Ep 51: Happy Blush – Makeup with Skincare & Mood Benefits
Happy Blush by Dr.TWL Lip Lab contains the novel blue-light blocking edible superfood Astaxanthin with skincare benefits to treat and prevent hyperpigmentation- it also naturally confers a unique shade of striking coral pink to the buildable lip-cheek stain. Mood-boosting Crocus Sativa is a potent antioxidant that also enhances your natural endorphins.
This week, Dr. Teo Wan Lin discusses a prototype of multi-functional makeup in the refillable Silvexia lipstick casing. A happy skin formula that functions as both a lip and cheek stain. Use in the day as a tint for a subtle glow in tropical weather for a sun kissed look and build it up to an intense blush and lip color that gets you photoshoot ready at night.
Listen to the story of the Pi- π Cosmeceutical Custom Makeup Lab launched in 2019, which produces customized makeup formulas with 100% mineral pigment only and organically sourced plant actives; as well as Dr.TWL Pharmacy’s focus on eco-conscious packaging solutions for makeup.
Hi guys and welcome to my podcast Dermatologist Talks: Science of Beauty. I’m Dr. Teo Wan Lin of TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre. In this week’s dermatology flash briefing, I’m going to share about edible cosmetics. Edible lip products have been my focus of skincare makeup since the launch of our custom lip lab in 2019. It is the sole dermatologist-developed lipstick laboratory in the world, housing the most comprehensive range of anti-ageing lip care products and makeup products with skincare benefits.
Lip care products with skincare benefits
As you may have guessed by now, the latest offering from the lip lab is the Happy Blush – Edible Lip-Cheek Stain that just arrived in the month of September. Before we go into that, I want to share a little bit more about my journey in lip cosmeceutical development.
The Ultra-Intensive Lip Plumper is power packed with precision dermatological ingredients for ultra intensive hydration and plumping of the lips.
We started with the Ultra Intensive Lip Plumper under Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals. It contains salmon-roe DNA which has been implemented as a cosmeceutical active ingredient in skincare as well as injectables for the last couple of years. This was after the discovery that it was a potent antioxidant that can help to reduce fine lines. The Ultra Intensive Lip Plumper is also fortified with other plant-derived antioxidants like Grapeseed Oil, bringing many skincare benefits. This helps to fill up the wrinkles. In addition to the base of the lip plumper, overall, it doesn’t just visually plump up your lips. It also works to anti-age and heal your lips from signs of photoageing.
Dermatologist-developed anti-ageing lipstick base
The LipSerum Stick is custom blended for you according to your preferred shade/skin tone recommendation. With a phytoceramide formula that prevents lip discolouration, wrinkles and loss of volume associated with UV-damage and ageing.
The very same year, we developed a phytoceramide base for the pi- cosmeceutical lipstick series. It is essentially a colour customizable lipstick with 100% plant seed oil based phytoceramides formula, and it’s also preservative free. If you compare the ingredients of the pi-cosmeceutical lipstick with your traditional lipsticks, one of the most significant differences you’ll find is the list of ingredients.
The reason we are able to keep the ingredient list minimal is because of the solid-state formula that melts into a serum upon contact with your body temperature. As you know, the mucosa, which is the skin on your lips, is a little bit warmer than the rest of the skin on your body. That helps to change it from a solid state to a serum formula. Because of the solid state crystal formula, we’re able to maintain purity as well as stability with just vitamin E, an edible antioxidant with many skincare benefits.
Why is edible lipstick relevant?
You can revisit some of my older articles where I speak about the total amount of lipstick that women ingest throughout their lifetimes. Futhermore, the ingredients in conventional lipsticks, while nowadays is hard to find one that is overtly toxic, has many different constituents of cosmetics which may not be that suitable when we apply it on the lips, given that we end up ingesting it.
Active ingredients in the Edible Lip-Cheek Stain
This rosette tip Lip-Cheek Stain is handcrafted with the purest edible ingredients to deliver intense, brilliant pigment buildable for a natural glow on your lips and cheeks.
In any case, I’m really excited to share the latest Happy Blush. It contains a novel edible ingredient Astaxanthin, in this very same lipstick base that we developed in 2019. Except, that now it has dual function capabilities – as a cheek tint as well as lipstick. This is all encased in a UV protective silver anodized casing – the Silvexia casing. This means that you can bring it easily with you wherever you go in your bag. Additionally, it makes it easy to update your makeup on the go.
For application on the cheeks, the interesting effect that astaxanthin, which for the purposes of this discussion, we’ll just try to understand as a micro algae-derived nutrient, actually is able to block blue light. We’ve heard about the impact of blue light on skin, but mostly its impact on pigmentation. Pre-existing pigmentation is a major risk factor for those who will be affected by blue light. Astaxanthin, as a microalgae, is uniquely adapted and has evolved to be able to fight off blue light, which is naturally part of the UV spectrum. Also, we want to emphasise that pigmentation tends to occur over the photo exposed areas of the face. For example, the cheeks – the prominences. So when you apply your blush, you should also incorporate ingredients with skincare benefits. You can read up more about my concept of skincare makeup, which is the premise of starting the Lip Lab.
I also want to highlight now, the fact that we can harness the natural properties of these active ingredients in terms of their pigment in makeup. Makeup is only considered makeup, if it serves its function. If you’re just talking about applying something that will give you a shimmer or a glow, it certainly wouldn’t be able to stand the test of, for example, a photoshoot. So when we are talking about the function of makeup, I think the gold standard would be how it looks like on a photoshoot. Because on a day-to-day basis, I feel that if we have healthy skin, it’s easy to go without makeup or minimal pigment on our skin. However, if your product can stand the test of photography lighting, then you know that it really is functioning as makeup. Therefore, the challenge here is identifying active ingredients that has this natural coloration.
The benefits of astaxanthin
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid. We find carotenoids in fruits and vegetables that are orange, red, yellow. But in this case, astaxanthin is an algae that is also a superfood. Also, it has a very unique coral pink finish that imparts to every single one of our happy blushes.
Anti-pigmentation and mood boosting ingredient
It’s also very exciting for me to share that we have included Crocus sativa, or saffron extract, in the happy blush. This is the ingredient that gives the blush its name. Because, we know that saffron is a precious spice that studies show can boost your serotonin levels and up your endorphins. In terms of skincare benefits, the extract can fight pigmentation, hyperpigmentation via the anti-inflammatory route.
Crocus Sativa is evidence-based when ingested. We’re not so sure when it’s applied. However, when is ingested as a supplement, it does have some sort of mood boosting effect. But for what it’s worth, I’m in the business of making people beautiful. However, I think it’s more important to impart my personal beauty philosophy here, which is to be happy as well. So I personally found that it was a nice touch, as with all of my creations to give a note of this happiness hormone in this blush that’s created for everyone in the year 2021. Especially because it seems like the pandemic is not really coming to an end.
The Custom Lip Lab
Well, I want to share a little bit now about my vision for the lip lab. It was featured by Cosmetics Designs Asia in an article last year. In it, I shared about my primary motivation for this. Specifically, I think that makeup should also transition to focusing on skin health. Clearly, the first makeup item that I zoomed in on was lipstick. Because to me, I feel it’s the most minimalistic makeup item you can have in your busy lifestyle. For example, it is an essential if you want to instantly perk up your look. The issue with lipstick from a medical point of view is that first of all, it is in contact with a very sensitive part of your facial skin – the mucosa of your lips. To illustrate, there is an increase in absorption of whatever you apply on it and inadvertent ingestion.
Importance of sustainable beauty
The issue with environmental contamination of pigments used in lipsticks is actually a real problem. Because, for mass-produced lipsticks, there is just no way that we can get around this issue. It’s also very impractical to enforce testing. To illustrate, we are talking about heavy metal contamination. Therefore, the only way to circumvent this is in small-scale production. Of course, we are now a little bit more aware of the topic of sustainability in the beauty industry. Hence, it becomes much more relevant for us to push this topic as well. From the lip lab’s perspective, which is essentially a part of our skincare pharmacy attached to my office, a waste-free makeup concept essentially involves mainly refillable packaging.
Makeup packaging is incredibly wasteful because it lasts as long as you are using the product. Or if it’s within its shelf life which when you open it- we estimate a maximum of 1 year for most makeup products. Compared to skincare product packaging, I feel that makeup packaging is probably a very practical sort of approach towards our first baby steps in sustainability. Especially when we’re talking about reducing waste in the cosmetic industry. Because, makeup can be produced in a solid state. So that means that we can design refillable makeup packaging to house tins of makeup. That would significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste.
Waste-free makeup packaging
The Infinity Palette contains everything you need to design your own highly pigmented lip stains on the go. With infinite colour possibilities in one basic palette. It contains 7 re-usable empty magnetic tin pans for you to mix and store your own unique LipStain creations.
So that’s the story behind the silver anodized UV protective Silvexia coating that we apply to all the plastics used for the lip lab products. It is refillable and reusable. It’s also important to share about the variety of lip colours that one usually has in your makeup kit and makeup bag. This is a more utilitarian and environmentally friendly approach. Such as having smaller tins of different lip colours in a single packaging – which is what our idea was for the Infinity Palette. Not just that, but also to have more multifunctional makeup products such as the Edible Lip-cheek Stain.
That’s enough sharing for this week’s flash briefing. I just want to give you a little teaser of what we’re going to reveal next. It is certainly going to make you happy. For the next episode, we’re going in-depth into this special superfood ingredient astaxanthin. As well as my latest book Edible Beauty: Dermatologist’s Guide An Anti-Ageing diet, which is now up on Amazon Kindle. I can’t wait to share all my research and knowledge about nutraceuticals and edible cosmetics in the next few episodes. For now, I wish you all a great week ahead, until next week
Edible Beauty is a comprehensive compilation of superfoods that have been proven to have positive effects on your skin, and slow down the ageing process. This book also publishes for the very first time, Dr Teo’s research into the topic of edible beauty. As well as a colour schematic – the nutraceutical colour code developed by Dr Teo herself, which is a convenient and easy way to plan your meals.