OPEN THREAD: Blinding You With Science!

Except instead of blinding you, science is beautifying you. (Not that you needed it.)
Publish date:
July 17, 2015
science, studies, acne, tanning, Dating, Botox, research

The only class I ever failed was my honors chemistry class, junior year of high school. I don't know what possessed me to take honors chemistry, but it was just too much for my creative/lazy/Prozac-hazy teen brain to handle, and I ended up in summer school to make up that course.

Even though I still don't have the periodic table memorized, I'm fascinated by all things scientific and voluntarily seek out news about interesting studies in chemistry, biology and psychology—especially if they relate back to beauty. I'm guessing some of you find this stuff crazy-intriguing, too, so I dug up some of the most interesting recent studies for this week's Open Thread in hopes of us talking about it on the Internet on a Friday night because there's nothing nerdy about that all—nope.

Here's a quick summary of some of the most fascinating beauty-science stuff I've found lately:

Treating skin with nitric oxide via nanotechnology could prevent acne.

Researchers at the George Washington School of Medicine & Health Sciences report in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology that they found "an effective a way to kill the bacterium that serves as a stimulus for acne without using an antibiotic, and demonstrate the means by which nitric oxide inhibits newly recognized pathways central to the formation of a pimple, present in the skin even before you can see the acne."

Unfortunately, they don't say how they're gonna get this treatment to us, the pimply masses, but it sounds like it has a lot of potential!

Indoor tanning is losing popularity! (Slowly.)

A researcher with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has published a teensy bit of good news in JAMA Dermatology: there has been a decrease in indoor tanning by 1.3% in the last few years. He believes this small but positive step in a healthier direction is due to greater awareness of the harm it can do.

"Research regarding the motivations of indoor tanners could inform the development of new interventions," the report states. "Physicians can also play a role through behavioral counseling."

Photogrammetry can measure how effective cosmetic injections really are.

Reported in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, UPenn smartypantses have found that a technology usually used in the automotive and aerospace industries can be used to measure the efficacy of anti-wrinkle injections, like Botox.

"With more people turning to this procedure, it is important to have evidence-based ways of improving cosmetic and reconstructive surgical results," the study states. It's also important to just to have ways to see our faces in rainbow colors.

If you start dating someone shortly after meeting them, you're probably "in the same league" of physical attractiveness, so to speak.

This one's a little controversial, since physical attractiveness is so subjective. It's interesting, though.

"This study shows that we make different sorts of decisions about whom to marry depending upon whether we knew the person before we started dating," said Eli Finkel of Northwestern University, in a study published in Psychological Science. "If we start dating soon after we meet, physical attractiveness appears to be a major factor in determining such decisions, and we end up with somebody who's about as attractive as we are."

"If, in contrast, we know the person for a while before we start dating—or if we're friends first—physical attractiveness appears to be much less important, and we are less likely to be similar to our spouse on the dimension of looks," he explained.

So when you see a couple that you feel is mismatched in terms of physical attractiveness, it's very possible that they didn't start dating right away. But it would be rude to just go up and say, "Wow, you're way hotter than your girlfriend. Friends first?" So don't do that.

  • Are you intrigued by beauty science?
  • Have you ever been the much more conventionally attractive member of a couple?
  • Are you still indoor tanning?
  • What else do you want to talk about this week, science-y or not?