Dan Thompson: Beauty Busted


Top 3 "Never Use" Cosmetics

These Products Are Always a Waste Of Money

I had a great walk through my local drug store last night. I was on the hunt for a white body sponge to use in the shower (I recently switched the decor in my bathroom to all white).  I didn't see any white sponges in the assortment on the shelf and asked the cosmetician if she might be able to locate one for me.

After a few minutes she returned with a pink sponge and offered to sell it to me. I declined. She asked if I was sure. I replied that I have a rule with cosmetics purchases:  I don't buy anything that is not exactly what I am seeking and I don't buy anything that I don't need.

The five phrases you will hear at a cosmetics counter that you should never believe.

Which then got me thinking as I walked home. The other night a friend of mine pulled out his favourite cosmetic product: lip balm. He uses it all day everyday.  Of course he asked what I thought of lip balm (and in those situations I always defer with the answer: "It doesn't matter what I think; it's you who has to use it.")

I do, however, have an opinion.  I think there are a great many cosmetics products, on the market, which are just a waste of money, time and effort.  

Here is a list of the three which sell the most at this time of year. All of these, without exception, are a complete waste of money:

1.  Split End Remedies

You know the products which claim they can "repair" split ends.  Using very careful language which implies the product can reverse the damage done to the hair.  This is untrue.

Split ends are permanent damage done to the cuticle of the hair from blow drying, curling irons, heat sources, over washing and very often, using drying styling aids (hair spray is an example). You cannot reverse the damage. All the over-the-counter remedies are made with flexible polymer molecules which simply "glue" the frayed ends into place for a period of time. As soon as you wash your hair again the problem still remains.

The only way to fix split ends it to cut them off. If you're going to pay money for an over the counter remedy the money would be better spent visiting your stylist.

You can prevent split ends. Use conditioner regularly. A leave in conditioner works well.  Also try limit the amount of heated styling aids used on the hair.

2.  Cellulite Creams

Cellulite creams have always been marketed on the premise the cellulite is caused by poor circulations, fat distribution and toxin build up. The creams claim to increase circulation, break down fat and flush toxins. The problem is even if these creams could do these things (which is questionable) cellulite is not caused by these factors.

Read This Before You Buy Bio Oil For Stretchmarks

Cellulite is a natural contour characteristic of some body shapes. Simply put, it is how some women store fat - like some men get love handles, some women get cellulite.

Sorry to say the remedy for both is simple and old fashioned: exercise and diet.  In fact, certain exercises are very helpful at eliminating cellulite. Sorry, there's no quick fix for the cellulite texture. Money spent on expensive cellulite products would be better spent on your gym membership.

3.  Lip Balm

Lip balms don't actually moisturize your lips. Rather they seal the skin with an occlusive film which, in turn, disrupts the skin's natural water and oil exchange. In winter the lips feel dry because they lose water rapidly and do not naturally produce oil. This causes the tight irritated feeling. Lip balms do not actually add any water or hydration at all. The more you use them the more you will need to because the skin's natural water balance cannot regulate itself while the occlusive film is on the skin.

It becomes this horrible catch-22, the more you alleviate the irritation the worse it will become.

The better option:  in the dry season exfoliate your lips everyday, apply an NMF oil to the lips to alleviate the irritation (something as simple as olive oil will work). NMF oils do not occlude the skin and keep the "tightness" at bay without disrupting the skin's ability to regulate its own hydration level. Apply the NMF oil (as needed) for about 7 days and the seasonal dryness will be gone.