On the whole suggestions for home made products to cope with medical emergencies that you find on the internet are a really bad idea. But as it happens, this one that has been circulating on social media isn’t too far off the mark. Vodka is basically alcohol – so as long as it is a brand with a fairly high content you are getting alcohol that will have the capability of sterilising your skin. You’d want a good brand. Cheaper ones with lower alcohol content won’t work as well. I like the idea of the aloe vera. It will offset the drying effect of the alcohol to some extent. I don’t think I’d put so much in though. It is diluting the alcohol from the vodka and reducing its effectiveness. The tea tree is a pretty good option too. It has well established antibacterial properties and will stay around to give some protection against further infection after the alcohol has evapourated.
One of the reasons for going green as a skincare brand is to acquire the halo effect that comes from being one of the good guys. Our continual experience of the real world is that nearly everything is a trade off and nothing is totally good or totally bad. But us humans still like to think of things in much more simple terms. We are inclined to think that if a brand has good values, it also has good products that do good things for you. We all do this, and no amount of logic seems capable of undoing it. I don’t think anyone doubts that many natural things are not safe. Plenty of synthetic things are perfectly harmless too. But nonetheless the words ‘safe and natural’ seem to belong together. So it is a bit surprising to find a company like Green People, which professes to be on the side of the angels in terms of its natural products, getting into hot water with the Advertising Standards Agency.
I don’t actually watch Love Island, but I do keep track of the rulings made by the Advertising Standards Agency. So when I saw that someone called Olivia Buckland had got into trouble with them, I hadn’t actually heard of her. Continue reading
There is a very serious and worthy video online made by the West Yorkshire police about the risks of medical creams that contain paraffin. I get what they are thinking. Policemen do of course look younger all the time, but no doubt there are still some that are old enough to remember paraffin heaters. These large but portable oil fired devices were a must to get through a cold English winter in the days before central heating. They might even remember the little paraffin burners with cotton wicks that were used in chemistry sets. I certainly do. So you can see why they might be worried. It really doesn’t sound like a good idea to get paraffin onto towels.
And they had an illustration of the risks involved when an elderly woman was involved in a house fire. It got out of hand and killed her. She suffered from a skin condition and had cream soaked towels around her at the time of the unfortunate incident.Continue reading
Cannabidiol is being treated by everyone on the business as the next big thing. It is getting media coverage as a treatment for mental health problems, so its connection to personal care isn’t that obvious. But if you think logic has anything to do with this sort of thing, well you haven’t been paying attention. Anything with a bit of a buzz around it is good enough. In fact there is a reasonably good case for cannabidiol being of some use on the skin. If it can affect receptors in the brain there is a pretty good chance that will do the same to receptors in the skin which could be beneficial for pain and itch. We don’t have any data to back this up yet, but that isn’t the kind of detail that troubles the folk who are looking to get ahead in a crowded market.
At time of writing everyone is talking about cannabidiol and there are lots of projects going on. A few pioneering skus have hit the shelves, but it is far from mass market yet. I predict that by this time next year there will be CBD variations of most of the major brands and maybe even a couple of new ones.Continue reading
You can’t avoid social media in the beauty business. And you can’t avoid the big four platforms – Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. All of them are used by brands to communicate their offerings, and consumers to find and react to those offerings. You also need to use them to promote yourself if you offer a service. I have a business so that is obvious, but I’d argue that if you have a job you need to promote your services as well. Continue reading
People often assume that I spend most of my time in the lab formulating products. If only! There are people who can manage to do that but only in very big companies which have big teams. The reality for most formulators, and certainly for me, is that you spend the biggest part of your time troubleshooting. When I started working as a freelancer I did think I might be able to skip doing quite as much. But it turns out that there is more demand for trouble shooting than there is for straight product development.
Oh well. Continue reading
Calling your company ‘The Honest Company’, as Hollywood’s Jessica Alba has done, is asking for trouble. For a start it means you are claiming a very high moral position, so you have a long way to fall if you slip off. It also gets the backs up of people you compete with. If you are going big that you are honest it rather implies that the rest of us are a bunch of scoundrels. It isn’t a way to win friends. Continue reading
We’ve had elections recently in France, the US and the UK. We’ve had quite a lot of them in the UK actually. One of the things that happens a lot in politics is that partisans for one side or the other are keen to make out that their opponents have made a lot of mistakes. Given their terrible track record, you should boot them out and pick someone else instead is the argument. This is a convincing line if, and only if, the people who have got things wrong never learn from their errors. But the reality is that when things go wrong most of us look at the situation and see what we can learn to avoid getting it wrong again next time. I think this is true in every walk of life, and it is definitely true in the world of cosmetic formulation. The best lesson is getting something wrong and having to put it right. Good judgement is the result of experience. But experience is the result of bad judgement. You won’t get much right without first getting a lot of things wrong.