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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stars of Film and Soap

I'm sure you've all noticed the new trend in make-up and beauty products by now. The "nano"-particles, the microbeads, the color-sensing lotions, miraculously skin tone-matching foundations, all touting their applications of SCIENCE for BEAUTY. Everything is micro-scrubbing, Amazonian-root-particle-synthesizing, pore-unclogging alchemy. As fascinating (and super-tiny) as nano-science is, there is some evidence that nanoparticles are so small as to enter your bloodstream upon application, so I would recommend caution first and foremost.

Still, there's a new wave of scientific advances with more practical beauty application in your catalogs and drugstores. Me, I enjoy the DHC catalogs that come to my door, with their numerous free samples, and purity of ingredients. The Spanish olive oil they sell is pricey as all heck, but extremely delicious! DHC also supplies refills for their shampoos, just like in Japan. But I digress. One of the recent DHC catalogs I got had a sample for their new Coenzyme Q10 Facial Film Soap, and it's amazing! Very handy little clear sheets that dissolve upon application of water. If you are remotely outdoorsy, I imagine these would be very useful. Or, if you're a consummate user of public bathrooms that have no soap, very handy dandy. This type of purse-portable soap is gaining in popularity, since I just got a little packet as a freebie at a conference...thanks a bunch, Office for Treaty Compliance! It's the novelty that gets me, if not the Ivory-ish scent.

As tea (and coffee! and wine!) drinkers, all three of us here at the Periodic Elements have an ongoing, internal struggle between the deliciousness of our favored beverages and the unsightly yellowish tinge they leave on our pearly whites. For me, having sensitive gums and an irrational fear of the dentist (and mummies! and masks!) makes whitening a real problem. Maybe you've seen those Listerine ads for their whitening strips, that supposedly dissolve and whiten your teeth in 15 minutes. Well, I've tried them. I can't say that they whiten your teeth miraculously, or even significantly, but they sure do leave a gummy residue in your mouth. Don't listen to the commercial and leave the house with them on your teeth! I also learned the hard way not to let the strips touch your gums if you have an owwie there--it's basically hydrogen peroxide on a bit of Botan candy wrapper, ouch!

Since I have yellow teeth and frizzy hair, you might think I usually look like a mess, and you might be right. Luckily, that's really only on casual Fridays. A few weeks ago, I picked up "Partner in Shine," a camellia oil and sea kelp shine serum from Collective Wellbeing. This stuff is silky-smooth and conditioning, and the scent is just floral enough to be pleasing without smelling like you rubbed eau de toilette on your scalp. I used to use the Frederic Fekkai mini-tubes of olive oil serum you can pick up at Sephora for a song, but I'll be damned if that stuff doesn't smell like food! Who wants their hair to smell like bread-dip? Partner in Shine keeps my hair pretty manageable, and doesn't feel heavy or sticky like other anti-frizz products. Go, go camellia oil!

I'm still on the lookout for new space-age, wafer-thin, miniaturized products to try out, so show me what you've got that's pocket-sized!

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