Skinny on fat lips, skim milk, big eyelashes

February 1, 2007

Q What is the mechanism of action of lip plumping cosmetics?

Q What is the mechanism of action of lip plumping cosmetics?

Q How does skim milk work to alleviate the pain of a deep first degree or superficial second degree sunburn?

Q How does the new eyelash thickening mascara work?

A The new eyelash thickening mascaras are excellent for patients with thinning, gray or absent eyelashes. The best products have substituted the tufted mascara brush with a fine short toothed comb for separating and placing the eyelashes evenly along the tarsal border. The mascara may come in one or two tubes. The two tube varieties have a polymer in one tube that is used to coat, curl and position the eyelashes. The polymer coats each eyelash with a hairspray like chemical to physically thicken the hair. As the polymer dries, it contracts causing the short thin eyelash hair to curl. Curled eyelashes appear longer to the viewer. Finally, the comb can be used to place eyelashes evenly or to move surrounding eyelash hairs toward an area of missing hairs. The polymer from the first tube is allowed to dry and the second tube is applied with the black or brown color to darken and further thicken the lashes. Some lash thickening mascaras combine both ingredients into one tube.

Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D., is a clinical associate professor of dermatology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, N.C., and primary investigator, Dermatology Consulting Services, High Point, N.C. Questions may be submitted via e-mail to zdraelos@northstate.net
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