A question from my first Twitter chum, Musicalhouses.
Dear Colin, How can we guess how much retinol there is in a skincare product? It’s quite hard to get a percentage ge since companies don’t disclose this. In particular, I’m looking at the Hada Labo Retinol Lifting and Firming Lotion (Ingredients: water, butylene glycol, glycerine, PEG-20 sorbitan isostearate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, methylparaben, PPG-10 methyl glucose, ether, sodium Hyaluronate, triethanolamine, Carbomer, hydroxyethylcellulose, tocopherol, BHT, disodium EDTA, hydrolyzed collagen, hydrolyzed soy protein, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, retinyl palmitate, helianthus annus (sunflower) seed oil, sodium Everglades Hyaluronate, zea mays (corn oil) thioctic acid, beta carotene), since retinol appears all the way down there in the ingredients list and it doesn’t have the characteristic smell or colour (white to off-white yellow) of most retinol-containing products I’ve used in the past. Also, I’d be interested in knowing any rules of thumb you have for guessing the % of a skincare ingredient given how far up or down the ingredients list it is. Thanks!
Retinol is one of the few so called active ingredients used in cosmetics that actually does something. But as a savy consumer and beauty blogger (see http://musicalhouses.blogspot.co.uk/) Musicalhouses knows you have to have enough to have an effect. Continue reading
I have been doing a safety assessment and I needed to estimate how much nail varnish you apply. I assumed that somewhere there was some kind of official guidance on this figure published by, say, the nail varnish marketing board of something. Google rarely lets you down on this kind of thing, but I could find no such data point. Continue reading
A regular feature on the calendar of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists is the Southern Educational Event held this year on the 6th of June at the London College of Fashion. The first speaker was former president of the society Dene Godfrey who was talking on a subject that he has basically made his own. Whenever anyone anywhere dares to diss cosmetics they risk Dene turning up in some form or other to put them straight. Continue reading
There are quite a few ways to give your skincare product some personality. You can have a unique active. You can have a particular geographical location. You can be endorsed by a celebrity. Salix Alba ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to this. It boasts a natural source of salicin. It comes from the UK’s Lake District. And it is endorsed by somebody from a well known Australian soap opera. Don’t ask me who – I hardly watch any television. But this is a beauty science blog and so I am going to ignore all of the above and just look at the product itself. Continue reading
In March 2011 an accident at the Fukushima nuclear reactor in Japan led to a release of radioactive elements into the atmosphere. A few days later, these unique elements were detected in Oxford in the UK. Given that Japan and the UK are on opposite sides of the earth, that accident must have filled the entire planet’s atmosphere and done so with astonishing speed. Continue reading
My favourite book is Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. It is a phenomenal piece of work that spans the period of time from the reign of the artful emperor Augustus across 15 centuries until the final fall of the last remaining fragment of the state he founded. It was a book that could probably not have been written any time before the eighteenth century when it was published. Gibbon was able to refer to huge numbers of source materials which were being printed for the first time as the technology and the economy developed together. He had some 6,000 books in his library. Prior to Gibbon’s time only a king could have afforded that many volumes. Continue reading
Rihanna wearing a bright red lipstick
There was a story in the papers this weekend that someone is suing Rihanna because she caught herpes from a sample of her lipstick given away at a concert. Before I get onto the main point, I find it interesting that this kind of promotion goes on in the first place. It does make sense. The cosmetics industry is desperate to find ways of differentiating basically rather similar products. The music industry is equally desperate to find ways of turning interest in its products into income. The music itself is now so easy to pinch that they struggle to get anybody to pay full price for it. It is also extremely easy to consume music quite legitimately without actually paying for it. So tying in makeup with pop stars makes a lot of sense. I am not saying that Rihanna isn’t interested in her makeup range. I am sure she is. But she is basically the face of a big operation, and that all has to be paid for. Continue reading
Do you know what this symbol means? Have you even noticed it before? You will find it on most, but not all, of the personal care products in your bathroom. Continue reading
When I first started working on cosmetic formulations back in the eighties, every month a list of the best selling shampoos in the UK market would appear. Sadly, I cannot remember who used to compile it. It wasn’t a tremendously exciting list- Head and Shoulders and Vosene were always at numbers one and two. They sometimes switched places, but it was a pretty stable situation. Continue reading
Here is an interesting question from Claire
Hi Colin, I was looking at some eye drops today for tired eyes (optrex- I think it was the refreshing ones) and I noticed that witch hazel and alcohol were listed as ingredients, I though that both of those were astringent and I can’t see how they could make eyes feel better. Could you give me an idea why they might be there? Thanks! Claire
Two ingredients listed, but I think we are only talking about one raw material here. Continue reading