Where do I find the "logic" in "dermatological"?
June 27, 2011 11:10 PM   Subscribe

Seeking a more scientific/medical approach to daily skincare routines and dermatological care.

High-functioning autistic here, and a lot of the rules I've been told/found about skincare seem disturbingly arbitrary. Just like the training I've had in social rules, it all gets a bit puzzling after a while. Why does one exfoliate before moisturising? Why do specific aftershaves dry out the epidermal skin layer? Why does the time of day you apply certain products affect their efficacy? I've checked out previous questions, but the approach still seems to be very subjective, without offering any particular evidence for certain claims.

In short, I'm looking for books, online articles and such about a more objective and positivist view on skincare; (I know, it's unlikely, considering the amount of misinformation around). Anything that was of particular interest to fellow Mefites?
posted by malusmoriendumest to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Leslie Baumann's Cosmetic Dermatology is a very good book with an entire section on skin care products and it's quite accessible to people without a background in biomedical science. Take a look at the preview of a previous edition to determine whether this is the level of coverage you are looking for.
posted by halogen at 11:54 PM on June 27, 2011 [3 favorites]

I highly recommend Paula Begoun's web site (her books are more focused on specific product reviews, I think). Her information is based on the latest skincare research and on actual testing of products. She does a good job of explaining which ingredients do what, and why certain things work for certain skin conditions and others don't. There may be additional information available at her subscription-only site Beautypedia, although again, I think it mainly focuses on specific product reviews.
posted by neushoorn at 2:17 AM on June 28, 2011 [4 favorites]

I second the recommendation of Paula Begoun. Also wanted to add that Beautypedia is now free so definitely have a look at that. As neushoorn mentioned, she has a book of product reviews, but also another book, called "The Original Beauty Bible," that is full of skincare information and mythbusting.

It seems that Paula is a bit of a controversial figure in the world of skincare/makeup. For one, she does sell her own line of skincare products, and some people say that this makes her biased. Maybe it does a little bit, but she recommends plenty of products aside from her own, and she was doing product reviews & consumer reporting long before she came out with her own stuff.
posted by LaurenIpsum at 5:35 AM on June 28, 2011

It was Paula Begoun that made me the nerd I am today... the nerd with really good skin.

2nd that she was critiquing the industry long before she started producing her products. She was also controversial long before she started producing her own products. That's because the industry tends not to like people who critique them. I remember reading an article in Allure that panned her because she apparently is "a very angry individual". Lol.
posted by tel3path at 6:16 AM on June 28, 2011

If I were you, I wouldn't underestimate the amount of marketing wankery out there; don't forget that the cosmetics industry focuses on creating needs (or convincing you that you have needs), then offering to sell you a product to fill them. Exfoliating, for example, isn't something you have to do, though it can make your skin smoother; it can also irritate and damage your skin if you're too enthusiastic about it. The reason they tell you to moisturize after exfoliating is that you're removing skin when you exfoliate, so moisture will be lost as well.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 11:08 AM on June 28, 2011

I, like you, found the whole thing to be disturbingly arbitrary. So I cut everything out to see what problems there would actually be that needed products of any kind to fix. I continued to shower normally, but stopped using shampoo, soap, and deodorant completely (except washing hands for food prep, wounds and when I get engine grease in my hair or something). After the adjustment period that I'd read I'd experience, guess what? I don't need any of it. I don't stink, even after a workout or a run. This has been confirmed by friends and family, most of who smelled me because they didn't believe I didn't stink. My slight acne and occasional dandruff are completely gone. My hair and skin are both better than they've ever been.

I usually hesitate to bring this up on Metafilter because this seems to be a seriously threatening concept to some people... they seem tog et mad. It's weird. You'll find that googling no soap experiment turns up a whole lot of people with the same experience as me, and none that I've seen that contradict it. Saves money too. Might be worth a try for you.
posted by cmoj at 4:46 PM on June 28, 2011

« Older African-American church services in NYC   |   Help me find this bag. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.