US Sunscreens Aren’t Safe in the EU? (with Video)

US Sunscreens Aren’t Safe in the EU?

There’s been a lot of fearmongering about chemical sunscreens. There were scary-sounding new stories – sunscreen absorbing into blood, killing coral reefs, zinc oxide being toxic, benzene in sunscreens… Related Post: Top 7 Sunscreen and SPF Myths I’ve covered most of these before, and they’re largely just the media taking things out of context and sensationalising them, partly for views, …

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You don’t need to freak out about benzene in dry shampoo

dry shampoo

There’s been another beauty product recall because of benzene. This time it’s dry shampoos produced by Unilever, including products from Dove, TRESemmé, TIGI and Suave. I’ve talked about benzene contamination in products before, specifically sunscreen. It’s a very similar situation this time. The key points: Benzene is not intentionally added to products. Rather, it’s a trace contaminant that’s accidentally found …

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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

Update (14/9/2022): Dr Julian Sass (@scamander14 on Instagram), a biostatistician and full-time employee of Matter of Fact (Director of R&D and Education) has publicly accused me of bullying him in a video on his Instagram and Twitter. My response is here: Response to accusations of bullying from Julian (@scamander14) Relevant to this post and Matter of Fact: Interestingly he didn’t …

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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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