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Can You Get Hooked on Lip Balm?: Top Cosmetic Scientists Answer Your Questions about the Lotions, Potions and Other Beauty Products You Use Every Day Paperback – February 15, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (February 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373892349
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373892341
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,057,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Corinne asks: I have a very sensitive scalp with fine hair and suffer from hair loss and dandruff. Dermatologists have advised me to use a clear gel shampoo that is clarifying or deep cleansing. So I've tried Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo, Suave for Men Deep Cleaning Shampoo, Neutrogena Anti-residue Shampoo and Prell Classic Shampoo (original formula). I'm not happy with those choices and would like you to set me straight What shampoo is going to work for me?

While we hate to disagree with dermatologists, we don't understand why they recommended a deep-cleansing shampoo when you have dandruff. Deep-cleansing-type shampoos will remove the surface flakes, but only a dandruff shampoo can address the cause of flaking and itching. So we'd recommend finding a good dandruff shampoo instead of chasing deep-cleansing, clarifying and antiresidue products. This may seem confusing to you because the beauty companies tell you there are so many different kinds of shampoo. But in reality, every shampoo on the market falls into one of a few basic categories.

There are only four main shapoo types in the world

All shampoo can be categorized by their basic function. So why are there what seem like thousands of products on the market, you ask? Because companies that sell shampoo need new ways to talk about their products to keep them sounding new and exciting. There's nothing wrong with companies being creative about their names and claims as long as they are honestly depicting what their products can do. But you can be a smarter consumer if you can see beyond the marketing hype and understand the functionality of these four basic shampoo types.

1. Deep cleansing shampoos (aka volumizing, clarifying, balancing, oil control and thickening). These shampoos are designed to get gunk off your hair and scalp. They typically contain slightly higher levels of detergents so they foam and clean better. They include the examples above as well as salon products like Paul Mitchell Shampoo and Frederic Fekkai's Full Volume Shampoo.

2. Conditioning shampoos (aka moisturizing, 2-in-l, smoothing, antifrizz, strengthening, color care, straightening and hydrating). These kinds of formulas are all about leaving a moisturizing agent, like silicone or polyquaternium-lO, on the hair to smooth it. They are very good for dry hair, especially if you color-treat or heat-style, but they can weigh down fine hair. Good examples of this type include most of the Pantene formulas and some products from the L'Oreal Vive collection and Dove Advanced Care.

3. Baby shampoos (aka kids shampoo and tear-free). These are milder, lower-foaming surfactant formulas that are designed not to sting or burn your eyes. They're better for babies but they don't clean hair as well. Johnson's Baby Shampoo is the classic example, but this category also includes Touch of an Angel and The Little Bath.

4. Antidandruff shampoos (aka anti-itch, flake control and dry scalp). These are medicated shampoos that contain a drug ingredient that controls itching and flaking. In the United States these are considered to be over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Head & Shoulders is the leading dandruff product; other examples include Nizoral Dandruff Shampoo and Redken Dandruff Control Shampoo.

The Bottom Line

We hope this helps you better understand the marketing hype surrounding shampoo names. We're not saying that all shampoos are the same, or even that all shampoos in a given category type are the same. There are real performance differences so it's important for you to shop around and find a product that performs the way you like at a price that you can afford. Just don't get too hung up on the names the companies use to describe their products. That's the marketing part of the industry, not the science part.

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Customer Reviews

This book is a quick, easy, and informative read.
Succinct Reviews
Beware of sweeping statements from people who won't give you there name.
Anna Hope
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Succinct Reviews VINE VOICE on March 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is a quick, easy, and informative read. It is written by a group of chemists,who develop and test beauty products and run the [...] blog. They debunk beauty myths and answer common questions that most women have about hair, skin, and cosmetics. Basic questions are thoroughly answered in a friendly and easy-to-understand manner. The book is divided into four sections hair, skin, makeup, and the beauty industry. This is helpful, because you can read the book straight through, or just read the sections that are of interest to you. The table of contents lists the questions that are answered within each section, so you don't waste too much time finding the information you need.

This introductory book delivers exactly what it promises- good information that will help you make smarter buying decisions, and may even prompt you to change some of your beauty habits. This book would make a great gift for teenage girls.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
Here in the US, we use many personal care and body care products on a daily basis, some with many chemicals. Companies have marketed all sorts of products to help us not to sweat, to lessen or hide wrinkles or dark spots, to clean our teeth, and to improve our appearance, or at least, our perception of our appearance. Most of us have contemplated whether those products will deliver what they promise or imply and whether the more costly products are worth the extra expense.

"Can You Get Hooked on Lip Balm?" is an easy to read book that analyses and compares the ingredients in some of the currently popular beauty and hygiene products, comparing high-end products with their lower budget counterparts.You might actually be surprised by the results. The lower priced are often, but not always, as good as or better than the higher end items, and the book explains why and what to look for in the labels. It also talks a bit about safety in addition to value.

Some of the information does get a little technical, usually when Romanowski is answering a question (the book is written in a question and answer format, with the questions being taken from her website, "") . Most of the book is written in an easy to understand style, but it's not dumbed down. There's also some myth-busting, including fragrances in skin products, getting rid of pimples and brushing your hair for 100 strokes.

If you're looking for a book that tells you which brand or product to buy, this not the book for you; this gives you the information that you need so you can make informed decisions, but it also says, repeatedly, that if you like it, and can afford it, buy what you want.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Smith on April 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
I love the idea of this book, breaking down how beauty products work and explaining some of the science behind everything. However, this book did not deliver how it could have. The authors clearly know what they're talking about, and this material would be perfect in a blog. This book needed a better editor, though, because the whole format is waaay too tailored to answer specific questions (like, is this one specific product okay?) instead of take a question and turn it into a bigger explanation of something. Sometimes, I also felt like they missed the point of the question altogether. Some of the information was useful, but it was often written frustratingly specifically and I would have preferred a better-curated set of answers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Wandrwoman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I must admit that I am easily lured by books such as this one. I once held up a long line at the supermarket checkout while I tried to speed read an article in Allure on the chemistry of mascara. "Buy the magazine for @&%* sake!!!" a woman behind me yelled out with great annoyance.

Call me shallow, call me curious, I don't care. I want to know everything about beauty products.

This particular book has been compiled from questions and answers from blog. This is a somewhat interesting but superficial blog run by....The Beauty Brains. Who are The Beauty Brains? They "are a group of cosmetic scientists" "who have more than forty combined years of experience developing and testing beauty products at major cosmetic companies, including Proctor & Gamble, Unilever and Alberto Culver." Their names are "Left Brain", "Right Brain", "Sarah Bellum" and Perry Romanowski (the "public face of the brains".)

While I can only imagine the disappointment Perry Romanowski must have faced when denied a cute literary handle such as "Corpus Callosum" or "Thomas Thalamus," I find it reassuring to know that at least one of these scientists is publicly identified. Far be it from me to criticize some one's need for privacy, but when stating fact over opinion, it's nice to know exactly who that fact-giver is.

Since the format of the book is question and answer, topics tend to jump around rather than be organized into logical groupings that flow gracefully one to the next. Some questions are quite normal, such as "Does retin-a eliminate wrinkles?", "What is the difference between a silicone and a polyquat?" and "Do lip plumpers really work?" Other questions can be more unusual or odd: "Should you worry about urine in your makeup?
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