This feels like the end of a chapter.
December 21, 2016
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued draft guidance recommending a limit of no more than 10 parts per million (ppm) of lead as an impurity in cosmetic lip products (such as lipsticks, lip glosses, and lip liners) and externally applied cosmetics (such as eye shadows, blushes, compact powders, shampoos, and body lotions).
So now at last we have the issue of lead in lipstick settled. This will now become a de facto world standard. Nobody wants to make stuff that is illegal in the US even if they don’t plan to sell in the US. And I imagine that the EU will quietly add this requirement to the EU legislation at some point anyway. Continue reading
Can a shampoo prevent hair loss?
I recently appeared on Channel 4’s Supershoppers to talk about Alpecin shampoo. I have been amused for some time the way they run adverts for this shampoo on the television that manage to talk about it without actually mentioning that it is intended as a treatment for hair loss. I was quite surprised to discover, literally in front of the camera, that they have no such inhibition on the pack itself. It states in big letters that is what the product is for. I had assumed that if they were following the rules in their on air promotion, they would be just as scrupulous across their whole marketing platform. Continue reading
My interest in blogging and my blog varies. Sometimes I wake up and before I have done anything else I check my stats eagerly to see how I am doing. I then spend the rest of the day either elated or dejected, depending on the numbers. More often I don’t give it a second thought and just get on with the rest of my life allowing whatever happens online to take its course. Continue reading
Everyone loves bubbles
I don’t generally trust the Daily Mail, and in fact usually try to avoid it. But I couldn’t miss a fascinating story about falling shampoo sales. It seems that last year some of the big brands lost as much as 11% of their sales. What is going on? The Mail of course is never short of opinions and is quick to form judgements. The headline was that women who work from home don’t bother to wash their hair. Right. It must be the lazy trollops. What else could it be? Continue reading
Lauren Luke’s YouTube Channel is still there
Back in 2009 I blogged about one of the first beauty vloggers to really make a big impact in the UK. (Incidentally, the word vlogger hadn’t come into currency back then. I coined beauty tubees which I thought was a good name, but it never caught on.) At that point it looked like it was possible that home made videos on YouTube would become the norm and that the highly controlled airbrushed/photoshopped coverage in the glossy magazines would be eclipsed. I found Lauren’s down to earth less polished approach much more appealing. When I last wrote about her the world seemed to be her oyster with a column in the Guardian and her own range of cosmetics coming out. Continue reading
Good stuff, but don’t overdo it
A striking news story today about an accidental overdose of caffeine at a UK university. The students were given 30g of caffeine instead of 0.3g – a very significant error. Apparently they did the calculations on a mobile phone and got the decimal point in the wrong place. This is a remarkably easy mistake to make. People who need to make sure they weigh things out correctly, cosmetic chemists included, take some trouble to make sure that they do this correctly. In this case the students were lucky things weren’t a lot worse. According to the account of the trial 18g has been enough to be fatal in the past. I have actually experienced something a little similar though much less serious. Continue reading
So how much hair care can you cover in an hour? Quite a lot, but maybe not as much as the producers tried to cram into this one. We had the biology of hair, a run down of the chemistry of both shampoos and conditioners, restorative hair surgery, a new hair strengthening agent, hair evaluation technology, how to shoot hair for adverts, greying hair and the latest gene research. I am out of breath just typing it all. Continue reading
Is standing up a lot a good idea? The claimed health benefits for standing rather than sitting are quite impressive. According to juststand.org excessive sitting is causing “obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, depression and the cascade of health ills and everyday malaise that come from what scientists have named sitting disease. ” Continue reading
The cost of making cosmetics is relatively low compared to what they sell for. They have what business people call a high margin. This makes the sector very attractive to entrepreneurs who scent an opportunity to make a lot of money. And some indeed do. But the high margins don’t always translate into high profits. Overall the return on investment for the cosmetic sector is respectable, but only a little higher than that for manufacturing as a whole. The reason is simple and you’ve probably guessed it already. You have to put a lot of effort into selling them. They all have to have some kind of unique selling point – or USP. Continue reading
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