Category Archives: Ingredients

Citrus Fruit Extract

Citrus Fruit Extract

Who wouldn’t want a citrus fruit extract?

I have just got off the phone from discussing a citrus fruit extract I have commissioned.  I have been disparaging in the past about what are called tip ins  – but there are times when you want a particular extract and it is rather splendid that companies exist that have the expertise and capabilities to produce, within reason, any extract that you want. Continue reading

The Palm Tree – The Cosmetic Industry’s Base

Palm is an important source of cosmetic raw materials

Palm is an important source of cosmetic raw materials

Some things I write about seem quite important to me but somehow don’t really resonate with the people who read my blog. For example I wrote a post on palm oil which explained how the palm oil business works.  Nobody read it.  But I still think it matters so here we go again. Basically palm is grown on plantations and then processed to produce palm oil. This all goes into a big system from where it is moved around to produce a bewildering number of products. Continue reading

Polyaminopropyl Biguanide Banned. Sort of.

Safe to use, but I’d reformulate if I were them

 

A question about an ingredient from Sara.

Hi, just wondering if you could give some information on the preservative Polyaminopropyl Biguanide? Apparently it was banned by the EU in January 2015 however appears to be still used in many beauty products including up to very recently Liz Earle’s cleanse and polish. Many thanks.
Hello Sara,

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Methylisothiazolinone Isn’t Banned, But It Looks Like I Am

Banned from MI GroupI am not a big fan of Facebook.  I find the interface a bit busy and confusing, and I haven’t really worked out who can actually see stuff when I post it.  But it is a big platform so I feel obliged to got on it every now and again.  I was on it recently and a side bar suggested I should join a group called “Get Methylisothiazolinone Removed From Products!”.  It sounded interesting so I clicked on it and thought no more about it. Continue reading

Astringents

astringents

Witch hazel is the best known astringent.

A Twitter friend asks what an astringent is. And the answer is basically quite straight forward on one level. It is something that stings the skin and stimulates it to react. The easiest way to think about it is to consider the material that is most often used as an astringent, or at least most often used in conjunction with the word astringent, which is witchhazel. If you know what witchhazel does, then that is an astringent. The main experience I have had of witchhazel was having it applied to wounds and bruises as a kid. I was told then that it would clear away the germs and stimulate the skin so that the wounds or bruising would heal more quickly. Continue reading

P&G Offers More Clarity On Which Preservatives It Uses

P&G Offers More Clarity On Preservatives

Preservatives = P&G come clean


Preservatives in cosmetic products are a problem and will remain so until the way they are made and used changes significantly. I imagine someone somewhere is working on a project to create cosmetics in a small machine which you can programme with your favourite recipes. That would enable people to choose their own preservative option or to not use them at all and just make their personal care products fresh as needed. But until that technology becomes widespread preservatives are a necessity, and some people will have allergic reactions to them. Even the ones with a low propensity to cause allergic reactions, like the parabens and methylisothiazolinone, still cause plenty of people issues.? Continue reading

The Epidemic of Methylisothiazolinone

three things you should know about scare stories

There’s a new paper out with some numbers from dermatology clinics about reactions to methylisothiazolinone (MI).  Dermatologists regularly patch test people to discover what they are allergic to.  This involves applying a set of common materials that tend to provoke allergic reactions to the skin, and seeing which ones the individual reacts to.   Continue reading

Colour Codes For Preservatives

Colour Codes For PreservativesAmong 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

Charcoal As A Skin Cleanser

Charcoal As A Skin Cleanser

Charcoal – Skin Purifier?

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

Is It Time To Free Cosmetics Of Caffeine?

Is It Time To Free Cosmetics Of Caffeine?

Do you need this stuff on your skin?

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.

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