The self tan shake up

Self tan products are changing and consumers are going to notice.
You should too.

DHA self tan shake up
New EU self tan regulations reduce the maximum level of DHA usage to 10%

If you sell a self tanning product you will likely be aware of a looming change to the limit of dihydroxyacetone (DHA) in self tanning products to a maximum of 10% which is going to affect a large number of products on the market. The new regulation also sets a new DHA limit for non-oxidative hair-dye products to 6.5%, which while not unimportant will probably affect far fewer skus.

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Is Mouthwash Leave On Or Rinse Off?

Mouthwash leave on

The EU cosmetic regulations make clear that mouthwashes are one of the categories of cosmetic product. They are explicitly listed as an example, and obviously fit the definition. Elsewhere in the regulations, there is a distinction made between products that are left on, and those that are rinsed off. This is important because it affects the way that allergens need to be listed – there is a lower cut off value for allergens to be listed on leave on products. Continue reading “Is Mouthwash Leave On Or Rinse Off?”

Penetrometry- An Underrated Technique

Penetrometry isn’t widely used or even known about by cosmetic formulators. But it has its uses.

A penetrometry by Ele

There’s a trick journalists use to get you to read their stuff. They set up a false but interesting premise. ‘The Beatles’ songs are underrated’ for example. In fact nobody underrates the Fab Four’s music, but the article can now be framed as an argument rather than an account. This gives it a bit of energy it wouldn’t otherwise have had. So I had better confess now, penetrometry isn’t so much underrated as hardly heard of. You can’t assume it is something a cosmetic formulator will know about.

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Ambergris

Ambergris is highly sought after and very rare and expensive. But what is it?

A sperm whale full of ambergris has been washed up on the beach in Holland.  The quantity is 83Kg, and will keep perfumers who use it as a fixative going for years. The origin of ambergris was unknown for many years.  It was found from time to time on beaches. Its scarcity made it enormously valuable.

Once industrial scale whaling got underway its origin in the digestive system of whales became obvious. It also led to the pursuit of sperm whales, with disastrous consequences for their numbers.  To combat this trade in ambergris is banned in many countries.

The details can be found here.

http://www.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com/Formulation-Science/Sperm-whale-found-with-unusual-amount-of-ambergris-promising-for-EU-perfume-makers/

How To Handle A Scare Story

How to prepare for when your makeup product falls foul of scaremongers.

This week there has been a scare story about PFAs in makeup. (PFA is a recent acronym for perfluorocarbons.) Its origin is persistent mischief mongers the EWG who keep up a continual stream of misinformation about all manner of consumer products including cosmetics, most of which are easily linked to their fund raising activities. In this case the story was that there are dangerous components in colour cosmetics and many cosmetic companies don’t even know they are there. The monetisation comes from the EWG’s accreditation standard – where companies pay them for approval.

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Salicylic Acid – CMR2 status doesn’t affect its usefulness

Salicylic acid derived from willow trees
Salicylic Acid was first identified in willow bark

Salicylic acid has been used in cosmetics and dermatology for many years, more or less as soon as it was available in the 1840s. In fact it was used before that unknowingly as willow bark, from which it was first isolated, was already in use as a folk medicine before that. This use is referred to by Roman writers. But it has recently come under a bit of a cloud following its classification by the European Chemicals Agency as a Category 2 CMR.

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Hand Saniters

Hand Sanitisers

Hand sanitisers are a popular product line at all times, given that people are constantly exposed to potential contamination. But naturally there is a lot of interest in them when there is a big public health issue in the news. I am writing this on the 3rd of March 2020 where the UK Prime Minister has just been on television in the morning talking about the Corona Virus and specifically mentioning hand sanitisers. By this afternoon the price of the main alcohols used in hand sanitisers has tripled. Polymers often used in them also seem to be in short supply. Needless to say shops that haven’t already sold out are not likely to have stock for much longer. The shop above which my office is located sold its last one half an hour ago.

Material Safety Data Sheets

MSDS Sheets
MSDS Sheets are a feature of the modern world

Material safety data sheets are one of those things that sound like a good idea – indeed an obvious one.  If you are supplying a raw material you are required to provide the information the person who is going to use it needs to handle it safely.   Makes sense. Continue reading “Material Safety Data Sheets”

Itchy Vaginas – A Sensitive Subject


Here’s a blog post for the kind of person who knows all sorts of surprising and interesting facts.  These are the kinds of people who can be the source of both entertainment and education, but who for some reason rarely find it easy to get others to talk to them at parties.  It’s a mystery.  (Incidentally, I am above average at coming up with factoids.  And yet I have a below average number of friends.) Continue reading “Itchy Vaginas – A Sensitive Subject”