Tag Archives: environment

Should You Put Food In Cosmetics On A Hungry Planet?

Should You Put Food In Cosmetics On A Hungry Planet?

8 billion people is a lot of dinners

Should food ingredients be used in cosmetics when the planet is already straining to feed nearly 8 billion people? This was the question posed by The Beauty Botanist, aka Jennifer Hirsch at a joint meeting of the Society of Cosmetic Sceintists and the Brisish Society of Perfumers last night. Continue reading

The Palm Tree – The Cosmetic Industry’s Base

Palm is an important source of cosmetic raw materials

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

Microbeads In Cosmetics Are Bad – But Plastic Is Everywhere

Microbeads In Cosmetics Are Bad - But Plastic Is Everywhere

Turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish

Christmas 2016 is over, and like a lot of people for me the next item on the agenda is getting rid of all the rubbish.  I am particularly aware of it this year having read an article in the Biologist over the holiday by freelance naturalist Rajith Dissanayake.  Despite the popularity of naturalness and general greenery we still produce one heck of a lot of plastic.  I can certainly vouch for that as I have tried to squeeze of lot of it into my bin.  Rajith quotes the figure that the average American produces around 2.5Kg of plastic waste per day, and us Europeans can’t be far behind.

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How Do Organic Accreditations Actually Work?

How Do Organic Accreditations Actually Work?

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 Melanie Organics 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

A Quick Guide To The Environmental Crisis

guide-to-the-environmental-crisis

I give green personal care products a pretty rough time on this blog.  I don’t have any problem doing this as a public service because so many of them basically aren’t very good.  But it does run the risk that I appear to be anti-green in general.  Nothing could be further from the truth, and I thought it might be a good idea to lay out what I think the problems facing the planet are and how seriously I take them.  This doesn’t strictly have anything to do with coverage of the health and beauty issues I normally cover, but it is always sort of there in the background.  And anyway, this my blog so it’s my rules. Continue reading

Is Benzophenone A Risk To Reproductive Health?

Is benzonphenone a risk to reproductive health

Can a widely used sunscreen harm your chance of having children?

Big corporations are run for profits and are not too scrupulous about how they seek them.  We have seen tobacco companies ignore the health of smokers.  Big chemical companies have pushed lead into petrol.  Mining companies leave the public to foot the bill for clearing up the mess their operations create.  The list goes on.  Cosmetic companies are no different ethically from any other type of corporation.  As it happens there are almost no serious health effects arising from the cosmetic business.  But this is not because their standards are higher – it is simply a fact that cosmetics are pretty safe.  If that gives those of us involved in selling them any kind of moral high ground, well we throw it away pretty quickly by the outrageous claims we make for them.  It is very hard to do anybody any harm via the skin – but it is equally hard to do much good either. Continue reading

Microbeads In Cosmetics

microbeadsAs a keen environmentalist I often find myself face palming when a cosmetic company picks up on a green issue.  They often home in on things that aren’t particularly relevant and propose solutions that are questionable.  But I think the recent interest in the risks posed by microbeads is one where there is a real problem. Continue reading

Doing Green The Right Way

green-the-right-way

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