Sometime ago I had a question about whether French skincare was any good from a half Egyptian woman living in Canada called Yasmine. She described herself as a “freelance makeup artist, beauty junkie and organic modernist bohemian.” She sounded like an interesting person so when I replied saying that yes French skincare is generally very good I asked her a question about what Egyptian skincare was like. Her reply was so full I resolved to ask her for a bit more detail and ask if I could run it as a blog post. Unfortunately I got sidetracked and have only just got round to doing it. When I tried to e-mail her it bounced back. But I think what she sent was enough as it stood, so here it is.
If you are out there Yasmine thanks for your reply and I hope you don’t mind me using it without permission. Please get back in touch if you want to add anything. Continue reading
I was asked a question by a journalist who was writing an article on the differences between hand and face creams. It is an interesting question so I thought that now I have plugged my typewriter in I may as well share it more widely. Before we look at the products lets look at the difference between the skin on the hands and the face. Continue reading
Coffee is the bloggers greatest friend, though being English I personally take tea. Both have the same effect, they are both good caffeine sources which is great for the late nights you have to spend looking for spelling errors and desperately trying to write a post that makes sense at least to yourself. The elusive reader has little idea of the pain and suffering that has gone into the blog that they quickly scan over for a few seconds before leaving in search something more interesting.
Despite what a lot of marketing suggests, there is no particular reason to suppose that natural ingredients are safer or superior to synthetic ones. It depends on what you are doing with them. It’s horses for courses. You pick the material that has the properties you need for whatever it is you are trying to achieve. But on the whole most of the time I prefer natural oils over mineral oil for skin creams. Continue reading
My friends over at the Beauty Brains blog have been talking for a while about using coconut oil as a pre-conditioner. Basically the idea is that the oil soaks into the hair shaft and makes the hair less brittle. It is an interesting idea, and one that has some evidence behind it. So I thought I’d give it a try. Continue reading
The force of nature that is British Beauty Blogger was onto me the other day asking for comments on a couple of patents she had come across. Patents are a great source of information for cosmetic scientists, and potentially for beauty bloggers as well though BBB is the only one I know who has ever done so. (I am not sure she ever sleeps). Continue reading
A comedo is the scientific name for a blackhead. An ingredient that causes comedones is comedogenic. The comedogenic scale is a five point scale that tells you how comedogenic that ingredient is. It is also complete nonsense. Let’s have a look at why.
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
A question from my first Twitter chum, Musicalhouses.
Dear Colin, How can we guess how much retinol there is in a skincare product? It’s quite hard to get a percentage ge since companies don’t disclose this. In particular, I’m looking at the Hada Labo Retinol Lifting and Firming Lotion (Ingredients: water, butylene glycol, glycerine, PEG-20 sorbitan isostearate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, methylparaben, PPG-10 methyl glucose, ether, sodium Hyaluronate, triethanolamine, Carbomer, hydroxyethylcellulose, tocopherol, BHT, disodium EDTA, hydrolyzed collagen, hydrolyzed soy protein, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, retinyl palmitate, helianthus annus (sunflower) seed oil, sodium Everglades Hyaluronate, zea mays (corn oil) thioctic acid, beta carotene), since retinol appears all the way down there in the ingredients list and it doesn’t have the characteristic smell or colour (white to off-white yellow) of most retinol-containing products I’ve used in the past. Also, I’d be interested in knowing any rules of thumb you have for guessing the % of a skincare ingredient given how far up or down the ingredients list it is. Thanks!
Retinol is one of the few so called active ingredients used in cosmetics that actually does something. But as a savy consumer and beauty blogger (see http://musicalhouses.blogspot.co.uk/) Musicalhouses knows you have to have enough to have an effect. Continue reading
Researching my recent post on Michelle Phan I came across one of her videos where she explains how you can make your own product to treat cellulite from coffee grouts. Well having christened her the most influential person in the cosmetic business I have to take issue with that one. I think this is what they call set ’em up, knock ’em down in the media. Continue reading