Inspired by Gravity: The "Beauty" of Living in Space

by Jenna Rosenstein

Kevin Cooley Kevin Cooley If you've seen the film Gravity, you know the last thing Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) was probably thinking about as she floated untethered--with rapidly decreasing oxygen levels--through the darkness of outer space was how good she looked. But it turns out, there are some real beauty benefits to floating at zero Gs--minus frightening space junk disasters.

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1. Sci-Fi Anti-aging
Because of a cool thing called "time dilation," astronauts actually age slower in space than on Earth. Why? Well, I'd love to quote NASA here, but their web site is inoperable thanks to the Government Shutdown. Essentially, it's all because of some unique combination of gravity and velocity and the observation of relative time. In reality, astronauts aboard a six-month stint on the International Space Station (ISS) only age about 0.007 seconds slower than us Earthlings.

2. Cool Hygiene
Have you seen the YouTube video of astronaut Karen Nyberg washing her hair aboard the ISS? While the no-rinse shampoo she uses might not be as delightful as my trusty L'Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil wash, she does manage to get her hair clean with a comb, some hot water droplets, and a towel. Plus, as the water evaporates out of her hair, Nyberg says it's sucked back up into the ISS's water filtration system and turned into drinking water! One giant leap for mankind and sustainability.

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3. New Technology
In the October issue of Allure, we wrote about a few cool new beauty products inspired in part by space travel, like Ioma's Youth Booster moisturizer (with a sensor sharing the technology from the Mars rover in the cap!) and Comfort Zone Skin Regimen Juvenate Pro-Booster (created by a former surgeon on the ISS). But one product, Iluminage copper oxide pillowcase, shares a technology that is currently being tested by NASA for it's anti-microbial properties. For astronauts, the copper oxide-infused fabric means less laundry in space. For me, it means that the copper oxide in my pillowcase transfers to my face and promotes collagen production, according to cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson.

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