Before we get to the vid mentioned in the headline, words about the above book: If you're a geek about makeup and skincare stuff like I am, you'll read Can You Get Hooked on Lip Balm? ($19.95) from cover to cover in pretty much one sitting. Many times over the course of my beauty-editor career, I've wished I were a cosmetic scientist like the authors behind this book and the website The Beauty Brains. If high-school science had covered cosmetics chemistry, I'd remember much more than Mr. Baczynsky's insistence that students caught eating Ringolos in class had to share them with him.
That said, you don't have to be nerdy like me to visit the site or own this book, which was born out of the hundreds of beauty-product questions the Brains have received and answered. The paperback is a handy reference if you want to know whether more expensive hair care is better than the cheaper stuff; what the deal is with Chaz Dean's Wen hair cleanser; whether spit can make zits go away; or why soap packaging doesn't need an ingredients listing. Plus the text isn't super science-heavy -- it's engagingly written, clear and pretty easy to understand even if you don't live and breathe beauty stuff.
But if you're a fierce supporter of natural beauty products, you'll be less than thrilled with CYGHOLB. While the authors do give a nod to a couple of natural extracts, they're peeved at the bad rap the green-beauty crowd (which sometimes includes me) gives ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), petrolatum and mineral oil. For the most part the Brains are cosmetic chemists who work or have worked for big companies such as P&G, Unilever and Alberto Culver, all of whom use such ingredients in their formulations. Their position is that there aren't any studies that prove consumers are in danger from items that commonly crop up on green-beauty black lists.
In the short vid below, Perry Romanowski, who started TheBeautyBrains.com, tackles that natural-vs-synthetic subject along with four other beauty-product "myths" from his cosmetic-chemist point of view.