What I’m Reading 3.10.17



The Birchbox of Korean Beauty Is Pissing Off Its Most Loyal Fans to Sell to You

The Korean beauty industry has had incredible growth in both awareness and sales in the US, and the inclusion of Korean-made products in stores like Target and Nordstrom signal that it’s only becoming more mainstream. American indie sites that sell Korean products, like Soko Glam, Peach & Lily, and Glow Recipe, have helped as well, but no start-up has received as much attention (or funding) as Memebox.

In a letter sent out to customers this week by founder and CEO Dino Ha, the site, which has carried hundreds of brands as well as four private-label house brands, announced that “many of the products on our site will be sold and shipped to you by our partner retailers rather than by Memebox directly. As part of this change, all Memepoints and loyalty program statuses will expire on April 30, 2017, and we will honor all Memepoint redemptions on our site until then.” A new site to be revealed on May 1st will also include more educational content.

There are several red flags there, especially for customers who use Memebox for one-stop K-beauty shopping. (Memebox denied a request for an interview.) What “partner retailers” seems to mean is affiliate links (like this) that send customers to Amazon and possibly other sites to buy a product that Memebox no longer carries. This would mean that if you order multiple products that Memebox can’t fulfill, you’re stuck with a multiple checkout situation, which sort of defeats the purpose of going to one site to buy products. Affiliate links pay a small percentage of that sale to the site that links, meaning that Memebox will make money from sending people elsewhere to shop.

Who Knew That Tanning Was Such a Big Deal in the Healthcare Debate?

Because we are in a very strange time in politics now, there’s some governmental tanning news to talk about that has nothing to do with our unnaturally orange president. The Obamacare health plan included a 10 percent tax for customers who used tanning bed salons. The new and very contentious Republican health plan calls for a repeal to this tax, among many others. While it’s meant to save people from paying taxes in the short term, it could have much longer term consequences — and possible already has.

And so, in a meeting of the House Committee on Ways and Means yesterday, members of Congress engaged in some surreal conversations about tanning beds.

As reported by Esquire, a Republican representative, Jason Smith of Missouri, at one point suggested that perhaps we should just tax the sun because that causes skin cancer also. He also suggested that the tax was terrible for women since most tanning salon owners and users are women. (No word on whether the president uses commercial tanning beds.)


The Curious History of Medieval Battle Snails + Some Snail Skincare Picks

Before I tell you about the curious history of medieval battle snails, I realize that I should explain something about my own history: I spent my 20s getting a PhD and teaching college, yes, History. History history history.

Despite teaching this stuff and earning the title of doctor of philosophy (I’m Dr. Robey, if you’re nasty), when I write about History, you can bet I’m going to use sources. A post where a writer (even if they’re an expert in the field) just fires things off with no evidence, especially if the topic is controversial, would be considered a “hot take.” A hot take is “deliberately provocative commentary” that’s “usually written on tight deadlines with little research or reporting, and even less thought.” Hot takes are considered unacceptable no matter the size of one’s audience, but they’re particularly problematic when put out by people with significant reach since the hot take might end up misinforming the people they influence.


Want to help further acne research? These clinical trials are recruiting!


Not strictly “reading”, but informative nonetheless 😉

Lisa Elridge: My Facial Massage Routine

Cerritos College Cosmetology: European Facial Massage Procedures


15 Female-Owned Beauty Brands To Support In Honor Of International Women’s Day

At first glance, it may seem like women run the beauty industry. We are by far the largest consumer base, have the highest purchasing powe,  and are lucky enough get the best smelling products. But just because the ladies are the ones doing the buying doesn’t mean that we’re being represented behind the scenes. The CEOs of L’Oreal, Revlon, Estée Lauder, and MAC Cosmetics are all men, and pretty much run the $50 billion beauty industry. Crazy, right?

Wednesday’s “Day Without Women,” set to coincide with International Women’s Day, challenges female consumers to withhold their purchasing power from brands that aren’t owned by women — which means all of the major consumer brands listed above are out (and you’d be surprised by how many smaller brands each of them owns). Lucky for us, there are plenty of amazing beauty companies out there owned, run and operated by women.


All About Over-the-Counter Differin (Adapalene) For Acne

The popular prescription acne treatment Differin is now available over-the-counter without a prescription in the US. Here’s what you need to know about whether or not you should consider it…

(Note: This isn’t intended to be medical advice. Please seek professional advice if there’s anything you’re unsure about!)


Differin is the brand name for adapalene, a chemical active developed by Galderma Laboratories (a Nestlé-owned company who also make Benzac, Epiduo and Cetaphil). It belongs to a class of skincare ingredients known as retinoids, which are vitamin A derivatives. Retinoids are usually prescribed for acne treatment, but many also have been found to have anti-aging effects too. Adapalene is one of the newest generation of retinoids on the market along with tazarotene. They have some advantages when compared with older retinoids such as retinol, isotretinoin (Accutane) and tretinoin (Retin-A).

All About Bee Venom and Honey in Skincare

Honey and bee venom have been used in folk medicine for thousands of years, but they’ve made a recent resurgence in skincare. Here’s the science behind these ingredients.


Honey is formed from nectar and pollen by bees through a process of partial digestion (don’t think too hard about it if you want to enjoy honey ever again). On the regular skincare front, honey is a humectant moisturiser, capable of binding water to the skin to keep it hydrated. There’s also some evidence that honey is effective for speeding up healing for some wounds. Honey also acts as an antibacterial in vitro (in the lab) in a few different ways, depending on the type of honey.





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