Category Archives: Ingredients

Marula Oil Sediment

Some thoughts on noticing sediment in some marula oil. #BeautyScientist #NaturalOils

A post shared by Colin Sanders (@beautyscientistuk) on


I don’t know how long I’ll keep it up, or indeed how long people will put up with it for.  But for the last week I have started the day with a 60 second video on my new Instagram account.  If you aren’t familiar with the platform – you can’t post anything longer than 60 seconds.  It is quite tough to say anything in such a short time frame, and I am finding that once I start it is a bit frustrating that I can’t get out everything I want to say.  So here is a bit more detail on this morning’s one. Continue reading

Are Other People’s Perfumes A Problem?

There is an article I have seen posted on Facebook a couple of times that highlights the health risks of synthetic fragrance ingredients. I won’t link to it, but if I am seeing it there is a good chance you will have seen it too. The thesis it proposes is that synthetic chemicals in fragrances are toxic and might be dangerous to people who inhale them in public places, even if they aren’t actually wearing the fragrance themselves. Continue reading

Cannabidiol (CBD) In Skincare

Fashions come and go in the cosmetics and personal care world, and everyone is keen to be on the latest trend as soon as possible. The latest buzzy thing seems to be Cannabidiol or CBD. This has an interesting background, being a derivative of hemp which is also the source of cannabis – which has been a popular if illegal recreational pharmaceutical since the sixties. So CBD comes with ready made notoriety. But it is currently being sold not as a gateway into a counter culture, or even as an aid to relaxation, but as a substance with health benefits. Continue reading

What Do All These Labels Mean?

We now live in a world where information is freely available in quantities much greater than we can possibly need. But information is not knowledge. Knowing facts isn’t much use without the knowledge of how to use them. A story I came across made this clear to me.  A gentleman had bought a deodorant specifically because it had a big ‘alcohol free’ splash on the pack, and he reacts to alcohol. But in fact he still had very bad reaction to the product. When he looked at the ingredient list he noticed it contained benzyl alcohol. So, he concluded, the product was not alcohol free at all! Continue reading

What the Plastic Microbead Ban Means

ban on microbeads in cosmetics

I had imagined the UK’s much publicised microbead ban would be basically much like the legislation that is either already in force or well on the way around the world already.  Despite all the recent evidence I still think of my fellow countryfolk as sensible pragmatists who don’t panic about things.  So when I heard that UK parliament had brought in a ban on microbeads I wasn’t too bothered.  Such a ban is already in force in a few countries and no doubt EU legislation will be along later.   In any case everyone in the business knows the score and has already got rid of them or is well on the way to doing so.  I’d assumed this was just a bit of window dressing by the government to be seen to be doing something to help the oceans given how popular the Blue Planet television series is proving to be.  So I didn’t trouble to look up the details.  I’d guessed it would be a ban on very small polythene beads and we’d have to switch to natural or biodegradable options, which is pretty much what we are already doing anyway. Continue reading

So You Are Interested In Actives

Niod Re:Pigment

The rise of the Ordinary has stimulated the interest in cosmetic active ingredients. Or has the rise in interest in cosmetic active ingredients stimulated the rise of the Ordinary? It’s hard to say, and I dare say we’ll never know. But I now find myself reading beauty blogs where the bloggers are intensely interested in which of the ingredients are working and even how they actually work. Some are even going so far as to look at the research behind them. Continue reading

Allantoin – A Natural Skin Smoother

 

Allantoin was in the news a couple of years back when some researchers made the rather astonishing discovery that it prolonged the life of some species of worm.  This is the sort of thing that gets journalists excited and articles duly appeared.  Whether or not this means we can extend our lives by taking it in pills is a bit outside my area of expertise, so I’ll pass on that one.  But it did make my ears prick up because this is an ingredient I have been using since I first started formulating cosmetics over 30 years ago.  It is one of the more useful things in the cosmetic chemist’s toolkit. Continue reading

Taupe

Taupe

Taupe – Beige for ninjas

Reading beauty blogs is a very educational process.  I have for example just now come across a colour that hasn’t hit my radar before.  I got this from Charlotte at LipGlossiping who announced that her favourite colour for eyes is taupe.  Not having come across it before I googled it to discover it has quite an extensive wikipedia article devoted to it.   The name comes from the French for a mole.  (That’s the mammal, not the quantity of atoms for any chemists reading.  It is recognisable in the scientific name for the species – Talpa europaea. )  It is supposed to resemble the colour of that animal’s fur, though given how rarely we come across moles on a day to day basis that isn’t a lot of help. Continue reading

Honesty Baby Wipes Withdrawl – A Problem With A Silver Lining

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.

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