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Sweat and Alcohol – Sweat Glands



  • A professor at the University at Albany has come up with a new way to determine blood alcohol concentration through sweat analysis.
  • Jan Halámek, the forensic chemist whose lab came up with the new process, says that because sweat glands are positioned closely to circulating blood, some ethanol is actually passed to our sweat.
  • In the past, Halámek has come up with other clever uses for sweat, including as a biometric for unlocking phones.

    Sure, sweat stinks, but it’s actually a fascinating body liquid because it works as a biometric. As in, don’t leave your sweaty fingerprints at a crime scene and don’t be surprised if breathalyzers are replaced with sweatalyzers in the near future.

    Jan Halámek, an assistant professor of chemistry at the University at Albany, works as a forensic chemist and has a fully dedicated lab at the college. There, he and his students have uncovered something pretty wild: Your perspiration can totally give you away if you’ve been pulled over for drunk driving. The research was published last month in the scientific journal Analytical Chemistry.

    Because sweat glands are positioned closely enough to circulating blood, some of the ethanol that courses through your veins after you have a beer or two will be transferred to the sweat. That makes it possible to measure how much ethanol is in the blood through sweat analysis.

    “You smell that? You smell that? Sure, it’s on your breath, but it also comes through the perspiration,” Halámek tells Popular Mechanics. That’s why it’s so easy to tell if someone’s been drinking through your sense of smell alone.

    Testing the Sweat

    Halámek and his lab are in the process of creating a test strip that can determine those alcohol levels in the blood through sweat. The scientists have an active prototype ready, but they’re in the process of engineering a final product that could be used commercially. It would work a bit like a glucometer or pregnancy test, he says.

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    When the strip is placed against the skin of a suspected intoxicated individual, any ethanol present produces a visible color spot after 60 to 90 seconds. The darker the color spot, the more alcohol in the system, Halámek says. There is a significant delay in ethanol reaching the sweat, however. Halámek says it takes about 10 to 15 minutes for the ethanol to transfer from the blood to the sweat as it’s metabolized.

    “The ethanol goes through the stomach and then goes through the blood,” he says. “From blood, it will transfer through to the tissues because [ethanol] is a small molecule.”

    That’s not a huge drawback for this technology, though, because breathalyzers also have a sort of delay. Say you just took a shot of vodka. Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is going to spike because the ethanol has just entered your stomach and has not yet been metabolized. Your reading on a breathalyzer is going to be much higher than it would be in another 10 minutes, says Halámek.

    It might actually be more beneficial to use a sweat strip to test the levels of ethanol in your system rather than a breathalyzer, he says, because those behind the wheel can use the excuse that they’ve just used mouthwash. Plus, people with diabetes actually tend to have acetone, another type of alcohol, on their breath. That’s thanks to ketosis, the same body process that breaks down fatty acids for energy. While the fat is broken down, your breath can smell sweeter thanks to the release of ketones, including acetone, as a byproduct.

    Since people are constantly sweating—all over the body, all the time (watch this video of a finger sweating for proof)—you can pretty much always get a reading, even if a person is unconscious, says Halámek. That’s opposed to a breathalyzer test, which can require a blow of up to 10 seconds.

    Plus, you only need the tiniest amount of sweat to conduct one of these sweat analysis tests—as in, less than a drop, which is less than one microliter, a.k.a one millionth of a liter.

    To test out his sweat strip concept, Halámek’s lab led a controlled drinking study with 26 volunteers. Each individual first provided a sweat sample that proved their sobriety, then they took a few shots of 40 percent vodka until their BAC hit 0.08 percent. Then, over the next few hours, the lab took more than 100 readings on the sweat strips and breathalyzers. There was a strong correlation between the results.

    Halámek and company are working with the University at Albany’s computer science department to design a smartphone app that will work with the sweat strips. The idea is to align the sweat strip’s color change with BAC to avoid any discrepancies.

    Unlocking Sweat Potential


    Carlo de Jesus

    This isn’t the first time Halámek, who earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, has used sweat to solve a problem. Two years ago, he published a paper in the scientific journal ChemPhysChem on a sweat identification system that would work a bit like a fingerprint scan to unlock a phone—but, you guessed it, with a sweat profile.

    Your sweat has its own unique signature, kind of like a fingerprint or sample of saliva, Halámek says. It’s influenced by what you put into your body, but remains relatively stable across days (unless you’re sick or pregnant, that is). Our signatures are all different, then, because we have varied amounts of active metabolites in our sweat.

    “None of us is eating the same food or drinking the same drinks,” Halámek says. “There’s little chance that my lactate level and your lactate level are the same.”

    The idea is to build an amino acid profile. These molecular building blocks are found in sweat and “can be exploited for the establishment of an amino acid profile capable of identifying an individual user,” according to the paper.

    To build a profile, a device would first conduct a monitoring period where it could continuously measure the user’s sweat across various times of the day. Those who work the night shift, for example, will have a different sweat profile at 2 a.m. than those who work day shifts and are in bed by that time. Once that profile is created and saved, the device’s owner can be identified simply by holding the phone.

    Currently, Halámek is working with engineers to build a device that can handle this process. Meanwhile, we’ll be patiently waiting to see how a company like Apple might one day use and market this idea: SweatID, anyone?

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12 Best Soaps for Men 2020





Assorted Retailers

You may not have thought about bar soap in a while, except when you’re suddenly confronted with it in a hotel room shower or a guest bathroom. It seems retro, like something you used when you were taking baths as a kid, but we say it’s time to re-examine the power of the bar.

Body washes may be exceedingly popular among men, especially those who struggle with dry skin, but the kind of clean you get from a bar soap is second to none. While they are not self-cleaning as Joey Tribbiani once claimed, they get the job done with less mess and can last longer than a bottle of wash.

Plus, in our current age of sustainability and eco-friendliness, bar soaps come with less waste. Think about it: they’re smaller, you can use them till they’re completely gone, and there is no plastic bottle to throw into the recycling bin when you’re done. Many soap companies are even changing their packaging to make bar soap an even greener option. In short: there is no way Greta Thunberg uses body wash.

Bar soaps are versatile and can be great for you no matter what your skin type. You can find a soap for oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, and everything in between. Check out the 12 best bar soaps and we promise, you won’t go back to the bottle.

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Baxter of California Vitamin Cleansing Bar


One of the biggest complaints about bar soap is that they can make your skin feel too dry; not this one. It contains sunflower oil and glycerin to keep your skin hydrated and smooth all over. Plus, the citrus and musk fragrance is one of our favorite men’s scented soaps.

Method Men Sea + Surf Exfoliating Bar Soap

Exfoliating bar soaps have a little grit in them to help smooth away dry, dead skin cells and leave your body feeling clean and fresh. This one contains minerals, instead of microbeads (better for the environment) and the scent is fresh without being overpowering. 

Dove White Beauty Bar

This dermatologist-endorsed bar is one of the best for your face, but here’s a secret: you can use it all over your body, too, especially if you have sensitive skin. It’s contains gentle moisturizing ingredients that hydrate and clean skin without overstripping it.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Gentle Cleansing Bar

Another soap bar that can be used on your face as well as your body, this one includes colloidal oatmeal, which is known for its skin-soothing properties. It’s ideal if you struggle with sensitive or dry skin and other skin issues like eczema.

Beekman 1802 Goats Milk Bar Soap

Beekman soaps are hand made from natural ingredients. The brand says goat milk is a natural anti-inflammatory agent, which means it may help calm irritated skin while cleansing. All we know is that it smells damn good and leaves you feeling clean AF.

The Rich and Clean No 09 Bar Soap


For guys with oily skin or who sweat a lot, the charcoal in this soap helps soak up excess oil and leave you fresh without that telltale tight feeling. The Japanese peppermint is said to help curb oil production, but also gives this soap a bite of fresh, but not overpowering, fragrance.

Caswell-Massey Cold Cream Luxury Bath Soap Set

Triple milled soap is known for its silky-smooth texture and it cleans effectively with less lather (which can strip away your skin barrier). The natural vegetable base of this soap is gentle enough for all skin types and the subtle almond fragrance smells fresh, without being in your face.

Ursa Major Morning Mojo Bar Soap

It’s called Morning Mojo, because the peppermint and eucalyptus fragrance in this soap gives you a jolt of clarity in the morning, even before you have your first cup of coffee. It has grit to it, but doesn’t feel rough on your skin, thanks to moisturizing honey and coconut.

PLANT Apothecary BE GENTLE Organic Bar Soap

This soap is heavy on the shea butter, which is great news if you have dry or sensitive skin. The ingredients are naturally-derived and sulfate-free, but still gives enough lather to adequately clean your whole body.

Oars + Alps Natural Moisturizing Alps Bar Soap

Want to smell like you just got back from a hike through the Rockies? This soap delivers a woody, outdoorsy scent that says “I’d rather be exploring.” It also contains shea butter, so it’s gentle on even dry skin.

Ethique Pumice, Tea Tree, & Spearmint Bar Soap

Ethique has every kind of bar you could imagine (even shampoo and conditioning bars), but we like this exfoliating and clarifying bar because it helps get rid of dead skin cells and excess oil at the same time. It’s ideal to keep in your gym bag for a refreshing post-workout shower.

Lush Karma Bar Soap

This handmade soap sounds like it would be overpowering, but it also has citrus which helps temper what could otherwise be a heavy fragrance. Bars are made fresh with natural ingredients and last for months.

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‘The Goop Lab’ Review – Inside Gwyneth Paltrow’s Netflix Series




A few weeks ago, I passed along to a friend some CBD lip balm that had come across my desk. “Sure, I’ll take it,” the friend said. “And remind me—why would I want CBD in my lip balm?”

The best I could come up with was a shrug, because the mountain of evidence that backs up what it could do in a lip balm is pretty much flat ground right now. But people buy it. It’s trendy. They’re curious. They want to feel better, look better, be better.

Which is probably one of the reasons people are also tuning in to The Goop Lab, a 6-episode Netflix show that launches today, billed as a series “guiding the deeply inquisitive viewer in an exploration of boundary-pushing wellness topics.” It’s by Gwyneth Paltrow’s “lifestyle brand” Goop, of course, and the 30-ish minute episodes feature its staffers trying trends like psychedelics, cold therapy, energy healing, anti-aging, and psychics. It also explores female pleasure (hopefully not just a trend).

There are plenty of jabs you can take at the series, especially given Goop’s history of being slapped with penalties for making false claims about the products it sells (the essential oil that claimed to help prevent depression and the infamous Jade Egg). But passing on egregiously bad “facts” isn’t really one of them. In what’s probably a smart move for the company but a less helpful one for viewers, there aren’t a lot of them. In the first episode, staffers fly to Jamaica to take psilocybin—magic mushrooms—after a brief interview with the executive director of MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) Canada, who outlines some legit findings about psychedelics (sure, it could go deeper, but it’s not claiming to be an investigative show). Their experience is interspersed with testimonials (positive! Whaddya know!) by other people whose lives have been transformed by psychedelics.

The trouble is that when the Goop starts—with the cast in the mushrooms episode imbibing and then crying, hugging, wow-ing over the clouds—you just don’t care. All you see is a bunch of willowy superpeople trying this trend as if it were another hoodie from Supreme. The crying, the writhing, the exaggerated comforting hugs feel like an endless scroll through the narcissistic Instagram feeds that make you say, “Oh, congrats! You took another picture of yourself!”

Which can turn the very real quest for feeling better and doing better into a potentially exhausting try-the-trend circuit—or a potentially expensive buy-the-trend circuit, conveniently available on Which may be why, no matter how many times her elegant wrists get slapped, people keep coming back for more Gwyneth, more Goop, more stuff.

Maybe so many people love/hate The Goop Lab and Gwyneth because it’s the symbol of the thing we want to deliver but never quite does. It’s the thing that left us with an empty wallet and an empty spirit but a smoldering desire to have abundance in both. There it is, the empty tube of CBD lip balm (or roll of CBD toilet paper, or CBD hair products) that’s still making you scratch your head about what it does. Meanwhile, you’re suffering under your workload, your mom has dementia, that pain in your back keeps getting worse, and you can’t afford PT.

For a moment, The Goop Lab might take your mind off all that, if you can stand the Goopy patina of perfection, the peek into “real” experiences that feel as authentic as reality TV does. But at the end of the day, or the end of the episode, you’re still left wondering, “now, why do I need this?”

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James Corden Doesn’t Always Drive During Carpool Karaoke




  • A behind-the-scenes video revealed that James Corden doesn’t actually drive during his Carpool Karaoke segments.
  • The fans are betrayed. The fans are angry. The fans feel lied to.
  • This is their story.

    Update: January 23, 4:28 pm

    The Late Late Show has released a statement about Corden’s Carpool Karaoke segment: “James always drives during Carpool Karaoke. However, on the rare occasion when there is a stunt component and the producers feel it is unsafe to drive, we will use a rig (tow).”

    January 22nd was a pretty nice day, full of promise and hope—until Twitter user @zolihonig revealed that James Corden is NOT actually driving during the ever-popular and Emmy-winning TV segment Carpool Karaoke, and he actually just pretends to drive while his shiny black Range Rover is actually pulled around on the road by a truck in front of it.

    But how could this be? We’ve seen Corden turn the wheel. We’ve seen him put his foot on the brake. We’ve even seen him, like, swerve out of the way of some unseen obstacle. Well, my dear reader, it turns out that Carpool Karaoke is Corden’s finest acting job since his role as Bustopher Jones in Cats.

    Fans were shocked at the news, and they made sure that betrayal was heard online:

    But even in the midst of all of this outrage, there were a number of people that were like “dude, why would you ever think he was actually driving?”

    While they are actually 100% right, and safety should always comes first, it still stings to know that Mariah Carey wasn’t really driven around by Corden, or that Michelle Obama had to smile and laugh through a fake car ride. And poor, poor Paul McCartney. Doesn’t Sir Paul deserve to be actually chauffeured around?

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