Home > On the web, Writing > Why am I recommending a beauty products blog?

Why am I recommending a beauty products blog?

December 11, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Recently I was introduced to a blog called FutureDerm, where one Nicki Zevola reviews beauty products. And I want to recommend her blog to anyone who cares about hair and skin products. I will use three of her recent posts to illustrate why I’m recommending it.

1) In this post about SPF makeup, she explains why the SPF rating on the product label doesn’t match its performance in real life:

…scientists test facial powders to determine SPF in a manner mandated by the FDA, assuming that 2mg of product will be used per cm2 of skin. The average face is about 600cm2 (although that varies from person to person, of course), meaning that a person needs to apply about 1.2g of facial powder to get the SPF stated on the product’s label. However, most women only apply about 0.085g of powder at a time – fourteen times less than you need to get the SPF listed on the package!

2) On whether retinol creams are likely to break down over time:

Other studies, such as this 2004 study in the Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, have shown retinol also becomes unstable in the presence of too much oxygen.  So both light and air cause retinol to break down into an oxidized species.

After a month of use, your retinol cream will undoubtedly have less potency than when it is first opened.  That’s just the nature of the beast, sorry.  However, if your retinol cream contains other antioxidants, is encapsulated in liposomes, or packaged in a light-protective container, then your retinol will have degraded far less than otherwise. … I would also add that an airtight pump, like in Green Cream or Skinceuticals Retinol Creams, are excellent choices.

3) In this review of a Proactiv mask, she addresses the ingredients and why they might be effective at improving skin:

Kaolin, a hydrated silicate of aluminum, has been established as an effective adsorbent for hundreds of years.  Kaolin has long been used to treat skin erythema, eczema, and inflammatory skin disorders.  It is an adsorbent ingredient that has been proven to absorb excess oil on the skin, as mentioned in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.  In fact, kaolin is so adsorbent makes me hesitant to recommend this to anyone with dry skin!

Sulfur is an important mineral component of vitamin B, collagen, keratin, and several amino acids.  According to The Encyclopedia of Skin and Skin Disorders, sulfur is thought to slow bacterial growth as it dissolves the top layer of the skin and slows oil-gland activity within the skin.

What I like about her content is that she doesn’t limit it to reviewing her experience with a product. She cites a fair amount of scientific research that ties a product’s performance to its ingredients and method of formulation. And in #2, she proposes products that address an unavoidable issue with a key ingredient. This appeals to the scientist in me, and for anyone, this makes her blog a useful repository to predict how other products with similar ingredients might function. As far as how compounds like retinol degrade, I’m familiar with that from my line of work. I love being able to read stuff like this because it expands my thinking on how the science can be extended toward designing cool and useful products. Yes, even cosmetics.

And she keeps the FutureDerm blog going while handling the little side gig of being a medical student at Pitt. Well done.

(Picture from UK’s Telegraph)

  1. Kari
    December 11, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    this is awesome! can you find me a blog that can correctly find me a high heeled shoe that is both aesthetically pleasing and doesn’t kill my feet? :)

  2. Vic
    December 16, 2011 at 6:55 am

    May I suggest: just stop using anything unnatural on your face. Organic and natural beauty products with more than one or two ingredients included. I’ll tell you my experience. I have tried everything. Well, almost. I have used Aberela (Tretinoin cream) – prescription – I have taken a low dose of roaccutane – prescription. I have purchased washes and moisturizers galor – and to no avail. So one day I asked my guy what he does. He has great clear skin. He told me he doesn’t wash his face. Yeah, that was tough to take. Not wash my face – right. There was NO way it was that simple. So I continued with my creams. Until one day, I got fed up. Fed up with all the routine that didn’t work. So, I stopped washing my face. No soaps, creams etc. It took only a short time – then finally, clear skin! I couldn’t believe my eyes (still can’t to be honest). I don’t even let myself imagine how much money I wasted on products that only exacerbated the problem. In the shower, all I do is let the water run ofer my face and gently rub my face with my bare hands. About twice a week I gently scrub my face with used coffee grounds (THIS is AMAZING for your skin – and you will love the results I promise you). As moisturizer (if necessary) I use sunflower oil, or olive oil, jojoba oil or a beewax rapes seed oil mix. It’s just what ever I feel like for the day. I NEVER worry about my face anymore. Try it for just two weeks.

  3. Vic
    December 16, 2011 at 6:55 am

    Oh, and NO make-up.

  1. December 29, 2011 at 10:21 am

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