Episode 35: What's Really In Your Skincare Products?

We're back for another episode of Beauty IQ Uncensored, brought to you by Adore Beauty. 

What’s on this episode? We’re glad you asked...

What is endometriosis?

Not our usual silly cringey convo, today Dr Raelia Lew joins us to discuss endometriosis. A common female condition that affects 1 in 10 women. We chat about the condition, what causes it and how it can be treated, because this is just another one of those things we don't really talk about.

Dr Raelia Lew's qualifications are listed below:

  • CREI (fertility subspecialist) at Melbourne IVF

  • FRANZCOG (gynaecologist)

  • Director of Women’s Health Melbourne

  • PhD in reproductive genetics

  • Masters Degree in Reproductive health Science and Human Genetics

  • Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne Medical School

Find Dr Lew's podcast Knocked Up here.

You can find out more about endometriosis here:

Endometriosis Australia

Women's Health Melbourne

National Library of Medicine: dietary links

National Library of Medicine: infertility links

Reading the ingredients list on your skincare products:

Michelle Wong, better known as Lab Muffin Beauty Science, joins us to debunk ingredient myths, chat about reading an ingredients list and she shares her PWDKWN which you can find here.

You can follow Michelle on Instagram here.

Products we didn't know we needed:

Jo: Osmosis Rescue Epidermal Repair Serum

Hannah: Société Ultimate Eye Lift Dual Pack

Read our disclaimer here.

Hosts: Joanna Fleming & Hannah Furst

Guests: Dr Raelia Lew, Michelle Wong

Dr Raelia Lew joins us to discuss endometriosis. Plus! Michelle Wong (Lab Muffin Beauty Science) shares her tip on reading the ingredients list on your skincare products

Beauty IQ Uncensored Episode 35 Transcript - 'What's Really In Your Skincare Products?'

 

Hannah Furst:
Welcome, everybody, to Beauty IQ the podcast.

Joanna Fleming:
I'm your host, Joanna Fleming.

Hannah Furst:
And I am your cohost, Hannah Furst. I feel like not much has happened since I spoke to you last time. I've been at my house, I've watched Les Miserables with my parents over the weekend.

Joanna Fleming:
Nice. Yep.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. It was very intense.

Joanna Fleming:
I don't think I've ever seen Les Miserables.

Hannah Furst:
It's on ABC, and it's actually not the musical. So you keep waiting for them to start a big song and nothing happens.

Joanna Fleming:
Oh, okay.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. It's a very long series. So it's six episodes, they're an hour each. It's like three movies. It's crazy. So I did that all weekend.

Joanna Fleming:
I've been watching Ozark. Ozark? I don't know how to say it.

Hannah Furst:
I started watching that.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah, it's really good.

Hannah Furst:
It's very stressful. I don't need any more stress in my life.

Joanna Fleming:
I know! My anxiety is through the roof, but I've left the last episode to watch tonight.

Hannah Furst:
Season one or season three?

Joanna Fleming:
No, no, no. Season three. I was literally sweating last night watching it, so ...

Hannah Furst:
I can't watch it before bed. It gives me anxiety.

Joanna Fleming:
Same. I don't know why I did it, but anyway. What's on today's episode, Hannah?

Hannah Furst:
So on today's episode, we have a fertility specialist, Dr. Raelia Lew. She's also a gynecologist and the director of women's health at Melbourne.

Joanna Fleming:
And the new cohost of this podcast, because you couldn't join us for that interview.

Hannah Furst:
I've had a busy week. Sorry. I wasn't actually sick. I just had a busy week. But yeah, she co-hosted the segment with Joe. That was about endometriosis. Then we have Michelle Wong from Lab Muffin Beauty Science, and she's on to talk about ingredients and how to read an ingredients label. Of course, it's products we didn't know we needed.

Joanna Fleming:
So today's guest is going to be my cohost for this segment because Hannah isn't joining us today. So Dr. Raelia Lew. Hi, Raelia.

Dr Raelia Lew:
Hi.

Joanna Fleming:
Is going to join us today. I hope you don't mind being my cohost for this segment.

Dr Raelia Lew:
I totally love it, Joanna. Thank you for having me.

Joanna Fleming:
You have your own podcast called Knocked Up, and today we are going to be talking about endometriosis. It's not our usual cringey combo. Usually we're a bit silly in these cringey combos, but it is something that women don't really talk about enough, and it's not something that's really widely understood. So we thought being a women's platform, this would be a great topic for us to cover, especially with someone that has as many qualifications as you do. When we were chatting and I saw all of your qualifications, I was overwhelmed with all of these things that you've managed to achieve. Can you give us a bit of background on where you've gotten to where you are?

Dr Raelia Lew:
Yeah, sure. So I'm a CREI fertility specialist, so that's a gynecologist who has gone on to complete specialty training in gynecology, and then I subspecialized in the area of fertility and reproductive endocrinology. Which they're big words, but basically it means all aspects of hormonal management throughout a woman's life, and also fertility for both men and women. So endometriosis is bread and butter to my practice, because it is such a common condition and it is such a common cause of both pain and also infertility.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah. Well, I read that one in 10 women suffers with endometriosis, and it's about 176 million women worldwide that suffer from it. Can you give us a little bit of insight into what endometriosis actually is, if people who are listening to these haven't heard of it before? Why does it happen in certain people?

Dr Raelia Lew:
Sure. So endometriosis is a really cryptic condition, and actually it's not particularly well understood as to why it actually happens. We know it's genetic to some degree, but not like there's a single gene that causes it. We know that if you have endometriosis, your risk of having a relative with endometriosis is high. When you flip that around, if your mom or your sister had endo, then you have seven times the chance of having endo as someone from the general population. And we just said that one in 10 women have endo, so it's really, really common, and there is a genetic predisposition.

Dr Raelia Lew:
What it actually is it's a condition where tissues in the pelvis, they kind of go rogue, and while they're meant to just stay in their category. So a uterus tissue is meant to be a uterus tissue or a skin lining the pelvis tissue is meant to be more skin line. What endometriosis is is where little patches within the pelvis act like the endometrium, which is the tissue that lines the uterus that's meant to shed when you have your period. So it causes bleeding when you have your period and inflammation when you have your period, but not just in the uterus, wherever that tissue happens to be. It can be anywhere. It can be anywhere around the pelvis. On the ovary, on or in the fallopian tubes, which are the highway where egg and sperm mate to make babies. It can be on the ligaments of the pelvis. That's a particularly common area. So it can cause pain when you have sex. It can be on the outer aspects that you can't naturally see of the vagina. So it can cause nodules in the vagina, it can be anywhere.

Dr Raelia Lew:
It can even be on the bowels. So some women with endo have symptoms that are kind of obscure and might be more bowel related symptoms. So they might have the suspicion that they might have irritable bowel syndrome, where in fact it's endo. So one of the reasons that it's hard to diagnose is that sometimes symptoms can be kind of crossing over between two different or three different possible common conditions. Another reason that it's hard is that ultrasound is, although it's the best tool we have, it's actually not that sensitive, and it misses about 50% of cases of endo.

Joanna Fleming:
Wow. Well, I did read that it can take up to seven years to diagnose someone with endo. So women are going through the whole symptom process and trying to work out what's wrong, and it does take quite a while. Is that right?

Dr Raelia Lew:
Look, I think it really depends. You have to kind of take into account, I think also historically, that women's complaints have not been taken seriously. I think that's a major issue, particularly of the past. At the moment, I think we're much more likely to have a high index of suspicion for endometriosis as we understand more about it and we understand that it can be easily missed. The problem and difficulty is that looking for it, the gold standard to investigate endometriosis is a laparoscopy, which is a keyhole surgery. That in itself is quite invasive for a woman to go through. She has to have an anesthetic. She has to have a little camera put through the belly button to have a look inside. It's quite a big deal, and so we don't want to be doing it if there's not a really good reason, but at the same time for some women, unless we do that procedure, we're not going to get to the bottom of if they have endo or if they don't.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah. What are some of the symptoms that women with endometriosis will experience, from a mild to extreme level?

Dr Raelia Lew:
So women with endo sometimes are completely asymptomatic, and that is the real difficulty. I see that more in my fertility practice where a woman might present, and her main symptom is actually infertility. Whereas some women have excruciating period pain, and there's everything in between. One thing that is like a bit of a red herring is that often women, for other reasons, or even for reasons of maybe early symptoms of endo, might've been on the pill for a really long time, and the pill is one of the medical treatments, actually, of endo.

Joanna Fleming:
Okay. So does that just mask the symptoms, and then women get off the pill and they're like, "What is going on?"

Dr Raelia Lew:
Yeah. And what happens is they might get off the pill, and because the pill actually suppresses endo quite well for a lot of women, it doesn't just turn on like a light switch. It turns on gradually and gets worse. So a common presenting symptom is increasing period pain over time having stopped the pill. I ask that question for women, particularly whose partners have normal sperm and they're trying to have babies, because it makes me think of endo knowing that 50% of women with endo will have a normal ultrasound. So endo can affect fertility, and that's something that might not be at the forefront of listeners minds right now, but it's actually really a very important concept because endometriosis is progressive and there can be serious effects down the line. So getting an early diagnosis is actually really powerful, because we can stop in its tracks by simple measures like using hormonal contraception. We can use dietary measures to try and have an antiinflammatory diet. So there's a big role for different allied health professionals like clinical dieticians in the management of endo.

Joanna Fleming:
That's super interesting that that's related.

Dr Raelia Lew:
Yeah, absolutely.

Joanna Fleming:
So at what age is it common to be diagnosed with endometriosis? Does it really swing quite a lot, or are there teenagers that come in and it's clear that they have the condition?

Dr Raelia Lew:
I think gynecologists in general, particularly historically, have had a reluctance to put a teenager through an operation like a laparoscopy. So what often happens is girls present with painful periods as a teen, and they're put on the pill and they're better on the pill. So often women do tread water on the pill for even a decade before they get to the point where they're sick of being on the pill and want to come off the pill, and that's when the endo comes back into the picture. The answer is basically, women can be diagnosed with endo at any age, but it's very common to be diagnosed when you're trying to think about starting a family, because that's when you come off contraception.

Joanna Fleming:
Do those symptoms that women may experience, do they start to dissipate once a woman starts to go through menopause?

Dr Raelia Lew:
Yeah, absolutely. So they do. They do.

Joanna Fleming:
So they've only got to deal with it for 60 years.

Dr Raelia Lew:
[crosstalk 00:10:38] That's it. Only 60 years. Actually, the average age of menopause is 50. And actually, it's an interesting point, because a lot of, and a little bit off topic, but the majority of women actually underestimate when fertility declines and when reproductive years end. Men are even worse. They actually underestimate it by over a decade. So it's important to understand that actually fertility starts to go down when you're 35, not when you're 40 or 50. So that leads on back to egg freezing and endometriosis. Actually, that's something that I do for a lot of my patients with endometriosis.

Joanna Fleming:
Okay. So if they have endometriosis and they're younger, do you recommend that they have their eggs frozen just as a precautionary measure?

Dr Raelia Lew:
Yeah, absolutely. Because what happens is endometriosis is a progressive condition that actually affects both egg number through the destruction of the ovary by blood filled cysts called endometriomas and also egg quality. And actually, endometriosis is one of the few reasons for egg freezing that is supported by Medicare because it's a cause of infertility. So it's not just egg freezing for future planning, it's egg freezing to try and help women avoid infertility.

Joanna Fleming:
That's really good to know, especially for anyone that's listening and is considering that option. If people are listening and they suspect that they possibly could have endometriosis symptoms, what could they expect to be experienced? Is it something that you get bloating from, or is it really just categorized around that pain? Or as you said, sometimes it can just be no symptoms at all. Who should she consult for an expert opinion?

Dr Raelia Lew:
So I think it's important to start with your GP, but to specifically raise the concern that you think you might have endo and advocate for yourself to have a referral to see a specialist gynecologist, because that's who can help you further. It's really never too early to see a gynecologist, because this is a women's health specialist that you're likely to need to touch base with for various reasons over time throughout your entire reproductive life as a woman. So I think that's the first port of call for women who think they might have endo is to see their GP and have a triage, but also potentially a referral to see a specialist.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah. So you would say a lot of women come into your clinic. Have you ever had anyone that's been wrongly diagnosed with endometriosis?

Dr Raelia Lew:
Actually, no, I never have. I think that's important, because it is such a common condition. If I have a couple, for example, who are trying to have a baby, and the sperm's normal and all the other tests look normal on paper, there's actually an 80% chance that if I do a laparoscopy I'll find endo. It is that common.

Joanna Fleming:
Wow. Wow. That's insane.

Dr Raelia Lew:
Yeah. So it's a common cause of problems and a common cause of undiagnosed infertility. So really important to recognize that that also means that there's probably a lot of women out there walking around with severe period pain, thinking that they're normal, thinking that everyone gets this pain, but most women don't need to take a day off work when they have their period. Most women don't need to take heavy duty drugs when they have their periods. So if you feel like you need to, every time you have your period, do either of those things, then it's worth getting a bit more of an assessment and a further look into whether you could have endo.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah. Well, I did read that it can really impact a woman's productivity and their presence at work and their presence at home, even, and their ability to do everyday tasks when they are in pain. I wondered if there was any other conditions that endometriosis is related to, like polycystic ovary syndrome or anything like that?

Dr Raelia Lew:
No, they're separate, but you can have both at the same time. They're not related to each other. They don't cause each other, but it's possible to have both. Actually, to some degree polycystic ovarian syndrome, if anything, is a little bit protective if you do have endo, because with polycystic ovarian syndrome, one of the ways that it can affect women is they don't regularly ovulate. It's actually the hormones of the menstrual cycle and ovulation that makes endo worse over time. It stirs up. But otherwise, they're not related.

Joanna Fleming:
Okay. Well, I think we're going to have to get you to come back to talk about polycystic ovaries in a separate interview, and then also talk about menopause. I think we've got a thousand things that we could get you on to talk about. So I think we're going to end up having you back at some point, Raelia.

Dr Raelia Lew:
It would be my greatest pleasure.

Joanna Fleming:
And talking further. So if you want to hear Raelia on her own podcast, it's called Knocked Up. Raelia, can people also see you at Women's Health Melbourne?

Dr Raelia Lew:
Yeah, absolutely. So I practice at Women's Health Melbourne in Fitzroy and also in Caulfield, and I also practice at Melbourne IVF. That's where I do all my IVF and egg freezing. You can follow me on the socials at Dr. Raelia Lew and at Women's Health Melbourne.

Joanna Fleming:
Awesome. Well, thanks for joining us today. I'm sure we'll have you back soon.

Dr Raelia Lew:
Ciao. Thank you.

Joanna Fleming:
If you like the sound of any of the products you've heard on today's episode, new Adore Beauty customers can get $15 off their first order with orders over $75. Only valid for first time customers. Brand exclusions and terms and conditions apply. Head to adorebeauty.com.au/podcast.

Joanna Fleming:
Welcome to our next guest. Michelle Wong joins us. She's a science educator and content creator, but you might know her better as Lab Muffin Beauty Science on Instagram. Welcome, Michelle.

Michelle Wong:
Hi, good morning.

Joanna Fleming:
It's very nice to have you on today, because we're going to be talking about I think deciphering ingredients would be a good way to sum up this interview, because we get a lot of questions about how to read an ingredients label. How do you work out what's in your products, and how do you determine what's what? Can you explain a bit about the method of reading an ingredients label in your skincare?

Michelle Wong:
Sure. So on the ingredients list, so when you flip to the back of the packet, they'll have an ingredients list and legally they have to list the ingredients in descending order. So in other words, the first ingredient is going to be the thing that there's most of. So usually that's going to be water, then it's going to be the next highest, and so on around where there's 1%. So if there's 1% or less of an ingredient, then they can list it in any order. There's a few caveats though. So even if you have two ingredients lists that are exactly the same, it is possible that they are not the same product. So for example, if you have water then, I don't know, sunflower oil. If you have two products that have those two lists, then you could have 50% water, 50% sunflower oil, or you could have 99% water, 1% sunflower oil, and they would have the same ingredients list.

Joanna Fleming:
Right. Okay. All right. So it's a little bit more complex than maybe we first thought. What ingredients should we look for and what should we avoid in a general sense?

Michelle Wong:
In a general sense, I don't think there really is anything that everyone should avoid. Everyone's skin is different. Everyone reacts differently to different ingredients, and so a lot of the time it's about learning what your skin likes and what your skin doesn't like, and learning to look for those ingredients or avoid them. So I guess the most common ingredients that people have problems with. Sodium lauryl sulfate is a common one. So that's a cleansing ingredient. It is one of the harsher cleansing ingredients now. We have a lot more gentle cleansers on the market. So a lot of the time, if that's high up on an ingredients list, it can lead to dehydrated skin. So your skin might feel tight. It might feel a bit itchy. It might be a bit more sensitive than normal. So I think most people probably could avoid that.

Michelle Wong:
I mean, that doesn't mean that. If you're using a cleanser that has SLS in it and your skin is fine, then that's fine. It can be formulated so that it is quite gentle. Other problem ingredients. Fragrance is a relatively common sensitivity. So some people are actually allergic to fragrance. Essential oils often have allergens in them as well. So if your skin is sensitive, it might be a good idea to avoid that. There's also a couple of preservatives that have really common reactions. So they're called MI and MCI. My skin is not very sensitive, but it is sensitive to those. So if I have them in a shampoo, then I get a really itchy, irritated scalp.

Joanna Fleming:
Really?

Michelle Wong:
Yeah, yeah.

Joanna Fleming:
Well, what I really like about your Instagram is that it really is like a mythbusting channel for skincare. Perhaps you could expand a little bit on the myths around alcohols and silicones and parabens in skincare and what those ingredients actually do, and why they're used or not used anymore.

Michelle Wong:
Sure. Thank you, by the way. It's really nice to hear. Maybe we'll start with parabens. Parabens are preservatives. They're in lots of products. Before they were preservatives, there were all these issues with people getting infections from their products. So one of the problems with products is that they tend to contain a lot of water, and bacteria and fungi love water. So you might've seen this if you've ever gotten a more natural product and then you've left it for a bit too long, and then you open it and you've got like fairy stuff.

Joanna Fleming:
It gets a film of stuff on the top of it.

Michelle Wong:
Yeah. Or black spots or something. Yeah. So sometimes that can be bad for you. As we know now with COVID, there are germs everywhere. If you have too many, then it can infect you. So preservatives are important to reduce that from happening. It still does happen, but the chances become a lot lower. So there are really quite dreadful things happening before preservatives. So people would get these nasty ulcers in their eye and it could you go blind.

Joanna Fleming:
Wow.

Michelle Wong:
Yeah. Nowadays when you put on an eye cream, going blind is not on your radar, and that's because the preservatives. So yeah, parabens, I don't think they're worth avoiding unless you are specifically allergic to them.

Joanna Fleming:
Okay. What's the place of silicones in skincare?

Michelle Wong:
So silicones, there's actually quite a lot of different silicones. There are ones that are volatile, so cyclopentasiloxane for example. So these help-

Joanna Fleming:
That's a mouthful.

Hannah Furst:
It is a little bit, yeah.

Michelle Wong:
So this one helps product spread on your skin. It's mostly used in foundations, primers, and sunscreens. So things where you want that to be a nice, smooth film on your skin. Another one is dimethicone. Dimethicone is not volatile, which means it doesn't evaporate. Cyclopentasiloxane evaporates after you apply it. Dimethicone acts as a moisturizer, so it helps your skin retain water.

Joanna Fleming:
Interesting. Okay. So there's nothing to be scared about when you can say silicone's in your product?

Michelle Wong:
With silicones, health wise there isn't. There are a few environmental concerns.

Joanna Fleming:
Okay. That's interesting. And then onto alcohols. There's often talk around alcohols in skincare being bad. Are there good alcohols in skincare, and if so, what should we look out for?

Michelle Wong:
So alcohols is a really broad group. Anything with an OH group is technically an alcohol, but if you see the word alcohol on an ingredients list, usually it will be ethyl alcohol, which is the drying alcohol. So that one, if your skin is prone to getting dried out, then it could be worth avoiding. But there's no evidence that there's any longterm effects. So I think I've seen people say that it makes your skin age, or it might produce free radicals in your skin, but there's not much evidence of that happening, which is good because I have been using so much hand sanitizer. In terms of good alcohols, fatty alcohols tend to be quite good. So these are things like sterile and cetyl alcohol. These are basically just oily substances that will moisturize your skin. They're also really good in hair products.

Joanna Fleming:
Okay. So when it comes to complimentary ingredients in products, a question that we get all the time is what ingredients can I not mix together, or what can I mix together? What goes together? Are there any ingredients that are complimentary to each other when included in a formula? I know that C E Ferulic is a really popular product for us.

Michelle Wong:
Yeah. So C E Ferulic is a really classic combination. So vitamin C is extremely unstable. If it's in water by itself, it breaks down in about three weeks. When it's placed with others antioxidants, they help the vitamin C stay as vitamin C so that when you put it on your skin, it's still active. So yeah, vitamin E and ferulic acid are great for that with vitamin C. I probably wouldn't recommend getting vitamin C by itself unless it was with some other antioxidants.

Hannah Furst:
That's a good tip. Do you recommend not mixing? The biggest question is, can I mix glycolic acid or acids in general with retinol? Is that something you recommend or don't recommend?

Michelle Wong:
I think the only real issue with that is irritation. So retinol is so irritating on its own that a lot of the time you probably want to stop anything else irritating as you're adding it into your routine. So I think if you've added retinol into your routine and your skin has stopped flaking like mad, then adding glycolic acid, shouldn't be a problem.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah. I always say it's down to personal preference at the end of the day if your skin can tolerate it.

Hannah Furst:
I love mixing.

Joanna Fleming:
James Vivian, who we had on for the exfoliation episode, he wears his retinol with his AHAs every night. That sounds like a maniac to me, but for him he's like, "My skin can just tolerate it."

Michelle Wong:
So lucky.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah.

Joanna Fleming:
And I guess men's skin tolerate a little bit more than ours can, I guess, because it's a little thicker. Can you touch a little bit on chemicals in skincare? Because I think it's become a bit of a buzz phrase to say something that is chemical free. As you say on your Instagram, what am I paying for then?

Michelle Wong:
Yes. So everything is a chemical, even water. Anything you touch or breathe in or anything is a chemical. So chemical free-

Joanna Fleming:
We're chemicals, aren't we?

Michelle Wong:
Exactly. We're made of DNA, proteins, tons of chemicals. So I think, yeah, chemical free, the only thing that's really chemical free is a vacuum with no air in it. So you would be paying for nothing. I think a lot of the time though, when people say chemical, what they mean is a synthetic chemicals, so something that's manmade. Even then, it's not really a great stance. So there are tons of things in the nature that are really nasty and will kill you. So for example,-

Joanna Fleming:
As we know, we live in Australia.

Michelle Wong:
Exactly, exactly. So many spider poisons, toxins. thinking that natural is safer is not really the case. Even in skincare with things like essential oils, they tend to be the things that people have allergic reactions to. If you have incredibly sensitive skin, a lot of the time a dermatologists will prescribe you a product that is almost entirely synthetic chemicals for that reason.

Joanna Fleming:
You're a big advocate for wearing sunscreen. Can you briefly explain to us the difference between chemical and physical sunscreen, and why you might choose one over the other?

Michelle Wong:
So chemical and physical sunscreen mostly refers to how the sunscreens work. So chemical sunscreens absorb UV and convert it to heat. Physical sunscreens actually do mostly this as well. So about 90% of incoming UV is absorbed and turned to heat, but about 10% of it is reflected or scattered. So that's the main difference.

Joanna Fleming:
And that was only a recent discovery, wasn't it Michelle, because up until relatively recently we thought that physical sunscreens reflected a higher percentage of those rays. Is that right?

Michelle Wong:
I think it's not really a new discovery as such. I think it's mostly that it's become a lot more popular, because a paper was published which was like, "Stop saying this." I mean, it's not even just a marketing myth or anything. It's been in dermatology journals, proper peer reviewed dermatology journals for years. It's good that that's getting out there now. Yeah. So that's the main difference. So in terms of reasons for using one over the other, I think this is mostly an American thing, to be honest. So Australia has better sunscreens than America.

Joanna Fleming:
We probably have the best sunscreens in the world. Don't we?

Michelle Wong:
I think we do. Yeah. So there's a bunch of sunscreen ingredients that we're allowed to use here, which they aren't allowed to use in the U.S. But because the U.S. has such a monopoly on beauty marketing, a lot of the time they're marketing, even though it doesn't really apply here, people still say that. So there is a common thing which is physical sunscreens are better for sensitive skin, which is true in the U.S. if you only have access to U.S. sunscreens, but here it's sort of a bit less clear cut. So physical sunscreens are safer, I guess, if you don't look at the ingredients list. If you look at the ingredients list and it has newer chemical sunscreens, then that is also fine for sensitive skin.

Michelle Wong:
The other thing about physical sunscreens is that because they reflect and scatter UV, they also do this a little bit with visible light. So your skin tends to look a bit whiter if you're wearing those. So if your skin is a bit darker, so mine isn't even that dark, it's like NC20 in mark. You can still see a white cast on your skin.

Joanna Fleming:
So for a deeper skin tone, a chemical formula is likely going to cosmetically look better.

Michelle Wong:
Yeah, exactly.

Joanna Fleming:
Well, we have a segment on the podcast called product we didn't know we needed, which is probably mine and Hannah's favorite segment, I think, after the cringey combo. We wondered if you had a product you didn't know you needed from your I assume massive collection of new products. Is there a skincare product or a beauty product that you just cannot live without that you want to share with us?

Michelle Wong:
Honestly, I think, okay. It is a haircare product. It is the IGK purple drops.

Joanna Fleming:
How good are they?

Michelle Wong:
They are so good. You can add them to anything. Amazing.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah, they're really cool. You literally just add them to any other hair product, like a shampoo. I think you can add them to-

Hannah Furst:
I've not heard of these.

Joanna Fleming:
They're so good.

Michelle Wong:
They come in a brown version too, like a brunette version as well.

Joanna Fleming:
Awesome. Yeah, they're really good. I'm with you on that one, Michelle. Thank you so much for joining us today to chat all things ingredients. I'm sure that other people have found this really helpful. I have found-

Michelle Wong:
I've just been nerding out.

Joanna Fleming:
I have. I could chat to you all day, but we've got a time limit, so we'll have to wrap it up. Thanks for joining us, Michelle.

Michelle Wong:
Thank you so much for having me.

Hannah Furst:
Thank you. All right. So what is your PWDKWN?

Joanna Fleming:
Okay. So mine today is the, it's a new brand to us, but I worked with this skincare brand way back in the day in the first clinic that I worked at on reception. It's called Osmosis, and the serum that I've been using is the Osmosis Rescue Epidermal Repair Serum.

Hannah Furst:
I'm loving Osmosis.

Joanna Fleming:
I'm loving it. Okay. So I haven't used this brand for years, and back in the day, it wasn't anything special. I wasn't wowed by it. I was too obsessed with ASAP, and I just, you couldn't get me off it. But this product, I looked at the ingredients list, Hannah, and I was like, "Eh." Nothing spesh.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah.

Joanna Fleming:
You know what's going to be so good about this? I put it on my skin. So as everybody that listens to this podcast knows, I have rosacea. I don't want to say it again, but I do. My skin is really sensitive.

Hannah Furst:
[crosstalk 00:30:22] "You may not know this, but I have rosacea."

Joanna Fleming:
About as sick as I am of you saying that you're single.

Hannah Furst:
So you may not know this, but I'm single, and Jo has rosacea.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah. This product has an ingredient in it, and I don't know if I'm saying this correctly, but trioxolane. So this is a stable oxygen molecule, and it's an extract of sweet wormwood. I don't even know what that is, but this serum is designed to neutralize toxins. It calms inflammation. It encourages repair of the skin as well, and it also helps to improve skin texture. So for someone with a lot of inflammation, like inflamed acne, rosacea, sorry to say it again, perioral dermatitis, melasma, all of those inflammatory conditions can be improved by using this serum. So I have just been absolutely obsessed with it for the last few weeks. It is the one that I said smells like an indoor pool.

Hannah Furst:
Can I be honest? Anything that smells weird, I trust instinctively more.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah. That's a strange thing.

Hannah Furst:
There's something about really weird, yucky smelling products that I'm like, "I trust that you're doing your job."

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah. C E Ferulic smells like a deli.

Hannah Furst:
So I use Phloretin CF and it literally smells like, not quite like deli meat, not the nicest scent in the world, but it's such a good product. So I really trust the weird smelling stuff.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah. Well, this serums isn't the best smelling serum, but it's definitely tolerable, but it honestly is great.

Hannah Furst:
I really like they have their plumping moisturizer, which I used on the live last night.

Joanna Fleming:
I'll try that.

Hannah Furst:
It really plumps your skin. It really does. I'm always loathe to say, "It's plumping my skin instantly," but it ... And actually, speaking of plumping instantly, that's my product. We've both used ...

Joanna Fleming:
Okay, yep, you go. This is your segue.

Hannah Furst:
So this is my segue. I'm going to use it. So I think Société is a brand that we don't talk about enough.

Joanna Fleming:
It's so underrated.

Hannah Furst:
So but Linda sent me a couple of products to use, and I said, to be honest, I gave one to Linda to try. Because I thought we could get Linda to do a product. She can give me feedback on that as a product Linda didn't know she needed. She doesn't use serums, so I'm trying get her on serums.

Joanna Fleming:
Is that a new segment? A product Linda didn't know she needed?

Hannah Furst:
Yes, I feel like, because she did bring it on the live last night. So I was very impressed with her that she was using it. That was a Société serum that I gave her, but I'm actually using the Société Ultimate Eye Lift Dual Pack. It is quite expensive, but it comes it's two eye serum creams in one. So it'll last. That'll last me years, it feels like.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah. I've never used that one.

Hannah Furst:
It's got this thing that you roll on your eyes and it's really cooling and it tingles. It really does give this instant lift effect. So that one really gives like a hydrated, plumping look and feel, and it tingles. So after you've put that one on, and I put that above my brow bone in the corners and then underneath, and then you add the firm and brighten cream which is also peptide complexes and lightens the appearance of dark circles. It will stimulate collagen, and yeah, so it's like a two in one. I have been loving it. I've been trying a lot of different eye creams lately.

Joanna Fleming:
So have I, actually. I've got two I'm loving at the moment.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. I'm getting sent all the eye creams at the moment, and really, this is my favorite of all the ones that I have used.

Joanna Fleming:
I'm going to save one of the ones that I've been using for next week's PWDKWN.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. We don't talk about eye creams enough.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah, I don't think we do either, but mainly because I just have always felt like mine don't do anything for my dark circles. But I've been using one that I'm pretty sure is legit working. So I'm going to use that for a little bit longer, and then I'll put it in as a product I didn't know I needed. Because we always struggle to come up with these products because we use so many different serums.

Hannah Furst:
So many.

Joanna Fleming:
Where you and I are both like, "What's this week's going to be?"

Hannah Furst:
Why I really like this is because I feel it's really ultra hydrating. I guess it's probably that dual action, because when I got my skin scan, 90% of my under eye lines, fine lines, were actually dehydration lines.

Joanna Fleming:
Were they?

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. I've been ultra dehydrated, so I have not been drinking any water. Have you been the same?

Joanna Fleming:
Me neither. Yes, exactly the same. I'm so dehydrated.

Hannah Furst:
My lips are so dry.

Joanna Fleming:
I know that I'm not meant to swear, but my lips are (beep).

Hannah Furst:
Yes.

Joanna Fleming:
My god. It is so bad.

Hannah Furst:
It's great. Is this a thing? Is this a thing?

Joanna Fleming:
Honestly, everybody I've spoken to lately has dry lips. My fix has been that Lanolips Scrubba-Balm. It has something in it that just fixes mine immediately. No other bomb can fix mine.

Hannah Furst:
I think we need to have a challenge to drink more water this week.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah. I really think we should.

Hannah Furst:
I've been drinking a sip a day. It's been really bad.

Joanna Fleming:
Yep, same. It's so bad.

Hannah Furst:
And I'll have a Coke Zero or something. It's just been really bad.

Joanna Fleming:
I'm just having five cups of tea, and I don't think that counts as having water. We should have a challenge to drink a liter a day now.

Hannah Furst:
Just a liter. I'd love to drink a liter a day. Even if I drank 500 mls in the morning and 500 mls before bed, at least I did it, because I'm so dehydrated at the moment. My lips are a real telltale.

Joanna Fleming:
I feel like my life would change if I started to drink more water, but I've always been really bad at drinking it. I don't understand those people that carry around those Camelback bottles and they can just down the whole thing.

Hannah Furst:
I'd go to the toilet every two seconds. Although, now's the time to do it, because you're at home. You can go to the toilet as much as you like.

Joanna Fleming:
And also, something that we keep forgetting to remind you guys about is that we have a podcast page on Adore Beauty. So it's adorebeauty.com.au/podcast. You can find everything there. So any products that we talk about, it's all listed there. It's got all of our recent episodes, our bonus episodes, and if you're a first time customer, you can get $15 off orders over $75. So don't forget. If you're thinking, "What product did she mention in this section?" It will be listed in there. So you can just jump onto adorebeauty.com.au/podcast.

Hannah Furst:
And just to finish off the episode, a few listeners have been sending me some amazing memes.

Joanna Fleming:
Have they?

Hannah Furst:
Oh my God. Yes. Sorry, I've had two sent to me recently. I'm going to send you one, Jo, so we can watch it together. People really must know me well. One is serving size for mac and cheese is always the entire box. And then the other one I just sent you ...

Joanna Fleming:
Is this on Instagram?

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. You might need to put the sound up.

Joanna Fleming:
Okay. Oh my God. It's dogs. Is that you eating the mac and cheese?

Hannah Furst:
How aggressive is that?

Joanna Fleming:
Why do they eat it like that? Yeah, why is she giving her dogs mac and cheese?

Hannah Furst:
I feel like it's not safe, but anyway.

Joanna Fleming:
That is you.

Hannah Furst:
Anyway, so basically she's got these, they're Shih Tzus and there's how many? There's three of them. Four of them, four of them, and she's giving them a big spoon of mac and cheese. We hope it's not cheese cheese. And they are so aggressively eating it. It's just so funny.

Joanna Fleming:
It's like seeing Hannah in her living room at 10 o'clock at night.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah. That's me. That is me. Oh my God. That is how I eat mac and cheese, by the way.

Joanna Fleming:
You just shovel it in.

Hannah Furst:
If want to go and see that account, it is Jersey Shih Tzu. So Jersey, J-E-R-S-E-Y, S-H-I-H, T-Z ... God, I do not know how to spell Shih Tzu, but there you go.

Joanna Fleming:
Well, that's us for another week. See you next time.

Hannah Furst:
Thanks everyone for joining us today.

Joanna Fleming:
Don't forget to subscribe and tell your friends. It helps other people to discover us. And also, we really want to know what you thought about this podcast. So if you can leave us a review, that would be much appreciated.