Read-The-Label: Beauty So Clean Brush Cleanser

I was very curious about the Beauty So Clean Brush Cleanser, so I decided to take a look at the ingredient list:

Aqua, Alcohol, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betain, Propylene Glycol, Cocamide DEA, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Polysorbate 20, Disodium EDTA, Limonene, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.

Aqua, or water, the main solvent.
Alcohol is the next in line. I’m worried about the amount of sanitizing this product does, since a percentage of 70% is required to kill any bacteria. Next up the list is Sodium Laureth Sulfate. This is quite an agressive cleanser. Since you use this cleanser only on your brushes, and not on your face, I see no problem with this.
Cocamidopropyl Betain is one of the milder cleansers. Next to the Sodium Laureth Sulfate, this looks a bit odd.
Propylene Glycol is a humectant.
Cocamide DEA helps to maintain the right pH, very important to preserve to product.
Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract conditions the bristles of your brush, while Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil and Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract is added for their scent and anti-microbial properties. Polysorbate 20 is an emulsifier and Disodium EDTA is a chelating agent. A chelating agent is a stabilizer that is used to prevent the ingredients from reacting with trace elements, mostly minerals in water. Unwanted product changes to the texture, odor and the consistency are reduced.

Limonene is a perfume compound that has to be listed separately because it is a known irritant.
Diazolidinyl Urea is a preservative which fights a broad range of bacteria, while Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate fights a broad range of viruses.

Overall, this brush cleanser is a powerful mix of disinfecting agents and cleansers.

Until next time,
Dymphy

A-Closer-Look-At: Sunscreens (part I)

Sunscreens – part one: How do sunscreens work?

The big question is of course, why should you use sunscreen. Sunscreen is good for preventing sunburn. The red color of sunburned skin is a tell-tale sign that skin cells are damaged. Damage can be induced by UVA (Ultra violet sub type A) and UVB (Ultra Violet sub type B). There is also UVC (Ultra Violet sub type C), but the ozone layer prevents UVC from entering the atmosphere. UVB increases melanin production in the skin, which makes us tan, and also causes sunburn.

UVA is perhaps even more dangerous. UVA is able to penetrate deeply into the skin, ages skin quickly and damages DNA. Damaged DNA can lead to cancer (okay, I have to admit, that the fact that ‘DNA damage causes cancer’ is a very, very brief summary about what causes cancer. Even now, scientists are still trying to figure out how and why cancer exists.)

UVA isn’t blocked by glass or the clouds. Unlike UVB, UVA doesn’t give you any warning signs. You’re not going to get a sunburn or a tan. UVA is present every day, in every season, whether it is overcast or not. My first advice would be  to wear sunscreen (with at least SPF 15) every day. My second advice is to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen which protects you for both UVB and UVA. You should be able to tell from the packaging if this is the case.l

Oh, and it is wise to avoid sunbeds, according to a study in 2007, even one visit to a sunbed can increase your chances of getting skincancer (melanoma, the most dangerous kind) by 19%! (International Agency for Research on Cancer Working Group on artificial ultraviolet (UV) light and skin cancer. The association of use of sunbeds with cutaneous malignant melanoma and other skin canacers: A systematic review. Int J Cancer. 2007: 120: 1116-1122.)

How do sunscreens work?
There are two types of sun filters; chemical and physical.
Chemical filters (oxybenzone, octyl methoxycinnamate, octocrylene and avobenzone) are absorbed into the skin and absorb UV radiation. A number of chemical filters can be absorbed by the body and end up in the bloodstream. Others can generate free radicals (free radicals are bad!) when they react with the suns rays and therefore cause skin damage. This also happens if you don’t use a sunscreen!

Physical sunfilters stay on the skin and reflect the light. Good examples are titanium oxide and zinc oxide. They create a barrier to protect the skin by not allowing harmful chemicals to enter the bloodstream. They are known to not cause irritation. A drawback is that physical sunscreens leave a white film on the skin. If these sunscreens don´t leave a white film, nanotechnology is used.

What is nanotechnology?
Nanotechnology is the use of very, very tiny particles to enhance the performance of a product. The name derives from a nanometer. A nanometer is one billionth of a metre. Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating material on a molecule or atom scale. It is a relatively new study, so long term health effects are not known yet. The main concern is whether or not the particles can be absorbed by the skin and other cells of the body. This could lead to a higher dosage of the chemical in your body. The dosage of a chemical is linked to its toxicity. How higher the dosage, the more dangerous (poisonous) a chemical is. The main concern is if nanotechnology can penetrate the skin and cells. If yes, it could be dangerous, if not, we don´t have to worry. Unfortunatley, this is still being researched, so I can´t give a clear statement whether or not nanotechnology is advisable or not.

What is SPF?
SPF, sun protection factor is a (laboratory) logaritmic measure of how effective a sunfilter is. This is mentioned on the bottle. The SPF is the amount of UV radiation required to cause sunburn on skin with the sunscreen on in comparisation of the amount UV radiation required without the sunscreen.

It is said that the number of SPF determines how long one can stay in the sun without re-applying the product. For instance, if you get a sunburn from one hour of exposure to the sun, you should be able to stay in the sun for 15 hours with an SPF 15 on. This is not true. The intensity of radiation varies considerably with time of day. In early morning and late afternoon, the radiation has to pass through more of the atmosphere because the sun is nearer the horizon. The amount of SPF is determined by factors like skin type, the amount of sunscreen that is applied and the frequency of re-application, activities (sports, swimming) and the amount of sunscreen the skin has absorbed.

It is therefore recommended to re-apply sunscreen (half a teaspoon every application for the face and a shotglass for the rest of the body) every two hours and to stay out of the sun during the hottest hours of the day (12.00 – 15.00) of the day. Or go and have a nice long lunch in the shade. Or take a siesta.I mean, it’s vacation anyway.

Make up has an odd number of SPF (for instance, SPF 8 or 18) because first, the product is formulated and then the SPF is measured. Usually, an SPF in make up, or in a sunscreen in spray form isn´t as effective as a  regular SPF because you have to apply the sunscreen thickly. With a spray, it is usually not easy to determine where, how thickly and evenly the sunscreen is applied. With make up it is the same way. To get the SPF that is indicated on a foundation or powder, you have to put on the foundation very thickly (a.k.a. cakey!). So it’s always better to use a sunscreen under your day cream and makeup.

SPF can’t be increased by layering it. I will explain this with an experiment. Take two glasses. Fill them with water. Add to each glass the same amount of food coloring (or dye), for instance, 3 drops. Mix well, and take half of the first glass. Put this in a new glass. Now take half of the other glass, and put it in the third glass as well. Has the color changed? No. So, if you use a daycream with SPF 15 and a foundation with SPF 15, you will not get SPF 30. It will only help you to reach the required half teaspoon of sunscreen.

As I said earlier, SPF is a logaritmic scale. This means that SPF stops 93% of the UV rays (UVA or B depending on the sunscreen). Factor 30 stops 97% of the radiation. A higher factor is not always better. The higher the SPF, the more greasy the product will feel like. If your skin type is average (meaning not extremely fair), I would recommend sticking with SPF 15 in the winter and SPF 30 in the summer.

A wee bit extra
Next to a good sunfilter, it is also wise to check the rest of the sunscreen. Are there irritating ingredients in the sunscreen, like perfume, PABA, coloring agents, methylisothiazolinone, tea tree oil, witch hazel, ylang ylang, mint or citrus? Alcohol is not good either, unless it is a fatty alcohol (just type in the name of the Alcohol in wikipedia, and scan the page on the word “fatty alcohol”. For instance, cetearyl alcohol is a fatty alcohol).

And last, but no means least, after tanning/staying in the sun and using a sunscreen, hydrate your skin! Take a luke warm shower or apply aloe vera to cool the skin. Or use after-sun.

In the next post about sunscreens, I will talk about different kinds of sunscreens, and which ones to look out for!

Until next time,
Dymphy

Big Changes Coming to IMATS 2013

IMATS Los Angeles News: New dates for IMATS Los Angeles & London 2013

Starting next year, IMATS is switching its Los Angeles and London shows! IMATS Los Angeles 2013 will be held Jan.18-20; IMATS London 2013 will be held June 21-23. Additionally, IMATS London 2013 is returning to Central London-it will be held at the Olympia National Hall Kensington.

This change comes about, in part, because of exhibitor and attendee requests to have the London show during a warmer and less snowy time of year and closer to central London. Each show will still have the same great quality you can expect from IMATS.

Tickets for IMATS Los Angeles and London 2013 will be on sale starting Monday, June 25 at makeupmag.com/imats.


Free IMATS Admission With a Make-Up Artist Gold Pro Card

IMATS Toronto 2012 News: Make-Up Artist magazine Gold Pro Card

The Gold Pro Card is available to make-up artists represented by agencies, top trade unions or make-up effects shops or those working in theater. With the Gold Pro Card, you get free entry into all IMATS locations and pro-only times at select IMATS, as well as a 50-percent discount on Make-Up Artist magazine subscriptions, a 10-percent discount at the Make-Up Artist Shop and other benefits. To request an upgrade from a regular Pro Card, email pro@makeupmag.com. Click here to apply for a Pro Card.

Throughout the IMATS weekend, Make-Up Artist Pro Card holders can also enjoy preferred classroom seating.

The basic Pro Card—available to other professional make-up artists—also gets you into exclusive pro-only times at select IMATS, expedited entry during normal show hours, a 15-percent discount on Make-Up Artist magazine subscriptions and other special offers. To apply for theMake-Up Artist Pro Card, follow this link to the form and list of required materials.

Taken from the http://www.imats.net site. As you all know I love these shows and I’m soo happy they decided to switch the dates. Last time I was in London, temperatures were way below freezing and we were wading knee-deep in snow. And because London is more than just IMATS obviously, I am looking forward to enjoying both the show and the city in the summer next year!
The change of venue, closer to the city is also a vast improvement! 
Yay for IMATS! 

Make sure to get your pro cards well in advance and take advantage of the pro-only hours. I enjoyed quiet shopping and networking last time. So much more relaxed than trying to beat the crowds at the counters. 

Hope to see you all there! 

Monique 

A-Closer-Look-At: Ethyl Alcohol aka Ethanol

Ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanolpure alcoholgrain alcohol, or drinking alcohol. In this article I will refer to it as ethanol, because that is the term I personally use the most.

I love, love, love to use ethanol in disinfection. I do a lab study and before and after, we have to clean/disinfect your work space. I usually spray some ethanol on the surface and wipe it off with a paper cloth. I have to wait a minute (or a few minutes if I used to much), during which time I get my supplies and voilà, a clean and sanitzed space. A tip: do wait at least 10 minutes before lighting any flame – not that I have any weird accidents with it, but just to be safe. I personally would recommend sanitizing with ethanol for non-plastic surfaces and testing a little patch before spraying it all over.

Ethanol is made by the fermentation of sugar by bacteria or by the hydration of ethylene (the adding of a hydrogen atom). I know for sure that the ethanol used in beer is made by the fermentation of sugar. Actually, the reason why some beers are stronger than others, depends on the bacteria culture and the amount of sugar added. Until the sugar runs out, the bacteria produces ethanol, or until the amount of ethanol is too high for the bacteria to survive in.

Because of hydroxide (the oxygen and hydrogen atoms, the characterizing group of any alcohol), ethanol can form hydrogen bridges with water molecules, helping dissolve organic compounds, such as sugars or parts of the celwall of bacteria. If you want to sanitize, keep in mind that a concentration of 70% or higher is to be used. Below that concentration, the ethanol isn’t effective enough. So, disinfecting with beer (5-10%) or wine (15%) is not really smart. Absinthe (70%) and Neutral grain spirit (90%) are somewhat better, but it’s still better to use regular ethanol (available in 70% or 96%) which can be found at drugstores or pharmacies. I’m alo guessing that Absinthe and Grain spirit do not need any preservative.

Oh, and, according to my old chemisttry teacher, 100% pure alcohol is a myth. Even if you attempt (as a chemist) to obtain a mixture of 100%, pure alcohol, it will disintegrate. 96% is the highest concentration of ethanol possible.

Ethanol can also be found in skin care. If it’s at the top of an ingredien tlist, (as in the first 5 ingredients) it can irritate the skin, but if it’s at the end of an ingredient list, the concentration isn’t considered a problem. High concentrations of alcohol can be found in most products for oily or skin with acne. The alcohol dehydrates the skin, making the skin produce more sebum, causing it to become more oily and clog the pores even more.

To sum it all up, ethanol is great for sanitizing, but not so good for the skin. And if you want to use ethanol for sanitizing, a concentration of 70-96% works best.

Until next time,

Dymphy

Read-the-Label: Yaby Lip Color Refills

It’s no secret that I like refills. I also have three Zpalettes for my bronzers, blushers, concealers and a whole range of eyeshadows. Lip products can be great in refill form like the Yaby lip colour refills.  A review on the Yaby website tells that these babies are very creamy, highly pigmented and only require a few touch ups through the day. Sounds good! But what is in the product?
Well, here’s an ingredient list: Continue reading