The EU has a rather Byzantine way of regulating cosmetics. The rules are set by the European Commission in Brussels. This is run by the commissioners, of whom there are 28 one from each state. They have what strikes me as quite a modest sized staff and they don’t employ any scientists specifically to look at cosmetics and indeed don’t have a department that dedicated to the industry. So the regulations are drawn up by general bureaucrats. Continue reading
I am great supporter of people making their own cosmetics at home. It’s a fun thing to do and for me life is all about building a better understanding of things. A good way to do this is to look closely into something, learn about it and then put those lessons into practice. You’ll learn about cosmetics, you’ll get some stuff to use. But you’ll also gain a deeper feeling for how things are made. Modern life can alienate us from the real world a lot of the time and making your own cosmetics is one way to reconnect. Continue reading
There has been a big increase in the number of people suffering from allergies of all kinds, and although there is a perception that the problem is bigger than it actually is it still remains a problem. Nut allergies are one of the biggest categories and we have all become used to pervasive labelling of foods including ones that don’t even contain nuts as regular ingredients. Traces of nuts are enough. So should you be worried about allergies to cosmetics containing nuts? Here are my observations. Continue reading
My long term Twitter pal@ asked me about placental protein. It seems to me that there is always somebody somewhere in the world putting something stupid into a cosmetic product. But in fact placental protein isn’t a particularly new idea. It has been around long enough for their to be an official EU monograph for it on its list of cosmetic ingredients. Here is how it is described –
Placenta, ext. Extractives and their physically modified derivatives such as proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, inorganic ions, etc. obtained from mammalian placenta.
A paper in the most recent International Journal of Cosmetic Science has just drawn attention to a little noticed issue that has been bubbling away in the background of the cosmetic science world for a while. The issue is the use of long chain hydrocarbons in lip products. This sounds pretty formidable, but it is not really that complicated. Mineral oil is largely composed of long molecules that are composed of nothing more than chains of carbon atoms surrounded by hydrogen atoms. This is about as simple as chemistry gets, and the chemistry of hydrocarbons has few surprises. The most interesting thing about them is that they make a good source of fuel. And the biggest use we put them to is to put them into cars and aeroplanes. Continue reading
I have just picked up on an interesting story on Twitter. Lush are being gently mocked because people are finding that one of their soap bars that contains some seeds are sprouting in people’s bathrooms. This is a nice easter story – germination is something that is associated with spring after all. And it is quite funny. I have feeling that the people responsible for quality at Lush aren’t laughing though. I can remember a similar incident from long ago in my career. This was before Twitter but in any case didn’t get out into the public domain.
A large batch of strawberry seeds were weighed out in a factory with the intention that they should be used in a batch of exfoliator. They were left for a few days in the humid environment that you have in a cosmetic factory and they too sprang into life, expanding to several times their initial volume. Continue reading
Someone has asked about a serum they like.
I have a very very expensive formulation of a serum here. Would you please be so kind to evaluate it? My questions are especially concerning preservatives.. and also: does skin benefit from so many different ingredients and antioxidants…? I think I think that simple is best. The formulation might be of interest to you, as it seems at the forefront.
Water, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, glycerin, punica granatum (pomegranate) extract, squalane, tocopheryl acetate, camellia sinensis (white tea) leaf extract, vernonia (ambiaty) apendiculata leaf extract, morinda citrifolia exrtact, pichia/reservatrol ferment extract, laminaria digitata extract, padina pavonica thallus extract, hydrolyzed algin, palmitoyl oglipeptide, phanthenol, niacinamide, ubiquinone, yeast amino acids, 7-dehydrocholesterol, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, triticum vulgare (wheat) germ extract, helianthus annuus seed extract, equisetum arvense extract, commiphora myrrah extract, retinyl palmitate, allantoin, PEG 10 rapeseed sterel, tribehenin, ceramide 2, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/beheneth-25, sucrose laurate, polyacrylate crosspolymer-6, polyquaternium-55, zea mays (corn) oil, ethylhexylglycerin, phenoxyethanol, tricalcium phosphate.
A question from George
I was hoping to hear your opinion on a moisturiser by D.R. Harris & Co, the world’s oldest pharmacy. The majority of ingredients in this cream seems very standard, but it is also formulated with isopropyl myristate and lanolin – two ingredients which I know you are particularly fond of. This company also produce lots of shaving paraphernalia which you may also be interested in. I have facial eczema and don’t like to rely too heavily on steroid creams, which my dermatologist is all too keen to dish out. I’m also curious if lanolin can be beneficial in countering eczema as opinion on the internet seems to be on the no side. Regards, George
There is a news story that L’Oréal have issued a product recall for their Ideal Moisture Dry and Sensitive Day Cream in Canada. The reason is that the level of MI in it is higher than Health Canada’s regulations allow. This is quite a rare event – big cosmetic companies are usually pretty good at following regulations. Unfortunately Google has not revealed the details of just how much over they were. But the product has been on the market for three years so there is a good chance that they have simply failed to keep up with the regulations and that the product was legal when formulated and launched. They have shifted just under 60,000 units. Continue reading
How much does using talc increases your risk of developing Ovarian Cancer? Talc is pretty widely used, so if true this is a pretty big story and also rather bad news. It is such handy and useful stuff it would be a great shame if we had to stop using it and of course it would also be bad if people are contracting cancer who otherwise would not. The only people who would be pleased would be the people behind the campaign for safe cosmetics. They have been going since 2002 and have yet to find any unsafe cosmetic product. Continue reading