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The Ultimate Beauty Products Buyers Guide

Beauty products can make you look younger, if you know what to buy

It’s hard to argue that we aren’t looking better in our 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and even 70’s than our grandmothers did. But can you buy it in a beauty product’s bottle? If you can, you can probably get it cheaper by using something like a glossier promo code to get a discount. I’m not sold that this phenomenon is the result of what the cosmetic and beauty products industry would have us believe. I am sold, in what my friend, Tammy in marketing will say and that is, marketing is everything. So buyer beware!

The beauty products industry does exploit women’s insecurities without question, yet on the other hand, they enable us to achieve what we want . . . to feel more beautiful. I’m not sure what I would do without the my favorite beauty products that I’ve come to rely on . . . and I’ve come to rely on these more and more as years go by believe me.

But, is it more than I need, as the marketers would have me believe? It’s not more makeup or beauty products that I need; actually it’s less with better choices being most important. I’m totally in agreement with those who note, More is less as we age. (You’ve seen that scary woman whose makeup or hairdo precedes her, haven’t you?)

organic hair products

Making the Right Choices

As a hairdresser I’ve seen thousands of new beauty product launches over the years. Each one claiming a revolutionary breakthrough that it is 100% more effective than all the others. The industry HAS developed better products over the years, improving on styling products that can improve the condition of your hair or skin care products that protect against sun damage and more. But, have you also noticed the price range you can pay for any number of similar products?

By becoming informed on ingredients, you will be able to determine where the bargains are. It’s common knowledge now that the moisturizer you can pay over $100 for at a fancy department store can contain the same ingredients as the one in the corner drug store that sells for $8.95. Marketing claims, packaging and fragrance unfortunately are key things consumers buy rather than ingredients. You just need to make some good, intelligent choices on what’s right for you.

If you walk into the beauty product area of your biggest department store desperate for help but unarmed with good information on what you need, you’ll be quickly targeted for more than you really need.

How do you make good choices? Try these things that will help you make better decisions, not only now but for a lifetime.

 

Parabens

READ UP, BECOME INFORMED

A couple of my favorites:

  • Paula Begoun, Beauty the new basics
  • Rona Berg, Beauty the new basics

Store shelves with dozens of hair care product brands

HAVE A PROFESSIONAL CONSULTATION

  • Make an appointment with a dermatologist or make an appointment for a facial at reputable spa. Ask lots of questions and get information on a good skin or hair care regime for your specific needs. If money is tight, look into training schools in your area for these services at a discounted price.
  • Ask for beauty product samples (Especially if you have a sensitive skin)
  • Like good grocery shopping; know what you want, buy only what you need, comparison shop and know what ingredients are important for your skin or hair type
  • Taking care to eat right, exercise and generally taking good care of yourself are the keys to overall good health, which is the best beauty advice we can get. And when we feel better it just follows we look better too!

  



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Deep Conditioning: The Solution to Dull, Lifeless Hair

Trade In Your Dreary Hair For Shiny, Bouncy Locks

Dry, dull, lifeless hair is one of the biggest complaints I hear from new guests coming to my studio. Lackluster, uninspiring hair almost always has one central cause, lack of moisture. The most common causes of dry hair include overwashing, heated styling tools, environmental factors and age. In winter, moisture loss is attributable to the drying effects of indoor heating. In the summer, sun, salt water, and chlorine are big contributors to dry hair. Age can also contribute to moisture loss from to the gradual decrease in the production of natural oils. I am not talking AARP status here either, age-related moisture loss in hair can start to occur in the early 20s. Since these moisture thieves affect almost everyone, I recommend regular deep conditioning to all but those with extremely fine, limp hair.

hair-conditioning

Daily Conditioners vs. Deep Conditioning

A daily conditioner is the safety net to your hair care routine. However, daily conditioners generally do not provide the additional moisture needed by most hair types. A daily hair conditioner that provided the necessary ingredients to fully moisturize your hair would then be too heavy for daily, or near daily use. In addition, deep conditioners frequently contain different and/or more concentrated emollients than those used daily on the hair. The more effective deep conditioners are often packaged in a tub or tube because of the much thicker consistency. The directions are likely to be a good clue whether the product can be used as a deep conditioner, as the  directions will suggest you leave the conditioner in your hair for 5 minutes or longer.

This deep conditioner tops my list.

What exactly does a deep conditioner do to hair?

Both daily conditioners and deep conditioning treatments will smooth down the outer cuticle of the hair so it reflects light. Conversely, dry, damaged hair appears dull because the roughed up cuticle is not able to serve as a reflective surface. If you are experiencing frizz, a deep conditioning treatment will work to repel moisture in the atmosphere which helps to reduce frizzy hair.

Deep conditioners do have some limitations. For example, on occasion I’ll have a guest in my chair who has severely damaged hair, even after a deep conditioning treatment that didn’t seem to help. While deep conditioners are able to repair some damage, they primarily replace moisture and soften the hair. If your hair is severely damaged from chemical over processing, I would recommend a reconstructing treatment in combination with a deep conditioner. A reconstruction treatment is similar to a deep conditioning treatment, but with added components such as keratin. But a reconstruction treatment is definitely something that should be left to the professionals. If in doubt, check with your hair stylist to determine the best solution.

Deep conditioners are great treatments to get in the salon, this process can also be done very effectively at home using a good product and following these instructions.

Shiny-hair

Deep Conditioner How to:

Shampoo your hair, blot excess water and apply deep conditioner concentrating mainly on the ends. Gently comb the deep conditioning product through your hair to ensure even distribution. Place a plastic cap (or plastic wrap in a pinch) over your head. Apply some heat, either by using a blow dryer (be careful not to get dryer too close and melt the plastic) or a moist hot towel for about 10 minutes (my preferred home method because I can go do other things like catching up with Downton Abbey).

You can also keep conditioner on overnight. When the treatment is complete, rinse your hair thoroughly with cool water, dry your hair and style it as usual. If the ends still feel dry, apply a lightweight hair oil (mid-shaft to ends only) to complete the deep conditioning treatment.

Shiny hair

How Often Should You Deep Condition?

For most hair types, I would recommend a deep conditioning treatment at least once per month, year around to compensate for heat styling, weather and/or age related dryness. However, this regimen may need to increase or decrease depending on the frequency of your use of heat styling or how often your hair is exposed to hair color processing or straightening chemicals. If you wash your hair frequently and use heat styling tools frequently then you might want to schedule more frequent deep conditioning treatments.

Marcia Marcionette
Contributing author Marcia Marcionette is a stylist and color artist with over 15 years of experience. She owns Soulvana Hair, Tampa, Florida’s premier eco-chic salon studio where the philosophy is “style that feeds the soul”. Marcia’s is known for combining healthy, environmentally conscious products and practices with high performance hair artistry. You can contact her at Soulvanahair.com.

 



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Parabens: Here is what you need to know

Products

Parabens are a common ingredient in hair products

 

WHAT ARE PARABENS?

Parabens are highly effective preservatives used to guard against microorganisms that cause mold, mildew and fungus. They are the most widely used preservative and have been used for many years in beauty products as well as foods additives and supplements that we consume daily. There are normally several types of parabens used within any given product and they are easy to identify such as: methylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben. Besides protecting against the growth of microorganisms, parabens save us money by extending the shelf life of products. Some products in the beauty industry that contain parabens include makeup, deodorants, toothpaste, spray tans, shaving gels, moisturizers, shampoos and other hair care products. But are they harmful?

 

PARABENS AND BREAST CANCER

Parabens have gotten a bad rap over the years being that they also are phytoestrogens, which produce a similar effect to estrogen in our bodies. It was indicated that parabens in products can be absorbed into the body and mimic estrogen, so deodorants (containing parabens) were pointed to as a probable culprit in breast cancer. Parabens were detected in breast tumors in a study in 2004 by Darbre, in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, but according to the Food and Drug Administration, the report didn’t show that parabens cause cancer or that they were even harmful at all.

Another study (Routledge et al., in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology) reported that ” butylparaben, the most potent paraben in the study, showed from 10,000- to 100,000-fold less activity than naturally occurring estradiol (a form of estrogen.)”  Some of these studies conducted on animals suggested a “very weak estrogenic effect” after exposing them to extremely high doses of parabens, much more than anyone would actually ever be exposed to.

The parabens in products are significantly weaker than natural phytoestrogens in foods and supplements we consume regularly. Furthermore  there have been no direct links made to parabens in products and cancer. The bottom line is as of today the FDA hasn’t found parabens to be a threat to anyone.

 

PRODUCTS WITHOUT PARABENS

Worldwide every study to date has concluded that parabens in cosmetics are safe to use, still many companies have made the decision to make paraben free products. Most deodorants and antiperspirants are now paraben free. The oxymoron – Dr. Ranella Hirsch, dermatologist and past president of American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery, says whether it be a paraben or some other preservative, every product requiring a shelf life needs a preservative to stop the growth of bacteria.

Some hair care companies that have lines of paraben free products include, Aveda, Aveeno, Clean & Clear and Johnson & Johnson.  If you want to go the paraben free route with your hair care products, check the labels for a “use by” date and product ingredients. Hair care product companies are required by law to list all ingredients on the label. But, could it be that “paraben free” has just become the next new marketing tool?

 

 

 

  



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