Among the many things I try to cram into my schedule is a newsletter for people with sensitive skin. I am not very successful at doing this I am afraid, and I don’t get the newsletters out very frequently. But despite this I get a steady stream of people talking to me about their issues with reactions to cosmetics. In particular, to preservatives. And particularly in particular to methylisothiazolinone. Continue reading
In recent years a lot of people have started making their own cosmetics. There are quite a few places online where they discuss their progress, and it makes interesting reading from my perspective. Having done it for a living for several decades it is interesting seeing what people find interesting and what they find difficult. Continue reading
Caffeine has been a cosmetic ingredient for a long time, and you’ll find a jar of it on the shelves of most cosmetic development laboratories. There are three things it gets used for. There are the so called body sculpting products. The idea behind these is that you apply them to parts of your body that have more fat than you’d like. The caffeine stimulates fat burning, so you can get rid of the fat in the areas you don’t like it. Keep it up and you can change the shape of your body to something you like the look of. It is also used to improve the tone of the skin. It is supposed to stimulate energy production in the upper layers of the skin. This again uses the breakdown of fat, but in this case to release energy to improve the look of the skin. And finally it is used in shampoos to stimulate hair growth.
We’ve all seen and may well have actually experienced the dark marks that you sometimes get around the eyes. They are known as dark marks, dark circles and spider veins. They vary in colour – they can be black, blue or purple. The cause of them is that the skin is particularly thin on this part of the face. This makes the blood capillaries there particularly prone to damage, both as a result of rubbing them and to things that affect the size and permeability of the blood vessels. The result is that blood cells can get out of the blood stream and accumulate into this dark coloured structures. The spidery appearance is due to them following the lines of the capillaries. Having got there they can trigger an inflammatory response making the skin puffy as well. Continue reading
There are plenty of fake tan products out there. Fake tans are easy to formulate and not too expensive to manufacture. The active ingredient, dihydroxyacetone, is very effective. So the big problem facing the manufacturers of fake tans is how to differentiate their product from the competitors. So they need to find ways to speed up the tanning process or to give a superior end result. Continue reading
There are an interesting couple of points in the comments thread on my blog post asking for MI not to become a scare story, from Suzanne. She has drawn my attention to a paper from 2012 that details developmental problems in tadpoles exposed to MI. She concludes from this that MI is potentially unsafe for humans as well and asks what the liability is for companies that continue to use it now that this risk has been identified. Continue reading
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.