Category Archives: Product Reviews

What Makes A Good Fake Tan?

fake tan accelerator

Can you get a fake tan even quicker?

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

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Facial Clay

Being a formulation scientist I appreciate elegant formulations that have been carefully crafted to produce an elegant solution balancing all the competing requirements of elegance, efficacy and economy.   But sometimes you just don’t need all that.  This product is just a big jar of clay.  A pound of the stuff in fact.  But does it make up for its lack of sophistication in product development by snazzy marketing?  Er, not really.  It is called Indian Healing Clay evoking the sounds, smells and mystery of the sub-continent.  But the pack is illustrated with what looks like an Aztec or Mayan pyramid.  It’s not really considered polite to continue the old mistake of mixing up the indigenous populations of South America with those of somewhere else altogether.  So it doesn’t look like this has been carefully thought out by a team of highly paid marketing professionals.   I quite like the look, but as Mrs BeautyScientist always makes clear, I have no taste so this is a bad thing.

Continue reading

Balance Me Radiance Face Oil

I am always on the look out for interesting, unusual and preferably entertaining product claims.  Which is how I ended up on the website of Balance Me, a skincare company of whom I have to confess I had not heard of before.  They have bought out a limited edition of a facial oil.  There is no indication on the website why it is a limited edition, nor just how limited it is.  They don’t claim that each bottle is numbered, or that it comes with a certificate.  So I’ll just have to assume that they have just decided that at some point they are going to stop producing it when some number of units has been reached. Continue reading

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,

Continue reading

Washing My Hair With Dr Bronner’s Magic Soap


Dr Bronner’s Magic soap is a product with a history and a heritage. It goes back to the days of the hippie movement on the West Coast of the US, and it still has that packaging and image to go with it. We remember the hippies as being idealistic and having their hearts in the right place but maybe not having their heads all that much together.

But time has moved on and Dr Bronners is no longer run by hippies. Far from it in fact.
They are now a big company doing very much corporate things. For example they are very keen on calling the lawyers in to get their own way. Continue reading

Cut Throat Stanley Beard Balm Review

Cut throats are big tough guys with big impressive beards, and so they need some serious beard care products.   The folks at grooming firm Cut Throat Stanley were kind enough to send me some samples of theirs to review.  I am finding it fun to get the camera rolling and just record my initial reactions to products, so that is how I did my Cut Throat Stanley Beard Balm Review.

Continue reading

Body Shop Drops Of Youth Wonderblur Review

I was interested to see that Body Shop have a new optical primer out.  This is a fairly new category of product that was really pioneered by Nanoblur.  I have explained in a previous post how products like this one and Nanoblur work – basically by manipulating the refractive index of the upper layers of the skin to modify the way they reflect light making the wrinkles much harder to see. Continue reading