Blog Statistics

Is obsessing over blog statistics a good thing?

Is obsessing over blog statistics a good thing?

Did you know that there is a button on WordPress blogs that will go through all your blog posts and insert the publication date into the URL? Neither did I until I pressed it by mistake. It wouldn’t normally be that big a deal because you can reset it fairly easily. Except that I didn’t realise I had done it for about a week. By that time Google had noticed the change and altered all the references in Google searches. So when I put it back to how it was originally suddenly most Google searches were sending traffic to non-existent pages. Continue reading

Who Does The Research On Cosmetic Safety?

who does the research on cosmetic safety who does the research on cosmetic safety

I get a steady stream of enquiries from journalists. Their questions are usually fairly similar.  They ask about the safety of cosmetics, and lose interest quite rapidly when I tell them that they are.  “Stuff you’ve never worried about before is still nothing to worry about” is not really the makings of a great headline.  But I did get one that was a bit more interesting than most the other day.  Who does the research on cosmetic safety?  Obviously, there might be a story if all the research on cosmetic ingredients is carried out by cosmetic companies, or paid for by them, then maybe something sinister is being hidden.  Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy? Continue reading

What Is Healthy To Eat?

It's tasty, but is it healthy?

It’s tasty, but is it healthy?

A pair of groups of whom I have never heard before called the the National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration have made a bit of a stir in today’s newspapers by attacking government health advice. The official line is that obesity is caused by eating too much fat, so we should avoid it and go for low fat options.  These activists claim that it is the other way around.  We should eat plenty of fat and avoid processed carbohydrates.  Who is right? Continue reading

How Do Organic Accreditations Actually Work?

Organic accreditation

There are dozens of organic certification schemes. The way most of the big ones work is that they certify a particular supplier and also have a schedule of the actual products covered by that certification. So you’d have them come and certify Melanie Organics and typically a certificate saying so. There would also be a list of all the things that you supply that the certificate covers. This is usually a separate document – it is likely to be changed from time to time. There is nothing stopping you from supplying other things so long as you don’t claim them to be organic.If you want to check that a given ingredient is organic you’d need to look at both the certification of the supplier and the individual ingredients listing. The supplier might well put references to the certification on their own documents, but it is rare for the certification body to issue certificates for individual materials. Continue reading

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Facial Clay

Being a formulation scientist I appreciate elegant formulations that have been carefully crafted to produce an elegant solution balancing all the competing requirements of elegance, efficacy and economy.   But sometimes you just don’t need all that.  This product is just a big jar of clay.  A pound of the stuff in fact.  But does it make up for its lack of sophistication in product development by snazzy marketing?  Er, not really.  It is called Indian Healing Clay evoking the sounds, smells and mystery of the sub-continent.  But the pack is illustrated with what looks like an Aztec or Mayan pyramid.  It’s not really considered polite to continue the old mistake of mixing up the indigenous populations of South America with those of somewhere else altogether.  So it doesn’t look like this has been carefully thought out by a team of highly paid marketing professionals.   I quite like the look, but as Mrs BeautyScientist always makes clear, I have no taste so this is a bad thing.

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Balance Me Radiance Face Oil

I am always on the look out for interesting, unusual and preferably entertaining product claims.  Which is how I ended up on the website of Balance Me, a skincare company of whom I have to confess I had not heard of before.  They have bought out a limited edition of a facial oil.  There is no indication on the website why it is a limited edition, nor just how limited it is.  They don’t claim that each bottle is numbered, or that it comes with a certificate.  So I’ll just have to assume that they have just decided that at some point they are going to stop producing it when some number of units has been reached. Continue reading

Four Influential Female Cosmetic Scientists

influential-female-cosmetic-scientists

Elizabeth Arden

The world is changing all the time, and one of the big changes is that technology is removing many of the barriers to doing things that used to exist.  Had you wanted to start a cosmetic company thirty years ago you would have had to have had a pretty big slice of capital just to get into the game.  But now things are available in much smaller quantities so you can launch a product with much less actual cash.  This is already having an effect.  The business is now much more about niche products than it used to be. Continue reading