From popping zits to expiring beauty products, cosmetic scientists answer your most confounding questions, In the course of her life, a woman confronts, oh, maybe a bazillion baffling beauty dilemmas. And most of them never get solved…until now. Perry Romanowski and the other cosmetic scientists behind TheBeautyBrains.com have the answers:
They've pooled their more than 40 years of experience at companies such
as Procter & Gamble and Unilever to write a book called Can You Get Hooked on Lip Balm? Finally, you can stop scratching your well-coiffed head.
Is baby shampoo good for adult hair?
Most shampoos contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which some people
find dries out their scalp. Baby shampoo can be a smart alternative
because it contains amphoteric surfactants, which are milder than SLS.
The downside is that baby shampoo doesn't clean as well as shampoo with
SLS. So if you use a ton of styling products, you might have to wash
your hair multiple times with baby shampoo to get it as clean as you
would with one lather of an SLS-based product. But that's not such a bad
trade-off if your scalp is really parched. WH pick: Dr. Sears Family
Essentials Baby Wash & Shampoo ($6, drsearsfamilyessentials.com).
Why do some perfumes last so long?
Fragrances are complex mixtures of natural and synthetic chemicals
diluted in alcohol (ethanol, specifically). That alcohol is the first
thing to evaporate, which is why you should wait a few seconds before
smelling a perfume on your skin. (If you don't, you'll get a nose full
of booziness.) Once the alcohol is gone, the scent ingredients—known as
top, middle, and bottom notes—develop. Top notes are fleeting (think
citrus); you smell them first and then they disappear within a few
minutes. Middle notes create the body of the scent and are usually
floral or a combo of fruity and floral. Bottom notes are the fragrance
anchors; they're the heaviest and stick around the longest. These are
often woody, smoky, or musky. So if your favorite scent has serious
staying power, it probably has more base notes in the mix.
Do eye creams really reduce wrinkles and puffiness?
Well, yes and no. These creams are essentially moisturizers that have
been modified for use on the thin skin around the eyes. While they can't
work miracles, they do often contain ingredients that may offer some
temporary benefits. They can smooth lines and decrease puffiness with
the help of polymers that form a skin-tightening film as they dry. Look
for ingredients such as ethylene/acrylic acid copolymer, butylene
glycol, and sodium polyacrylate. But as always, the effects vary from
person to person, and the results may not be dramatically noticeable.
Is there an easy way to pop a zit?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you shouldn't pop,
pick, scratch, or squeeze pimples, because you can wind up with more
inflammation, redness, and possibly scarring. But if you insist on
throwing caution to the wind, here are some tips for minimizing the
trauma to your delicate facial skin and helping prevent an infection.
1. Take a warm shower or bath to soften your skin.
2. Wash your face and remove all makeup.
3. Wash your hands to prevent spreading germs and infecting the pimple.
4. Sterilize a needle by washing it with a little dishwashing
soap and then dunking it into rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide for
5. Use the needle to gently prick the white tip of the pimple.
6. Wrap pieces of clean tissue or toilet paper around your index fingers.
7. Gently apply pressure to the sides of the pimple to ease out the pus. Stop when blood or clear fluid comes out.
Five Signs a Product Is Past Its Prime
1 It smells bad
Fragrance is often the first thing to go off. A little fragrance fading
is normal, but if you detect a sour or rancid odor, it may be a sign
that something is wrong with the product.
2 Its texture changes
Alterations in the consistency of a product may be subtle but
significant. For example, if your body lotion looks exceptionally thick
or thin, or if it appears too grainy, this may be an early indication of
emulsion instability. This means the oil-and water-soluble chemicals
are separating. When that happens, the product may not work the way it's
supposed to and you could end up with irritated skin.
3 The color shifts
Product colors are very sensitive to light, so it's not unusual for
cosmetics in clear packaging to experience a shift in shade. A slight
color change doesn't necessarily mean anything is functionally wrong
with the product, but if a red lipstick turns orange, that's not good.
4 It grows fuzz
If your product has black spots or fuzzy growth, it could be
contaminated with bacteria or fungus. Toss it immediately to avoid
getting an infection from it. And by the way, you should never dilute a
product with water just so you can get the last little bit out of the
bottle. Adding water can also dilute the preservative system, which can
allow the growth of potentially dangerous bacteria.
5 The product separates
If a product has separated into two layers, it has gone bad. And you
shouldn't try to fix it by mixing the layers together. This is
particularly true of dandruff shampoo, sunscreen, and other products
that have active ingredients. Once the active drug ingredient has
separated from the rest of the formula, it may not work properly.
What causes dark armpits?
Your pits could be darker than they should be for at least four different reasons:
Cause 1: Shaving
When you shave, you cut hair off at, or just below, the surface of the
skin. If the hair is darker than your skin color, your skin can appear
to have a dark stain, but it's really just subsurface hair. Instead of
shaving, try waxing—it gets rid of the hair from a deeper level.
Cause 2: Buildup of Dead Skin Cells
Dark spots under your arms can be the result of dead skin cells that are
trapped in microscopic "hills and valleys" on your skin. Try
exfoliating at least once a week with a product that contains lactic
Cause 3: Antiperspirant and Deodorant Usage
In theory, some ingredients in these products (perhaps fragrance) could
react with your skin and cause discoloration. Practically speaking, this
seems unlikely. But many people claim that the darkness goes away when
they stop using antiperspirants and deodorants that contain fragrance.
Cause 4: Acanthosis Nigricans
This medical condition causes light-brown to black markings on the neck,
under the arms, or in the groin. It can be related to insulin
production or to a glandular disorder, and it typically occurs in people
who are overweight. If this applies to you, see a doctor and try to
limit sugar and simple carbs to control insulin production. You can
lighten your underarms with a cream such as Retin-A or one that contains
alpha hydroxy acids or salicylic acid.
So...can you get hooked on lip balm?
It's not an addiction in the true medical sense, but yes, you can train
your body to rely on lip balm. Here's what happens: When your lips start
to feel dry or get flaky, they send a signal to a deeper layer of skin
(called the basal layer) to produce fresh, plump skin cells. But when
you put on lip balm, you slow down the signal because you're creating a
barrier layer that prevents the evaporation of more moisture, so the
basal layer never gets the signal to produce new cells. When the lip
balm wears off, all of a sudden your lips dry out again and your basal
layer has to hurry up and start producing new cells. But because your
lips feel dry, you add more lip balm, which once again tells the basal
layer, "Hey, everything's fine up here on the surface. We don't need any
more skin cells." And the cycle repeats.
What is the difference between an anti-perspirant and a deodorant?
Antiperspirant, as the name implies, interferes with sweat production
and stops you from perspiring. Deodorant simply masks odor. Ultimately,
both products attempt to do the same thing—prevent you from being
stinky—and which one you use is simply a matter of personal preference.
If you don't sweat a lot, go with deodorant. Most contain an active
ingredient (usually triclosan) that prevents smelly bacteria from
growing. No bacteria means no body odor. Otherwise, opt for
antiperspirant, which contains zinc salts that block your sweat glands.
WH pick: Certain Dri Solid Antiperspirant ($6, at drugstores). No sweat
equals no home for bacteria, which equals you staying fresh and clean.
The best solution is to use a product that's both an antiperspirant and a
deodorant so you are solving both issues and getting the best possible
protection. WH pick: Secret Natural Mineral Invisible Solid ($4.29, at
Any reason you can't use the same moisturizer for face and hands?
You need to use different products to suit your skin's different needs.
The skin on your face tends to be thin and prone to breakouts and
wrinkles, while the skin on your hands is thicker and tends to get
overly dry or cracked (primarily due to washing them with soap several
times a day). So your facial moisturizer should be lightweight and
noncomedogenic, and perhaps contain film-forming agents that tighten
skin to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Your hand
lotion should be a heavier barrier cream that protects your digits from
harsh conditions and boosts their moisture.
Can UV nail-polish dryers damage skin?
We looked into UV dryers and found that the light they produce is the
same type that causes photo-aging and skin cancer. Fortunately, the
danger seems to be pretty slight because drying lamps have a very low
power output—only around 10 watts. Compare that with the power of a
full-size tanning bed that can put out up to 2,400 watts! Your hands
probably aren't in much danger. Still, if you're concerned, put on a
little sunblock before using the lamp.
Ref : http://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/beauty-iq