Refinery 29 UK
How many beauty products do you have? An overflowing bathroom cabinet full? Extras lurking on every bedroom surface, at the back of your wardrobe and in any tote bag you can find, perhaps? Or maybe just a couple of bottles lined up next to the sink? While many of us are proud of our bountiful #shelfies, if current trends are anything to go by, increasing numbers of us are falling into the second camp. Forget 7-step routines and fussy ingredients lists. Today, a minimalist approach to beauty, in particular skincare, is growing in appeal as the environmental impact of too much ‘stuff’ becomes harder to ignore. “Consumers are a lot more aware of how catastrophic their personal care routines can be for the environment,” agrees Livvy Houghton, senior creative researcher at strategic foresight consultancy, The Future Laboratory. “People are shifting away from product or ingredient-heavy routines and leaning towards a more simple approach that uses fewer products.” Are you using too many skincare products? We all know the beauty industry has a packaging problem. The cosmetics industry produces 120 billion units of packaging globally every year and using fewer products equals less waste. Similarly, streamlining is more efficient. With less-is-more reigning supreme, a growing breed of brands are banking on one product that can ‘do it all’. “Opening one product that has multiple uses increases the chances of this being used fully prior to the use-by date,” explains Yolanda Cooper, founder of plastic-free beauty brand We Are Paradoxx. The pandemic has only compounded this trend further, with ‘skinimalism‘ and ‘skip-care‘ becoming popular among people looking to strip things back. “Increased periods of time at home has meant consumers are more connected with their skin than ever, truly understanding what it needs and what it likes,” Houghton adds. It’s also driven many of us to declutter, a satisfying task which improves the aesthetic of where we’re spending all our time while allowing us to take a little bit of control amid widespread chaos. Imelda Burke, founder of Content Beauty & Wellbeing, the UK’s leading natural beauty e-tailer, says the multitasking product category has grown consistently in the past two to three years. In fact, it’s an innovation she expects to see a lot more of in the near future. From a skincare perspective, it makes sense. “The skin is a very simple organ that craves balance,” says Dija Ayodele, aesthetician and founder of Black Skin Directory. “When you use too many products and ingredients, your skin gets conflicting messages, which eventually causes inflammation and may worsen your skin concern.” Is a simple skincare routine better? Dr Barbara Kubicka, aesthetic doctor and founder of Clinicbe, notices the effects of product overload all the time. “I see people having issues with oiliness and congestion (clogged pores) or sometimes dryness and irritation if using too many active ingredients,” she says. Active ingredients are ingredients which work to treat a certain skin concern, for example acne, hyperpigmentation or scarring. Popular ones include exfoliating acids (AHAs like glycolic acid and BHAs such as salicylic acid), retinol and vitamin C. While too much of a good thing is one aspect, DIY skincare layering can also cause potential issues. This is something Ayodele has noticed as single-ingredient brands and products, such as serums and facial toners, have soared in popularity. “Most of us are not cosmetic scientists so how do you know you’re using the right and beneficial amount of anything when layering and mixing at home?” Ayodele points out. On the flip side, with a multitasking product you get a concoction of skin-nourishing ingredients expertly formulated to work together. It takes the guesswork out of which ingredients may not go well together, not to mention when, where and how you should be applying them for best results. Which are the best multitasking skincare products? Take The Nue Co’s The Pill, £65, a ‘topical supplement’ which the brand launched at the end of last year and claims offers a single daily dose of every key nutrient for the skin. Jules Miller, founder and CEO of The Nue Co, tells R29: “We found that the majority of people were using three, four or five products with highly active ingredients to target different skin issues and the layering was doing more harm than good.” The serum was created with the right amount of ingredients for exfoliating (such as lactic acid), hydrating (hyaluronic acid) and tightening skin. All of which make a noticeable difference but ensure skin doesn’t become irritated. Other brands in the luxury space are also touting this message. Created by influencer Tina Craig, U Beauty creates multifunctional products that are both results-driven and designed to save time and waste. Its Resurfacing Compound, £85, is a serum that truly covers all bases thanks to a formula of skincare heavy hitters: vitamin C for brightening and protecting against pollution, hyaluronic acid for hydration, AHAs for exfoliation, peptides for repairing skin and retinol, which is a great all-rounder and especially tough on fine lines and clogged pores. The product is particularly popular among skincare obsessives and experts on TikTok. Beauty editor favourite Augustinus Bader supports this theory, too. The product line has been 30 years in the making and is backed by Bader’s stem cell research. “There is no hero ingredient,” Bader explains, “simply that the TFC8 formula (which contains essential vitamins and moisturising molecules) in our skincare is potent enough to cause the skin to renew.” The Cream, £205, and The Rich Cream, £205, are especially popular although they do come with an eye-watering price tag. Whether these high end products save you money is debatable but there are more affordable options available. We Are Paradoxx’s most recent launch, Super Fuel, £30, stretches the concept of multitasking to different areas of the body. “It works for your hair, delicate facial skin and body equally, thanks to the gentle blend of argan, Abyssinian and maracuja oils,” explains Cooper. Oils generally lend themselves nicely to multitasking. Just think of the classic Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, £29.50. “The structure of an oil mimics that of the moisturising lipids (oils) found naturally in the structure of the skin so they penetrate much deeper than any lotion or emulsion,” says Montague Ashley-Craig, the founder of sustainable skincare company MONTA MONTA. “It’s the same story for hair, too.” This month MONTA MONTA will launch an All Purpose Oil for face, body and hair. In a similar vein, Modern Botany is set to launch a Multi-Purpose Oil for face, body, hair and nails. R29 also rates Olay Total Effects Whip Light As Air 7-In-1 Moisturiser SPF30, £34.99, for the daytime and Allies of Skin Multi Nutrient & Dioic Renewing Cream, £95, which can be used in the morning and evening. Multitasking cleansers are also gaining traction. “Cleansers are packed with skin-benefiting ingredients that are washed away down the sink. We’re seeing more cleansers that double up as other products,” says Burke. For example, The Seated Queen Cold Cream, £39, is a reinvented cold cream which you can use as makeup remover, evening cleanser, moisturiser or overnight mask. Also popular is Holifrog’s Sunapee Sacred-C Brightening Powder Wash, £39, a concentrated powder product which can be used as a cleanser, exfoliator or face mask. Of course, there are limitations to stripping back your skincare. Some skin concerns will need specific treatments that require additional products while UV protection in the form of sunscreen (80% of ageing is done by the sun) is hard to formulate with other ingredients, making it an unavoidable extra skincare step in the morning. While a one-product routine might be a little optimistic for even the most stringent of beauty users, smaller, hardworking line-ups are certainly here to stay. After all, it’s a win-win situation when it comes to saving time, clutter, money and the planet. Refinery29’s selection is purely editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items we love! As part of our business model we do work with affiliates; if you directly purchase something from a link on this article, we may earn a small amount of commission. Transparency is important to us at Refinery29, if you have any questions please reach out to us. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Skinimalism: The New Trend Promising Glowing SkinIs Expensive Skincare Better Than Cheap Skincare?When Does Buying Beauty Products Become Too Much?
Cyberattack exposes lack of required defenses on U.S. pipelines
The shutdown of the biggest U.S. fuel pipeline by a ransomware attack highlights a systemic vulnerability: Pipeline operators have no requirement to implement cyber defenses.
The U.S. government has had robust, compulsory cybersecurity protocols for most of the power grid for about 10 years to prevent debilitating hacks by criminals or state actors.
But the country’s 2.7 million miles (4.3 million km) of oil, natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines have only voluntary measures, which leaves security up to the individual operators, experts said.
“Simply encouraging pipelines to voluntarily adopt best practices is an inadequate response to the ever-increasing number and sophistication of malevolent cyber actors,” Richard Glick, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), said.
Protections could include requirements for encryption, multifactor authentication, backup systems, personnel training and segmenting networks so access to the most sensitive elements can be restricted.
FERC’s authority to impose cyber standards on the electric grid came from a 2005 law but it does not extend to pipelines.
Colonial Pipeline, the largest U.S. oil products pipeline and source of nearly half the supply on the East Coast, has been shut since Friday after a ransomware attack the FBI attributed to DarkSide, a group cyber experts believe is based in Russia or Eastern Europe.
The outage has led to higher gasoline prices in the U.S. South and worries about wider shortages and potential price gouging ahead of the Memorial Day holiday.
Colonial did not immediately respond to a query about whether cybersecurity standards should be mandatory.
The American Petroleum Institute lobbying group said it was talking with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Energy Department and others to understand the threat and mitigate risk.
Cyber oversight of pipelines falls to the TSA, an office of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which has provided voluntary security guidelines to pipeline companies.
The General Accountability Office, the congressional watchdog, said in a 2019 report that the TSA only had six full-time employees in its pipeline security branch through 2018, which limited the office’s reviews of cybersecurity practices.
The TSA said it has since expanded staff to 34 positions on pipeline and cybersecurity. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it supports mandatory protections.
When asked by reporters whether the Biden administration would put in place rules, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said it was discussing administrative and legislative options to “raise the cyber hygiene across the country.”
President Joe Biden is hoping Congress will pass a $2.3 billion infrastructure package, and pipeline requirements could be put into that legislation. But experts said there was no quick fix.
“The hard part is who do you tell what to do and what do you tell them to do,” Christi Tezak, an analyst at ClearView Energy Partners, said.
U.S. Representatives Fred Upton, a Republican, and Bobby Rush, a Democrat, said on Wednesday they have reintroduced legislation requiring the Department of Energy to ensure the security of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines. Such legislation could get folded into a wider bill.
The power grid is regulated by FERC, and mostly organized into nonprofit regional organizations. That made it relatively easy for legislators to put forward the 2005 law that allows FERC to approve mandatory cyber measures.
A range of public and private companies own pipelines. They mostly operate independently and lack a robust federal regulator.
Their oversight falls under different laws depending on what they carry. Products include crude oil, fuels, water, hazardous liquids and – potentially – carbon dioxide for burial underground to control climate change. This diversity could make it harder for legislators to impose a unified requirement.
Tristan Abbey, a former aide to Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski who worked at the White House national security council under former President Donald Trump, said Congress is both the best and worst way to tackle the problem.
“Legislation may be necessary when jurisdiction is ambiguous and agencies lack resources,” said Abbey, now president of Comarus Analytics LLC.
But a bill should not be seen as a magic wand, he said.
“Standards may be part of the answer, but federal regulations need to mesh with state requirements without stifling innovation.”
(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Marguerita Choy)
U.S. senator asks firms about sales of hard disk drives to Huawei
A senior Republican U.S. senator on Tuesday asked the chief executives of Toshiba America Electronic Components, Seagate Technology, and Western Digital Corp if the companies are improperly supplying Huawei with foreign-produced hard disk drives.
Senator Roger Wicker, the ranking member of the Commerce Committee, said a 2020 U.S. Commerce Department regulation sought to “tighten Huawei’s ability to procure items that are the direct product of specified U.S. technology or software, such as hard disk drives.”
He said he was engaged “in a fact-finding process… about whether leading global suppliers of hard disk drives are complying” with the regulation.
(Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)
Colonial Pipeline hackers stole data on Thursday
The hackers who caused Colonial Pipeline to shut down on Friday began their cyberattack against the top U.S. fuel pipeline operator a day earlier and stole a large amount of data, Bloomberg News reported citing people familiar with the matter.
The attackers are part of a cybercrime group called DarkSide and took nearly 100 gigabytes of data out of Colonial’s network in just two hours on Thursday, Bloomberg reported late Saturday, citing two people involved in the company’s investigation.
Colonial did not immediately reply to an email from Reuters seeking comment outside usual U.S. business hours.
Colonial Pipeline shut its entire network, the source of nearly half of the U.S. East Coast’s fuel supply, after a cyber attack that involved ransomware.
(Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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