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I was wondering if i could do my Extended Essay in bio about the topic of- How makeup causes acne. i still haven't decided on my Investigative question but i was thinking something along the lines of : The effect of Makeup(upon further investigation i will replace "makeup" with specific brands/ type pertaining to the face) on the colinization of Propionibacterium acnes(acne bacteria).

Some feedback would be highly appreciated as well as your thoughts or other idea. suggestions as to how i can further improve this idea and ideas as to how i can do this experiment would be nice :)

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Could you give us some information on how you plan to carry out this experiment?

It certainly sounds like a good idea. although I'm not sure about originality because it's something I've heard of before. However, I doubt its been written as an EE many times because I'm not sure how complex the experiment is.

But I just want you to keep in mind that if you are dealing with people, you need a lot of them. For my experiment, I had 25, and my mentor told me that that was the bare minimum. Furthermore, how are you going to ensure that the people are all equal? If you're testing acne growth, you have to keep in mind that you cant use people with a lot of acne already, because it would be hard to measure. You also have to consider each individual based on their skin (Do they have sensitive skin, T-zone, or naturally oily skin, because that can affect your results). You also have to be careful as to make sure that nobody has an allergic reaction to the makeup (to be honest, I'm not sure if this even happens, LOL) and you have to somehow apply exactly the same amount of makeup (in terms of thickness of the layer you apply, I'd assume) and that you put it on the same parts of their face.

Now, of course, if you AREN'T dealing with people (because as you said, you're dealing with the colonization of the bacteria, correct?) then it may be easier to carry out. However, keep in mind that once again, you would need 25 of each sample (this is according to my mentor; ask your mentor how much you may need) and then many other questions pop up. Where would you keep them? How do you plan to keep all variables constant? How can you be sure they wont get contaminated? And lastly, how can you be sure this has implications on humans? I mean, growing them on a petri dish is close to growing them on humans, but keep in mind what I said before: Humans have different kinds of skin, while petri dishes are the same.

If you can answer those questions, I'd say youre ready. But keep in mind, ask your mentor too. My mentor has 2308743583589508 questions like the above, which is why it took me so long to pick a topic...

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Could you give us some information on how you plan to carry out this experiment?

It certainly sounds like a good idea. although I'm not sure about originality because it's something I've heard of before. However, I doubt its been written as an EE many times because I'm not sure how complex the experiment is.

But I just want you to keep in mind that if you are dealing with people, you need a lot of them. For my experiment, I had 25, and my mentor told me that that was the bare minimum. Furthermore, how are you going to ensure that the people are all equal? If you're testing acne growth, you have to keep in mind that you cant use people with a lot of acne already, because it would be hard to measure. You also have to consider each individual based on their skin (Do they have sensitive skin, T-zone, or naturally oily skin, because that can affect your results). You also have to be careful as to make sure that nobody has an allergic reaction to the makeup (to be honest, I'm not sure if this even happens, LOL) and you have to somehow apply exactly the same amount of makeup (in terms of thickness of the layer you apply, I'd assume) and that you put it on the same parts of their face.

Now, of course, if you AREN'T dealing with people (because as you said, you're dealing with the colonization of the bacteria, correct?) then it may be easier to carry out. However, keep in mind that once again, you would need 25 of each sample (this is according to my mentor; ask your mentor how much you may need) and then many other questions pop up. Where would you keep them? How do you plan to keep all variables constant? How can you be sure they wont get contaminated? And lastly, how can you be sure this has implications on humans? I mean, growing them on a petri dish is close to growing them on humans, but keep in mind what I said before: Humans have different kinds of skin, while petri dishes are the same.

If you can answer those questions, I'd say youre ready. But keep in mind, ask your mentor too. My mentor has 2308743583589508 questions like the above, which is why it took me so long to pick a topic...

I realized that the the bacteria that cause acne colnize within the pore after it has sealed and filled with sebum, so testing if makeup(which is applied on the epidermus) would be unnecessary because they don't have an effect on eachother, however; I was thinking that because acne is partly due to the clogging of the pores with dead skin cells and other substances, I could do an EE on the effect of makeup on the alkinity of the skin epidermus which would relate to the acne because if the makeup did infact create a highly acidic enviroment on the skin then that would result in dead skin cell allowing for clogged pores thus causing acne. now if i do try to test the latter option i would have to gather 10(that's the minimum for my mentor) petridishes worth of skin cells from each type of skin(naturally lined with oil, sensitive etc...) but im having difficulty figuring out a way to test that. would i place a circular cotton swab saturated with makeup and place it in a petridish of skincells and test the Zone of Inhibition? but then how would that workout?

Would it be possible to cultivate Skin Cells on a petri dish? and if so would you mind sharing the procedure as to how to do so?

If you have any ideas, plz do share.

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Haha, oh man, you lost me for a while there. I dunno about the alkalinity of the skin and all that stuff, but if you feel confident, and you have the background research, then do it.

HOWEVER, I can say something about the experiment.

If your mentor said 10 petri dishes, then that's fine. However, I'm not sure about your procedure.

Firstly, if you are dealing with skin cells, IN MY EXPERIENCE, I don't think you can grow them, not with the resources you probably have. When you scrape off the skin cells, I'm pretty sure you're scraping the dead cells, which would not grow. In order to actually grow them, I think you would need a different growing medium (because if you're dealing with bacteria, I'm assuming you're talking about a growing medium such as nutrient agar) and I really don't know how to do it, or if it's even possible. Maybe do some research on that?

Furthermore, I don't think that applying a cotton swab saturated with makeup would work. In my experience with petri dishes, we dealt with bacteria, and we would usually use a STERILIZED cotton swab to scrape samples off skin, or dip in solutions of bacteria, etc. Then we would use a technique (yes, there ARE different techniques to growing bacteria, it's easy to mess up, depending on what you want to do) to spread it onto the plate and then we would wait. If you were to apply a cotton swab (hopefully sterilized) saturated with makeup onto the petri dish, there's a good chance of 1. The skin cells getting dislodged, or getting stuck to the makeup and 2. Not having an equal amount of makeup applied to each sample. It's very difficult to control.

Also, I don't know how you plan to test the skin cells if they came from a sensitive skinned or oily skinned individual? I was under the assumption that "oily" or "sensitive" skin was caused by the glands, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I doubt those glands will get carried with the skin cells.

I think you need more information. What growing medium do you intend to use? Also, you still need to consider the questions of where you will store them and all that stuff.

Let me emphasize that background information is VERY important. You have to make sure you have all the information you need in order to start an experiment. Nothing sucks more than realizing you just wasted valuable materials, or realizing that your experiment has serious limitations.

I'm sorry, I don't have many ideas when it comes to this because my biology EE dealt with people, which is what I'm used to. However, I have had a lot of experience in growing bacteria. Is there anything you can think of involving bacteria?

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