Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

What I’ve Been Reading May 14, 2015

Filed under: Recommended Reading — askanesthetician @ 2:09 am
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A Woman Reading

I might not find time to blog like I used or read as many articles about skincare and beauty as I would like, but I’ve done enough reading lately to have a number of articles that I want to share with my readers here.

Those readers who follow my Facebook page know that I’ve been sharing quite a few articles about the nail industry lately.  Last week The New York Times published two very important articles that exposed the dark side of the nail industry in the United States.  The first article detailed the extremely exploitative work practices for workers in this industry, and the second article explained the health risks that workers suffer from because of the chemicals in nail products.  Happily, the articles caused a flurry of reactions both from New York’s governor and from the woman who regularly use these services.  Here is a list of all the relevant articles:

Now for some non-nail related articles.

Summer is on its way so and so are the sunscreen articles:

Once again I’ve come across an article about beauty elixirs or drinks, drinks that promise perfect skin.  I’ve written about this topic in the past here on my blog (see my articles Can You Drink Your Way To Firmer Skin? and Drink Your Way To Firmer Skin – Taste Test) so let me be clear – looking to a drink to clear your skin or make it firmer is generally a waste of time.  Instead invest your money in good skincare products and a proper and balanced whole foods diet.

If you read my previous post (which was from this past winter) than you know that I am writing the skincare articles on about.com.  You can easily keep up to date with my articles by following my Pinterest board devoted to that topic.

Lastly, just for fun.  It turns out that there is now a BB cream for nighttime use.  I can’t even imagine what they will think of next.

If you’ve read any interesting beauty related articles lately please share a link below.

Image: “A Woman Reading” by Camille Corot from The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

Reading Roundup March 17, 2014

It’s time for me to once again share a whole bunch of skincare and beauty related article that I thought you my readers would enjoy:

And now for a few articles for my fellow estheticians (and anyone else for that matter):

Happy Reading!

Image from http://www.theguardian.com

 

Check This Out: What I’ve Been Reading January 30, 2014

Lately I’ve read quite a number of interesting skincare related articles so I thought I would share them with my readers.

First up I wanted to talk about a website not an article, actually.  Caroline Hirons is a well-known esthetician in the UK.  I had actually looked at her website quite some time ago, but I recently rediscovered it through a tip from my loyal reader Rae (be sure to check out Rae’s blog Scatterbraintures!).  There is a lot of skincare information on this website.  I recommend reading the “cheat sheets”  (found on the right side of the home page) for solid, practical skincare advice.  If you do not live in England, I don’t, her product recommendations are not very relevant unfortunately.  While I do think that most of the skincare information that Hirons shares is great, there two things in particular that I disagree with her on.  The first is that Hirons keeps bashing products that contain mineral oil.  I wrote a long post in my blog about how mineral oil isn’t bad for the skin. If you haven’t already read my post (Why Does Mineral Oil Have Such A Bad Reputation?) please give it a look in order to get another perspective on this controversial skincare ingredient.  Secondly, Hirons seems to be a mission against foam cleansers (she claims they are needlessly drying and strip the skin).  I happen to disagree with this opinion as well.  I currently use a foam cleanser and do not find it drying at all.  So as with all skincare advice though I really do think that Hirons has mostly great skincare advice to share, be sure to keep an open mind and don’t think that everything she writes is true.

Now on to the articles I want to share:

If you’ve read any interesting skincare related articles lately please share links below!

Image from awesome-desktop.com

 

What I’ve Been Reading November 28, 2013

Spa cake pops

It’s been awhile since I wrote a post sharing the various articles I’ve been reading.  This week I finally found time to sit down and go through all my emails and catch-up on my skincare reading.  Here are my favorite articles that I’ve read lately:

And last, but definitely not least, my favorite article from those that I’ve read lately is The Wall Street Journal piece: Grooming Secrets of the NBA.  Even if you’re not a basketball fan this is a fun read.  I think I might start getting some skincare ideas from professional male athletes :).

Read any good beauty or skin related articles lately?  If you have please share below.

Image from mysweetindulgence.com, found on Pinterest

 

What I’ve Been Reading January 18, 2013

The Oiran Komurasaki of Kadotamaya Reading a Letter

 

Before you go out and make your own beauty products read this post from The Beauty Brains:   Is DIY Mascara Safe?

Gouldylox Reviews gives you straightforward advice to getting great skin in Gouldylox Beauty Bootcamp 102: How to Get and Keep Great Skin.

Allure presents three simple steps to preventing dry hands in How to Prevent Dry, Cracked Hands in Winter.

The New York Times explores oxygen spa treatments and oxygen based creams and serums in Oxygen Bubbles Into Facial Care Products.  For more information about oxygen treatments see my posts Oxygenation Treatments: The Case For and Against and Does Your Skin Need to Detoxify/Breathe?

New Beauty discusses a sunscreen pill in Sun Protection in a Pill: The Results Are In.

Prevention helps you figure out how to make your moisturizer more effective in Why Your Moisturizer Isn’t Working.

Whole Living tells you how to use coconut oil as a beauty product in 3 New Skin Care Uses for Coconut Oil.

 

And lastly, but certainly not least, Dr. Leslie Baumann shares skin sins in The 10 Biggest Skin Mistakes – this is a must read!

 

 

Image from The Metropolitan Museum of Art – The Oiran Komurasaki of Kadotamaya Reading a Letter by Chobunsai Eishi (Japanese 1756-1829)

 

What I am Reading Now January 9, 2013

Filed under: Recommended Reading — askanesthetician @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

The Artist's Wife (Périe, 1849–1887) Reading

I like to use my blog’s Facebook page in order to share articles I read online that won’t make it into my blog, but lately I’ve come across so many interesting things that I thought I would share them here all at once instead of piece meal on Facebook.  (This type of post might become a regular feature on my blog, and it is inspired by The New York Times’ What We’re Reading)

Two articles about diet and skin caught my eye:

New Beauty helps you fix any holiday skincare issues in Help for Holiday Skin Problems.

Looking toward 2013 Vogue talks skin in Promises, Promises: Five Skin-Care Resolutions Worth Keeping in the Year Ahead.

I saw this feature a little while ago, but I thought it was worth sharing since there are vegan beauty products mentioned here that might be new for many readers (they were for me):  My Five Beauty Obsessions: Karim Orange from Well and Good NYC.

Lastly, beauty blogger Jake Sauvage shares helpful tips so that your foundation goes on flawlessly in Beauty FAQ – At the Risk of Sounding Rude – You’re Probably Making One of These Foundation Mistakes …

Read any good beauty tips or articles lately?  Please share below!

 

 

Image from The Metropolitan Museum of Art –  The Artist’s Wife Reading by Albert Bartholome

 

Thursday Tips and Interesting Articles November 15, 2012

Today’s post isn’t one of my traditional posts.  Instead I just wanted to share some interesting articles and blog posts that I came across in the last few days.

Happy reading!

Image from blogs.lynn.edu

 

What I’m Reading OR Was I Wrong to Say Thank You? September 6, 2012

This post was supposed to be a compilation of beauty blogs and beauty related articles that I recently discovered (most of  the blogs I found through one of my favorite beauty blogs Gouldylox Reviews) when things took a turn for the worse for me on the very popular peer review beauty site Makeup Alley.  I’ve been thinking for days about how to approach this issue and if I should even blog about it, and I’ve come to the general conclusion that I should write about my experience  so that I can hopefully get some feedback and explanations from my readers about what happened to me and perhaps my experience might be helpful to others.  I also thought this might be a good opportunity to present some information about my motivations for writing this blog and why I like blogging.  (This is fairly long post so I hope people will hang in there until the very end.  I would love to get feedback on what I have to say here.)

Let me explain a few things about myself and my blog.  I started this blog nearly three years ago because I noticed that there was a real lack of concrete and true skincare information on the web yet there was a lot of misinformation out there, because I wanted a way to share my skincare knowledge with more than just my friends and family (at the time I was looking for a job as an esthetician and had few clients to share my knowledge with), and I found that having a blog was a great way for me to both research and organize my thoughts about skincare topics that interested me.  I also loved the idea of “meeting” people from around the world, hopefully, with whom I had a common interest yet no other way of finding one another.

When I started writing my blog almost no one read it except my mother and my husband, but slowly my readership began to grow.  Is my readership now large?  Am I inundated with free product samples?  Am I receiving recognition from outside sources?  Do I make any money from my blog?  The answer would be no to all four questions.  I even asked myself the other day – “if people stopped reading your blog would you still write it?”  And then I concluded “yes, yes I would keep writing.  I like writing a blog about skincare enough that even if no one read it I would still keep writing”.

Anyhow, I’m getting side tracked.  Because my readership isn’t large and I would love to see it grow I try to thank people when I see that they mention my blog somewhere.  I don’t know 99% of my readers and truly appreciate each subscriber and each mention of my blog since my great hope would be for this blog to be more successful.  Though my readership is small through my blog I’ve come in contact with really great people from all over the world; one of the things I had hoped for when I started this blog as I mentioned above.  Though at times I’ve received negative and outright rude feedback and comments from people for the most part my blogging experiences have been extremely positive.  (By the way, the rudest comments I have received have almost all been in connection to my post from years ago about Paula Begoun.  Some of the people who commented didn’t even seem to actually have read what I wrote before they attacked me, but since I wanted to be impartial I published their comments nonetheless.  Paula Begoun certainly has many very loyal fans out there.)

WordPress allows me to see what websites refer readers to my blog, and as such I always pay attention when I see that more than a few readers have found my blog from one source.  Quite a few months ago someone mentioned my blog in response to a question about favorite skincare blogs on Makeup Alley.  I was very pleased and flattered to see what was written and wanted to thank my reader in that forum but never got around to it.  Then just this week  the same question was posted and my same reader once again mentioned my blog. Yet again I was excited and flattered and decided that this time I really needed to thank the reader publicly.  And why not?  I wasn’t planning on writing something about my blog, I just wanted to let this reader know that I greatly appreciated their support since each mention of my blog on that forum brought new readers to my site and potential subscribers.  I genuinely thought a public thank you was in order.  I had done this before in other blogs that mentioned mine.  I wasn’t a member of Makeup Alley, something I had planned to do for a long time but never got around to, so I signed up for the website and posted my thank you.  A day or so later I looked back at the thread from the forum and was shocked by the comments that I found after my thank you.  Users accused me of using the site to promote my blog (all I wrote was thank you for your support and didn’t mention my blog or provide a website address for my blog) and that somehow me and the user who wrote about my blog were in cahoots together in order to promote my blog.  Then a user wrote that if I did not take my comment down it would be flagged for being inappropriate and would be removed.  And that is exactly what happened much to my great shock.  (You can see the whole thing for yourself here)  Once I saw what had happened I posted an apology and explanation in the forum, but received no feedback or explanation about how thanking a reader is actually promoting or advertising my blog.

Could someone explain?  I know that Makeup Alley has extremely devoted users who seek to maintain the integrity of the site.  This is the reason why I had eventually planned on joining and using the site; I just never found the time to do so (for more information about Makeup Alley see this New York Times article Someone Just Like Me Said, ‘Buy It’).

I am just completely flummoxed by why my thank you received the hostile response that it did on this site.  Have I grown too used to hearing nice comments about my blog and on my blog?  Am I being too sensitive?  Or was the response I received one that is normal for these forums?  I would love any response and/or explanation someone can provide me with.  Have other people had such negative blogging experiences as well?  Please share below.

I decided to contact my reader who posted about my blog on the message board.  Louise wrote me back a lovely and kind email.  In response to my question about why other users would be so quick to jump to conclusions about my intentions when posting in the forum Louise wrote the following:

 I think that is one problem with online discussions, you can’t hear a tone of voice or see a facial expression, and you can form an entire opinion about somebody that could be totally off. I am sure I am guilty of it myself.

I do know that I am not the only person to encounter unfounded negativity on forums and online chats.  Just as I was writing this I came across something that Gouldylox Reviews published about her online experience:

Question of the Week: – What compelled you to start a beauty blog?The power of Bare Escentuals compelled me, I suppose. My father had just passed away and Loxy sent me for a day of relaxation at a spa. Afterwards, I went to Ulta, where I fell in love with BE. I then started friendships with loads of ladies on chatboards about mineral makeup. Sooner or later, as they usually do, the chatboards turn evil and eat themselves. I only chatted with one, much smaller group after that, and sooner than later, fell away from my happy little group of mineral loving ladies. Not really having anyone else to discuss makeup with, I started blathering to myself on this blog, basically to hear myself chat about how much I loved this or that sparkly thing.

Ok – so perhaps it is a universal experience to find nastiness on chatboards?  But really – in the words of Rodney King (may he rest in peace): “Can’t we just all get along?”.  Truly I don’t understand it.  Additionally, I remembered the really great post that Rae from Scatterbraintures wrote about haters months ago (it helped me then and it continues to help me).  Here’s a section of the post that applies well to my situation:

Haters don’t care about you.  They might care about how you look, what you say, or what you do but they don’t actually care (in the real sense of the word).  Since haters don’t care, you don’t need to care about them too.  You can go about your life without giving a sh*t about them. The best part is, the world will not end even when they exist.  …

Learn from them
This skill is especially useful if you have internet haters. Real life haters normally won’t tell you to your face what they think about you. On the other hand, internet haters are behind a computer, where they get their audacity from to be able to tell you what they really think. This could be valuable information you can learn from.  Example: If someone called you a FAT bitch, maybe you should take time to think about your health, or better yet, think about why you got so affected. You might have self-esteem issues you need to work on.

So if I am to take Rae’s advice, and remember what Louise wrote as well, about learning from internet haters I realized that I learned, once again, not to jump to conclusions about the motivations behind other people’s comments and actions.  I learned to give people a chance and that saying “thank you” is still a good thing.  Tolerance is something we should all try to practice more often.

But let me put all this negativity aside.  I am trying to be more positive in my life as things change all around me.  I’m in a holding pattern now as I wait for the entire contents of my house to make it from my former home to my current home so in the meantime I have time to read.  Here are the beauty blogs I have discovered lately and some articles I’ve been reading.

Blogs

    • Fifteen Minute Beauty Fanatic  – the name of the blog alone just makes you want to take a look.
    • Makeup and Beauty Blog –  very funny and she constantly mentions her cat which I love.
    • Makeup Geek – I can’t wait to learn new makeup looks from this site.
    • Madame B Fatale – this blog from Australia has great make-up and hair style tutorials that are fun to look at even if the actual looks aren’t ones that I would try myself.

Articles

Happy reading!

 

Image from http://www.thisisyourconscience.com

 

Great Post Worth Reading from Future Derm February 16, 2012

Though I highlight great posts from other blogs in my blog I can’t remember the last time I devoted an entire post in this blog to a post from another beauty blog.  I just finished reading the following post from Future Derm, one of my favorite beauty blogs, entitled: How Do You Estimate the Amount of an Ingredient in a Skin Care or Beauty Product? and realized the post was just too good not to share with my readers.

I’ve already blogged about how to read a skincare label, but this post takes the subject a whole step further by actually explaining how to you may be able to figure out the percentages of ingredients in skincare products from the ingredient list and has in-depth information about ins and outs of reading a skincare label including what “active ingredients” means on a product label.  The post also explains how companies are able to misrepresent the percentage of ingredients in their products for their own benefit.

An informed consumer is the best consumer so taking a few minutes to read this post will truly help you expand your skincare product knowledge.  You’ll feel better prepared the next time you are faced with making a skincare product decision.

And for further information on the same subject see the following post from The Beauty BrainsHow Can I Tell the Percentage of Ingredients in Cosmetics?

My Related Posts:

Image from sodahead.com

 

Taking on the EWG and Their Attempts to Scare October 31, 2011

Filed under: Recommended Reading,Skincare products — askanesthetician @ 5:51 am
Tags: , , , ,

On October 19th The Beauty Brains (one of my favorite beauty related blogs) published a great post about how the EWG scares consumers needlessly over the safety of sunscreens and cosmetics.  Numerous times I’ve written in my blog about how I think the EWG’s sunscreen report does more harm than good in the end and that their fear mongering could potentially lead many people to stop using sunscreen thus contributing to the national epidemic of (truly preventable) skin cancer.  (The EWG also enjoys widespread media coverage in the popular press every time they come out with a new and ridiculous sunscreen report.)

Luckily, it turns out that I am not alone in my feelings about the EWG, and someone is actually doing something about this issue.  The main group taking on the EWG is called the Competitive Enterprise Institute a group who calls themselves:

a non-profit public policy organization dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty. Our mission is to promote both freedom and fairness by making good policy good politics. We make the uncompromising case for economic freedom because we believe it is essential for entrepreneurship, innovation, and prosperity to flourish.

In an article from October 18th, 2011, on CEI’s website, called The True Story of Cosmetics Dana Joel Gattuso writes the following about the EWG:

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and its partner, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), are on a crusade to scare consumers away from using cosmetics and hygiene products that contain preservatives and other useful chemicals. As part of their effort to ban the use of synthetic ingredients from skin products, these environmental extremist groups are working to incite fear among consumers, making outrageous and bogus claims that we are poisoning ourselves by using lipstick, makeup, deodorants, skin creams, and even baby products. Specifically, they claim that the additives can cause cancer, create neurological disorders, or cause hormone disruption—even though they are present in trace amounts.

In fact, these preservatives protect users from bacteria. Present in quantities so small—typically, less than 1 percent of a product’s total weight—they are added to prevent contamination and to protect consumers from the buildup of dangerous bacteria that can cause eye infections, skin rashes, and even deadly infections such as E. coli and Salmonella.

Parabens, for example, are added to makeup, deodorants, moisturizers, and body creams to prevent bacteria, fungi, and mold. According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, parabens are linked to breast cancer and can cause hormone dysfunction. Yet scientists have refuted the claims, arguing that concentrations of parabens in cosmetics are too small to have an adverse effect, and are at levels in our body thousands to millions of times lower than naturally produced estrogens.

Another example is the chemical oxybenzone, used in sunscreens to protect users from the ultraviolet rays that can cause skin cancer. The Environmental Working Group warns consumers to stay away from oxybenzone because it “contaminates the body” and can cause hormone disruption and cell damage. Yet cancer research organizations such as the Skin Cancer Foundation refute EWG’s assertions, arguing that there is no evidence to back the claims of oxybenzone risks. These cancer foundations worry that such fear mongering will scare consumers away from using sun block products that protect consumers from the risks of skin cancer from the sun’s rays.

I was happy to read what CEI wrote about the EWG, their tactics, and shoddy research, but then I found out a bit more about the CEI and was pretty upset.  It turns out the CEI is supported by and partners with very conservative groups (like Philip Morris) and furthermore (and this really upset me), according to the website Sourcewatch, they deny certain scientific facts like how greenhouse gases are causing climate problems:

 CEI is an outspoken anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change skeptic and an opponent of government action that would require limits on greenhouse gas emissions. It favors free-market environmentalism, claiming that market institutions are more effective in protecting the environment than is government In March 1992, CEI’s founder Fred Smith said of anthropogenic climate change: “Most of the indications right now are it looks pretty good. Warmer winters, warmer nights, no effects during the day because of clouding, sounds to me like we’re moving to a more benign planet, more rain, richer, easier productivity to agriculture.” [19]

In May 2006, CEI’s global warming policy activities attracted attention as it embarked upon an ad campaign with two television commercials. These ads promote carbon dioxide as a positive factor in the environment and argue that global warming is not a concern. One ad focuses on the message that CO2 is misrepresented as a pollutant, stating that “it’s essential to life. We breathe it out. Plants breathe it in… They call it pollution. We call it life.”[17] The other states that the world’s glaciers are “growing, not melting… getting thicker, not thinner.”[17] The other states that the world’s glaciers are “growing, not melting… getting thicker, not thinner.” It cites Science articles to support its claims. However, the editor for Science stated that the ad “misrepresents the conclusions of the two cited Science papers… by selective referencing”. The author of the articles, Curt Davis, director of the Center for Geospatial Intelligence at the University of Missouri-Columbia, said CEI was misrepresenting his previous research to inflate their claims. “These television ads are a deliberate effort to confuse and mislead the public about the global warming debate,” Davis said.  (From Sourcewatch)

Luckily it turns out that there is a way to support better oversight for the cosmetic industry without needlessly scaring consumers or compromising on your morals.  You can support the Safe Cosmetic Alliance which is:

comprised of leading beauty and personal care product and services industry trade organizations representing manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, retail owners, salon/spa owners, and licensed beauty professionals who support science-based legislative and regulatory policies that enhance consumer and product safety standards.

Together, Alliance members account for nearly 8.2 million U.S. jobs and contribute nearly $189 billion in U.S. GDP every year. The beauty and personal care industry is one of the fastest growing employment segments globally.

Members of the Safe Cosmetics Alliance touch people’s lives every day and reach virtually all Americans who use cosmetic and personal care products, as well as beauty salon services. We represent every aspect of the beauty and personal care industry, including:

  • Your local salon and spa owners, employees and licensed beauty professionals
  • Retail employees that sell cosmetics at your favorite store
  • Independent business owners and direct sales representative agents who sell directly to consumers
  • Companies ranging from small startups to global corporations

We believe it is critically important that laws and regulations reflect the current advances in science and technology, enable industry to innovate, meet consumer expectations, and continue to earn their confidence.

The Safe Cosmetic Alliance has created a petition that asks the FDA to update their oversight over the cosmetic industry.  According to the Safe Cosmetic Alliance website:

While the personal care product and services industry has exhibited an impeccable safety record going beyond the current requirements for safety, it is essential the law keeps pace with advances in science and technology. We must provide new tools for the FDA that modernize and strengthen oversight of personal care products, increase transparency, and enhance existing consumer safety measures.

We can keep our favorite cosmetics and personal care products at the highest level of safety by giving the FDA new tools that improve and strengthen their oversight of personal care products. That is why we must urge lawmakers to support science-based legislation that includes:

  • New FDA review of the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel findings.  CIR is a non-profit, independent panel of scientists and physicians who currently review ingredients used in cosmetics and personal care products in the U.S.
  • New FDA process to review cosmetic ingredients, allowing the FDA to review and set safety levels for trace contaminants used in cosmetic and personal care products.
  • Registration with the FDA by manufacturers of personal care products. This would make the current voluntary reporting program mandatory for all cosmetic manufacturers and would include the registration and reporting of facilities, product ingredients, and unexpected adverse events that may occur.
  • Requiring the FDA to issue good manufacturing practices for personal care products.

You can sign the Safe Cosmetics Alliances petition here.

Bottom Line:  While I am glad to see that someone is taking on the EWG and refuting their claims I am saddened that the rest of CEI’s politics make me uncomfortable (why can’t people stop fighting the idea of global warming and start doing more about it?  If you don’t believe global warming is a real threat take a few hours out of your day to watch An Inconvenient Truth).  As such I was glad to hear about the Safe Cosmetics Alliance’s work and petition.  Better oversight from the FDA for cosmetic and beauty products will help all consumers, and I hope these efforts will succeed.  (And thanks to The Beauty Brains for doing a great job at keeping their readers updated on all these developments)

 

 
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