I was drinking my tea this morning and having a quick look at the news on my phone. I nearly spat the former out over the latter in shock when I saw the headline. It read “UK could allow animal testing for cosmetic ingredients for first time since 1998”. My initial reaction was that this was completely insane. Surely the last thing the UK needs is to align itself with anything so unpopular. Any idea this stupid should be buried so deep that only the development of new fracking techniques would enable it be dug out again.
Reading the article it turned out that the headline was significantly at odds with what is actually going on.
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 →
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 →
Are you more swayed by an organic accreditation or a pretty picture? Like this one. Nice isn’t it.
There are dozens of organic certification schemes. The way most of the big ones work is that they certify a particular supplier and also have a schedule of the actual products covered by that certification.
So you’d have them come and certify your company and typically a certificate saying so. There would also be a list of all the things that you supply that the certificate covers. This is usually a separate document – it is likely to be changed from time to time. There is nothing stopping you from supplying other things so long as you don’t claim them to be organic.If you want to check that a given ingredient is organic you’d need to look at both the certification of the supplier and the individual ingredients listing. The supplier might well put references to the certification on their own documents, but it is rare for the certification body to issue certificates for individual materials. 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 →
My good friend Dene Godfrey wrote an article for personal care truth denouncing the practice of free from the claims on cosmetics. This is very much the kind of thing Dene does, and he did it very well. Normally he beats all oppostion into instant submission, but this time there was a riposte to it from a blog called Skin Matters, which although I wouldn’t call them great friends is a blog I read from time to time and generally appreciate. This response was also very well-written and made some good points. To sum up the debate, Dene asserted that free from claims were not based on scientific evidence and had the effect of alarming consumers about non-existent risks. Skin Matters replied by saying that some people have genuine problems, and there was a need for products to address this. In fact Skin Matters are so convinced of the general goodness of free from claims that they have instigated an award for free from products. Continue reading →
The FDA have just announced that some organic face cream is being recalled. I’ll refrain from mentioning the name, though the story is in the public domain so anyone interested enough can track it down themselves with a bit of googling. The recall was initiated by the company themselves who have owned up that the face cream not only contains argan and pomegranate, it also contains mould.
I am indebted to my friend the LA Hobo (@thelahobo on Twitter) for drawing my attention to a recent action by the FDA ordering the recall of organic almonds on sale in Whole Foods stores in the United States. Continue reading →
I am scheduling this post to appear just as I start speaking at the ScanCos conference in Stockholm on the subject of Organic Standards For Personal Care – Are They Relevant In A World That Is Getting Hotter And More Crowded? I am talking to an audience of cosmetic scientists and other industry professionals so I can assume that they know all about organic accreditation schemes for personal care and cosmetic products. A lot of consumers on the other hand are not so much confused as totally oblivious to the existence of such standards. Continue reading →
I am a big fan of being green. I’d love to see a lot more progress in that direction in the cosmetics industry and I am very happy to report on a company that according to a report in the trade journal Happi, is doing just that. Toms of Maine have just issued a report on their project to lighten the load they place on the planet and it makes interesting reading. Continue reading →