineffective way to get rid of blackheads, not to mention that it is messy and gross and smelly. You don't want that stuff on your face.
00:26:14 So, in this case, if you have got to get rid of blackheads, BHA, also known as salicylic acid which we were talking about earlier, is the way to go. And you will notice that a lot of magazine recommend AHAs, glycolic acid, and that is a great exfoliant. But BHA is better for blackheads because as I mentioned before it is oil soluble. It can penetrate down into the pore lining and help rid and remove that built up gunk that you have got going in there. So, ditch the Elmer's Glue, use BHA instead.
00:26:45 Paula's Choice is by far the only line out there with so many excellent BHA options. Check it out - PaulasChoice.com.
Bryan Barron: And you can go to Beautypedia.com to learn more about some of the BHA products you might be wondering about because there are a lot of bad ones out there that either are ineffective or contain problematic ingredients that will cause problems.
00:27:09 And we only want you to use products that have benefits for your skin without problems, without needless risks. Which brings us to our next tip which is to grind up nuts, they don't say what kind, to use as a face or body scrub. And this is another one of those tips that is meant to appeal to people who are really into using only the natural ingredients. And it is a bad tip. First of all, what are you going to mix the nuts with to make this scrub?
00:27:37 You can't just grind up nuts and then rub those over your skin. Well, you could, but it would really be painful and irritating. But the main problem with using nuts or shells or anything else that you just kind of grind up yourself is that it has uneven jagged edges. Even if you can't see them, when you are using those ingredients as a scrub, and even if you are buffering them in an oil or some other sort of a carrier, they can scratch and tear at the skin.
00:28:07 So, if you are a fan of scrubs, first of all the gentlest choice, and it is absolutely natural, is to use 100% cotton washcloth with your cleanser. You can just move the washcloth as it is damp over the skin in a gentle circular fashion. It will give you the same effect as a scrub. You don't want t overdo it. You want to use light pressure. But if you are a fan of scrubs, and you can get away from the fact that, "Oh, it has to be natural," there are a lot of good facial scrubs that use polyethylene as the abrasive agent which is simple ground up plastic.
00:28:40 But the difference is these polyethylene beads are made spherical so they are smooth and circular - they are designed to be gentle and to roll over skin so they will still polish it, but they don't scratch and tear at the skin the way nuts would. Desiree, last one?
Desiree Stordahl: Actually, we are about ready to go to callers.
00:29:02 If you want to do one more and then we will take some callers?
Bryan Barron: All right. I have to do - you know what, I stepped on your tip there. I'm sorry. I just got off on a roll. The last one, yeah, I was debating whether or not to mention this, and then it came up again on Facebook, on the Paula's Choice Facebook page tonight. And it is to apply any sort of a food-based mask, whether it is honey, whether it is mayonnaise, whether it is yogurt and avocado. There is really no research showing any particular food ingredient is as good for you topically as it is when you ingest it.
00:29:42 In terms of avocado, you are getting some of the fatty acids and the oils that are naturally present in that fruit, and it can help dry skin to some extent, but it is not going to be pleasant to use. I mean, you leave it on for 10, 15 minutes and it is going to start browning and stinking. Yogurt, pretty much the same thing.
00:30:04 I think the argument is it is a lactic acid that is in the milk is going to exfoliate and smooth the skin, and it might to a certain degree, but generally the pH of yogurt is going to be a bit higher than what is needed for exfoliation. And, again, you are dealing the texture issue. It's hard to keep those food-based ingredients from sliding all over your face. They are certainly not as elegant as a moisturizing face mask, or a clay mask where you put it on and it has that texture and that consistency where it is going to stay put, even if you lie down.
00:30:36 With an avocado, or a honey, or a yogurt, or a mayonnaise mask, and we are very quickly building up to a gross-sounding salad here. Even if you are lying down with all of this stuff on your face, what is going to happen? It's going to start moving. You are going to get this sticky gross mess in your hair, on your pillow case. And how relaxing is that? And there just really isn't any reason to do it.
00:31:00 Maybe it sounds fun, and maybe if you have time to kill and are willing to put up with the mess, but it just...a regular mask if you want to use a mask at all is a much better way to go. And you can find plenty of masks that have natural ingredients.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay. Are you ready to take some callers?
Bryan Barron: Sure.
Desiree Stordahl: All right. First up we have Emily in California.
Emily: Hi.
Bryan Barron: Hi Emily.
Emily: How are you doing?
Bryan Barron: I'm doing well.
Emily: And you busted some for me. I appreciate it.
Bryan Barron: I got the what?
Emily: You busted some of those myths for me. I appreciate that.
Bryan Barron: Oh good.
00:31:37 Thank you.
Emily: I have a question. I had been on medication through my doctor on a health issue for several years, and I was able to wean completely off of it. And then, boom, my - overnight practically - my skin changed dramatically. I have always had combination skin. And now I have gone to completely dry skin. Now, I have been using the Paula's Choice moisturizer for normal to combination skin.
00:32:06 And it's [not touching it].
Bryan Barron: Right. It's not working. It's not enough.
Emily: Right.
Bryan Barron: Anything else going on health-wise that maybe because of this was...are you or are you not still on the medication?
Emily: I am not on the mediation anymore.
00:32:31 And then the only different thing is I have had a sudden weight loss, but when I got off my medication I went on this real health kick. So I just eat real healthy foods and I'm real into the organics, and taking care of my body better than I have my entire adult life.
Bryan Barron: And you are making sure that as part of your diet you are getting some healthy fats.
Emily: Oh, yes, I have my avocados. And I do that a lot.
00:33:00 And using the coconut milk and different things like that.
Bryan Barron: Okay. Definitely diet can play a factor in making skin dry. If you are either severely cutting back on, or eliminating fats and fatty acids that the body needs for maintenance...
Emily: No, because that is real important to me to get those fats in. And I eat a lot of nuts, too.
Bryan Barron: Okay. Okay. Good. I'm wondering if this may be due to a hormonal shift, perhaps if you are at the beginning stages of menopause.
Emily: Yup. That could definitely be.
00:33:35 Boy, how insightful on your part.
Bryan Barron: Well, it's something that we always like to ask because it absolutely plays a role. As the hormone levels shift, as you start to - as your body starts to produce less estrogen, which is the beginning of menopause, and then the production eventually slows, that can dramatically impact your skin.
00:34:02 In fact, I was thinking the other day that, you know, you see so many products out there that they say they are for mature skin, and I think a lot of times, even though those products are almost always thick and heavy and really best for dry skin. And there is the whole issue of older, women in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, it's not like you get to some arbitrary age where, okay, "I'm 39, tomorrow I'm 40, so as of tomorrow my skin is mature.
00:34:28 Still breaking out. Still have oiliness. Still have sun damage. But suddenly now I have to use thick, rich products that I couldn't use two days ago when I was still 39." It doesn't work that way.
Emily: How coincidental.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. Exactly. Women of all ages can and do have multiple skin types and concerns. As we get older, of course, our skin concerns are compounded. So, we may still be dealing with oiliness, blackheads, breakouts, but now we are also dealing with wrinkles, maybe sun sagging from brown spots.
00:34:59 So it all kind of builds, and then that leaves a lot of people confused about just what to use.
Emily: Right.
Bryan Barron: In your case, I absolutely think that a change-up of products is needed. And actually are you using other Paula's Choice products as well, or just that moisturizer from us?
Emily: I have been using that, and I have been using the sunscreen foundation.
Bryan Barron: Okay. So, I think that you are a good candidate to give our new Earth Sourced collection a try.
00:35:33 It consists of a cleanser, toner, moisturizer. It's our first major foray into natural products. There is a strong demand from our customers for these types of products. And when we surveyed the market to see what else was out there, it was very disheartening to find that there were very few natural products that we could really recommend and stand behind, because almost always they use problematic ingredients.
00:36:01 Just like there are good and bad synthetic ingredients, there are good and bad natural ingredients. And for the most part a lot of the natural products out there, even though they are sold at Whole Foods or at the GNC Super Store, and they have all the pretty plant pictures on the label, and they smell great, they almost always contain problematic ingredients. So you are getting some of the good along with some bad. And that is not going to help. It is actually going to make matters worse.
00:36:29 So we took a different approach with Earth Sourced and kind of started out small just with the three products, but we only use natural ingredients that have been proven to help skin. And none of them are added strictly to make the product smell like a rose garden. So, let's send you those. I have particularly been enjoying using the Earth Sourced Antioxidant Rich Natural Moisturizer. I used it over the winter months here in Seattle when my skin was drier, notably drier. And I found it worked great. So , I would like you to try to graduate to that from the Skin Balancing. And then see how you do.
00:37:06 And then get in touch with our customer service team and if you need additional guidance they can help you fine tune your routine from there.
Emily: Sounds great.
Bryan Barron: Okay. I think you are on the right track, Emily.
Emily: Thank you so much. I appreciate your insights. And that gives me a lot to consider. Thank you very much.
Bryan Barron: All right. Keep it up.
Desiree Stordahl: Thanks Emily.
00:37:29 Okay, next up we have some fans on Facebook talking about Vaseline as a moisturizer. Bryan, do you want to talk about that?
Bryan Barron: Sure. What are they saying?
Desiree Stordahl: They are just asking if that is a good beauty tip or a bad beauty tip.
Bryan Barron: You know, one of our customer service representatives - we polled them before the show because they really are the ears and to some extent the eyes of what our customers and our fans are chatting about and asking about. And that did come up.
00:38:00 The usual tip is if I use Vaseline every night under my skin will I avoid wrinkles. If only it were that simple. It is almost like saying, you know, if I eat broccoli every day will I live to be 100 and never get cancer? Maybe. But, maybe not. And one thing that we know for sure is that it is not just the broccoli alone that would give you that longer, healthier lifespan. It is multiple factors. And it is the exact same thing for skin. Skincare is never as simple as one ingredient.
00:38:33 Specific to Vaseline though, Vaseline is petroleum jelly, or petrolatum. It is not the same as the crude oil that you see gushing from wells in Texas. It is from there, but it is a refined version. So, it is not the exact same thing. You are not putting crude oil on your skin. It is not a bad or evil ingredient. Let's get that out of the way from the start.
00:39:00 It's a good emollient ingredient, and it is a healing ingredient for dry or wounded skin. It's why in most of those first aid ointments such as Neosporin or Polysporin, you look at the ingredients and what are the actives in the base of petrolatum, because it is so benign and so gentle for the skin. It doesn't do enough though for dry skin. It can help prevent moisture loss. And if you have wrinkles and dry skin, we all know that the dry skin makes the wrinkles look worse.
00:39:32 So, yes. if you put something thick and greasy over that area, it is going to plump the skin a bit. It is going to prevent some amount of moisture loss. And your wrinkles will look less apparent. But there are much more elegant ways to go about getting that benefit. Vaseline just isn't the most comfortable thing to put on your face. If you have oily skin, it is absolutely going to make your skin feel worse, although curiously enough - this is another beauty myth - that Vaseline or mineral oil clog pores, or worsen breakouts. They don't.
00:40:04 Their molecular structure is actually too big to penetrate inside the poor. So, they stay on the surface of skin, which in the case of dry skin, that is where you want most of those ingredients to stay because if your skin is classically dry, chances are it's barrier function is impaired. The barrier starts at the surface, so when you are applying ingredients like Vaseline - and, again, a lot of other ingredients like glycerin and ceramides, glucose aminoglycans and all sorts of lipids, you are reinforcing what skin isn't reinforcing on its own.
00:40:38 So, if that was just sailing passed the surface, and going right down to the pore lining, it is going to do your dry skin little good, because you are still going to have that very dry surface. So, long story short, Vaseline, there is nothing in it that is going to prevent wrinkles. It can soften the appearance of wrinkles. But if that is your goal, you will want to get that ingredient in a much more well-rounded formula.
00:41:05 Again, going back to the broccoli analogy, yes, broccoli is healthy if it is eaten on its own, but think about how much more benefit your body is getting if you are adding broccoli to a salad that contains lean proteins, other green, leafy vegetables. Maybe some tomatoes and brightly colored peppers. Much more well-rounded approach, just as using a well-formulated moisturizer, with or without petrolatum can help your dry skin.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay, great.
00:41:34 Next up we have Tom in Massachusetts. Hi Tom, are you there?
Tom: Oh, hi. I was wondering if Visine on a pimple, if it would work?
Bryan Barron: Ah, that's a good one. Um, actually for the redness, yes it does, to a certain...I mean, you should see some...it's not going to help the breakout of the pimple heal really any faster, but if it has gotten to the point where it is getting really red and swollen, especially if it is starting to get painful, you can dab a bit around the redness.
00:42:17 And typically when the pimple gets that red, it isn't the raised portion that's as red as the skin around it, because there is a lot of inflammation going on there. Some people get more inflamed pimples because their skin's immune system has a stronger response to what is going on underneath the skin. So, it is worth a try. You want to use something that says it gets the red out like Visine. It won't work if you just use artificial tears or something that is designed for dry eyes. You could just try putting a few drops of it on a cotton swab, and then dabbing it on.
00:42:53 I will caution you and say it is not one of those tips that is going to work the same for everyone, but it is a harmless enough tip that if you do have a larger pimple or one that is just particularly red, give it a try. See what happens.
Tom: Okay. Thank you.
Bryan Barron: And, Tom, we are going to go ahead and send you our Earth Sourced Range as well, so you can try that cleanser, toner, moisturizer combo and see how it does for your skin. The toner contains some incredibly hydrating ingredients, but it is not greasy, and you can use it after shaving.
00:43:31 Definitely will help soothe the skin and reduce redness and the irritation from shaving.
Tom: All right. Thank you.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay. Next caller we have Donna from Georgia. Hi Donna.
Donna: Hi Donna, how are you?
Bryan Barron: Donna, hello.
Donna: How you doing?
Bryan Barron: I'm doing well. What's on your mind tonight?
Donna: I have a hair care question. And I noticed that my shampoo, which I have used for at least five years, it is a Redken product for color treated hair, the one that comes in the red container. I noticed it contains salicylic acid.
00:44:12 And I just wanted to ask you is it normal for a shampoo to contain that and is it okay?
Bryan Barron: I wouldn't say it is normal. Typically salicylic acid is used in - there is a scalp condition called Seborrheic Dermatitis where you get that, it's a combination of an oily buildup on the scalp, but you also get some scaling and crusting. And so you will see there are some shampoos like Neutrogena T/Sal Shampoo, or Ionil T Plus, another one that you will find in some pharmacies where salicylic acid is listed as the active ingredient.
00:44:55 And those are designed to break up that oil buildup and the scaliness. If it is just a regular shampoo, it doesn't indicate that it is medicated, or if salicylic acid isn't called out as an active ingredient. Boy, it's not a typical ingredient in a regular shampoo. And I can only speculate as to why Redken would use it, and it may be part of a preservative system, because salicylic acid actually has natural preservative qualities to it.
Donna: Okay.
00:45:29 It was pretty high in the ingredients list. It was like number six.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. They could also be using it along with the pH adjusting agent like citric acid. There's some research showing that using lower pH products on the hair can help the cuticle to lie flat. And if you ever get a chance to see a picture of the cuticle layer of hair under a microscope, it looks very much like fish scales. It's like layers on top of - kind of overlapping layers.
00:46:06 When a single hair is blown up say to 10,000 times normal viewing. And it is kind of cool looking. And as hair gets more and more damaged, that cuticle, those inner-woven layers get chipped away slowly but surely, and then eventually the interior portion of the hair shaft is exposed, and then you are in trouble and you have a lot of damage. And really the only solution is just to cut that portion of the hair off.
00:46:32 There is some research showing that using lower pH shampoos can help that cuticle layer to lie flat. Sometimes you may actually hear like in order to get shinier hair, rinse with vinegar, or apple cider vinegar, or do a beer rinse, even though beer typically isn't all that acidic. I'd say rinse with chardonnay instead, but it is much better if you pour it into a nice wine glass.
00:46:59 But I'm not sure. I'm not sure why that would be in there, Donna.
Donna: Do you think it's harmful?
Bryan Barron: Probably not. But you know, if you want to, let's touch base. We will get your email after the show. I'm curious as to the exact name of the shampoo. And let me look into it a little further for you and just take a look at the overall formula.
Donna: Okay.
Bryan Barron: And in the meantime though, I'm going to go ahead and have Desiree send you the Paula's Choice All Over Hair And Body Shampoo. I want you to give that a try. You can use it as a shampoo. If you happen to not care for it as a shampoo, it also is an incredible body wash that you can use from the neck down. It is one of the only fragrance-free shampoo/body washes on the market.
Donna: That sounds great.
Bryan Barron: So see what you think of that. And we will be in touch via email after the show, or in the next day or two.
Donna: Okay, thank you so much.
Bryan Barron: All right. Thanks.
Desiree Stordahl: Thank, Donna.
00:48:01 Okay, our next caller is Devon in California. Hi Devon, are you there? Devon?
Devon: Sorry, I'm here.
Bryan Barron: There she is.
Desiree Stordahl: What's your question?
Devon: I had a question. So, my sister, she uses apricot scrub for her face, and she swears that that's what keeps her skin like super smooth and healthy looking. Well, I on the other hand, I have [acne-prone] skin, and I don't know whether or not I should use it, or what it is that I could use to exfoliate my skin.
Desiree Stordahl: So, first of all, as we were mentioning earlier in the show, manual scrubs aren't as effective as like a BHA, a salicylic acid scrub.
00:48:45 And the reason is that they can't - they just are taking care of the surface level. They can't get rid of those built-up gunk in your pore lining, and the other thing is that manual scrubs like that apricot scrub can sometimes be abrasive to skin, so they can tear at it, and actually cause more problems.
00:49:03 So, for acne-prone skin, we highly suggest using a BHA exfoliant. And if your skin is more on the oily side, definitely go with our 2% BHA liquid. And that, again, is going to help exfoliate out of that pore lining which helps unclog your skin, helps with your overall acne problems that you have got going on. Also, have you ever tried a benzoyl peroxide product?
Devon: You know, it's been awhile since I tried anything t be honest, because when I was pregnant they told me not to use anything. But my skin changed drastically after I gave birth. And I'm just confused now because my skin went from being super dry to now it is kind of like combination-ish. But I do break out a lot more.
Desiree Stordahl: Right. So you might want to try a benzoyl peroxide product. And I would suggest starting at a 2.5%.
00:50:00 So, we have one in our Clear line, it is the regular strength acne fighting treatment. And this will really help with breakouts. If you have never tried one, it would be a really good opportunity for you to check it out and see if it works for you. One thing you do have to note with benzoyl peroxide products is that they can bleach fabrics. So, if you are going to bed instantly after you put it on, you will want to let it absorb and dry, otherwise you might be bleaching your pillow case or maybe your nightgown that you just put on. So, be careful with that.
00:50:34 But otherwise it is a pretty effective product at getting rid of the bacteria that causes acne. Bryan, do you have any other suggestions for her?
Bryan Barron: Well, she should definitely give the Paula's Choice Shine Stopper a try.
Desiree Stordahl: Oh yeah. We will send her one of those.
Bryan Barron: To help with the excess oil. You can use that over your oily areas.
Devon: Okay. So then that certain type of scrub, I mean, so I guess it could work for some people though, right? Because my sister's skin is like ridiculously perfect. I mean, and mine isn't. Maybe she just has lucky skin. Maybe she doesn't use it as often as she says she does. But, she swears by that stuff.
Desiree Stordahl: Yeah.
00:51:15 Some people with perfect skin just have perfect skin. And, you know, sometimes people swear by things that might not be the best for their skin. They just happen to use it and they still have okay results.
Bryan Barron: And this is a very...I'm actually glad this came up, because it is an important point to make and to reinforce, is that oftentimes people will say, "Well, you didn't like this product or you said it had this or that bad ingredient, it's irritating, and I'm not seeing any problem from it. It seems to be helping me." Skin, and this can vary from person to person, but our skin is very good at hiding when it is being damaged. Part of that is just due to its innate response. But part of it is just because a lot of the irritation that you are seeing takes place below the surface of the skin and it adds up over time.
00:52:09 The easiest way to think about this is to consider sun damage. 30, 40 years of sun exposure is going to result in wrinkles, some amount of sagging, uneven skin tone, brown spots. And those begin to show up later in life after the damage has taken place. If those types of problems started showing up say when you were in your teens, and getting tan all the time, and you couldn't imagine going on spring break and not coming home looking like a bronzed goddess...
00:52:40 If that damage started showing up at age 17 or 18, we would see a lot more people stopping those habits and starting to protect their skin earlier. But because you are not seeing the damage until later, then you have to go into repair mode, and to some extent you can help with the damage, but a lot of it has already been done.
Devon: Right.
00:53:01 I see what you are saying. So even if I tried using it, it might not necessarily show up bad now, but in like a week, or two, or three, or even further down the road it would affect me in a bad way?
Bryan Barron: Right. Or it can make combination skin worse. So, you go from having a mildly oily T zone and the cheek area you would say, "Well, it's pretty normal. It's not dry, it's not oily." But then after several weeks or so of using the wrong products, you notice that your T zone is much oilier. Maybe you are also dealing with some superficial flaky skin through that area and you are wondering, "Well why is it flaky on top and oily underneath?"
Devon: Yeah, that's exactly what I have.
Bryan Barron: Yeah.
00:53:44 And then your cheeks are suddenly feeling drier and tighter, and so you are thinking, gosh, I need a heavier moisturizer for my cheeks. But I can't put a heavier moisturizer over the oily areas. But maybe...
Devon: It will make it worse.
Bryan Barron: Yeah. Or maybe I should use a heavy moisturizer over the oily areas because I have got this flaky skin, so how do I handle that?
Devon: For the most part, a lot of the surface area, like the cheeks, the forehead, my nose, like my cheeks are actually scaly right now.
00:54:12 I think that is why she recommended me to use it. But like around my eyes, my mouth, it is like super dry. So I'm like really confused.
Bryan Barron: Desiree, what are we sending her? Can we go over that list again?
Desiree Stordahl: So far we were going to send her the Shine Stopper, our 2% BHA liquid, though I think we may want to switch it up to the gel, and the Regular Strength Clear Acne Fighting Treatment with Benzoyl Peroxide.
Bryan Barron: Okay.
00:54:38 Let's also send her a bottle of the Resist Advanced Replenishing Toner.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay.
Bryan Barron: And the reason I'm adding that to the list is because you mentioned the dryness and the scaliness. This toner is super light; it's not going to feel greasy, but it contains a range of ingredients that help to repair and reinforce your skin's barrier function.
00:55:03 And when you are seeing that scaliness and what not, chances are that's what's being impaired, whether it is from products or from something else going on. And I do think that over time, especially when you get your skincare routine figured out, as the hormones go back into balance from being pregnant, you are going to find your skin starts acting more normal again.
Devon: I hope so.
Bryan Barron: Start using this toner after cleansing.
00:55:27 And then let's make sure that you are using a gentle cleanser, too. What are you using to cleanse your face with?
Devon: Honestly? Right now I'm using...
Bryan Barron: No, lie to me.
Devon: I'm using Dial. Only because my friend told me that it would care bacteria, and it would like not make me so oily.
Bryan Barron: Okay, your friend wasn't necessarily steering you wrong. And I'm sure that she meant well, and Dial, yes, Dial has the active ingredient Triclosan which is an antibacterial agent.
00:55:58 It can be effective at killing some amount of the bacteria on skin. But, the ingredients that - Dial is a classic soap. The ingredients that create that soap can be drying and irritating. I wouldn't be surprised if you answer yes when I say after you wash with Dial does your face feel dry and tight?
Devon: It feels really tight.
Bryan Barron: Exactly.
Devon: But then I put...yeah.
Bryan Barron: Okay, yeah, this is one of those moments on the show when I wish we had sound effects that we could cue. Yeah, let's get you a gentle cleanser as well.
00:56:36 You know what? Let's send you, just because it is new and exciting, let's send her the Earth Sourced Perfectly Natural Cleansing Gel.
Desiree Stordahl: Got it.
Bryan Barron: This is a really gentle gel cleanser. It is silky. It will not leave you dry and tight. A little bit goes a long way. It removes makeup. I think that you will notice a huge difference just by changing your cleanser alone. And these other products that we are sending you are going to improve things even further.
00:57:04 And check in with us in a couple of weeks or so after you have been using these products and let us know how you are doing. And we are happy to help you fine tune and customize that routine because we definitely need to get you on the right track. We need to get you back to having normal skin. And this will be a great start.
Devon: Okay, cool. Can I still use the same moisturizer?
Bryan Barron: Which one were you using?
Devon: I'm using an Aveeno one. It's like an unscented...I mean, it works okay. It isn't irritating my skin. That's why I kind of like it.
Bryan Barron: Okay. then you can...just to be sure, double check the review on Beautypedia.com.
Devon: Okay. I think I just uploaded that to my phone.
Bryan Barron: Okay, just because Aveeno has got a gazillion moisturizers. See what we say about that. If it is one that we rate poorly, we can help you find something better.
00:58:02 Or you can take a look at the moisturizers from Aveeno that we rate well and try one of those instead. But, Aveeno moisturizers typically aren't that bad. They tend to be a bit on the boring side, but in your case, you like the product, it is not causing issues for you. So, and we are going to send you some really great formulations, so you can stick with that for now and see how your skin does.
Desiree Stordahl: Okay, Bryan.
00:58:27 Sounds like we have to round up the show now. It's close to closing time here. Next week we have our skincare and beauty questions with our Facebook and Twitter fans. So Tweet us your questions. Post on our Facebook page. We will be taking those all hour long, so it will be a nice, long Q&A session with our fans. The week after that, the 24th of April, we are going to have the newest anti-aging devices and treatments with Dr. Brandith Irwin. We always love having her on; get such fascinating information and find out the latest and greatest.
00:59:00 And May 1 we will have Beauty Risks versus Rewards.
Bryan Barron: Yes, and do not miss the Dr. Irwin show. She came back from an anti-aging dermatology conference in Paris. And she has got some very exciting news to share with us about the latest and greatest in-office, non-invasive anti-aging treatments that we can all use to look younger longer. Thanks for joining us tonight everyone. We will talk with you at 6pm Pacific Time next week.
00:59:31 Visit us at PaulasChoice.com where you can find archived versions of all of our past shows and transcripts as well. And everyone have a great evening. Good night.
Desiree Stordahl: Good night.
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