Category Archives: Problem Pages

Colin solves your problems.

A Serum Formulation

Serum IngredientsSomeone has asked about a serum they like.

Hi Colin,

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.

Best regards,
M.

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Products To Look Out For If You Have Sensitive Skin

Products To Look Out For If You Have Sensitive Skin

A question from Susan who is suffering from sensitive skin that hasn’t yet been tracked down to a specific cause.

My face seems to have become very sensitive to everything creams & makeup I have lost count of the products I have used & the money I have wasted. I asked the doctor what was the most common thing that is put into products that can cause a reaction that’s how I came across your blog, which has now send my head into a tailspin as you say that natural is not always the answer. I am awaiting patch testing to see what is causing reactions but I’m desperate for a moisturiser for my face at the moment all that I can use is a steroid ointment which is very greasy & can only use once a day. I was hoping you could recommend any products I could look at to use or any websites that will help.

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Is Lanolin Beneficial For Eczema?

lanolin beneficial for eczema

A question from George

Hello Colin,

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

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What Are The Risks of Combining Dihydroxyacetone and Dimethyl Isosorbide in Self Tans?

Combining Dihydroxyacetone and Dimethyl Isosorbide

Hi Colin,

I’ve been a loyal reader of your blog for quite some time and enjoy the reliable advice you give as a professional. Therefore I would like your opinion on something that has been bothering me for a while.

I’m an avid user of fake tan (wear it basically all the time) and lately I’ve seen more and more formulas containing DMI (dimethyl isosorbide) as an “accelerator” or skin penetration enhancer. This promotes the absorption of DHA into the skin.

Now my question is whether this DMI also takes the DHA deeper into the skin and possibly even into the bloodstream. The reason I’m asking this is the fact that there have been a few scientific studies that have shown a link between DHA and free radicals or DNA damage. This worries me a bit and makes me wonder whether I should avoid fake tan products containing DMI.

Thanks a lot and keep up the good work!

Hope to hear from you soon,

Charlene Continue reading

Which Ingredients Block Pores?

which-ingredients-block-pores I have written before about how I don’t think that there is very much value in the comedogenic scale that attempts to rate cosmetic ingredient for their potential to cause blackheads.  But this rather begs the question, posed to me by Livvi on Twitter,  what ingredients do cause them?   Livvi actually asked what ingredients block pores – but although blocking pores doesn’t automatically mean blackheads, that is the main problem. Phew, this is a bit of a tough one. Continue reading

Does Baking Soda Soften Nails?

baking-soda-nails

A question from Amanda

I have a question. I have used a baking soda scrub on my scalp (scrub a handful of dry baking soda into wet hair, rinse thoroughly, then follow with an ACV/water rinse. I tried the more typical 2 tablespoons baking soda to 2 cups water ration, but after trial and error I found that I need the abrasive action of the dry stuff to get rid of scalp issues) for about a year. My scalp and hair are happy, but my fingernails have never been softer or more likely to break off. I have plenty of protein and good fats in my diet, and use oils on my hands and nails, but my nails are very unhappy. Could it be related to the baking soda? Not much else has changed!

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Sensitive Skin

sensitive skin

An interesting question from Patricia that I think might interest some other people.

I have sensitive skin and always look for cosmetic products which are free of harsh chemicals. I was not aware of the m1 preservative until today when a report was made on the breakfast show and will in future try to find a product which does not include it. However, I have been aware of parabens for some time and have tried to use products that do not include parabens, difficult. Lloyds the Chemist did bring out a range of their own brand moisturisers parabens free, but for some reason I can’t find that range now, think it may be discontinued. Inecto make a moisture replenishing body lotion which is paraben free, I love this, and have given to friends and to one young friend in particular who suffers from dermatitis and she likes it very much. I have checked some of the most expensive brands of cosmetics, and for some reason most seem to include parabens in their make up, don’t know why because surely cosmetics, particularly lipsticks, are something which are used up pretty quickly, I know mine are.

I think there are two distinct meanings to the term sensitive skin. Some people have skin that is just a lot more porous and dry than others. This means that it is not a good barrier and is prone to becoming dry and itchy. I can sympathise with this as my skin is a bit like this, and is getting worse as I get older. Continue reading

Milk of Magnesia for the Skin

Milk of Magnesia

This is an odd one.  Alexi writes

Hi, Colin

I have question about milk of magnesia. A lot of ladies are saying that it’s effective at controlling oil on their skin, but is it safe? I’ve heard that milk of magnesia has a pH of 10.5. Wouldn’t it disrupt the skins acid mantle over a long period of time?

I had this discussion with a couple of other ladies. One told me that she asked her professors (retired doctors) and they told her it’s not strong enough to change the skins pH. Another lady told me that her husband (who’s a cosmetic chemist) told her that using it daily would not cause any long term damage. I would like to know your opinion. Thank you!

I have no idea what would suggest to someone that applying a treatment for an upset stomach to ones face was a good idea. Continue reading

Alum as antiperspirant

Alum

A question about alum from Alice.

Hello Colin,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a informative blog. I have a question concering potassium alum. I have been researching this product and I keep seeing comments like “its a compound” so it does not contain aluminium. KAl(SO4)2 is potassium and aluminium so can you please explain to me (us) if there is Al in here for those of us who try to steer clear of this stuff in our deo/antiperspirants. Thank you very much. Kind regards, Alice

Hello Alice,

Thanks for the kind words and sorry it has taken a while to reply.  Continue reading