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)
If you have seen the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man in the World” ads, like the one above, you might have thought at some point, “It would be pretty cool if this guy actually existed.” Well, stay thirsty, my friends: thanks to random Wikipedia-ing, I have found one such man existed in real life.
Porfirio Rubirosa Ariza , (January 22, 1909 – July 5, 1965) was a Dominican diplomat, polo player and race car driver who competed in the 1950 and 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans, but was best known as an international playboy for his jet setting lifestyle and legendary prowess with women.
Including a totally outlandish “Chuck Norris”-style fact… Read more…
This piece is brilliant but evokes sadness for a future that may yet come to pass.
Fabian Brunsing’s public art installation “Pay & Sit: The Private Bench” imagines a dystopian tomorrow in which even the most quotidian of conveniences — resting a moment on a park bench — have become soulless objects of enterprise. (from The Daily What via Andrew Sullivan)
Here in Sweden, such conveniences have already been monetized: at the Stockholm and Göteborg train stations, access to individual restrooms requires depositing 10 kr into the coin slot.