Friday, February 10, 2012

The Follies of Reckless Experimentation

This was me, last night.  Only I was red, too!  Excellent sculpture by Michelle C. Gallagher
One of my great assets has always been my skin.  It's pale, smooth, and immune to pretty much any abuse - I could wash my face with laundry detergent, and I don't think it would matter much!  So when a very dear friend of mine gave me a few skincare product samples to try, I didn't think there was any risk involved.

Now mind you, this was product from a VERY reputable company, and it is quite well-known stuff.  Desirable, even.  Quite high priced, and considered to be the bee's knees of beauty goop.

So I apply said goop to my normally asbestos face.  60 seconds later, itching.  90 seconds later, a shade of red normally seen on ripe summer fruits.  120 seconds later, AMAZING swelling commences.  121 seconds later, I'm under the shower, blasting this stuff off of me!

Benadryl follows.  So does sitting awake for a few hours past my normal bedtime, just in case something else untoward decided to erupt...

Research this morning indicates that this expensive, widely advertised, miracle face sludge contains (count them) FIVE known skin irritants!  Five!!!  (the excellent beautypedia.com site is a treasure trove of dispassionate, fact-based information)

Skin care cream containing known skin irritants?  This leaves me even more aghast at the reckless idiocy of the world than usual, and that's pretty bad.

Moral of the embarrassing story: believe nothing in advertising.  Trust only science, and your own good sense.  And when something advises a "patch test", for heaven's sake, DO IT!

25 comments:

  1. I was about to recommend Beautypedia, but I see you already know about it. I just ordered some stuff from Paula's line--basically all I use now.

    Feel better.

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  2. I'm pretty devoted to Paula's products too, which makes this whole incident even more embarrassing - it's not like I'm searching in the wilderness for a skincare product line that I like!
    On the positive side, I can report that uncontrolled swelling DOES reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by 100% in less than 2 minutes...

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    1. LOL! Not the way to achieve a wrinkle free look! Good to know that you have used Paula's Choice...I have seriously considered doing so myself. In any case, I often check beautypedia before investing. Like you, I have pretty good skin, seldom break out or have irritation--but then again I try to keep it simple too. Is there a product in her line-up that you would recommend as a must have? xo Bliss

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  3. I feel your pain. Last year I was browsing around Barney's New York and was grabbed by a salesgirl who started smearing some sort of goop on my wrist (note, it was supposed to be for your face). She's going on and on about how it's all natural, nothing but botanicals, when I start to feel the patch warm up. And then really warm up. And then start to burn! I ask her if this is supposed to happen and she starts to look really scared and at that point I realize I am getting a chemical burn right now. I RAN to the ladies room (imagine running through the cosmetics section at Barney's) and ran my arm under the water, washing this evil goop off. It had literally started to eat my skin away, and I had a chemical burn in that spot for a week (thankfully it didn't scar).

    Lesson learned. Absolutely no make-up counter goop. I use Olay products - same stuff my grandma used and I will NEVER use any of these new products again.

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  4. Oh, how awful! I used some natural, organic, fair trade products last year and had a big breakout after a few uses...not as bad as you are reporting, thankfully. But enough of an issue that I had to throw it out. Just because something is organic and natural or expensive and widely used, doesn't mean it's right for our skin. The patch test is a great way to test drive products. I rarely ever remember to do that. Thank you for the reminder and the link to beautypedia. I will check that site out today.

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  5. oh how terrible! i hope you are on the mend. i have done the same thing - those darn sample packets are so tempting even if you already have a beauty routine you like. once the night before a special event, "i thought hmm now's the time to try this sample of fancy face stuff so i'll be extra hydrated and glow-y for tomorrow." cue to the next morning, when i awake to see my face covered in tiny red bumps. ugh. ps sometimes i find a little cooled chamomile tea dabbed on with a cotton ball can soothe if it still itches. feel better soon!

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  6. Just remember poison ivy is organic!!!

    Hope you recover from your experiment.

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  7. Ah Northmoon, you took the words right out of my mouth! I was thinking of concocting a brew of poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, and a few nettles for good measure. I could advertise it as organic, right?

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  8. I consulted a dermatologist one year for a check up and announced to her that I only wanted to use natural, organic products. She mumbled some smirky line about cyanide being natural and mung beans being organic, but she wouldn't use them.

    I'm glad to see another recommendation for Paula's Choice. I love beautypedia!

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  9. This is pretty much every day for me. I can get that sort of reaction to just walking past the outside of a cosmetics or fragrance store or when someone bathed in perfume goes past. Scared the heck out of a neighbor once when we were standing on the sidewalk talking and one of the nearby houses started the dryer and the fabric softener stink blew past. Between one word and the next I turned bright red. She had her cell phone out to dial 911 before I could explain.

    Mel

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    1. aesthetic intelligenceFebruary 10, 2012 at 9:14 PM

      Sorry, hope you're doing better.
      I have veeery sensitive skin, and allergies, so am always quite leery of cosmetics, make up and food. I'm a label reader, my kids laugh about it, but it saves my life.
      Even with being cautious, I've been bitten; I had a full body breakout of an angry rash and swelling because of Tencel in a top I wore. I had no idea!
      Then I looked it up and sure enough, some people are allergic to it. I couldn't, didn't want to believe it, I loved that top. So I washed it really well (again) and wore it a week later.
      Yep, same reaction.

      Thanks for the beautypedia recommendation.

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    2. aesthetic intelligenceFebruary 12, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      My mistake here, this was meant to be a comment not a reply.

      Also, Tencel and Modal are made from wood pulp:
      Tencel is usually from eucalyptus trees.
      Modal (which I am even more allergic to) is usually from beech trees.

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  10. Hi...different topic but I wasn't sure how far back you kept up with and i wanted to say thanks for your answer to my question about a top to wear under a jacket for an interview. I read several blogs but no one else seems to be committed to personally helping, so thank you.

    On a funny note, I had bought something I was trying to like. I liked the color, I almost liked the fit, I almost liked the material, it was almost flattering. I actually thought about keeping it but your voice was in my ear...don't settle for almost! Only buy what you love! Back it went. So thanks for that also!

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  11. As a scientist in a former life, and on advice from my dermatologist I only buy from the 'bottom shelf' . ie simple products with few additives. Nearly all lotions and potions come from the same basic source and individual companies add their favourite bits - all of which have dubious veracity. Save yourself a fortune and leave the expensive products alone

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  12. Yeah Paula! She will tell about every (known) potential irritant. I have had frosty reactions from cosmetic sales people when I have mentioned her, but I have tried a lot of products over the years based on her recommendations. The main thing I have learned from her is spend a lot of money if you want to, but you don't have to.

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  13. Wow. I'm sitting here with an itching red face as well. No idea what has caused it but have been like this for a week. All I'm using as a moisturiser at present is E45 to cure the flaking. The red skin feels like new skin but I have not had a peel or anything like that, with my skin I dare not even think of that sort of treatment. I'll have a look at beautypedia. Thank you.

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  14. Good morning,

    This request is not stimulated by your post today. But somehow is at the same time, in a funny way.

    In your opinion, is it possible to include a pair of very classy, good taste but still brocade/patterned silk pants in a wardrobe "endorsed" by Vivienne. I am feeling this urge for some tapered patterned heavier silk pants in my travel wardrobe BUT am seriously questioning my taste meter.

    Deb in Vancouver

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  15. Dear Deb,
    You could absolutely use a really cool pair of patterned pants in your wardrobe - there's really not many garments that would be considered completely off-limits. (hot pants, tube tops, etc.) I was actually working on styling a pair of dressy pants; if I can find the file, I'll post it!
    big hug,
    Vivienne

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  16. just got over a nasty bout of eczema around my eyes. while waiting for a my appointment with a highly recommended dermatologist, i googled "natural cures" to soothe my itchy eyes while settling in to wait for my appointment day to arrive. tried several, a few helped, some seemed to clear it up but it always flared back up again. appointment day arrived and 15 minutes later, prescription in hand i went to get my decidedly non-organic, sterile, chemically created ointment. lab-rat-eyes gone by afternoon. almost finished with the run and reminded of the time i tried a botanic, organic shower-wash only to break out in HUGE hives a couple of hours later. all-natural doesn't always mean all-good.

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    1. and actually, the derm i went to whom i chose because he specializes in cosmetic dermatology (hello, retinol!) told me to keep it simple as far as under-eye moisturizers... he recommended vaseline!

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  17. It is an absurd when we trust in a expansive product just because is well-known and also expensive... At the end it is worst than any other cheap product!!!! As a lawywe, I thing this is also a crime against the costumer! I'm so sorry for you, dear! I hope you are better!

    Kisses,
    Cri.

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  18. Please name the product, there is no libel involved in doing so and you could prevent others from the same nasty surprise.

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  19. It was the Arbonne RE9 series - I'd have to advise that everyone avoid it, unless red moon faces are your desired look!

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    1. aesthetic intelligenceFebruary 12, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      The *urea* jumped out at me from the list of ingredients

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  20. The sculpture is by Michelle C. Gallagher.

    http://www.thefunnything.com/gallery.html

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