Why You Can’t Use The Bit At The Bottom Of A Lipstick


Too good to waste?

A friend of mine has a premium lipstick they use for serious socialising, and a cheaper workaday one that is good enough for when they are seeing less important people like me.  She hit on a whizzo wheeze of melting the small amount left in the bottom of the pricey one and pouring it onto the other one to get the full value out of it. Continue reading

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Just How Much Water Is In Your Personal Care Products?

amount of water

The ingredient you find in most cosmetic products

Water is just as much an ingredient as any other in personal care products.  Yes it is cheap, and yes the more water you put into a formulation the lower your costs will be.  But in all but the cheapest of products this is hardly a consideration.  You put in the amount of water you need for the function you require. For some applications, the amount of water is the defining feature.  The best example is that the difference between a lotion and a cream is pretty much down to the amount of water.  Here are the rough water contents of the big product categories. Continue reading

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Sucrose Esters – The Next Big Thing?


There’s a lot you can do with sugar.

After the huge success of BB creams a lot of attention has been given to the rest of the alphabet.  We still don’t know what the next combination to take the industry by storm will be.  A lot of us thought that the trend would stick with consonants, but there has been interest in vowels as well.  It’s a crazy world out there.  But another line of enquiry is to look at what is happening in the East, and specifically Korea, to see if there are any more innovations heading down the line. Continue reading

Posted in Emulsifiers, Ingredients | Tagged | 2 Comments

Fringe Meeting On Cosmetic Regulations At Formulate


Hydrangea Soap Dish

The big show of the year for cosmetic formulators and other people at the sharp end of cosmetic development is SCS Formulate, organised by the Society of Cosmetic Scientists.  It will be held as usual at the Ricoh Conference Centre in Coventry on the 11th and 12th of November.  I go most years and feel quite proud about it as I organised the first two on behalf of the society back in 1999 and 2000, and although I haven’t had much to do with the actual work for many years I still feel that it is sort of my show. Continue reading

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Beauty Resources I Actually Use


Hydrangea Soap Dish

I have been meaning to do a post for a while now with a comprehensive list of all the great online beauty resources that are available to the beauty enthusiast who wants to dig a bit deeper.  I still have that one on my list. To get started I had a look at my browser history to see where I had been lately.  As is the way with these things, what you think you look at and what you actually look at turn out to be rather different.  So here are the places I actually go, as opposed to the places I suggest other people should go. Continue reading

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Can You Trust Adverts?

Can You Trust Adverts

Swiss apples – something special?

We all see a lot of adverts and most of us do our best to ignore them.  Somebody who is trying to sell you something is rarely a source of useful information.   But just how far do advertisers go in stretching the truth?  I don’t think that big name companies are exactly pure in heart and soul, but they do on the whole keep within the letter if not the spirit of the rules most of the time.  But smaller companies are often a bit more adventurous.  A good example of just how they work can be inferred from a ruling by the UK’s advertising authority, the ASA, from last year. Continue reading

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Mole Day, Hooray!

Mole Day Hooray

Er, not that kind of mole.

Who is the most popular chemist?  Avogadro.  Everyone knows his number.  Okay it is a corny joke, and it is also probably a bit baffling if you have never heard of Avogadro’s number.  It is one of those things that sounds a bit dry if you describe it in purely technical terms,  but which is actually a stunning achievement of our species.  It is simply the number of atoms in a gram of the smallest atom, i.e., hydrogen.  We know the relative sizes of all the atoms.  For example carbon is 12 times bigger than hydrogen.  So 12g of carbon contains the same number of atoms as 1g of hydrogen.  Chemists can therefore use Avogadro’s number to work out the number of atoms in any quantity of anything. Continue reading

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Fabric Facial Masks

Facial masks have been around for ages, and are popular enough to get stocked in supermarkets in the UK.  But they are still exotic enough that you can’t assume people know what they are.  The idea of putting a clothe soaked with a fluid on your face and leaving it there for about 20 minutes still seems to be something of a minority taste.  Part of the problem is that people aren’t exactly sure what it is that they are supposed to do.  And judging by the way some of the products in the category are marketed, it doesn’t look like the makers have a much better idea. Continue reading

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Personal Care Products and Exercise

Personal Care Products and Exercise

I used to think about things in boxes when I was at school.  There was chemistry, biology and gym.   I didn’t really think much about the connections between them.   But these subject headings we learn are not real.  All the time your body is doing all sorts of exercise and there are processes going on that interact in ways that are hard to get a scientific handle on. Continue reading

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Microbeads In Cosmetics

microbeadsAs a keen environmentalist I often find myself face palming when a cosmetic company picks up on a green issue.  They often home in on things that aren’t particularly relevant and propose solutions that are questionable.  But I think the recent interest in the risks posed by microbeads is one where there is a real problem. Continue reading

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