A lot of the appeal of high end skin care is that it contains active ingredients that do good things for you. It’s a nice thought, but it is as well to be aware that getting through the skin is no mean feat for a molecule. The top layer of the skin is like a sponge, but one that holds onto stuff. And it is also continually being shed – so stuff that gets onto your skin doesn’t stay there too long. And on top of that there is a continual flux of water from inside your body escaping outwards – known as the trans epidermal water loss. Continue reading
Brands are significant things in the personal care world. Huge sums are invested in creating, promoting and protecting them. The effort made by the guys in the lab who formulate them is a tiny fraction of the time, care and money lavished on the marketing. Continue reading
This is an odd one. Alexi writes
I have question about milk of magnesia. A lot of ladies are saying that it’s effective at controlling oil on their skin, but is it safe? I’ve heard that milk of magnesia has a pH of 10.5. Wouldn’t it disrupt the skins acid mantle over a long period of time?
I had this discussion with a couple of other ladies. One told me that she asked her professors (retired doctors) and they told her it’s not strong enough to change the skins pH. Another lady told me that her husband (who’s a cosmetic chemist) told her that using it daily would not cause any long term damage. I would like to know your opinion. Thank you!
I have no idea what would suggest to someone that applying a treatment for an upset stomach to ones face was a good idea. Continue reading
A lot of people are concerned about palm oil production. Palm oil production has some serious environmental issues associated with it to do with sustainability and destruction of precious wildlife habitats. Older readers might remember serious air pollution caused by palm oil farming in Asia some years back. The symbol of this has been the orang utan, whose numbers have been severely curtailed by the loss of their habitat to the palm plantations. Continue reading
Posted in Oils
What is the best oil for baby massage? This ought to be a simple question. But first of all, should we be massaging babies at all in the first place?
It doesn’t sound like it should be a problem. People like cuddling babies and babies seem to like being cuddled. Massaging is just an extension of that after all. But not everything that seems obvious turns out to be true. Has anyone reviewed the evidence? Continue reading
I was at a conference about cosmetic regulations yesterday. As is often the case, some of the most interesting things I picked up in random conversations with people I might not otherwise ever meet. For example I was chatting to someone in passing mentioned that the people enforcing the REACH regulations were resorting to automated methods to clear their backlog of unapproved data.
If you are like the vast majority of people who don’t work with chemicals, you won’t have the first idea what I am talking about. Continue reading
A question about alum from Alice.
Thank you for taking the time to write such a informative blog. I have a question concering potassium alum. I have been researching this product and I keep seeing comments like “its a compound” so it does not contain aluminium. KAl(SO4)2 is potassium and aluminium so can you please explain to me (us) if there is Al in here for those of us who try to steer clear of this stuff in our deo/antiperspirants. Thank you very much. Kind regards, Alice
Thanks for the kind words and sorry it has taken a while to reply. Continue reading
I was disappointed with the way Watchdog handled its coverage of methylisothiazolinone. Quite apart from the blatant sensationalisation and lack of explanation, it also failed to address a pretty key question. What do you do if you develop a reaction to a cosmetic product? Continue reading
A debate about the safety of chemicals in cosmetics chaired by Alice Hart-Davis with Chris Flower (Director General, CTPA) & Dr Peter Taylor (Pharmacy lecturer, De Montfort University) speaking for them and Jo Fairley (Journalist/Author of the Green Beauty Bible) & Jayney Goddard (President, Complementary Medicine Association) speaking against. Continue reading
A question from Breanna who suffers from eczema, eyelids being her particular problem.
Hello! I just found your page from a post on Reddit.com. I will get right to the point-I have eczema all over my body, but the worst part is my EYELIDS! They do -okay- in the summertime, but with the wind and cold comes a horrible condition. This began happening a few years ago and I found a suggestion online (it was hard to find anyone talking about this, so I suppose it is rare) that said to use Burt’s Bees Royal Jelly Eye Cream. I love this product, but it is a bit expensive for me. I am a student and while .5 ounces lasts a while, I hate having to spend $20 all at once on this product. What is worse, the only place in the U.S. I have been able to find it is in Whole Foods stores, and the closest one is over an hour away from my home. I was wondering if you perhaps knew of any other products that may be cheaper/easier to find? Some of the products I have tried that did not seem to work: Vaseline (this seems to prevent it from getting worse, but does nothing to help the damage already there) Nivea Even tried ChapStick Neem Aura balm Bag Balm etc. All of these products stung and burned, and none worked to reverse and heal the dryness except the Burt’s Bees Royal Jelly Eye Cream. Any information you have would be AMAZING