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  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 its …

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Do I Need a Special Cleanser to Remove Sunscreen?

Do I Need a Special Cleanser to Remove Sunscreen?

Here’s a myth I’ve been seeing around skincare communities: that you have to use a special cleanser to remove water-resistant sunscreen. For example: “Keep in mind that most of these sunscreen actives are also oil-soluble (only dissolves in oil, not water), which gives sunscreens their water-proof and sweat-proof properties. Therefore, in order to completely remove sunscreen, you have to use …

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“Mineral sunscreens” have chemical sunscreens?

other active SPF boosters 4

There’s a sort of industry secret with mineral sunscreens: a lot of them contain unregulated chemical sunscreens. Which isn’t always a big problem… but it also kind of is. Today we’re talking about inactive ingredients in sunscreens that aren’t really inactive. The video is here, keep scrolling for the text version…. SPF boosters It’s not that easy to make a sunscreen. It …

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The Science of Hair Products: Shampoo and Conditioner

Sulfates, fatty alcohols, silicones, preservatives… what are they doing in your shampoo and conditioner, and do you need to avoid them? Today’s post is a deep dive into some of the key ingredients in haircare products. The video version is here if you prefer that format! Note: This post is based on a video sponsored by The Ordinary, but this …

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Nail Polish, Miscarriages, Cancer? Not So Pretty Episode 2

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

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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New York 1,4-Dioxane Ban In Beauty Products?

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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Vitamin C Esters: Are ATIP and THDA the Same Thing?

THDA ATIP structures

Vitamin C is an amazing skincare active, but ascorbic acid can be annoying in products. That’s why vitamin C derivatives were developed – these are slightly altered versions of ascorbic acid that can get around these issues (irritation, instability, stained fingers, fake tan smell). Two of the INCI names for derivatives that you might’ve seen on ingredient lists are ascorbyl …

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