Nail Polish, Miscarriages, Cancer? Not So Pretty Episode 2 (with video)

Not So Pretty 2 cover

Not So Pretty is a HBO documentary series about supposedly dangerous beauty products. It’s a very persuasive, slick-looking documentary. A lot of people chucked out their products after watching it, and as someone who breaks open bottles to use the last three drops at the bottom, this cut me deep. As a scientist who uses a lot of beauty products …

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Talc and Asbestos in Makeup: Not So Pretty Episode 1 (with video)

Not So Pretty

HBO has a new 4 part documentary Not So Pretty which talks about supposedly dangerous beauty products. This kind of documentary comes out every 6 months or so, and everyone panics and throws out their products. Like pretty much everyone I think, I’m concerned about my health, but not so into people trying to exploit this concern for attention, or …

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1,4-Dioxane Ban for Beauty Products? (With video)

Dioxane video

If you’ve ever looked up sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) in a clean beauty app, like me, you might be surprised to find that SLES is dirtier than SLS. These apps are terrible and based on pseudoscience: SLS and SLES are both safe in your products. But if you’re a skincare nerd, you’ll know that SLS …

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Impressively Bad Skincare Science: Matter of Fact (with Video)

Matter of Fact thumbnail

You might’ve seen Matter of Fact skincare all over social media lately. Their star product is a vitamin C serum, and they’ve been doing a lot of sponsorships with influencers, particularly the ones that come across as “sciencey” (with a science background and/or make scientific skincare content). You might’ve been surprised to see me in one of their influencer ads …

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The Cost of Misinformation in the Beauty Space (Ventech Talk)

Ventech Beauty Misinformation

This was a talk I gave on 15 September 2021 for Ventech’s panel on Scientific Literacy and the Price of Misinformation. I talked about my insights on debunking myths over the last 10 years of Lab Muffin (yeah I’m old), how there’s financial incentive for many brands to bust beauty myths and communicate science, and the larger public health implications …

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Will Benzene in Sunscreens Give You Cancer? (with video)

In case you haven’t already heard, the 2021 edition of “This Anti-Cancer Product Is Giving You Cancer” is that there’s been benzene found in a bunch of sunscreens. How much should we be freaking out about this? I did an Instagram post on this already, but I thought I’d elaborate a bit more. The video is here on YouTube, scroll …

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Zinc Sunscreens Don’t Work Better: Every Myth Busted (with video)

Chemical vs Physical Sunscreens: The Science (with video)

There are so many myths around mineral or physical sunscreens – the ones with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide – and how they’re supposedly better than chemical sunscreens with scarier names like oxybenzone and octocrylene. And it’s usually zinc oxide that gets all the hype. Some of these advantages are true… but so many are just myths. And a lot …

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Octocrylene Causes Cancer? and I’m Propaganda Now (with video)

There’s been a recent study published about the sunscreen ingredient octocrylene turning into benzophenone over time. According to the paper, “benzophenone is a mutagen, carcinogen, and endocrine disruptor”. I wasn’t going to do a proper analysis of this paper because it only really got lots of attention in France and not many other places, but then I saw that I …

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