5 Beauty Scientists Share Their Secrets

Say hello to the brains behind beauty.

beauty

Talk about beautiful minds: The seven women here have decades of combined experience playing around with nature's most effective ingredients, so they know what works. Learn their pretty-smart secrets to look your glowy best.

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Amandine Isnard, Head of Product Development at Eve Lom

This French-born Brooklyn resident circles the globe in search of the latest and greatest skin-care advances, then incorporates them into Eve Lom's spa-influenced products.


The Problem That Inspired an Innovatio


"I have hereditary hyperpigmentation on one side of my face — both my father and my grandmother have the exact same spot on the same side. In my travels to Asia, I was wowed by an ingredient that we now use in our brand-new brightening line. It's called Dermapep. It doesn't bleach or fade your skin — it prevents excess pigment from being produced. It's dramatically reduced my own spot over the three years I've been testing it, so I'm excited it's now available to everyone."


A Skin Refresh She Never Skips


"In order to improve your blood circulation and help pores appear smaller, it's important to lightly exfoliate on a daily basis. At night, I wash my face with cleanser and a muslin cloth, which gently gets rid of dead skin cells, stimulates circulation, and tones the skin. It also removes all of my makeup before I apply my nightly skin-care products."


Her Detox Ritual


"Whenever I go to Paris or Morocco, I love to indulge in the hammam, a Turkish bath spa ritual that involves steam rooms and full-body exfoliation with black soap. It's divine."


Amandine's Picks


Ouai Haircare Wave Spray ($26, sephora.com)


"Most wave sprays use salt to create texture. The downside can be dry hair. This one uses rice protein instead — I get pretty waves every time, with no crunch."


Eve Lom Time Retreat Face Treatment ($110, spacenk.com)


"Retinol is a great anti-ager, but it can be irritating. Ours is gentler and gets deeper into the skin."

Susie Wang, Founder & Chief Creative Ambassador of 100% Pure

Susie set out to create totally natural skin-care products that really work, and earned legions of fans in the process. But she's not stopping there.


Why Natural Doesn't Always Mean Safe


"Don't be fooled: Certain chemicals can combine and become very volatile and toxic, and natural ingredients do the same. That's why we have a 12-step testing process that looks at all the ingredients to make sure there aren't any negative reactions. My best advice: Buy from brands you trust."


How She Stays Hydrated


"Every evening, after I apply my night cream, I pop open a vitamin E pill and spread the oil on my face and neck. Pure vitamin E oil is a nutritious antioxidant that's naturally sticky and thick in texture, like a liquid caramel, which is why it's able to lock in moisture."


What's Next for Natural Makeup


"We've perfected the use of fruit pigments, and I'm working on vegetable- and flower-based dyes. Flower pigments are interesting because you have to think about pollen and allergies. I had to figure out how to remove sugar from fruits, and now I have to find a way to remove pollen from flowers so people don't have reactions. But all are great alternatives to synthetic dyes."


Susie's Picks


100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer in White Peach ($45, 100percentpure.com)


"The base is rice starch, and it gets its color from actual peaches and apricots. We added cocoa-bean brown for richness, and a bit of red pomegranate to give a little glow."


100% Pure Kelp & Mint Volumizing Shampoo ($25, 100percentpure.com)


"Hair that's dehydrated gets thin, frizzy, and brittle. The seaweed collagen in this soaks into strands to moisturize and plump, and the virgin coconut oil makes the product gently foam up."

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Frauke Neuser, PhD, Principal Scientist at Olay

Frauke knows exactly how skin stays young, and it's spelled S-P-F. 


"If every woman could see the science behind UV protection, we'd all use sunscreen and look so much better," she says. "In a recent study we did with Harvard Medical School, skin from UV-protected areas appeared up to 20 years younger. There was much less breakdown of collagen and elastin, which is linked to wrinkles and sagging."


Don't Save Sunscreen for the Beach 


"The main cause of UV damage is not a one-week beach holiday — it's the everyday, low-level UV exposure that accumulates over time. The most effective anti-aging product you can use is a daily moisturizer with SPF, like Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($22, amazon.com). I'm so proud of the team behind this product. SPF ingredients have an oily feel, so we made sure this one had a light, fast-absorbing texture."


The Ingredient That Does It All


"We've been using niacinamide in Olay products for 16 years. It's a form of vitamin B3 that speeds up cell renewal and helps skin hold on to moisture better. We also have clinical studies showing that it reduces the appearance of pores, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation."


Her Favorite Skin-Dulgence


"I love a hot bath in the winter, but it can dry you out. I use a mix of bubble bath and oil, especially if the water is very hot and I'm soaking for a while. The oil coats the skin and helps protect it from losing moisture. I like one with a relaxing fragrance and almond and castor oils."


Frauke's Picks


SK-II Facial Treatment Essence ($99, sephora.com)


"My one big splurge — I apply it under my SPF and makeup in the morning. It absorbs into skin like water and has good-for-you amino acids and vitamins."


Olay Age Defying Body Wash ($6, olay.com)


"I wasn't involved in the development of this product, but it's amazing. It has a mix of mild surfactants that create a creamy lather without stripping skin. It also leaves behind moisturizing ingredients like petrolatum to improve the condition of your skin and strengthen its moisture barrier."

Diane Minar, Senior Development Scientist at Unilever

Diane's work on products for brands like Dove, Clear, Suave, and Nexxus taught her that your hair needs as much care and attention as your skin.


The Shower Step You Shouldn't Skip


"I've always used conditioner on my fine hair, but after looking under the microscope and seeing how much roughing up hair is subjected to, I know just how important it really is. Along with hydrating, conditioner helps prevent damage by reducing the amount of friction from combing and detangling. And it fills in the tiny cracks and imperfections in hair's outer cuticle layer."


This Healthy Hydrator Is a Must


"Coconut oil is a wonder ingredient. It has a small molecular weight, so it's able to penetrate hair and is less likely to weigh it down. That's why we put it in Nexxus New York Salon Care Hydra-Light Restoring Conditioner ($12, amazon.com). I also use pure coconut oil on the dry skin around my eyes. It absorbs right in, and my makeup goes on so much smoother."


How Science Fights Frizz


"In the lab, we treat swatches of human hair with product and place them in a chamber set at 80 percent relative humidity. Then image analysis software tells us if their size has increased due to frizz. What we learn time and again is that conditioner is so important — it replenishes the protective barrier that surrounds hair, which helps keep it smooth."


Diane's Picks


Tresemmé Keratin Smooth Keratin Infusing Serum ($5, amazon.com)


"I love using this on my damp hair before I blow-dry. Three different silicones are blended together to make hair feel silky without being weighed down."


Ren Clean Skincare Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask ($55, sephora.com)


"The weekends are when I exfoliate. My skin is very sensitive, so I can't use physical scrubs. But the glycolic acid in this mask works just as well, dissolving any dead skin and flakes on my face. I used it the morning of my wedding — such a complexion brightener."

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Balanda Atis, Manager of L'Oréal's Women of Color Lab

Balanda thinks of her mom and sisters when she's developing a rainbow range of products for Lancôme, L'Oréal, Maybelline, and Giorgio Armani Beauty.


"When I was young, I tried the foundation my mother wore and the shade didn't work for me. Honestly, it didn't work for her, either," she recalls. "At L'Oréal, we've tried to improve on the offerings."


Why It's a Challenge to Find a Foundation Match


"I was surprised to learn how many skin tones exist in the world — there are hundreds of shades. When you analyze them with a measuring device, skin tones are almost like fingerprints. We're all unique."


What Makes All the Difference for Dark Skin


"A big advance was when we began using ultramarine blue to mimic the shade of violet in dark skin. It let us create more natural-looking depth. If you have a deeper skin tone and haven't found your perfect foundation, look for 'ultramarine blue' on the label."


Shade-Spot Like a Pro


"Try on makeup to see if it will work for you, because foundation fillers like bismuth oxychloride or titanium dioxide may have a white, chalky cast that looks powdery on deeper skin. If you can't find your exact shade, brighten up a color with a few drops of highlighter, or tone it down with bronzer."


Her Get-Glowing Secret


"My Haitian family uses black castor oil on our hair and body. We go directly to a plant to get it, but you can buy it online. My grandmother and mother swear by it, so I know it works. We call it liquid gold."


Balanda's Picks


Lancôme Dual-End Foundation and Corrector Brush ($46, lancome-usa.com)


"The large end is perfect for all over; the smaller is ideal for areas like the under eye. A combo of natural and synthetic bristles lets it hold different formulas, from liquids to creams."


Lancôme Mousse Radiance Clarifying Self-Foaming Cleanser ($32, lancome-usa.com)


"I try on a lot of makeup every day as part of my job. This gentle cleanser has antioxidant-rich white lotus and soothing rose de France to penetrate down deep and dissolve impurities without leaving my skin parched."

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