I am, as I often am, indebted to British Beauty Blogger for her review of this remarkable product – Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub – which she described as ‘one heck of a scrub’. Well it certainly should be because the first item on the ingredient list is ruby crystals. BBB is rightly cynical about beauty business claims and brushed the ruby thing off as a sales gimmick. But in this case, there is something about rubies that makes them uniquely suitable as the abrasive agent in a scrub. They are one of the hardest substances known to man. Continue reading
I was musing this morning that even though blogs in general (and my blog in particular) are not always that well written and have no kind of quality control and are generally a bit rough round the edges nonetheless they are quite compelling things to read. I think the reason for this is that they can be very immediate. You just fire up your laptop and away you go. The result can be online really quickly. In fact, I thought, I think I can probably get one up in an hour. So on a whim I posted an offer on Twitter to do a blog post on any topic in an hour. Continue reading
As I made clear in my post on cosmetic safety assessments, as a rule cosmetics are safe and that there is a good procedure in place to make sure they stay that way. What I didn’t say is that this is basically a scientific approach and one of the things about science is that even things you are really sure about can be changed if new evidence comes to light. The history of science is basically the story of scientists realising what they had got wrong. This means that even the best established scientific judgement can be overturned by a new discovery. We believe that cosmetics are safe based on the best available information, but could new knowledge overthrow this conclusion? There isn’t much on the horizon that suggests this, but the biggest risk to the consensus is the so called endocrine disruptors.
Since the nineties the European Union’s cosmetic legislation has required that all cosmetic and personal care products placed on the market should be assessed for safety by a suitably qualified person. I am not sure what the exact thinking behind this was. As cosmetics had not been particularly unsafe before that, the intention must have been simply to reassure consumers. But as almost nobody outside the industry knows about the existence of these assessments, I have a feeling that the general public has not been particularly reassured. Given how much work and effort goes into them this really is a bit of a shame. So I thought I’d do a blog post to help spread this knowledge a little. Continue reading
Someone just starting out as a cosmetic scientist has asked me if they should start a beauty blog. They have been told that they should be careful. What should they do? Continue reading
What do you call someone who works somewhere you used to work, but who joined after you left? Are they still a colleague? Not sure. But whatever, someone who now works at one of my old stomping grounds drew my attention to a product that gave her a skin reaction. It is a product that has got quite a lot of love from beauty bloggers, so I thought I’d take a look. It is Pixi Glow Tonic and seems to be the most popular offering from Pixi by Petra. According to the website this company has been set up by a makeup artist called Petra Strand. She claims 20 years experience so ought to know what she is doing.
Nothing it is totally impossible, but the chances of a harmful ingredient getting into a cosmetic and affecting the health of the people who use it is really really unlikely. Even if the people who formulated them were both stupid and irresponsible, they would kill themselves first. If not, the people making the stuff in the factory would be the ones most at risk and when they started showing symptoms the problem would come to light.
But there is always a chance that a cosmetic ingredient might be harmful to the environment, and it is much harder to safeguard against this risk. A good example is the possible environmental risk of cyclic silicones known as D4 and D5. Continue reading
I have just had someone get in touch to tell me that Ecover Wipes have just changed their formulation to include methylisothiazolinone (MI) as the preservative. I haven’t been able to confirm this myself so I will have to treat it as hearsay for now. If you know the facts please let me know. But it does raise the question as to why any company would do such a thing? MI has been in the news for provoking allergies and the permitted level has been tightened recently. It has even been banned from leave on products – though it is still allowed in rinse off products such as wipes. Continue reading
The number of brands cashing in on the supposedly harmful effects of chemicals continues to grow. Australian organic skincare company is one of many, and it goes to the trouble of explaining its philosophy in some detail on its website. They make the claim that they are not only natural but are more effective than conventional products. They put this as stridently as possible, saying it is “FINALLY POSSIBLE, TO ACHIEVE REAL BEAUTY RESULTS WITHOUT HARMFUL CHEMICALS.” Continue reading
I was glad I made the time last summer to visit the National Gallery’s exhibition of the pigments artists have used over the years. It was a fascinating business, and it is a bit sobering to remember just how much work the great masters of painting had to do before they even got to the stage of getting to the actual painting. As a cosmetic scientist it was also interesting to see just how much overlap there was between what artists and cosmeticians used, and indeed still do. It was also interesting to note that changes in the availability of raw materials and the technology for processing them have had a big influence on what could be done, another common thread that applies to both art and cosmetics. Continue reading