There is new hope for growing hair. Researchers at Durham and Columbia Universities have created a better treatment for baldness.
Researchers discovered that cells from human hair follicles could produce new hair in donor tissue, but only when grown in a spherical environment instead of the traditional petri dish. The cells were cultivated in hanging droplets. After gravity helped the human hair cells to clump together, the cells were transplanted into the dermis and epidermis of human skin that was grafted to lab mice. In five of the seven rodents, the human hair that sprouted several weeks later was fine like peach fuzz. This method could be especially useful for people who don’t have thick enough patches of hair for traditional hair transplant surgery. They are trying to grow thicker hair that has better color. Then it will be plucked to see if it grows back.
Food for Thought
A growing number of companies have joined the “clean food movement;” pledging to remove artificial ingredients from their food. Among them is Nestlé USA, which will remove all artificial flavors and FDA-certified colors from its chocolate candy and replace them with ingredients from natural sources. More than 250 products and 10 brands it be affected.
Meanwhile, Dunkin’ Donuts said it will remove titanium dioxide from its powdered doughnut recipes. An environmental advocacy group said it found nanoparticles in this white material that might cause damage to cells and tissues. Kraft Foods is removing the orange hue of its macaroni and cheese and will color it with natural ingredients like paprika and turmeric. Lastly, PepsiCo will remove Aspartame from its Diet Pepsi formula and replace it with Splenda (sucralose). With food companies facing scrutiny from non-government organizations (NGOs), it’s no surprise that personal and household care companies are also under a microscope these days.
Finally, can you guess what beauty product consumers just can do without when they’re out of the house? Lipstick? Foundation? Close, but not quite.
Marie Claire magazine asked about 20,000 readers what their must-have beauty solution is at the office. Surprisingly, 48% cited lip balm as the must-have product, with hand cream a distant second. According to Marie Claire, seven out of 10 people use lip balm every day and most have three or four products at a time.
“They pull it out between one to 12 times a day, so why not a product that is so accessible and so affordable?”
Of course, some formulas are more affordable than others. Balms can be purchased at a drugstore for about a buck, or you can buy Crème de la Mer “The Lip Balm” for $55. Most formulas are intended to moisturize lips, but some of the newer products contain mildly abrasive agents to exfoliate lips.
The popularity of the stuff has led to question, “Can you become addicted to lip balm?” No, not in a physiological sense, say experts, but lip balm can become an emotional crutch.
“Applying lip balm soothes the lips, feels good, and is often comforting which can help deal with stress or anxiety,” noted one dermatologist.
Looking for a bit of emotional security? Here’s a simple formula for a lip balm stick:
Procedure: Heat to 80-85°C. Fill into sticks at 70°C.
Harvey M. Fishman
Harvey Fishman has a consulting firm in Wanaque, NJ, specializing in cosmetic formulations and new product ideas, offering tested finished products. He has more than 30 years of experience and has been director of research at Bonat, Nestlé LeMur and Turner Hall. He welcomes descriptive literature from suppliers and bench chemists and others in the field.