Transcript: The Trouble with Soap | Jan 09, 2019

Nam sits in the studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a gray blazer over a floral print shirt.

A caption on screen reads "The trouble with soap. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

Nam says CANADIANS SPEND MILLIONS OF
DOLLARS EVERY YEAR
AND TIME EVERY SINGLE DAY
USING CLEANSERS, MOISTURIZERS
AND TONICS ON THEIR SKIN.
IS IT ALL WORTH IT?
DOCTOR SANDY SKOTNICKI
IS A DERMATOLOGIST
AND HER NEW BOOK RAISES SOME
DOUBTS ABOUT THAT.
IT'S CALLED
BEYOND SOAP:
THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT WHAT YOU
ARE DOING TO YOUR SKIN
AND HOW TO FIX IT FOR A
BEAUTIFUL, HEALTHY GLOW.

A picture of the book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a picture of three jars containing cotton and Q-tips.
Sandy is in her thirties, with long wavy auburn hair. She's wearing a pink blazer over a white shirt.

Nam continues WELCOME TO THE AGENDA.
THANKS FOR BEING HERE.

Sandy says THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
BEFORE WE STARTED TAPING,
I TOLD YOU THAT WHEN
I WAS READING THE BOOK,
I HAD THIS A-HA MOMENT.
AND MY A-HA MOMENT WAS I
REALIZED I DIDN'T KNOW
THAT THERE WAS A DIFFERENT
BETWEEN HYGIENE AND CLEANLINESS.

Sandy says RIGHT.

Nam says BUT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.
WHAT IS THAT DIFFERENCE?

The caption changes to "Sandy Skotnicki. Author, 'Beyond soap.'"
Then, it changes again to "To clean or not to clean."

Sandy says I HAD A BIT OF AN A-HA, TOO,
AND IT'S NICE TO SEE READERS
HAVE THE SAME THING.
SOME PEOPLE CALL IT
A LIGHTBULB MOMENT.
IF I CAN JUST EXPLAIN QUICKLY,
YOU GOTTA THINK OF THE SKIN
LIKE A BRICK WALL,
AND THE BRICKS ARE YOUR CELLS
AND THE MORTAR IS
SORT OF YOUR NATURAL OILS.
AND WHEN YOU WASH AND CLEAN,
YOU REMOVE THE MORTAR.
SO, YOU'RE ACTUALLY DAMAGING
YOUR SKIN'S ABILITY TO
PROTECT YOURSELF.
BUT PEOPLE HAVE EQUATED
WASHING WITH HEALTH
BECAUSE IT DOES KEEP US HEALTHY.
AND PRE-ANTIBIOTIC ERA,
WHEN YOU COULD DIE
IF YOU GOT A PRICK
IN THE GARDEN OR SOMETHING LIKE
THAT,
IT WAS NECESSARY TO REALLY MAKE
SURE YOU GOT DIRT OFF
AND MAKE SURE YOU CLEANSE
YOURSELF,
AND MOST PEOPLE DIDN'T HAVE
INDOOR PLUMBING.
SO, THAT'S HYGIENE.
BUT WHAT'S HAPPENED IS THAT WE
NOW WASH OURSELVES
AND, YOU KNOW, OUR HAIR EVERY DAY.
THAT'S CLEANLINESS.
THAT'S ABOUT APPEARANCE,
ABOUT FEELING GOOD,
ABOUT SMELLING GOOD.
HYGIENE TODAY IN SOCIETY WITH
INDOOR PLUMBING
IS WASHING YOUR HANDS.
SO, THERE'S A DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN BEING HYGIENIC
WITH YOUR SKIN CARE
AND BEING CLEAN.
AND BECAUSE WE'VE OVER CLEANED
AND WE'RE BEING TOO CLEAN,
WE'VE ACTUALLY CAUSED DISEASE.

Nam says AND ALSO, TOO, I GUESS
IT'S WHAT WE'RE USING
TO CLEAN OURSELVES WITH,
'CAUSE I'M ASSUMING
THAT IF YOU DID TAKE,
LIKE, TWO SHOWERS A DAY AND JUST
KIND OF STOOD UNDER THE SHOWER,
BUT DIDN'T USE ANY PRODUCTS,
THAT WOULD BE DIFFERENT
THAN USING SOAP.

Sandy says YEP. WATER'S A GREAT SOLVENT,
AND I, YOU KNOW,
TALK ABOUT THAT IN THE BOOK,
THAT, YOU KNOW, ESPECIALLY POST
WORKOUT AND STUFF LIKE THAT,
YOU DON'T NEED TO LATHER YOUR
WHOLE BODY.
LIKE, IF YOU'RE NOT DIRTY,
YOU DON'T NEED TO
LATHER YOUR WHOLE BODY
'CAUSE SOAP IS DAMAGING.
IT'S ALSO WHAT IS SOAP?
LIKE, I READ SO MUCH
ABOUT SOAP FOR THIS BOOK.
SOAP IS VERY
DIFFERENT FROM A CLEANSER.
SO, SOAP IS YOUR TRADITIONAL,
YOU KNOW, LYE AND ALKALINE,
AND IT'S VERY HIGH PH,
AND IT'S INCREDIBLY
DRYING TO THE SKIN,
AND THE PH ALSO MAY DAMAGE
SOMETHING CALLED
OUR SKIN'S MICROBIOME.
SO, CLEANSERS ARE DIFFERENT.
THEY'RE NOT
THE SAME KIND OF THING.
SO, THAT'S YOU'RE...
LIKE, YOUR DOVE BAR,
CETAPHIL BARS,
THAT KIND OF THING,
AND THAT DOESN'T DAMAGE
YOUR SKIN AS MUCH.

Nam says AND THE MICROBIOME IS WHAT
PROTECTS YOU FROM GETTING ILL?

Sandy says YEAH, MICROBIOME
IS REALLY HOT RIGHT NOW
AND IT'S PROBABLY GONNA BE THE
NEXT 20 YEARS OF MEDICINE,
IF NOT MORE,
AND IT'S REALLY GONNA SHAPE
HOW HEALTH IS DETERMINED.
BUT WE HAVE THIS INCREDIBLE
BACTERIA AND FUNGUS
THAT LIVES ON US AND IN US,
AND WHEN YOU WASH IT AWAY
OR IF THE PH IS HIGH
AND YOU'RE ALTERING...
BECAUSE THE SKIN'S ACIDIC
AND IT NEEDS ACIDITY
FOR THE BACTERIA TO GROW...
YOU'RE DAMAGING THAT MICROBIOME.
AS ADULTS, WE'RE NOT REALLY SURE
WHAT THAT ENTAILS
OR WHAT THAT'S DOING,
BUT IN CHILDREN,
IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE
DON'T CHANGE THE MICROBIOME
AND WE DON'T OVER WASH OUR KIDS.

Nam says AND SO, YOU'VE BEEN DOING
THIS WORK FOR 20 YEARS.

Sandy says YEAH.

Nam says AND IN THE 20 YEARS, WHAT KIND
OF SKIN CONDITIONS HAVE YOU SEEN
AS A RESULT OF OVER CLEANING?

The caption changes to "Sandy Skotnicki. Bay Dermatology Centre."

Sandy says WELL, PART OF THE REASON
I WROTE THIS BOOK
WAS MY ACADEMIC OR SUBSPECIALTY
INTEREST IS ALLERGIC REACTIONS
TO THINGS THAT TOUCH THE SKIN,
AND I STARTED TO SEE,
IN PARTICULAR
OVER THE LAST TEN YEARS,
THIS INCREASE IN PEOPLE REACTING
TO THEIR PERSONAL
SKIN CARE PRODUCTS.
NOT JUST THINGS THAT ARE
PERFUMED AND HAVE, YOU KNOW,
INGREDIENT THAT THEY ARE
REACTING TO,
BUT JUST THE FACT THAT THERE
ARE, YOU KNOW,
TEN STEPS TO WASH YOUR FACE,
OR THEY'RE USING A BODY WASH
ON THEIR WHOLE BODY.
YOU DON'T NEED TO WASH YOUR BACK
AND YOUR ARMS AND YOUR LEGS
IF YOU'RE NOT DIRTY.
BUT WE'VE BEEN SORT OF TOLD
THAT BY THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY
AND YOU THINK YOU'RE
DOING SOMETHING GOOD.
AGAIN, IT COMES BACK
TO THAT QUESTION...
WHAT IS HEALTH
AND WHAT IS BEAUTY
OR WHAT IS HYGIENE AND
WHAT IS CLEANLINESS? SO...

Nam says AND IT SEEMS LIKE THIS KIND OF...
I DON'T WANT TO SAY
INDOCTRINATION.
BUT IT SEEMS AS IF IT'S
INTRODUCED VERY EARLY
'CAUSE YOU MENTIONED FOR KIDS,
IT'S VERY IMPORTANT HOW
WE TREAT THEIR SKIN.
BECAUSE WHEN I WAS
AT THE HOSPITAL,
THEY HAD, LIKE, A PACKAGE OF
SOAPS AND INGREDIENTS FOR KIDS.
AND ONE OF MY CHILDREN
HAS "ECZEMA."
OR "EC-ZIMA," HOWEVER YOU...

Sandy says "TOMATO," "TOMAT-O."

Nam says "TOMATO," "TOMAT-O."
BUT YOU SAID THAT IF
SOMEONE HAS ASTHMA,
CHANCES ARE THEY HAVE "ECZEMA."
OR "ECZIMA." HOW DOES THAT WORK?

Sandy says WELL, IT'S A VERY
COMPLICATED THING,
AND I DO TALK
ABOUT IT IN THE BOOK.
BUT WE TALK ABOUT... WE SAY
THAT'S THE ATOPIC MARCH.
SO, "A TO P" IS A GROUP
CONDITIONS,
MEDICAL CONDITIONS, THAT
INCLUDING ASTHMA,
ECZEMA AND HAY FEVER AND FOOD
ALLERGIES, IF YOU WANT.
SO, THAT IS SORT OF
GROUPED AS A GENETIC GROUP.
THE FIRST PART OF THE GROUP
USUALLY IS ECZEMA.
SO, IF YOU GET ECZEMA, YOU THEN
CAN GO ALONG THE MARCH.
WE CALL IT THE ATOPIC MARCH.
SO, THEN YOU CAN GET ASTHMA,
YOU CAN GET HAY FEVER,
YOU'RE GONNA GET
FOOD ALLERGIES.
IF WE CAN CHANGE
THE INCIDENTS OF ECZEMA...
WHICH HAS SKYROCKETED
SINCE 1950...
THREE TIMES THE INCIDENTS...
AND WE THINK IT
HAS SOMETHING TO DO
WITH HOW WE TAKE CARE
OF OUR SKIN AND THE MICROBIOME.
SO, IT'S A LONGER DISCUSSION
THAT I HOPE PEOPLE
GET THE BOOK AND READ,
BUT IF YOU... AND THAT'S WHEN YOU
GET THE A-HA MOMENT,
BECAUSE YOU'RE GOING, "WOW, YOU
KNOW, I'M CLEANING MYSELF,
"THINKING I'M DOING A GOOD JOB,
"I'M CLEANING MY KIDS EVERY
NIGHT IN THE BATHTUB,
"WHICH IS NOT NECESSARY,"
AND THAT'S ACTUALLY
THE WRONG APPROACH.
THE AMERICAN ACADEMY
OF DERMATOLOGY...
TO WHICH I BELONG...
CAME OUT IN 2016
AND SAID KIDS UNDER 11
WITH NO SKIN ISSUES
ONLY NEED TO BATHE ONCE
OR TWICE A WEEK.
LIKE, THAT'S SHOCKING
TO MOST PEOPLE,
BUT WE KNOW IT AS
DERMATOLOGISTS,
WE KNOW IT AS DOCTORS,
BUT THE PUBLIC DOESN'T BECAUSE
WE'RE SORT OF PUSHED...
WE'RE RUNNING AGAINST
A BEAUTY INDUSTRY
THAT'S A BIG BUSINESS
AND THEY'RE LIKE,
"BUY MORE PRODUCT, YOU KNOW,
USE YOUR MANGO SHAMPOO,
"PUT YOUR BATH BOMBS
IN WITH YOUR KIDS."
LIKE, AND BATH TIME IS FUN,
BUT IT'S NOT
NECESSARY EVERY NIGHT.
AND IF YOU DO WANT
TO WASH YOUR KIDS,
THEY CAN HAVE WATER,
BUT THEY DON'T NEED
ALL THE PRODUCT.

Nam says I KIND OF HEAR A SIGH OF RELIEF
FROM ALL THE PARENTS,
LIKE, "I DON'T HAVE TO BATHE MY
KIDS EVERY NIGHT? WHAT?"

Sandy says REALLY, PEOPLE COME BACK AND
SAY, "YOU'VE CHANGED MY LIFE.
"YOU KNOW, IT'S SO MUCH
EASIER AT NIGHT-TIME."
AND YOU CAN SPONGE, YOU KNOW,
IF YOUR KIDS ARE OUTSIDE...

Nam says AND CLEAN THE BITS.

Sandy says CLEAN THE BITS.

Nam says WHAT YOU CALL "THE BITS."
"THE BITS."
I'D LIKE TO READ SOMETHING FROM
THE BOOK THAT YOU WROTE.
YOU WRITE...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "The largest organ." The quote reads "SO, SKIN'S BEEN AROUND FOR MORE THAN 2.5 MILLION YEARS. AND FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF THAT TIME, WE DIDN'T DO MUCH TO IT. MAYBE WE SMEARED SOME MUD ON OUR FACES, THE BETTER TO
HIDE IN THE UNDERBRUSH AS WE STALKED WHATEVER LAND ANIMAL HAPPENED TO BE THAT AFTERNOON'S PREY. MAYBE WE PLUNGED OURSELVES INTO A RIVER OR LAKE ON A SWELTERING HOT DAY. BUT MOST OF US WERE TOO BUSY DETERMINING HOW TO PUT FOOD INTO OUR MOUTHS TO CONCENTRATE MUCH ON WHETHER OUR SKIN EVER
'RADIATED A YOUTHFUL GLOW'. AND YOU KNOW WHAT? OUR SKIN DID PRETTY WELL."

Quoted from Sandy Skotnicki, "Beyond soap." 2018.

Nam says THAT LINE "YOUTHFUL GLOW,"
IT'S A LINE THAT YOU HEAR
A LOT FROM BEAUTY PRODUCTS.
I WANTED TO GO BACK
TO THAT IDEA,
WHICH YOU DO TALK
ABOUT IN THE BOOK,
ABOUT THIS IS AN INDUSTRY,
THIS IS A BUSINESS,
SO WHEN YOU'RE SHOPPING FOR
SOAPS FOR YOUR FAMILY,
YOU NEED TO KEEP IN MIND
THAT THIS IS... PEOPLE ARE
MAKING MONEY OFF THIS.

The caption changes to "Getting skeptical about marketing."

Sandy says RIGHT.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WAS
REALLY FASCINATING FOR ME
IS I CAME ACROSS... WHEN I WAS
DOING THE RESEARCH FOR THIS,
I CAME ACROSS...
'CAUSE I WANTED TO GET...
I WANTED TO DO A CHAPTER ON THE
FACT THAT IT'S A BUSINESS,
IT'S A BIG BUSINESS
AND, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE
ANSWERING TO SHAREHOLDERS.
THEY'RE NOT NECESSARILY...
IT'S NOT THAT THEY'RE NOT
INTERESTING IN YOUR HEALTH.
THEY DON'T WANT TO HURT YOU,
BUT THEY WANT TO SELL PRODUCT.
AND WHY DO YOU HAVE TEN SHAMPOOS
AND WHY DO YOU HAVE, YOU KNOW, A
LIGHT CREAM, A DARK CREAM, THIS,
ALL KINDS OF DIFFERENT... BECAUSE
THE MORE PRODUCTS YOU HAVE...
IT'S CALLED HORIZONTAL
SEGMENTATION.
IF YOU SEGMENT THE MARKET...
SO YOU'VE GOT ONE
SHAMPOO THAT'S A SELLER,
SO YOU MAKE TEN OF THEM...
ONE'S LIGHT, ONE'S HEAVY,
ONE'S GOT NATURAL
TO SATISFY THOSE PEOPLE,
ONE'S GOT SOME ORGANIC...

Nam says SO, IT APPEALS TO
DIFFERENT PEOPLE?

Sandy says YEAH, YEAH.
AND THAT WAS SORT OF A CONCEPT
THAT WAS FIRST TALKED
ABOUT BY MALCOLM GLADWELL
IN ONE OF HIS TALKS AND BOOKS
ABOUT SPAGHETTI SAUCE.
SO, THE PERSON, THE MARKETER
WHO CAME UP WITH THAT CONCEPT
WAS HOWARD MOSKOWITZ,
AND, YOU KNOW, PEPSI CAME AND
SAID, "WE NEED A BETTER PEPSI."
AND HE SAID, "NO, YOU NEED MORE
THAN ONE TYPE OF PEPSI."
SO, IF YOU THINK BACK...
I MEAN, I THINK YOU'RE
YOUNGER THAN I AM...
BUT, YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU WENT
INTO THE GROCERY STORE,
THERE WAS, LIKE,
THREE SPAGHETTI SAUCES
OR FIVE SALAD DRESSINGS.
NOW, THERE'S LIKE HUNDREDS,
AND THAT'S ALL TO THIS FELLOW.
AND THEN, IT CAME
TO THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY.
THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY, LIKE, IF
YOU HAVE MORE PRODUCTS,
YOU'LL SELL MORE SKUS,
YOU'LL JUST SELL MORE.
AND SO THEN, YOU KIND OF THINK
WHEN YOU'RE IN THE...
WHEN YOU'RE IN THE SHOPPING...
OR, YOU KNOW, THE DRUGSTORE,
AND YOU'RE LOOKING AT ALL THESE
MASSES AND MASSES OF PRODUCTS,
ARE THEY ACTUALLY NECESSARY?
ARE THEY HELPFUL TO YOU?
AND I SORT OF JUST WANT
PEOPLE TO GET, LIKE,
AN A-HA MOMENT,
WHICH YOU HAD, AND SAY,
"GENERALLY, A LOT OF THEM
AREN'T NECESSARY."

Nam says BECAUSE IT WASN'T
ALWAYS THIS WAY.

Sandy says NO.

Nam says I THINK, BACK IN THE DAY,
IT WAS YOU HAD ONE
SOAP TO CHOOSE FROM.
BUT THEN,
THE HORIZONTAL SEGMENTATION
INCREASED THE MARKET AND THAT'S
WHERE IT COMES FROM?

Sandy says HUGE MARKET, YEAH.

Nam says SO, IT WAS ONCE BELIEVED THAT,
IN ORDER TO PREVENT DISEASE,
YOU HAD TO CLEAN.

Sandy says YEP.

Nam says BUT I THINK WE'RE
STARTING TO REALIZE
HOW IMPORTANT BACTERIA IS.
WHAT ROLE DOES BACTERIA PLAY
IN MAINTAINING HEALTHY SKIN?

The caption changes to "Sandy Skotnicki, @DrSkotnicki."

Sandy says WE ACTUALLY REALLY DON'T 100 percent
KNOW RIGHT NOW.
BUT WHAT WE DO REALIZE IS THAT
IF YOU LOOK AT DISEASED SKIN...
SO, PEOPLE THAT HAVE
CONDITIONS LIKE ECZEMA
OR PEOPLE THAT HAVE
PSORIASIS OR EVEN ACNE...
THE BACTERIA ON THE ACTIVE SKIN
LESIONS IS DIFFERENT.
THE MICROBIOME
THERE IS DIFFERENT.
SO, QUESTION IS HOW DID IT
CHANGE, WHY DID IT CHANGE,
HOW DID IT GET THERE?
AND SO, PART OF THE
PREPOSITION OF THE BOOK...
AND IT'S NOT...
I'M VERY CLEAR TO SAY
THE SCIENCE ISN'T THERE YET...
BUT WE KNOW THAT...
AND IF YOU ASK
MICROBIOLOGISTS...
AND I INTERVIEWED SOME...
HOW WE TAKE CARE OF OUR SKIN
HAS CHANGED OUR MICROBIOME.
BECAUSE, WHEN YOU TALKED
FROM THE PASSAGE IN THE BOOK,
AND, YOU KNOW,
HUMAN BEINGS HAVE BEEN AROUND,
HOMO SAPIENS, 200,000 YEARS...
HOMO... THE BIG GENUS...
IS TWO MILLION...
BUT ONLY IN THE LAST 100 HAVE WE
BEEN CLEANING AND WASHING.
PRIOR TO THAT,
WE DIDN'T DO THAT.
SO, THAT'S A RAPID CHANGE,
TO GO FROM,
YOU KNOW, LIVING ON THE EARTH
WITH, LIKE,
NOT DOING ANYTHING
TO YOUR MICROBIOME,
AND THEN, ALL OF A SUDDEN,
TOTALLY ALTERING IT
AND CHANGING IT.
SO, THERE HAVE BEEN
CONSEQUENCES.
I DON'T THINK WE UNDERSTAND
HOW WE GOT HERE.
ONE OF THE INTERESTING STUDIES
I TALK ABOUT IN THE BOOK
IS SOME MICROBIOLOGISTS HAVE
GONE TO TRIBES IN THE AMAZON,
THE YANOMAMI TRIBES,
WHICH IS ONE OF THE LAST,
SORT OF REMAINING
HUMAN GROUPS OF PEOPLE
THAT HAVEN'T REALLY SUBSCRIBED
TO WESTERNIZED WAYS OF LIVING...
SO THEY DON'T WASH,
THEY DON'T CLEAN,
THEY DON'T USE SOAP,
THERE'S NO PROCESSED FOODS...
AND THEY'RE STUDYING THEM.
THEY'RE NOT JUST STUDYING
THEM FROM SKIN...
FROM HEART, DEMENTIA,
AND ALL OF IT.
AND SO, THEIR MICROBIOMES
ARE RIDICULOUSLY
DIFFERENT THAN OURS.
THEY'RE JUST TEEMING
WITH ORGANISMS.
SO, REMOVING THEM, HAS THAT
ALTERED THE WAY...

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Nam says I MEAN, SOME PEOPLE
MIGHT ARGUE, THOUGH,
THAT IT COULD BE BECAUSE THEY'RE
NOT IN CONTACT WITH US,
SO THERE COULD BE
OTHER FACTORS.

Sandy says OF COURSE, THAT IS THE THING.
BUT, YOU KNOW,
ONE OF THE ANALOGIES,
AGAIN, I USE FROM THE BOOK IS...
AND AGAIN, IT'S A HARD CONCEPT...
BUT THINK OF YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
LIKE A COMPUTER.
SO, WHEN YOU'RE BORN,
YOU HAVE ALL THE HARDWARE,
BUT YOU HAVE NO DATA,
SO YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM DOESN'T
KNOW WHAT'S GOOD AND WHAT'S BAD.
IT HAS TO BE TAUGHT,
AND THAT'S THAT SORT OF
CRITICAL PERIOD OF LIFE
DURING THE FIRST YEAR OF LIFE
OF YOUR CHILD'S SKIN.
AND IF IT DOESN'T GET THE RIGHT
DATA, HOW DOES IT KNOW WHAT'S...
SO THAT'S WHERE THE CONCEPT OF
ALLERGY MAYBE COMES FROM,
AUTOIMMUNITY,
BECAUSE IF IT DOESN'T
HAVE THE RIGHT BACTERIA,
IT'S GOING TO GET MIXED UP
AND IT STARTS ATTACKING YOU
OR IT STARTS ATTACKING
A PEANUT OR A DUST MITE.
AND IF YOU LOOK AT THOSE TYPES
OF TRIBES, THEY HAVE SO MUCH...
THEIR BACTERIA IS
SO MUCH MORE DIVERSE.
THEIR IMMUNE SYSTEM... I HATE THE
TERM STRONGER OR WEAKER
'CAUSE THAT'S NOT REALLY
A MEDICAL TERM...
BUT THEIR IMMUNE SYSTEM'S MAYBE
MORE DEVELOPED,
AND SO, THEY DON'T GET DEMENTIA,
THEY DON'T HAVE ARTHRITIS,
THEY DON'T HAVE ACNE,
THEY DON'T HAVE CROHN'S DISEASE,
ETCETERA, ETCETERA, WHICH ARE
ALL INFLAMMATORY CONDITIONS,
AND ECZEMA AND PEANUT ALLERGIES.

Nam says AND ACNE AND
ALL THOSE THINGS.

Sandy says AND ACNE.

Nam says YOU SAY YOURSELF THAT YOU HAVE
A COMPLICATED RELATIONSHIP
WITH THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY.

Sandy says YES. YEAH.

Nam says WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?

Sandy says WELL, ESPECIALLY WITH THIS BOOK,
I MEAN, I'VE ALWAYS
BEEN AN ADVOCATE,
I ALWAYS PUT UP MY HAND AND I
SAY, "WHY DO YOU DO THIS?
"WHY DO YOU ADD THAT?
CAN'T WE LOOK AT THIS?
"CAN'T WE DO THAT?" SO...
AND I THINK THAT THE
PENDULUM IS SWINGING A BIT,
PEOPLE WANT MORE TRANSPARENCY.
THEY'RE ASKING THE GOVERNMENT,
"WHY IS THIS IN THERE?
"FRAGRANCE, WE DON'T KNOW
WHAT'S IN THE FRAGRANCE."
WHEN YOU SEE "FRAGRANCE."
ON A BOTTLE,
THAT'S ANOTHER 20 INGREDIENTS.

Nam says THAT'S ANOTHER A-HA
MOMENT THAT I HAD.

Sandy says THAT'S ANOTHER
A-HA MOMENT FOR PEOPLE.
AND, YOU KNOW, SO, MY SORT OF
PUSHBACK, I THINK, IS TIMELY,
LESS IS MORE
APPROACH TO SKINCARE.
LIKE, THE PENDULUM
HAS SWUNG SO FAR OVER.
THERE'S SO MUCH.
I THINK PEOPLE WANT MORE
MINIMALIST, SO I PUSH THAT.
AND SOMETIMES I THINK
THAT DRUG COMPANIES
OR PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES,
THEY BRING ME ALONG
JUST TO BE THE OTHER VOICE
'CAUSE OTHER PEOPLE ARE LIKE,
"LET'S ADD THIS
AND LET'S ADD THAT,"
AND I'M LIKE, "NO, NO, DON'T ADD
THAT, TAKE IT AWAY.
"WE JUST NEED EIGHT INGREDIENTS.
YOU DON'T NEED 40."

Nam says RIGHT, RIGHT. WELL,
YOU BROUGHT UP FRAGRANCE,
AND YOU SAY THAT FRAGRANCE
IS YOUR BUGABOO.

Sandy says YES.

Nam says WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?

Sandy says WELL, SO, AGAIN,
I SEE A LOT OF PEOPLE...
A LOT OF PATIENTS, THE PUBLIC
THAT'S REFERRED TO ME
FOR REACTIONS TO
THEIR SKINCARE, RIGHT?
SO, DERMATOLOGISTS
WILL SEE YOU AND YOU SAY,
"I CAN'T USE ANY COSMETICS.
THEY ALL GIVE ME A RASH."
AND THEN, YOUR DERMATOLOGIST
WILL SEND YOU TO ME.
AND SO, I'LL GO
THROUGH YOUR PRODUCTS,
I'LL ALLERGY TEST YOU,
AND A LOT OF TIMES,
YOU'RE NOT ALLERGIC TO ANYTHING.
IT'S JUST THAT FRAGRANCE
IS IRRITATING
AND THERE ARE 5000
FRAGRANCE MOLECULES,
AND THEN, THERE'S THE WHOLE
ORGANIC FRAGRANCE, TOO.
LIKE, LAVENDER IS
A FRAGRANCE, YOU KNOW?
ROSE IS A FRAGRANCE.
BUT PEOPLE DON'T ALWAYS EQUATE
THE ORGANIC WITH FRAGRANCE,
THEY THINK SYNTHETICS.

Nam says I THOUGHT THAT WAS
REALLY INTERESTING BECAUSE...
SINCE YOU BROUGHT IT UP...
WE WERE GOING TO TALK
ABOUT IT A LITTLE BIT LATER.
WITH EVEN CAMOMILE,
BECAUSE WHEN YOU HEAR CAMOMILE,
YOU THINK,
OH, THAT'S GOOD FOR YOU.
BUT IN THE BOOK, YOU SAY,
BECAUSE CAMOMILE,
IT'S ONE THING TO INGEST IT
AND IT'S ANOTHER THING FOR YOU
TO PUT IT ON YOUR SKIN.
IT ACTUALLY CAUSES ALLERGIES?

Sandy says IT CAN. SO, ONE OF
THE PUSHBACKS I'VE HAD
IS THAT IF YOU TAKE CAMOMILE,
YOU TAKE LAVENDER,
THE TRUE ALLERGY
TO THEM IS STILL LOW.
IT'S RARE. LIKE, LESS THAN 2 percent
OF THE POPULATION.
BUT I SEE THOSE PEOPLE,
SO I'M BIASED.
BUT THE OTHER BIGGER THING WITH
ORGANICS IS THEY CAN IRRITATE,
AND THAT'S
A HARD MEDICAL CONCEPT,
WHICH I THINK I DID A PRETTY
GOOD JOB OF EXPLAINING
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
'CAUSE PEOPLE GET THEM MIXED UP.
WHAT HAPPENS WITH IRRITATION IS
IRRITATION'S CUMULATIVE.
I LIKE THE ASTHMA ANALOGY
BECAUSE, WITH SKIN, PEOPLE...
FOR WHATEVER REASON, PEOPLE
DON'T ALWAYS GET THE SKIN,
BUT MOST PEOPLE
UNDERSTAND ASTHMA.
SO, I USE THE ANALOGY OF
IF YOU HAVE ASTHMA
AND YOU GO INTO A SMOKY ROOM,
YOUR ASTHMA GETS WORSE.
AND PATIENTS WILL GO,
"OH, YEAH, YEAH,
"THAT MAKES SENSE,
I UNDERSTAND THAT."
AND IT DEPENDS
ON HOW MUCH SMOKE.
IF YOU JUST HAVE A LITTLE BIT,
YOU WON'T HAVE AN ASTHMA FLARE.
BUT THE SMOKE, YOU'RE NOT
ALLERGIC TO THE SMOKE
AND THE SMOKE DIDN'T
CAUSE YOUR ASTHMA.
IT'S AN IRRITANT,
WHICH BRINGS OUT
YOUR GENETIC TENDENCY.
SO, YOUR DAUGHTER HAS ECZEMA.
IF YOU USE TOO MUCH SMOKE...
SO YOU USE BUBBLE BATH,
AND THIS DETERGENT,
AND THIS AND A THAT AND A THAT...
HER ECZEMA GETS WORSE.
SO, THAT'S THE ANALOGY
OF FRAGRANCE.
IT'S NOT YOUR ONE PRODUCT.
IT'S ALL OF THE PRODUCTS
YOU USE TOGETHER,
THEY ACT IN CONSORT AND THEY
CAUSE SENSITIVE SKIN,
AND SORT OF
EXACERBATIONS OF ROSACEA.
LIKE, A LOT OF PATIENTS WILL
COME TO ME AND THEY'RE LIKE,
"MY ROSACEA 'S
NOT GETTING BETTER.
"I SAW THE DERMATOLOGIST.
THEY GAVE ME THE MEDICINE."
AND I'LL GO THROUGH ALL OF THEIR
PRODUCTS HEAD TO TOE
AND I REMOVE THE IRRITANTS,
WHICH IS THE CUMULATIVE THING,
AND MOST OF THEM ARE FRAGRANCES.
AND THE OTHER BIG
DISCONNECT
WITH FRAGRANCES IS... AGAIN, WHAT
YOU ALREADY SORT OF ALLUDED TO...
IS I'LL HAVE PATIENTS
COME IN AND THEY'LL SAY,
"OH, I DON'T USE FRAGRANCE
BECAUSE I KNOW THEY IRRITATE ME
"AND I'M SENSITIVE TO THEM."
AND I'LL SAY,
"SO, WHAT DO YOU USE?"
"WELL, I USE, YOU KNOW, ROSEHIP
OIL AND I USE LAVENDER."
AND I'M LIKE,
"THAT'S STILL FRAGRANCE."
AND ACTUALLY, WHERE WE GET
A LOT OF FRAGRANCE MOLECULES
ARE FROM PLANTS.
SO, THERE'S A DISCONNECT.
THERE'S THIS HUGE DISCONNECT
WHEN PEOPLE HAVE
REACTIVE OR SENSITIVE SKIN
OR ECZEMA TO GO ORGANIC.
AND IT'S NOT
THAT THEY'RE ALL BAD.
THERE'S NO ALL BAD OR GOOD...
THAT'S THE OTHER POINT
I TRY TO MAKE.
IT'S THAT SOME INGREDIENTS
AND SOME PLANT-BASED THINGS
ARE PROBLEMATIC FOR SOME PEOPLE.
IT'S NOT...
IT'S NEVER BLACK AND WHITE.

Nam says AND FOR CONSUMERS
TO BE AWARE.
IN THE BOOK, YOU TALK ABOUT
HOW SOME DRUG COMPANIES
INVITE YOU ON THESE
DIFFERENT TRIPS, I GUESS,
TO GET YOUR FEEDBACK
ON WHAT THEY'RE DOING
OR WHAT THEY CAN DO BETTER.

Sandy says RIGHT.

Nam says AND ONE OF THE CHALLENGES, I
GUESS, THAT YOU COME ACROSS
IS THAT SOME OF THESE
PRODUCTS WOULDN'T SELL...
LIKE, TAKE FRAGRANCE
FOR EXAMPLE,
IT WOULDN'T SELL IF THERE
WASN'T ANY FRAGRANCE IN IT.
SO, HOW DO YOU... LIKE, WHERE...
IT JUST SEEMS LIKE THERE'S
NO WAY TO GET AROUND IT.

Sandy says YEAH, IT'S FRUSTRATING,
AND SOME DAYS,
LIKE WITH THE BOOK,
I GET VERY EXCITED,
I THINK I'M GONNA CHANGE THINGS,
AND THEN, OTHER TIMES, LIKE, NO,
BECAUSE THE PUBLIC
REALLY WANTS SCENT.
I THINK,
IF YOU'RE HAVING A PROBLEM,
IF YOU HAVE HAD AN ISSUE,
THIS IS GREAT INFORMATION.
I REALLY... RECENTLY
WAS INTERVIEWED
WITH AN AMERICAN BEAUTY EDITOR
AND THEY WERE, LIKE,
"YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE MOST
COMMON QUESTIONS WE GET ASKED IS
"'WHAT DO WE DO WHEN
WE HAVE A REACTION
"'TO A SKINCARE PRODUCT?'."
MOST PEOPLE GO TO
THE STORE OR GO TO SEPHORA
AND GET ANOTHER PRODUCT.
SO, MY WHOLE POINT... AND THAT'S
ANOTHER PART OF THE BOOK...
IS SORT OF ELIMINATING.
SO, I HAVE THIS PRODUCT
ELIMINATION DIET,
WHERE YOU ELIMINATE EVERYTHING
TO THOSE REALLY BORING,
FRAGRANCE-FREE THINGS THAT
PEOPLE DON'T LIKE, GET BETTER,
AND THEN, YOU CAN START TO TRY
ONE PRODUCT PER WEEK
THAT DOES HAVE SOME SCENT OR
SOME BELLS AND WHISTLES
AND FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.
THE THING IS PEOPLE
DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO
'CAUSE THEY HAVE THIS CUPBOARD
FULL OF PRODUCTS
AND THEY GO TO THE STORE
AND THEY GET MORE PRODUCTS,
AND THEY STILL HAVE A PROBLEM,
AND THAT'S WHAT
I WAS FACED WITH,
THAT'S THE DILEMMA I WAS FACED
WITH AS A DERMATOLOGIST
SEEING ALL THESE PEOPLE...
I WAS GETTING FRUSTRATED,
THEY WERE GETTING FRUSTRATED.
AND WHEN YOU TELL PEOPLE TO STOP
EVERYTHING, THEY KIND OF...
ESPECIALLY, WOMEN,
THEY'RE LIKE...
YOU KNOW? AND I JUST SAY...

Nam says WELL, BECAUSE
YOU HAVE A ROUTINE,
YOU HAVE YOUR BEAUTY PRODUCTS...
AND, YOU KNOW, IT'S MAKEUP, TOO.

Sandy says RIGHT.
BUT I SAY IT'S FOR
A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME,
YOU GET BETTER, THEN YOU
CAN TRY ANYTHING YOU LIKE,
BUT YOU DO IT IN
AN ORGANIZED FASHION.
IT'S SORT OF SIMILAR TO A FOOD
ELIMINATION DIET.

Nam says PROCESS OF ELIMINATION, RIGHT?

Sandy says YEP.

Nam says AND IN THE BOOK,
YOU INCLUDE CASE STUDIES
FROM SOME OF YOUR PATIENTS.
AND IN THE BOOK, YOU OUTLINE
THREE TYPICAL CLIENTS
WHO SHOW UP IN YOUR
CLINIC WITH SKIN PROBLEMS.
CAN YOU GIVE US AN IDEA
OF WHAT TYPES OF CLIENTS...

The caption changes to "Type-As, gym-goers and hippies."

Sandy says I MEAN, THAT'S LABELLING A BIT,
BUT I MEAN, I DO... WE DO...
I SEE A LOT OF PRODUCT JUNKIES
BECAUSE THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE
THAT GO TO DERMATOLOGISTS,
ARE HAVING ISSUES,
THEN THE DERMATOLOGIST SENDS TO
ME FOR ALLERGY TESTING.
I SAY, "LISTEN,
"PART OF THE PROBLEM
IS YOU'RE USING 20 THINGS
"AND YOU'RE WANTING ME
TO TELL YOU WHICH ONE.
"I'M NOT A MIND READER,
RIGHT, OR A MAGICIAN.
"SO, YOU HAVE TO STOP EVERYTHING
AND THEN, REINTRODUCE."
SO, THAT'S... THE PRODUCT JUNKIE
IS ONE PERSON.
AND THEN, THERE'S THE...
I CALL IT THE ORGANIC
FRIEND OF THE EARTH, RIGHT?
WHICH ARE...
I'M THE SAME WAY, TOO,
I WANT TO DO BETTER
BY THE PLANET.
I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT I'M NOT
PUTTING SOMETHING DOWN THE DRAIN
THAT'S, YOU KNOW...
BUT THEN, THERE'S A DISCONNECT
THAT EVERYTHING
THAT'S NATURAL IS GOOD.
AND, YOU KNOW,
THERE WAS A STUDY LAST YEAR
THAT SHOWED LAVENDER OIL AND
TEA TREE OIL IN YOUNG BOYS
CAUSED HORMONE DISRUPTION
AND BREAST DEVELOPMENT.
SO, YOU CAN'T JUST SAY
JUST 'CAUSE IT'S NATURAL,
IT'S BETTER.
SO, THOSE TYPES OF PATIENTS
REALLY PUSH ME SOMETIMES
AND I EVEN HAVE THE STUDIES TO
GIVE TO THEM TO SHOW, "LISTEN,
"JUST BECAUSE IT'S NATURAL
DOESN'T MEAN IT'S BETTER."
AND THEN, THE THIRD ONE
IS THE PERSON WHO...
THE SORT OF FELLOW... OFTEN IT'S
A MAN... WHO DOESN'T DO ANYTHING,
BUT USES SOAP ON HIS, LIKE,
WHOLE BODY, LIKE, TWICE A DAY.
YOU KNOW, SO HE'S IN THE SHOWER
AND HE'S GOT HIS BAR OF SOAP
AND HE'S WASHING HIS
HEAD RIGHT TO HIS FEET,
AND WITH THE SQUEEGEE, AND HE'S
DOING IT AFTER HIS WORKOUT.
THEN, HE COMES IN
THE WINTER AND HE'S ITCHY,
LIKE HIS SKIN'S CRAWLING.
AND I'M LIKE, "WELL,
HOW DO YOU WASH?"
"WELL, I WASH, YOU KNOW...
"AREN'T I SUPPOSED TO?
SHOULD I BE WASHING MORE?"
SOMETIMES THEY'LL SAY,
"SHOULD I BE WASHING MORE?"
AND I GO,
"NO, YOU WANT TO WASH LESS
"AND DON'T USE SOAP OVER
YOUR WHOLE BODY."
AND MOST PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY MEN,
THEY'RE LIKE, "BUT ISN'T THAT
WHAT I'M SUPPOSED TO BE DOING?
"I THOUGHT THAT'S WHAT..."
YOU KNOW, THE AD OF THE FELLOW
WITH IRISH SPRING IN THE SHOWER
AND HE'S WASHING HIS WHOLE BODY
BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT ADVERTISING
TELLS US YOU SHOULD DO
AND IT'S EQUATED
WITH HEALTH AND...

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live."

Nam says SO, THIS ISN'T SCIENCE,
IT'S MARKETING.

Sandy says THIS IS SCIENCE,
I MEAN, YOU KNOW...
IT'S SO GREAT 'CAUSE THE
LIGHTBULB GOES OFF WITH THEM.
THEY COME BACK IN
A MONTH AND THEY'LL GO,
"I'M TOTALLY FINE.
I DON'T NEED ANY MOISTURIZER.
"I JUST WASH UNDER
MY ARMS AND MY GROIN,
AND I RINSE AFTER MY WORKOUT."
AND IF YOU HAVE REALLY
SHORT HAIR AS A MAN,
WHY ARE YOU
SHAMPOOING EVERY DAY?
IT'S NOT NECESSARY.

Nam says IT'S SO INTERESTING HOW
WE'VE JUST BEEN TOLD...
WE JUST DO THESE THINGS BECAUSE,
I GUESS, COMMERCIALS AND...
YOU KNOW, THIS IS
SUCH A FASCINATING BOOK
AND IT'S A BOOK THAT ALL
CONSUMERS SHOULD HAVE ACCESS TO.
BUT I'M THINKING
THAT IF WE DO KNOW
THIS INFORMATION,
THEN THERE WILL BE LESS PEOPLE
COMING TO YOUR BUSINESS
AND IT'LL AFFECT
YOUR BUSINESS.
SO, WHY WRITE A BOOK
THAT COULD ULTIMATELY
AFFECT YOU IN THE END?

Sandy says YOU KNOW, IT'S INTERESTING,
I HAVEN'T HAD... I'VE HAD SOME
FEEDBACK FROM MY COLLEAGUES,
BUT THERE ARE 600
DERMATOLOGISTS IN CANADA...
I DON'T KNOW HOW MANY
THERE ARE IN THE US,
BUT IT'S HARD TO SEE A
DERMATOLOGIST IN THE US AS WELL,
JUST BECAUSE OF LOCATION OR
MAYBE FEASIBILITY FINANCIALLY.
I DON'T WANT TO SEE
PEOPLE WITH THIS PROBLEM.
I WANT TO SEE PEOPLE
WITH SKIN CANCER, YOU KNOW,
WITH SKIN ISSUES
THAT ARE COMPLEX,
AND ACTUALLY, PEOPLE
THAT HAVE TRUE ALLERGY...
'CAUSE IF YOU DO ALL THIS IN THE
BOOK AND YOU'RE NOT BETTER,
YOU MIGHT BE TRULY ALLERGIC TO
SOMETHING, THAT 2 percent.
THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE I
REALLY NEED TO PATCH TEST.
BUT MY CLINICS ARE CLOGGED UP
WITH ALL THESE OTHER PEOPLE
WHO ARE JUST DOING THINGS
INCORRECTLY, NOT KNOWINGLY.
SO, NO,
OUR WAITING LISTS ARE HUGE.
IF I CAN CUT OUT 10 percent
AND HELP PEOPLE BEFORE THEY EVEN
GET TO THE DERMATOLOGIST...
WHICH THIS BOOK IS DOING...
THEN, I'M FINE WITH THAT.
I'M NOT GONNA LOSE BUSINESS.

They laugh.

The caption changes to "Producer: Meredith Martin, @meredithmartin."

Nam says WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH,
DOCTOR, FOR BEING HERE.

Sandy says THANK YOU.

Nam says I LEARNED SO MUCH
FROM YOUR BOOK.

Sandy says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Nam says THANK YOU.

Watch: The Trouble with Soap